Dirt cheap air filter cleaning

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Turbojoe
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:35 pm
I ride: 2004 Vulcan 500
Location: Mesa, AZ

Dirt cheap air filter cleaning

Postby Turbojoe » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:56 pm

I don't know how most of you wash your stock air filters but this is how I do it. (Did it again today.) DAWN brand dish washing liquid. I've tried other brands and they simply don't work as well as Dawn. I use the "Direct Foam" product now but have used the standard stuff in the past with equally good results. The other brands just don't cut it for oil removal so don't waste your time with them. I still have a couple of the K&N "Filter charger" service kits but no longer use the caustic K&N cleaner. That stuff is NASTY! I do use the K&N filter oil but when I run out I'll use good old fashioned engine oil as suggested by Kawasaki. No need to wash the filter in smelly kerosene or any other hard to store chemical. If you use Dawn to wash the filter in the kitchen sink the wife, girlfriend, boyfriend etc won't get upset because there will be no obnoxious odors and you'll probably leave the sink cleaner than when you started. Squeeze the filter in an old towel until dry. Hit it with your favorite oil, slam it back in the bike and you're ready to go!

Joe
The nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind.....

2004 Vulcan 500

dtpilot
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:44 pm
I ride: 2006 Vulcan 500

Re: Dirt cheap air filter cleaning

Postby dtpilot » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:57 am

I used the regular Dawn dish detergent to clean the air filter on my "new" 2006 Vulcan 500 this weekend. As noted by the OP, it removed all the oil & gunk from the filter quickly & completely. Much better than gas or other nasty solvent. Someone else on this forum mentioned using Pledge as a general bike cleaner. I've used Pledge to clean all my motorcycles for the last 30 year years. It's cheap, easy to use and works very good. Old bath towels, cut up into smaller pieces, work best with the Pledge for a nice clean & shine. Back in the day, Mom used to wonder where all the towels went!

SE Road King
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:22 pm
I ride: '07 Black EN500c Ltd

Re: Dirt cheap air filter cleaning

Postby SE Road King » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:13 pm

Has anyone come up with a work-around for accessing the air filter, it needs to be easier to remove. My '07 is quite complicated to get to. And, I see some stuff at undue risk to premature wear because they need disassembly at every access to the air filter.
SE Road King
Cedar Creek Lake, Tx.
'80 XS650G, '02 FLHRSEI, '07 EN500C LTD
Standing Silent and Proud for East Texas PGR and North Texas PGR
The worst day riding beats the best day working.

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Triangles
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Re: Dirt cheap air filter cleaning

Postby Triangles » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:21 pm

I believe it's simply remove the side pod cover and pull the filter out. What is in the way on yours? That reminds me I need to clean mine.
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User avatar
Turbojoe
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:35 pm
I ride: 2004 Vulcan 500
Location: Mesa, AZ

Re: Dirt cheap air filter cleaning

Postby Turbojoe » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:43 pm

The biggest complaint I see from people trying to remove the filter is that they have trouble pulling the starter solenoid out of the way. A quick squirt of WD-40 or even window cleaner on the bracket allows the rubber mount to slide off easily. Just don't be careless when moving the solenoid out of the way and shove the wires against the frame and short it out. I've never had a problem but if you're concerned then by all means disconnect the battery first. (That would also be a good time to check the battery terminals for corrosion too.)

Joe
The nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind.....

2004 Vulcan 500

SE Road King
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:22 pm
I ride: '07 Black EN500c Ltd

Re: Dirt cheap air filter cleaning

Postby SE Road King » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:50 pm

There is a combination electrical relay mounted that blocks the element from easy access. This block contains the relay for the starter and a main fuse to the electrical/charging circuit, and more. Two guarded lugs from the battery and to the starter must to come off of the relay portion and a couple other terminals connect there as well must be removed. Here the access is tight and orientation is critical, it is contained in a pliable rubber type harness of sorts that then must be pried loose off of 2 sheet metal tabs. I have the temperament to get the relay free and reinstalled without fail, but this seems like a very problematic area for the skills of many of the riders out there. Plus, the lugs, posts to the relay, it's harness and the external boot do not possess the robust quality for continuous disassembly.
My question is more to finding an alternate location and possible re-wiring solution that is out of the way to where I loose the cover and pull the filter out for servicing.
Last edited by SE Road King on Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
SE Road King
Cedar Creek Lake, Tx.
'80 XS650G, '02 FLHRSEI, '07 EN500C LTD
Standing Silent and Proud for East Texas PGR and North Texas PGR
The worst day riding beats the best day working.

