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  1. #1
    Very Active Member jcthorne's Avatar
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    Default Heads up on road grime damage to radiators

    This is a heads up post for others that own a Spyder F3. The photo below is the results of approx 12k miles of normal driving. Its not the fan blades damaging the radiator. Its road grime (sand, pebbles, grass and rain) that come in the front of the bike and get between the fan and the radiator. The F3 design is the only Spyder (or car that I know of) that has the cooling fan on the FRONT of the radiator rather than behind it. The only real way to clean this area is a disassembly of the front trunk body work to remove the fan. You can clean some with a water hose from the outside but will not get it all.
    We found out when Louse radiator sprung a leak from the damage. Others have over heated from the bent fins blocking air flow. Keep an eye on this one and post up if you have ideas on how we might keep it from happening. I don't think we have seen the last of this one. BRP was good about replacing the failed radiator. This time.



    20170812_160534.jpg

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  2. #2
    SpyderLovers Sponsor SpyderAnn01's Avatar
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    I had issues with the radiators on my RT but not at home in Las Vegas, my overheating problems happened in Alaska and Quebec. Both times I had ridden on dirt roads then in rain creating a solid mass of gunk that wouldn't allow air flow at low speed. BRP replaced my radiators in Valcourt and here is a picture of how the new ones looked after only 6,000 miles.
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  3. #3
    Very Active Member jcthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peteoz View Post
    Yeah, I guess that's why BRP switched to 2 radiators, set sideways out of the line of fire for the 2016 F3-L, JC. They obviously knew it was a bad design flaw. Hopefully they will continue to come good for those experiencing this.

    Pete

    Let me be perfectly clear. The photo above IS a F3 radiator. ALL F3 use exactly the same configuration. Oh and the radiator is the same part number for both sides, all years. The 2016 F3-L has exactly the same problem.

    Blue Flame Spyder F3-S.

  4. #4
    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Default RADIATOR ISSUES

    Quote Originally Posted by jcthorne View Post
    Let me be perfectly clear. The photo above IS a F3 radiator. ALL F3 use exactly the same configuration. Oh and the radiator is the same part number for both sides, all years. The 2016 F3-L has exactly the same problem.
    ,JC I'm not familiar with the f-3 set-up ...is there any type of screen material between the fan and the front of the radiator to possibly prevent this build-up ??? ...or could something be put there by a DIY effort .... Mike

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    Very Active Member jcthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLUEKNIGHT911 View Post
    ,JC I'm not familiar with the f-3 set-up ...is there any type of screen material between the fan and the front of the radiator to possibly prevent this build-up ??? ...or could something be put there by a DIY effort .... Mike

    The fans are mounted directly to the front of the radiator. I have been thinking about screens behind the grille but ahead of the fans perhaps might help but its small stuff like tiny pebbles, sand and bits of grass. Would have to be a fine mesh screen to do any good.

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    I wonder if it's because of their 'out of direct airflow' position that the F3 radiators don't blow/wash all that damaging muck that accumulates out of the way thru normal ryding?

    After all, there are quite a few cars that have their fans mounted in front of the raditaor or A/c heat exchanger, many off them off road specialist mud & grit runners, & yet while some may experience SpyderAnn's problem or similar overheating events, they don't seem to have this particular damaging problem that looks like it might eventually impact on ALL F3's, so what specifically is it about the F3 design that traps & holds all this grit etc hard up against the rad for long enough for the fans/grit to cause damage??

    Maybe you F3 owners need to look for a way to wash/blow that accumulation out of there, but my 'less than ownership' exposure to F3's doesn't readily bring anything to mind?? Is that something BRP should be made aware of & look at? Over to you!
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    Very Active Member pitzerwm's Avatar
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    Wouldn't a window screen mesh work or help.


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    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Default POSSIBILITIES

    Quote Originally Posted by pitzerwm View Post
    Wouldn't a window screen mesh work or help.
    ..... But Bill beat me to it ?????............ It's pretty fine but I think enough Air would still get thru to make it work ....... Mike

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    I believe that just about ANY screen fine enough to stop debris small enough to build up & cause that sort of damage from it getting trapped in there almost certainly WILL create air-flow issues & therefore over-heating issues over time!!

