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Old 01-05-2015, 04:02 PM   #1
Brainsss OP
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Question White crud in coolant overflow??

Hey all -

Took a peek inside my coolant overflow tank today and was surprised to find the mouth of the container lined with white mayo-y crap - pretty much exactly the same stuff I once found on my crank case breather tube on top of the airbox.

Figured I was looking at an oil-in-coolant scenario - blown head gasket maybe? Went to check the coolant level in the radiator, though, and it's full to the brim! And seemingly residue free. I just don't understand how the overflow tank would get gunked up and the rad wouldn't. I'm stumped.

I think water pump is unlikely as I checked the oil filter not 50 miles ago and the pleats were straight as an arrow. No coolant-smelling smoke or anything either.

Two things that might factor in - I had a leaky rad cap for a while, which caused some coolant loss, and after replacing the cap I topped up the old coolant with fresh engine ice. Made sure to follow proper procedure raising the front end and all that. Not sure what the old coolant was... could mixing the two have caused something strange to happen?

The OTHER thing is that, after fixing a leaking oil sender switch, I topped off the oil and I think I put in a little too much, just so that when the bike is hot the oil in the sight gauge is just slightly over the max line. Didn't think that it was a major issue, but I wonder if too much oil in the crankcase caused some kind of blowout somewhere? Not sure if that would account for the white junk on the breather tube as well.

Apart from the mystery mayo, the bike is running great. No weird sounds, no smoke, no trouble shifting... knock on wood, of course.

Any insight from the fine folks of this forum would be WELCOME. and thanks a ton
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:25 PM   #2
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Oh, forgot to mention - bike is a 2006 with 20k miles.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:25 PM   #3
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Mine had the same weird crap in it too?
Was worried it was oil but nothing in the motor and seemed too white to be oil water mix.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:03 PM   #4
chasbo
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Pull the clutch cover and check for coolant there. Also, the pleats on your oil filter will be wavy when there is water in the oil. Those are the two best ways to check. I would generally suspect your water pump needs to be rebuilt with the year and mileage of your 950. Do the checks ASAP.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:39 PM   #5
Dustodust
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I found that oil in the water is usually getting in through the inner clutch cover gasket . Sometimes the mechanic doing the water pump rebuild re-uses the clutch cover gasket.
the inner clutch cover can also get warped or come loose but less likely than just gasket failure
An excess oil pressure event (like from overfilling) can force oil into the water passage past the gasket when it is in a compromised condition

water in the oil is most likely from the water pump seal

you can check the flatness of the clutch inner case with a precision straightedge like a steel drafting ruler
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Dustodust screwed with this post 01-05-2015 at 10:51 PM
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Old 01-06-2015, 05:51 AM   #6
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So I'm hearing that this doesn't sound like a head gasket? Nothing would make me happier... Esp with only 20k on the thing

I'm the second owner of this thing and truthfully have no idea whether the water pump has been done already. A rebuild has been high on my list of maintenance items for a while, guess it just got moved to number one! I only wish my bike hadnt started this bs literally the same day I put in an order for my sweet new jet kit, which I guess is going to have to wait another week.

You guys think there's a chance that letting some oil from the tank to reduce crankcase pressure would stop the leak, if it is in fact the clutch cover gasket? Or is it more a "when it's gone it's gone" kind of scenario?

Thanks again for the excellent insight
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Old 01-06-2015, 05:58 AM   #7
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It's never overheated, and this is happening after about a three week period of it having been unusually not ridden, as opposed to after any hard riding.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:11 AM   #8
chasbo
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I think your best bet would still be to pull the filter and the clutch cover before you decide on a course of action. Verify what is wrong first.
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:38 AM   #9
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Started in on the WP teardown yesterday - sure enough when I pulled the outer clutch cover I got an eye-full of the yellow brown gunk.

The coolant itself was pretty clean, except for a few tiny globs of emulsion floating in the overflow tank. No clogged hoses or anything too dramatic.

So my follow up question is: what's the best way for me to flush the oil system to make sure that all the coolant is out of there? I haven't had any oil pressure problems and the coolant doesn't show any visual indication of water contamination, so I'm sort of theorizing that the leak was slow enough to burn off the water when the oil was up to temp. Is it stupid to reuse the oil? What about straight up oil change? Or best to flush the oil with cheap stuff and then drop in the fancy synthetic junk? If I do flush with cheap stuff, do I have to worry about residual crappy oil causing problems down the line?

Sorry for the bombardment of questions, and thanks for helping out a noob!

Word to the wise, when buying a used bike that you're not sure about the maintenance on... You WILL have to do EVERYTHING. These things really don't like having their service intervals neglected, huh? Good thing they're so much fun to work on!!
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:53 AM   #10
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As for flushing the oil system: buy some cheap a$$ oil in the right viscosity range, and then your preferred oil and an oil filter kit. Most dismiss the KTM kit, but this bike is new to you - as is mine. I bought the kit and used all the parts in it to renew the bike. Now the maintenance is at zero and you know it's been done. I like to ride with a clear conscience and knowing that I replaced all the wear items.

Back on track...drain the oil and coolant. R&R the WP - I used the CJ Designs kit - refill with coolant. Leave the oil filter cavity empty and fill with your cheap oil. Run the bike for 20 minutes to bring it up to temp (4-5 bars or until the fan comes on), then drain the oil. Refill with the good stuff and put the filter in this time.

You should be good to go now.

My cheap a$$ oil was the Walmart brand stuff in a 10W-40 viscosity. Close enough as I let the bike run in the garage and didn't stress the engine. If there's any residual left, there won't be enough to degrade the quality of the good stuff you put in.

No worries about questions...I bought my 2004 in October with 34k on her. They're a learning experience, but easy to work on due to the quality of the product itself.

If you want to see what I've done, check out the link in my sig. Happy trails!
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Old 01-25-2015, 01:58 PM   #11
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I did a WP rebuild last week. It's not too bad. Definitely heat the cover up and cool the bearings down. Made it easier to get them installed.
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:38 PM   #12
mcstark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwik View Post
I did a WP rebuild last week. It's not too bad. Definitely heat the cover up and cool the bearings down. Made it easier to get them installed.
+1000

This part made me cautious, but it went very smoothly. Took a couple hours for the kitchen to stop smelling like BMW Airhead.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:42 PM   #13
mroddis
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Bbq

I used my BBQ to avoid tipping my wife off that I was "cooking" bike parts. Worked great!

Matthew.
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Old Yesterday, 05:55 AM   #14
Brainsss OP
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Ha! Yeah thankfully in my home the kitchen is pretty much my domain...

I'm mid-rebuild on the pump. When I (finally!) got the shaft and seal out the whole bearing bore was full of delicious mayo garbage. Delightful! Guess the shaft was bad after all.

The parts kit I bought didn't seem to include the large circlip that locates between the two bearings, though. Any idea whether reusing that piece could knacker anything up? I can't think of any reason it would, but then again I know virtually nothing about anything on these bikes!

Thanks gents
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Old Yesterday, 11:06 PM   #15
Qwik
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Mine was definitely in need of replacement.

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