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Old 04-04-2013, 10:36 PM   #1
thekinghimself OP
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What's coming out of my radiator?????

What's coming out of my radiator?????



Well, my 2004 KTM has thrown me some interesting mechanical curve-balls since I bought it used in 2007 with 9000 miles.
Now it has 76k and on its 2nd clutch basket and enough water pumps that I've lost count. :)


What a great machine though! Still the best motorcycle I've ever had the pleasure to ride.

Recently I noticed the overflow tank for the radiator had some black specks in it. There were enough granular black specks that I decided to drain the coolant. I wish I had taken a picture. Nice green antifreeze with a good amount of granular black debris floating around in it.

Oh geez, I thought, water pump #4 or #5? Whatever, I can swap that thing out in a half day if my wife leaves the house long enough to sneak the parts into the oven :)

Anyway, I ordered another water pump rebuild kit from KTM twins, and buttoned the bike up again and filled the radiator with water in the meantime.

While waiting for the kit, I rode it for a week or so, and today decided to drain the water out of the radiator to look for more black specs.

Here's what came out:



It looks a little yellow in the picture, but it essentially looks as white as milk.

What do you think is going on here? No more black specs, just water turned to a white milky substance.

I'm guessing the black specs are from either the impeller or maybe head gasket material? Maybe from rubber coolant hoses breaking down?? FYI, I replaced the head gaskets at 12k, including the new washers and torque the heads regularly. Every valve adjust I remove and drain the radiator just to make it easier, so I keep a pretty close eye on the fluids as well. I’ve seen black specks on the radiator cap before, but not so much in the coolant.


Now the water turned to milk???....

I know water/coolant leaking into oil gets kind of milky, but I don't think oil leaking into water (and whatever coolant was left in the radiator would turn white. (Btw. my oil and oil filter are fine, and show now signs of water)

I'm going to change out the pump anyway (it's probably part of the problem), but what do we figure is going on here?

Any guesses???

As always, thanks for your input. - Jeff
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:33 PM   #2
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Looks like LA city water?
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:59 PM   #3
PeterW
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The white is almost certainly oil. Head or base gasket leak maybe ?, that's just guesswork, I don't know that motor well enough to be sure.

If you aren't seeing water in the oil though, head is the only likely region. (The oil has to be getting into the water under pressure to not have cross-flow)

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Old 04-05-2013, 12:12 AM   #4
HeatXfer
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Looks like someone poured coffee into the radiator. My guess is you have very hard water where you live: that looks like hard water turbidity and radiator dirt. Might be oil but it doesn't look gooey; it looks thoroughly mixed with the water which oil won't do. The black specs are probably the rubber coolant hoses deteriorating. How dirty is the overflow tank?

Get the hardened CJ WP kit, save the hassle & some money. Give those hoses a close look; take one off and rub the inside to see what comes loose. Might be time to replace them.

Be sure to let us know what you find.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:19 AM   #5
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Could be oil and water mixed - I recognize that from working on old outboards with leaking propeller seals. I would change out the water and see if the problem comes back.

If you have any doubts about the water quality where you live you can use battery water - it's essentially just distilled water so that's fine. Mix it 50/50 with ethylene glycol.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekinghimself View Post
Oh geez, I thought, water pump #4 or #5? Whatever, I can swap that thing out in a half day if my wife leaves the house long enough to sneak the parts into the oven :)
Wait 'til she finds out you're draining milky oil into her plastic storage bins!
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:47 AM   #7
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My bike is a 2004 as well, and I changed out the original hoses this year (34K miles). One of the hoses was soft and swollen and ready to burst. The insides of the hoses were clearly decayed. Your black specks are very likely decayed rubber from the hoses. I went with the Moose Racing Samco silicone hoses, but they are horribly expensive.




The hoses do not fit perfectly and require a little cutting to make work. But so far I like the change.

