Tips on finding coolant leak - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Tips on finding coolant leak

Hello All,
Just got the bike back up from the stator\ RR replacement. I put some Seafoam in the crankcase and took it around the block to flush out crud from the tuxedo mod.
When I drained the oil the oil had an odd look to it, almost a green tint (like coolant). Could just be my paranoia. I had just changed it before the stator died so it was light and foamy. I did a couple hours of searching on the forum before posting this. I didn't see anythig that answers my question.
So a little history, this spring I replaced the coolant. Since then I've been using coolant. Not too much, I was just keeping an eye on it until I could get around to pulling the tank and then the stator died.
I had been keeping an eye on the oil level and it was not going up so I felt safe there was not a leak into the crankcase. There's never been a puddle under it that Iv'e seen anyway. I'm not blowing white smoke either.

So here's my question. Is there any way to pressure test the coolant system without buying a special motorcycle only adapter? Maybe putting 10-20 psi on the bleeder and checking for air/water leaks with the engine off? I just don't want to do any (more) damage . I thought I'd replace the radiator cap, thermostat but funds are low right now. Besides I don't want to just throw parts at it either.

My second concern is that there is water in the oil. I plan on pouring the used oil into milk jugs and letting it settle out to see if there is a large amount of water . I did notice after draining the oil there was what looked like a film on the window. I was surprised since I had put a couple oz of seafoam in the cc. On the other hand the bike has been parked for a couple months. It sat near the swamp cooler part of that time so that could be the moisture issue.
We're in the 1-teens now and I don't want to take any chances with it this hot.

Thanks for looking,
Yuma
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1994 VN750
Purchased March 2011 with 14,800 miles
Memphis Shades wind screen, saddle bags
Pulled the exhaust baffles
Marbled
Relocated the R/R
Manual ACCT's
AGM battery
Iridium plugs
NGK wires
TPE stator
Tuxedo mod
Shindigen MOSFET R/R

Last edited by 7502Yuma; 08-20-2013 at 11:26 PM. Reason: typo
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 03:57 AM
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Seafoam will not do anything to clean up coolant/water in the oil. It only works on petroleum residue. Also if you did the mod without removing the stator cover, you likely have bits of metal shavings floating around in the engine as well. SeaFoam won't help that, in fact I don't know anything that will, even a complete engine teardown cannot get to every part. There could already be metal bits embedded in the bearings, or plugging up oil passages. Even a tiny bit of metal shavings can destroy and engine. Whenever I take an engine apart, I do it in an area that is almost as clean as an operating room. I clean around the oil filler and drain, and spark plugs real good before removing them, to keep any dirt out of the engine.

I definitely recommend changing the oil several times (use Walmart SuperTech oil, it's cheap) check the oil filter and screen for pieces of metal, and hope you don't find any. Flush the cooling system, and fill it with 100% distilled water for now. Glycol and oil mixed together make glue, and will destroy an engine in a hurry. It has a white color, and looks kind of like cottage cheese. Once it has reached that point, the engine is toast.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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IThanks for your reply. I'm aware that seafoam is only good for petroleum based contaminants . My goal was 2 fold 1-clean up the crankcase , 2- change the oil and filter to remove residual metal particles from the tuxedo mod .
I only became concerned with coolant in the oil when I drained it.

1994 VN750
Purchased March 2011 with 14,800 miles
Memphis Shades wind screen, saddle bags
Pulled the exhaust baffles
Marbled
Relocated the R/R
Manual ACCT's
AGM battery
Iridium plugs
NGK wires
TPE stator
Tuxedo mod
Shindigen MOSFET R/R
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 09:41 AM
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I hate to say it, but it looks like you've got coolant in the oil (master of the obvious...)

Theoretically you could pressure test the cooling system at the air bleed valve, but I don't think it would be a reliable test. The cap is supposed to open somewhere between 10 and 14 psi. A low pressure test may show bleed down, but you can't be 100% sure testing it this way.

Have you done a compression test? My only experience with these kinds of things is on cars and usually the weak point for them is the head gasket. If you've got a significant difference between the two cylinders, I would look there first. You may not have a low cylinder but could still have a compromised head gasket, so you may end up having to change them.

Until you find the culprit, I think you've got the right idea...don't take a chance.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 12:17 PM
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don't forget the water pump on these is internal, water could get into the oil from the impeller seal.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 12:54 PM
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X2...
You can most likely address the situation by removing the thermostat and running without one. I am personally not an advocate of doing so in warmer climates, however, it will somewhat reduce pressure in the cooling system which could stop coolant being introduced into the oil.

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Mods
Voltmeter/clock/temperature gauge
HD Electra Glide Fairing
Earshave/Coastered/CA emissions - gone...
R/R relocated
Nightster seat
Tombstone taillight
Drag specialties turn signals relocated
Sportster progressive shocks... Dropped rear 1 1/2"
Progressive Fork Springs dropped front 1"
NGK plug wires and iridium plugs
Coil Relay Mod
Paint
ACCT to MCCT
Honda Rebel luggage rack
VN800 Handlebars & controls
Screamin Eagle mufflers
F&S Engine Guard & Kury highway pegs
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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I couldn't find a link to the seal replacement except on the engine rebuild videos. Do I have to pull the motor to replace the seal. The ones on the video were behind the impeller.

1994 VN750
Purchased March 2011 with 14,800 miles
Memphis Shades wind screen, saddle bags
Pulled the exhaust baffles
Marbled
Relocated the R/R
Manual ACCT's
AGM battery
Iridium plugs
NGK wires
TPE stator
Tuxedo mod
Shindigen MOSFET R/R
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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OK so I broke out the manual (that thing I forget I have). I found the procedure and I found the mechanical seal at Part and More online. It looks like there is an oring seal that I do not see in the manual or at bike bandit. Does any one know what size the oring is? Could this be where my coolant is getting into my oil?
Thanks for looking,
Yuma

1994 VN750
Purchased March 2011 with 14,800 miles
Memphis Shades wind screen, saddle bags
Pulled the exhaust baffles
Marbled
Relocated the R/R
Manual ACCT's
AGM battery
Iridium plugs
NGK wires
TPE stator
Tuxedo mod
Shindigen MOSFET R/R
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 01:29 AM
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Link to said o-ring?

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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The oring is in the manual . It says to remove and discard, a new one must be used each time . Unfortunately the manual doesn't give part numbers.

1994 VN750
Purchased March 2011 with 14,800 miles
Memphis Shades wind screen, saddle bags
Pulled the exhaust baffles
Marbled
Relocated the R/R
Manual ACCT's
AGM battery
Iridium plugs
NGK wires
TPE stator
Tuxedo mod
Shindigen MOSFET R/R
7502Yuma is offline  
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