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Discussion Starter #1
Initially I wasn't going to start a thread on this project, given that I just did one, however I'm tackling a few new tasks, and with those new tasks comes new and interesting "discoveries". For example:

The bike's new owner recently filled the Radiator with fresh green coolant and rode it approximately 60 miles. Now it's brown. Chunks of rust are visible inside the radiator along the fins. Can this be resolved? I wouldn't do it, but perhaps one of you knows a few magic tricks.

I removed the right exhaust canister and located the missing silencer (when it fell out onto my foot). Ted is the expert in this area. Me, I was like "WTF is that!"

And then there's the custom wiring (isn't there always). Might need to hit Tony up once or twice.

Currently, I'm trying to access the coolant pump shaft to (a) assess any rust damage and (b) inspect the impeller shaft seal to confirm that it's the culprit of the weep hole leak. This is a first for me, so I had no idea the oil had to be drained and the entire outer clutch cover removed in order to access it. Pain in the ass really, but it is what it is.

Not sure if this resurrection will have a happy ending or not (because I'm not financing it), but I remain hopeful

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This stuff gets good reviews. I've got enough to do my big 1970 block Nova once the weather allows me to get it out of its winter home.

Thermocure
 

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There might be nothing drastically wrong.................

The colour of the coolant might be due to the PO not having put any anti-freeze in the bike at all or because a "red" coloured anti-freeze may have been used.
I would give it a dam good flush through first then use a "cleaner" to flush it before filling with a proper solution.
Taking the cooling system apart and cleaning out any bits and pieces together with that brown gunk can only improve matters though. Reach what you can with a brush and use plenty of fast flowing water on the rest.
Can you get any of the "flakes of rust" between your fingers? They might be just like a soft "skin" that has come off the gunk and is floating around, unless they feel gritty of course.

The exhaust can looks to me to be a standard can that has been cut down and put back together, maybe to shorten it, maybe to remove some of the baffling. Hence why the internal part is separate from the main body.
Not a fan of cut down cans myself. I would dump them and get a set of standard ones ( if they are marked somewhat use a nylon wheel in a drill to create a new brushed finish - you can practice on those old ones ) or some other bolt on alternatives - plenty out there.
 

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Josh
Regarding the water pump impeller seal.. As long as the fluid comming out of the 'weep' hole was coolant and NOT oil, no need to take the entire clutch cover/side cover off. 1st see if u can turn the impeller on the shaft before removing the screw/washer. If u can the impeller is worn and should be replaced, about 25 dollars. The actual water pump seal is a ceramic face to face seal with a small spring tension to it. Get a new seal assembly. Sometimes just wiping down the surface works but if ur already their might as well. The impeller has a thrust washer, than the white ceramic seal with a rubber seal around it, then the cover side has a black seal surface spring loaded. This seal is a bitch to remove but can be done carefully with cover on, I've done 3 times. Inspect the shaft as well for any burrs and micro pollish if any found. I actually removed .010" from the end of mine to make impeller tighter on shaft/seal. Also get a new rubber impregnated washer under impeller screw. If waterpump housing seal is still above surface, ok to reuse..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There might be nothing drastically wrong.................
The brown mud I drained out last night has since separated and turned to a greenish brown. I've been trying to duplicate this and the closest I've been able to achieve is the owner's choice of coolant mixed with oil. What's got me nervous is just how similar my oil/coolant sample is to what came out of the bike. It's even separating the same. A faulty Water Pump Oil Seal would allow engine oil into the coolant, right? If so, I'm wondering if the continuous flow in a closed system could turn coolant into a mud milkshake?

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As far as the bits of rust go, I didn't get anything but muddy liquid when I drained it. No metallic flakes in the pan. So either they're too big to pass through the system or they came out when the new owner replaced the coolant. Either way there's definitely some solid chunks in the radiator. Can't really get in there to confirm 100%. I guess all we can do at this point is go with Crock's suggestion, and then flush the hell out of the system with water and coolant per Ted's suggestion. The upper radiator is beat to shit anyway, and the cap is questionable, so not going to waste too much time trying to polish a turd. A TLR deserves better than that.

