moisture in the engine oil....


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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jeffandsharon
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Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Standard with GL1100I hard "saddlebags" and trunk, and, fairing of unknown origin

moisture in the engine oil....

Postby jeffandsharon » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:21 pm



Greetings, I am new here and have found some very good info pertaining to my 1982 GL1100. I have looked in past posts so I am asking for some help. Backround on the bike is as follows: I am second owner, bike has 66,000 original miles and was very well maintained by the PO at all the Mother Honda recommended milage intervals until 2004. Between 2004 and 10 days ago, the bike sat in the PO's garage where it was started regularly (PO says idled until it reached operating temp, then turned off) By the way, the bike lived it's live in Santa Clara, Ca. (San Fransisco Bay area) I got the bike 10 days ago, did the timing belts due to the time they had on them, drained the coolant for replacement, and then comes my suprise, I pulled the oil drain plug and it looks like dark coffee with creamer in it... I did go ahead and changed the oil and filter, added 4 oz. of seafoam and started the bike to fill the cooling system and "burp" all the air out of the cooling system. I ran the bike for 6 cooling fan on/off cycles and until it would not take anymore coolant, installed a new radiator cap, filled the expansion tank and shut it down. The oil still looks a little milky. No coolant going out the tail pipe, spark plugs have a textbook "perfect" look to them. I know this is long winded, but I want to get all the info to all of you I can think of as I am looking for possible ways coolant/moisture might get in to the oil. I know head gaskets or a cracked head are a possibility. IS THERE ANYWHERE ELSE IT COULD BE GETTING IN TO THE CRANKCASE??? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.



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Mh434
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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby Mh434 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:40 am

I'd suggest doing a compression test to rule out head gaskets or cracks (the latter would be extremely unlikely IMHO).

If all is well there, I'd suspect simple condensation (the Pacific Northwet is famous for this - any engine that sits for a long time will get a slug of this goop forming on the underside of the oil filler cap). Running the engine with even a ounce of water in the bottom end will create the milky look as the oil and water emulsify. Changing the oil & filter will get most of it out, but not all.

The oil/water emulsion is much thicker than either of its constituents, and will stick to oil passage walls. Lots of heat (from, for example, a long, hard ride) will create enough heat for the oil to shed the remaining water.

The next oil change, too, will remain the majority of what remains.

Hope this helps...

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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:12 am

As mentioned a really good run getting the bike up to temperature will solve the issue - basically the water/moisture content will evaporate out of the engine given enough time at correct operating temperature. If you take off a valve cover you might find some nice caramel in those as well. Make sure you check the level of the oil quite often - as when the moisture evaporates - then the real oil level will drop to compensate.

cheers

:)

f1xrupr
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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby f1xrupr » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:09 am

Hi....do a study on starting your bike and not riding it-I think you will find it interesting. Faulty water pump seals can mix oil and coolant sometimes-there's a weep hole bottom front of engine that should show wp seal problems (may be clogged). Do as guys above said, and monitor your coolant level closely (you can use a sharpy marker, and check coolant level on same kickstand, and same engine temp every time). You may not have a problem.
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tom84std
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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby tom84std » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:59 am

I don't know who it was, but this little diagram showed up years ago on the net. Note the possible paths and also where the O-rings and seals are. The coolant system is pressurized where the crankcase is not. The weep hole is common, but as was mentioned that if it is clogged, I can see a possible problem. After another oil change and some extended running all residual moisture should be removed, that's if it's not steadily leaking inside. Water in the oil and no oil in the water is possible with a head gasket leak because of the pressurization differential. If it persists, the water pump seal is also suspect but some of that should show at the weep hole. Again, if a coolant leak is present but the weep hole is clogged, it's gotta go somewhere.


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jeffandsharon
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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby jeffandsharon » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:41 am

Thanks everyone for the good advice! I did the compression test, all cylnders were in spec and within 5 lbs of each other. Will run the bike on a few hard rides then change the oil and see what it looks like, all the while keeping a very close eye on coolant level.

Thank you again to everyone!

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jeffandsharon
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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby jeffandsharon » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:00 pm

Good afternoon from Eugene, Oregon! I wanted to let everyone who were so good as to offer expertise in solving my situation with the moisture in the engine oil that it has been solved, and all is good! My '82 is running like a charm!!!

