Mystery coolant loss, 07 990 adventure

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by bt390, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. unkle_george

    unkle_george Been here awhile

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    Yes, I just drilled a tiny pilot hole first, then turned a wood screw into the seal. One on each side and that was enough to let me pull it out with a pair of vice grips. Here's a picture of the idea from google:

    [​IMG]
    #21
  2. bt390

    bt390 Adventurer

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    After reading some of the posts and talking with Craig at CJ Designs i have ordered the pump rebuild kit. I will replace and report on the findings.
    I did pull the clutch cover and could not see any noticeable signs of coolant.
    #22
  3. Just Paul

    Just Paul Pro Cat Herder

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    I had the same problem mine was getting boiled away... I replaced the cap with a higher pressure cap and it fixed the issue..
    #23
  4. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    Similar problem with '06 950ADV. About every 100 miles I'll have to top off the coolant. No visual sign of external leaks. No odors. No obvious signs in the oil. Water pump's been done before but bike has 35K on it sooo...

    Watching this closely as I really need to get this sorted out. The bike is addicting.:twitch

    Anyone varify if CJ's is the latest and greatest water pump seal replacement yet? If not, what's the best source?

    :lurk
    #24
  5. bt390

    bt390 Adventurer

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    Report.

    After pump removal I was very surprised to see the wear on the pump shaft.
    the two groves from the seal was almost as pronounced as the snap ring groves.

    the oil never became milky and the oil filter seemed to stay in good condition. (aftermarket oil filter) So apparently since I typically ride for longer periods of time the bike will get up to a good operating temperature and burn off the excess coolant.
    I did not notice any signs of coolant until I pulled the side cover then I could see signs of coolant residue. I would not have believed this without seeing it. I lost and filled the tank three times before pulling down so that is between 1-2 quarts of coolant that I went through.

    I will post some pics of the worn shaft. CJ Designs update kit is in and ready to go.
    #25
  6. marcing

    marcing Adventurer

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    I will refresh this very old topic as I have simillar problem. Coolant loose without indication to the outside. Paper oil filter looks totaly normal and no milk in the oil.
    interesting test I have done - I removed radiator cap and let engine running.. After a while a massive coolant amount went out through this hole. Is it definatelly head gasket ?
    #26
  7. Sumi

    Sumi Long timer

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    Do I get you correctly, that you were running the engine without the radiator cap on the radiator? Because that way it's normal for the coolant to come out from the radiator:)

    Also, even in the event of a wp failure, it's rare that one can see milkshake directly in the oil - I mean oil from the sump or from the oil tank..

    If the filter is not wavy, and you can't see milkshake on the inside of the outer clutch cover, then it's probably a faulty radiator cap. For about $15-20 it's a no brainer to change it and see if it cures the problem. They tend to fail.

    Don't think it's a head gasket issue. On this very forum, I know about 2-3 bike that had a head gasket failure, and there are about 1000 bikes that have not. So it's quite rare IMO.
    #27
  8. marcing

    marcing Adventurer

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    i have replaced a radiator cap last year. I dont think that the engine indicate any overheating ( nothing abnormal- during the slow ride in the heavy traffic radiator fun will on and do the job
    ).
    my friendly mechanic told that the faulty head gasket causing this issue because compression goes to the cooling system.
    So when there is no radiator cap anr the engine is hot and running the colant start going out like from voolcano. At the same time my coolant level in reservoir filling all container... When the bike cools down the level is going down too but vert very slow.
    #28
  9. Sumi

    Sumi Long timer

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    You can tear down the engine if you want to, it's up to you:)

    But!

    The radiator cap is a pressure valve. When it's working normaly, it will open under pressure ( 1.4 bar ), and let coolant flow out (into the expansion tank - it's called an expansion tank, because the fluid in the cooling system expands into this). If the cap is faulty, it will open under a lower pressure, hence let more fluid expand into the expansion tank, eventualy pissing fluid out of the expansion tank overflow. When fluid cools down, it will return from the expansion tank into the radiator, but because fluid has pissed out on the overflow, this will manifest as a coolant loss.

    So. when running the bike without a radiator cap (pressure valve), it's no suprise that it will piss out coolant.

