Coolant leaking... - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Coolant leaking...

I have coolant coming from the overflow tube that hangs down below the engine. I have recently changed the coolant and thought I over filled the radiator so I drained some out and drained some from the reservior but I still have the problem. I first noticed it would actually drip from the overflow tube after riding but now it seems to blow back onto the rear portions of the bike while riding but not while sitting. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 03:45 PM
 
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Possible that you still have too much coolant, and the system is still overflowing after it reaches operating temperature and the thermostat opens.

Also, check all lines, hoses, fittings, etc. that you fiddled with when you replaced the coolant to make sure everything is OK.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 05:15 PM
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That can be indication of bigger problems like a blown head gasket but don't rush to that judgement. Was the reason for the fluid change just maintenance or were you having a problem? If it was just maintenance and the problem showed up after you changed the fluid, the following may help.

First, the radiator is supposed to be full, right to the neck, and NOT have any air in it which just aids in corrosion. That was the point of going to an overflow bottle on cooling systems. As the water warms it expands and all excess is pushed out to the overflow bottle. As it cools, it draws that back into the system, never allowing air to be in the cooling system.

Check the small diameter hose from the radiator neck to the overflow bottle for cracks or leaks. Especially where it connects to the radiator, the heat can tend to embrittle it making it prone to cracks and/or not sealing well to the spigot on the radiator. Also, check the cap itself. I usually replace the cap when I change fluid because they tend to get a ridge in the gasket where it has been seated and once disturbed, may not reseat properly. The purpose of the pressure cap is to raise the boiling point of the water so, if it doesn't seal, the water boils at 212 deg. F. (or less at higher altitudes). Bikes can run hotter than that in traffic and even as they approach that indicated coolant temp, localized hot spots may exist, such as in the vicinity of the exhaust ports, that can boil locally if the cap isn't maintaining pressure on the system. When the water boils, it expands tremendously and this will push the water out the cap to the overflow, symptoms similar to a blown head gasket. If you let it get too bad and the engine coolant gets low enough, it WILL blow the gasket or crack the head or do other real serious damage. Obviously, look for any other leaks. Hope that helps.

A note on buying pressure caps: Honda, for one, charges about $25.00 for a cap. Their neck is a very typical Japanese type that can be found on Mitsubishi and other brands of Japanese cars. I can't say for sure on other bike makes, but my last three speced in the manual to be a 13-16 PSI cap, and is the same as most later model Mitsubishi cars. Match yours up if you can because they're only about $5.00 at the parts store.

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Last edited by Dad; 10-24-2001 at 05:45 PM.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 12:13 AM
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the fzr400 uses a honda accord radiator cap. if you can find out the part # for the yzf and fzr, e-mail me and i'll get you the cap # for the accord.

by the way, are you filling at the radiator, or the over-flow. if you're fill at the over-flow, stop. drain it and re-fill at the cap.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
 
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It was just routine maintenance is the reason for changing it. I did not see any oil in the coolant or vice versa. I will check the cap and see, the line from the filler neck looks o.k. and is supple. I did fill it at the radiator first then the overflow, as the FSM recommends.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RobG
It was just routine maintenance is the reason for changing it. I did not see any oil in the coolant or vice versa. I will check the cap and see, the line from the filler neck looks o.k. and is supple. I did fill it at the radiator first then the overflow, as the FSM recommends.
On some overflow bottles it's not easy to see the "cold" and "hot" fill lines. I assume you only filled to the "cold" level line not to the top of the bottle. If you overfilled the bottle, it will push out the excess as you described. Let us know what you find. Good luck.

Keeping the "Hap" in "Happy Holidays"!

Regime change begins at home.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 02:37 AM
 
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I had the exact same problem with my cage - CHECK FOR AIR in the system. Make sure if there are any bleeders that you bleed the system. Good luck!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-25-2001, 02:53 AM
 
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Rob, did you use motorcycle specific coolant. Aluminum engines require silicate free coolant. Automotive coolant will cause leaks usually in the water pump. Yes, I know from personal experience. Air in the system is another likely cause. I had that problem on a Honda Accord although it looked full then suddenly dropped after I drove it a while. We pressure tested the system and found no leaks. You may want to have a shop pressure test your system as a last resort.

Rick
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