Operating Temperature - Recommendation Requested - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 2007, 3:25 pm Thread Starter
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Operating Temperature - Recommendation Requested

Recently, the temperature warning light came on while in the Lincoln Tunnel stuck in traffic. I've put only a couple K miles on the bike, purchased with 8K. I've since changed all fluids and filters and haven't put the bike into a similar environment. The fear of blowing a gasket in the Lincoln Tunnel motivates me to get to the bottom of it.

I'm fortunate enough to have two 2002 K1200RS. One needs new forks has 30K miles (blue) and the other is recently new to me which the temp light illuminated with 12K miles (black).

According to the manuals:
Thermostat opens at 85 degrees
Fan cut-in at 105 degrees
Warning light 115 degrees

There isn't mention on when the fans turn off. So I did a side by side temperature idle temperature test on the two machines.

Outside temperature 70 degrees F. From cold start at
~1100-1200 rpm.

BLACK (manufactured 01/2002)
Minutes - Temp gauge at:
3 - 1/4
6 - 1/2 mark
9 - 3/4
11 - AT RED FAN ON
13 - 7/8 FAN OFF
14 - AT RED FAN ON
16 - 7/8 FAN OFF

BLUE (manufactured 04/2002)
Minutes - Temp gauge at:
3 - 1/4
6 - 1/2 mark
9 - 3/4
10 - 7/8 and FAN ON
11 - 1/2 and FAN OFF
13 - 7/8 and FAN ON
14 - 1/2 and FAN OFF


Radiator Caps - Both are current 1.5 bar (switching them doesn't change result)
Fans - Both are current version and operate (Blue and White dot).
Radiators - Both heat up on both bikes as temperature passes half mark.
Coolant - Both are 50/50 BMW coolant and distilled water. Reserves are at "MAX" line.
ECU - Both machines reset (disconnected battery overnight) and TPS reset.

The only know difference between these machines is Dino oil (Blue) and Synthentic (Black).
Full disclosure, the hot, black K also bogs on throttle the first start of the day.

I'm looking for next step recommendation:
1) Do nothing more...
a) Continue to ride it like you stole it. Split traffic and don't worry about tickets.
b) Probably just a calibration issue with the gauge.
2) Replace/test the coolant temperature switch (in water/oil pump)
3) Now that you are at 12K go to full synthetic.
4) Replace/test the water pump
5) Replace/test the thermostat
6) Replace/test the Water Temperature Sensor
7) Replace/test the Air Temperature Sensor
8) Swap the ECU. Dont forget to reset the ECU and perform a TPS reset
9) Replace/test the O2 sensor
10) Check the [fill in the blank] first by [fill in the black]...

If you have a recommendation to test a sensor or switch, the procedure would be appreciated. I have Clymer and BMW Motorrad Repair PDF for reference.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 2007, 3:55 pm
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I'd swap the ECUs to see if the behavior of each bike switches over.

Black 2002 K1200RS - "The Beast" (over 100k miles)
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 2007, 6:18 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input Carn.
ECUs swapped, behavior stays with the bike. #8 above ruled out.
Any other ideas...anyone?
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 2007, 8:44 pm
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Ride it in traffic (other than Lincoln Tunnel) again and see if repeats. I've had my light come on one time: riding up a mountain pass in Colorado while in traffic. Speed was limited to 35-ish MPH. I chalked it up to 1) having a load on the bike, 2) not enough forward speed to drive air through radiators. The fans probably won't pull enough air to cool the engine if there's a decent load on engine.

I let the bike cool, and the problem has never repeated itself. If it repeats, then go after the switch to see if you can get them to come on a bit sooner. IIRC, mine don't come on until the needle hits red.

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 2007, 10:35 pm
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Just reading what you have done, I'd go for the coolant temperature sensor that controls the fans. The blue one does what mine does, gets to almost red, both fans kick on, and keep running until the needle is almost back to the mark.

Doesn't get that hot here in Calif usually, but last June it hit 115F outside. Going through one of the towns for lunch, the fans came on and stayed on a lot longer, but eventually shut off while moving about 35. Wasn't carrying anything other than me and didn't shift past 3rd.

