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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a VRSCA and have experienced an occasional overheat warning light if I am stuck in stop & go traffic or long lights when the temp is 95ish and nearly 100% humidity (Florida). I checked the service manual and owner's manual and they say that I should check for air obstructions, or fan issues. I was amazed to discover that the entire center grill covers a rubberized protector which has absolutely no holes for air to get through! The only passages for air are the side scoops, which in my case have chrome mesh over them. The mesh is of the size that would prevent a child from putting his fingers through, like what one would put on a fan near kids. Both fans work, blowing plenty of really hot air on my right leg (interestingly only my right leg). If my fans come on at a light or when moving very slowly, they never quit but in about 5 minutes, more or less, the hot lite comes on. Bike never actually overheats in the traditional sense, spilling over like Mt. Vesuvius, but it concerns me.
Any suggestions??:wazzup:
 

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Me too. Same issue in Houston in creeping death traffic when the heat index is 115°. The airflow is shit on this radiator and people will carry on about all the engineering involved in the scoops and the turbulators. All the engineering was required due to the fact that Willie insisted on trying to make the bike look like it doesn't have a radiator. It barely works at all if the bikes not moving. I've seen 245° on my V-gauge lite. The light comes on around 240°. I assume making sure the AFR is on the rich side from idle to around 3000 rpm would help slightly in traffic hell in the south. Frankly I split lines and ride in the median in this heat if I can pull it off. Accidents that all but close the freeway are when I get stuck and the bike gets HOT, I can't imagine the temps an airhead is seeing in that situation.
 

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I have seen a replacement radiator front - an official Harley part I think - which has the whole front cut out in an oval shape and a mesh, like the side meshes, inserted in its place. I am thinking of doing this myself. Cant be that difficult to cut the plastic out, doesn't even need to be an oval, and secure a mesh in its place.
 

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I have seen a replacement radiator front - an official Harley part I think - which has the whole front cut out in an oval shape and a mesh, like the side meshes, inserted in its place. I am thinking of doing this myself. Cant be that difficult to cut the plastic out, doesn't even need to be an oval, and secure a mesh in its place.
I'm thinking about opening the front up a little on mine too. The thing Harley sold was a cosmetic overlay, but could work if a hole was cut out behind it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
absolutely! As I rode her home from Indy when I first got the bike, I was stopped on I-75 for what seemed like hours, due to a bad wreck. After sitting it out with the motor off, and personally overheating from the cars, trucks and pavement, I chose to 'shoulder' around the log-jam and finally around the accident. It was miles!
I'm concerned that if I don't find a solution, I'm going to have head (gasket) problems!
I like the idea of Harley doing it themselves. It gives me the confidence to open up the rubber pad and allow the radiator to breath.
 

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It'll shut off if it gets "too" hot. Don't know what temp that is though.
 

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I'm thinking about opening the front up a little on mine too. The thing Harley sold was a cosmetic overlay, but could work if a hole was cut out behind it.
The one I saw was completely see through - it was a great big hole cut thru the shroud.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have seen a replacement radiator front - an official Harley part I think - which has the whole front cut out in an oval shape and a mesh, like the side meshes, inserted in its place. I am thinking of doing this myself. Cant be that difficult to cut the plastic out, doesn't even need to be an oval, and secure a mesh in its place.
My shroud has chrome mesh (1/4" round holes in a billet plate) but it butts up against a heavy rubberized sheet. The sheet is what doesn't have holes in it, in fact it still has the imprints of the original horizontal slats of the old (I presume) shroud that must have been there. That leaves only the 2 side scoops for the entire radiator intake. Too weird?
:banghead:
 

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No the V-Rod has always been closed up in the middle, those ball milled looking groves are just for looks. I think I'll cut those slats out one of these days.
 

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Well in traffic a larger opening in the cover wont do too too much. The fans will kick on and still pull air through the radiator from the side vents. However moving it will help alot. More airflow to the radiator helps, but no airflow and a water pump at idle speed dont do much.

245.... have you bled the system are you sure there is no air?

Oh and you can buy these for about 250 painted
 

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I doubt lowering the opening temp would help when idling. In the south you just get to the point of completely overwhelming the system after a while. It's airflow is what the problem is. I kinda doubt opening the front up would help much. But thermostat wide open, fans running full blast the temps will just keep climbing.
 