So, it came down to the fact that the PO more than likely did not run the engine for long enough periods of time to ensure moisture was being "boiled off" from the engine oil. After a fresh filter, 4 oz. of Seafoam, and Delo 400SE I rode for approximately 120 miles then put my bike on the lift and changed the oil and filter while the oil was stil VERY warm, I then again took the bike out and rode it reasonably hard for about 60 miles. Bottom line, the oil looks as fresh as new, and there is no drop in coolant level, and, no rise in oil level.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my plea for assistance!
Last edited by jeffandsharon on Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tom84std
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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby tom84std » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:35 pm

Well Jeff I suppose it was just a little scare, but it's always good to be safe and make sure. At the very least now you have very clean pure oil.

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Mh434
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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby Mh434 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:02 am

...and all the acids that were being held in the emulsion are now gone, as well. Happy bike, happy riding! :D

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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:28 pm

This is a perfect example why bikes in storage should not be "started to exercise the engine" or whatever reason owners come up with. Just let the bike sit. You're doing more damage than good by starting it regularly.

You might want to check the condition of your collector box and exhaust. Chances are they are going to have significant internal rust, for the same reason you found water in the oil.

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jeffandsharon
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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby jeffandsharon » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:06 pm

I did look at the collecter box and the exhaust system and to my suprise they both look to be very sound with only very minor surface rust. Again I have to say thank you to all the fine folks here that helped me get around this issue. :D Even though I am a domestic/euro auto mechanic, when it comes to Aisan motorcycle mechanics I am lacking. Once you get past the basics of what all engines need or require to operate the GL engines differ somewhat in design. I think it was more fear of the unknown more than anything else! I am just glad I have my lift, it made the timing belt replacement a snap, without having to stand on my head!

With all the very good information, and with the help and advice of all the great members here, I am sure that I will be able to do whatever it takes to keep this 33 year old lady up and running in very good health!

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redial
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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby redial » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:09 pm

And thank you for closing the loop, and providing us with an update of how/what made the solution work.
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jeffandsharon
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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby jeffandsharon » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:24 pm

Just a few photos to show you all my "82 GL1100! 1982 GL1100 Standard, I am the second owner. PO added the Honda hard bags and trunk,, all of which are Honda. Can not figure out who mand the fairing though. 66,000 original miles After timing belts, radiator hoses, cooling system flush and fill, a Seafoam flush of the engine oil and then a fresh filter and Delo LE the old gal runs like a new bike. More pictures (and better quality pictures) to come as I get he all polished and dolled up!
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toanogreen
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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby toanogreen » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:00 am

As always, the monthly newsletter opened my eyes to knowledge that I really appreciate. I've seen this "coffee oil" in my old truck and just thought it was bad oil (sometimes I try to save and buy the cheapest I can fine). I've not seen it in my bike, but I will be more diligent in checking. I am one that runs the bike a few times in the winter to warm it up, thinking it was a good thing to do. It looks like an oil change and long ride this weekend.

Thanks for the info!

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Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:12 am

toanogreen wrote:As always, the monthly newsletter opened my eyes to knowledge that I really appreciate. I've seen this "coffee oil" in my old truck and just thought it was bad oil (sometimes I try to save and buy the cheapest I can fine). I've not seen it in my bike, but I will be more diligent in checking. I am one that runs the bike a few times in the winter to warm it up, thinking it was a good thing to do. It looks like an oil change and long ride this weekend.

Thanks for the info!


I have a plug-in hybrid car (Ford C-Max Energi), and the engine does not run very often - and when it does, it often runs for only 30 seconds at a time. I always wondered whether it got hot enough to boil off all the moisture out of the oil.

When I changed the oil a couple of months ago, I got my answer. When I opened the oil filler cap, it was filled with that creamy goo. I now make a point of taking it out on the highway at least once or twice a month, to get it really hot.

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Mh434
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1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: moisture in the engine oil....

Postby Mh434 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:47 am

Yup! I've seen this (coffee-with-cream colored sludge on the underside of the oil filler cap) many, many times. I've also found that, after cleaning it off & giving the engine a long, hard run, the oil (at oil change) is nice & clear again. I suspect that the oil needs to run pretty close to the boiling point of water, and stay there for a while, before the moisture will burn off. The considerable agitation of going through the crankcase & transmission, combined with heat, will remove pretty much all traces of the water. The exception is the sludge on the underside of the filler cap, as the cap has no agitation & will not reach the temperature of the oil. So, whatever is left there after the hard run can be wiped off to remove the last traces in the engine.




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