Keep in mind that dino oil, which is also cooling the engine as well as providing a lubrication to the moving surfaces, boils at 125C, giving you about 10 degrees after the water temp lamp comes on before really nasty stuff happens. I'd switch to synthetic for the engine if you can't get it sorted out and need the transportation. And "share the lanes", just watch for opening doors...

Don't know where the sensors are, but having swapped caps and ECU, I'd aim for the fan control sensor and swap them.



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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 2007, 4:59 am
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If the fans are running OK and pushing out hot air whilst the temperature is still rising and the cap pressure is OK, I think you've hit the 'insufficient radiator area syndrome' which is confirmed by the 14 minutes or so for the fans to bring the temperature down to 1/2 way. You really have to be moving and even then the time it takes for the temperature to drop is far longer than your cage, pointing to a cooling capacity on its limits. Don't forget that the oil cooler is not fan cooled and oil temperature will be rising faster than the coolant being measured when stationary or in slow traffic.

In slow traffic you need 2 cylinders switched off, then the cooling capacity might be ok!

Looking at your figures I'd say my fans come on at about 3/4 guage reading. The guage accuracy is variable, but the earlier fans come on, the less likely is the water temperature to peak and overshoot to the overheat limit.

There are 2 sensors used on the bike. Both are thermistor resistance types. One is mounted at the bottom of the water pump near the oil cooler, coded blue and the other is in the cylinder head at the back. One sensor just drives the guage, the second feeds into the ECU and signals fans on, engine overheat, and engine temperature for ECU mapping. I'm pretty certain the water pump sensor is only driving the guage.

When I've got a few spare moments, I'll measure the resistance/temperature curves of both as I believe my KRS is the same as everybody elses on 'normal' temperature characteristics



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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 2007, 5:01 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razel
Don't know where the sensors are, but having swapped caps and ECU, I'd aim for the fan control sensor and swap them.
I'm kind of puzzled by this - when noting the wiring diagram in the Clymer manual, the output of the coolant temp sensor seems to be routed to the ECU, then a separate wire goes from the ECU to the fan relay. If the output of the temp sensor directly controls the fan relay and the Motronic doesn't modify the sensor output, why route it through the ECU to start off with?

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 2007, 5:08 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnadero
I'm kind of puzzled by this - when noting the wiring diagram in the Clymer manual, the output of the coolant temp sensor seems to be routed to the ECU, then a separate wire goes from the ECU to the fan relay. If the output of the temp sensor directly controls the fan relay and the Motronic doesn't modify the sensor output, why route it through the ECU to start off with?
Carnadero, I think I posted with the answer before you got your post in!

The temperature characteristics of both sensors will be useful to post because members can check theirs with a meter and if feeling adventurous, subsitute a variable resistor to play games with the ECU and guage!



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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 2007, 5:17 am
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clean out fins.....dirty.... bad air fkow...including oil cooler.....bugs.. road grime....dont take much....

Last edited by BAK04GT; Jun 17th, 2007 at 5:25 am.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 2007, 7:19 am Thread Starter
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Thanks all for your input.
BAK: The fins are clean. I also "think" it has been burped correctly, cursing the entire time. Keep in mind on the Black bike, the fans come on when the gauge is higher.

Raz: Dino is definitely in the future for the new bike either way.

Vox: Minutes refers to minutes lapsed from start. It took 14 minutes to heat up and cool. It only takes 1 or 2 minutes to cycle fans on,off. Sorry for the confusion.

Vox and Carn: I'm tending to agree with you. Either -
1) the Water/Oil Temperature Switch (#2/at the pump) sends a higher temp to the gauge OR
2) the Water Temperature Sensor (#6/rear of engine) doesnt trigger the ECU to turn the fans on until hotter.

Clearly the Temperature Sensor (rear of engine) has control of the fans (Directly or Indirectly) through the Motronic. It is the first connector under the seat on the left. Brown/Yellow and Purple. Disconnect while with sidestand up, both fans blow. Clymers identifies this as "Coolant Temp. Sensor" on page 577.

The Temperature Switch (at the pump) may only drives the gauge. I can't seem to find both the switch and the sensor on the same diagram. I did however rheostat the switch to ground and the gauge sweeps. No fans.

I'm looking forward to methods to test the switch and the sensor without having to replace the coolant.


Thanks again and I look forward to your continued input.
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