coolant leak - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-23-2009, 09:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Gresham Oregon
Posts: 41
Default coolant leak

So I had a leak the other day and can't find it. I need some help with some basic diagnosis.

I was riding to work engine braking down a steep incline to a stop sign and noticed what appeared to be steam. I immediately pulled over and killed it and steam was coming from all sides of the motor. It was as if the hose to the top of the radiator had a leak and the wind blew it all over the motor.

I noticed the overflow was still at a decent level and waited a bit. I was close to home so I went back and rode soft.

Jumped on my wife's bike and headed out to work.

when I got home I pulled the tank off to get a good look and couldn't find anything. I am hesitant about how I approach this one as I do not want to over heat the motor.

So first off any suggestions? how would I go about pressure testing the line?

Question 2: When I rode soft home when I got back there was no steam. The engine temp light never came on. So does the water pump always run or only when the temp gets above a certain point?

If it always runs then I could start it up and look for the leak.

Question 3: If I had an over fill of coolant it would only go into the overflow tank...so as long as the overflow tank has space then the system in not over pressurized right? Is there an overflow valve that could wear out? I don't see one in the bike bandit drawings.

Question 4: The water pump is mechanically driven from the motor and there is no way of running it without the motor correct? I guess this is the same as question 2.

I am kinda at a loss other than trying something I think is stupid. I am thinking other than pressure testing all I can do is I should fix a temp line from either my tank or something that safely holds gas to my fuel line so I can leave the tank off and turn it over and warm it up and see if I can find the leak.

I incidentally have access to a number of pumps so if there is a recommended place to put one inline I could probably rig something up.

Thanks
-T
__________________
'94 VT1100C
'01 VLX600
T_Dawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-23-2009, 11:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
navillustoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: LaGrange, Ky.
Posts: 423
Default

There's a tool for testing coolant systems for leaks. It's an air pump that seals to the radiator in place of the radiator cap. It will show you where the leak is. Here's an example:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=65053

If the engine is running, the water pump is pumping. You could start it up as long as you're sure you haven't lost all the coolant. I'd top off the radiator first.

The overflow tank is a reservoir for the coolant that is forced out of the radiator when it expands from the temperature rise. The reservoir then feeds it back into the radiator as the cooling system and engine cool down.
It's possible that the overflow hose is where your leak is, check that first! I recently read where some forum member replaced his original hose with a stouter hose because his sprung a leak, so it's entirely possible that's your problem too.
There are no overflow valves that I know of, check the hose!

You can run a remote fuel line from the tank to the bike, just make sure there are no leaks!

Brian
__________________

1995 VT1100C
navillustoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2009, 01:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LEAVENWORTH WASHINGTON
Posts: 5,286
Default

Check the cross over hose between the cylinders, if it's leaking there's a how to somewhere on the forum,,,now that's a big help isn't it.
__________________
Ted
SHADOW 1100T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2009, 02:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 133
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHADOW 1100T
Check the cross over hose between the cylinders, if it's leaking there's a how to somewhere on the forum,,,now that's a big help isn't it.
I would take it to the dealer and see if they can track down the leak and then get the parts that need replacing. This is what I did for my cross over tube leak.

The how to for the cross over tube is a sticky at the top of the page. If it is the crossover tube you should see some discoloration on the lower part of the motor (probally on the kick stand side).

Are you seeing any fluid on the ground when you go out to the garage/shop?
oldschoolsoldier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 08:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Gresham Oregon
Posts: 41
Default

Fan thermo switch failed. System over pressure caused boiling coolant out of the filer cap.

Added switch to manual override until parts arrive.
__________________
'94 VT1100C
'01 VLX600
T_Dawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2009, 11:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Champaign, Illinois
Posts: 3,456
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_Dawg
Fan thermo switch failed. System over pressure caused boiling coolant out of the filer cap.
And during all that time, did you NOT have an overheat indication.....light or gauge ?? You didn't mention that in your first post.

If NOT, something else has failed too.....like the pressure cap or the warning/gauge sender......because you should get an overheat warning BEFORE steam starts pouring out everywhere.
Easy Rider 2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2009, 01:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 127
Default Re: coolant leak

[quote="T_Dawg"]So I had a leak the other day and can't find it. I need some help with some basic diagnosis.

