Antifreeze Leaking


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bstig60
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Antifreeze Leaking

Post by bstig60 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:40 am



My bike has been setting for about a month. I went out to get it ready for a toy run next weekend and I found antifreeze leaking out the lower part of the engine and running down the center stand. Not much, but enough to be of concern. I ran the engine for about half an hour and although the bike did not overheat, the seepage became a drip as the pressure built up in the cooling system. I checked the overflow tank and it appears to be empty... It's in the 20's this morning, so I have not checked the radiator to see if it is still showing full. Bike has 34K miles on it.... Looks like I have to pull the alternator and the overflow tank to even be able to see in there. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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Kurt J
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by Kurt J » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:11 pm

Sounds to me you just need to go threw and re - tighten the hose clamps. I would do them all. You my have a dry cracked hose also.....the rubber does get brittle after a while.


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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by bstig60 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:01 pm

I would like to do that. But it looks like I will have to remove a lot of parts to get to the water pump area. It's also possible that a clamp may be broken. I am trying to find out if there is an easy way to get to that area to check the clamps without having to pull half the bike apart.....
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by Steve F » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:06 pm

Getting to the water pump and the hose clamps isn't a BAAAAD job, just takes a bit of time. It means pulling the seat and removing the fuel tank. You have to pull the hose connections and unplug the connector on the top of the tank to get it out, a rather empty tank is helpful! Pretty straight forward after that. just don't go ape $h1t and overtighten the hose clamps. I had a slight weeping around the hose "Y" connector, and all the clamps that I could reach got tightened up as well.
BTW, you don't need to remove the alternator to get at most of the clamps.
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by bstig60 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:26 pm

That sounds much easier than what the manual says. I will try that.. Naturally, I have a full tank of gas, Hopefully, I can siphon most of that out...
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by Kurt J » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:05 pm

bstig60 wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:01 pm
I would like to do that. But it looks like I will have to remove a lot of parts to get to the water pump area. It's also possible that a clamp may be broken. I am trying to find out if there is an easy way to get to that area to check the clamps without having to pull half the bike apart.....
Its a GW...... lol
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by bstig60 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:31 pm

Since I have 10 days before my move, I will most likely wait until I get to Florida (warmer weather), to fix this problem. I will ride my Virago 1100 to the toy run this Saturday. Thanks for all the good advice.
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by 2manywings » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:48 pm

Take a close look and make sure that you didn't snag the reserve tan and poak a hole in that. Usually if there is a leak that far back, it's from that tank. I probably change six or more of these tanks every season... it's that common. In most cases that I've seen, if there is a leak from the hoses around the water pump area (under the fuel tank), it will appear at some of the upper engine block cavities and will be visible by looking with a flashlight around the alternator area. Coolant leaks on the 1800's are pretty common, so do a little investigating to be sure. Good Luck!

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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by bstig60 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:13 pm

I took a look with a flashlight this morning and could not see any sign of a leak. I then pulled the lockable box and checked the radiator level, it is down to where you can't see coolant. My guess it is a hose or a clamp broken, so I will try removing the fuel tank. BTW, I have a pan installed to protect the lower side of the engine case which also will protect the radiator sub tank.
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by 2manywings » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:28 am

The other area that I've seen hard to find leaks is behind the right side heat shield below the cylinder head. There are coolant hoses and clamps down there. If you have a belly pan installed, a leak in that area could easily drip onto the pan and find its way to the rear if the bike. Pull the belly pan and see if that sheds any light on the issue.

