Coolant troubles


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Nybz
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Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100
Honda 1980 CM400T

Coolant troubles

Post by Nybz »



Took my bike (gl1100 1982) out for a ride today. I noticed after some pretty normal driving for about 15 minutes that the temp gauge started to climb, after about a minute it went past the red zone. I noticed that the fan did not kick in though...the fan is working though and does come on normally. So I pulled over to check things out. After turning the ignition on again, the temp gauge went to a normal temp....I had seen this before when I think I had air pockets in system.

So I let it cool down for a few hours. Then went to check on the coolant levels. Reservior tank was at full mark but when I went to undo the rad cap a bunch of coolant kept coming out, probably about a liter came out before I put the cap back on to stop it.

Am I missing something? Still air pockets in the system?
Just bought a compression tester so I will see if it is a head gasket....
Somewhere to look at?

Thanks


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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Aussie81Interstate »

Could well be a bad head gasket - if hot cylinder air is being forced into the coolant causing it to overheat.
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Johnyy Smoke
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Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Johnyy Smoke »

Check for oil in the coolant and steam cleaned spark plugs. Oil would be floating on top of the coolant in the reservoir.
It does sound as if a cylinder leak is pressurizing the cooling system with hot gasses.
After it cools down, does it have lots of smoke/steam coming out of the tail pipe when you start it? Or water dripping from exhaust?
Let us know. Regards, Johnny
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WingAdmin
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Re: Coolant troubles

Post by WingAdmin »

The only way there is enough pressure in the coolant system to force out a liter of coolant when the rad cap is removed, is for there to be air in the system. You simply can't compress coolant enough for it to expand out a liter - it would have pushed past the cap into the reservoir.

So yes, you've got air in the system, and if it wasn't there before, and the reservoir is full, the most likely source is combustion air - meaning a head gasket.

Check the compression in your cylinders, if the initial compression seems even on all cylinders, then hold it in and check for leakdown.
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Nybz
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Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100
Honda 1980 CM400T

Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Nybz »

Can't see any oil in coolant, or coolent in oil, spark plugs looks fine to me (see below)
So I started to warm her up (as any gentlemen would) there is some white smoke coming out but not too bad and it goes away pretty quick. Then the same thing happened. The temp gauge went off the chart, but still no fan coming on, are they on a separate sensor?
I had the cap off to try a burp the system, nothing came out until the fan kicked in for the first time. And I got some bubbles. I am hoping that is all.

After doing a compression test I got 165 #1, 170 #2, 157 #3, and 160 #4
Wingadmin, what do you mean by holding it and testing for a leak down?

Thanks for the help
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Nybz
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Honda 1980 CM400T

Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Nybz »

I was reading somewhere else in the forum, that if the temp gauge and the fuel gauge are acting up it could be the 7v regulator....I did notice that the gas gauge was jumping at the same time as the temp gauge.... but then I filled the tank so I didn't see any movement the second time.

Seems like my compression readings shows there isn't a blown head gasket (...???...)
Jag
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Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Jag »

If you opened the system and it was still pretty warm it could have had enough pressure to shoot out coolant and as its spraying quantity is sometimes pretty hard to judge. Coolant in the oil and vice versa don't always occur right off the bat with a blown head gasket either. If coolant is leaking into a cylinder it will usually cause white smoke but for how long depends on to many variables to guess. I didn't see you say any reason the system would have air in it ??? Meaning did you just change some hoses or do something that might have introduced air? Pretty much a closed system here so if you didn't introduce air you would then need to determine where the air came from and where did the coolant go. Which is why these guys that really know these bikes have suggested the possibility of the head gasket. A leak down test is pretty simple you introduce compressed air into the system and kinda look at the leak percentage to tell you whats going on. Of course this is all based on the assumption that air is being introduced into the system are you SURE the bike was cool enough that the system wasn't still pressured enough to blow coolant at YOU????

The fan turns on per a thermo switch not the temp sender. You can look it up on like cheapcycleparts.com it is on the thermostat page or parts pic whatever you want to call it. The thermo switch when it gets hot just completes a circuit and is a ground and is on the front tire side of the thermostat. Black boot 2 wires middle of timing belt covers right side. Temp sender is on the engine side of the thermostat again right side I believe one wire going to it. I have seen temp gauges go nutty due to air and I have seen them go nutty due to wiring issues or just going bad. I had one that the wire was loose and you never knew what it was going to say. Finally tightened down the connection and it was fine.

If you brought your gw to me to look at after what you said I would personally check the oil and coolant, plugs check the wire on the temp sender and run it to watch for smoke. Hopefully I would find when I checked the temp sensor that was the issue. As that seems to be the signal that got you checking stuff out. Compression test and possibly a leak down (if I felt like it was warranted). If I couldn't determine a real problem going on by that I would hope that you had just opened the cap when it was still warm and would go ride it and heat it up so I could see the issue in action. What I would hope to find is the temp sender wire was loose or had some issue and that you just opened the cap up to soon. :D It seems this entire event was pretty much based on the temp gauge reading super hot and so on. This would be a best case scenario. Otherwise the air is very likely coming from headgasket issues.

