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Discussion Starter #1
Ok. Decided to pick my bike apart today. It's raining, so I had nothing better to do. I mounted my Vandriver Sprocket cover. Looks nice, but I really need to clean up around my front sprocket! I also mounted red bulbs for the gauge back light. Looks pimpin! :hail

While removing the fairing I glanced towards the coolant bottle, and the usual toxic green look of the coolant was no longer there. The bottle was full of brown liquid mixed with some light brown goo... I've got plenty of oil in my coolant. The oil looks clear though, so no coolant in the oil.

So, what's the most probable cause? The water pump seals? If the oil seal breaks, shouldn't it pour out the weep hole? Of course the hole might be clogged up for some reason, but I din't think so. Do I need to fear blown head gaskets?

Any ideas folks? I'll change the water pump seals anyhow for a starter, but any more ideas would be nice.
 

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You sure it's oil in the coolant? Strange if it's there, but no coolant in the oil :dunno
 

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Very strange, but almost certainly not the water pump seals.

There are two sepearte wp seals, one for coolant, the other for oil, they are seperated by an air gap which has a drain hole along the right front side of the motor. If either seal fails, the fluid drains out the hole rather than mixing with the other, so unless you plugged up this hole (I've heard of folks thinking something is missing and jambing a screw in it:dowhat) there's not much chance of the wp seals allowing oil an coolant to mix.

Head gasket could cause the trouble I guess:O

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That was kind of the things I didn't want to hear... :banghead

I'm sure it's oil in the coolant. The brown color plus the small clogs cannot be anything but oil. :O

I'll start with the water pump seals anyhow just to check the weep hole for corrosion or something else clogging it up. I know it's function, so I haven't plugged it. :)

Besides... Maybe I should crank up the engine and have it run for a few minutes. Maybe the water has sunk to the bottom of the oil now that the bike has been standing still for a week. I'll crank it up and see if the oil gets foggy.
 

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I agree. It happens in cars sometimes.

Do a leak test.

BikePilot said:
Very strange, but almost certainly not the water pump seals.

There are two sepearte wp seals, one for coolant, the other for oil, they are seperated by an air gap which has a drain hole along the right front side of the motor. If either seal fails, the fluid drains out the hole rather than mixing with the other, so unless you plugged up this hole (I've heard of folks thinking something is missing and jambing a screw in it:dowhat) there's not much chance of the wp seals allowing oil an coolant to mix.

Head gasket could cause the trouble I guess:O

good luck
 

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I had that brown rancid water in my overflow bottle from when I collected the bike from the previous owner. I just assumed it was old manky coolant that needed changing. I drained it into a glass jar for observation and when the sediment had settled there was no oil present.

I'll be flushing the cooling sytem and filling with new coolant/distilled water mix so will report back if there's anything's amis after this.

How many kms since the coolant in your overflow bottle was clear?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Birdface said:
How many kms since the coolant in your overflow bottle was clear?
I'm not really sure, but there cannot be that many miles... I usually cast an eye on the overflow bottle when I ride but it's kinda hard to tell if the fluid is green or brown down there. It feels too sudden to be anything else.

Did you have those light brown flake like things in your bottle too? Those that looks just like oil has somehow coagulated some and floats around in the water.

I'm waiting for a set of water pump seals. When they arrive, I'll open up, check the gaskets, fill up the system and warmup the engine. Hopefully that'll solve the problem. If not I'll do a compression test.

Oh. You're new here. :)
Welcome! :bigfinger
 

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How long has it been since you changed your coolant?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How long has it been since you changed your coolant?
This spring. It's been 8000km's since, but I don't believe that's too much...
 

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i would drain your coolant into a clear glass jar for observation as mentioned above before you start ripping into anything. Let the water sit and see if there are two layers of fluid.Then flush the system and put new coolant and distilled water in.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i would drain your coolant into a clear glass jar for observation as mentioned above before you start ripping into anything. Let the water sit and see if there are two layers of fluid.Then flush the system and put new coolant and distilled water in.
Good idea. I'll start of with that.
 

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I did my WP seal yesterday and I'm pretty sure that it wouldn't be your wp seals unless the drain hole is plugged up. However, I do think that it could be a side cover gasket (the side cover you take off to get at the WP seals).

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I had the bike apart today and got some clues.
1. The wp seals look fine and there's nothing plugging the weep hole.
2. The coolant drained was brown and felt kind of oily when I got it on my hands, but so does propylene(sp?) coolant feel too, so maybe not oil anyhow.
3. This is kinda interesting. The engine case gasket that Josh mentions looks slightly damaged.

Inside of right engine case:


Closeup of the two canals where water passes the right engine case to the water pump:




As you see the gasket looks pretty damaged, but it still puzzles me. I feel the water pressure is way higher than the oil pressure at that point so I should rather have water in the oil than the opposite...

I'll leave some of the drained coolant in a bottle to see if I can see any layers... What else could cause coolant to suddenly deteriorate like this??
 

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Was your oil level low at all?

If the crank case pressure were very high the oil might just be under greater pressure than the water there, not from the oil pump but from general crankcase pressure levels. I have no idea what a typical crank case pressure is for a '97 TLS though.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Naaahhh... It was at a third of the glass. As it should be.

I dunno if crankcase pressure is an issue since I feel it ventilates pretty well. It has the crankcase ventilation straight up the airbox. But you have a point there, I didn't think about crankcase pressure that migh be able to push oil into the coolant, at least on a cold engine before coolant pressure is built up.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hmm... someone:bitchslapme...

My memory is very good, but rather short lasting. :banghead

Just now it struck me. I had noticed a very small leak in the lower right corner of the radiator this autumn and remembered a trick to seal such small leaks - cinnamon. Pour some cinnamon powder into the radiator and it seals small leaks in the cooling system.

So... Come on Einsteins of this board. Take a wild guess why my coolant is brown and I have some very fine brown sand-like grains in my coolant?

Dammit. It should be illegal to be this stupid. At least I get the gasket changed and it looked in need of it, but there's NEVER reason to pick the water pump seals apart unless you really have to!

:banghead :loser :eek:wned :kicknuts :bitchslap :banghead
 

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:lol
 

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If it helps any the gasket was probably damamged when you took it apart as it was sticking to both mating surfaces. So you really didn't need to change it either.

Cinnamon you say?:coocoo:lol
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If it helps any the gasket was probably damamged when you took it apart as it was sticking to both mating surfaces. So you really didn't need to change it either.

Cinnamon you say?:coocoo:lol
:yes Cinnamon does work, don't ask me how. :O
You should try remembering if you put it in there though. :banghead

The cover surfaces looked fine and the gasket didn't stick very much so it probably needed replacement. I've already reused it once.
 
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