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proper coolant level in the overflow reservoir, TE and SMR models

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Read the 2005 owners manual and it makes a note about coolant levels: 10 ml above the plates in the radiator AND for TE amd SMR models the overflow reservoir (plastic bottle down by the E starter) shall be half full.

Hmmm keeping fluid in the reservoir would allow any heated coolant or steam overflow from the radiator under hot engine conditions to dump to the reservoir into the bottom of the stored liquid allowing the pressurized hot water to "flash thru" the stored coolant in the bottle and cool it down as the rad overflow enters the bottom of the bottle therby into the store half full liquid as I said keeping the hot overflow from direct contact with a dry plastic bottle.

I suspect the reason my overflow reservoir plastic bottle melted is becasue it was dry as I never checked it's level only the radiator level. The bottle was dried out. Then when I over heated the bike the radiator cap safety valve gave way releasing steaming water to the dry bottle and melting it. The damage to the plastic bottom of the reservoir is at the bottom and top. these dis-colored stretch mark bubbles where the plastic was giving way to heated steam, looks to have developed over time and then that hot day it finally blew thru out the top actually.

Do you guys agree that the intent of that phrase in the owner's manual means what it says: That we should keep liquid coolant in the overflow bottle half full and not let that bottle dry out? :applause:

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yeah thats odd.

its an overflow collector, not a resevoir. right?

my 650R had one--but it didnt have anything in it...unless it overheated.

i took it off.

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they call it an "expansion tank" in the manual

Bob, I still have my bottle fitted and I rarely see any fluid in it.

Other riders take them off as the bikes are hard to boil.

Have you boiled yours?

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yes I boiled it, the steam that flashed out thru the radiator cap made it down the vent hose and into the bottle where it burned a hole right thru the top of the bottle and showered me in steam. I shut the bike off and let it cool. it happend on a Hot day 90F at noon after 40 miles of trail rding and right in the middle of a very slow going tight technical trail in the sun.

Still my question is two parts. the lesser part is if when I boiled it if coolant was in the expansion tank as the manual suggests, would it have cooled the steam enough so that it would not have melted thru my bottle - knowing steam and water and stuff I think yes is the answer. why else would they want extra fluid in that bottle?

But my real question is did the trail I was on and the conditions over heat the bike OR is there a probelm in my coolant system that is causing the bike to over heat?

I have not yet taken off the water pump cover to check the water pump and i still dont know if there isa thermostat in my syatem or not.

finally that trail was the hottest slowest going trail I had ever been on with the 510 and hey maybe the 510 dont belong on that goat trail in summer.....so maybe it just over heated, maybe its ok...put on a new bottle and go 4 it.

I can say that on an easier trail the bike was getting warm and the bottle with the new burned out hole was letting some overflow spill... so I stopped the bike and sure enough as i released the rad cap the radiator had steam pressure in it.

why is that? on and easy trail? leads me to believe this is all a red flag that my coolant system has deteriorated and the coolant system is so simple, it can only be a worn pump producing minimal flow or some failed thermostat causing a undue restriction in the flow.

does the husky have a thermostat in the coolant loop? - tomoorow if i have time I will read the big workshop manual. I have it on disk at the office.

thanks

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Any bike will overheat in hot slow conditions and the Husky is included. I think you are correct about the hot water getting into a dry tank. Just put some fluid in it for the summer months. You can go to the higher pressure cap but then you might be keeping the hot water in the system too long before it boils over?

That is the potential bad part about the super coolants and additives available now. It raises the boiling point of the coolant to a point where it can cook your engine without ever boiling over. You never know it happend.

Yorkshirepud was the first to mention the higher cap, it's off a Suzuki or somesuch jap bike. If I ever have boil over problems I will most likely get the higher pressure cap. Maybe if York or whoever has been down this road could comment again on what cap it is I will write it down for future reference this time.

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Putting some coolant in the expansion tank makes perfect sense to me too. Funny it didn't come with coolant in the tank? Mine has never overheated, but according to your report Bob, I don't see why not. I ride in some hot weather on some really slow singletrack, and then I'm slow on top of that :eek:

I think I'll be putting some coolant in that little tank, and taking a look at the owner's manual too. Thanks a lot for the good info Bob :applause:

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I have the workshop manual and on page C7 of the troubles and remedies section for Engine Over Heating It lists 5 possible causes:

1 Excessive coke on combustion chamber and/or picton crown

2 Insufficient oil or wrong oil used

3. Radiator air flow blocked

4. Poor seal at cylinder head gasket

5 clutch slipping

#5 is the winner. I was slipping the clutch big time and gasing the bike heavy in slow technical terrain at 90F outside on that Goat trail at georgetown when I steamed it and I was slipping the clutch some more not as much on that tight loop 6 trail a week later even though it was cool temps that day.

a few slips now and then is ok but mid summer heavy power clutch slipping in yards and yards of tight up hill technical climbing will heat the 510 up....and I will from now on have extra fluid in my expansion tank so I don't melt my bottle when that hot steam explodes out of the radiator cap and down to the bottle.

based on above I'm not gonna inspect my water pump....that is just one more job I could screw up. :applause: probably needs new gasket if I open that puppy up anyways.

The water bottle is out of stock at husky so it will be a while till I have a new one.

