Author Topic: Radiator blocked by dirt  (Read 1689 times)

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#10

Offline Mattfox762

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #10 on: November 23, 2021, 07:58:17 AM
*Originally Posted by brickit [+]
I have had a problem with blocked radiators, with my 2017 XR
The oil cooler sprang a leak at 18k miles and was replaced under warranty but it was pretty congested and the airflow through it was severely restricted despite my efforts to keep it clear. The radiator was also blocked and the BMW garage (Ocean) did their best to unblock it by soaking it overnight with Jizer. That did help, but to clean it properly without damaging the fins the rad needs to be taken out completely, soaked and carefully cleaned.
There are a number of problems:-
The front end design of the Mk 1 is poor, in that the radiators are set low and are very exposed to dirt thrown up by the front wheel. The front fenders are far too short to be effective and even the standard add-on extenders don't come down far enough.
After-market guards don't do much good, as they are set too close to the radiator and crap gets through. There should be at least a 3-6 inch gap between guard and radiator in my view, to keep the dirt away from the fins.
Also, it isn't possible to flush dirt out from the back of the radiator using air or water because access is blocked by the fan and housing.
The answer of course is to stay on clean dry roads, but this is an adventure bike isn't it?  :187:
Could anyone tell me what the maximum safe running temperature is for the XR? Mine will go to 106C on a hot day. Never had to top up the coolant, though have renewed it.

Thanks for the response and excellent info.TBH I’m not a fair weather rider so I’m happy to take reasonable wear and tear on the chin. Also I always protect my bike in winter (ACF-50) and give it a good hose down after each trip - I owned and rode a previous XR in Bavaria for three years and with the exception of some salt corrosion (first winter) never encountered this sort of nonsense. My main grievance is not so much that it’s happened, it’s how quickly it’s happened bearing in mind the low mileage of the bike (under 9000 miles!) especially as it’s on really been ridden on A roads. The bike is booked in with BMW to have the radiator cleaned in a few weeks, so I’m hoping that will sort it out, but if not and a new radiator is required I shall be well unchuffed!

#11

Offline Mattfox762

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #11 on: November 23, 2021, 08:11:37 AM
*Originally Posted by BobT [+]
Would you name the dealer? The one in Dorchester closed and I am not surprised with their crap customer service. The one in Oxford has not got a great reputation either.

Funnily enough the bike came from the Dorchester dealer….and yes good riddance to them. This dealer is closer to Bristol and in all fairness they have not failed me yet as the radiator is booked in for a deep clean in a few weeks, and even then if it is totally goosed and needs replacement my grievance is / would be with BMW in general as there seems to be a problem with muck getting into the radiators on these bikes, which as I stated to their customer services is not the sort of failure you’d expect paying top dollar for their bikes and in the first two years of operation.

#12

Online brickit

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #12 on: November 23, 2021, 09:05:53 AM
*Originally Posted by Mattfox762 [+]
The bike is booked in with BMW to have the radiator cleaned in a few weeks, so I’m hoping that will sort it out, but if not and a new radiator is required I shall be well unchuffed!
Could you ask your dealer how they go about the 'deep clean'?
I assume the rad is removed but would be interested to know the best way to loosen the dirt. I guess it is soaked in something then picked and blown out.
Any tips would be appreciated.

#13

Offline Belco100

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #13 on: November 23, 2021, 11:48:59 AM
*Originally Posted by Mattfox762 [+]
On a recent service my dealer mentioned that the radiator on my 2019 XR was blocked (33%) with road dirt and that if it couldn’t be cleaned, it would need replacing!  ....

Just curious - do you have a fender extender? These normally help this.

#14

Offline Mattfox762

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #14 on: November 23, 2021, 12:45:46 PM
*Originally Posted by Belco100 [+]
Just curious - do you have a fender extender? These normally help this.

No I don’t. Do you have one and if so are they any good?

#15

Online Antares

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #15 on: November 23, 2021, 01:56:41 PM
*Originally Posted by Mattfox762 [+]
No I don’t. Do you have one and if so are they any good?