    Also a faulty radiator cap ( this means it can't hold the pressure ) will result in coolant pissing out on the overflow (it's almost like running it without a cap, or with a let's say half rated cap.. it open's under a lower pressure than it should).


    The cap can easily fail in 1 year.

    But yes, if there is a head gasket problem, that would mean that the pressure in the cooling system is way more than 1.4 bars -> pushing out the fluid from the system, into the expansion tank, and then out through the overflow. So it's quite the same symptom. But running without a radiator cap is not a way to prove this (once again, that way you have a 0.0 bar pressure valve, so not only the high pressure intruduced by the faulty head gasket will push out the coolant, but also the normal operating pressure resulting from the operating temperature will.)

    So in other words, when you have a faulty head gasket, it will rase the pressure in the cooling system way over the radiator caps rated 1.4 bar valve, and the bike will be pissing coolant out. But unless you don't know if it's 1.2 bars or 3 bars in the system, you can't know for sure if the rad cap pressure holding capability went down from 1.4 bar to let's say 0.5 bar - and there is still normal pressure in the system, or if it is 3 bar pressure in the whole system due to a faulty head gasket.

    There are however ways to find out if it's a head gasket issue, like attaching a bottle to the radiator's overflow and looking for gas bubbles. By the way probably IDLE rpm isn't enough to generate enough pressure to visibly blow by the 1.4 bar cap with a faulty head gasket.



    Just my $0.02, but it's still easier / cheaper to try a new cap :)
    #29
  10. marcing

    marcing Adventurer

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    Hi.
    Full description what I have done. Engine was worm and turned off.
    I removed a radiator cap. Turned engine on... Expansion tank contained coolant level between min and max. Temperature was raising. Next expansion tank has been filled to the very top by coolant.
    I have never seen the expansion tank to be filled so much since I have had this bike.
    From the hole where radiator cap coming coolant started to blowing out with some bubbles (like air in the system)... It is simmilar to opening the champagne.
    Next coolant has been taken from expansion tank so I had to top it up.
    I have done a test ride today. I checked oil level before started my journey and the coolant level (it was in the middle - so between min and max).
    When I have come back after 110miles oil level is still the same. Coolant level went down about 5mm in the expansion tank. During my ride I caused situation where radiator fan turned on (I was slow riding).

    Is it 100% head gasket ?
    Is there any way to confirm this before I will strip the engine ?
    #30
  11. Whip

    Whip Onward through the fog

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    BTDT

    My bet as well.
    #31
  12. injun

    injun Been here awhile

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    I think everyone missed IT!
    Did you say that you weren't running coolant ( antifreeze ) so maybe the stuff you are running doesn't react like regular antifreeze and you're not seeing the normal results?
    #32
  13. marcing

    marcing Adventurer

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    I use normal coolant (antifreeze).
    When all is closed (radiator cap in place) and I keep coolant level between min and max in the reservoir there is no leak on the outside at all.
    Bike is worming up, radiator fan start running and the coolant level is going up slightly (about 5mm).
    I have done 120miles yesterday and checked oil and water level. Oil level unchanged. Coolant level dropped about 5mm in the reservoir. During that time engine haven't indicated any overheating signs. During slow ride in the traffic the fan turned on a couple of times but nothing abnormal.

    What worried me was when on Saturday I removed a radiator cap ale let engine running and warm. After some time I have noticed that the reservoir tank filled up to the very top (but no leak out over a pipe). Coolant went out through the radiator hole (where normally is placed the cap) and it was showing some kind of bubbles during the blow. It is similar to the opening champagne or volcano :)
    After this blow coolant from the reservoir tank has been taken to the radiator so I had to top it up.
    #33
  14. ICERIDER

    ICERIDER Adventure Rider

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    Hi there,

    I think Sumi has covered everything that's most likely your cause.

    Running with the rad cap off doesnt proove a blown head gasket, because the water pump is forcing coolant up the right side of your rad. The coolant just wants to keep rising with inertia out of the open rad instead of turning through the matrix.

