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Offline Fair Weather rider

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Cleaning Radiator
« on: 06 October, 2019, 02:50:38 PM »
I have noticed that there is no extenda fenda fitted to the front mudguard and I am going to have to fit one.
The radiator is getting all bunged up with Crap, although I haven't got a cooling issue at present, I'm sure it's not helping.
Has anyone got a method of cleaning out the Crap that builds up in the Core, without damaging the Fins.

2012 CBF 35k miles.


Offline NJD

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Re: Cleaning Radiator
« Reply #1 on: 06 October, 2019, 03:53:32 PM »
Your hand; cotton buds? For the love of your radiator don't go sticking anything sharp in there like a flat head screwdriver or alike as its very very easy to bend the fins out of shape.

My MK1 radiator has huge areas of damage, and then smaller portions, commited by previous owners and new ones are £300 (eBay sellers with heavier replacements made of non O.E.M matierials) and a shade under £500 for an O.E.M one.

You'd do yourself well to get a radiator cover. eBay search "radiator cover," or, "radiator guard" for your model.

I recently aquired one -- yet to fit -- for a MK1 from Powerbronze. Change the year of the bike and yours should show. Plenty on eBay too but I preferred PB because decent price and from trusted seller.

Offline oldtimer03

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Re: Cleaning Radiator
« Reply #2 on: 06 October, 2019, 04:13:45 PM »
For what it's worth, I like the Beowulf rad guard in polished stainless steel. The black painted aluminium varieties don't look as good for as long IMHO. Plus they're based in UK and sell direct.

Offline Art

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Re: Cleaning Radiator
« Reply #3 on: 06 October, 2019, 05:28:56 PM »
Fender extender - I have one, it came with the mo'cycle and seems to be a no brainer, must have, upgrade as they're as cheap as chips, simple to fit and keep about 70% of the road fling off. Although its fair to note most of what it doesn't prevent is being flung at the oil cooler and surrounding area.

Radiator cleaning - I clean mine once a year as part of a service or as and when the fancy takes me. Cleaning is by way of a Kärcher pressure washer. I know, I know, just keep the wand far enough away to eliminate the risk of any damage to the core tubes but close enough to be effective in clearing out the built up road fling between the fins. What you're aiming at is something between jet and mist. After an initial wash I carefully straighten out any bent fins and give it a second pressure wash to get the last of the road fling out, finishing off with a final inspection and straightening out of any remaining bent fins. As above don't go poking into the radiator core, gently twisting the fins with a suitably sized flat blade is all that is required. If you think a pressure washer might damage the radiator core then you probably will and this method is not for you.

Radiator guards - Not for me, they only make the inspection and cleaning more difficult. They also restrict air flow through the core, whether or not this makes any measurable difference to the efficiency of the cooling system is anyone's guess.
« Last Edit: 06 October, 2019, 05:31:57 PM by Art »

Offline Fair Weather rider

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Re: Cleaning Radiator
« Reply #4 on: 06 October, 2019, 07:49:18 PM »
Thanks for the tips, I didn't think there would be a magic cure.
I squirted a lot of Muck Off into the Fins this afternoon and then gently, with a garden sprayer tried to wash it and all the Crap, looked a bit better, will know when it dries out.
Why don't Honda fit a Temp Gauge? So useful.



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Re: Cleaning Radiator
« Reply #5 on: 06 October, 2019, 08:43:34 PM »
Logic seems to suggest removing any deposited crap by water flushing from the reverse direction?

Offline jm2

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Re: Cleaning Radiator
« Reply #6 on: 06 October, 2019, 10:24:48 PM »
Well an (old) service manual from the CB says something along the idea of (every 16k I think it was) both clearing the fins and straightening them.  Even adding that if 50% were not clear and straight to replace the rad. 
This was done by taking a small instrument (like a screwdriver but I made something quite thin from a small one by grinding) to both clear the fins of debris (mostly dead wasps in my case) and gently straightening fins that looked reasonable. Any bent over firmly (like by a stone) were left alone.
Took me absolutely ages but I made a decent job of it and suffered no ill consequences.
Whether it made any difference I don't know (it wasn't over-heating or anything). 
Today I'd probably take that tools and clear out the deads before worrying about bent fins.
Only do it right - no bodging please.   Keeper of the failed stator list.   John.

Offline Ianrobbo1

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Re: Cleaning Radiator
« Reply #7 on: 06 October, 2019, 11:53:56 PM »
A newbie to the Biffer, owned a Bird for 19 years, and looking forward to long term ownership of my CBF!!

Offline ramiller

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Re: Cleaning Radiator
« Reply #8 on: 09 October, 2019, 03:11:35 PM »
Just had an idea whilst reading this post, I reckon one of those portable steam cleaners would work well???

Offline MohKraats

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Re: Cleaning Radiator
« Reply #9 on: 07 January, 2020, 06:47:07 AM »
First thing I did after purchase of my CBF, was install a fender-extender to protect my radiator a bit better from all kinds of crap that flies up.

To get the dirt out, I would first of all soak the radiator for a while to soften up the dirt as far as possible.
That hose it of as good as possible.
The remaining grit will need to be taken out with something like a thin screwdriver.

To straighten out the radiator fins, one can use tools, made for that, available on several sites in several forms and shapes.
Example on Banggood:

And last thing is to put a thin layer of heat resistant paint on to protect against corrosion, in case the original paint is damaged.


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