BMW Luxury Touring Community banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
2005 K1200LT
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so the most recent problem is this....

The bike was taken apart to take care of multiple servicing including flushing of all systems.

From what I understand, to refill the coolant system, it's a bear because the filler port is horizontal and not verticle and there's a potential for some leaking and being deposited on top of the engine where it's similar to a bowl and can retain some of the seeped coolant. If this is not washed off, it can spray on the bike for the first several miles. Hearing this, when I experienced coolant spraying on the left side of the bike on my foot, leg, and bike, I thought well it just takes time for it to all blow off. This went on for several days in differing intensities and then the heat sensor light came on the dashboard. I was in 32 degree weather and only had 8 - 9 minutes to get home so I took a chance. The temperature guage never went above half so I thought I'd be ok. I didn't see any steam, and didn't have any steam when I parked it so I was hoping I didn't do any damage.

Did I?

Is this spray from the residue on the top of the engine from filling?

Today I checked the overflow\back up the reservoir and found it to be empty.

Was there a possible bubble in the coolant system which could have worked its way up and then drained the reservoir? Was it big enough a bubble to cause the bike to overheat?

Today I got home and filled up the overflow\back up the reservoir to just a smidge over the max line. I took the bottles of antifreeze and put them in the saddlebag so that when it sucked out of the reservoir, I could just add more. I started out and about ten minutes into the ride the light came on. I pulled over and shut it off. I took out the antifreeze and went to fill up the reservoir back to the line maybe thinking it needed more. I poured maybe a quarter or less into the reservoir (as I couldn't see exactly on the side of the road how full it was with the light) and it came right up to the top of the reservoir as if nothing got sucked out of the reservoir. I rode it back home and the light was on the whole time, but the temperature never went really above the half line (the temperature outside was 64 degrees). It makes no sense. The reservoir should have been dry. Is the thermostat not opening? Also, there was no antifreeze spraying down the side of the bike. I'm guessing either it's very low in the engine (which makes some sense), or there's no more residue on top of the engine, or if there was a leak, the leak stopped (which I doubt).

Once again did I do damage? The light came on but the gauge never went above half. No steam.

I'm not sure what's going on here.

Any thoughts anyone? Anyone ever experience any of these issues?

Thanks,
Woody
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
Who did the servicing, you or someone else? Were any radiator hoses removed or clamps loosened in this process? If I were you, I would pull it apart again and check the fluid level in the radiator and look for leaks before you do anything else. Sometimes you have to loosen the top left hose at the radiator and carefully insert a thin screwdriver to allow air to escape ( burp ) as you fill it to get it full, others say you don't have to do this but if you did, did you tighten it again? I would check to make sure that the gasket on the radiator cap is in good condition and not folded over and before you remove it, inspect to make sure it is tightened all the way and not partially loose. The ears should be in line with the over flow hose. It doesn't take much overheat to damage these engines as the cylinders are not supported.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kbob12

·
Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
Joined
·
14,534 Posts
The best way to tell if there is any air is that you cannot put the entire 2.5 liters in. A very slow pour is the best way to do it and be sure there is no air. The fuel tank does not have to be off but it is easier to move it back to clear the radiator cap. No fluid should ever spray out (even from a spill) unless you have a loose radiator hose.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
634 Posts
I siphon the coolant in with a 1/4" hose. I set the bottle on a stand, normally a ladder, and start the siphon. It fills slowly, and I don't have to be there. I then top off the radiator and overflow and once all buttoned up, go for a ride. Once it cools, I top off the overflow.
 

·
Registered
2005 K1200LT
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. My last question, how do I know if I did any damage????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
You can do a compression and leak down check to see if any of the cylinders are exceptionally low or if you get blow by into the cooling system indicating possible warpage and leaking. Coolant in the oil would be another sign but you won't know till you get it back up and running.
 
