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superduke forum • View topic - Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

problems . solutions . product reviews . tips
DougFir
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Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby DougFir » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:32 pm

Hey Guys,

Trying to track down a coolant mess on my 2008 SuperDukeR with under 17,000 miles.
I cleaned the engine case today looking for the leak.
Started the bike and got it hot e-nuf to run the fan at 7 bars.
Was going to ride it to get it hot but it is raining outside, so opened the garage door and ran it.
Could not find any leak from the engine case, hoses, overflow bottle or radiator and turned the engine off.
Floor was dry.

As I was sitting there for a few minutes thinking my next move, a small puddle formed on the floor.
It came from an over flow hose that ends in the side support for the battery, aimed directly at the exhaust.
I think the other end of the hose is connected to the overflow bottle, but is hard to see.

Am I over filling the over fill bottle?
Or is there more to it.
Have to say the fill bottle is hard to get a read on.
I did check the radiator cap rubber gasket for the typical crud.

Cheers, and hope all is well with all.
Last edited by DougFir on Mon May 04, 2020 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
HD 165, DT! 250, RM250, SR500, Kaw GPZ 750, Husk 430, TT500 DS, Ninja 600R, GSXR 1100, GSXR 750, Ninja ZX7R,
XR400 DS, Ducati ST4S, Suz Bandit 1200, KTM EXC 300, XR650R DS, KTM EXC 300, Tr Tiger 885, KTM SD 990, KTM ADV 950, CBR1100XX KTM 200 XCW

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RichUK
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby RichUK » Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:19 pm

Maybe.. the bottle doesn't actually need much in it. I keep mine on the minimum level.

The idea is that it only uses the bottle if it needs to and then sucks it back as it cools down. If the level is moving much then you are either racing or you have air trapped between the cylinders, or have a head gasket leak as was the case with mine. :shock:

DougFir
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby DougFir » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:07 pm

Thanks for the reply.
All good info.
How did you know about the bad head gasket?
What test did you use?
Compression leak down and pull the radiator cap off and look for bubbles in the coolant?

Bought this bike used and no record of how old the coolant is or what it is.
Was thinking of a coolant flush with new coolant and radiator cap for starts, but it would be nice to check for the bad head gasket first.

Had the head gasket go bad on my 93 SAAB 900 and it hydro locked, could not turn the engine over.
Pulled the spark plugs out to pump the coolant out. Glad there was not a car in the next parking spot because coolant shot out 10 feet.
Oppps... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
HD 165, DT! 250, RM250, SR500, Kaw GPZ 750, Husk 430, TT500 DS, Ninja 600R, GSXR 1100, GSXR 750, Ninja ZX7R,
XR400 DS, Ducati ST4S, Suz Bandit 1200, KTM EXC 300, XR650R DS, KTM EXC 300, Tr Tiger 885, KTM SD 990, KTM ADV 950, CBR1100XX KTM 200 XCW

mojodog
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby mojodog » Sat Apr 18, 2020 11:04 pm

Flush it and burp it, you can search for the procedure. Its not hard, you just have to get the front wheel about 20" off the ground.

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RichUK
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby RichUK » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:44 am

On mine the engine would not stay burped.
Once you have air trapped between the cylinder you start to get a lot of liquid movement in the coolant catch tank. Get the front wheel nice and high and then undo the top bleed bolt on the water pump and allow coolant to flow for a few seconds to clear any air.

Mine was a very small leak on the rear cylinder. It would first put combustion gas between the cylinders, which is then trapped there and can cause a hot spot. Then when that was full it would go into the radiator, all the time this is happening it expels coolant into the catch tank. It also defeats the pull back mechanic as the radiator will remain slightly pressurised even when cold. Eventually enough coolant is expelled to drop the radiator level about 2 inch from the filler, and that point it was stable. The coolant vent hose always looked wet after a ride and one day I actually saw bubbles rising up through that overflow tank.

Eventually I accepted it had to be a head gasket so I tooled up to do the job. I started the strip down and once I'd got to the plugs I did a leak down test whilst watching the coolant level at the filler, which I'd first topped up.
BTW - The leak down test was just a means to put pressure in the cylinders and not to actually test the leakage. This head gasket leak was way too small to test for like that. The front cylinder took 80 psi for a few minutes with no change.The Rear only needed 60 psi for about 30 secs before I could see the coolant level rising.