SE Road King
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:22 pm
I ride: '07 Black EN500c Ltd

Re: Dirt cheap air filter cleaning

Postby SE Road King » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:55 pm

Turbojoe wrote:The biggest complaint I see from people trying to remove the filter is that they have trouble pulling the starter solenoid out of the way. A quick squirt of WD-40 or even window cleaner on the bracket allows the rubber mount to slide off easily. Just don't be careless when moving the solenoid out of the way and shove the wires against the frame and short it out. I've never had a problem but if you're concerned then by all means disconnect the battery first. (That would also be a good time to check the battery terminals for corrosion too.)

Joe


The wire routing does not allow me to simply pull the relay with the wires attached. I will however look to reroute and or replace a wire or two. That certainly beats tearing it down all of the time.
Thanks to all.
SE Road King
Cedar Creek Lake, Tx.
'80 XS650G, '02 FLHRSEI, '07 EN500C LTD
Standing Silent and Proud for East Texas PGR and North Texas PGR
The worst day riding beats the best day working.

User avatar
Turbojoe
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:35 pm
I ride: 2004 Vulcan 500
Location: Mesa, AZ

Re: Dirt cheap air filter cleaning

Postby Turbojoe » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:27 pm

SE Road King wrote:
Turbojoe wrote:The biggest complaint I see from people trying to remove the filter is that they have trouble pulling the starter solenoid out of the way. A quick squirt of WD-40 or even window cleaner on the bracket allows the rubber mount to slide off easily. Just don't be careless when moving the solenoid out of the way and shove the wires against the frame and short it out. I've never had a problem but if you're concerned then by all means disconnect the battery first. (That would also be a good time to check the battery terminals for corrosion too.)

Joe


The wire routing does not allow me to simply pull the relay with the wires attached. I will however look to reroute and or replace a wire or two. That certainly beats tearing it down all of the time.
Thanks to all.


Has there been any re-wiring done to the bike? Admittedly it's very tight on mine but I don't have to take anything apart or do any more than slide the solenoid off and hold it out of the way. I replaced my battery with a home made Lithium Ion pack early on. The cable length is not quite as restricted so maybe that's why mine is easier. I really don't recall having to take anything apart before I went to the Lithium Ion battery though. Maybe I'm just lucky on mine.

I need to do some service to mine next weekend including the filter so I'll try to shoot some step by step pictures when I do.

Joe
The nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind.....

2004 Vulcan 500

SE Road King
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:22 pm
I ride: '07 Black EN500c Ltd

Re: Dirt cheap air filter cleaning

Postby SE Road King » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:16 pm

Turbojoe wrote:
SE Road King wrote:
Turbojoe wrote:The biggest complaint I see from people trying to remove the filter is that they have trouble pulling the starter solenoid out of the way. A quick squirt of WD-40 or even window cleaner on the bracket allows the rubber mount to slide off easily. Just don't be careless when moving the solenoid out of the way and shove the wires against the frame and short it out. I've never had a problem but if you're concerned then by all means disconnect the battery first. (That would also be a good time to check the battery terminals for corrosion too.)

Joe


The wire routing does not allow me to simply pull the relay with the wires attached. I will however look to reroute and or replace a wire or two. That certainly beats tearing it down all of the time.
Thanks to all.


Has there been any re-wiring done to the bike? Admittedly it's very tight on mine but I don't have to take anything apart or do any more than slide the solenoid off and hold it out of the way. I replaced my battery with a home made Lithium Ion pack early on. The cable length is not quite as restricted so maybe that's why mine is easier. I really don't recall having to take anything apart before I went to the Lithium Ion battery though. Maybe I'm just lucky on mine.

I need to do some service to mine next weekend including the filter so I'll try to shoot some step by step pictures when I do.

Joe


If so it was done by the Kaw Shop in Sherman, Tx. The gent I purchased it from had little to do with the bike other than to take back to his dealer, I have the records from that shop on this bike and nothing close to electrical work was ever performed, the w/o's are all service and tires. I did pull the battery lead and it is formed to the only route it could take for its length, which is too short to pull the relay. I will make another one an inch or so longer and look at releasing the other wires from the coupler and rerouting them.
SE Road King
Cedar Creek Lake, Tx.
'80 XS650G, '02 FLHRSEI, '07 EN500C LTD
Standing Silent and Proud for East Texas PGR and North Texas PGR
The worst day riding beats the best day working.

User avatar
Triangles
Site Admin
Posts: 796
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:35 pm
I ride: '94 Black Cherry Vulcan 500, '06 Candyfire Red Vulcan 500 LTD
Location: Toledo Ohio
Contact:

Re: Dirt cheap air filter cleaning

Postby Triangles » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:52 am

SE Road King,
I see what you mean, Must have been an engineering afterthought. Pretty stupid to put the starter relay in the way of removing the filter.The battery wire on mine goes to the front (of bike) of the starter relay, down under the relay and then back up to the + battery terminal behind the relay. The positive battery terminal should be on the same side of the bike as the relay.
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