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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a nice looking 2003 vtx 1300 s. I bought it last year. Didn't ride it much as I always had issues when I would twist the throttle. This month, I decided to fix my bike issues. I bought a rebuild kit that I scavenged for a couple of gaskets. I also bought Glen's tool to adjust the AF screw. I got my bike to run decently. During this fixing process, my bike developed a coupe of other issues.
1. I found drops of coolant today on both sides of the bike. This was after a test ride. The only parts of the cooling system I touched were the hoses that feed coolant to the carb and the radiator hose. I am suspecting the coolant is coming from a loose hose on the carb.
2. My bike became hard to start when it's hot. It should be the opposite. But that's what I have. I have no idea why it's behaving this way. I would love to go back to where a single crank starts the bike. It seems I still have carb issues.
3. I noticed that the fan was on almost all the time during my test ride today. Does this mean there is an issue with the cooling system? Do I need to remove the tank and access the radiator cap to check if I have bubbles in the cooling system?
Any suggestions or recommendations are highly appreciated. I would hate to sell a bike with issues and would love to keep it. I am slowly binding with my vtx.
Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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Until someone who is a 1300 expert answers you, I'll give my best guess. Since your fan runs almost all the time, It is working properly. But I would guess your coolant level is way down, and when the fan runs constantly, it isn't transferring heat the way it should if the level was full. Leaking hose clamps are a persistent problem and need checked periodically. Yes you need to raise the tank to properly access the filler and cap. Get used to doing that, as a lot of maintenance needs to have the tank propped up.
 

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It is reasonably common when fixing one problem to cause another, especially on a 19 year old bike that probably still has all or, at least, most of the original rubber parts (hoses, o-rings, gaskets, etc.). Try not to get discouraged. Once you get the VTX1300 running well, you will be much happier with it than the C50. You need to figure out where the coolant leak is coming from and fix that. Of course, finding a small intermittent leak is easier said than done. As PaXman11 says, check your coolant level and make sure you still have coolant at the correct level in the overflow tank.

I wish we lived closer to each other so that I could offer in-person assistance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is reasonably common when fixing one problem to cause another, especially on a 19 year old bike that probably still has all or, at least, most of the original rubber parts (hoses, o-rings, gaskets, etc.). Try not to get discouraged. Once you get the VTX1300 running well, you will be much happier with it than the C50. You need to figure out where the coolant leak is coming from and fix that. Of course, finding a small intermittent leak is easier said than done. As PaXman11 says, check your coolant level and make sure you still have coolant at the correct level in the overflow tank.

I wish we lived closer to each other so that I could offer in-person assistance.
Thanks for the offer. I appreciate it more than you can imagine.
I will get started on the coolant leak issue immediately. I will post updates regularly.
 

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I have a nice looking 2003 vtx 1300 s. I bought it last year. Didn't ride it much as I always had issues when I would twist the throttle. This month, I decided to fix my bike issues. I bought a rebuild kit that I scavenged for a couple of gaskets. I also bought Glen's tool to adjust the AF screw. I got my bike to run decently. During this fixing process, my bike developed a coupe of other issues.
1. I found drops of coolant today on both sides of the bike. This was after a test ride. The only parts of the cooling system I touched were the hoses that feed coolant to the carb and the radiator hose. I am suspecting the coolant is coming from a loose hose on the carb.
2. My bike became hard to start when it's hot. It should be the opposite. But that's what I have. I have no idea why it's behaving this way. I would love to go back to where a single crank starts the bike. It seems I still have carb issues.
3. I noticed that the fan was on almost all the time during my test ride today. Does this mean there is an issue with the cooling system? Do I need to remove the tank and access the radiator cap to check if I have bubbles in the cooling system?
Any suggestions or recommendations are highly appreciated. I would hate to sell a bike with issues and would love to keep it. I am slowly binding with my vtx.
Thanks in advance for your help!
I have a nice looking 2003 vtx 1300 s. I bought it last year. Didn't ride it much as I always had issues when I would twist the throttle. This month, I decided to fix my bike issues. I bought a rebuild kit that I scavenged for a couple of gaskets. I also bought Glen's tool to adjust the AF screw. I got my bike to run decently. During this fixing process, my bike developed a coupe of other issues.
1. I found drops of coolant today on both sides of the bike. This was after a test ride. The only parts of the cooling system I touched were the hoses that feed coolant to the carb and the radiator hose. I am suspecting the coolant is coming from a loose hose on the carb.
2. My bike became hard to start when it's hot. It should be the opposite. But that's what I have. I have no idea why it's behaving this way. I would love to go back to where a single crank starts the bike. It seems I still have carb issues.
3. I noticed that the fan was on almost all the time during my test ride today. Does this mean there is an issue with the cooling system? Do I need to remove the tank and access the radiator cap to check if I have bubbles in the cooling system?
Any suggestions or recommendations are highly appreciated. I would hate to sell a bike with issues and would love to keep it. I am slowly binding with my vtx.
Thanks in advance for your help!
If you have coolant leaks find them and fix them first.The bike as most all liquid cooled engines is a pressurized system it needs to build pressure to help run at hotter temps.A 50/50 mix of coolant boils at 223 deg. F at 10 psi. it boils at 250 deg. F Also a closed and pressurized system circulates faster . Find out where the leaks are , probably just old hoses . Check the radiator cap seal , no tears or holes . Retest the bike, the fan motor switch should cycle on and off even on the hottest of rides . If it is staying on it is probably sticking....replace there is no repair for that switch.Since you just bought the bike I would start with a complete oil , coolant and all filters changed as well as plugs . If you assume that these are good to start with you maybe just compounding troubles . Start fresh start with the basics.
 

