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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 2009 ninja 500r a few weeks ago and about a week ago the temperature needle dipped up into the red. I pulled over, let it cool down and rode back home nice and easy. I was riding it in a city with some stoplights, and the temperature here is getting borderline chilly (around low 50s Fahrenheit when this happened). So it wasn't like a 90 degree day or anything
The last few days I did the following:
Flushed radiator with 50/50 vinegar and distilled water. The drain plug was clogged with brown sludge and the first two rinses came out dirty. Last rinse of 100% distilled water came out clear.
Disconnected & cleaned coolant reservoir.
Filled radiator with antifreeze/coolant I got from Autozone (this stuff here: https://www.autozone.com/antifreeze...year-150k-mile-protection-1-gallon/540721_0_0).
Burped radiator tubes, turned it on with radiator cap off til bubbles brought level down more, etc.
Filled coolant reservoir to between the two lines. (should I have ridden it first and then added coolant to reservoir?)
Took it out again today, and sure enough after about 20 minutes of city riding in the same cool weather, needle touches the red, and just as it does this, I hear a weird noise and it's throwing up a bunch of the coolant out of the overflow hose. I took a video of it, but it was the noise of whatever pushes the coolant out of the overflow hose.
The fan was not on -- it clearly should have been, but I honestly wonder if that would have made a huge difference, since the temperature was around 55 Fahrenheit and although I had sat at a few stoplights and wasn't riding super slow, I also wasn't gunning it or going super hard on it.
I let the bike cool down and rode it back home nice and easy, stopping a few times along the way to let it cool down.
The next steps I'm going to take are:
See if I can turn the fan on with a paper clip. If fan doesn't work, fix it, and try again.
If it continues overheating and throwing coolant out of the overflow hose, I'll see if thermostat is working properly.
Does anyone with more experience than me have any ideas of know what the issue is based on the above?
Thanks for any help,
Sidney
 

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when the engine cools down does it take coolant out of the expansion bottle (IE lower the level in the bottle) if it does sounds like a non functioning cooling fan. the fan provides max airflow through the radiator to stop it boiling over into the bottle yes it will expand when it's hot but not throw coolant onto the floor.
when the temp reaches 3/4 or so (riding in the conditions you describe or on a hot day) the fan comes on and cools the rad temp this in turn lowers it to around 1/2 way, when it goes off, to be repeated when it gets hot again.
without the fan it just gets hotter and hotter until it boils over.
my advice do not ride it, if it is hot and the fan is not running otherwise you may blow the head gasket. allow it to cool down to at least 1/2 the gauge before proceeding.
 

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Agree with above, the system is designed to run within a certain temperature range, and the fan is part of the strategy that keeps it in the range; without it, overheating, etc.
Good idea to check fan and fuses, connectors, thermostat, etc., but the part that controls the fan on and off is: Switch, Thermostat, 27010-1304,
in the radiator. Be careful when you replace it; if stuck apply heat, don't break your radiator. Okay?
 

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Sounds like you may already have a warped head. It shouldn't even be getting hot enough to trigger the fan that fast at those temps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Agree with above, the system is designed to run within a certain temperature range, and the fan is part of the strategy that keeps it in the range; without it, overheating, etc.
Good idea to check fan and fuses, connectors, thermostat, etc., but the part that controls the fan on and off is: Switch, Thermostat, 27010-1304,
in the radiator. Be careful when you replace it; if stuck apply heat, don't break your radiator. Okay?
I disconnected fan and ran a wire from blue to nonpainted engine surface, with key out of ignition. Then turned key to "on" in ignition, tried again, still nothing. So fan is not turning on. Tomorrow I'll have to figure out if I should replace the fan or look for a fuse to replace.

and does the coolant level go down in the bottle when the engine cools.
I'll try this tomorrow.


Sounds like you may already have a warped head. It shouldn't even be getting hot enough to trigger the fan that fast at those temps.
Is there a way to find out for certain if this is the case or not?
 

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Wait a minute, I'm confused.

"I disconnected fan and ran a wire from blue to nonpainted engine surface, with key out of ignition. Then turned key to "on" in ignition, tried again, still nothing."

