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Old 09-20-2010, 01:49 PM   #1
bt390 OP
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Mystery coolant loss, 07 990 adventure

Hi,

I seem to be loosing a substantial amount of coolant and don't know where it is going.

1. I can't find any leaks
2. It is not going into the oil
3. It does not appear to be a head gasket issue

I can fill the system and with in a couple of hundred miles the radiator level will have sucked the over flow bottle dry and tank level will be below the fan thermo switch to where it will affect the fan function.

I have done this process several time without any type of poor engine performance or failure. Where could all this coolant be going?

Thanks for the help,

bt390 screwed with this post 09-20-2010 at 03:47 PM Reason: spelling
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:01 PM   #2
mookymoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bt390
2. It is not going into the oil
How have you verified this? (how many miles on the bike? how many miles since water pump seal replaced?)
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:26 PM   #3
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The oil level has not changed.
It has not changed color and it would only take a few ounces to ruin the paper oil filter.
That is my only reasoning at this point.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:42 PM   #4
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Replaced my seal for the 4th time at 20k miles

It was leaking slowly around the outside of the seal. The water level would drop 1/4" per 100 miles on the bottle, but the oil level stayed the same and didn't look milky at all. I figured it was just burning it off faster than it was leaking.

I pulled the pump cover and drilled a couple pilot holes in the seal and drove some screws in to it and then used the scews to pull the seal out.

Before installing the new seal I wiped a little loctite around the outside edge, greased the seal lips and taped over the shaft with a little black tape.

I filled it back up with Engine Ice instead of glychol based antifreeze. I like the blue color and it's non-toxic. 1200+ miles and so far no leaks.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bt390
The oil level has not changed.
It has not changed color and it would only take a few ounces to ruin the paper oil filter.
That is my only reasoning at this point.
for it to "loose" that much coolant its got to be going into the engine somewhere and being absorbed/consumed OR its leaking from one of the hose interfaces then running off the engine exterior....

there are many locations where it can leak internally, the most common failure point is the the pump shaft/seal. The next area that I would be interested in would be the head gaskets. There are several other areas, like the clutch cover to main case ports that could leak into the cases.

Externally the list is long.... does it smell like coolant/antifreeze at any point?

I believe that you could have a sample of the oil sent off to a lab to have it checked for coolant for less than it would cost to pull the engine down... at the very least it would narrow the possible places where the coolant could be going.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:53 PM   #6
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That is the crazy thing about it.
None of the normal things like drips on the floor or coolant smell when hot.
I would think if it was getting into the cylinders or exhaust or intakes that I would get some type of white smoke when opening up the throttle and I have not seen any of this.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:56 PM   #7
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based upon what you are saying its consuming a significant amount of coolant and doing so in a rather short period of time.

My thoughts are head gasket/combustion/fire ring if the oil does not yield evidence of contamination. Its the only other place it could be going and not leaving a trace.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:56 PM   #8
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how many miles/hours on the bike/engine?
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:00 PM   #9
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just over 15k not sure how many hours.

bt390 screwed with this post 09-20-2010 at 04:08 PM
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:04 PM   #10
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I would have the oil checked or perform a water pump rebuild (~$100 in parts including the bearings) and see if that solves the issue... MUCH cheaper than doing head gaskets.

If it still eats coolant, then I would start going deeper.... at the very least you would then have a new WP seal/shaft... as even the 07+ shaft/seal has a finite life, granted better than the early versions, but still finite.
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:08 PM   #11
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Could it possibly leak massive amounts of coolant and not cause some type of internal damage?
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bt390
Could it possibly leak massive amounts of coolant and not cause some type of internal damage?
"MAYBE".... now long has it been doing it?

Just because its not making wavy main filters and causing low system pressures may not mean that its not leaking into the oil.

Granted, if its loosing as much as you describe AND the oil is "normal" and oil pressures are "normal" then there are only two other places it can go.... either into the combustion chamber or on the ground. Since you stated that there are no signs of the later, I suspect the former. However I would verify the oil first.
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bt390
The oil level has not changed.
It has not changed color and it would only take a few ounces to ruin the paper oil filter.
That is my only reasoning at this point.
Is the paper filter completely straight as a die?

I had some overheating issues a year ago - blamed the thermo-switch.
Turns out Id lost a lot of coolant, but the reservoir level was constant (rad cap not working properly).

Oil level was fine. No emulsion in oil. Very little evidence whatsoever. The only hint (though I didnt realise at the time) was some barely-perceptible weave in the paper filter. (I removed it to put in the stainless for the duration of the trip I was doing). In the end, I had to replace the water pump seal on the footpath outside the KTM dealership in Toulouse. I was losing about 500ml of coolant per day of hot/hard riding - but still no emulsion in the oil.
No coolant loss since seal/shaft replaced.

Chatting to the mechanic there, they say they had a similar issue with a superduke. Loosing coolant, but no evidence in the oil. In the end, they sent an oil sample to Austria for analysis, came back positive for traces of coolant.

15k miles is when my seal probably went...
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:55 PM   #14
bt390 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mookymoo
Is the paper filter completely straight as a die?

I had some overheating issues a year ago - blamed the thermo-switch.
Turns out Id lost a lot of coolant, but the reservoir level was constant (rad cap not working properly).

Oil level was fine. No emulsion in oil. Very little evidence whatsoever. The only hint (though I didnt realise at the time) was some barely-perceptible weave in the paper filter. (I removed it to put in the stainless for the duration of the trip I was doing). In the end, I had to replace the water pump seal on the footpath outside the KTM dealership in Toulouse. I was losing about 500ml of coolant per day of hot/hard riding - but still no emulsion in the oil.
No coolant loss since seal/shaft replaced.

Chatting to the mechanic there, they say they had a similar issue with a superduke. Loosing coolant, but no evidence in the oil. In the end, they sent an oil sample to Austria for analysis, came back positive for traces of coolant.

15k miles is when my seal probably went...
That is crazy!
That is exactly what my situation is. I just ordered a new shaft and seal kit from CJ Designs.

Thank you for the help.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bt390
That is crazy!
That is exactly what my situation is. I just ordered a new shaft and seal kit from CJ Designs.

Thank you for the help.
Let us know how it goes. Haven't seen CJ's kits yet, hopefully the harder shaft is the solution.
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