Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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liquineer
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Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Panther Trike

Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby liquineer » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:39 pm



I reassembled my bike top bits (seat and radio shelter) after working on the radio to fix the lights (replaced with LED's) and getting the rear fader system wired up for the speakers.
I thought I would start the engine, as it has not been started since I began the work on radio etc, and all was initially well- got to the tickover point when no choke was needed , and I was about to walk away and get a drink, when I noticed some vapour from the front of the engine- and looked hard and found green coolant liquid dripping on to the floor.

There was no sign of this on the last start-up and I was puzzled as to why this may have happened- whilst the radio shelter was off I changed the main air filter, did the anti rodent modification suggested by Wingadmin ( half inch square mesh over the intake) and renewed the fuel filter, but nothing else. Is this just co-incidence, or has anyone experienced this before and there is a simple solution?
I don't want to start taking bits off if I might have done something stupid when doing the above things, but I do want to figure out what may have happened. The temperature guage had not begun to register anything at the point the coolant started coming out as it had not been running very long at that time.


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fnickel
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Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500SE

Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby fnickel » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:34 pm

My '92 had not run for about a year before I purchased it. I have some vague recollections of other people saying that the water pump may leak for a while when first running, but will improve as you use it more. Mine leaked after the first 15 minute road trip, but after a 2 hour run, it had totally stopped. I'm going to take a chance on mine. If it stays leak free from regular use, then great. If it continues to leak or get worse, I will replace the water pump at that point. I'm going to try it out for a while early in the season before I get to going on longer trips.

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liquineer
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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby liquineer » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:21 am

OK- not sure where the pump is- what should I remove on the bike to check that is the right thing?
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virgilmobile
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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:48 pm

Pop off the front lower cover,right behind the front wheel(push in)...
You'll see the rubber radiator hose...follow it down to the inlet of the water pump...It's near the bottom toward the left side of the engine.There's a weep hole to look at for leaking anitfreeze or oil....An indicator of failed pump seals/bearings.

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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby liquineer » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:56 pm

Thanks Virgil- the leak was from the left side as the puddle was below that but at the time I was unaware of the pump location, so might be well be the cause- will look tomorrow as it has cooled off a lot here and it is not pleasant even in my garage (which is unheated) to work for any length of time.
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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby liquineer » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:17 am

OK, took off the two lower panels and fired the bike up and ran it for a while- Initially there was just a small amount of vapour, as if something was smoking, then as it warmed up, more fluid than vapour could be seen and eventually just fluid came out from the pump body. It is not coming from the tell tale hole, but right at the front near the bolts- I was loaned a manual for a 92 model, (mine is an 88) and from looking at the diagrams I would guess that the front "O" ring seal could be leaking- is this any one elses experience? I realise that to put in a new seal I will have to drain the coolant from the system - I did check the tightness of the bolts, they seem OK.

If it is the front "O" ring and I take off the front plate, would it be a good idea to replace the rear "O" ring as well? I would have to drain the oil from the engine as well if that is the case. I was going to do an oil change anyway, but If I don't have to take the pump out it will be one less operation to do.

I have valued the advice I get from this forum, I do belong to another forum in the UK, but it sometimes descends in to farce and I don't get that here. The UK forum members can be very helpful also, just I get good advice from here, so will continue to ask- it is an American built bike I am riding so I feel that is appropriate.
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virgilmobile
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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:34 am

Personally I'd replace only the one that's leaking.it's in a place that's prone to more corrosion than the rear.Antifreeze verses oil.
Look very close at the surface that the O ring contacts.I worry more about pitting in the contact area that is letting the antifreeze pass by the seal.

