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Old 09-07-2010, 05:29 PM   #16
JoelWisman
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This does not sound good. I would take the bike in for warranty service. Even if the dealer does not find anything, a record will be created that you have reported a problem.

I would do this before doing any diagnosis on your own because because this could be something bad.
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:38 PM   #17
lmclamore
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I spoke to George over at Beemers Uber Alles this evening. He suggested it may simply be a problem with the rad cap. Reasoning that the coolant gets hot, expands into the catch tank, and is possibly getting caught (no pun) there unable to get drawn back in to the system when cool. The cap looks OK and I have it soaking for now. I'll try putting everything back together tomorrow PM, bleed the air out of the system, and test it close to home. George's also thinks there is the possibility of a bad water pump. I sure hope not. Not looking forward to having the bike down for so long.
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:03 AM   #18
JRWooden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman
P.S.

The factory method does not always work for getting the air out of the cooling system and the bike does not self bleed at all.....
Joel:

One of the other inmates pointed out that there is a T30 sized cap screw that "vents" the cooling jacket. It is located on the front of the cylinder housing about two inches above the starter on the left-hand cylinder. I don't think the manual mentions this screw, but ... I'm not sure why else it would be there besides helping drain/flush/fill the cooling system?

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:16 AM   #19
lmclamore
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I am waiting to find out if my bike will be ready today. Morton's BMW (Fredericksburg VA) also assessed my problem as a bad radiator cap. The hour in traffic to get home will be a good test.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:20 AM   #20
supershaft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmclamore
I spoke to George over at Beemers Uber Alles this evening. He suggested it may simply be a problem with the rad cap. Reasoning that the coolant gets hot, expands into the catch tank, and is possibly getting caught (no pun) there unable to get drawn back in to the system when cool. The cap looks OK and I have it soaking for now. I'll try putting everything back together tomorrow PM, bleed the air out of the system, and test it close to home. George's also thinks there is the possibility of a bad water pump. I sure hope not. Not looking forward to having the bike down for so long.
Anything is possible but joel hit it mostly on the head in that they can be a mofo to bleed. The bottom line is to watch it after you change coolant! Do not go by what is in the expansion tank!
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:26 PM   #21
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My dealer also went the "bad radiator cap" route, replaced it, topped her off and 150 miles later...everything is working as it should.
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:24 PM   #22
ThinAir
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Hack Method of refilling

Right or wrong, after I replaced my wife's 650 twin's radiator I too ran into the red triangle and found the fluid level low from not properly bleeding the system. I simply let the bike idle with the radiator cap off, while watching to make sure the bike was not overheating, and just filled the radiator a little at a time until it maintained a level near the neck of the fill area. Yes it burped out some fluid from time to time and got some drips here and there, but once I did that then filled the reservoir after placing the cap back on the radiator, it has been fine since. Simple, effective, and probably way wrong!!
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:30 AM   #23
EnderTheX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinAir View Post
Right or wrong, after I replaced my wife's 650 twin's radiator I too ran into the red triangle and found the fluid level low from not properly bleeding the system. I simply let the bike idle with the radiator cap off, while watching to make sure the bike was not overheating, and just filled the radiator a little at a time until it maintained a level near the neck of the fill area. Yes it burped out some fluid from time to time and got some drips here and there, but once I did that then filled the reservoir after placing the cap back on the radiator, it has been fine since. Simple, effective, and probably way wrong!!
Any follow up on this method?... How did it end up?


Anyone got more stories of bleeding the coolant system?
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:53 PM   #24
RidingAgin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelWisman View Post
P.S.

The factory method does not always work for getting the air out of the cooling system and the bike does not self bleed at all.

After 2 service bulletins describing different methods of bleeding, BMW finally said "too hell with it" and made a special tool to do the job that costs a tunn.

We now have that special tool, but before we got it, I came up with a method that has always worked for me.

1: Slowly fill the system from the radiator till it is full to the tippy top.

2: Open bleed screw pictured in posts above till air stops coming out, then retighten.

3: Fill radiator back to the tippy top and replace radiator cap.

4: Start bike and idle for a few minutes, open bleed screw for a few seconds and retighten.

5: Rev engine to 4,000 rpm or so and rock bike slowly from side to side with rpms high, then hold straight or center stand and open bleed screw for a few more seconds (coolant will be HOT, don't remove your dermis).

6: Shut off bike and allow to cool down (at least 30 minutes, carefully open radiator cap and fill to tippy top, replace radiator cap.

7: Start bike and allow to idle till cooling fan comes on.

GOOD: If it took a long time for the fan to come on, the whole radiator is too hot to continuesly touch from behind, and the fan is blowing off a lot of heat, go ride, everything is working!

BAD: If the cooling fan comes on pretty quick, the back of the radiator is not to hot to continuesly touch everywhere, and the fan is not blowing off a lot of hot air but rather just warm air from the hot motor and exaust surfaces, you failed, repeat steps above.

Once the system acts normally, fill the catch tank to the maximum line while the bike is hot and cooling fan is cycling on and off. Go for a few rides allowing the bike to cool completely between and check that coolant in the catch tank has remained above the minimum line.

Congradulations, you've just bled the air out of a cooling system that is sometimes a bitch to do so :)
I followed this procedure, and it worked well on my 11 F650GS twin. For draining, i pulled the lower hose at the radiator and opened the vent screw. I did tip the bike to the right to get some additional fluid out (and shook it a little). When filling the radiator, have the bike on the side stand to lean it over to get more fluid in.

Just finished a 15 mile test ride test ride after buttoning up the bike, operated fine. Thanks for the write up.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:25 AM   #25
JRWooden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidingAgin View Post
I followed this procedure, and it worked well on my 11 F650GS twin. For draining, i pulled the lower hose at the radiator and opened the vent screw. I did tip the bike to the right to get some additional fluid out (and shook it a little). When filling the radiator, have the bike on the side stand to lean it over to get more fluid in.

Just finished a 15 mile test ride test ride after buttoning up the bike, operated fine. Thanks for the write up.
For draining the coolant the manual suggests removing the lower coolant tube from the oil cooler and letting the coolant drain from there ...

tube is held in by one torx ... and sealed by an o-ring.
Be careful not to loose the o-ring when you pull out the tube
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