I think WA is right though if you really want to know whats going on with the cylinders a leak down will give you a true understanding.
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Nybz
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Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Nybz »

I put new coolant in the system recently. I thought I had burped it enough, but perhaps not...??
I had let it cool down probably about 4-5 hours, so I thought that would be enough but perhaps not....
Hmmm learning a lot thank for the help all.

I will check connections, check my 7v regulator, try and burp it again
Jag
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Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Jag »

No worries I am here learning as well. I hate to say it though but 4-5 hours should be plenty of time to cool down soooo I think that kinda rules out the pressure on the system due to heat. I have also heard about the 7v reg issues as well. On a hopefully positive note since you did replace the coolant at least there is a chance the air was from that action. I believe the temp sensor is right at the thermostat which is kind of a high point so possibly it had air there and air heats way faster than coolant/water soooo. Burp that thing like you said and see if the temp gauge still keeps acting weird. I don't know about anyone else but I actually when I change coolant and or flush my systems and replace with new I generally just run it until the thermostat opens with the cap off then slap the cap shut. You can usually tell by the way the coolant is acting when it opens. Then once it cools recheck for level. Mechanic I worked for when I was a teenager taught me to do this right or wrong eh its just a habit now... Keep an eye on your exhaust for white smoke, your coolant for oil in it and your oil for coolant in it. If you have a friend with leak down gauges be nice to borrow them. Hopefully it isn't a head.
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Johnyy Smoke
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Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Johnyy Smoke »

For a leak down test, the cylinder is first placed in the TDC position so the valves are closed, then the cylinder is filled and maintained with air to a certain psi, and a reading is taken from an attached gauge to determine how much air is leaking from the cylinder.
This test can point to bad valves, cracked heads or bad head gaskets. Very handy to be able to preform this job yourself, and the gauges are not unaffordable. Regards, Johnny
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Re: Coolant troubles

Post by WingAdmin »

OK, two things.

1. Your compression looks pretty decent. Try a leak down test, but I suspect it's going to be fine too.
2. Is your fuel tank actually that full?

I'm leaning towards a regulator problem. The fan thermostat and the temperature gauge sensor are two separate things. I suspect your problem is this: /Store/Goldwing- ... ulator.asp

If the fuel tank is full, siphon out a fair amount, so you know it won't read full anymore.

Then run the bike again and watch. If the temperature AND fuel gauge both peg over to the right, then you know for sure it is the regulator.
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Nybz
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Honda 1980 CM400T

Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Nybz »

So replaced the 7V regulator. Thanks for the part Dr.Wing.
Took the old girl out for a spin around town and the temp gauge and fuel are working just fine. Solved the temp gauge running high....still perplexed by the coolant overflowing out of the rad cap when I take it off. It stops flowing out when I take off the top of the tube from rad to the reservior. Seems like it is siphoning out the reservior....it is something simple I am missing.....hm


But here's the good part....
So I have heard about this water pump weep hole, so I am under the bike and so I go to check it out. Stick a piece of wire in the hole and it comes out covered in this gross 'grease' looking stuff. It's nasty looking and it looks like the chamber is full of this shiet.
Did the PO fill it full of grease because it was leaking? And now it mixed with coolant and/or oil? This an't normal is it?
Haven't seen it leaking yet (might try and clean it out the best I can and see if it leaks. Probably not good to put in any degreasers up there hey? I fear the water pump and gaskets are now needing replacement. Would almost be ok to take on the same project since I am lined up to put new timing belts on.

Oh the sage continues...one time I will ride her and everything will work out, it will be glorious!
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Nybz
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Honda 1980 CM400T

Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Nybz »

Also still getting a big cloud of white smoke on start up....perhaps related to water pump gaskets/o rings fail?

I will look into leak down gauges.
Something is going on...
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Nybz
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Honda 1980 CM400T

Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Nybz »

Here's a picture of the crud in my weep hole, sorry bad picture.
This picture/site cleared my lack of knowledge of water pump seals...thanks wingovations.

So....this an't normal is it? No leaks... but should I be looking at rebuilding?
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Nybz
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Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100
Honda 1980 CM400T

Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Nybz »

I knew it was something simple why coolant was coming from the radiator cap when released.....thanks factory service manual

Again this bike has taught me, I am alittle silly noob mechanic. But on my way to learning!
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Jag
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Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Jag »

Thanks for posting that and glad you figured it out.
Sman
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Motorcycle: 1982 Honda goldwing gl1100a aspencade

Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Sman »

I've been riding my a bike that I recently purchased for about a week now,first time it's been ridden in about five yrs,I change all the fluids, cleaned the carbs and tank,it still was a little sluggish but not bad,went out for a ride today and it ran good for the first half of the day ,shut it off went out to go again and it ran like crap,now I got oil in the anti freeze....head casket?
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Johnyy Smoke
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Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Johnyy Smoke »

Most likely. Regards, Johnny
Sman
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Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Sman »

Any suggestions on a head gasket kit for a 82 gl1100a? gonna try and do it myself but I was curious as to what else I should check or replace.
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Johnyy Smoke
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Re: Coolant troubles

Post by Johnyy Smoke »

Try the Athena kit. I have used it twice, with satisfactory results. Regards, Johnny


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