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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Does anyone know the strategy used on the 2014-2016 models with the water cooled head design?

My 2016 Limited only has 8500 miles and all of a sudden last weekend the Overheat and Ck Engine light came on after just a short distance of riding. The engine ran fine otherwise.

I've done some preliminary work to diagnose.

Fuses and relays are good.

The "manual" test of of the fans is good when just turning on the switch and opening the throttle with the engine off... they both operate strong.

The water pump gets power when the switch is first turned on and remains powered even when engine is cold.

With all the stories of bad pumps, I pulled it off and disassembled...expecting to see broken vanes etc. They were fine and the magnetic drive pump spins it well when the key is on.

I've run it while monitoring head/cylinder temps as well as coolant temps.

The light comes on with head temps around 220* or so. Oil/coolant and cylinder temps are way down closer to 100*-150*.

I've yet to have the fans activate with these temps.

So to the original questions:

What temp does the red overheat indicator light up?
What temp do the fans activate?
Do the fans activate off coolant temp? If so...I can understand why they don't come on because even though I have a red light...nothing seems too hot. Over the years, I seldom recall them coming on...but they did at times.
Is the water pump designed to operate constantly?
What temperature does the T-stat open? I assume it stays closed and pump bypasses around it since it constantly runs?
I'm wondering if I have a stuck T-stat because the coolant lines were at only a few degrees temp difference in the 120* range even though heads showed the much higher temps.

Before I convert it all to the new M-8 style pump...I want to make sure I don't have something else as the real problem since the pump seems OK.

Thanks for your help,

JIM
 

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The main causes of self destruction on the old pumps are electrical in the circuitry and mechanical in the rotor drive. There are spot welded posts in the motor that vibrate apart and sludge can build up in the magnetic drive.
The upgrade to the M8 pump is a great one-and-done upgrade, and in my opinion, ultimately inevitable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The main causes of self destruction on the old pumps are electrical in the circuitry and mechanical in the rotor drive. There are spot welded posts in the motor that vibrate apart and sludge can build up in the magnetic drive.
The upgrade to the M8 pump is a great one-and-done upgrade, and in my opinion, ultimately inevitable.

Thanks....so maybe I disturbed it electrically internally when I removed it and it's working fine off the engine but maybe not at other times?

I believe the new pump is better for sure..just trying to make sure the diagnosis is correct and there's not another issue by understanding "how" it's designed to function. What temps and at what times? The ECM controls the fans and pump...but it gets input and works off whatever programming is loaded.

JIM
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
UPDATE: After more diagnosis and discussions with folks...I ordered the new style water pump kit.

First....I've been building race engines and cars for many, many years. My current street toy is a twin turbo '67 'Vette that runs high 8'[email protected] MPH in the 1/4 mile as well as managed 200 MPH at the TX Mile event. I'm also building an 8-71 blown Pinto (of all things- LOL). I say that to give an idea of mechanical ability. Been in the diesel truck world for 40 years.

BUT...I've never worked on Harley's. So it was actually fun to start digging into it and figuring out how it all goes together.

There is NO DOUBT Harley has done an amazing job of packaging things. There's a LOT squeezed in little space...but it all works.

The actual install of the new pump arrangement went very well. The kit is very well designed and the new hoses fit perfectly without any trimming etc. They've included everything you need from bolts, clamps, wire ties etc.

I wasn't too enthused with the "one use" hose clamps they used originally on a couple of connections....and they included new ones in the kit of the same design. They suggest you buy their tool to squeeze them tight...but I used a set of crimping pliers I had and they worked fine. Interestingly they supply a couple of extra regular "squeeze" type clamps that I suppose could be used....but I went ahead and did the crimp ones. I did like the little yellow plastic holders they installed on all the regular style clamps. They hold it open until you get it in position and then you just pop it off to release tension to clamp down on the hose connection. Pretty slick!

Once I got it back together and I began to re-fill the cooling system I immediately saw the difference in how it pulled coolant into the system. I fired it up and ran it while testing the heads, coolant lines and radiators for temps...I could see a big difference. The coolant was actually moving through the lines and picking up heat from the heads. The radiators now warmed up and eventually the fans kicked on as designed and then shut down once the temps were back down. Previously the lines/radiators weren't really gaining any temp as compared to the heads. And no over-temp light!

So the repair is a success. I'm still very disappointed that Harley isn't doing more to fix this for their customers since it's definitely a known design issue. There should at least be a "fix as fail" campaign to help out and not have to spend the $$$ especially at such low mileage points.

Old pump on the left bottom...new on the right.

JIM

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Good write up…i was a little paranoid over the cooling system on my 2016 RG Ultra, but other than having added a very small amount of coolant, (because I am OCD and it wasn’t perfectly full) i never had issues and now it is gone, replaced with 2022 RG Limited with the similar cooling system. Glad to hear it has been upgraded.
 
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