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 Radiator fins cleaning

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Tommo
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PostSubject: Radiator fins cleaning   Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:59 am

I suppose you have all noticed that directly behind the front wheel, the radiator gets clogged with fine grit and dirt. I noticed mine yesterday after coming back off a ride and was cleaning flies off the headlamp and fairing.
Tried to clean rad with garden weed pressure sprayer, so as not to damage the fins, didn't seem to shift it.
SW is not running hot, so no concerns there.
My question is can I blank off the small area of rad behind the front wheel? which seems to get the worst of it, or would it be better to fit a mud flap? Or is there some sort of cleaning fluid that will help dislodge the dirt?
I am presuming that a pressure washer will be to harsh.
Don't really want to drill front mudguard to put flap on.
This seems a bit silly of Honda not to have done something about this. Neutral
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Cookie
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:30 am

So many bikes have the radiator positioned right behind the front wheel and then the makers fit a really short mudguard - it's stupid!

I fitted an extension to the mudguard almost as soon as I bought my wing. If you get one that's the same profile as the mudguard it doesn't look out of place.

Try not to let too much dirt get in there. Apart from issues with overheating that could be caused, the fan behind the rad is very close to it and too much dirt finding it's way through the rad can jam the fan blades. Not good for overheating or for the fan motor etc.

They can be a bugger to clean out properly. It's much easier just to fit an extension.

Yet another example of fashion over function I'm afraid.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:08 am

I've never been one for drilling holes in plastic mudguards in case I cocked it up, so for years I've made mudflaps from pieces of black plastic flower pot. They're cheap to buy, pre-curved, easy to cut to whatever size you want, and can be stuck on with double sided adhesive pads and a schmeer of silicone sealant to weatherproof the adhesive pads.

I had one on my Silver Wing for the first few years, I replaced it last year with a mudflap made from a piece cut from a large roll of black plastic damp proof course I bought at one of those builders and DIY supplies stores for about a fiver. The plastic is even lighter and easier to cut than than the flower pot.
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oldgwingguy
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:22 am

Agree on the cleaning so after looking at mine I decided cleaning from the back side will wait until winter when perhaps I will remove enough ABS to get to it. In the mean time I'll carefully vacuum from the front side, no sense IMHO using pressure to force more crud deeper into the fins from the front.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:05 pm

I reckon a good long motorway ride in heavy rain pushes a lot of water through the radiator and flushes out dust and muck that's there and my mud flap does it's job of keeping road crud off. I now avoid the country back roads of rural Yorkshire after prolonged rain, because the run off from the fields builds up at the sides of the road and coats the Silver Wing with a muddy broth that takes ages to clean off.

The opposite site of the argument is taking a big heavy maxi scooter off surfaced roads onto gravel, dirt, sand, and anywhere else that can fling crap up into your radiator thinking it's a good idea.
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Cosmic_Jumper
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:08 pm

Niave question, but how long of an extension do you allow for your DIY mudflap?

Or, gee, maybe Touratech makes one specifically for FSC/FJS 600s. That would only cost $100USD

Tim
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:23 pm

I've no idea, but as you're from damn near Philadelphia I'll pop out into the garage or "garidge" as we pronounce it up North now and measure it for you. It's 3 inches, shorter in length than my previous effort but long enough to do the job efficiently as the forks compress and drop it lower with my weight.


Last edited by Meldrew on Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Old Limey
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:24 pm

I use a garden hose on the area, and it cleans it okay, it doesn't need to be as "new" just reasonably clean.Smile
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:36 pm

I have "real" motorcycle mud flap I have used on several bikes/scooters---installed on SilverWing it measures 4 and a half inches from tip of fender to bottom and 10 inches wide=works.

mounted with 3 6mm bolts, washers, nut side out, so there is plenty of tire clearance. should be factory installed...in my opinion

I do care how it looks but interested in function. When bike is traded is take off(to use on next), plugging holes in fender with black nylon bolts.

Easiest take front wheel and fender off to drill holes and bolt up.

So far in 50,000 plus SilverWing miles, garden hose cleans anything on/in radiator.
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Tommo
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:10 pm

Once again, thanks to all for your input.
SW will come off road soon for winter, so I will take a good look at it then.
Like the sound of the plastic flower pot, I could cut to shape and paint it silver to match bike.
Winter project, in the mean time I will try to keep the area clean and keep off minor roads.

