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Discussion Starter #1
2003 K1200LT SE

For the first time in months, I started the bike up today, It's been on a trickle charger since ... oooh... about late last summer-ish. It started first time, so I went out for a spin to get a Mother's day card and to visit mum at the other side of York. The bike ran great and everything worked!

On the way back I pulled up under a street light, thought I'd take a quick pic with my phone, I let the bike tick over for a few minutes while I messed with the phone. I got back on the bike, rode the other 200 yards to home, reversed up the drive, looked at the temperature gauge and thought 'that looks a bit high'. I waited a minute for the fan to kick in and it did .... then several seconds later .... splash ... water all over the floor and a great big cloud of steam!

I think I got lucky making it home before that happened! I've had a quick look with the torch and a hose has come off the engine, that would explain the odd looking damp patch that had formed on the ground while the bikes been stood all these months. Hoping that just cleaning off the crap on the furred up metal pipe where the pipe connects will cure the problem.

A question: Does it matter is I use non BMW coolant and what mixture should be used, how much coolant does the LT hold?
 

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As far as the coolant type is concerned, if you don't want to shell out the cabbage for the BMW stuff, there's always the following: (Just make sure that, whatever you pick, it's compatible with aluminum engines and is silicate and phosphate-free.)

1. Havoline Extended Life Anti-Freeze/Coolant DEX-COOL is a universal engine coolant that incorporates patented organic acid corrosion inhibitor technology. This coolant meets both ASTM D 3306 for automotive service and ASTM D 4985 for heavy-duty diesel service. It is a nitrite-, nitrate-, phosphate-, silicate-, borate and amine-free formulation.

2. Any of the Honda motorcycle coolants.(Widely available. Often on sale.)

3. Toyota red coolant and distilled water.
 

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Total capacity is 2.5 liters
recommended mixture is 50% distilled water and 50% antifreeze this provides the best boil over and freeze protection.
 

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Thanks Dragonwing and bigbear for your replies. I may be best going to my local BMW dealer and buying the genuine stuff, I'm unsure which other to buy here in the UK.

If I clean up and reconnect the disconnected hose (can be seen on right side of the bike through lower 'silver' fairing gap, can I just refill from the reservoir bottle, then run the engine and check level from there?


 

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I would think that if you lost fluid from the lower hose, you lost most all of it and refilling through the reservoir bottle isn't the quickest/best method. Aren't you going to have to remove that upper and lower side panel to reattach the hose so the coolant fill cap will be exposed (IIRC) or very close?

Mother's Day card? You must be a very good son to give her that in March =-p.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
British Mothers Day. :)

I'm trying to get away with removing as little as possible, hopefully just the lower silver section if that's possible? If not then I'll have to try cleaning and connecting from underneath, I just don't have a garage, shed etc and very limited tools. I'm not very technically minded. :confused:
 

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You have to pull the side cover and fill it through the cap. The reservoir bottle does now free flow into the motor. It only pulls back through it when the engine cools and the fluid contracts. If you attempt to refill it through the reservoir, you will wind up with a full reservoir and an empty, burnt motor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Gulp! Is that the right side cover? How much of it needs to be removed?
 

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If your radiator cap is not stuck fast on the rubber gasket, it is possible to remove it without removing anything else, but you need small hands with a strong grip. I have done it a couple of times to top-off the level after a coolant change, which incidentally makes a real difference to the cooling system performance. The top tank of the radiator needs to always be 100% full when cold. I suggest you try this (removing the radiator cap), then the radiator can be filled by using an old gear oil bottle or similar, with an extended tube. Squeeze the bottle to push the mixture up and into the radiator. A little Krytox type lube on the radiator cap lugs makes it real easy to remove next time (Aussie tip). Hope this helps.
 

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Left side, upper panel. Radiator cap is at the top of the left side radiator. Turn signal, tipover wing and attached chrome, mirror, and left panel. It's not bad once you've done it. There are three lengths of screws. The longest ones fit into the rubber well nuts. Look up the microfiche for A&S BMW. From there just find the exploded view of the fairing assembly to see what you're getting into. It's mainly just tedious, nothing special.
 

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As a 'get familiar with tupperware removal' read, click here and while there, look around for some more info on working with the plastic bits of the LT. Good luck. :)
 

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Whats all of the funny looking green stuff behind your bike? :))
Best from Tucson
Bob
 

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Dick said:
As a 'get familiar with tupperware removal' read, click here and while there, look around for some more info on working with the plastic bits of the LT. Good luck. :)
Seems like a quick study in how to undress.
I am not sure how long that takes but if I had the pictures and a tape over (my voice of course) while working at it I might can do it. Also if OP lost coolant wouldn't it be preferential to pull the minimum body parts to inspect and insure the hose is fitted so as not to have a repeat and fill up while in that position. Seems like he has the weather on his side. Right now my grass has a white looking color.

