new problem! starting to get pretty mad at this bike... - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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new problem! starting to get pretty mad at this bike...

the trials of a 20 year old bike...

anyway, started up the bike, let it idle for a bit to warm up. mount it. look to the right side and there are two small puddles of coolant on the engine by my right foot. not sure what to call that part of the engine? its flat so coolant could collect there... i shut it down and looked at my oil sight guage and it was frothy and milky. i know this means water/coolant is in there. so maybe not the smartest move, but i wiped up the coolant puddles and went for a short spin and i never saw anymore coolant on the outside. i had never seen the coolant leak before either. bike hadn't been ridden in about two weeks.

so i dodged engine pulling with my electrical issues.... now i am bracing for probably a pull due to something else, huh? or is there any chance it could just be moisture and the coolant leak was a fluke? haha!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 04:51 PM
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was it actually a coolant? , maybe something got spilled onto it?
what about oil level? is it higher?

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Anton.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 04:54 PM
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Was the coolant near the small chromed pipe that connects the right side cover to the crank case? If so, an O ring may have let go. There are 2 per pipe end, not just one.
As far a coolant in the oil, it could be several things. From worst to best case scenario:
1: Blown head gasket-requires engine pull and about $100 in parts if only one jug double if both. You would probably want to get the heads checked for warps if it is the head gasket.
2. Leaking head gasket- not quite as bad as fully blown but close. Either way it requires and engine pull and the same parts.
3. There is another paper gasket between the cylinder and crankcase that could be the problem. Cost is slightly more than replacing just the head gasket as both the paper and head gasket will need to be replaced but at least assumption can be made that the heads are not warped.
4. The mechanical seal that separates the oil pump from the water pump has failed. This would only require the right engine cover to be removed which can be done without pulling the engine. The seal is about $25 or so plus shipping if ordered plus the cost of replacement O rings and the right side cover gasket. Remember what I said about the paired O rings on the connector pipe?? At least one set will have to be replaced. The Kaw manual has a better write up of how to replace the seal than the Clymer's IMO but as usual YMMV.
Hope it's the seal.

Jim W
93 VN 750 "Ursula"
Moved R/R 08Sep06
R/R rewire 17Feb07
New R/R, Installed 14Jun08
New Stator installed 10 Jun08
Maintenance Free Battery 12Jan08
21480 Miles
VROC #8542
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 05:13 PM
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have you drained the oil to double check its color and viscosity? also is the raidiator fluid brownish?

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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yeah def coolant. bright green.

it actually sitting on the flat surface on top of the right side engine cover. i could not tell where it came from at all unless it leaked out of the seam under where it was sitting.

i have not yet drained the oil. the oil is the color of coffee with creamer. the coolant in the resevoir is normal bright green.

it very well could have been near the pipe on the right side from the cover to crank case. i'd have to look though.

thanks! i hope its the easiest fix. and i really appreciate everyone on these boards. i'd be lost and extremely frustrated without you all. owning thsi bike is teh most mechanical experience i have ever had. leanring so much. just wish i didn't have to!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-01-2006, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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so how should i go about trying to figure out this problem? start with draining the oil? what do i look for? put new oil in?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-01-2006, 10:08 AM
 
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Coffee with creamer? That would be opaque...but is it dark or light?

There are several places coolant could leak and end up on the RH engine cover area.
1) The coolant hose connections on top of the frame (where the filler cap is)
2) The metal tube in the top of the fwd cylinder (o-ring seal)
3) The coolant drain port in the fwd cylider body

You need to drain the oil and find out if there is coolant in it or not.

The times I have seen oil with water in it:
1) after sitting for several months an older car had a lot of consensation in the block, on start up the oil got a little milky looking, but not frothy. And this effect went away as the heat for the engine evap the water out of the block
2) A blown head gasket. The oil was opaque, light brown and watery (coffee with a lot of cream is a good description) AND there was thick white/light tan froth on top...not foam like on a capacino...more like marange or whipped cream.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-01-2006, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imnohero
Coffee with creamer? That would be opaque...but is it dark or light?

There are several places coolant could leak and end up on the RH engine cover area.
1) The coolant hose connections on top of the frame (where the filler cap is)
2) The metal tube in the top of the fwd cylinder (o-ring seal)
3) The coolant drain port in the fwd cylider body

You need to drain the oil and find out if there is coolant in it or not.

The times I have seen oil with water in it:
1) after sitting for several months an older car had a lot of consensation in the block, on start up the oil got a little milky looking, but not frothy. And this effect went away as the heat for the engine evap the water out of the block
2) A blown head gasket. The oil was opaque, light brown and watery (coffee with a lot of cream is a good description) AND there was thick white/light tan froth on top...not foam like on a capacino...more like marange or whipped cream.
well it seems like it could be a blown head gasket if going by that description. the oil in the window looks light brown and had a weird foamy froth on it. if so it happened out of nowhere because it was fine the day i parked it and then all i did was fix the r/r connector and start it up and it was like this. it had sat for two weeks. i dunno if moisture could build up that fast. it is in a shed not a garage. but the fact that coolant had leaked on the right side leads me to believe there is a problem. it seemed to run just fine. not sure if a blown head gasket cause a bike to run badly?

so i guess my next step is tomorrow or tonite i will drain the oil and see what's up and report back.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-01-2006, 05:33 PM
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Don't forget the mechanical seal. The oil pump and the water pump are powered by the same shaft and the only thing that separates them is a couple of ball bearings and the mechanical seal. If it goes, oil can get into the coolant fairly easy.
Has the bike really overheated lately? That can cause the blown head gasket.
I am also thinking it could have come from one of the other areas where O ring breakdown could cause the cross over.

Jim W
93 VN 750 "Ursula"
Moved R/R 08Sep06
R/R rewire 17Feb07
New R/R, Installed 14Jun08
New Stator installed 10 Jun08
Maintenance Free Battery 12Jan08
21480 Miles
VROC #8542
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-02-2006, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky Rider
Don't forget the mechanical seal. The oil pump and the water pump are powered by the same shaft and the only thing that separates them is a couple of ball bearings and the mechanical seal. If it goes, oil can get into the coolant fairly easy.
Has the bike really overheated lately? That can cause the blown head gasket.
I am also thinking it could have come from one of the other areas where O ring breakdown could cause the cross over.
how do i tell if its the mechanical seal? i guess i should look at a diagram to see what it looks like.
and i did look at the bike and it could very well have been leaking from the chrome connector tube on thr right side, but since i wiped up where it initially leaked it hasn't done so again.

no overheating at all. never been over the halfway point.

oil in the site window looks normal until start it up for a second and then when it drains back down it looks milky.
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