Newbie overheating 950 S

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by hotrdd, May 20, 2014.

  1. hotrdd

    hotrdd Been here awhile

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    So I&#8217;m an newbie to the KTM 950 but am already in love with it. My other bikes are old 1970&#8217;s customs and the KTM is just so much easier to ride for hours at a time. And there is all the fun of getting off the HWY whenever I want.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    Bike is high mileage but seems to be in great shape otherwise. I&#8217;ve noticed the last couple of rides that the temperature bars have been creeping into the 5 bar range even when it&#8217;s cool. When I got home the other day from a short ride it puked a little bit of the green stuff onto the garage floor. Then this morning I rode to work on the HWY and it was 38F out and the bike still managed to get up to the 5 and 6 bar range.<o:p></o:p>

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    The oil appears to be fine so I&#8217;m not afraid of a leak in that direction. I also have a second fan installed though I&#8217;m not convinced it&#8217;s even working. I need to do some more investigation on that one. But what sort of things should I look for? I have to drive it home from work today so is it okay to top up the system with some water?<o:p></o:p>
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    -What coolant should I use in the LC8?<o:p></o:p>
    -I assume I get the front wheel high in the air to burp the system?<o:p></o:p>
    -If I look at the water pump what am I looking for?
    #1
  2. gearheadE30

    gearheadE30 Long timer

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    Coolant type shouldn't matter as long as it is the good phosphate free stuff that doesn't corrode. I use engine ice personally, but I've used the autozone stuff in a pinch as well. Topping off with water is fine.

    You shouldn't need the second fan to keep it under control in those conditions.

    Do you have any coolant leaks? If the level is going down, something is wrong. Anywhere coolant is coming out, it is replaced by air, which will cause it to overheat. Bleeding the system should help, but they don't normally un-bleed themselves like that unless there is a different problem.

    Check your oil filter for waviness. That's the best check for a water pump leak, really.
    #2
  3. hotrdd

    hotrdd Been here awhile

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    The coolant level was really high when I got the bike so I have a feeling that the green stuff on the shop floor was a result of the bike being hot and too much coolant. But since the bike just rolled off the truck a short time ago I don&#8217;t have any history on it so I&#8217;m fixing issues as they arise. Definitely Reactive and not proactive at this point<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    Should I assume that checking the oil filter will require draining all the oil and doing an oil change? If that&#8217;s the case what are guys using these days that I can stop off and pick up on the way home?
    #3
  4. DirtyADV

    DirtyADV Long timer

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    Lay bike down with left side up and you can open filter cap without draining any oil, strong magnet is a good way to get filter out to check.

    /Johan
    #4
  5. ADVill

    ADVill Been here awhile

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    That black on Grey font is tough to read
    #5
  6. hotrdd

    hotrdd Been here awhile

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    Sorry. Never even looked at the font colour.

    Thanks for the help I'll pull the oil filter and see what I have.

    If I pull the water pump what should I be looking for?
    #6
  7. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest"

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    From another thread. This filter shows signs of water infiltration.

    [​IMG]

    If it looks like that, then its probably time to do the water pump.

    This one is pretty normal:

    [​IMG]

    I prefer to run a Scott's Stainless filter because water does not clog the Scotts. Water on a paper filter causes it to clog and rob your engine of oil pressure. That's bad.

    The older bikes often need a new radiator cap to maintain proper pressure in the cooling system. If the cap seal fails, you lose system pressure and cooling efficiency.

    When the water pump fails, you usually see grooves in the shaft where the rubber seal rubs. Kinda hard to see the grooves without disassembling the whole thing, but there is one ADVer who uses screws to pull out the old seal without really disassembling the entire pump.
    #7
  8. hotrdd

    hotrdd Been here awhile

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    tried to bleed the system when I got home by parking the bike on a very steep incline with the front wheel in the air but no luck. But come to think of it I took the small black cap off of the over flow bottle. Is there another rad cap I should remove?

    stupid thing was running 6 bars on the way home.
    #8
  9. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest"

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    The little black cap on the side is just for the overflow. The main radiator cap is just to the left and above that. Take off the side cover, and you'll see it.

    See it here? (copied from another thread).

    [​IMG]

    You have to "burp" with the radiator cap off. The overflow cap is really irrelevant for that.

    Also remember that the temp on the gauge is measured off of the rear cylinder by a sensor that is pretty much by your left thigh. The sensor on the radiator turns on and off the radiator fan. If your gauge on the dash is going up and up and it seems out of sync with the fan going on and off, then you have a circulation problem or a "burp" problem.
    #9
  10. hotrdd

    hotrdd Been here awhile

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    Threw the bike up on a jack tonight and got the front wheel nice and high in the air. Took both side covers off and started up the bike. Let it idle for a bit with the radiator cap off and watched it clime to 6 bars and radiator coolant come gushing out. But never heard the fans kick in. Should I start with the engine sensor?

    The coolant was really ot which should means circulating. I'm also not losing any coolant from the system. I'll check the oil filter tomorrow or Thursday after work.

