Oil in Radiator - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2014, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Oil in Radiator

I have a 1986 VN750 with what appears to be straight motor oil in the radiator coolant reservoir. I am wondering how bad this is. Do you think just draining the oil, flushing, and refilling will take care of it? Thanks for your thoughts.

The rest of the story, if you are interested. I had the stator replaced last year, near the end of the season here in Iowa for about $500. Started riding it this year and it died on me at work. The battery was about 5 years old so I thought that was the problem. Got a new battery and thought the problem was fixed. It died a few days later on the way home and found out the new regulator was bad. $40 for a replacement regulator install and I once again thought the problem was fixed. Also, it was leaking oil and I asked the tech. to take a look at that while he had it. The tech. said it was leaking at the seal around the pickup coils and Kawasaki did not make that gasket anymore. So I agreed with him that it would be good to try some sealer at the leak without removing the engine. My son was riding it this weekend while I was gone and it died on him. He had to hauled it back home. He checked the radiator fluid reservoir and said he thought it looked like oil in it. I checked it when I got home and it appears to be straight clean motor oil in the reservoir. Going to talk to the mechanic tomorrow.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 06:53 AM
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Drain that puppy out and check the radiator. Sometimes uneducated people put oil in there thinking its where oil goes.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 09:04 AM
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Maybe he is a Harley guy because yep, we have an oil tank under our seat. However, it sure isn't made of plastic doh!

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by M_Angell View Post
Drain that puppy out and check the radiator. Sometimes uneducated people put oil in there thinking its where oil goes.
Yep, mine had fresh oil in the coolant tank when I bought it, missing the cap for the tank too. Luckily, it hadn't run since the oil was added.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 11:44 AM
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hmmmm...I wonder if he put coolant in the crankcase then????
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-10-2014, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Oil in Radiator Update

I talked to the mechanic today. I am pretty sure he did not put oil in the coolant reservoir. He seems to be pretty competent. The only other possibilities I can think of are, someone else put oil in there (doubtful) or a head gasket is blown. Haven't had time yet, but I will drain the radiator and see if there is oil in it next.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-11-2014, 08:30 AM
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You'd see oil all over the place if you had a blown head no?

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-11-2014, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coachdurbin View Post
I talked to the mechanic today. I am pretty sure he did not put oil in the coolant reservoir. He seems to be pretty competent. The only other possibilities I can think of are, someone else put oil in there (doubtful) or a head gasket is blown. Haven't had time yet, but I will drain the radiator and see if there is oil in it next.

Are you seeing oil under the bike, around the engine or heavy blue/white smoke coming out of the exhaust?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Goofyfoot2001 View Post
You'd see oil all over the place if you had a blown head no?
not necessarily. It could be oil in the coolant, coolant in oil,, exhaust gas pushed into the oil passages, or into the water jacket, or both, or oil burned out through the exhaust, coolant in the exhaust, both, neither, the mixture of the two can emulsify into "chocolate milkshake" or sometimes it doesn't, even coolant outside the block... Heads/gaskets can do any combination of the above depending on where and how they leak.

I'd pull the drain plug just to check if some idiot filled it all with oil somehow. If not, then syringe it off or top off the coolant to see how much oil is floating on top. Run the engine a bit and repeat. Then ride it and see if it gets more oil into the water.


Last edited by Hexadecimus; 06-13-2014 at 02:56 AM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-13-2014, 07:48 AM
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Just drain everything and refill. Best way to be sure.

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