I changed just the rear head gasket and it sorted it. The level in that tank doesn't seem to move at all now, and the radiator stays full to the top.
If I were to buy another 990 I would check the rad level straight away now.

Yours will likely be that it just hasn't been burped properly, or it could even be that your radiator cap is faulty so change that if it continues doing it after burping it.
Everyone told me that these engine are not prone to head gasket failures, even my local KTM dealer did... so I guess I was just unlucky, but if burping doesn't sort it (or the rad cap) then IMHO it's time to test for a small head gasket leak.

DougFir
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby DougFir » Sun Apr 19, 2020 2:39 pm

Wow, thanks Rich.
Spot on info from what I have been researching.
Will have to do a good flush and burb and hope for the best.

Cracks me up how KTM aligned the end of this over flow hose from the catch can to aligned with the exhaust pipe as an early warning system. Smell that ?

I have had two gremlins with this bike from when I bought it used.
One I fixed which was a broken ground wire lug at the battery.
There are two ground lugs, and the bad one was the wire harness lug, not the battery lug.
I took the battery out for a good charge and the broken lug fell off the wire harness and hit the steel work bench with a PING, and I thought, what was that?
I could tell someone has been in that lower rats nest before looking for the gremlin from the look of the big connector being pried apart.
Cost to fix, less than $1USD.

The second is this coolant leak.
So glad I did not replace the engine side case gasket where I thought the leak was.
Hope like heck I don't have the head gasket leak, but that is fixable too.

Thanks again Rich.
Last edited by DougFir on Mon May 04, 2020 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
HD 165, DT! 250, RM250, SR500, Kaw GPZ 750, Husk 430, TT500 DS, Ninja 600R, GSXR 1100, GSXR 750, Ninja ZX7R,
XR400 DS, Ducati ST4S, Suz Bandit 1200, KTM EXC 300, XR650R DS, KTM EXC 300, Tr Tiger 885, KTM SD 990, KTM ADV 950, CBR1100XX KTM 200 XCW

DougFir
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby DougFir » Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:10 pm

Just back from a shake down ride with the dribbling duke after flushing the old coolant out with distilled water and burping it.
It does run cooler now...adding some oil helped too.. :cry:
I found a leak in the gasket.
Looks like I need to fix that even if I do have a bad head gasket.
I have the gasket so might as well get with it.
Took some photos but don't have a way to post on this sight anymore but I did post them up on ADVrider if anyone want to see them.
Post #736 ?

https://advrider.com/f/threads/shedd-sk ... 91/page-37
HD 165, DT! 250, RM250, SR500, Kaw GPZ 750, Husk 430, TT500 DS, Ninja 600R, GSXR 1100, GSXR 750, Ninja ZX7R,
XR400 DS, Ducati ST4S, Suz Bandit 1200, KTM EXC 300, XR650R DS, KTM EXC 300, Tr Tiger 885, KTM SD 990, KTM ADV 950, CBR1100XX KTM 200 XCW

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RichUK
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby RichUK » Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:24 pm

First thing I would do is to check all of your hoses on that side. It might even be the thermostat housing itself that is leaking.

I had to replace all of the hoses that connected to my thermostat as the previous owner obviously noticed a leak so just put additional hose clamps on there, which just chewed them up more.... nice...

First job of last season was to replace almost all of the coolant hoses, followed shortly after by the head gasket.. this season I'm hoping for a trouble free year... which TBH is likely as we aren't allowed out... :mrgreen:

DougFir
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby DougFir » Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:56 am

Wise advice on the hoses.
I found one spot where it was leaking on the main large gasket, might be called the clutch cover gasket.
Behind the water pump there are two coolant ports into the engine and the port towards the front, the out most edge is where I noticed the leak.
Looks to me like someone else has had this cover off, as I found some pry marks made getting the cover off.

My riding bud lives down the road and is a trained KTM mechanic.
I took the side case down for a visit and we installed a new water pump seal.
I already had the big case gasket, cleaned every thing up for a quick reassembly, but one of the alignment dowels is missing.
I am having a hard time thinking that I lost it, more like is was missing before I took it apart.
I looked at a drawing from an on line parts supply house from BikeBandit and located the dowel pin.
Trouble is the drawing show's two dowels but the bill of material only calls out one as the quantity.
I need to find another assembly drawing to know if this assembly uses one or two dowel pins.
I guess the KTM shop should know.
The engine does have two machined locations for two dowels.