I do and it makes a difference. When off the bike you only notice it if you look for it, I know it's there and I hate it aesthetically and how floppy it is but when riding you really never notice it and even looking at the bike it doesn't make it looks any worse, so the good sense in my brain is just telling me to keep it. I'll take a picture sometime about what my radiator looks like having ridden daily for the last couple weeks, last proper clean was about 3 weeks ago so i'm looking to wash it soon.

#16

Offline Salem

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #16 on: November 23, 2021, 05:41:19 PM
*Originally Posted by brickit [+]
After-market guards don't do much good, as they are set too close to the radiator and crap gets through. There should be at least a 3-6 inch gap between guard and radiator in my view, to keep the dirt away from the fins.
I can't see any reason why one would need that space? You want to protect the radiator from the impact speed of stones and insects. Now insects go in principle in a horizontal direction, stuff kicked up by the tyre in 45 degrees upwards, and likely +/-  30 degrees depending on speed. Thus in my view a 'channel' design protector is better than a high quality aluminium thin plate. I have the low cost plastic BMW protectors recovered off my old 2020. The 'channels' in these are 5-6mm long, and are aimed horizontally with the protector at an about  45  angle. Installed on the bike the channelss point downwards front to back, so they ought to work well in protecting against road spray. I'm now playing with the thought of having new plastic ones installed on the new bike, and cut up and fit the old ones on top, with 1/4 inch spacing.  Only worried about spacing vs front wheel. The airflow would be ok. The restriction through the radiator is far greater than thru two protectors, and this would keep the radiator in best possible condition.
On temperature I've never seen mine above 98C I think, and that's in 30C ambient and riding style resulting in 6-7000km rear tire life max

#17

Offline jakebake

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #17 on: November 23, 2021, 06:52:08 PM
My gen 1 had 30k miles on when I checked the radiator properly and about 30% of it was rammed solid almost like concrete and I had evotech guards on from the start. Overnight soaking on its own did not touch it and I contemplated a new rad, but decided to go for it and risk being  heavy handed with a small screw driver and stiff wire brush and tackled it in small areas at a time with plenty of spray water , over a week it got rid of most of it and I a got away with not damaging it. I don’t think it will be a common occurrence on the XR as mine was probably helped by the fact that when I go touring, I try and look for tarmac single track remote stuff and this kicks up a lot of muck on the rads which I always remove every 3-4 days on tour but this is just the front surface of the rad and guard and once the muck is in the rad fins and combined with intense heat, hence turns to concrete like substance ( I did have a front mudguard extender as well )

#18

Offline Belco100

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #18 on: November 23, 2021, 08:23:21 PM
*Originally Posted by Mattfox762 [+]
No I don’t. Do you have one and if so are they any good?

I normally always fit one, but have a Carbon mudguard for looks this time and haven’t fitted an extender yet. Mudguards have got shorter and shorter and are now next to pointless if they can’t stop crap blocking your radiator. Form over function.
Last Edit: November 23, 2021, 08:24:29 PM by Belco100

#19

Online brickit

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Re: Radiator blocked by dirt
Reply #19 on: November 23, 2021, 08:32:04 PM
*Originally Posted by jakebake [+]
My gen 1 had 30k miles on when I checked the radiator properly and about 30% of it was rammed solid almost like concrete and I had evotech guards on from the start. ......., I try and look for tarmac single track remote stuff and this kicks up a lot of muck on the rads which I always remove every 3-4 days on tour but this is just the front surface of the rad and guard and once the muck is in the rad fins and combined with intense heat, hence turns to concrete like substance ( I did have a front mudguard extender as well )
That is exactly my experience.
My Mk1 has done 23,000miles, has evotech guards plus fender extender and I too have been known to end up on single track lanes with grass centres. The mud goes through the mesh of the guard and can fill the 15mm gap between the guard and the radiator. It is easy enough to wash the bulk of the dirt out, but not what has got between the radiator fins. That gets baked solid and without taking the guard off, you can't get in to clean it with either a jet of water, air or a soft brush. You would only need to go through a muddy patch once and if that dirt gets baked on, it is there for keeps.
The rad guards are fine for protecting against stones or debris but not mud. That is why I would like to see guards mounted much further away from the rads. That way stuff wouldn't get stuck in between and it would be easier to keep the rad itself clean.
I would advise everyone (especially with guards on a Mk1 ) to get down with a torch and have a really good look at the rads. You might be surprised.  :005:


 



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