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The wheelie and broken radiator connection

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    The wheelie and broken radiator connection

    So I've developed this habit with the Hawk of wheelieing the thing about 75% of the time that I'm in first gear. So as not to eat the clutch I'm just doing power wheelies in first gear (roll off the gas in the 3,500-5,000rpm area and then nail it to WOT right away), and have developed great proficiency with it, to the point where I'm carrying the wheel to redline. Any day now I'm gonna be shifting it into second gear while in the air.

    Enough bragging about stupid stuff. I knew this would come with fix it consequences. Setting it back down tends to eat up the fork seals and whatnot. I know that much. What I didn't expect was for the radiator to spring a leak.

    That's exactly what's happened. It's spraying from a tube in the middle about halfway up. It looks like it might be leaking more slowly from a second tube too. This all happened in the course of one day, and has gotten significantly worse. I'm still only losing a couple ounces after a 50 mile ride, but the puddles under the bike sure are disconcerting.

    So I ordered a Magna V45 radiator on ebay and we'll see what happens, but I'm interested if anybody's done a repair on one of these radiators. Seems like an awful waste to ditch it just because of one or two bad tubes.

    Anybody else bust a radiator from wheelieing?
    '88 Hawk GT - back in the saddle
    '99 Suzuki GZ250 - the first

    '87 Suzuki GSXR1100/1207cc - traded to get my Hawk back

    #2
    Hey, thanks for reading.

    Anyway, I went ahead and answered one of the questions today by fixing the radiator myself.

    The procedure was pretty simple. You just unscrew the hoses on the inlet and outlet, undo the top 10mm mounting bolt then the bottom two 10mm mounting bolts, then unclip the electric fan plug.

    Then you wiggle the crap out of the hoses until they finally come free, drain the coolant out, and pull the radiator out. After that, you pull one of the end caps off the radiator (with a small allen wrench) so you can pull the grille off to get at the radiator.


    The above picture is a racing radiator, but it's similar. The tubes are the lines going horizontally across.

    On mine there were four rows of tubes that looked like they'd been contacted by the grille and may have started leaking. It was hard to see.

    So what I did was lay it down horizontally and clean off the front of it. I spread some solder flux on the four rows, then laid strips of solder over the tops of the suspected tubes, and lit up my brazing torch and very carefully waved the heat near the solder to get it to melt. It melted right onto the tubes that way.

    Then just reassemble it. If the grille was contacting, be sure to bend it back out of the way.

    We'll see how it works out. That's not the best soldering technique in the world, but I test rode the bike and it's not leaking at all anymore from the places I soldered. It looks like it has a very slight drip from near one of the end tanks though, so I might work that out too. I have a V45 radiator on the way though, so no big deal.

    Extra thanks to VWTim for dispelling fears I had of the V45 radiator swap.
    '88 Hawk GT - back in the saddle
    '99 Suzuki GZ250 - the first

    '87 Suzuki GSXR1100/1207cc - traded to get my Hawk back

    Comment


      #3
      I'd be worried bout clogging up the tubes soldering it that way.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally Posted by Keiran
        I'd be worried bout clogging up the tubes soldering it that way.
        Yeah I thought about that, but considering how little solder I used I don't think it's a problem. Thanks for the advice though.
        '88 Hawk GT - back in the saddle
        '99 Suzuki GZ250 - the first

        '87 Suzuki GSXR1100/1207cc - traded to get my Hawk back

        Comment


          #5
          That's how radiator shops fix em... silver solder... shouldn't cause a problem... probably wouldn't even notice a difference cooling if the whole tube was blocked off anyway.

          Bill

          Comment


            #6
            Originally Posted by bill-ns
            That's how radiator shops fix em... silver solder... shouldn't cause a problem... probably wouldn't even notice a difference cooling if the whole tube was blocked off anyway.

            Bill
            Yeah, clogging one out of 25 doesn't seem like too big a deal.
            '88 Hawk GT - back in the saddle
            '99 Suzuki GZ250 - the first

            '87 Suzuki GSXR1100/1207cc - traded to get my Hawk back

            Comment


              #7
              So as an ongoing epilogue to this, the solder came off and it sprung a leak again. I tried in vain to resolder it using every technique I could think of, and it just wouldn't stick.

              My solution: A whole boatload of Loctite quick set epoxy. Fifty miles later it doesn't leak at all. I hope it stays that way.
              '88 Hawk GT - back in the saddle
              '99 Suzuki GZ250 - the first

              '87 Suzuki GSXR1100/1207cc - traded to get my Hawk back

              Comment


                #8
                Take it to a rad shop... shouldn't cost much... they'll solder it, and pressure test it.

                Bill

                Comment


                  #9
                  Radiator shop isn't going to be too happy to try and solder over that epoxy repair. Besides I am betting the epoxy holds. Most motorcycle radiators a manufactured by gluing the tanks on the viens anyway. -Rock on.
                  Faster than your mother... She's what the pros use.

                  Comment

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