    I'm sorta surprised that those KOTT mesh inserts don't create that sort of issue anyway, but I'm pretty sure that most people ryding in Arizona or Aust style summer heat would experience overheating problems with even just a little bit of rubbish caught on them, let alone any finer mesh & the trash that'd collect over time/ryding!!

    I think the 'fix' would be more likely found in a way to blast any collection of grit out of the wearing/collecting surfaces regularly rather than in restricting the airflow even more with a finer grille!!
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  10. #10
    Very Active Member PrairieSpyder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Aawen View Post
    I believe that just about ANY screen fine enough to stop debris small enough to build up & cause that sort of damage from it getting trapped in there almost certainly WILL create air-flow issues & therefore over-heating issues over time!!

    I'm sorta surprised that those KOTT mesh inserts don't create that sort of issue anyway, but I'm pretty sure that most people ryding in Arizona or Aust style summer heat would experience overheating problems with even just a little bit of rubbish caught on them, let alone any finer mesh & the trash that'd collect over time/ryding!!

    I think the 'fix' would be more likely found in a way to blast any collection of grit out of the wearing/collecting surfaces regularly rather than in restricting the airflow even more with a finer grille!!
    You may be right, but they'd have to make them easier to remove so you could blow them out with an air compressor.
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    See my earlier posts in the 1330 engine forum about cleaning radiators. I used compressed air on one and results were OK. I used a nozzle on the end of a garden hose with 60 psi pressure and directed at the ribs from the out side: the webbing between the water passages, "ribbing", seem to be as thin as a foil gum wrapper. Be very cautious when trying to clean them.

    Bug strikes hit both the grill and the tub inside, breaking into pieces which then get stick to the inside of the radiators, which makes sense on the area around the fans for being dirty.

    I thought the fans pulled air through from the outside at low speed to direct the air away from the rider (at least that's what I thought contributed to the very clean circle on our F3s' radiators directly behind the fans). As such, the areas under in the sure flow path shouldn't show the damage from debris being blown into them. As the electrical stuff on the Spyders are DC current, is it possible that the polarity got reversed on the fans? The direction of the airflow matters not for the radiator for cooling so there would be no checking situation before hand.

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  12. #12
    Very Active Member JayBros's Avatar
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    At 27+K miles I just recently pulled my KOTTS grills off to clean behind them because one of the plastic mounting blocks had popped loose. I was amazed at two things: how few bugs actually made it to the radiator fins, including two bug infested trips to Spyderfest, and how the little sand/pebbles that made it through just settled on the bottom of the large intakes. I vacuumed out the stuff on the outside of the BRP mesh and gently blew that which made it through the BRP mesh right out the back side beneath the radiators.

    I would think that Harvey could come up with a KOTT grill for the F3 that could solve the lion's share of the problem.
    Last edited by JayBros; 08-13-2017 at 11:27 AM. Reason: spelling
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  13. #13
    Active Member bboley's Avatar
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    Default Spacers?

    I took a look at the radiator fan mounting and it looks like we should be able to shim the fan away from the radiator thus giving the road garbage room to fall instead of getting stuck between the fan and radiator. When I get time I will remove the fan from the radiator and place spacers or stacked up washers on the bolts between the two.

    Any thoughts?

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  14. #14
    Very Active Member Chupaca's Avatar
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    Default Interesting....

    Have seen similar damage on other water cooled motorcycles and generally was from some debris getting caught between the fan blades and the radiator panel. The ones with a screen between the blades and the panel never had this happen but I guess if enough debris packs up the blades would compress the fins on the panel...
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  15. #15
    Very Active Member jcthorne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chupaca View Post
    Have seen similar damage on other water cooled motorcycles and generally was from some debris getting caught between the fan blades and the radiator panel. The ones with a screen between the blades and the panel never had this happen but I guess if enough debris packs up the blades would compress the fins on the panel...
    The damage was debris. But its standard road crud that all spyders pick up due to the proximity of the air intake to the road. Sand, small pebbles, bits of grass and some rain make for a very abrasive mix in front of the fan blades. BRP cannot simply require the disassembly of the front end of the bike each oil change for radiator cleaning. As the miles build on these bikes, the warranty claims will mount and its NOT a maintenance issue, its a design problem. But I can tell you I will be keeping mine cleaner if possible but am not tearing it apart twice a year.