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read the workshop manual. it offers a little more information. No thermostat part is mentioned. So the only thing that could effect flow reduction is a water pump wear issue. oh make sure your radiator fins are clear and not bent up

also found a paragraph on draining and refilling the coolant it does not say to half fill the expansion tank. the only mention of the expansion tank is during the how to check levels paragraph which mentions no more then half filled on the exp tank , but no mention of re-filling it in the coolant drain and re-fill paragraph.

so being an HVAC engineer who knows steam and water and heat - I still am going to maintain some liquid in the expansion bottle so I don't melt my dry plastic bottle again with raw steam from the radiators in case I over heat the 510 again.

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You can go to the higher pressure cap but then you might be keeping the hot water in the system too long before it boils over?

Moving to a higher pressure cap will raise the boiling point of the coolant, however I would be very careful as this higher pressure might exceed the design of the cooling system.

The Husky cooling system capacity is spot, so if its getting hot enough to pump water out when riding easy, then Bob's got a problem.

Bob, when the engine is at operating temperature, its normal to have pressure release if the radiator cap is removed. Test your standard cap for the correct pressure release. You will need a testing tool to do this.

Then thermostat is under your tank and is a black plastic bulb. Start your bike when cold with the cap off and watch as the engine warms up. When the thermostat opens the coolant will circulate faster. This is a basic way to check thermostat and pump impeller are working.

If you have replaced the fluid, check for air locks by removing the bleed screws as per the manual.

From what you have said, I'm sure you have just given the big girl a hard time slipping the clutch. Clutches generate enormous amounts of heat. Change your oil as well?

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yes I'll change my oil. So there is a thermostat?//// thanks. I needed that answer.

if that has failed like a car thermostat it could be restricting flow.

I understand why it heated up last week, but this week why it wanted to vent some hot water to the bottle which flashed slightly and gave me the smell of vapor on a down hill section?? I'm not sure why it got wram then...maybe I had just come up a section and was flogging it...and it normally expanded but I never noticed it before on easy sections mild temps as the bottle was whole before and did its job.

Thanks also for telling me that some pressure at the cap is normal under normal riding conditions.

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I'm seeing a few misconceptions in this thread about our cooling systems. The liquid in the reservoir is as important to the system as the stuff running around inside the engine and rad.

All cooling systems must have some method of dealing with expansion and contraction of the coolant as it heats up and cools off. liquids are not compressable but they do react to heat changes by expanding when heated and contracting when cooled.

In the old days in the cars it was normal to leave an inch or so of air at the top of the rad in the header tank. A hose was connected to the cap neck and it either ran overboard onto the road or into a simple catch bottle to basically avoid littering. In that case the vent was a simple overflow for folks that overfilled the system. That air in the header IS compresable so it acted like a rubber band to absorb the expansion and contraction as the coolant heated and cooled.

The air space in the upper radiator header led to an inefficient system and so they came out with a fully filled system to allow the cooling systems to be smaller and just as or more efficient. But the coolant still needs a place to go to when it heats and expands and a way back in to relieve the vacuum when it cools. So the rad caps are two way devices that allow hot water out, but at a given release pressure, and they allow coolant to be sucked back in as it cools and contracts. In this fully filled system the coolant reservoir, or expansion tank, is an integral part of the cooling system and MUST have some coolant in it at all times or the system will suck back air and become less efficient.

The quick way to tell is that if it's a fully filled system that requires liquid in the reservoir the line from the rad cap neck will go to the bottom of the reservoir so it will be submerged at all times. If it's a simple catch bottle it'll just empty into the top.

If you run the reservoir bottle empty it will still cycle coolant back and forth but eventually it'll also suck back air into the rad. Air bubbles in the rad system will lead to cavitation and pumping inefficiencies of the coolant pump that promote poor coolant flow. And if air bubbles become trapped in the engine's cylinder jacket the bubbles will lead to boiling at the bubble locations since air or steam will not conduct the heat away like coolant does. Air in the rad is also dead spots that do not work well to transfer heat to the outer air. So all in all running no liquid in the bottle can lead to overheating and boiling over sooner than it would otherwise.

I'm not saying that your system would not have boiled over anyway under that sort of gruelling use but if any of you are running your bottles dry then it's setting you up to boil over sooner than someone that keeps the bottle half full like they are supposed to under the same conditions.

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The line from the radiator cap neck does indeed go down and connect to the underside bottom of the expansion tank.

On a separate note, I still see no thermostat device anywhere.

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I really think there is nothing wrong with your cooling system. You burned your overflow bottle then got that thing hot, then sucked air back in your cooling system then you over heated that thing again and lost more fluid. I noticed you let that bike idle on the tight single track a lot when I was killing mine. With no airflow when your going as slow as we were on 6 your bike is goin to get hot and cause the antifreeze to expand. The bottle on my bike will fill with fluid when it gets hot and suck it back in when it cools off. IMO I think your pump is fine, it circulated just fine when we took your cap off (if it was my bike I would have let it circulate more and get all the air out of your system before climbing out of that canyon).

Just my $0.02.

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on other bikes that are very prone to overheating (like the 650R)

clutch use is a very very big cause of overheating.

if you are worried about overheating on the tight slow trails--trying grunting your way around in a higher gear and not slipping the clutch. better traction, less heat--although at first ya might stall it a few times...

one other thing--i've been running the colder spark plug with success for those long hot desert races in the summer...

consider that trick also.

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heard from motoXotica. Those expansion tank bottles are on back order. It's gonna be awhile. I guess I best see if I can patch and repair my bottle. I don't mind missing one weekend of riding but I will want to ride by next week. Yes the TC's don't have a bottle and I can ride without mine or as half busted but I don't want to necessarily

so any plastic bottle repair experts out there? :applause: it's always something isn't it. why do we love dirt bikes i don't know.

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