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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought a used 2003 1800 VTX with 8000 miles. The previous Owner is meticulous with upkeep and maintenance.
I rode a short distance the first day and thought I caught a whiff of antifreeze but saw nothing leaking. Second ride was on a very hot day 80+ and I was stop and go in town. I was sitting at a light and noticed a pretty good leak at my right boot heal. Checked indicator lights and saw nothing. Proceeded to store and saw light trail of fluid and bike leaked appx 1/2 cup antifreeze. Got home and added small amount to put level between lines of overflow tank. Again, never a indicator light.
Went for a long 80 mile ride yesterday, stopped a couple times with no issues. Arrived at my sons house and noticed drips down street and bike leaked same small amount onto driveway. No indicator lights.
Is it possible there is an air bubble in the system? Or a bad radiator cap? How do you purge the system of air?
Thanks
 

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Old Goat
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Just bought a used 2003 1800 VTX with 8000 miles. The previous Owner is meticulous with upkeep and maintenance.
I rode a short distance the first day and thought I caught a whiff of antifreeze but saw nothing leaking. Second ride was on a very hot day 80+ and I was stop and go in town. I was sitting at a light and noticed a pretty good leak at my right boot heal. Checked indicator lights and saw nothing. Proceeded to store and saw light trail of fluid and bike leaked appx 1/2 cup antifreeze. Got home and added small amount to put level between lines of overflow tank. Again, never a indicator light.
Went for a long 80 mile ride yesterday, stopped a couple times with no issues. Arrived at my sons house and noticed drips down street and bike leaked same small amount onto driveway. No indicator lights.
Is it possible there is an air bubble in the system? Or a bad radiator cap? How do you purge the system of air?
Thanks
While your waiting on help...look at the bottom of your post page recommended reading....maybe some help there.....In an automobile purging fluid usually mean s air getting in the system....admittedly I dont know that much about 1800...good luck

Ps.check OFT for leaks....they get brittle with age...
 
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Just bought a used 2003 1800 VTX with 8000 miles. The previous Owner is meticulous with upkeep and maintenance.
I rode a short distance the first day and thought I caught a whiff of antifreeze but saw nothing leaking. Second ride was on a very hot day 80+ and I was stop and go in town. I was sitting at a light and noticed a pretty good leak at my right boot heal. Checked indicator lights and saw nothing. Proceeded to store and saw light trail of fluid and bike leaked appx 1/2 cup antifreeze. Got home and added small amount to put level between lines of overflow tank. Again, never a indicator light.
Went for a long 80 mile ride yesterday, stopped a couple times with no issues. Arrived at my sons house and noticed drips down street and bike leaked same small amount onto driveway. No indicator lights.
Is it possible there is an air bubble in the system? Or a bad radiator cap? How do you purge the system of air?
Thanks
Look at everything , I'd say the rad cap, clean or replace?

Some links, check post #3 , #4 ,#5 , AND #6, in the thread re. coolant?

 

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2005 Honda VTX 1800F Spec 2
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Filling the overflow does not fill the the cooling system I found that out the hard way. You have to remove the tank and radiator cap to fill properly. As for the coolant behind the boot, I would dry everything take a ride for a mile and see whats wet, then you know. Hope this helps.
 

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Can only add: 1. be sure to burb the system after adding fluid (under the tank), and 2. look for pin hole leaks on the underside of the radiator at the post on the right that sits in the mount (had this happen twice).
 

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Lots of possibilities here. Was the engine hot enough to trigger the cooling fan? Did you check whether it runs properly? Overheating would cause coolant to boil and overflow into the reservoir.
The coolant cap could have a weakened or broken spring, check it. Or replace it if suspect foul play.
I agree with the guys, you need to let the bike cool down, pop the radiator cap and top off there if needed. Refilling the reservoir is a longer-term fix where the heat cycling of the cooling system will eventually draw enough coolant into the radiator and purge the air. Refilling the radiator directly is a better way to go.
And you call 80+ "very hot day"? Wow, wacha gunna do on a 110F day? 80F is a nice spring for us (I'm in TX). But if you are in Alaska or somewhere up north, 80F probably feels like hell is boiling over. :)
Let us know what you find, curious now.
 

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Are you sure its the overflow? The waterpump is behind the chrome left side cover near your heel, when the pump seal goes it weeps coolant...

- stevie
 

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Mine did that twice on the ride to and from Sturgis. There was some hot areas and a lot if idling in places and it puked twice. I assume it was just an air bubble that worked it's way out because of the heat. Topped up the puke bottle when I got home and never happened again. The fan went in both times it did it, and I know she was warm. The guys with Harleys were idling on one cylinder so I was in good company there. I joked that just once a Honda could mark it's territory too. The antifreeze I had in it was blue so it just looked like koolaid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lots of possibilities here. Was the engine hot enough to trigger the cooling fan? Did you check whether it runs properly? Overheating would cause coolant to boil and overflow into the reservoir.
The coolant cap could have a weakened or broken spring, check it. Or replace it if suspect foul play.
I agree with the guys, you need to let the bike cool down, pop the radiator cap and top off there if needed. Refilling the reservoir is a longer-term fix where the heat cycling of the cooling system will eventually draw enough coolant into the radiator and purge the air. Refilling the radiator directly is a better way to go.
And you call 80+ "very hot day"? Wow, wacha gunna do on a 110F day? 80F is a nice spring for us (I'm in TX). But if you are in Alaska or somewhere up north, 80F probably feels like hell is boiling over. :)
Let us know what you find, curious now.
Thanks- ordered a new radiator cap and will remove tank and check everything this weekend. 80+ was very hot because it snowed a couple days ago.
 

