Sprung a Leak - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Engine / Exhaust / Cooling
\ From the radiator, through the case and out
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Sprung a Leak

Took the bike out for a nice cool Florida ride yesterday, a treat we seldom savor here in my beloved swamp state. All was going well until I pulled off to check out a little rural street festival in Macclenny and saw that the bike was pissing coolant at me!

BAD DOG!

Looked a little closer and saw that it was indeed hot coolant in a piddly little stream coming from the right side, base of the front jug, right at the cylinder base gasket. CRAP! Looks like I'm gonna put a JB-Weld band-aid on it because I sure as hell ain't tearing the engine out to properly replace the gasket anytime soon.

I'll post more as I progress. If it works I'll ride it until it leaks again or something else breaks, if not... I guess I'll have to start planning for a cylinder base gasket replacement or shop for a new bike. (I've been wanting a KLR or some kinda dual sport for all too long now...)

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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here's some pics. it's really only pissing like that when the temp needle is about halfway, any lower it's slowly seeping.

as you can see, though, that's pointed directly at my right foot. I'm surprised that I didn't get scalded and only noticed it when I got off the bike. lucky break for sure
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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scrubbed the engine paint off near the leak at the seam, sprayed it with rubbing alcohol, and applied JB QuikSteel to the leaking area, which was still actively seeping fluid very slowly.

it's ugly and is the WRONG way to fix this, for sure, a literal bandaid, but we'll see if it holds. I already got it halfway up to temp standing still and it didn't seem to be leaking for the moment; only a few heat cycles will truly tell whether this fix is good

either way, the stick of quiksteel is gonna reside in the saddlebag for a while now, just in case

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 06:32 PM
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I used JB Weld on a Mazda truck,on a water pipe between the engine and the fire wall it was still holding when I got rid of it years later. It with stood hot rush hour traffic. Good luck it may fool you.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-08-2019, 07:02 PM
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With the antifreeze under the JB Weld, it will probably seep a bit, then eventually come loose. Doesn't hurt to try it and see.

Very clean, dry, paint-free works best. If it's smooth, use some sandpaper on it.

I JB'd chunks back into a 2-stroke case and it worked fine, was still there when I sold it. Think I forgot to tell the buyer too, damn!

The chain flew off and broke the three bolt bosses out on the chain guard. Wouldn't have held oil without the JB. Rode it a long time like that.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I didn't realize until I was already applying the mixed steelstik epoxy that the hole was still seeping coolant while applying it, which will probably ultimately hurt adhesion and promote seepage, but it seemed to hold after a couple hours and was unfazed by my attempts to pick it off, so it seems to have gotten a good hold on the surrounding aluminum

my next thought may be to try a bit of silicone on the leak, then reinforce that silicone with a casing of the JB weld so that the coolant isn't coming into contact with the epoxy, but we'll burn that bridge when we get to it (aka: if/when the coolant starts leaking again)

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 03:43 PM
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Mine started leaking in April, but it never got passed weeping. I decided to take the winter season to replace the gasket. I didn't want it to start leaking into the engine oil.

https://www.vn750.com/forum/70-proje...ad-gasket.html
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for linking to your thread, I knew somebody around here was tearing into the job but couldn't remember that it was you

I don't know if I'll get around to the proper repair, honestly. I don't have a garage, my dad does, but he's 2 hrs away, and I've been hankering for a new offroad-capable bike for a while now. I've had the engine out before, and I really don't want to do it again

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-09-2019, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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it wound up falling right off ans eeping today when I got home from work. round 2, drained the coolant, cleaned the area, then applied silicone gasket maker to the area. I'll let it dry then encase it in JB weld again, see if insulating the coolant from the jb weld helps

may be time to sell with a disclaimer...

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-10-2019, 01:40 AM
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Just add a small funnel where it's spraying out and redirect the flow to a convenient sump ... like say ... the coolant reservoir!

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