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Take off the radiator cap and see if the water level changes appreciably when you rev up and slow down the engine. If it does it's likely you have a scaled or partially plugged radiator. Watch for bubbles coming up to the radiator neck which is an indicator of a leaking head gasket which can cause over heating as well as other problems. If you have an Infrared non-contact thermometer (inexpensive at Harbor Freight) you can look for hot or cold spots on the face of the radiator which is a good indicator of a plugged radiator.
The good thing about the 1200 radiator is that it's repairable being soldered together out of real metal instead of aluminum and plastic like later GW models. Any decent radiator shop can rework one of these.
 

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Just Winging It
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
What about fluid what type of antifreeze?
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Silicate free only, mixed 50/50 with distilled water.

The type of antifreeze you are using probably has nothing to do with your current problem unless it turns out to be the water pump. Then, some silicates may have played a part.
 

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Just Winging It
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Silicate free only, mixed 50/50 with distilled water.

The type of antifreeze you are probably has nothing to do with your current problem unless it turns out to be the water pump. Then, some silicates may have played a part.
Just want to get the right kind. I'd love to get 50,000 - 100,000 without cooling issues.
 

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I recommend motorcycle specific GREEN coolant. I totally recommend against GM "Dexcool" or anything designed to mix with it. I have seen cooling systems totally destroyed by that stuff. To be fair, had it been changed on a yearly basis, that probably wouldn't have happened, but GM claims it will last 5 years or 150,000 miles, and it won't even come close. Long before then it will have turned into a muddy looking brown glue, kind of waxy and will have plugged everything up, including the coolant passages in the engine. I don't know of anything that will dissolve this stuff.

I use Maxima Coolanol. I get it from Cycle Gear. But there are other brands out there that work just as well. Just stay away from anything called OAT or HOAT based.
 

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Hobie uses Evans Waterless coolant to good advantage. I use Prestone as I do in all our vehicles. My 1200 and 1500 didn't object to the stuff. In weather between 28-115F it cooled the engine and kept the radiator clean between changes every other year. No problem in my 20,000 miles on my '03 and don't expect any in my '06 1800.
The most important consideration is to make sure your choice of anti-freeze doesn't have any silicates in it. If you have any doub about the stuff you're using just check out the manufacturer's website. Most of them have that info posted.
I always buy the concentrated stuff and mix it with distilled water mainly because I'm willing to put up with the effort of mixing the stuff to save a couple bucks.
 

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Just Winging It
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Ok I took my spare radiator to the radiator shop. Mark was really nice and we talked a bit he's got a wing and put 80,000 on his other one before the motor guard got ripped off by a passing car. Mark by Gods grace didn't get hurt or drop the bike but it started leaking oil. Anyway he is going on vacation until the 13th and I got my radiator back today but he put one of the tanks on backward. Of course I didn't notice until I had the one off my bike What a bummer.

So put the same still probably plugged radiator back on the bike for now put water in and cranked up to check for leaks and fill radiator with distilled water. Water level changed with rpms opposite directions.
 

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Just Winging It
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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Rinsed out radiator put new cap on refilled idled fan cycled temp stayed good burped the air must test ride could have been the cap. Let ya'll know
 

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Just Winging It
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Rinsed out radiator put new cap on refilled idled fan cycled temp stayed good burped the air must test ride could have been the cap. Let ya'll know
Ok rode today stayed cool 10 miles added water to radiator after it cooled rode 20 miles home took the long way stayed cool maybe the new cap is helping. see if it keeps losing water.
 

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There aren't many places to lose water besides the radiator cap or radiator itself. The head gasket(s), the coolant pipe joints, radiator hose fittings, water pump weep hole and most common, leaking in the line from the radiator to the expansion tank.
BTW - did you see any bubbles rising in the radiator neck when the engine was running? A leaking head gasket can increase the coolant temperature quite a bit.
 

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Just Winging It
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
There aren't many places to lose water besides the radiator cap or radiator itself. The head gasket(s), the coolant pipe joints, radiator hose fittings, water pump weep hole and most common, leaking in the line from the radiator to the expansion tank.
BTW - did you see any bubbles rising in the radiator neck when the engine was running? A leaking head gasket can increase the coolant temperature quite a bit.
GL1200I 1986

I have seen no visible leaks the water is going into the overflow but not being pulled back into the radiator.