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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby liquineer » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:11 pm

Thanks Virgil, I was hoping that was the case- just need to track down the seal now. I will check the mating surfaces as well, to be honest the water pump looked pretty clean on the outside considering where it is located, so I hope it is just the seal- new pump is over £200 approx $300 in Europe.
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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby liquineer » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:12 am

Managed to locate the gasket for the front of the pump, but out of stock from my local supplier, so will have a week to wait- I have asked them to deliver to me, rather than go pick them up when they arrive- our weather has taken a turn for the worse- massive snow falls in the middle to north of the UK (nothing as bad as you guys in the USA and Canada often get) which is disrupting travel, power losses have happened etc. We have missed it so far today where I live, but is it due to arrive late afternoon and early evening and snow through the night- it could get blown around in the very strong winds we have at the moment and set up snow drifts everywhere and it is set to stay cold for some time. This time last year we had 70 degrees farenheit and we were heading in to a drought situation, where our water usage was confined to essential use only.
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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:34 am

It's best to inspect the sealing surface for oxidation and pitting.....
My bikes all had brake problems too..even tho the slave cylinders looked pristine,there was plenty of flaky oxide built up in the seal groove.It was the cause of the calipers binding up.
Your water pump will be subject to the same corrosion.
If there is crusty pitting there,it will have to be removed and sealed before the new O ring will stop leaking.
Some methods include....cleaning to the bare metal and coating with Permatex #2 gasket sealer and then the O ring...
Or filling the pitted area with JB Weld,a thin coat,then lightly bolted back on till it cures.remove the cover and clean any excess before assembly.

Whatever you decide to do,please DO NOT use RTV silicone anywhere on the engine....ever.

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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby liquineer » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:37 am

Thanks for the update on cleaning- will look carefully when I take it apart- I won't start until I have the parts in my hand- been caught out like that before, and have been left with an exposed piece of kit for a long time in bits.

I don't think I can buy Permatex here in the UK, I have just one a quick search- but I'm sure there are similar products available.
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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby liquineer » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:29 am

I have sourced an instant gasket tube from the UK, and have ordered up the permatex from the USA- I did find one supplier of the Permatex in the UK- they Wanted £80 for it !!! (well over a $100) but the USA source will get it to me for much much less including postage etc, but it won't get here until some time in early to mid April.I also managed to find JB weld products in the UK, so they are on order as well.
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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby liquineer » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:56 pm

Gasket and new bolts arrived, plus JB weld stuff, and nearly had the instant gasket, but the suppliers pickers made a mistake, and I ended up with wrong product. Should be despatched today for me. It is still barely above freezing, so will wait for all the bits to arrive and a slightly warmer day- we are scheduled to stay with the cold weather for at least two more weeks in the UK. :cry:
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virgilmobile
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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:30 pm

Take before,during and after pictures to show how you decided to fix your leak.
We all are interested in your method and results.
Just remember,if you do work with the JB weld,it is a slow curing epoxy.Something like 24 hours.
The base material must be absolutely clean before applying any type of sealer to it.
We'll let you decide what works best for your bike.

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liquineer
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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby liquineer » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:27 pm

Will do Virgil- so far I have just removed the lower covers to reveal the pump and it's leak. I will take some pictures of the pump and where it was leaking from before I dismantle- this will be tomorrow- it is dark here now, already below freezing, and I like to use natural light if possible. Dismantling will be when the last aid to its re-assembly arrives and it is a tad warmer.
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virgilmobile
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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:10 pm

Great....here's another picture....it appears the pump won't have to be removed unless you want to replace the housing "O" ring.
If you do,use a bit of oil on the "O" ring to help it slide back into place.

Not the cover,the one that seals to the engine block.

If you don't remove the whole thing,you won't have to drain the oil.

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Re: Leaking coolant after a standing warm-up

Postby liquineer » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:10 pm

Nope- won't be draining the oil unless I find any other fault once opened up- which I hope will not be the case, so it should be, drain coolant, pump front off, o-ring off, check and clean up faces and treat them further as the case may be, put some universal gasket in the groove, o-ring back, more gasket seal, cover on with new bolts, and hopefully that will have cured the leak. Test when filled and if no leaks, covers on, and I can then get the bike out in the open.

I am going to experiment with a centre stand dolly- due to the restricted drive (my caravan sits on it) I need to either get the bike turned round before it goes in the garage, or when it comes out again, so I am hoping I can manouvre more easily on a dolly- my second go at trying to back out on reverse lead to the bike on the floor on it's side, luckily I had seen the technique to get it back upright again, so I have been a little nervous each time I move the bike in and out. The bike needs to be a few more centimeters off the floor to get better clearance, so I am building a stepped ramp to raise the back up, as I have been unable to get the bike on the dolly, but I can get it on its centre stand when not using the dolly.


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