Coolant leak, where to look?


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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oldmopars
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:25 am
Location: Selah, Washington
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 SE
1989 GL1500 parts bike
1984 GL1200 Aspencade FOR SALE

Coolant leak, where to look?

Post by oldmopars »



So, I got this bike last year (1996 GL1500SE) and shortly after I got it I noticed a slight coolant smell from the engine when it got warm. Engine runs normal, no white smoke out the exhaust, not overheating, etc. It was very slight, and near the end of the season and I figured I would dig into it over the winter. Well, winter was worse than I expected and one thing lead to another, and I never got around to fixing it.
I pulled it out when winter was over and took it for a ride. Once it got warmed up there was a lot of coolant smell, I assume it was weeping over the winter. After the ride the smell was gone and now each time I ride I only get a slight smell.
So, now to hunt this leak down. Is there a common area prone to leaks, or am I going to have to strip it down and check everything? I have a parts bike that before it was condemned to parts status had a leak in the coolant crossover tube, but it was a shooting stream, not a weep. Is this common?
Anyway, any suggestions where to look might save me a bunch of time. I am limited to short local rides till I get it fixed.



gwjturner
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:16 pm
Location: Champaign, Illinois
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE

Re: Coolant leak, where to look?

Post by gwjturner »

Hey oldmopars, I see you hail from Selah. I used to live there and would move back in a heartbeat for the weather and riding! Actually grew up in Port Orchard with family still on the Western side of Snoqualmie Pass.

I too had a similar issue with coolant and found two hoses right in front that were weeping. Both hose clamps were loose. I just replaced them with new clamps since they were the originals. Once replaced, I haven't had another issue.

oldmopars
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:25 am
Location: Selah, Washington
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 SE
1989 GL1500 parts bike
1984 GL1200 Aspencade FOR SALE

Re: Coolant leak, where to look?

Post by oldmopars »

I used to live on the Wet side, near Tacoma. Was forced to move there because I was Active Duty Air Force. When I got out in 2007 I was stuck due to available employment options. But, after 22 years in the Puget Sound area I escaped when my current employer gave me the option to work completely from home.
I now have 15 acres on a hill overlooking the Wenas Valley at the foot of Mt. Clemans. From my house I can see the bridge on Hwy 97 over 15 miles away on the other side of the valley. No traffic, great weather, awesome riding, can't beat it.

gwjturner
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:16 pm
Location: Champaign, Illinois
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE

Re: Coolant leak, where to look?

Post by gwjturner »

Okay, now I'm officially jealous!!!!

Riding in the Wenas Valley is what motorcycle commercials are made of............................

User avatar
bellboy40
Posts: 759
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:13 pm
Location: Brewton, AL
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE Candy Spectra Red

Re: Coolant leak, where to look?

Post by bellboy40 »

Another common place for coolant to leak is the grommet and elbow coming out of the reserve coolant tank and going to the radiator overflow tube. See this diagram for the parts. Items 2 and 4.

https://www.partzilla.com/catalog/honda ... serve-tank

Rodzim
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:24 pm
Location: Smyrna, ga
Motorcycle: 1994 gl1500 se

Re: Coolant leak, where to look?

Post by Rodzim »

Buy or rent a coolant pressure tester. Its basically a hand pump with adapters to fit the radiator cap. Pump it up to 15psi and look around.
Any parts store will rent you one for free

oldmopars
Posts: 224
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:25 am
Location: Selah, Washington
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500 SE
1989 GL1500 parts bike
1984 GL1200 Aspencade FOR SALE

Re: Coolant leak, where to look?

Post by oldmopars »

Well, I found the leak. It is the T-Stat housing seal.
I have a parts bike, would I be best to pull the whole housing off the parts bike and "rebuild" it and then install it on the 96? I have seen complaints of people breaking the bolts.



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