Holes in the bottom w/ whitish discharge...problem? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2010, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Holes in the bottom w/ whitish discharge...problem?

So the thread on the grease fittings had me check the bottom of my new-to-me '08 VN900...and all three are just fine.

But I did notice two holes (missing bolts??) located more toward the front of the bike that has me curious. I took it in for a oil change and complete safety inspection my local Kawi dealer, and he cited no problems at all. But then, what is this:

Showing the general area of the concern:


This is a close-up of the first hole, on the right side...looks like white fluid has at one time seeped from it:


The second hole is on the left (seen here, still viewing from the right side of the cycle):


A close-up of the second hole, as seen from the left side of the bike...has some whitish powder all around the hole:


Is this normal? Not normal, but a problem? Should I be concerned?

( Used to have: )
'08 Vulcan 900 Custom:
*Passion Red *Mustang One-Piece Vintage Seat
*Hard-Krome 2.5" Strippers with Smartpartz Hard Kore Baffles
*Cobra Short Sissybar, Pad & Insert *Leatherworks 312 Chopper Bag *Small/Med. Windshield

Last edited by at-home-daddy; 07-29-2010 at 10:04 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 12:17 AM
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Not normal, there is a bracket that mounts to the hole on the second picture to the hole on the third picture. This bracket is there to balance your bike at slow speeds, keep water from coming up to your engine components and also helps vents cool air to your intake.

































Just kidding, I just looked at mine in the garage and not sure why but they come like that. I didn't see any fluids on mine though but you can see the spots a little dirty from when it rains I guess.


Gitty Up & Go!

2007 VN 900 Custom modifications:
Corbin Young Guns Saddle*OEM Classic Gel Flame Saddle (when 2up)*OEM Light Bar*National Cycles Shield*OEM Ribbed Handlebar Grips*OEM Classic Rear Fender*PC III*V&H SCS Pipes (Modified)*Comet Milled BAK*Engine Guard*Genmar Risers*Clear Alternatives Integrated Tail Light*Kury Magnum Plus Mirrors*Kury Cruise Control*Upgraded Horn*Metzler 90/90/21*Avon Venom 200/70/15*Both SW Pulleys.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 08:06 AM
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Mine is doing the same thing, I am pretty sure it is the water pump seal leaking. I have never had to add coolant so it does not leak very much.
Mine usally leaks after the bike sets for awhile. Will get it fixed oneday, just not that big of deal right now.

Slow down and enjoy the ride


06 vulcan 900 classic
Ocean metallic blue
complete debaffeld oem exhaust
slipstreamer windshield
mc enterprise sissybar
cobra rear floorboards
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Whew, that's good to know it's normal and that I didn't have two bolts drop out.

Anyone know for sure what the purpose of those two very deliberate holes are? Is it, as ride4fun suggested, to allow any leakage from the water pump to escape or...?

( Used to have: )
'08 Vulcan 900 Custom:
*Passion Red *Mustang One-Piece Vintage Seat
*Hard-Krome 2.5" Strippers with Smartpartz Hard Kore Baffles
*Cobra Short Sissybar, Pad & Insert *Leatherworks 312 Chopper Bag *Small/Med. Windshield

Last edited by at-home-daddy; 07-30-2010 at 08:34 AM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 09:45 AM
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My educated guess, as I've seen similar result on other motors... The source of the "white fluid" seepage, or white residue, is often due to moisture building up and then running along a natural channel and/or evaporating and leaving behind the mineral/dirt trace. Those open holes (Lord knows why they are there) create a mini vortex of sorts that traps condensation due to the windflow over a hot surface. Also, a lot of times, I'd think that road spray/moisture would gather in those holes and leave similar results?

Any engineers out there can correct me if I'm wrong, as again, it's just my educated guess.

BACA Pretzel - Flyin' the highways in OK!
'08 Vulcan 1600 Nomad - "Grace"
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 10:03 AM
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I'm wondering about that too. just bought my wife a 09 vn900 on tuesday, and after the 36mile ride home, i was looking everything over in more detail and noticed the same thing.

now i'm a car mechanic, and not a bike mechanic, and i would say that looks like dried/burned off coolant. the thing i don't like about it is that when we picked up her bike, it had 1mile on it.

i did check the coolant, and for now will just leave it, and after riding this weekend i'll take it in next week.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 10:29 AM
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Hey guys. Auto tech with over 25 years experience. That is definately a coolant leak. What I would do first is look for the coolant resevoir bottle or the coolant expansion tank. If it was overfilled then what will happen is that as the coolant heats up and expands, it will over flow and fall to the ground. If you verify that the level is correct, then find the water pump. On the top and bottom of the pump nearest to the shaft, there will be a small hole. This hole is called a weap hole or vent whole. When the pressure in the cooling system is high enough, there is a spring loaded resess on the shaft. As the pressure rises well above safe limits, the bearing slides back and vents the pressure as to not damage the engine head. If this is the case, then a water pump, thermostat, and coolant are needed in your future. I hope this helps you. Peace.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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I'm a far cry from a mechanic, but a coolant leak was the first thing that occured to me as well...other than battery acid, I couldn't imagine what else could form that kind of residue (and the battery scenario certainly didn't seem realistic). Sounds like from gman's post, that may indeed be the case (or not, if Sketso is correct). Since I have no idea how old it is, or if there is continuing seepage, guess the best thing for me to do at this point is to clean it up and keep an eye on it, see if it continues to seep or if if perhaps it's just leftover residue from a early radiator overfill.

Any other theories?

( Used to have: )
'08 Vulcan 900 Custom:
*Passion Red *Mustang One-Piece Vintage Seat
*Hard-Krome 2.5" Strippers with Smartpartz Hard Kore Baffles
*Cobra Short Sissybar, Pad & Insert *Leatherworks 312 Chopper Bag *Small/Med. Windshield
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 12:03 PM
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Road salt?
Driven in wet conditions on a dirt road?
Machining fluid from the factory?

2009 VN900 Classic LT.
Nova Scotia, Canada.
Cobra luggage rack.
Kuryakyn Grand Tourer luggage bag.
Kuryakyn air filter cover.
170/80/15 Metzler rear tire.
Fire and Ice passenger floorboards.
Stage 2 debaffle (screens left intact).
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 12:09 PM
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Okay, did a little research in my service manual.

The hole on the right hand side is a drain hole for the water pump. If the mechanical shaft seal that is supposed to keep all the fluid inside the impeller area of the water pump is leaking, this fluid will drain out from this hole. Since the water pump is in the middle of the engine, they had to allow a way for leakage to escape. The manual says to have the seal replaced if it is leaking from this hole, but I am sure a little leakage is to be expected. As long as you aren't running low on antifreeze and therefore risking an over heating situation, it probably is no big deal. It also probably only leaks when you are running and the system is under pressure. When the bike is off, the pressure is gone and the fluid may not leak.

The other hole appears to be some type of allen head/worm screw oil drain plug. I think the hole you see is where the allen wrench goes in. It is set in the casting where the oil screen is located. The odd think is that there was no mention of this plug that I could find in the service manual. But just looking at the bike, I can't think of any other purpose for it. Maybe it is a place where you can drain oil out of the screen area before pulling the screen out and cleaning it. The residue may be where the plug is corroding a bit. I've seen this happen to parts when they put salt on the roads. Especially if the plug is not the same metal as the housing. The salt sets up an electrolytic corrosion that makes a white crusty residue.

Hope this helps.

'07 VN900 Classic
Horsepower is an illusion.
Torque is the source of all good things.

Last edited by Jeep Pirate; 07-30-2010 at 12:14 PM.
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