  • Like
Reactions: byekryam

·
Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
Joined
·
14,534 Posts
Thanks everyone. My last question, how do I know if I did any damage????
Hard to say the light on the dash is driven by the cylinder head temp sensor through the ECU while the dash gage is driven by the sensor at the bottom of the water pump. Never run the engine with that light on but having said that we know another LT rider did run his engine without coolant (just forgot to refill after maintenance) and he had white smoke coming from the engine when it was running. So if you did not experience that then you should be OK. Just sort out the issue with filling the cooling system. Best to drain it all out again and refill with exactly 2.5 liters (measure it).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
I'm the one who ran without coolant.
When I got the overheat light, I did not continue for very long but it was just enough.
The first sign was horrible white smoke out of the exhaust.
I started by taking the head off, got it planned and changed the head gasket ($120 if I recall).The block looked flat, so I didn't suspect it.
Then I put everything back together, but I was still getting the bad white smoke.
Compression was good, but when I did the leak down test, I found-out I was getting a lot of air escaping in the crankcase.
I am afraid the cylinders got out of round and are just not sealing properly with the head gasket.
I did not go any further and just wrote-off the engine. ...And bought a newer bike ;-)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,677 Posts
I’m not sure where to start here. No way to know if you damaged the engine without doing a compression or leak down test or riding it for a while and checking for high oil consumption or water in the oil.

I am not sure who told you that the LT is hard to refill, but that simply isn’t true and I don’t know what the comment about the filler being horizontal rather than vertical means as the filler is on top of the left radiator and is vertical. I have changed my coolant twice and both times were very easy. Just measure out the coolant and fill slowly. I use a large pitcher with a pour spout on it and can put in all of the required coolant at one time. I pour it in slowly and have never had a problem with the trapped air, and a little air will usually work itself out in a couple of thermal cycles. I generally fill the overflow tank first to ensure I don’t forget to do that.

If a vehicle seems to have overheated and the overflow tank is empty, NEVER add coolant to just the tank. If the tank is empty, either it was never filled at the last change, or the radiator has sucked all of the coolant out of it and likely is low enough that the siphon to the overflow tank has been lost. At that point, you must remove the radiator cap and ensure the radiator is full before you refill the overflow tank to ensure that the siphon will be quickly re-established.

With careful filling there is no reason to get any significant amount of coolant on top of the engine block. That would require some very careless work. It even if that was covered, you would not get enough air velocity in that area to flow coolant our the cooling air exits such as to get on your legs. It sounds as though a hose was left off (I would suspect the hose to the overflow tank) such that hot water was being sprayed out of the radiator when the pressure exceeded the pressure cap limit. This would allow the coolant level to drop and the bike start to run warm. Either that or one of the hose clamps was left loose and is leaking under pressure.

Before you run the bike again, I would remove the bodywork and check every hose and clamp to ge sure the hoses are on the nipples far enough and the clamps are tight. In particular, the hose to the overflow tank. I then would slowly fill the radiator and using a measuring cup to know how much coolant it takes to refill it. If it takes more than half a liter, then the likelihood of engine damage goes up substantially. Once the radiator is full to the brim (the cap should displace coolant as it is inserted to ensure a siphon is formed), then fill the overflow tank.

Now fire up the engine and let it idle until the cooling fans come one at least once. Check all hose connections for leaks and the radiators themselves in case one was damaged during the maintenance work and has a leak. Check the coolant level in the overflow tank as it should have increased due to the heat. If it didn’t, then you have a lot of air in the system. Let the bike cool for a couple hours. Now check the overflow tank level again as it should have dropped back to where it started, assuming no air in the system, or back to a lower level if some air was burped out. Remove the radiator cap and check the level. It should be full still, but it not, top it off and replace the cap and fill the overflow again and repeat the thermal cycle. This should get you in good shape with the overflow level rising to a consistent level at the time the fans kick on and returning to a consistent level once the bike has fully cooled. If not, then you are losing coolant somewhere and need to track that down and hope it isn’t into the engine through a crack in the block or head or a blown head gasket.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top