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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by bstig60 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:39 pm

The belly pan was removed when I first saw the leak. I just took another look and I have droplets on the back of the transmission, so the leak appears to be coming from the rear somewhere near the water pump. As soon as I get time, I will pull the seat and see if I can get the fuel out of the gas tank and pull it out to see what is going on. That seems to be easier and will allow better access to the hoses than pulling the alternator.
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by bstig60 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:09 pm

Move has been delayed until sometime in late January, so I will try to do it here when I can catch a warmer day. Pulled the overflow tank off and its OK. Still can't see up in there enough to tell where the leak is coming from. Bike has only 34K miles on it, so hopefully it isn't the water pump.
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by 2manywings » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:58 am

I doubt that you have a bad water pump. Most times it's just a loose clamp. It's a shame that so much has to be removed to get at them though. Do your homework, take pictures and take your time... You can do this! I made a cardboard diagram of where all of the removed screws and bolts go and poke holes in it so as not to put hardware in the wrong location, it helps. Good luck!

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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by bstig60 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:04 pm

Got motivated this afternoon and pulled the fuel tank. Can't see too much but there appears to be seapage in a couple of places. I will have to pull the alternator and maybe the starter to be able to see down below the water pump. Here are a couple of pics I took from the top... I need to presurize the system to see where the lead is. Is there an adapter for the radiator cap inlet? Opinions???

Watter pump and top hoses
Watter pump and top hoses



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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by AZgl1800 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:17 pm

the OEM clamps should be Spring Clamps which try to stay tight always.

I saw a couple of band clamps, which means someone changed out the spring clamp.

not good, the rubber gets soft, and a spring clamp will keep it tight.
Band clamps won't.
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by 2manywings » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:35 am

Those five band clamps are original, and that's where leaks commonly appear. You might be best off draining the system, disassembling and cleaning those connections and using some better clamps. As for pressurizing the system, some of the better auto parts stores have a free tool loaner program, as those testers can be a bit pricy to purchase. If the hoses feel or look questionable, change them. Good Luck!

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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by Asphaltmaniac » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:42 pm

I have 180K on my 06 and replacing the alternator due too its rear bearing starting too go....So decided its time for some serious work. I pulled the tank and just about everything else to replace all cooling system hoses and O rings and what the heck chuck in a new water pump as well...Along with injector O rings and all three fuel hoses and the fuel pump. And lets not forget vaccum tubing and other air lines. And clean everything I can reach!
I know I know NOT CHEAP! But I bought it new in the box and after almost 12 years and 180K miles its time to freshen things up. Hey, all I've ever had too do besides replace consumables was...................nothing! So after working (32 years) at a company that regularly pulled vehicles for preventive maintenance and a safety check (DOT compliance) Thats what I'm doing as my vehicles have too be able to go anywhere at any time with minimum worry.




I still have to remove the lower hoses but it looks as though the exhaust system has to come out for that. Oh well.....
Its winter what else do I have too do....ha! :lol:

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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by bstig60 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:41 pm

I am getting ready to pressurize the system. What pressure does the system run at? I don't find it in the service manual..
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by Asphaltmaniac » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:01 pm

bstig60 wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:41 pm
I am getting ready to pressurize the system. What pressure does the system run at? I don't find it in the service manual..
Honda tested my rad cap not too long ago to 20PSI.
Hope this helps?

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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by Asphaltmaniac » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:03 pm

bstig60 wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:41 pm
I am getting ready to pressurize the system. What pressure does the system run at? I don't find it in the service manual..
Where did you get a cooling system tester?
Thx

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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by bstig60 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:28 pm

Borrowed one from Autozone
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bstig60
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by bstig60 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:28 pm

I found one leak in the bypass hose just under the tank. I now have the system pressurized to 10 lbs and have let it set for several hours without any loss of pressure. I am going to let it set that way overnight and see if there is any change in the morning. Hopefully, no other leak will show up. Thanks for the reply's.
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by Asphaltmaniac » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:21 pm

bstig60 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:28 pm
Borrowed one from Autozone
Outstanding!
Thank you.

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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by AZgl1800 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:23 pm

I suspect that normal pressure will be in the area of 15 lbs when the bike is up to full temperature.
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Re: Antifreeze Leaking

Post by 2manywings » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:56 am

Having it down as far as you do, it's a great time to do upgrades to the rear suspension ie: ss preload hose, fill and bleed all air from the system or replace worn components. These are all well documented problems, and several of us can help you out if you need help.



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