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Thread: More Melted Cooling Fans

Created on: 04/19/24 01:04 PM

Replies: 15

RJ


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Huntington Beach, CA

Joined: 04/08/24

Posts: 7

More Melted Cooling Fans
04/19/24 1:04 PM

Greetings all, new member and virgin forum user here, so I'm not sure I'm posting properly. Please let me know of any issues with my post.

I've been using The Google to search for what seems to be a rare phenomenon with the ZX-14R, and found that back in February, 2016, member doznkoz on this forum had the exact same issue with his 2015 ZX that I now have with my 2015 ZX. My cooling fans seem to be "melting", and I'm baffled by this. I think the fans may have started degrading quite a while ago because I recall years ago, sitting at a red light on a warm-ish day when the fans kicked on; I noticed the vibration was more than I'd felt in the past. The bike has never overheated, so I never really worried about it until I saw the condition the fans were in.

I've already purchased replacement fans from eBay and am ready to install them, but until I know what caused the original fans' "material redistribution", I won't be confident that the same thing won't happen to the replacement fans.

Theories that I've run through my head:

? Fan material is defective. I think this is unlikely because there would be a lot more reports of this happening.

? Parking and shutting down the engine while the fans are running (the fans don't continue to run with the ignition switch off), causes "heat soak" and the fans soften and sag, so the next time the fans spool up, the re-shaped fans hit their mounting brackets. I think this scenario is also unlikely as this would happen to virtually every ZX-14R out there. NOTE: Just for giggles, I took a heat gun and held it very close at a single area of a fan for several minutes to see if the material softened up at all - it did not, not even a little.

? There is an exhaust leak (or, possibly, more than one) that happens to blow enough hot exhaust on both fans to soften the material enough for it to sag or expand upon spinning. Of my three theories, I would guess this one is the most possible. I'm not very knowledgeable about the nuances of hunting for exhaust leaks, but I don't hear any unusual noise and can't feel an obvious leak from around the header

I'm trying to attached photos of the fans, but am failing miserably; I'll keep trying.

I'm hoping that one of the members here has first-hand experience with this problem, or has possibly heard of the root cause and the solution.

I'd appreciate any insights anyone may have.

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RJ


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Huntington Beach, CA

Joined: 04/08/24

Posts: 7

RE: More Melted Cooling Fans
04/19/24 1:32 PM

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RJ


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Location:

Huntington Beach, CA

Joined: 04/08/24

Posts: 7

RE: More Melted Cooling Fans
04/19/24 1:34 PM

Apparently I can only post one photo at a time, otherwise I get a error message "Too many links". Here's one more:

I have several more, but I think I got the idea across.


* Last updated by: RJ on 4/19/2024 @ 1:34 PM *

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Rook


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Joined: 03/28/09

Posts: 20614

RE: More Melted Cooling Fans
04/20/24 3:03 AM

What THE hell? doznkoz has been off of this forum for a few years. You've offered some plausible theories and the exhaust leak seems most likely. If a heat gun won't melt that fan, it's gotta be something hotter and that would be exhaust right off the manifold.



'08 MIDNIGHT SAPPHIRE BLUE Now Deceased

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RJ


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Huntington Beach, CA

Joined: 04/08/24

Posts: 7

RE: More Melted Cooling Fans
04/20/24 8:15 AM

Since I have the radiator, etc. already removed, I'm leaning towards just spending the $30 dollars and replacing the exhaust gaskets as a precaution. After that, I'm out of theories and may just cross my fingers and keep a close eye on the fans.

I've looked at some of doznkoz's later posts and never saw any reference to his fans again; it seems like his bike lived a good life after the dealer replaced his fans.

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Rook


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Joined: 03/28/09

Posts: 20614

RE: More Melted Cooling Fans
04/20/24 11:11 AM

I remember that discussion vaguely. It might have just been poor materials in the fan. Maybe it's more than a coincidence that both bikes we know of with melting fans were 2015s. If you change the header gaskets, you can rule out an exhaust leak. It's probably a good thing to take those nuts off once in a while just so you know they will come off the next time that's necessary.



'08 MIDNIGHT SAPPHIRE BLUE Now Deceased

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piken


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Location: Phoenix, AZ

Joined: 08/27/15

Posts: 665

More Melted Cooling Fans
04/20/24 11:20 AM

This seems very strange to me.

Is it possible it's some kind of rodent damage? I've seen them do crazy damage to things before
that make no sense.

If your exhaust gaskets where leaking you would know it. It would be loud and noticeable.
Even then I can't see how it would cause that damage.

Replace fans and get a cat.


* Last updated by: piken on 4/20/2024 @ 11:33 AM *

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RJ


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Huntington Beach, CA

Joined: 04/08/24

Posts: 7

RE: More Melted Cooling Fans
04/20/24 1:16 PM

I'd wager that it's not rodent damage. Most of the damage looks like I'd expect a soft material to look when exposed to centrifugal force (see pic). Also, during my head-scratching investigation I rode the bike on a cool morning, then parked it and let it cool down, then started it an ran it until the fans kicked on. I was surprised when a bunch of plastic from the fans came spitting out. Somehow the fans had "grown" and when they spun, chunked off against the mounting brackets.

Plus, my wife would freak if she thought we had rats.