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Regarding the exhaust, this piece of baffle that fell out is supposed to be permanently welded in place. And since welding together shitty hacked up exhaust canisters falls outside my scope of 'friendly free labor' I'm not messing with them. Not even going to reattach them, because they'll throw the bike's performance out of wack.

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Weird. There's no coolant I know of that is normally yellow. Its usually the green silicate version, the red OAT or occassionally the purple "goes with anything". I've used the prestone stuff though I can't recall right now what colour that is.

A knackered water pump seal would lead to mayonnaise in the sump so unless you are draining Helman's it's probably not that. I'm wondering if its had a load of rad-weld thrown in to stop a leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
...I'm wondering if its had a load of rad-weld thrown in to stop a leak.
That's certainly a possibility I hadn't considered. I don't have experience with Stop-Leak personally, but I have seen videos where it turned radiators into bricks of red clay, and also blowing out multiple seals as well. This definitely fits the bill. At This point the only thing I'm 100% certain of is that it's not a byproduct of mixing two coolant types. My primary concern was ruling out any potentially catastrophic possibilities (mainly a blown head gasket), which I'm now confident isn't the case.

That being said, I have no idea how much time, money, and effort it will eventually take to get all this crap out of the system. Or if it's even possible since it's clumped up and hard as a rock in some spots.

Much as it pains my OCD to say... I'll let the new owner deal with flushing it out (100 times). And of course, once it's completely flushed then whatever the Stop-Leak was plugging will likely start leaking again, so in the end they'll need to replace the radiator anyway.


And now some more images for your viewing pleasure.


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Yech. That's going to need a whole new cooling system. I'm guessing those hoses are as hard as concrete.
 

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The thermostat housing can probably be saved by flushing it through with petrol, but the thermostat, pipe and radiators will need replacing. I would probably flush the engine out too using a bovine syringe to jet petrol into the coolant system and keep doing it until it comes out clear.
 

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dunno about petrol but I have had some surprising results with those rad flushing agents.
 

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I used petrol to flush old oil out of an sv motor. Initially I was going to use a cleaner/flush, but after a chat with Sam he suggested flushing it through with a few litres of petrol which did the trick!

ps. 2 years and 20,000 miles without an oil/filter change isn't pretty :banghead
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I plan to soak the parts in hot water and dish soap for a few hours, then I'll hit them with compressed air, and spray them out with the hose. I'll run a cycle of hot coolant through at idle for about an hour (to ensure the bike doesn't overheat), then I'll drain and refill. The hoses are still pliable, but yes, the shit in there is hard as a rock. I'll get them sorted out though. The thermostat is still functioning properly, so I'll be reusing that as well. Really just pissing in the wind though, since all that shit will just end up clogging it again.

It pains me to not be able to replace or restore everything back to 'like new' condition (as I did on my bike), but this TL isn't mine, and owner's funding is more or less limited to gaskets and seals only. At the end of the day all I'm really able to do is tear it down, clean parts, replace seals, and otherwise ensure it's safe to ride. I can't even tune it properly due to the hacked up exhaust. But... it is what is I guess.

On a separate note, I'm convinced the previous owner used DexCool as a coolant solution, and that's what caused all the crud build up and water pump failure. Mixing two standard coolants together won't doing anything, except maybe change color and degrade faster, but DexCool will quite easily if the system is low, exposed to air, oil, or any other coolants.

DexCool works as a high mileage coolant, but it's not labeled as such. It's a bit thicker (orange color) and clings to steel surfaces to protects against rust and corrosion. When conditions are perfect (in GM motors) it works perfectly, but when exposed to anything else it turns to a thick mud, solidifies, and eventually eats away at rubber. It's sold at gas stations everywhere around here, which is the reason I accidentally filled my Nissan with it once. Couple days later I realized my mistake, and it took four complete flushes to completely remove it ($130 in coolant). And that's when it's fresh. Based on the information I've found on the internet, there's no way to remove it once it has calcified. In fact, GM has faced a few lawsuits over the years because of it. So yeah, that's what I think happened here. Previous owne grabbed a gallon of it because it was convenient, filled the bike without doing a proper flush, then neglected it like everything else on the bike, and now it may be too late to fully reverse the damage. So now we're left with three possibilities:


#1 It's DexCool, and the system will never be 100% again.

