Coolant in exhaust


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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RhinoWing
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:00 am
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 InterState

Coolant in exhaust

Postby RhinoWing » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:10 am



Hello Everyone. I have not posted for a while because was busy trying to get my Wing mobile. Some background......... I had bought used engine with cylinder heads fitted (new rings, cylinder head gaskets new bearing etc). I fitted the engine to the frame and had a mechanic friend set the valve clearance and sync the carbs. The carbs would not sync perfectly, but was set near enough although not as smooth as it should be because the mechanic thought one of the slow jets might be blocked. I thought i woud add some fuel line cleaner to a tank of gas and see if it clears the carbs. I then drove some one and half kilometres to the gas station to fill the tank and add the fuel line cleaner. On the way the heated up and i noticed white smoke coming from the right exhaust pipes. i drove the bike the one kilometre home and parked. The heat gauge went up but did not reach the red but the fan came on.....now did I blow the cylinder head gasket? I did a compression test and got 190 PSI on cylinder one and 170 PSI on all the other cylinders. Yesterday I started the bike again after having some starter and solenoid issues. The bike started up after a bit of struggle but idled at 950 rpm. I noticed white smoke again on the right exhaust, but not much. I let it idle, watching if it heats up again. the needle went to halfway then the fan came on, but then the white smoke became more and the bike started idling very rough and eventually cut out. the white smoke looked like steam. I then noticed coolant dripping from the connection between the headers and the tailpipe of the exhaust. I then pulled the plugs. #1 was wet and the rest was fine. I then cranked the engine and indeed water sprayed from cylinder #1, not a lot though.
What could this be?..............Please help!!!!

Kevin


Ride like the Wing!!!!!



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David-Mantle
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:33 pm
Location: Grimsby , England - United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100AD
1980 CB400N

Re: Coolant in exhaust

Postby David-Mantle » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:02 am

White smoke is indicative of steam as you rightly say , in some cases you can actually smell the anti-freeze ( glycol ) which is sweet. The fact that it is dripping coolant confirms the head gasket is shot. When you strip the head to repair ask an engineering shop to check the head for flatness . They can be skimmed but only if the degree of warpage is slight. A good engineer should know how much to remove if necessary. If the other head shows no problems I suggest to leave alone.
Just a thought - hope it helps.
The only silly question is the one you don`t ask. Everything else is game.

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RhinoWing
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:00 am
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 InterState

Re: Coolant in exhaust

Postby RhinoWing » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:32 am

Hi David,
Thanks for the reply. These are copper gaskets and it seems strange that the engine had only heated up once and not into the red and the gasket is blown. I have checked the torque settings and they are correct. Can these gasket not be re-used? These part are very scarce in South Africa. Hoping that the head does not have a crack, but if it's compression testing at 190 PSI, then maybe not.

Kevin


Ride like the Wing!!!!!!!!!

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dingdong
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Location: Oklahoma City
Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
1993 gl1500
2004 NRX1800 Rune

Re: Coolant in exhaust

Postby dingdong » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:23 am

I would be looking for the cause of the one cylinder being 190lbs. Way too high. Generally high compression is caused by carbon build up but in your case ???
Tom

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David-Mantle
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:33 pm
Location: Grimsby , England - United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100AD
1980 CB400N

Re: Coolant in exhaust

Postby David-Mantle » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:22 am

The gaskets are a composite and are NOT re-usable . You may have to use an international supplier for new gaskets - there are many available and the prices can vary. In the UK , where I am , I use David Silver but there are others available both here ,U.S. Japan and many other countries. One piece of advice I should give you is to try and buy genuine Honda instead of cheaper copies. The quality is a known factor with Honda whereas pattern parts can be risky.

