Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cool Runnings

After being laid up on the couch for over a month, with the side effects of radiation/chemo, I decided I was well enough, today, to go to the shop and work on the bike a bit. A lot of ideas have been buzzing around in my noggin regarding making it more dependable and less reliant on Boss Hoss for parts, etc.
The primary idea is to eliminate the Jabsco bilge pump. They are not, especially, unreliable but failures have and do occur. I want to be able to go to any parts store and buy a pump, off of the shelf, and install it in the parking lot with ordinary tools. I have a pump in mind and have designed it mentally. More to follow.
Another item that troubles me is the factory coolant manifold. As built, it directs coolant from the pump to the inlets in the block on each side of the timing cover. Seems simple enough. I, as well as others that I have spoken with, believe this part was ill designed. As you can see in the first photo, coolant comes up the left side of the manifold (right side in the photo, left side of the engine) and then to the left coolant inlet and then to the right inlet. The problem is, the coolant wants to keep going in a straight line to the right side of the engine, bypassing the left side. Enough coolant dribbles into the left side to keep it relatively cool, but I'm willing to bet the right side runs cooler than the left. I don't have a point and shoot thermometer, so I can't prove it, but it makes perfect sense to my imperfect mind. So, what I did was to plug the original inlet on the manifold and put a "Tee" fitting between the two block fittings. This will allow a fairly equal amount of coolant to enter both sides of the engine. The second photo shows the modified manifold. Additional plumbing will be added later, from the "Tee" to the water pump. I have never had an overheating problem with my bike, but I still feel this modification is a good one.