#2 It's some brand of Stop-Leak, which can eventually be purged from the system (costly), however whatever it was being used to plug will eventually begin leaking again. Given that the upper radiator is beat to shit I'm guessing it will be that.

#3 Something else caused it. A wild card. Low coolant over a long period of time, air in the system. Water in the system, etc..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Need a second opinion on this Water Pump Oil Seal. Confident I already know the answer, but just to be thorough... Oil Seal is blown, right?

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It's a bit academic now isn't it Josh? - let's face it, you're not going to put that back are you? :lol
 

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It's a bit academic now isn't it Josh? - let's face it, you're not going to put that back are you? <img src="http://www.tlzone.net/forums/images/smilies/smilielol.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Laughing" class="inlineimg" />
Okay, I'll confess... I was actually asking for the new owner's benefit. He's monitoring this thread, and I didn't want him thinking I was requesting new parts just for the hell of it.

I sprayed water up the weep hole and saw the results... Mechanic Seal is toast. Along with everything else shown. I just hope to God I can tap that shaft, because there's no way in hell I'm dropping the engine and tearing the cams and shit out to replace it. That little 5mm retaining bolt was a bullshit design!
 

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In my opinion, if I was using up my time, tools, space and expertise in the effort to repair / rebuild someones bike for free and they started to over question my choice of methods and parts required then said bike would soon get FedEx'ed to their driveway!
Not saying that's the case here and I would expect to explain my methods and reasoning to the owner as it is part of the process of fixing & repairing. Some seemingly excessive questioning can equate directly to the owners level of knowledge and competence, that I except.
But if I am still operating within the parameters we had discussed then a talk through and a bag of replaced parts tends to be the route I choose. You need to get the owner over to your place at least once a week as you work so you can discuss progress and options as well as get some company and help.
Even if that help just passes you spanners, sweeps up and makes the coffee! He will learn more and appreciate the effort needed to look after a mechanical toy better if he sees it with his own eyes.

We get many people into our workshop that bring it in broken and take it away fixed without any concept of the minimal effort needed on their part to look after it in any way. My daughter's are the same. I try a least once a week to check the oil, water and tyres on their cars to prevent them running their cars into the ground and me getting a phone call late at night with them broken down miles away and they expecting me to drive out to them and wave a magic wand!

Still, I suppose that is what Dad's are for! :laugh
 

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I hope whoever invented dexcool dies (died?) a death via dexcool poisoning. That stuff needs to be uninvented and the formula lost and never rediscovered.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
In my opinion, if I was using up my time, tools, space and expertise in the effort to repair / rebuild someones bike for free and they started to over question my choice of methods and parts required then said bike would soon get FedEx'ed to their driveway! ...
We're of a like mind Ted, and fortunately the owner is doing nothing of the sort. In fact, he's being quite patient, which is much appreciated considering I'd forgotten just how much time and effort it takes to disassemble, clean, repair, reassemble, and tune this bike. Mine took months, and it was in much better condition. This one looks like it was stollen, wrecked, then left outside in a salvage yard for years. I'm truly blown away that it still runs. Amazing engine!

In truth though, all this work was never about helping the owner out, it was always about restoring a TLR. This probably sounds cold, but you guys know how I am with this bike. It's a unicorn (from hell). And not being able to drop the money on parts that it needs (radiator, exhaust, pump, levers, controls, switches, etc.) is beginning to wear on me. Might as well have just left it like it was. Of course, trying to rebuild my truck's engine at the same time probably isn't helping hahaha....