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I believe there is a method for testing the coolant temperature switch that activates the fan listed in the service manual. Take a look there and, if I am correct, test that switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My bike is the gift that keeps giving.I
Anyway, I went back to the carb and replaced a water hose. It was loose.l and leaking.I just decided I would be better off replacing it. I burped the cooling system properly. Run the bike for a couple of minutes with the radiator cap off. Topped it off and put everything back.
Now I have another problem. The main 30 A fuse keeps blowing out. I didn't touch anything electrical. Having said that, this bike has a ton of extras that are hooked to the battery. It has highway lights. I has a Bluetooth sound system. It also has two remote controls. On top of it all, it has an LED strip under the tank and seat.
What do you think is causing the short circuits that I have experienced 3 times over? What are the main wires that hook onto the battery? I will keep those and remove everything else. Then I will see if the fuse stays put. If that's the case, I will investigate this short circuit issue I keep having.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update: I removed a ground connection that comes from the Bluetooth sound system. This fixes my fuse issue.
The battery is now charging. I will post another update in a few hours. Keeping my fingers crossed.
 

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Update: I removed a ground connection that comes from the Bluetooth sound system. This fixes my fuse issue.
The battery is now charging. I will post another update in a few hours. Keeping my fingers crossed.
How are all those accessories getting power from the battery? Many of us run 1 power wire off the + terminal to a 6 circuit fuse block, and each accessory is on its own circuit and respective fuse and ground. Some also have relays wired in. I also recommend the EZ-ID or Smart-Glo type fuses that light up when they pop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How are all those accessories getting power from the battery? Many of us run 1 power wire off the + terminaltay to a 6 circuit fuse block, and each accessory is on its own circuit and respective fuse and ground. Some also have relays wired in. I also recommend the EZ-ID or Smart-Glo type fuses that light up when they pop.
I will look into the fuse block you mentioned. I first have to make sure the bike runs fine. Once that is done, then I will investigate the power issue and the sound system. I will post regular updates. Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update: I seem to have fixed the coolant issue. However, my bike makes loud popping noises and you can see bright sparks if you look into the pipes when letting go of the throttle. This happens exclusively during deceleration. I tried dialing the AF screw as I have installed Glen's tool. However, the issue doesn't seem to want to go away no matter what.
Any ideas what's happening here? I am really out of ideas now. I thought tinkering with the AF screw would fix things up. It didn't. The odd thing is, the bike doesn't have these symptoms when the choke is fully on. Any suggestions or ideas would be highly appreciated.
I have a video showing the bright sparks when I let go of the throttle. I don't know how to upload videos to this forum.
 

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What pipes do you have? If aftermarket, is there any chance the exhaust flange nuts are loose, the acorn nuts have bottomed out, or the exhaust port gaskets were not installed properly? If stock pipes, have you removed them or done anything that might influence their seal to the exhaust ports?