    But if I am running down the highway on a cool day shouldn't the radiator be getting enough air flow?
    #10
  11. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest"

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    It's odd that the fan is not kicking on. It should kick on about when the fifth bar lights up. Something is wrong there. My bike just has the stock fan. It's 80 degrees or so here now, and the bike will generally always run on the fourth bar on the dash unless I'm in traffic in town. When the bike stops as a light, it pretty quickly turns on the fifth bar, and then the fan kicks on. I only see the sixth bar when I'm running off-road and going slow.

    You can pull the plug off of the radiator sensor and just close the circuit, which should force the fans to turn on. You don't hear a lot about sensors going bad, but it would be good to know that the fans will turn on.

    The engine sensor is apparently working, so wouldn't mess with it.

    Yes, running down the road on a cool day is normally enough to keep the bike cool without the fans. So, your fans are not kicking on appropriately, but that doesn't necessarily explain why you are seeing high temps when running down the road.

    Note that the system has to be completely full of fluid to work properly. The system works on 1.5 bars of pressure, and if you have any air gaps in the system, you won't get the 1.5 bars of pressure. So make sure it is properly burped and then completely full under the radiator cap.

    And don't get discouraged. You'll get it.
    #11
  12. uk_mouse

    uk_mouse Aquatic adventurer

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    If the coolant level is rising, not falling, it's unlikely to be the water pump. I'd suspect a head gasket. Check if the cylinder head nuts have been replaced.

    Typing this from my phone so I can't post full details, but basically there was a TSB on early bikes to replace the head nuts and washers. Of the gaskets are leaking, replacing and retorquing the nuts might solve it.

    Check the HOW (link at the top of the forum index) for more details.
    #12
  13. Head2Wind

    Head2Wind MotorcycleMayhem

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    If the engine temps are rising, and the radiator temps are not, the pump impeller is probably disengaged from the end of the crank shaft.... I would pull the clutch cover and verify the clip is in place, then go from there.... Oh, and make sure that the radiator cap is clean and working correctly.
    #13
  14. hotrdd

    hotrdd Been here awhile

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    the coolant is definitely getting hot based on my test last night. But I need to test that the fans are coming on when required. Hopefully I have time to do that tonight. Should the fans be enough to keep things cool if its just idling in the shop?

    its not very warm in Alberta so I'm not sure why the issues &#55357;&#56862;
    #14
  15. hotrdd

    hotrdd Been here awhile

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    Right now I don't know if the coolant is rising or falling. I think what I may be seeing is just the regular expansion and contraction during heating and cooling.

    I'll test the switch on the radiator tonight and also look at the oil filter.
    #15
  16. uk_mouse

    uk_mouse Aquatic adventurer

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    To answer one question, yes a single fan should keep the temperature at or below 5 bars when idling.

    You can test the fan circuit by pulling the plug off the lower right hand corner of the radiator, and shorting out the pins. The fan should come on. If it does, the sensor in the rad is probably faulty. If the fan doesn't work, check obvious things like the fuse! I would disconnect the aftermarket fan to eliminate that from your troubleshooting, you can reconnect it once everything is working ok.
    #16
  17. hotrdd

    hotrdd Been here awhile

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    So just thinking out loud here so correct any items that might be off in my thinking.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    I put the bike in the air but didn’t really see any air burping out of the system. Also idling in the shop the bike and radiator coolant came up to temperature fast. I’m assuming that since the coolant if hot the system must be circulating the fluids? BUT I never saw or heard the fans kick in so I will check on that sensor first.<o:p></o:p>
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    While I have the bike apart I’ll also check on the oil filter to see if it looks like it has been in contact with any water.<o:p></o:p>
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    BUT what’s confusing me is why the bike would be over heating when I’m doing 65-70 mph on the highway and the temperature is only 62F<o:p></o:p>
    #17
  18. uk_mouse

    uk_mouse Aquatic adventurer

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    Yeah if the radiator gets hot, the water pump must be working, I would think. So must the thermostat, otherwise hot coolant would not reach the radiator.

    If hot coolant is getting to the rad, but the bike is still running hot ... hmm, radiator blocked? But it'd have to be very blocked, like full of mud, for the bike to overheat that much.

    You are right in that at 70 mph on a cool day, the temp should be steady at 4 bars.
    #18
  19. hotrdd

    hotrdd Been here awhile

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    I'll wire the fans up tonight or tomorrow night and do the tests again and see what happens. But after seeing how much work it is to get all those covers off I'll be checking a lot more other things while I'm in there.

    Thanks for all the help and encouragement so far. A new "to me" bike is always hard to get around the first few times.


    Maybe if the fans weren't running the engine heated up in the slower downtown traffic and just never had the chance to cool down again when I was out on the HWY for 1/2 hr.
    #19
  20. wsmc99

    wsmc99 Been here awhile

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    Have you replaced the CAP YET?

    Before you pull anything apart, put a new cap on it and see if it does better.

    Your chasing big problems that may not exist.

    I thought my head gasket went on mine, nope radiator cap.
    #20