1985 honda silverwing "smoking"

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  #1  
Old 12-15-04, 08:30 AM
jwroger
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1985 honda silverwing "smoking"

While out cruising-looked down and saw that the cap to the radiator coolant had fallen off. Had to get home and did so with no problems and 2 days later I found a replacement cap. Now, the cycle is "smoking" heavily (appears to be coming from the radiator area) and smells like coolant burning. Did driving the bike without this cap for a couple of days cause this problem?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-15-04, 07:13 PM
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More then likely you just have some residual coolant buring off.
I would suggest giving your Silverwing a good hosing, but use a lower
pressure around the radiator. You didn't cause any damage as long as
you didn't run it long without the cap. Make sure your coolant is refilled because you would lost a lot running with no cap.

Nelson
 

Last edited by Elso; 12-15-04 at 07:48 PM.
  #3  
Old 12-19-04, 08:26 AM
jwroger
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cooling system problem

I replaced the cap and noticed it overheating. I tried to remove the radiator after noticing fluid draining directly from the bottom. So as I was trying to take out the radiator, I found the fan in 6 pieces. what does that mean happened? Fan is broken, does that mean the radiator is no good also? And what about the water pump? How can I find out without taking the motor apart? FYI: it is a 1982 Silverwing and not a 1985.
 
  #4  
Old 12-19-04, 05:37 PM
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Silverwing cooling

Hi jwroger

The year of your silverwing is not crucial at this point. As far as the broken fan... it won't "just" break, something had to have come in contact with it. They are just a "freewheeling" electric fan that kicks on when the temp gets high. Possibly the shrouding around the fan cam loose or something. In any case this is not a good sign. Possibly the cap fell into it when it came off, but you will need to look closely at it to determine the cause of the break.

To test your cooling system you will need a standard automotive cooling system pressure pump. Maybe you know a mechanic who might have one. How this works it the pump is a small hand operated plunger type pump with a fitting that attaches to where the cap goes onto the radiator.

Testing the system:
#1: make sure the cooling system is full
#2: remove the cap and mount the pump in its place.
#3: Pressurize the system with the pump (usually 10 psi is enough)

What to look for:
Does the system allow the pressure to build?
If no, then see where the fluid is leaking from and you will know
where you need to look to service it. (make sure the seal around the fitting is sealing well (like the cap would) If it takes the pressure, but drops rapidly then again look for the leak. If the system holds the pressure for 10 - 20 seconds before it drops slowly then your system is probably ok. I have never seen a cooling system that will hold the pressure indefinitely, especially when cold. Water pumps are a very common problem with the CX engines (includes the silverwing) and they are not a simple "nut and bolt" replacement like most other water pumps. It is located on the back side of the engine and just below it, there is a small "weep hole". If coolant is coming out of this little hole then yes, your water pump needs servicing. Most water pumps, you would replace the assembly, but not on the CX engine. The impeller is mounted right into the cam shaft and the housing where the cam shaft comes out of the engine, there is what Honda calls a "mechanical seal". It is this seal that will need replacement which requires a special tool whose sole purpose in life it to remove and install this seal. You will need to consult a local dealer or competent mechanic who would have this special tool to replace it. The engine needs to be removed from the frame in order to access this seal. Depending on your mechanical ability, you could remove the engine and rear cover housing the seal, then just bring the cover to your dealer for seal replacement. Unfortunately, the CX engine was NOT one of Honda's better engine designs because this. I am sorry I can't offer any "quick fix" for this, because there arenít any. Replacing the seal without the special tool (although it has been done) will have about a 10% success rate. Even with the tool, the person replacing the seal needs to know exactly how to press the new seal in. It has been several years since I worked for Honda (10 - 12 years) and back then the seals ran around 30 bucks.

If I can be of any more assistance, please don't hesitate to continue to post here.

Nelson
 
  #5  
Old 12-20-04, 08:17 PM
jwroger
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Thanks for the reply. Does "CX" or "CL" really make a difference? Mine is a "CL". Anyways, I finally got the radiator out. I plugged both ends where the hoses go and filled it with water. I tipped it forward , and found a sizable leak at just about the very top. As for the shroud it looks fairly normal. I found the fan in pieces at the bottom of the shroud. No idea how it happened. For about a $100 I can replace the shroud and fan. I can have the leaking radiator fixed for a reasonable price, but do I need to worry about the water pump being good. I am not capable of replacing that myself. This is my only means of transportation at the moment (not now!), but don't want to waste time repairing the radiator, fan and shroud then turn around and find out the water pump is bad.
 
  #6  
Old 12-20-04, 09:37 PM
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If you look on the back of the engine, you should be able to locate the water pump and you should also be able to see the little hole right below it. If the pump is in need of service, there should be evidence that coolant was leaking from this hole. I know of some who just run the machine with a bad water pump. A lot depends on just how bad it is leaking, so without seeing it, I wouldn't want to say it's ok to run or not. Unfortunately you can't really tell how bad it would be without a complete cooling system in tact. If it's your only means of transportation, then you might want to fix the radiator with the understanding you might need more service down the road. As far as pulling the engine, it's not that bad of a job. You were able to remove the radiator demonstrates you have some mechanical abilities which means you should be able to pull the engine if you later learn you need to. The most challenging part of pulling the engine will be dealing with rusted bolts. Did you look into any motorcycle salvage yards for the cost of replacing the radiator instead of repairing? Your situation is somewhat touchy for me to give good advice on. I certainly wouldn't want to say "go for it" and then hear things backfired and have you hate me... If you decide to repair the radiator, make sure that they can pressure test it for you. If the leak if from corrosion, then there is a good chance there are other weak spots in the radiator that could become leaks in a short time.

An alternative avenue you might want to think about, you could probably pick up another motorcycle for not much more money then you would be investing in repairing your silverwing. Of course you wouldn't necessarily get the convenience of the fairing and bags as standard equipment.

From past experience, there is real good chance the seal in the water pump is in need of replacement. Faulty pump seals is far too common on these.

I might suggest you weigh out the cost of different used motorcycle against the cost of a complete repair of your silverwing, or just your quick "band-aid" fix for purpose of selling to offset the cost of a different bike.
 
  #7  
Old 12-21-04, 08:06 PM
jwroger
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thanks again. I will let you know what happens. I'm still not sure what route I am going to take: repair or not. I do like the bike, alot. We will see. Alot of it has to do with my cash flow!! But, something has to be decided soon as I am using my wife's car to get to work. She is not happy. I wish I knew a good motorcycle mechanic here in Phoenix. I have tried a couple of shops and not too thrilled with them. Most of the Honda dealers won't work on older bikes.
 
  #8  
Old 12-21-04, 08:35 PM
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I wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide. If I was to look for a used motorcycle from the early 80's, I would look for a Suzuki GS850. Even though I worked for Honda for many years I am still partial to Suzuki for the older bikes. If you are partial to Honda and you decide to fine a used one, do yourself a favor and stay away from all of the early "V's". The CX or CL are very known for having the problems you are experiencing. The early V twins like the shadow are known for problem cam chain tensioners and the V-4's like the Magnum are known for chewing up the camshafts and bearing caps. The early inline 4's such as the CB750 are ok, but they have noisy engines.
The Nighthawks are much better and very low maintenance due to their hydraulic valve tappets. The Yamahas are ok also and very similar engine designs to Suzuki with their double overhead cams and no rockers (less moving parts). Not real familiar with Kawasaki, but they use the same valve train system as Suzuki and Yamaha. If you see something and would like to talk to some one about it, please don't hesitate to post your questions.

Nelson
 
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