Decel popping is common on VTX1300 bikes. It can never be fully eliminated but the best way to reduce it is to rejet/tune the carb with a Factory Pro jet kit, decap the airbox, install a K&N air filter, and do the pair mod.

I have never looked into the pipes during decel popping but what you are undoubtedly seeing is the detonation of the fuel in the pipes that is causing the decel popping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
What pipes do you have? If aftermarket, is there any chance the exhaust flange nuts are loose, the acorn nuts have bottomed out, or the exhaust port gaskets were not installed properly? If stock pipes, have you removed them or done anything that might influence their seal to the exhaust ports?

Decel popping is common on VTX1300 bikes. It can never be fully eliminated but the best way to reduce it is to rejet/tune the carb with a Factory Pro jet kit, decap the airbox, install a K&N air filter, and do the pair mod.

I have never looked into the pipes during decel popping but what you are undoubtedly seeing is the detonation of the fuel in the pipes that is causing the decel popping.
I have Cobra pipes on my bike. I will check the exhaust flange to make sure everything is tight. If this fixes my issues, then everything is fine. If not, I will buy port gaskets and reinstall everything.
Do you think that a properly jetted carb would help with this issue?
The air box I have is aftermarket. I am including a picture so you can see what it looks like. I don't know if I would need a K&N filter. I have also included pictures of the pipes.
What is this pair mod I have heard of a few times on this forum?

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Do more searching here on the Cafe for more information about the pair mod. What type of nuts are you using on the exhaust flange used with the Cobra pipes? If you are using the stock chrome acorn nuts, they can be bottoming out. Watch for this. If this is happening, to solve it, you just add a few stainless steel washers under the chrome acorn nuts.

Yes, a tuned/rejetted carb will help with this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Do more searching here on the Cafe for more information about the pair mod. What type of nuts are you using on the exhaust flange used with the Cobra pipes? If you are using the stock chrome acorn nuts, they can be bottoming out. Watch for this. If this is happening, to solve it, you just add a few stainless steel washers under the chrome acorn nuts.

Yes, a tuned/rejetted carb will help with this issue.
What I find very odd is that the popping sounds were not there when I rode my bike last time. So I must have done something wrong when I tried fixing all these issues.
The popping sounds are also not there when the choke is on. Can someone please help me make sense of this nonsense?
Would I need any jets if I switched back to stock air box?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update: I think I fixed my issues by replacing the aftermarket air box with the stock one. I also discovered that a vacuum line popped from a spot near the radiator. It probably popped because of the repeated taking and putting back the tank. I just pushed it back and it worked. No more popping sounds. Nothing.
The only issue I am having is that the battery drains fairly quickly. What could be the reason behind this? I did crank up the engine several times today to do some testing. Maybe the battery just needed to be fully charged on a tender.
 

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Update: I think I fixed my issues by replacing the aftermarket air box with the stock one. I also discovered that a vacuum line popped. I just pushed it back and it worked. No more popping sounds. Nothing.
The only issue I am having is that the battery drains fairly quickly. What could be the reason behind this? I did crank up the engine several times today to do some testing. Maybe the battery just needed to be fully charged.
Once you've fully charged the battery, take it to an auto parts place that will do a free 100 amp automotive, not motorcycle, load test. This will tell you the health of your battery. It may show 12+ volts, but have a weak cell or 2, and will eventually cause you problems. The charging system really only charges the battery when you are running at highway speeds. Glad you found the vac leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Once you've fully charged the battery, take it to an auto parts place that will do a free 100 amp automotive, not motorcycle, load test. This will tell you the health of your battery. It may show 12+ volts, but have a weak cell or 2, and will eventually cause you problems. The charging system really only charges the battery when you are running at highway speeds. Glad you found the vac leak.
I simply decided to get a new battery even though this one is only a couple of months old. It only cost around $50 shipped to my door from Amazon.
I hope that now I will start collecting bugs on my teeth because I will be all smiles each time I ride my bike.
 

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I simply decided to get a new battery even though this one is only a couple of months old. It only cost around $50 shipped to my door from Amazon.
I hope that now I will start collecting bugs on my teeth because I will be all smiles each time I ride my bike.
GL with that $50 paperweight. You get what you paid for.
 
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