Radiator empty, Reservoir full


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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jap4lvr
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Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby jap4lvr » Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:11 pm



My radiator is completely empty. My coolant overflow tank is full. How is this supposed to work? Shouldnt the coolant be drawn down into the radiator from the tank?

Now I just need to find out where the coolant all disappeared to.



bigbrown
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby bigbrown » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:52 am

I had this problem a few years ago. The reason that the reservoir was full and the rad empty was because the reservoir cap had a crack in it and thus there was no vacuum to pull the fluid into the rad. The reason the rad was empty was because the water pump was shot and when this happens the antifreeze drips out through the weep hole at the bottom of the waterpump housing. This is designed by Honda to give you a warning that your waterpump needs to be replaced.
Do it quick because if you don't you will burn out all of your bearings.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:44 am

Actually, the main reason for the weep hole is in case of bearing or water pump seal failure. On one side of the water pump is pressurized coolant, on the other is pressurized oil. Without the weep hole, if the bearing or water pump seals failed, it would pump oil into the coolant or vice versa. Instead, they put TWO seals on the bearings and the water pump, and put the weep hole in between the two seals. That way, if one of the seals fails, the fluid (oil or coolant) will get past the failed seal and leak out the weep hole, instead of being pumped into somewhere it could do some real damage.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:54 am

Here's an example:

Oil leaking through water pump
Oil leaking through water pump


The oil (in green) leaks past the seal (in yellow) and out the weep hole (in red).

jap4lvr
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby jap4lvr » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:49 am

there is nothing leaking from my waterpump and the PO claimed it has just been replaced. I believe my headgasket is shot which is a shame because i have only put 1000 miles on this bike since i got it.
i wonder if the waterpump went out on the po and he overheated it or something.
i think if the radiator cap was the problem i would have heard, seen, or smelled evidence of it. besides it was smoking white smoke out the exhaust.
all symptoms point to headgasket i think. :cry:
i am just trying to check everything else out before i go for the headgaskets. its not that im scared of the work. i feel very confident in my ability to change the headgaskets but i am on a very tight budget (being newly married and still in school and all)

jap4lvr
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby jap4lvr » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:51 am

i am tempted to just throw in the cheap aftermarket headgaskets and go. not even changing valve seals and stuff.
in a year i will be out of school and have more money to do a better job of things or trade up to a nicer bike.

bigbrown
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby bigbrown » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:57 am

My problem was two fold, one was that the reservoir cap (not the rad cap) was cracked and thus there was no vacuum to suck the fluid from the reservoir into the rad. That was why the reservoir was full and the rad empty. Have you refilled your rad? If so, check under the bike for a tiny drop of antifreeze or oil, this will tell you if there is anything coming out of the weephole. If your headgasket is leaking, then your oil should be milky in color?
Hope this helps.

jap4lvr
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby jap4lvr » Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:13 am

That is the weird part. Oil looks pretty much normal. Under the #1and#3 valve cover there was a tan kind of sludge though.
And my plugs look pretty much normal.
But the bike was smoking a lot and the radiator is empty.
Absolutely no drips coming from the weep hole under the water pump.
I already have the radiator and valve covers off. I am not sure if i want to put it back together and check for bubbles or just pull the heads.

This happened at the end of a trip. It started smoking, I drove it home and parked it. Perhaps the water all evaporated before it had a chance to get in the oil. I havent started and stopped it at all.

Perhaps i will throw the valve covers on and do a compression check. that should tell me if it is bad or not.

jap4lvr
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby jap4lvr » Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:22 am

quick question. Do these goldwing heads warp easily? Should i be worried about having warped heads?
Should I take them in to a machine shop or something and have them looked at before throwing them back on the bike?

bigbrown
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby bigbrown » Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:53 am

I don't know if they have a history of warping. I just replaced my headgaskets in May at 290,000 km and there was no warp in them at all. We (my mechanic friend and I) used a steel straight edge to check and there didn't seem to be any problem. A point to pay particular attention to is making sure that you follow the instructions on aligning the timing belts and marks. If you are out on this you will damage the engine. I made a slip up and bent two valves in the blink of an eye. Fortunately that was the only damage I did, so be careful. They are not hard to align if you follow the manual.

steve allen
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby steve allen » Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:24 pm

well, I have very simiarly problems..82 interstate, cranks up and drips, once I kill engine, a stream pours out. not from pump housing either, from right side higher up on engine. any ideas? I know whatever it is, I will have to fix myself, can't afford to put in shop. not sure if from water intake tubes where therm is at.......