Seagull I'm not very technically minded.
Neither am I. Hope you get it done.
ride safe :bmw:
 

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Seagull said:
Thanks Dragonwing and bigbear for your replies. I may be best going to my local BMW dealer and buying the genuine stuff, I'm unsure which other to buy here in the UK.
Practically all late model cars have some combination of aluminum heads and/or block, so they'd be using the same antifreeze. I know Volkswagen/Audi brand is blue in color, but I wouldn't get hung up on that. Some others are more red/pinkish. Prestone is a popular brand in USA, and they spell it out easily enough on their labels. Seems like they even have one that's compatible with all coolant types.

Any half-brain parts salesman at a auto or motorcycle parts store should be able to hook you up w/o you having to be bent over a barrel. :wow:
 

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Don't trust just any salesman and don't mix different colors of coolant. You can get BMW coolant at any BMW automotive dealer, or you can buy Mini coolant at any Mini dealer. You can also use Pentofrost NF, a Pentosin product widely available in the UK and even the USA. If they don't have it on the shelf, they can get it for you. These are all nitrite and phosphate free as per the LT requirement, and all three are dyed blue. With any of these you don't have to flush the engine from original OE coolant since it is all compatible.

Make it easy on yourself and get the pre-diluted composition. BMW and Mini sells it in 5 liter jugs. Pentofrost NF is sold by the liter as concentrate but you could probably also get it pre-diluted. That way you don't have to worry about purity of your water.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The lost coolant was light blue in colour, I'll look into this with my dealer. Thanks for all your replies. I'll report back. :)
 

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A few things to consider:

1. It doesn't matter what color the coolant is, as long as it is silicate and phosphate free it will be compatible with the BMW coolant. Color is just brand marketing. However, there MAY be changes in the additives which COULD cause issues since your bike has been used to living with BMW stuff for a long time. Considering the minor difference in cost I would stay with BMW brand - and you can get two complete changes out of a gallon. There are only a few manufacturers of coolant still in business anywhere in the world - they market all their stuff to affiliates who brand it.

2. Speaking of that gallon, dilute it 50/50 with distilled water only.

3. Buying pre-diluted coolant is like paying 10X retail for distilled water for the "convenience" factor. It is SUCH a scam, designed only to increase profits for the manufacturer.

4. Make SURE you replace the radiator cap with any brand like "mini cap" which are common, especially in the EU. I forget how many bar it is but it should be stamped on the top of your existing cap. Once the old rubber gasket has taken a "set" it really should be replaced - since it can cause you all kinds of hell - as in micro leaks letting air into the system and almost impossible to find. Radiator caps are dirt cheap. Don't get taken in by paying 4X what it costs at the dealer.

5. You can EASILY fill the radiator from the top by snaking a length of clear vinyl tubing - attached to a funnel - without removing anything. Use clear vinyl so you can tell when it's almost full to avoid spills.

6. After you fill it burp or massage the lower radiator hose in order to purge any air bubbles that may have been trapped. You will to need to take the cap off several times after you've done this to check the level. Top off the radiator after riding and getting the engine hot enough to open the thermostat. (let it cool before popping the cap) You want absolutely no air in the system, or it will decrease the cooling efficiency dramatically.

6. It may be time for all new hoses and clamps as well. Once again cheap insurance and probably needed since you reported your initial leak at the junction with the connection. That particular hose should not be used again. BMW hoses have an extremely long service life, but they do degrade from the INSIDE first :eek: - just like all other coolant hoses.
 

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If you are removing the tupperware to change the coolant (recommended every two years IIRC) consider replacing all the radiator hoses, or at least closely examining them all. Even the little ones buried in the middle of the engine. That hose didn't just slip off with no cause.
 

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andres said:
...Make it easy on yourself and get the pre-diluted composition. BMW and Mini sells it in 5 liter jugs. Pentofrost NF is sold by the liter as concentrate but you could probably also get it pre-diluted. That way you don't have to worry about purity of your water.
:wtf: How freakn' hard is it to add a container filled w/ 100% coolant to a larger container, then take the first container filled w/ water (preferably distilled) and add it to the coolant? Wahlah! 50/50 mixture, and it didn't costs you twice as much. Geez. Some people are so freakn lazy. :wow:
 

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