The white is oil/water mixed. In theory it could be from the water pump shaft. But my shaft I removed just recently was WAY gone, and I did not see anything like your symptoms. My removed pump shaft:


It's more likely a head gasket. But I would think that this would put pressure on your coolant system and cause blow-by out of the coolant system. Did you see any signs of excess pressurization in your coolant? If not, you would expect that pressurized oil is getting in your coolant and coolant is getting in your oil. I would change the shaft (CJDesigns hardened shaft) and then run it a little while. Do a coolant check to see what you have, and then do an oil change to see if you can find any signs of coolant in the oil. Then you should know what is going on.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:31 AM   #8
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I'm just finishing up a head gasket job. The only tell tale I had was when running at high speeds(100mph+) for long sustained periods. The cooling system would over pressurize and puke all over my leg. I had no milky coolant, but i did have a blackish grey oily sludge stuck to the walls of the over flow bottle. The bike ran fine no loss of power. I took the heads and cylinders to a machine shop to get checked for flat. They resurfaced them, one had a definite low spot. I wish i had a leak down tester to save me work and some cash for the extra parts.

I am perplexed with your milky coolant!?!?!?!?!
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:56 AM   #9
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I've seen oil and coolant well agitated together and they don't mix. They especially don't look white when in the same container together. When oil and coolant mix it looks like the color of your coolant and the color of your oil in that same container. Not splooge white. As an example, I used Engine Ice coolant and Motul oil in the bike that this happened to me with. Therefore the coolant/oil mix was blue/red. However, it was NOT purple... because they don't mix! If it was oil and coolant you would see areas of the color of your coolant and areas of the color of your oil with very minimal (if any) mixing of the two. To me that looks like internal radiator corrosion that happens rapidly when people fill their radiator with regular tap water. What year is the bike? How long has it been sitting? How long has it been since it had a good coolant flush? What this looks like is what happens when the coolant mixes with the white calcium/lime/rust build up that can happen in the radiator. Then what happens is the cooling system pumps and agitates these things around effectively mixing the coolant and calcium/lime/rust together, giving you a chalky-white liquid. A bit of aeration can help make it look even more white. There's probably air in the system too. I say do the following:

1) Completely drain the cooling system.
2) Flush the cooling system with a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and distilled white vinegar. The vinegar has acidity that will remove the build up of deposits in the radiator, but it's not so acidic that it will hard gaskets and seals. (You might need to repeat this process a few times if the build-up is bad)
3) Flush the cooling system with just distilled water to clean out the 50/50 water vinegar mix.
4) Fill with Engine Ice.
5) Completely bleed the system of any air.
6) Ride a bunch, then drain a bit off into a clear container and see what the result is. I bet it's way better.

Cheers.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:03 AM   #10
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Looks EXACTLY like the water in a race car when you blow the head gasket between an oil passage and the water jacket. If you put oil and antifreeze in a blender you get a Latte.. Or a Malt LOL

Same color as the foam in the clutch when the water pump seal goes..

BTW if your using original KTM water pump parts,, I noticed there is a manufacturing date on some of them.. I'd check the shaft and seal dates..
If they are more than a couple months old I'd order in new..



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Old 04-05-2013, 10:42 AM   #11
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How's the oil look?
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue&Yellow View Post
Could be oil and water mixed - I recognize that from working on old outboards with leaking propeller seals. I would change out the water and see if the problem comes back.

If you have any doubts about the water quality where you live you can use battery water - it's essentially just distilled water so that's fine. Mix it 50/50 with ethylene glycol.
Indeed, looks exactly like oil mixed with regular water. Seen allot of 90W that looked like plain milk.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:12 PM   #13
The Griz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxmotorhead View Post
Looks EXACTLY like the water in a race car when you blow the head gasket between an oil passage and the water jacket. If you put oil and antifreeze in a blender you get a Latte.. Or a Malt LOL
Interesting! Good to know. So it could be oil and coolant mixed. I was thinking more along the lines that it would be hard for it to be white like that from just being in the cooling system together. With that kind of violent pressure happening by a blown head gasket between an oil passage and water jacket it would make sense that it would get white since it would get VERY aerated. Almost like whipping whole cream into whipped cream.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:54 PM   #14
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If you let that mystery liquid sit for a while you will have your answer. It will separate.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:31 PM   #15
Gustavo.Ramos
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Put the "water" in a glass or plastic transparent recipient and let it sit.

Oil and coolant don't mix permanently, a few hours later you'll get something like this:

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