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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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?
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
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...?
 

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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. :D
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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? :confused:
 

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Road salt?
Driven in wet conditions on a dirt road?
Machining fluid from the factory?
 

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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.
 

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i don't know how many miles you guys had when you discovered yours, but as i said, we picked up the bike tuesday with 1 (ONE) mile on the odometer from the dealership, and rode it straight home for a trip of 36miles.

now from the look of the dried/burned/powdered coolant, i would say that's a slighly older leak if that was a car. but if that was a recent leak, then it should be more brightly colored, or possibly even still sticky/wet.


so how do you get a old/dried coolant leak on a BRAND NEW bike that has only been ridden 36miles???
 

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What a great thread!

Nicely documented and explained problem - well done, a-h-d.

Everybody suggesting the same solution with a great explaination and researched answer - good on ya, Jeep.

Gotta love this forum.
 

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Got close to 40 thous on my bike with no coolant leak, you need to have that fixed, not normal. Fluid leaks generally don't get better.

The other is just steel to aluminum road salt corosion. Clean it up and then mist it with battery protectant (basically spray can of vaseline) which will keep the air away from it and keep the corrosion at bay.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What a great thread!

Nicely documented and explained problem - well done, a-h-d.

Everybody suggesting the same solution with a great explaination and researched answer - good on ya, Jeep.

Gotta love this forum.
Absolutely -- thanks especially to Jeep Pirate and gman, who both took time and effort to explain it in terms we could all understand (and seem to be pretty much in agreement, so they certainly validate each other). Doesn't sound then like anything I need to worry about yet, since the right side (the coolant/water leak hole) on my bike suggests a very small history of seepage (little residue, just a couple trails), and it sounds like the left side just needs to be kept clean to minimize and stall any corosion.

Thanks again, everyone.
 

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When I was @ the dealer earlier this year I saw coolant on the floor under new 900.I asked & he said they do that until they are driven to seal up some ceramic seal.Maybe this is where it was coming from,I didn't look that close.I'd say clean it up & make sure its done,if not then get it fixed while still under warranty.
 

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I still say there is a chance that it is machining fluid on a brand-new bike.
 
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