Coolant Leak


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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fnickel
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:59 pm
Location: Campbellville, ON, Canada
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500SE

Coolant Leak

Postby fnickel » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:54 pm



'92 1500 SE, 90,000 miles which I have owned for 3 years now. Every winter I get some leaking of coolant during storage. In an effort to try to fix this, I just had the rads and fans off (oh joy!!) to change as many of the small hoses and clamps that I could get to. After reassembling, I topped up the cooling system with new coolant, but did not run the engine. About a week after this, the coolant started leaking again. The engine still had not been run, so there was no pressure or high temperature to cause the leaking. Taking a closer look at it tonight, the leaking is coming mostly from the right side, but dripping from both frame down tubes just in front of and under the timing belt covers, and also from the lower bolt on the RH timing cover closest to the frame down tube. It is also moist on the back side of the timing belt cover in the area close to the head gasket areas at the front of the engine. I see no coolant leaks from on top of the engine like I suspected before. Is there anything inside the timing belt covers that could emit coolant? How likely is it that my coolant leak is from the head gasket? The leaks seem to go away in the summer, with negligible loss of coolant, especially the more the bike gets used. Over the winter, it lost about 40 ml of coolant. Any suggestions are welcome.



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Bluewaterhooker0
Posts: 557
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:27 pm
Location: Tampa, Fl
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing GL 1500 SE

Re: Coolant Leak

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:10 pm

Well, you said "any suggestions".
I'm gonna guess at a possibility. I had a leak on mine that turned out to be the notorious loosened clamp on the lower radiator hoses, and the hoses slipped back. I just slid the hoses back into position and tightened the clamps. Problem solved.
Unrelated to this. The first time I changed my coolant, I spilled some over the top of the radiator neck, and down into the bike and on the floor. I cleaned up the floor, but the next time, several days later, that I moved the bike I had coolant spilling on the floor again, and thought I had a leak somewhere. It was merely residue from the spilled coolant that was trapped within all the bike cavities from the original spill.
So, I'm speculating, since you have already replaced and tightened all the hoses on the bike, that maybe this is residue from your filling job (assuming you spilled some in the process), that would coincidentally emanate from the right side of the bike. Particularly, if you stood the bike up from the side stand.
That's all I got.

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Aussie81Interstate
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Penrith Australia
Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: Coolant Leak

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:01 am

That is a pretty good conclusion as to the excess coolant, and where it goes -or ends up - mine did exactly the same thing.

When I first replaced my radiators after a flush treatment and replacing the thermostat, etc,, I spilled some coolant, and it had me terrified that when I started the bike all the coolant was coming from somewhere - I checked and tightened all the hoses again - but it was definitely spilled coolant sitting somewhere behind the radiators etc...

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bohdan
Posts: 189
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:39 am
Location: Venice, Florida
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000
1977 GL1000
1977 GL1000
1993 GL1500
2013 GL1800
2013 GL 1800 trike
2009 Yamaha

Re: Coolant Leak

Postby bohdan » Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:28 am

I had a similar story. My bike started leaking too. the leak was appearing to be the radiator. I took the fan off and maybe it was coming from the top hose. It was tight but a little more out of it. Still leaking... okay, took the radiator out and took to the radiator shop for checking. The guy told me the radiator is okay. but he said he found the tape that has been mentioned on these forums several times that the factory did not remove them before assembly. Keep in mind this is the second time the radiators were out and I didn't even notice the first time. Its is clear tape and hard to see. Put the radiator back in and BingO!!!

fnickel
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:59 pm
Location: Campbellville, ON, Canada
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500SE

Re: Coolant Leak

Postby fnickel » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:43 pm

I had done the tape removal thing. I previously saw that on some posts, so made sure to remove tape and clean up the fittings. I also had filled the coolant by using a funnel, so was pretty sure that I had not spilled any coolant. I had even hosed off the engine where the coolant had previously puddled, and then tipped the bike over on both sides to make sure any excess water was shed. It does not appear to be leaking from any of the places I replaced the hoses or clamps, so that is good. Only now from the places previously described. Unless I can find the source, I will start it up, top up the coolant, put on the cap and see what happens. It probably won't leak worse than any other year, and if necessary, I will dig deeper on one of the next winter projects when I get into the carburetors and the rest of the hoses.




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