You say that - "it seems strange that the engine had only heated up once and not into the red and the gasket is blown." but you bought a used engine right? Can you say with any true certainty that the engine has not had problems before and what history do you have for it? It is always possible that the engine was pulled from a bike because the engine had a fault in the first place. Do not be put off though because if this is the only problem with it and it is fixed correctly then the engine should be good for many thousands of miles with no further trouble. While you are at it check the oil strainer , located on the side of the engine under a small rectangular plate for any metallic fragments or sludge. It might give you an idea of what you are dealing with regarding the engines internals.
It had new head gaskets fitted? Were they put through a heat cycle then re-torqued before the engine was used normally. When I fit new head gaskets I usually run the engine with distilled water , bringing it up to full working temp. Then let it cool over night and re-torque head and change the water for the correct anti-freeze mixture. I got this tip from Randaarks home page and have done this for every water cooled engine build , not just Wings but for CX`s , Kawasaki engines and a couple of car motors I have worked upon.
The only silly question is the one you don`t ask. Everything else is game.

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RhinoWing
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:00 am
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 InterState

Re: Coolant in exhaust

Postby RhinoWing » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:17 pm

Hi David & Dingdong,
You are correct. I don,t know the history of the engine, but this guy has a chopshop and builds cafe racer for resale. He was rebuilding this engine for a project bike. Still I think it would be wise to get a new OEM gasket.
Dingdong could the cause of the high PSI be from the water on the piston perhaps?

Kevin


RIde like the Wing!!!!!!!!

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1fastgl1100
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:33 pm
Location: Ocala, Florida
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A and 1982 GL1100A Modified

Re: Coolant in exhaust

Postby 1fastgl1100 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:43 pm

One thing I note if the gasket is copper and the block and heads are aluminium these heat differently and as the temp rises the copper may be allowing an opening which closes as it cools.
I would pull both heads and replace the gaskets with OEM Honda gaskets. while at it I would clean the piston tops (with brake parts cleaner) and check Cylinder's for any grooves or scratches. have you seen any coolant in the oil?

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RhinoWing
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:00 am
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 InterState

Re: Coolant in exhaust

Postby RhinoWing » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:44 pm

I have removed the head. The gasket looks fine to me, but I will take it to a machine shop tomorrow to have them check for me. There is no scratches or marks in the compression chambers and minimal carbon on the pistons. The head surface is nice and shiny, so it looks like it might have been skimmed before. What I did notice though was that the bigger o ring on the oil restricter is missing. Could this be the cause of the coolant in the exhaust? There is also coolant in the oil.

Kevin


Ride like the Wing!!!!!!!!

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1fastgl1100
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:33 pm
Location: Ocala, Florida
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A and 1982 GL1100A Modified

Re: Coolant in exhaust

Postby 1fastgl1100 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:47 pm

Coolant in oil and white smoke w/ sweet smell of coolant indicates in all likely hood a blown head gasket. It does not take much and can easily be invisible. when you put it back together...
1)make sure surfaces are clean, use a razor knife (do not scratch the aluminum)
2) use OEM Honda gaskets
3) use the proper tightening sequence and torque settings
*4) DON"T RUSH! take your time and check everything twice and then check it again.

it is a wing and will be fine as long as you don't abuse it.

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moffat
Posts: 264
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:30 pm
Location: Northwich United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100
Interstate

Re: Coolant in exhaust

Postby moffat » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:00 am

Hi Rhinowing. I am in Noordheok on my annual holiday and have the Service manual on disc which you can have if you want it. I also for some strange reason have a new inlet valve and seal as well, I must have packed it by mistake!
As to your problem the advice given so far is good- It certainly seems a head gasket problem and no the small O ring will not be the problem but change them both anyway. Did you say you have a copper head gasket? I always replace the head gasket with a correct HONDA one personally as copper head gaskets can be replaced if they are annealed to make them soft again as they case harden when tightened up thus making them inflexible when re used. Heat the gasket up well with a gas heat gun until you see the flame around the copper go greenish and then drop into water to anneal the copper-I understand that parts are not that easy to obtain in SA. My SA cell is 0792568268
David




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