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doznkoz


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Joined: 02/27/16

Posts: 165

RE&amp&#x3b;&#x23&#x3b;x3a&#x3b&#x3b; More Melted Cooling Fans
04/21/24 7:12 AM

Hello everyone. I may not be posting but I do visit here quite often. RJ, after thinking long and hard back then I figured out what happened to cause this. It was my fault. I remember one day that after a cold start I revved up the engine and held it to get the engine to operating temperature. I don't recall the rpm's but it caused the header pipes to get so hot that they started to turn red. Since the coolant was not hot enough (yet) to trigger the fans to kick in the heat from the header pipes softened the plastic. At 203-204F coolant temp the fans kicked in and since they were already softened by the header pipes the centrifugal force disfigured them. My fault. Kawasaki did replace both fans for me and since then I have never done that again and have had no issues since. My bike currently has 44,000 miles and runs like the day I drove it from the dealer.

By all rights I should have had to pay for that repair but at the time no one including myself could figure out what caused this. I hope this helps.
Lee


* Last updated by: doznkoz on 4/21/2024 @ 7:20 AM *

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RJ


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Huntington Beach, CA

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RE: More Melted Cooling Fans
04/21/24 9:54 AM

Lee,

Thanks for replying to my post, I really do appreciate it.

I like your theory; I think it beats my exhaust leak one. I've never liked letting my bikes sit without running for more than a week or two, so now that I'm not commuting every day, it's not uncommon for me to start one up in the garage and let it get to normal operating temp now and then. I will blip the throttle a bit, but I've never really revved it for more than a second or two. I know the header pipes get hot very quickly, even without revving, so I'm thinking your theory applies to what I've done as well.

If I wasn't so lazy, I'd be tempted to reassemble everything on my bike, using the old fans, run the bike in my garage, and try to "catch" them in their softened state. But since you never had a problem after replacing your fans, I'm going to install my eBay fans and call it good. Of course, I won't be warming up the bike up in my garage anymore, and I'll watch the new fans closely.

Thanks again Lee, your feedback was very helpful!.

-Rick

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Hub


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Joined: 02/05/09

Posts: 13727

RE: More Melted Cooling Fans
04/21/24 6:42 PM

Oh my goodness. Years ago Shell had a commercial about mileage extension. What struck me was to start the car and slowly drive away to warm up the car. From that day I light up the bike or car and slowly leave the neighborhood. This will bump up the temp to about 140F before I hit the freeway. 160F is safe for redline, but I hardly hit the limiter. Just bad luck if I hooligan. Glow the exhaust pipes? OUCH!



Tormenting the motorcycling community one post at a time

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Rook


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Joined: 03/28/09

Posts: 20614

RE: More Melted Cooling Fans
04/22/24 3:04 PM

I always let my Gen1 warm up for two minutes before riding off. I don't think it can hurt to run the bike cold as long as you ride it very gently. If your's clunks into first gear, it will probably clunk harder with a cold engine. especially if it's on fast idle.



'08 MIDNIGHT SAPPHIRE BLUE Now Deceased

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doznkoz


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Joined: 02/27/16

Posts: 165

RE&#x3a&#x3b; More Melted Cooling Fans
04/22/24 4:54 PM

I recall I was doing an oil/filter change and was heating up the oil. Yes, big mistake. Lesson learned. Good to hear from you guys Hub and Rook. Hope you are doing well. Nothing exciting here just work work and work. I enjoy it!
You are welcome RJ. Being a first time motorcycle owner it is rare that I can actually help out someone else. So much experience in this forum it boggles the brain. This place helped me a bunch.

On my job site a while ago. Imagine having to change out the rubber on this. Every wheel could be used for steering this thing (they all turned). It just depended on the need to do so. It was brought in to dismantle the tower crane that you see in the sky above it. Another smaller crane was also used. Pretty neat to watch it take place. Very brave iron workers.


* Last updated by: doznkoz on 4/22/2024 @ 5:01 PM *

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Rook


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Joined: 03/28/09

Posts: 20614

RE: More Melted Cooling Fans
04/22/24 6:36 PM

Hi doznkoz! I'm glad you're well! Great to hear from you!



'08 MIDNIGHT SAPPHIRE BLUE Now Deceased

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RJ


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Location:

Huntington Beach, CA

Joined: 04/08/24

Posts: 7

RE: More Melted Cooling Fans
04/23/24 9:12 AM

Good lord! That is one impressive piece of machinery! Stuff like that kind of boggles my mind when I see it in person - kind of like seeing the Grand Canyon, or trying to imagine how big the universe is.

Also, good lord, you bought a ZX-14R for your first bike? Ballsy move, Mav! I've been riding a long time and the ZX still puts the fear of god into me when I gas it (it also makes me giggle like a school girl).

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Hub


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Joined: 02/05/09

Posts: 13727

RE: More Melted Cooling Fans
04/23/24 12:28 PM

Ha, this is an all-in-one bike. Putts like a moped, light up like a volcano. Wouldn't have to change to a more powerful bike once a few months of experience is under the belt.

I either kill the engine at a light and have 1st already in gear, hit the starter and off I go no clunk. Or, lever in if the light is short enough.

Torched a new clutch plate [with propane] to see if I could get it to warp. Nope. Just turned blue. So lever in is not about to put the fear in me.



Tormenting the motorcycling community one post at a time

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