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  16. #16
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    Default Rad bugs

    Quote Originally Posted by jcthorne View Post
    This is a heads up post for others that own a Spyder F3. The photo below is the results of approx 12k miles of normal driving. Its not the fan blades damaging the radiator. Its road grime (sand, pebbles, grass and rain) that come in the front of the bike and get between the fan and the radiator. The F3 design is the only Spyder (or car that I know of) that has the cooling fan on the FRONT of the radiator rather than behind it. The only real way to clean this area is a disassembly of the front trunk body work to remove the fan. You can clean some with a water hose from the outside but will not get it all.
    We found out when Louse radiator sprung a leak from the damage. Others have over heated from the bent fins blocking air flow. Keep an eye on this one and post up if you have ideas on how we might keep it from happening. I don't think we have seen the last of this one. BRP was good about replacing the failed radiator. This time.



    20170812_160534.jpg
    my F3T now has a nylon screen on outside of grill. No problem heating in 30c temps . Very easy to clean with water and soft nylon brush.

  17. #17
    Very Active Member pitzerwm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
    my F3T now has a nylon screen on outside of grill. No problem heating in 30c temps . Very easy to clean with water and soft nylon brush.

    It amuses me when people have a negative response to an idea when they haven't tried it to verify that it won't work. Sure, some ideas are totally and obviously crazy, like me putting seatbelts on my RTS. As Crossbow has proven, his idea works, maybe not 100% but certainly better than doing nothing. It's obvious that no matter what the product, curious/smart people can make it better. There are thousands of pages here of posts where people have made the Spyder better. Another reason the smart people are always here looking for ideas and solutions.


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  18. #18
    SpyderLovers Sponsor SpyderAnn01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Aawen View Post
    I believe that just about ANY screen fine enough to stop debris small enough to build up & cause that sort of damage from it getting trapped in there almost certainly WILL create air-flow issues & therefore over-heating issues over time!!

    I'm sorta surprised that those KOTT mesh inserts don't create that sort of issue anyway, but I'm pretty sure that most people ryding in Arizona or Aust style summer heat would experience overheating problems with even just a little bit of rubbish caught on them, let alone any finer mesh & the trash that'd collect over time/ryding!!

    I think the 'fix' would be more likely found in a way to blast any collection of grit out of the wearing/collecting surfaces regularly rather than in restricting the airflow even more with a finer grille!!

    I live in Las Vegas where temperatures are in the 100s for months on end. I have never had overheating issues here, but I did have them in Alaska and Canada. We don't have the bugs here and it doesn't rain often do not a big issue. I even had the KOTT grills until one fell off last year. The culprit for me was dirt and rain

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  19. #19
    Very Active Member Peteoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcthorne View Post
    Let me be perfectly clear. The photo above IS a F3 radiator. ALL F3 use exactly the same configuration. Oh and the radiator is the same part number for both sides, all years. The 2016 F3-L has exactly the same problem.

    Ooopsy. Thanks JC. I made some poor assumptions about your photo. Post deleted.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderAnn01 View Post
    I live in Las Vegas where temperatures are in the 100s for months on end. I have never had overheating issues here, but I did have them in Alaska and Canada. We don't have the bugs here and it doesn't rain often do not a big issue. I even had the KOTT grills until one fell off last year. The culprit for me was dirt and rain
    That's interesting & valuable feedback Ann, thanks!

    Here in Aus, putting just about anything over the front air inlet areas of any vehicle radiator will cause some cooling degradation, either straight away for those motors/cooling systems with little surplus cooling capacity, or eventually for everything else - and while it's usually the finer screens that reduce air flow rapidly, even the expanded metal mesh stuff with 1/2" wide gaps catches enough bugs & grass seeds etc over time to be an issue!! Altho in the case of many turbo-ed engines (gas or diesel powered) that sized mesh can mean instant overheating just by disrupting the necessary volume of air flow!!

    However, from your info, it sounds like the low level of our Spyder Radiators & the build-up of dirt & slush from the Alaskan & Canadian roads is more of an issue than just restricting the air flow, & that adds to JC's warning about the eventual damage that stuff WILL cause - so washing it out regularly seems to be the only remedy atm, at least unless BRP provides a retro-active fix for a 'not so great' design!
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
    my F3T now has a nylon screen on outside of grill. No problem heating in 30c temps . Very easy to clean with water and soft nylon brush.

    any chance for a pic of the screen in place?
    what type of screen?
    Thanks

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