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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:04 pm

steve allen wrote:well, I have very simiarly problems..82 interstate, cranks up and drips, once I kill engine, a stream pours out. not from pump housing either, from right side higher up on engine. any ideas? I know whatever it is, I will have to fix myself, can't afford to put in shop. not sure if from water intake tubes where therm is at.......


Yes, the coolant tubes on the top of the engine have gaskets that over the years wear out, and will leak. I would guess this is where yours is leaking.

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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby MSGT-R » Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:55 pm

While you're in there, pull the reservior out and look at the suction tube closely; the little plastic 90 degree angle plugs into a rubber bushing, and a rubber tube goes to the bottom from that.

That rubber bushing and tube are all one piece. If the bushing has a tear in it, the coolant will purge from the radiator but will not be sucked back in.

To repair it, go to the parts store and get a rubber bushing to go in the hole, and a length of 5/16" brake tubing that you can insert and bend the top at the required angle. This will fix the problem permenantly.

When you put a new radiator cap on, make sure the seating surface (both inner and outer) is clean and smooth.
Don't spook the road sheep.

steve allen
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby steve allen » Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:08 pm

I think I found the source of the leak......seems to be a type of freeze plug( the type you screw on a nut to swell it) and the antifreeze seems to be coming out there. Didn't know wings had freeze plugs. sort of concerned this is not what is supposed to be on there. as you look at front of engine, just above oil filter is a rubber boot of some sort, am I looking at the right place, is there a freeze plug on a gl1100? the laek is not at the coolant tubes! Please help!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:56 pm

I can't even think of where a rubber boot exists above the oil filter!

Here is the front engine cover, you can see where the oil filter mounts on the left, and the water pump housing on the right. Is it one of the bolts holding the engine cover on that is leaking?

Image

steve allen
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby steve allen » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:36 pm

not on this case, on the engine case right in-line and even with the (1) on # 12, about half an inch onto the block, I tightened it and the leak stopped. Could some one that owned the wing before possibly made the hole or is this stock. I am the third owner and there was alot of after-market stuff that I have had to learn.

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MSGT-R
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby MSGT-R » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:42 pm

Oooh, someone may have indeed done a mod in the past..
Don't spook the road sheep.

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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:29 pm

Yeah, that sounds like someone was playing around with it. The unmodified case looks just like this picture. Good that you got it to stop leaking, though.

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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:59 pm

Well Steve emailed me a picture of the bolt in question. I've posted it below, along with a red arrow pointing to what I think is the bolt in question:

Steve's bike
Steve's bike


No doubt there is a bolt and nut, and what looks like a washer right there. It's right next to the coolant channel, so no wonder it can leak coolant.

I went out and had a look at my bike. The same area has a circular depression, but that's it - no hole going anywhere:

Same area on my 1100
Same area on my 1100


I got close to it to get a better look, to see if it was threaded, and it is definitely not - just a small, cylindrical impression in the engine block:

Close up of the area
Close up of the area


I got out my spare (parts) engine and checked it as well, and it has the identical cylindrical impression.

Lastly, I had a look at the exploded parts diagram for the engine, and while it does not show the area specifically, there is definitely not supposed to be a bolt, nut, or anything else there.

What I'm wondering is - did the PO just drill a hole in there and tap a bolt? And if so...why??

I would almost be inclined to pull it out and weld over the hole to seal it completely and permanently.

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MSGT-R
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby MSGT-R » Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:47 am

Seeing where it is, maybe a second coolant sensor (or fan switch)? Don't know, but it's not there now. We can only guess.
Don't spook the road sheep.

steve allen
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Re: Radiator empty, Reservoir full

Postby steve allen » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:23 am

you guys are such a great help to me, and the DIY segments are truley helpful, I am not scared to work on my wing, also saves lots of money. The first problem I had about 2 months ago was a hole in gas tank, took alot of time removing it since I've never done it before, had another leak I caused when banging it on the deck to remove rust, only took an hour that time when it took 4 hours the first time. last week had to remove starter and rebuid it, DIY was such a help again, then this coolant leak, got it fixed.....you guys are awsum.




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