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I hope whoever invented dexcool dies...
It's definitely DexCool in there. 100%. Owner even stated it smelled really bad when they drained it. DexCool smells like burnt rust when it goes bad. Makes you want to throw up. I spent about 8 hours trying to clean everything out so far. Hoses are still stained, but I got the hardened crud out with a wire brush. The thermostat housing though... soaked it for hours, then took a Dremel grinder to it. Barely made a difference. If this shit is built up in the engine's cooling passages it will never come out. Definitely stay away from DexCool!!

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Well, I plan to soak the parts in hot water and dish soap for a few hours, then I'll hit them with compressed air, and spray them out with the hose. I'll run a cycle of hot coolant through at idle for about an hour (to ensure the bike doesn't overheat), then I'll drain and refill. The hoses are still pliable, but yes, the shit in there is hard as a rock. I'll get them sorted out though. The thermostat is still functioning properly, so I'll be reusing that as well. Really just pissing in the wind though, since all that shit will just end up clogging it again.

It pains me to not be able to replace or restore everything back to 'like new' condition (as I did on my bike), but this TL isn't mine, and owner's funding is more or less limited to gaskets and seals only. At the end of the day all I'm really able to do is tear it down, clean parts, replace seals, and otherwise ensure it's safe to ride. I can't even tune it properly due to the hacked up exhaust. But... it is what is I guess.

On a separate note, I'm convinced the previous owner used DexCool as a coolant solution, and that's what caused all the crud build up and water pump failure. Mixing two standard coolants together won't doing anything, except maybe change color and degrade faster, but DexCool will quite easily if the system is low, exposed to air, oil, or any other coolants.

DexCool works as a high mileage coolant, but it's not labeled as such. It's a bit thicker (orange color) and clings to steel surfaces to protects against rust and corrosion. When conditions are perfect (in GM motors) it works perfectly, but when exposed to anything else it turns to a thick mud, solidifies, and eventually eats away at rubber. It's sold at gas stations everywhere around here, which is the reason I accidentally filled my Nissan with it once. Couple days later I realized my mistake, and it took four complete flushes to completely remove it ($130 in coolant). And that's when it's fresh. Based on the information I've found on the internet, there's no way to remove it once it has calcified. In fact, GM has faced a few lawsuits over the years because of it. So yeah, that's what I think happened here. Previous owne grabbed a gallon of it because it was convenient, filled the bike without doing a proper flush, then neglected it like everything else on the bike, and now it may be too late to fully reverse the damage. So now we're left with three possibilities:


#1 It's DexCool, and the system will never be 100% again.

#2 It's some brand of Stop-Leak, which can eventually be purged from the system (costly), however whatever it was being used to plug will eventually begin leaking again. Given that the upper radiator is beat to shit I'm guessing it will be that.

#3 Something else caused it. A wild card. Low coolant over a long period of time, air in the system. Water in the system, etc..
I'm sure I read somewhere that after using dexcool it is almost impossible to remove completely from an engine and as a result you can't then use another type of coolant eve again. Sounds a bit extreme but as it's not compatible with other coolants without leaving a sludge residue in the engine (a bit like you have found in this one) you might have big problems sorting this out.
 

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http://ricksfreeautorepairadvice.com/causes-dex-cool-sludge/

So dexcool is an OAT-based coolant. Nothing inherently wrong in that. Worth noting in the article above they mention using it in engines not designed for it is asking for trouble. AFAIK TL motors use the solicate-based coolants so, yes, filling one with dexcool is a dumb idea.

The problems really seem to come if there are any air leaks in a system filled with dexcool. The crud generated is precipitated silicates caused by oxidation. There seems to be a few fixes floating about in the US motor forums. Some people have had success with using spirit vinegar; others using phosphate based detergent flushes. The problem here is that silicates are quite tough in a chemical sense so anything that you might use to dissolve the gunk could possibly take the insides of your engine with it.

I'd try the detergent flush using dishwasher cleaner as the detergent and toss in a can of methylated spirit ( or plain methanol if you can get it). If you succeed in getting the dexcool out then refill with silicate-based (green) coolant.
 
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