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The radiator cap over time builds up a whitish layer of crud on the gasket, and this could prevent a good seal. If cleaning the gasket (both sides) doesn't help, get a new cap. If you do, don't get one that exceeds the recommended rating. Make sure the radiator fins aren't blocked with road debris, they have to be cleaned with a pressure washer just like AC coils on a home AC condenser. Just don't get the jet very close or the fins will collapse or bend closed. Use a spray cleaner like simple green.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to all you guys that replied. Ordered a new radiator cap, should have Saturday. Will remove tank and check hoses etc and fill tank. Will burp by sqeezing the lower hose, will let everyone know if it works.
 

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Thanks to all you guys that replied. Ordered a new radiator cap, should have Saturday. Will remove tank and check hoses etc and fill tank. Will burp by sqeezing the lower hose, will let everyone know if it works.
This was my logic 2 years ago: My 2003 at the time was 16 years old (now 18). I would NOT drive any car that was 16 years old w/o being pro-active and changing all the coolant hoses. So I had my Honda parts man look up all the OEM hoses and clamps and started changing the big ones first. I got a couple changed, then kinda put the rest on hold. At the time, all those hoses etc. cost me $162. Now in my defense, I haven't ridden much since then, maybe a little over 1K mi. I need to get 1 more piece, a round Tuit, LOL.
 

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This was my logic 2 years ago: My 2003 at the time was 16 years old (now 18). I would NOT drive any car that was 16 years old w/o being pro-active and changing all the coolant hoses. So I had my Honda parts man look up all the OEM hoses and clamps and started changing the big ones first. I got a couple changed, then kinda put the rest on hold. At the time, all those hoses etc. cost me $162. Now in my defense, I haven't ridden much since then, maybe a little over 1K mi. I need to get 1 more piece, a round Tuit, LOL.
Good advice.
 
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Agreed. Mines only done 4k miles on a 2002, and did the PAIR valve removal last week. First time I'd had the tank off and had a good look under there. NO corrosion on the fittings etc! That's a first...and all water hoses felt and looked fine but fuel related hoses have hardened a bit so might do them at some point. But... the thermostat housing developed a leak between the plastic bit and the metal while I was squishing the hoses so took it off and sealed it up again. The O ring was square as, but without a spare I hylomared it up and it's ok for now til I get another. Overall, very impressed for an old bike!
 

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Agreed. Mines only done 4k miles on a 2002, and did the PAIR valve removal last week. First time I'd had the tank off and had a good look under there. NO corrosion on the fittings etc! That's a first...and all water hoses felt and looked fine but fuel related hoses have hardened a bit so might do them at some point. But... the thermostat housing developed a leak between the plastic bit and the metal while I was squishing the hoses so took it off and sealed it up again. The O ring was square as, but without a spare I hylomared it up and it's ok for now til I get another. Overall, very impressed for an old bike!
One more thing when replacing hoses: Some may try to save a few quid by using hose from spools from any auto parts stores, but if you noticed, many of the stock hoses have pre-formed bends that are to prevent them from kinking or critical blockages. They are made like that for a reason!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks to all you Guys! Grew some balls this weekend and pulled the tank. Radiator cap looked like new and the system was full- I squeezed the lower hose a number of times. Inspected and tightened all hose and radiator clamps. Checked all the fuel hoses. Everything felt good and no sign of any leaks. Leveled the bike and added coolant to the lower line of the overflow (it was close to correct, maybe added 1/4 cup to get to the line). Replaced the radiator cap with new one, reinstalled the tank (routing the fuel line is a pain). Started bike and checked for any leaks. Bike was in garage and literally idled for 10 plus minutes until the electric fan finally kicked on. It ran for maybe a minute, then shut off. Couple minutes went by and it kicked on for a minute again. I believe that cycling seems correct. No overheat lights and no leaks from overflow drain. Was going to take it out for a ride but it was raining (chance of snow Tuesday). Will give it a try asap.

Again- thanks for all your help and comments.
 

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Just bought a used 2003 1800 VTX with 8000 miles. The previous Owner is meticulous with upkeep and maintenance.
I rode a short distance the first day and thought I caught a whiff of antifreeze but saw nothing leaking. Second ride was on a very hot day 80+ and I was stop and go in town. I was sitting at a light and noticed a pretty good leak at my right boot heal. Checked indicator lights and saw nothing. Proceeded to store and saw light trail of fluid and bike leaked appx 1/2 cup antifreeze. Got home and added small amount to put level between lines of overflow tank. Again, never a indicator light.
Went for a long 80 mile ride yesterday, stopped a couple times with no issues. Arrived at my sons house and noticed drips down street and bike leaked same small amount onto driveway. No indicator lights.
Is it possible there is an air bubble in the system? Or a bad radiator cap? How do you purge the system of air?
Thanks
if just filled it will do that. if not might be a thermostat may be going out.

take it to Honda they will know
 
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