Why disconnect the fan?
Aren't there two wires connected to Switch, Thermostat, 27010-1304?
Just disconnect coupler from the switch and connect the two wires, probably Blue/White and Blue/Black.
Then turn on ignition. Do not disconnect fan, or anything else.
Fan should run,
unless fan is no good
proving switch is no good.

The other way to test fan is to disconnect fan, and apply 12V across the two fan wires, fan should run, unless fan no good.
 

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yes I agree wrong test, and I wouldn't worry about the head job until all other components have been checked a verified as good, do all the easy stuff first.
blown fuse..
inoperable fan
faulty fan switch.
break in wire or bad connection.
blocked radiator, preventing coolant flow.
blocked radiator, preventing air flow.
faulty pressure cap.
pulling air into coolant system,
even faulty a temp gauge (I had one of those) although chucking coolant on the floor would suggest this was fine.
any of the above will effect the cooling system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wait a minute, I'm confused.

"I disconnected fan and ran a wire from blue to nonpainted engine surface, with key out of ignition. Then turned key to "on" in ignition, tried again, still nothing."

Why disconnect the fan?
Aren't there two wires connected to Switch, Thermostat, 27010-1304?
Just disconnect coupler from the switch and connect the two wires, probably Blue/White and Blue/Black.
Then turn on ignition. Do not disconnect fan, or anything else.
Fan should run, unless fan is no good.

The other way to test fan is to disconnect fan, and apply 12V across the two fan wires, fan should run, unless fan no good.
By "disconnect fan" I meant I unplugged the wire that runs from the fan into a coupler, which has a blue and a black cable, not that I took the entire fan off the radiator. I'm pretty tired here and have to go to sleep but I'll figure this out tomorrow morning when I have daylight and a fresh brain :) sounds like I either miscommunicated or tested the wrong cable, but the cable I disconnected can easily be plugged back in.
 

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Blowing coolant to the overflow even though the temp is not boiling is a sure sign of a warped head. Checking with a straight edge is a waste of time .
You must Lapp thr head ad barrels flat . See my guide in the how too section

Fog
 

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I agree with everyone that you need to get the fan working. Just don't be surprised that once the fan is properly working, you'll still have the exact overheating issue.
Here's Fog's How-To on the fix>Lapping the head to repair a head gasket
We've seen this time and time again, and this is the only procedure that will fix it.

With the conditions you described, the fan shouldn't have come on even if it was properly working. Much less run the temp needle in the red. By "the conditions you described", I'm referring to ambient temps, time, and riding conditions. Obviously your fan should have come on as the temp gauge approached the red, but the other conditions weren't right for the gauge to get to that point.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Appreciate all the comments here. It's now obvious that connecting the fan to ground wouldn't power it on, but it was a long work week and I'd also drank a couple friday night cold ones so basic electronics were apparently over my head. Going out to test it the right way now, will post results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, I reconnected fan, then unplugged the coupler from the switch and connected two wires, got nothing. Also tried running a wire from each to ground, fan didn't budge. The first time I ran one of the coupler's wires to ground, it gave off a small spark (this was before turning ignition on).
So I guess next step is find the fan's fuse and test it with a multimeter...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok, I reconnected fan, then unplugged the coupler from the switch and connected two wires, got nothing. Also tried running a wire from each to ground, fan didn't budge. The first time I ran one of the coupler's wires to ground, it gave off a small spark (this was before turning ignition on).
So I guess next step is find the fan's fuse and test it with a multimeter...?
Found fuse, it was busted. Replaced with spare, fan turns on! So, now I guess I'll top the radiator back off with more coolant, and give it a spin to see if it overheats........
 

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Simple test to see if the fan is or is not your problem. fill the coolant system, run the engine at full throttle, see if coolant bubbles up into the expansion tank even when cool.
or open the rad cap and watch the coolant as you blip the throttle to full see bubbles?.
What you have is compression gasses escaping into the cooling system over pressurizing it. even when cold.

= warped head = lapp the head
Fan is a white elephant, but fix it anyway while your lapping the head

FOG
 
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