Ever smashed your radiator? New radiators can cost a few hundred dollars but sometimes it’s not necessary to buy new. A bent radiator can also tweak the plastic and cause stress to other components while ultimately restricting air flow. Obviously if the radiator is leaking, it may be necessary to replace it, but a bent radiator can usually be straighted out with a little patience and finess. This technique will not make the radiator perfect, but hopefully make it look a little nicer and function a little better while also saving some cash.
What happens if the radiator is bent?
- Leaking may occur
- Airflow over the fins is reduced
- Coolant may be restricted and unable to flow evenly, causing the bike to overheat
- Simply looks bad
- Stresses other components such as plastics and other mounts
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Tools needed to fix the radiator:
- 1×2 wood supports
- Flathead screwdriver
- Radiator comb
- Tools for removing the radiator from the bike
Check out some tips in my video and step by step process to help you save some money and get your radiator fixed.
- Don’t put pressure on the inlets and outlets
- Inspect critical areas often throughout the straightening process
- Use soft pressure so you don’t bend a weld
- Place radiator on an angle
- Keep all pressure equal to avoid bends
- Open fins for more airflow- fin straightener
- Purchase a radiator brace
Watch the video
Step by Step Process
- Grab a catch pan of some sort and drain the coolant from the bike (do not do this when the bike is hot)
- Straighten fins as best as possible. (this can be done on the bike)
- Remove the radiator/s from the bike
- Inspect for cracks or leaks of any kind
- Grab a couple boards of some kind and a hammer
- Stand the radiator on edge and support the radiator along the ENTIRE edge.
- Watch for the inlet and outlets. Don’t put pressure on them, it could bend a weld
- Lightly tap the board on the edge of the radiator bracket and work your way down the edge until straight
Take your time and check your progress often. A little pressure can go a long way. Good luck!
If you have any questions, let me know. I would love to hear your comments.