Thank everyone, really appreciated.
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bikerboy
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:16 pm

It's muck spreading season round these parts so the minor roads are well fertilised along with your  machine and it sets like cement unless it's washed off ASAP !
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oldgwingguy
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:48 pm

One thing that sets us apart is how low the radiator is to the ground,unlike a auto or truck. I didn't do it often but always was surprised how much crap came out when I did it to my G'Wing. Fertilized Shocked roads ahh yes, here we have the Amish and the resulting road exhaust, aka road apples.
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cotetoi
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:58 am

I cut a piece of aluminium screen to fit in the opening, and fitted it behind the grille. It keeps the biggest lumps out, and I don't have that many carcasses on the fins. I keep an eye on the temp gauge, just in case the airflow is compromised, but never had an issue. As for the liquid fertilizer, the screen is no match. And for some reason the liquid muck gets in every nook and cranny, and dries like concrete !
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Tommo
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:21 am

Meldrew, could you post a photo of your "Bespoke" mud flap.
Or send me a photo on a PM.

Thanks.
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HORNBLOWER
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:58 pm

A few years ago the radiator on my Honda Blackbird got so corroded and clogged that I started getting problems with it overheating, so I bought one off eBay from Florida. When I got it it was in perfect condition but full of flies. I think they are harder to get off than both mud and crap! I soaked mine in water and washing up liquid for ages to soften everything and then gave it loads of coats of BBQ paint. I seem to remember I used two full cans. Ive never had a problem since and I make sure I wash it out with a hose very often.
Now that Ive had my silverwing for a year Im trying to do all the maintenance that it needs Ive just stripped down the rear calliper, replaced the seals and polished the pistons which makes a massive difference. Im doing the front this weekend and also taking the radiator out to soak and repaint like I did on my Blackbird. The paint that Honda use on the rad is rubbish for out climate over here and all the salt on the roads then rots it to pieces.
What temp do everybody's silverwings run at, mine once warm is always on 3 blocks on the dashboard.
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terrier
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:52 pm

Hornblower...............Yes mine runs on three segments also once at running temp.

Den
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Tommo
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:18 pm

Mine runs on 3 blocks too. But I to am worried about the crap that gets into the bottom of the Rad.
It is an expensive item to replace, so I want to look after it.
Like your idea for the BBQ paint, Hornblower.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:45 pm

Tommo wrote:
Meldrew, could you post a photo of your "Bespoke" mud flap.
Or send me a photo on a PM.

Thanks.

I haven't got a "bespoke" mudflap, just a piece of easily cut plastic stuck on the mudguard. Making the mudflap was easy, the annoying bit was removing the front mudguard to measure up, sticking on the mudflap, and refitting the mudguard.

I'm not posting a photo because we all know what a mudflap looks like, and my preferences on here are not to receive or reply to PM's.

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Tommo
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Sat Oct 24, 2015 9:03 am

Was just interested in the size and shape, but hey, no worries.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Sat Oct 24, 2015 9:57 am

I mentioned in an earlier post that then one I have on at the moment is 3" longer than the mudguard. The previous one was longer at the front but it pulled off on one side on going over a bomb site of a road in Germany and it was easier to make a new one than attempt to fix it back on.

When you make a DIY mudflap you make it to the size you want it, the material, the length, width, and the curve on the corners, it's all up to you. First make up a template from a bit of thin cardboard and see how that looks before marking it out on the plastic. If you cover the sides of the plastic piece with masking tape then draw on the design from the template, you can easily cut the plastic with a craft knife or scissors, and if you want to round off the corners use a large coin or washers to mark out the curve.

The old boy that gave me the idea of using pieces cut from plastic flower pots back in the early Nineties had one on his BMW that looked like the cow catcher on the trains in Western films. I made front and rear mud flaps for a couple of BMW GS's and a K75 RT. The one I had on my Honda CN 250 Helix was fixed to the plastic below the radiator and fixed on with a couple of self-tapping screws because the Helix with it's trailing link front forks didn't have a conventional front mudguard.

What works for me may not work for you.   Smile


Last edited by Meldrew on Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tommo
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PostSubject: Re: Radiator fins cleaning   Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:22 pm

Thanks for that Meldrew, I hadn't thought of using a piece of cardboard as a template, that will make the job easier.
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