Oil Leak From My Radiator? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Oil Leak From My Radiator?

Sorry guys, this should have been posted under the Engine/Exhaust/Cooling heading...

Hey guys, I need some help diagnosing a leak. I'm not a mechanic but I'm very handy and I work on my bike and car quite a bit. Over the last week or so when I park my bike I've noticed a clean, oily fluid leaking from the bottom left part of the radiator, just above the fan switch but on the front of the radiator grill where the shroud just turns solid. It's weird because there's no oil coming from the back of the shroud at a lower point. I have the bike on the side stand, but I've also noticed the leak in the same place when I stop but before I get off the bike, while the bike is level.

The fluid is not green like my coolant, and it does look like clean oil. There seems to be a fair amount of leakage, more than a few drops each time, but my oil level is still full.

Any idea on where it's coming from?

HELP!!! And thanks in advance...

Rubyrick

MY BABY...
'05 VN750
16,000 miles +
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DEKA M/F battery
VN750.com Grill Cover
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Clear Alternatives LED brake light
Cortech mini tank bag on rear rack
Pirelli MT66 Tires: 110 front / 150 rear
Splines lubed when tires installed at 10,650 miles
Splines lubed again at 14,400 with stubby valve stem install

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Last edited by rubyrick; 07-06-2008 at 03:57 PM. Reason: wrong thread heading
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 04:02 PM
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You probably can't see up there without pulling the radiator, but one common spot for leakage is from the front cylinder - comes out of the faux hole up by the vent to your airbox. I don't know if there are others causes, but mine (and some other folks') leaks were due to bad o-rings in the spark plug cylinder there on the left side. You might pull it and see if you spot anything untoward - cheap fix if that's the problem.

Good luck!

C
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Cindy. I just checked the the whole left side of the engine and didn't see any sign of a leak. I didn't pull the radiator, but I will be pulling the radiator cover to get a closer look. I haven't done that before, is there anything I should expect to give me a problem just pulling the cover? I will disconnect the fan switch and motor connector prior. Anything else?

Rubyrick

MY BABY...
'05 VN750
16,000 miles +
Kawi tank bib
Kawi rear rack
Small windshield
DEKA M/F battery
VN750.com Grill Cover
LED license plate frame
Clear Alternatives LED brake light
Cortech mini tank bag on rear rack
Pirelli MT66 Tires: 110 front / 150 rear
Splines lubed when tires installed at 10,650 miles
Splines lubed again at 14,400 with stubby valve stem install

Place your mouse on the X below and drag to the O

X
Even though you can't see Him, GOD is there! O
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubyrick View Post
Thanks Cindy. I just checked the the whole left side of the engine and didn't see any sign of a leak. I didn't pull the radiator, but I will be pulling the radiator cover to get a closer look. I haven't done that before, is there anything I should expect to give me a problem just pulling the cover? I will disconnect the fan switch and motor connector prior. Anything else?
Well, that may not be it, then. Hmmm... and you're sure it's oil? Of course, if it just started and you're just now catching it, you might be well ahead of the game (once it starts capturing road crud, it's easy to spot the leak!).

You shouldn't have any troubles pulling the cover (I believe they're 10mm bolts).

Wait, another thought before you do that! At the bottom of the engnie - left side (as you're sitting on the bike), there's the oil temperature sensor. It's a knobby thing that goes into the lower part of the engine - has a blue and red wire coming out with a male connector. It's possible that's just a little loose and you're catching oil out of that. Check and see what's going on there - 17mm, I think. S/B two copper washers - one between the oil line and the engine block, and one between the oil line and the sensor.

C
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 07:41 PM
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Can you take and post any pics of what you're looking at? That would help alot, and get you somewhere a bit faster too.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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I totally cleaned my baby today, took off the radiator cover and got rid of all the grease, etc. everywhere. Besides falling back in love!!, I was hoping to find the source of the leak. I didn't ride at all today, and there was no leaking at all, including around the oil temp sensor.

However, I did notice that the top and bottom of the radiator was weeping an oily/watery fluid for quite a while after I washed and dried it. Perhaps there is no leak but a normal weeping of condensation from the radiator that feels greasy. Could this be normal? I will be riding again soon, and perhaps the leak will be noticeable when the engine warms up.

Rubyrick

MY BABY...
'05 VN750
16,000 miles +
Kawi tank bib
Kawi rear rack
Small windshield
DEKA M/F battery
VN750.com Grill Cover
LED license plate frame
Clear Alternatives LED brake light
Cortech mini tank bag on rear rack
Pirelli MT66 Tires: 110 front / 150 rear
Splines lubed when tires installed at 10,650 miles
Splines lubed again at 14,400 with stubby valve stem install

Place your mouse on the X below and drag to the O

X
Even though you can't see Him, GOD is there! O

Last edited by rubyrick; 07-06-2008 at 10:46 PM.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 750Doug View Post
Can you take and post any pics of what you're looking at? That would help alot, and get you somewhere a bit faster too.
I will try to download a few pics tomorrow after work. Thanks for being there for me. Hopefully this will be a non-issue, but I'm afraid it might be a bit more serious than I can handle myself.

Rubyrick

MY BABY...
'05 VN750
16,000 miles +
Kawi tank bib
Kawi rear rack
Small windshield
DEKA M/F battery
VN750.com Grill Cover
LED license plate frame
Clear Alternatives LED brake light
Cortech mini tank bag on rear rack
Pirelli MT66 Tires: 110 front / 150 rear
Splines lubed when tires installed at 10,650 miles
Splines lubed again at 14,400 with stubby valve stem install

Place your mouse on the X below and drag to the O

X
Even though you can't see Him, GOD is there! O
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 11:30 PM
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Taste the fluid. If it has a sweet taste it anti-freeze. If not then it is oil.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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It's definitely NOT anti-freeze! It seemed oily the other day, but today I didn't see the leak after washing and drying the bike. I'll have to look again after riding, with the engine warmed up.

But could this simply be a normal weeping of condensation from the radiator? Would that condensation get oily as it goes down the radiator fins? It could be mixing with road grime, but the oily fluid seemed too much like clean light weight motor oil.

Rubyrick

MY BABY...
'05 VN750
16,000 miles +
Kawi tank bib
Kawi rear rack
Small windshield
DEKA M/F battery
VN750.com Grill Cover
LED license plate frame
Clear Alternatives LED brake light
Cortech mini tank bag on rear rack
Pirelli MT66 Tires: 110 front / 150 rear
Splines lubed when tires installed at 10,650 miles
Splines lubed again at 14,400 with stubby valve stem install

Place your mouse on the X below and drag to the O

X
Even though you can't see Him, GOD is there! O
rubyrick is offline  
post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubyrick View Post
It's definitely NOT anti-freeze! It seemed oily the other day, but today I didn't see the leak after washing and drying the bike. I'll have to look again after riding, with the engine warmed up.

But could this simply be a normal weeping of condensation from the radiator? Would that condensation get oily as it goes down the radiator fins? It could be mixing with road grime, but the oily fluid seemed too much like clean light weight motor oil.
No condensation here. But if you get more, taste it. When anti-freeze is at high consentration it feels oily.

02 honda sabre 1100
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