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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Following the service manual instrux to change coolant is quite the exercise. Removing the right side fairing does not give access to the drain plug on the water pump. Removing the drain plug does not empty the overflow tank or the coolant system. Filling the tank does not come close to filling the coolant system. At least in my experience this weekend.

Loosening the radiator cap does help to both drain and fill the coolant system, and now there is about 2 litres, maybe more, of Engine Ice in Gina (my 848).

Pressurizing the overflow tank by connecting a bicycle pump to the overflow tank hose that empties to the street helps. BTW, a 2' old road bike tube to connect the pump to the tank is used as a buffer to prevent overpressurizing the tank.

But. The overflow tank coolant level remains the same no matter the temp of the engine. This has me worried because, since coolant expands as it heats, it seems there are still pockets of air in the engine. I fear these pockets may result in overheated spots in the engine that can do permanent and costly damage.

Surely there is a way to remove the extra air from the system, perhaps from a bleed valve or similar arrangement? Squeezing the radiator hoses does not seem to help.

Help. Please.
 

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Is there a procedure in the service manual to bleed the system?

At least for the 999 all you need to do is to let the bike idle until it reaches 215 degrees F and let it sit there for a bit. This takes care of any air in the system.

If you take the bike out to ride does the temperature stay at normal levels or is it getting very hot within five to ten minutes? If it is behaving normally you should be set.
 

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Water pressure will evacuate the air bubbles in the cooling system...

The older Ducatis had a fitting on the forward cylinder head to remove the excess coolant in the system beyond what would come out of the drain plug.

The system should not be overflowing unless it is overfilled and hot. I think you are overthinking a relatively simple procedure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to mattjw916 and ELK for their thoughtful replies. There is no bleeding procedure for the 848 in the service manual that I have been able to find. It has been heated to 217 degrees sitting at idle, just for a few minutes. It has not been ridden yet.

It was my belief that heating the coolant would force air bubbles out, but that did not happen. If it had the coolant level in the overflow tank (also known as the reservoir) would have dropped. It did not, not even a little.

mattjw916 is certainly correct that I may be overthinking the situation. Don't know any other way to protect my beautiful Gina.

A balance seems to have been reached as the bike pump will not force any more coolant from the overflow tank to the cooling system. My next step is to take Gina for a spin and see what happens. At least now it is pretty sure there is no air in the overflow/radiator siphon.
 

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What I normally do is fill it to max, run it for about 5 min, refill to max, ride it, and recheck/add if necessary.

I've never melted any bikes lol. ;)
 

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There typically is not that much air in the system after refilling it.

My bet is that everything is fine.

Take her out for a ride!
 

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I pulled the hose on the horizontal cylinder, let it drain, and then pumped the overflow tank out. To get everything out of the system I BRIEFLY started and idled the engine (think 5 seconds here). There was a bit of fluid that came out then.

This was the easy part.

Then I had to pull the fairing and remove the plastic thing covering the top of the radiator to add plain water. Then I started it and let it idle for a few seconds, drained and again idled it. I did this because I didn't want to mix coolant with the Engine Ice I was planning on adding.

Finally I added my Engine Ice; almost a full jug. Idled it and added a little in the overflow tank. Done.

I was particularly anal about this because my bike was running quite hot and stalling. Since adding the Ice, no issues and I idle about 217 in traffic on summer days. BTW, trapped air will work its way out of the system within a few seconds of running the engine.
 
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