The Mystery of the Disapering Coolant


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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mzaite
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 9:45 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100

The Mystery of the Disapering Coolant

Postby mzaite » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:14 am



I have a bit of a mystery on my hands here. I top off my overflow bottle, ride all day, come home and check the overflow bottle and coolant is still nominally where it was at the start of the day.

Here's where things get weird, Tuck the bike in for the night, come out the next morning, little to no coolant left in the overflow.

No puddles on the floor, no big pile of crusty residue anywhere. Just gone. The bike shows no signs of oil in the coolant, or coolant in the oil, and no smokescreen when riding or steam cleaned plugs.

Any thoughts, wild guesses, or advice for getting rid of invisible giant coolant drinking mosquitos?

edit: oh yea, and no signs of overheating.



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RBGERSON
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had every year from 75 to 83

Re: The Mystery of the Disapering Coolant

Postby RBGERSON » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:56 am

As water cools in the radiator it contracts and sucks water back into the radiator.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

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mzaite
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100

Re: The Mystery of the Disapering Coolant

Postby mzaite » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:08 pm

Right, but where does the extra almost 8 oz go that I have to add every couple days?

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WingAdmin
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Re: The Mystery of the Disapering Coolant

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:48 pm

It can't just vanish, so you know it's either leaking outside the engine or inside the engine.

You could have a pinhole leak on a gasket, not quite enough to obviously steam clean a plug, but enough to use up a few ounces of coolant during a ride.

You could have a small leak in a water pump seal, that is only giving way under pressure, so it is leaking only when hot and at RPM, and is being whipped away by wind before it leaves any evidence.

Same goes for the radiator - a pinhole leak in the radiator that only leaks when under pressure could be vaporizing hot coolant into an instantly-evaporating mist.

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mzaite
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100

Re: The Mystery of the Disapering Coolant

Postby mzaite » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:46 pm

What is a good troubleshooting method to figure out where a leak like that is?

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trike lady
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Re: The Mystery of the Disapering Coolant

Postby trike lady » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:22 pm

You may be able to find in an automotive store a 'Coolant Leak Detection Kit', it contains a dye, UV light and special glasses.
You put the dye in the radiator, run the bike to circulate the dye and then you wait. In a few hours an external leak will show up with the UV light and the glasses enhance the dye if it is present.
You also can get cooling system pressure testers, for the system and the cap.


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