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... I was amazed to discover that the entire center grill covers a rubberized protector which has absolutely no holes for air to get through! The only passages for air are the side scoops, which in my case have chrome mesh over them. ...
I haven’t messed with the radiator air flow so I can’t say for sure but I don’t think putting holes in the front cover will improve flow through the radiator.

The side scoops have sufficient surface area for the fan air flow requirements when stationary. Your bug screens in these openings will of course reduce the air flow by some amount depending on the percentage of surface area that the screen material obstructs.

These radiator side scoops are positioned to avoid the stagnant air pocket behind the front wheel so the fans aren’t necessary when moving faster than a crawl.

BTW the warning light illuminates when the coolant reaches:
113 °C (235 °F) according to the 2002/2003 EDM
117 °C (243 °F) according to the 2005 EDM
110 °C (230 °F) according to the 2010 EDM
 

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Darn. I didn't realise there was another cover behind the front shroud!!!
I've also been thinking of placing an inline switch between the power line and the fans so I can manually switch the fans on.
I had to do this from new on a YZF750 Yamaha many years ago and it worked a treat in very hot weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
update: as I am blogging on this forum, I'm also tinkering with the bike. This is what I have found so far: I took the shroud off completely and checked the coolant - full. I started the bike and let it idle. In about 10 minutes, the fans came on. I checked the temp (using a laser pyrometer) of the heads 165F, upper crankcase 180F, waterpump face plate 198F, thermostat body center 100F, outlet hose 195F, radiator cool to touch. Ran a bit longer, fans stayed on (remember no shroud at all) and engine core now climbed to 230F, thermostat body center 115F, outlet hose 195F, return hose cool, radiator cool to touch, fan air cool.
I'm thinking that the coolant isn't circulating, either because I have air in the system (not likely since it hasn't been worked on since I got it, 2500 miles ago) or I have either a bad thermostat or waterpump. The cheaper repair is always the best first step, so I'll invest in a new t/stat & associated gaskets and rubbers.
One thing I know for sure, my problem today isn't airflow. Not to say that it won't be tomorrow, or the next time I'm stuck in snail traffic, but today I have a mechanical issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
By the way, I think I know why H-D doesn't put vents in the center of the shroud; the bobbed front fender lays a pretty strong line of road muck right up the middle. After I took the chrome covered outer shroud cover off, I saw old road mud laying in a line just like our backs in the old days with bobbed rear fenders. I never even saw that until I took the cover off my otherwise spotless bike. In this case, clean is really only skin deep! Better to keep the fins clean? Thinking about it, having to clean the fins of Florida's wonderful 'love bugs' and other road trash, would be a pain in the #### if I had to remove the shroud every time!
 

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I disagree. The bike will run hot as fock just sitting there idling. I don't think you have a problem at all. It's still an airflow issue, you don't have enough airflow unless you're ramming air into the radiator at speed. The fans just aren't enough on their own. Not for 100°+ and humidity, humidity does effect heat transfer in mechanical things too, not just people.
 

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update: as I am blogging on this forum, I'm also tinkering with the bike. This is what I have found so far: I took the shroud off completely and checked the coolant - full. I started the bike and let it idle. In about 10 minutes, the fans came on. I checked the temp (using a laser pyrometer) of the heads 165F, upper crankcase 180F, waterpump face plate 198F, thermostat body center 100F, outlet hose 195F, radiator cool to touch. Ran a bit longer, fans stayed on (remember no shroud at all) and engine core now climbed to 230F, thermostat body center 115F, outlet hose 195F, return hose cool, radiator cool to touch, fan air cool.
I'm thinking that the coolant isn't circulating, either because I have air in the system (not likely since it hasn't been worked on since I got it, 2500 miles ago) or I have either a bad thermostat or waterpump. The cheaper repair is always the best first step, so I'll invest in a new t/stat & associated gaskets and rubbers.
One thing I know for sure, my problem today isn't airflow. Not to say that it won't be tomorrow, or the next time I'm stuck in snail traffic, but today I have a mechanical issue.
Yeah a new t/stat sounds like the way to go.
What was wrong with making a rad with a radiator cap? At least you could then tell if the water was circulating.
 

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i take the shroud off the vrods i service every 10000km or so and clean the radiator fins of road grime and bugs.its possible to get quite a built up in there even with grills installed.
 

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