2003 Goldwing ABS close to overheating - Honda Goldwing Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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2003 Goldwing ABS close to overheating

Hi, I tried searching this, but didn't find answers for the year that I have. I know they run hot and the temps have been around 104. I rode it the other day for about an hour and it was one bar from the top red. I checked the res today and it was full- according to the dipstick. Warmed it up to around the middle of the gauge and it still looked full.
It has 83k on it and I just had new tires and front brakes put on it. Could something have happened when they were doing this?
Should I look into a new thermostat or is it common, at these out door temps to be running that hot?
Should I take it out and see if goes higher then check the res? I know there are different thresholds on thermostats, given the temps here in Tucson, AZ- should I look at not only changing it, if necessary, but a different temp one?

Honestly, I am nervous about taking it out for a longer ride now. If it's common, I won't worry too much.

Any help or suggestions would be great.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 03:33 AM
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Back in 2004 when I got my Wing there was a lot of posting about the rising temps on the 1800. I "think" in 2006 (or maybe 2005) they changed to a larger radiator because of the high temps.

I have ridden even here on the east coast at temps above 100* with no issues - except the gauge did record higher but never went into the red zone. The important thing is not to get caught in stop and go traffic when that happens.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 04:44 AM
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dan18960 is right about Honda changing to larger radiators in 2006.
My question is have you actually opened the radiator cap and checked the fluid level there? If there is a vacuum leak anywhere between the radiator and the overflow tank the radiators will slowly empty out. So the overflow tank can be full but the radiators empty.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 12:56 PM
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Jinx may be on to something here. Check your rads as he mentioned as well as doing a leak-down or pressure test if you can. That will pinpoint an air leak in the system. Sadly it won't find it for you and that may pose difficulties. I've ridden my '09 in about the hottest weather ever (115*f) and never did it rise out of the standard temp range on the gauge, as it should be. Can't speak for the pre-2006, but I know there was an issue.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Check the radiator- got it. I'll do that tonight.
If it's low- then I assume take it to the dealer for a pressure test and repair?
If they are not low- other thoughts or is that just how they function?

Side note- do the newer radiators fit the 03? Is that something that can just be swapped out?

Thank you everyone.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 08:00 PM
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From the first post my thought was you have an air leak in either the hose from the catch bottle to the radiator or the cap is not tight or seal leaking. The key is when you said you started the bike and the bottle was still full. It should have been low because the vacuum created by the radiators would have pulled that fluid back into the radiators. But the opposite was true when they get hot and the fluid expands and refills the bottle. When the engine is cold before the first start of the day, you bottle should only be full to the check mark. Not full to the top. But when running normal it should stay at that mark because the water in the radiator is circulating. Only when it is super hot will the cap pressure being heat sensitive will open and allow the fluid to get to the bottle but vacuum sucks it back as it cools. Remember those old movies of Mode Ts, etc. that had water or steam escaping out the radiator cap and those cars carried water bags on the front fender to refill those radiators. That was before pressure caps and catch bottles. Even those pressure caps need to be replaced from time to time.

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Last edited by TmDILL; 08-06-2019 at 08:02 PM.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 08:08 PM
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In 2001 and 2002 there was a recall of all 1800s because some of the heads from the source did not have clear water passage ways according to Honda Specs. Result was some 1800s overheated. My 2001 was checked and was found to be okay. But, I know of one that was not and required Honda to replace the heads on his new bike. The way they were checked was they were completely drained of all fluid. The capacity of the heads for fluid was known. So, they refilled those heads with that known amount and if they came up short they were replaced.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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ok, took off the cap, looks pretty dry. AND one of the push pins ended up in the abyss somewhere.
I can get some more fluid tomorrow. Looks like a rt angle elbow rt there. Do I fill it up to the top or just the elbow?
or is the fact that it looks pretty dry a bad thing and I should be looking at something else?
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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I added about a quart of coolant today. Looks like some spilled out was filling it. Turned it on let it sit for about 5 min- stayed in the middle, but noticed some fluid under the bike after I cleaned up. Is there an over flow tube or something?
I rode it for just about 2 minutes after that to see if i went higher and then let it idle for about another 2-3 minutes. Seemed like it was staying around the middle. Parked it. Let it cool off and didn't see anymore fluid underneath. My thought was, if there was a leak, it would have leaked more and or spewed out. At least that has been my experience with cars. Assuming this is the same?
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 08:03 PM
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The cooling system is exactly like on a car, except for the two radiator thing. Only the one rad has a filler cap, so if it was way low..... after running it up to operating temp.... it may be low again for it had to equalize the water from one side to the other. If all is working properly, the radiator should be brimming full of water, right up the cap seal. Like was said earlier post, if leaking anywhere, it may cause it not to pull water back up from the overflow bottle (the bottle itself has an overflow if it too gets too full to hold anymore). If the rads where fairly low that would cause the overheat issue, the water falls through the radiator to fast to get cooled off.

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