I replaced both head gaskets 743 miles ago. I did not replace the oil orifice O-rings. I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

I've also been hoping the little bit of smoke I see shortly after a cold or cool start is oil or something not water. But there is no point in denying the fact she blew white smoke rings when I started her a little while ago.

The smoke rings are a neat party trick, but I don't like them myself.
No oil in the water.
No water in the oil.
Pushing water into overflow not refilling radiator.
 

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I specifically asked in post #10 about your recovery system.
You said it was okay. Now you say it doesn't pull back coolant.
They are not overflow tanks. They are storage for the coolant "recovery" system.
Inspect your radiator cap and you'll see TWO seals. One for the top of the radiator neck, and one for the lower portion.
The area in the neck between these two seals is the "operating chamber" that allows the recovery system to work.
As the coolant increases in temperature, the pressure increases, because it is a closed system. To allow for expansion, the radiator cap (lower seal) vents coolant to the recovery bottle.
As the coolant decreases in temperature, it creates a low pressure area in the radiator and the coolant is then drawn back in to the radiator, past the same seal, thus keeping the cooling system "full" at all times.
The seal at the top ensures that the system stays tight. If coolant can leak out, air can leak in. If air can leak in, the coolant will NOT be drawn back into the system. You end up with a FULL bottle, and a LOW radiator. After repetitive "cycles", the system
will eventually overheat.
If your seals are badly worn, or cracked, replace the cap. If the seals appear good, have the cap tested to ensure it is operating correctly.
Inspect the sealing surface of the radiator neck for both seals. Make sure there are no "nicks" or low spots that would affect the operation of the system.
Inspect the hose between the radiator neck and the recovery bottle. No leaks, clamps in place?

Commonly overlooked is the upper portion of the neck where the radiator cap "locks" into position. This is a double step.
Once the cap is snug, you must PUSH DOWN and TURN the cap for proper seal. Unfortunately, some owners lack "finesse" and jamb the cap opening it or securing it, which causes the tangs on the neck to be deformed. This will result in no seal or poor seal and negatively affect the operation of the entire cooling system.
 

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Just Winging It
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
New cap just bought it Friday. It can be a little difficult to get it turned to the stop tabs but I had the false tank off this weekend so I could see everything while pulling the radiator and putting it back on because the spare one I took to the shop got one of the tanks put on backwards and will not fit. line between tanks is ok old but ok.

No visible leaks with the false tank off.
 

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Take a good look at your expansion tubes and their connection to the expansion tank. It doesn't take much of an air leak there to prevent the coolant from being drawn back into the radiator as the engine cools. But that shouldn't cause coolant from being lost it will just impair the radiator's ability to function.
 

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Just Winging It
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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Take a good look at your expansion tubes and their connection to the expansion tank. It doesn't take much of an air leak there to prevent the coolant from being drawn back into the radiator as the engine cools. But that shouldn't cause coolant from being lost it will just impair the radiator's ability to function.
Took it off it's a bit harder with the false tank on and it was leaking at the elbow connection I fixed it and put it back on. Thought I'd warm it up see what happens it smoked more I think then when I revved it to about 4 grand I could see a spray of water on the floor before the smoke went away after a few minutes. Then she seem ok could run a little smother though, I thought while watching her running.
 

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Pull your plugs after she cools inspect them. turn it over, with handel bar switch off turn it over see if water spits out plug hole.
 

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Just Winging It
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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Pull your plugs after she cools inspect them. turn it over, with handel bar switch off turn it over see if water spits out plug hole.
That's what I was thinking I'll pull the plugs and check, but

I ordered the gaskets and o rings after I seen the water come out the tail pipe I'm sure it will just get worst these thing don't usually fix them selves.

On a good note I tested the stator and it works good.:)
 

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Just Winging It
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Plugs look good little oil fouled ordered tires should come in Friday.

Time will tell.

less smoke today I took some oil out last night not much but some.
 

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Just Winging It
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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
how many bars should show when cooling starts
I have a GL1200I mine has a needle gauge that does not exceed 1/4 now that I have replaced the head gaskets both sides with oem. (they were beginning to blow and there were pieces of the gasket in the coolant) Also the water pump was bad so I put a new one in. I think the bad water pump helped blow the head gaskets. The weep hole was plugged up.

You should ask on your own tread Or do a search others will know the # of bars. Rebuild your water pump if you think your bike is getting hot or the impellers wiggle it is cheaper than head gaskets.
 
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