    When you remove your rad cap and the engine is warm it's normal for coolant to release into the expansion tank. This is normally due to the hoses expanding taking up the extra volume of the heated coolant and any air thats in there which then reduce back down to normal size when you remove the cap pushing the hot coolant out.

    Make sure that the surface of the rad where your cap washer acts upon is clean and not corroded. Fit a new cap. This should ensure your system operates at the specified pressure. If there's an issue with your rad cap/rad and your pressure is low then your coolant may be boiling slightly at the reduced pressure. This could result in a small amount of coolant lost as vapour, but I'd have thought you would easily see that coming out of the expansion tank overflow.

    The last thing I'd do is tear the engine apart. I'd start with checking all hoses and joints, especially disturbed joints, followed by a clean-up of the rad cap assy and surfaces, followed by a new wp shaft/seal. Make sure you park your bike over a clean area overnight so you can see if there are any drips. If you're still loosing it after all that I'd put a pressure tester on it when it's cold and see if that shows anything up. Perhaps a small external leak is drying off with the heat and not showing up.

    I could be wrong in the above, but just saying what I'd do.

    Good luck.
    #34
  15. Mikef5000

    Mikef5000 Long timer

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    I noticed today my coolant level is down a bit. I picked the bike up (used '08 with 26k miles) a week and a half ago, and the coolant and oil looked like new, oil at the max mark, and coolant right between min and max.

    Today, after 1000 miles, the oil is still at the same spot, and still looks like new, but the coolant is down to the min. mark.

    I added a bit to the coolant, and checked the (paper) oil filter:

    [​IMG]

    Looks good to me.


    My real concern is that I'm leaving day after tomorrow for a ~1800 mile trip, and I'm new enough to this bike to not have a water pump seal or shaft as a spare/replacement.


    Over the past couple days I've gotten the bike HOT, both days were about 90 degrees, and I got stuck in the mud once, and stuck in traffic next. Neither overheated the bike, but both times were very close. Perhaps that is to blame for some coolant disappearance?!

    I'll just keep my eye on it and hope for the best over the ride.

    If it a slow leak at the WP seal, say 1/2 the overflow bottle every 1000 miles or there abouts, how long till the paper oil filter can cause problems? Any guesses? Are we talking like, a little coolant in the oil will cause major issues, or a lot of coolant? At what point should I begin to panic?
    #35
  16. bt390

    bt390 Adventurer

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    Well I currently have over 30k and the new seal is still working well with not further issues.
    I do intend to pull down this winter to inspect to see how it is doing and also replace the fuel filter etc since I have heard of some issues there.
    #36
  17. atk_nut

    atk_nut and atk_nut_wife

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    So...reviving this old post....

    I've noticed a very slight coolant loss (from mid on the bottle to just below low mark after 600km or so) on my 2010 990 adv.

    I have it in the shop to do the countershaft seal, oil change and valves...so I figured, what the heck, let's have a look at the pump.

    There is noticable water/oil mix directly behind the seal (as in the pic.) But the shaft isn't worn that much. There is a slight groove directly beside the c-clip groove.

    I'm going to replace it anyway, but I just wanted to ask...am I on the right track?

    The bike has 52,000km and the WP has never been rebuilt as far as I know.

    Edit: Oh and there was no noticable water in the oil, and the filter was arrow straight. The only water evidence I've seen so far is behind the wp seal. Most rides are at least an hour at highway speeds.

    IMG_20160519_182152.jpg IMG_20160519_182057.jpg
    #37
  18. gefr

    gefr Life is a trip

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    It seems these new wp shafts are quite hard. The latte mixture though shows coolant is passing through the seal, so the effectively not much has improved.
    Cheers
    #38
  19. rossguzzi

    rossguzzi 990 Adv.

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    The way I see it.

    Get WP kit installed and to be completely safe, replace seals every 50 k kms.
    Change radiator cap every 20 k kms.

    Cheep insurance for a long happy life !
    #39
  20. atk_nut

    atk_nut and atk_nut_wife

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    Ok.....I've done the water pump seal and on the first ride, I lost 50-100ml or so. Can I hope it's just the coolant level settling out?

    I never did change the rad cap because the bottle would continuously fill if it was bad, no?

    Do I need to look elsewhere?
    #40