Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I followed both the Haynes manual and the pinned instructions here to adjust valves, except 1 detail: instead of using RTV silicone on the valve head gasket, I used some general purpose grease. I don't think that this detail has caused the issue I'm posting about.

After I put everything back together (except the tank), I tightened the coolant drain bolt and began to slowly poor fresh coolant into the system. After the coolant filled up to the top, I rocked the bike back and worth to burp the air (not sure if I should have), coolant level dropped then I added more. Then rock / add / rock / add / rock / add. At that point I noticed coolant on the floor and saw coolant leaking from multiple places from the engine body. See photos attached: coolant was slowly leaking out of the small hole on the side (marked #1; it was leaking from both left and right) and from somewhere from a dark indent where the exhaust pipe goes into the engine (marked #2; only on the left side).

I had no idea why there are unsealed openings in the engine body like that. Questions:
1. Can someone explain what the purpose of the hole #1 is and how that doesn't create any issues with oil leaking out from the engine in normal operation.
2. When I was adjusting the valves I saw that down below the engine case, in which I'm adjusting the valves, is filled with oil. Is that normal? I am a newbie in engines so it's completely new.
3. Am I to change the coolant pipe gaskets each time that I adjust valves? When I took out the coolant pipes to investigate the leak, I saw that the gasket was now deformed. I will order a new one. Sidenote: parts of the coolant pipes were rusty (outside only and above the gasket not below). So I used a dremel with some sandpaper attachment and sanded off the rust. Is that an issue?
4. If the coolant is in the engine where it's not supposed to be, how do I get it out of there after I fix the issue.

I'd appreciate your help. Clueless as to why there are open holes in the engine and how coolant can get to there.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Looks exactly like what happened to me a few weeks ago. Saw your email, wrote you back there, but replying here for everyone else. Picture 1 is a weep hole, that connects to the cavity where the spark plugs and coolant tube go. If you're leaking coolant from there, it'll come out of that weep hole and run all over. I even had some run down my headers and burn off.

2. Yes, there will be oil all over the cylinder head to lubricate rockers and everything else up there, perfectly normal.

3. They are only $1 EA at dealer, so it wouldn't hurt to have some extra on hand, I don't know that it is necessary every time unless you notice deformation again. Part of my pipes were Rusty too, I got them with steel wool and reused.

4. Should only be in places it shouldn't if you have a head gasket leak
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! Good to confirm that it's a simple fix. I ordered the new o-rings to pick up at local dealer.
Will grease the o-rings slightly next time before inserting. The last guy has applied silicone gasket maker on them before inserting (I see the silicone all over the place there). If they dare leak on the second try, I will take them out and do what he did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
I'd suggest to not use silicone. You want to be able to remove these things again without much trouble.
Also if silicone gets inside engine - trouble.
The valve cover gasket is made to reuse and not leak.
Adding grease is ok.

I think you have to investigate why you have a deformed o-ring. Ii the pipe round or not?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I got the new coolant pipes and new o-rings. I identified the issue to be 2 things:
1. the old o-rings were flat. Looking at the new o-rings - they are nice and round in cross-section. Helps make the seal

2. The last guy to take out the coolant pipes decided to seal the pipes using RTV silicon on top of the old o-rings. Now the walls of the opening are covered with the roughly spread, cured RTV silcon grey. Thus when inserting the pipe in, the o-ring rubs against the patches of silicon and deforms and twists on its way down.

After I used the new pipes and new o-rings, I have greased the o-rings and installed the pipes. Then the hoses, reserve tank etc.

Installed, the right-side pipe was in but at an angle relative to how it needs to be when it is fastened the to the valve cover. After fastening it, I I filled up the coolant and rocked the bike side to side. Unfortunately the right side pipe leaked coolant again through the weeping hole.

I drained a liter of coolant, took out the right side hose, took out the pipe, used some needle nose pliers to remove major silicon crud from the opening, regreased the pipe o-ring, pushed it back in - now it was smooth and straight. I reconnected the hoses and refilled the coolant tank. (I ran out of coolant and used distilled water I had handy; after I run the bike and retune my carbs, I plan to replace the coolant mixture to a 50/50 mix).

I haven't ran the bike. I have some concerns about misconnecting the carb hoses, which I will post in a separate thread. But I hope to see the coolant not leak yet again from the right side. If leak repeats, my last resort is to use RTV silicon like the last genius to seal the pipe once and for all.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top