I was riding to work engine braking down a steep incline to a stop sign and noticed what appeared to be steam. I immediately pulled over and killed it and steam was coming from all sides of the motor. It was as if the hose to the top of the radiator had a leak and the wind blew it all over the motor.

I noticed the overflow was still at a decent level and waited a bit. I was close to home so I went back and rode soft.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You should have had an over filled overflow. Might check the hose coming from the radiator fill cap to over flow to be sure it is not stopped up or pinched. Or it could have a hole that was letting the antifreeze out. And again your radiator cap might not be holding correct pressure. Even if fan was not coming on the over flow tank should have been full & if it has a hose the excess anti freeze should be coming out of it.

Reed
__________________
1986 VT700C (Bought new in 1989)
w4jz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2009, 01:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Gresham Oregon
Posts: 41
Default

My over flow went up after I topped of the system but was not "overfull" after a test ride. Due to the top off durring the inspection part it is higher now in the overflow than before and just barley now above the limit but there is still a lot of space in the overflow tank. Before I ride anymore I will be draining at least some of this. So the over flow is working but may be clogged and not working good enough.

Anyway the cap failing under pressure exactly explains the way and the where the steam was coming from originally. I was concerned about the thermo there. It was my first thought to check this but turning the fan on fixed everything.

I have priced out changing out most of the major components and it is around $500...so I am still riding the VLX. I may pull the other parts and test them at work first.

About 7k miles ago the system was "redone" before I bought it. It is clear the hoses are all young but the thermos may have been left alone.

In any case it only happened when the pump was run fast and no fan on. Even without the fan on when it is warmed up but idling there is not enough pressure to fail. Even at mid throttle the pressure doesn't get too high. Only after I rev the motor up and have the fan disconnected does the cap overflow. That is why engine braking caused this to show up.



Also for easy_rider... I am sorry I didn't mention not seeing something. No my heat indicator light is not coming on. I would have mentioned that if it had. I think I have a preasure problem not a temp problem ( I know they are related...PV = NRT).

My fan thermo may actually be fine and I have too much coolant in there. I never had any problems with that, never touched it, coolant always looked clean in overflow tank. I don't know exactly what changed. I did rejet and change my pipes recently and that may have the engine running hotter..I have a lot more power and that can't be free.

Thanks for the feedback. I know where the coolant is coming from by doing the stupid idea which saved me $80. Now it is just...do I spend 500-700 re-running the entire system or do I fix things as they fail? I have always thought there are 2 kinds of mechanics out there...
__________________
'94 VT1100C
'01 VLX600
T_Dawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2009, 01:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LEAVENWORTH WASHINGTON
Posts: 5,286
Default

Get a cap and see what happens, if you need to get a thermostat and see what happens, never fix a whole bunch of stuff and never know what it was that caused the problem and it's highly doubtful it's the coolent pump they seem to last a very long time. The fan only comes on when the engine is very very hot so they last a long time also. Your thinking you have a BIG problem, big problems are nothing more than a lot of small problems, fix them one at a time and make it easy on your self.
__________________
Ted
SHADOW 1100T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2009, 01:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eagle, Idaho
Posts: 306
Default

Give a quick glance at the oil, just to make sure there's no water in the oil from a headgasket leak. Oil should not be milky looking
__________________
Retired MSgt USAF
mallege is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:05 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.
Motorcycle News, Videos and Reviews
Honda Grom Forum Harley Davidson Forum Honda 600RR Kawasaki Forum Yamaha R6 Forum Yamaha FZ-09 Forum
1199 Panigale Forum Roadglide Forum Honda CBR1000 Forum Vulcan Forum Yamaha R1 Forum Yamaha R3 Forum
Ducati Monster Forum Harley Forums Honda CBR250R Forum ZX10R Forum Star Raider Forum Yamaha Viking Forum
Suzuki GSXR Forum V-Rod Forums Honda Shadow Forum Kawasaki Motorcycle Forum Star Warrior Forum KTM Duke 390 Forum
SV650 Forum BMW S1000RR Forum Honda Fury Forum Kawasaki Versys Forum Drag Racing Forum Ducati 899 Panigale Forum
Suzuki V-Strom BMW K1600 Triumph Forum Victory Forums Sportbikes BMW NineT Forum
Volusia Forum BMW F800 Forum Triumph 675 Forum MV Agusta Forum HD Street Forum Suzuki GW250 Forum
Yamaha Motorcycles Victory Gunner Forum Honda Vultus Forum