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Old 05-09-2013, 10:59 AM   #1
GoGoGavin41 OP
Isn't this that guy?
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: "America's Finest City" ...wait, what?
Oddometer: 845
How to tell the water pump is going bad?

So I'm loving my new to me 07 990. Hopefully going to get my brakes sorted out this weekend, but other than that the bike is running great!

But I am preparing myself for the inevitability that the water pump is going to go bad (I'm pretty certain it hasn't been changed by any previous owners). The only problem is, I don't know how to tell it's going bad. I've read something about milky oil? I assume you see that during an oil change, but at that point have you already done any damage? Is there any other way to tell?

***P.S. I did see some water dripping out of one of the hoses the other day, but it smelled/felt/tasted like water. Not sure where the hose was running from, I assume maybe the radiator or something? Just some moisture condensing/getting pushed out?
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Belgium
Oddometer: 915
Put the bike against a wall, leaning over a bit.

Pull the oil filter while having it leaned over -> no oil comes out.

check for this:
'03 KTM 250sx -- '05 KTM Adventure 950
'00 KTM 250sx -- '03 KTM 450sx -- '03 Yamaha R6 -- '08 KTM SuperDuke R --- '13 KTM 690 enduro R
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:53 PM   #3
wholesome dirtiness
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Socal, between the mountains, desert and ocean
Oddometer: 222
Maybe my bike is an anomaly, but I had not milky oil, no wavy pleats on the oil filter and only occasional condensation visible in the sight-glass when the bike was cold. But that didn't stop the leaky water pump from shutting me down. When I finally pulled the shaft, I found a bead of coolant behind the water seal. Yep, there it was. Changed the pump shaft/seals and I've ridden her cross country with nary an issue.

Here's my advice - and I'm prepared to get flamed for this - carry with you an 8mm nut driver and sharp folding pocket knife. Unless you see clear signs of coolant contamination in the oil, wait till you have an issue. Here's what will happen: The low oil pressure warning light will start to flicker. If you ignore it, the engine will stall. You'll try to restart it, but all you'll hear is clackity clack. Roll the bike off to the side of the road, lay it on it's side, pull the oil filter cover off, pierce your knife through the end of the filter, pull the filter and discard. Replace the filter cover and ride your bike home (or to a shop) to have the pump shaft/seals replaced.

On mine, I suspect it was just a tiny knick on the seal or something.

midfat screwed with this post 05-09-2013 at 03:09 PM
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:55 PM   #4
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: denver
Oddometer: 104
kick till monday
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
Anywhere but here
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Oddometer: 3,928
Put on kickstand, remove clutch cover, look for this:

'03 Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom
'12 Suzuki DR650SE
'10 Husaberg FE450 Plated
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