Mystery coolant leak


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Elmobile
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:35 pm
Location: Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500SE

Mystery coolant leak

Post by Elmobile » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:34 pm



Since I own this bike, a 1990 1500 SE with 180K kms, I had a small coolant leak showing off from time to time.
Because of a brake issue, I had to leave the bike sitting in the shop for about 2 weeks. When I got back to it, I look under and it was completely dry, NO LEAK!
I do my work on the rear master cylinder and doing so I had to move the handle bar from right to left a few time and then appear a little puddle. The bike did not move, the engine was not started, just moved the handle bar... I know that it does come from above the heat mat between the engine and the carburators and the system is not under pressure.
Any suggestion as to what could cause this to happen?



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moreira72
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:31 pm
Location: Clark, New Jersey
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE

Re: Mystery coolant leak

Post by moreira72 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:39 pm

Is the puddle of coolant right under the water pump? My 2000 1500SE also had a small puddle of coolant under the water pump and it was the hose clamp from the lower radiator hose to the water pump. i tried tightening it, but the clamp was bad, so I replace it with a new one from ace hardware and no more leaks. good luck

Rambozo
Posts: 199
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Mystery coolant leak

Post by Rambozo » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:00 am

I would also say look at hoses and the crossover tubes that can get moved by things like throttle and choke cables when you turn the bars. I would cheat and just pressurize the cooling system to make the leak easy to find, too.

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Elmobile
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:35 pm
Location: Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500SE

Re: Mystery coolant leak

Post by Elmobile » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:18 pm

Good suggestions.
I will replace the collars at the pump. They are easy to get at and I saw some nice high pressure clamp at Canadian Tire which will fit nicely.
As for the hose at the cross over, it is quite possible. I rebuilt the carbs and reused the OEM clamps. However I checked again today and no puddle. I moved the handle bar this morning and early PM. Still no puddle tonight.
There is only a few more opportunities to ride here in Nova Scotia. Won't be long before they salt the roads. So I'll let it be for now and put it on my list of "to do" for next summer.

Cheers.

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PunWinger
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat May 11, 2019 5:50 pm
Location: Port Matilda, PA
Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500 Goldwing

Re: Mystery coolant leak

Post by PunWinger » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:55 pm

It sounds like you have it licked! I had the same kind of problem with my '89. I was parked in a WalMart parking lot in Flagstaff, AZ where I discovered a green puddle about 3" around. Other than delaying my trip, it didn't cause any issues, but after I got back home to PA, I tore the fairing down to fix a speedo cable and replace speakers when I discovered coolant on top of the block and heads. When working on the bike, it would only drain off when the bike was on the center stand which puzzled me a bit because it was on the side stand out West. Turned out to be a loose thermostat hose clamp and coolant would run to the right side of the engine, so I tightened it up and finished my project. I guess it leaked alot in that Walmart parking lot! I still get the hint of antifreeze smell from time to time, and I need to add coolant occasionally, so I suspect the clamp and/or hose need changed, but for now, it's not an issue.
Curt.
Autocorrect has become my worst enema!

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terryt
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:52 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1979 gl1000 trike
1989 gl1500 trike

Re: Mystery coolant leak

Post by terryt » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:44 pm

The leaking coolant sits in the bottom of the front cowl. so it may not show a damp patch on the ground. and when your riding it will be blown out. you may notice it if you move the bike before riding it or working on it.

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Elmobile
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:35 pm
Location: Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500SE

Re: Mystery coolant leak

Post by Elmobile » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:15 pm

Punwinger,
Interesting that you mention the bike sitting against the side stand. Normally my bike sits straight up as there is a sidecar holding it. When this happened, I had removed it to work on the rear master cylinder and it was on the side stand...
Terryt,
I can see how it would "dry out" when riding if it lends on the front fairing. I went for a short ride this pm and not a drop. I will check inside the fairing tomorrow morning and look for any sign of coolant there...
Regardless it is going on my to do list for this winter! The bike is almost 30 years old and had sat for the best part of 7 years before I got it. So in doubt I am replacing all rubber parts when I get to them... There is also some "O" rings on cross over tubes which are known to leak.



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