I asked my bud if he has ever replaced a LC8 head gasket and he said no.
We do know early LC8 had cylinder base gasket problems due to missing washers / stud stretch / tork problems.
HD 165, DT! 250, RM250, SR500, Kaw GPZ 750, Husk 430, TT500 DS, Ninja 600R, GSXR 1100, GSXR 750, Ninja ZX7R,
XR400 DS, Ducati ST4S, Suz Bandit 1200, KTM EXC 300, XR650R DS, KTM EXC 300, Tr Tiger 885, KTM SD 990, KTM ADV 950, CBR1100XX KTM 200 XCW

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RichUK
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby RichUK » Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:28 am


DougFir
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby DougFir » Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:31 pm

That's great news, Rich, thanks again.

I will have to take a good look around for a missing dowel here.
When I pulled the case off, I did have to do a little wiggle waggle because I left the oil screen in the engine case.
I could have lost the dowel then.
Will have to look for sure if the dowel is resting inside the engine before closing thing up. :shock:
One of the dowels is still in the side case, and we tried to remove it to get the side case to sit flat on the work bench when we were installing the pump shaft seal, but it was so tight we just left it in.
HD 165, DT! 250, RM250, SR500, Kaw GPZ 750, Husk 430, TT500 DS, Ninja 600R, GSXR 1100, GSXR 750, Ninja ZX7R,
XR400 DS, Ducati ST4S, Suz Bandit 1200, KTM EXC 300, XR650R DS, KTM EXC 300, Tr Tiger 885, KTM SD 990, KTM ADV 950, CBR1100XX KTM 200 XCW

DougFir
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby DougFir » Mon May 04, 2020 1:42 am

Got my bike all buttoned up and put on more than 200 trouble free miles.
Fresh coolant and burb.
New radiator cap.
New water pump seal.
New dowel pin to replace the lost one, that I found on the floor. :roll:
Two new O rings on the water pump pipe.
New large side case gasket, sealed the pressurized ports, oil and coolant with 3 Bond sealant.
Had to replace the water pump housing gasket after trying to reuse old, had leak so installed new.
Fresh oil and filter.

Now I can finally give it some love it deserves.
Spent the last two hours doing so.
After a general cleaning I took off and wire brushed the bolts holding the rear rotor that a PO painted orange.
I feel so much better not having to look at that sort of ratty lip stick.
A few more rusty screws to address and it's looking respectable.

Thanks again for the help!

Awesome !


Cheers!
HD 165, DT! 250, RM250, SR500, Kaw GPZ 750, Husk 430, TT500 DS, Ninja 600R, GSXR 1100, GSXR 750, Ninja ZX7R,
XR400 DS, Ducati ST4S, Suz Bandit 1200, KTM EXC 300, XR650R DS, KTM EXC 300, Tr Tiger 885, KTM SD 990, KTM ADV 950, CBR1100XX KTM 200 XCW

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RichUK
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby RichUK » Mon May 04, 2020 9:13 am

Glad you're sorted now.

I did my rear rotor bolts too as they do tend to suffer. First I hit them with the dremel (with a brass wheel) but they didn't come up bright enough so next it was out with the silver paint. Did the heads of the front caliper bolts too and they look like new again.

DougFir
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Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:02 am
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Re: Coolent Mess on Engine, Frame, Exhaust

Postby DougFir » Tue May 05, 2020 10:31 pm

Pulled my rear rotor bolts out, one by one, scraped what was left of the orange paint with a knife, then clamped the bolt in the vice and had at it with a hand wire brush.

Happy , happy. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
HD 165, DT! 250, RM250, SR500, Kaw GPZ 750, Husk 430, TT500 DS, Ninja 600R, GSXR 1100, GSXR 750, Ninja ZX7R,
XR400 DS, Ducati ST4S, Suz Bandit 1200, KTM EXC 300, XR650R DS, KTM EXC 300, Tr Tiger 885, KTM SD 990, KTM ADV 950, CBR1100XX KTM 200 XCW


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