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Discussion Starter #1
I just got this from another site, but thought it might be appropriate.
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At a minimum, radiator fluid should be changed once per year. If you race, at least twice a year. When you do this, it's a good idea to flush the system with white vinegar and distilled water (50/50 ratio).

After you've drained the old coolant, fill it up with the vinegar/water solution, run your engine until warm. Drop the solution and fill with clean water to flush the system. Drain the water and fill to the correct level with your favorite coolant. Do not overfill.

The acid in the vinegar does a good job of cleaning out the old coolant and contaminants but will not harm engine seals.

In terms of coolant, there are lots of choices and you can't go wrong using what your manual recommends. Most coolants are ethylene glycol based, so make sure to dispose of it where your pets (and young kids) aren't exposed to it. Because it's sweet smelling and tasting to them, they'll drink it and if they ingest enough, dead puppy or kitty.

I personally use Engine Ice. It's propylene glycol based, making it much less toxic to humans, animals plants, etc... and it's premixed with distilled water, ready to run with freeze protection down to -26 and a boiling point of +256.

If you live where winters are cold and you choose not use a premixed coolant/antifreeze, be sure to check the mixture with a hydrometer. You can get them for cheap at just about any auto parts store. You simply suck up some fluid, count how many balls float and cross reference the number of the freeze protection chart.

Also, the specific gravity of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol are not the same, so make sure that you use the correct hydrometer. For example, Engine Ice claims freeze protection to -26, but an ethylene glycol specific hydrometer will read only to +20. Not a problem per se in this example (you'd still be well protected), but the other way around could be trouble. I've found that some hydrometers just don't specifically say what coolant they are for. However, most are for the more traditional ethylene glycol.

Hopefully this is of value to some and I've always had excellent results following these practices. May winter come late and that you log lots of happy, trouble-free miles.
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Mr Leakered
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Since our STs more or less require the removal of the radiator to do check and adjust the valves, I just recycle my coolant every 6k. I've been using the Sierra brand (PG) and mixing it with 60% distilled water. It's kind of the relaxing part after finishing the valves and preping for the throttle bodies. ;)

The intetesting stuff is all of the craziness surrounding Dexcool. I'm not sure what to believe. I swap with standard PG every two years in the cars. So, I'm not really concerned.

Have a good one.
 

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I recently chased down a coolant leak and in the end I think cleaning off all the gunk encrusted around the water pump's 3 hose attachment pipes cured the weep. I was thinking of doing a "flush" using an off the shelf rad-flush product, but if vinegar and water will do it, like a coffee pot I guess, I wonder what the ratios are, ie 50/50? Also, is that balsamic they're using? :) My concern would be with any effect the vinegar may have on plastic impellers and and rubber seals etc. Might that be an issue?
 

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+1 on using engine ice, so far my favorite feature is that the liquid is a purple/blue color. It makes leaks extremely easy to spot and the reservoir level easy to check. I'd also throw in the advice of replacing the stock temp senders because they are junk, $30 later I am far more confident in the readings on my dash display.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, so the system is flushed twice with distilled water after the vinegar flush, that makses sense. What water-vinegar ratio do you use?
Are you looking for the water/vinegar ratio?

Or the water/coolant ratio?

I guess it's no matter...each is 50/50.
 

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I guess it's no matter...each is 50/50.
Yup. Assuming the coolant you are replacing is of a non-diluted variety. Products such as Engine Ice, which I use, does not require any mixing. As far as the mix of water and vinegar go... I don't believe it is too critical if you were to go with a higher volume of vinegar (especially if you are dealing with alot of scale build-up) as it is only introduced into the cooling system for a short period of time. As discussed, the system should then be thoroughly flushed with fresh water to ensure that any residual vinegar is removed prior to adding fresh coolant.
 

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Are you looking for the water/vinegar ratio?

Or the water/coolant ratio?

I guess it's no matter...each is 50/50.
No, the recommended coolant percentage is only 35-40% coolant, the balance is pure water. I use distilled water.

This mixture will run cooler than a 50/50 mixture which I would only use if I needed extreme freeze protection.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So then...50/50 for the vinegar cleanser followed by a diet of pre-mixed motorcycle specific stuff form any dealer near you (of any variety). It's cheap (enough), pre-mixed and comes in small (quart/liter?) containers.
The Honda shop is closest to me. Yamaha is across the parking lot, a bit further away.
 

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As long as the coolant is "silica free" you should be OK. No need to buy it from a bike dealer. Any of your normal parts stores across the country should have it either pre-mixed 50/50 or undiluted. Silica free may be on its way to being the norm because of the amount of aluminum used in automotive engines.
Bill W.
 
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