ADV950: Bike making coolant?

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by GoNOW, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. GoNOW

    GoNOW Long timer

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    Ok, this is strange. I was just putting around town doing normal around town stuff. Shopping and stuff. All slow. I notice the idle is a little low, so at the next stop, I mess with the idle adjustment a bit. I could only get it to idle at 1800 or 1200 RPM, so I give up on it for now. As I get off the bike, I notice watter dripping. The bike overflowed the coolant. The little tank is full and around 2 cups overflowed on the ground. Strange. The level was fine last time I checked it. The bike showed 5 bars was was not running hot.

    So I go do my shopping and come back in a few hours to find the coolant tank empty. I start it back up and let the bike warm up as I gear up. I can now see a little coolant in the bottom of the tank.

    I drive the bike home. No overheating, and by the time I get home, the coolant tank is at a normal level.

    I just checked the now cooled down bike. No coolant in the tank.

    What is going on here? Failing water pump?

    Thanks for any help.
    #1
  2. YOGOI

    YOGOI Prick

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    Sounds like you've got an air bubble trapped in there somewere. I dont know the exact method to get it out, it involves lifting the front wheel in the air so the bubble can excape.
    #2
  3. PvtIdaho

    PvtIdaho Deck Spotter

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    Check your radiator cap.

    If it's got crud on it, try cleaning it and see if you still get such big variations in your coolant level.

    Cheers
    #3
  4. mastiffdog2

    mastiffdog2 A Bike Addict

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    Can you please expand on this repair concept?

    Thank you.
    #4
  5. GoNOW

    GoNOW Long timer

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    Good idea on the cap. I just checked it, it had some gray moss stuff built up on it. I was able to scrub it off.

    Does the gray moss tell me it's time to do the recall on the water pump?
    #5
  6. jsrider

    jsrider Long timer

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    #6
  7. Autostream

    Autostream Long timer

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    The grey moss is residue from the casting process that most of the 950's seem to have. It builds up on the seals and stops the raditor cap working properly.

    What should happen is the cap holds pressure, lets out excess pressure and sucks water back in to the radiator as the water cools and shrinks. This way the radiator is always completely full. The expansion tanks function is to handle the water that is expanded out and hold it until it is sucked back in.

    if you get enough of this grey crud, moss, residue or whatever you want to call it, the valve will not seal properly so the radiator will not hold pressure properly, may be more prone to boiling the water off and overflowing the bottle. If the seal is not correct the water will also not be drawn back into the radiator as it cools off.

    If the engine is not getting hot I suggest clean the radiator cap and keep topping up the expansion tank up until it stops taking water. All is normal if it is on the lower mark when cold and upper mark when hot.

    if you suspect overheating or fan seems to work erratically I suggest following the link above to bleed the radiator.
    #7
  8. taco

    taco Guest

    I had the "gray moss " ,it was from the water pump wheel grinding against the inside of the pump cover.The wheel is a gray/ black plastic.It might be worth your time to pull the cover and have a look at the wheel as well as the cover to make sure this is not the case.There is a coating on the inside of the cover,if your wheel is grinding it will be apparent.Good luck.:huh
    #8
  9. Autostream

    Autostream Long timer

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    The grey moss is the stuff that builds up on the cap, it is soft to touch and dries to something like fine sand.

    The plastic from the water pump impeller is much blacker, hard and does not coat the seals on the radiator cap in the same way...

    Hopefully this will help you diagnose the problem with less angst and more accuracy.

    Cause it does not help with my black plastic...was not there at 7500km when I changed coolant, but grey stuff was. This time at 15000k have little grey stuff left, but now black plastic. Pulled waterpump - OK, pulled thermostst...ok??? anyone else know where this plastic may have come from?
    #9
  10. YOGOI

    YOGOI Prick

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  11. rightsideup

    rightsideup Get your motor running...

