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Can someone give me a basic short course in how the cooling system works? I think the water pump runs continuously......does the thermostat open on high temp signal to circulate water through the cylinder heads? then what happen s when the thermo is closed? And does the fan only run when the coolant reaches a certain temp? I'm trying to troubleshoot a problem, and figure it'll be easier if I understand some basic concepts. For example, I think my water pump is running but not circulating any coolant. If I run the bike with the radiator cap off, no coolant movement is visible, the fan does not turn on, and the cover over the water pump is burning hot to the touch. would a bad/sticking thermostat do that? thanks.....
 
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The water pump runs continuously since it's gear driven by the engine; anytime the engine is turning, so is (hopefully!) the H2O pump.

The thermostat is a mechanical valve that senses temperature; it has no "intelligence" per se. When it's open (>~180 deg F) it allows coolant flow into the radiator. When it's closed the coolant circulates within the engine, bypassing the radiator.

The fan is controlled by a temperature switch mounted in the radiator (on the RH side at the bottom on my '01). Above a certain temp (~220 deg F) it closes the fan circuit to allow the fan to run. When H2O temp drops enough, it opens the circuit and stops the fan.

This is a helpful site:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/cooling-system2.htm

I think you're on the right track with the thermostat. You can remove it completely to test your theory.

:)
 

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Damn, I type slow.  I was just about to say the same thing.  I would just replace the thermostat now.  From what you were telling us in your ealier post the thermostat would be my first choice.  It's only $17 at ronayers.com.  If your taking the system apart anyway, I would just go for it.  My $ .02

nc_sv650 said:
The water pump runs continuously since it's gear driven by the engine; anytime the engine is turning, so is (hopefully!) the H2O pump.

The thermostat is a mechanical valve that senses temperature; it has no "intelligence" per se. When it's open (>~180 deg F) it allows coolant flow into the radiator. When it's closed the coolant circulates within the engine, bypassing the radiator.

The fan is controlled by a temperature switch mounted in the radiator (on the RH side at the bottom on my '01). Above a certain temp (~220 deg F) it closes the fan circuit to allow the fan to run. When H2O temp drops enough, it opens the circuit and stops the fan.

This is a helpful site:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/cooling-system2.htm

I think you're on the right track with the thermostat. You can remove it completely to test your theory.

:)
 
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