If I can do this, then you can too! That will be our "Motto" for this Thread.
I'm not an expert mechanic with a fancy shop full of specialized tools. Don't even have one of those big hydraulic bike lifts that puts the motor at chest height...for a good looksee. Usually, I just sit on my butt on the garage floor, getting a crick in my neck, and grease in my eye, as I probe around in places I probably shouldn't.
The difference, I reckon, is that I'm not afraid of messing something up. I kind of like messing things up, then seeing if I can un-mess the mess I've made. Which usually just leaves in....well....a big mess.
But, if I can, then you can too. Let's keep our focus here and continue...
On deck, is this big hunk of aluminum hazardous waste:
Aaaaaagh.....the dreaded radiator removal ! ! ! I hear lots of people skeeeered to remove this thing. Guess what? It ain't no big deal. In fact, its real easy. Just three bolts and two hose connections (drain the fluid) and voila, its off the bike easy as pie! Really.
If you have a radiator guard, like my "Force" brand, then one of these long socket extension will make this task soooooo much easier.
To do this:
Without the extension, its nearly impossible to reach that frame bolt/nut. Ask me how I know....
So, that's a great TRICK. And, here's another one. Are you tired of making a royal mess when you pull the hose on the water pump to drain your radiator? Try this TRICK:
It helps A LOT. Just hang a cloth rag beneath where your hose will drain (when you pull it loose), whatever fluid splashes out will soak into the rag and drain into your pan. It acts like a conduit for the fluid to follow. This is helpful, because fluid will continue to exit the water pump discharge on the motor as it drains from all the engine ports (slowly). Practice makes perfect....so you'll get better at it with each attempt.
While we're at it, here's another little TRICK related to the Force Radiator Guard. My radiator wiggles back and forth within the mounts, rubbing and rattling against the guard itself. So, I just cinched it down tighter to the outside edge with this super duper, high-tech, zip-ty like this:
Probably seems elementary.....so just rank it in that "why didn't I think of that" category. Don't ask me how long I rode around until I fixed this issue.
Seems I'm on a roll, so here's another top secret HF TRICK:
Put a towel on the floor beneath your bike. Its wonderful...
Keeps those nuts & bolts from flying across the garage floor....disappearing into the abyss....when you drop them. When they hit the towel, its with a thud, not a ping, and the little guys are always just sitting there smiling up at me.
p.s.....notice that circular container with the dividers. I bought a handful of those thingys (real cheap) at Home Depot. Terrific for keeping bolts & nuts sorted during a project like this. I put all the bolts from one general area in the same section.....like everything radiator related goes in one bin, while everything cylinder/head related would go in another. You get the idea. Old farts like me need all the memory aids we can muster.....as you'll soon see.
p.s.squared......please notice there are two separate distribution lines coming from this radiator.
This could be surprising & confusing, if you weren't expecting it. I'll show you where the "little guy" goes and what its for....tomorrow.