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    I've been dealing with similar symptoms for a while...
    Firstly, as others have said, raise front wheel 24" and purge sytem of air. Then ride the bike and see what happens.
    The level in the overflow tank should rise slightly as the engine gets hot, it should return to where it was once the bike cools as the return valve in the radiator cap allows the vacuum in the system to draw coolant back in.
    The grey sludge on the cap can stop this happening as it stops the return valve opening - straightforward so far.
    One thing to watch and which (in hindsight) can tell you a lot is, if the coolant isn't returning from the overlow tank, once the bike is cool and you take of the radiator cap s l o w l y you'll hear/see air being either sucked into the system or blown out. If it's sucked in it's most likely the radiator cap return valve that's blocked (the level will drop slightly too) but if you see bubbles coming out through the overflow tank you're likely to have bigger problems.
    I replaced the radiator cap and hoped for the best but the level of in the tank kept climbing under hard use, the radiator had a lot of air pressure in it too - seems it's either the head gasket, water pump or a crack in the cyclinder liner... I'll keep you posted.
    #11
  12. bfulmer

    bfulmer Adventurer

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    Did you check your oil? Make sure it's not a grey foamy mess! I had the idle problem along with it running slightly hotter as my water pump starting taking a crap.
    #12
  13. jsrider

    jsrider Long timer

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    When I flushed my coolant I was careful to bleed the radiator by raising the front wheel. Today I rode home from work, parked the bike on its side stand, turned off the ignition, and was greeted by the reservoir emptying itself onto the garage floor.

    There were small amounts of the "gray moss" in the coolant before I flushed it. I cleaned the radiator cap at that time. Now there are little dark gray flakes in the coolant. Can't be sure, but they seem darker in color than the moss, and larger (though still pretty small, ranging from specks to little flakes). Am I looking at a water pump teardown :-( ?

    Bike is an '04 and has 7300 miles on it.
    #13
  14. Autostream

    Autostream Long timer

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    Just been through this myself...

    Been cleaning the "Grey Moss" out for some time and suddenly got greeted by what I thought was black plastic! Oh great! waterpump....I thought..

    So I take the bike to the Dealer and show a bag full of coolant with this black stuff...he tears the water pump out, no probs. Checks thermostat and it's full of the stuff but not the source????

    Pulls the Radiator and that has some in it too...???

    Turns out the stuff disolves in HOT water and they cleaned it out as best they could. Discussed the issue with KTM Tech Guys and they say they have seen it too and it is all part of the same old left over casting residue...

    I guess it is a fine line between knowing if it is water pump or "residue", if it dissolves in HOT water it is not waterpump...

    Gee you get a lot of stuff for free with this bike...:huh
    #14
  15. jsrider

    jsrider Long timer

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    Tried this test. The black bits just settle to the bottom. Sigh...I assume this is a "park the bike straightaway" type of failure.
    #15
  16. jsrider

    jsrider Long timer

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    Pulled the water pump cover. Lots of silver sludge inside, but nothing dark or black. Impeller wheel looks like new. Drained coolant from radiator: silver scum floating on top, but again nothing dark or black. Do I a) put the coolant back in and ride, b) put new coolant in and ride, or c) replace water pump shaft just in case? I'd really like to avoid C and just ride the effin' thing now that it's spring.
    #16
  17. YOGOI

    YOGOI Prick

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    How many miles on the bike??????
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  18. jsrider

    jsrider Long timer

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    7500. Coolant only has about 50 miles (plus a winter's sitting) on it.
    #18
  19. Autostream

    Autostream Long timer

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    My suggestion...for what it's worth.

    Clean as much of the grey stuff out as you can. Very hot water will flush most of it it from the radiator but you have to take it out and shake it about.

    Let the grey stuff settle in the coolant yuo drained out and pour it off the top or strain it through a fine cloth or similar being careful not to put the grey stuff back in. As long as you don't lose too much and dilute the coolant it will be fine.

    The grey stuff has nothing to do with the waterpump, it is casting residue.
    #19
  20. YOGOI

    YOGOI Prick

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    2nd that. or just put some new coolent in it. (its cheep). It took me 2 coolent flushes to get all the gray stuff out. plus it stuck to the sides of the overflow bottle, so I took it off, threw a few nuts and bolts in there, and shook it around until all the gray gunk was gone.

    I did the new pump shaft at 20,000 miles. I wasn't using water, but the shaft had the wear marks like others have reported.
    #20