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After a 100 Km ride, on shut down my 1980 GL 1100 billowed white fluffy clouds from the right side. Checked the antifreeze level and so far is as it was. The white stuff came out even as the bike was off with the exhaust hot. When cooled started OK, shut her down and now I am seeking your help. Is it a head gasket or other coolant leak into the combustion chamber or is it something else? Thanks for your responses.

Al
 

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Al, you're going to have to get in there and look around more and give us more detail to work with. If the coolant is leaking on the outside it could be the coolant crossover tube leaking, could be the coolant overflow tank leaking or it could be a cracked head or a bad head gasket.

If it is only coming out the exhaust it could be a cracked head or a bad head gasket.

In either case we need you to do a little research so we can help you better.

Vic
 

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A good quick check is to pull the plugs, usually if a coolant is getting to a cylinder the sparkplug in that cylinder looks much cleaner than the others. You can also spin the engine over with the kill switch off and see if any water comes out of the spark plug holes.
 

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Thanks for the quick responses. I pulled #1 and #3 plugs and they looked good but wet, smelled more of gasoline than anything else. With both plugs out and kill in disable the plug holes plugged with my finger I got compression with fuel misting and no water. Expansion tank when cool is as it was when filled, not higher not lower, same since it is at the high mark as filled.

Can the crossover pipe be disconnected when cold and "O"rings verified or does the coolant need to be drained first? Drove the bike about 20 Km at 100 K/Hr, on shut down ie. engine off got no cloud effect from the exhaust. Started it about 10 minutes later and the right exhaust puffed clouds of white mist, no odour, tasted residue on exhaust nothing like antifreeze. About 1-1/2 hrs later started up with minor cloud like puff, drove for 15 minutes at 100 KM/hr, drove into the garage at full temp shut down all clear. All clear while idling. Temp again runs in the typical normal area.

Does Havoline Extended life burn like typical antifreeze, since I am getting no odour like that of antifreeze? Could the gas tank finally be releasing all the crud from storage? This is the 4th 1/2 tank of fuel in about 3 weeks. I have reinstalled the crankcase vent pipes.



Al
 

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Al, if you are able to rent, borrow or beg a cooling system pressure tester you can pressurize the system and note any drop in pressure after an extended period of time which could indicate a leak in the cooling system. It would only take a few drops of water in the cylinder to puff out white smoke upon ignition.

You need to dain the cooling system to get at the o rings.

Vic
 

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ARKnapp wrote:
Thanks for the quick responses. I pulled #1 and #3 plugs and they looked good but wet, smelled more of gasoline than anything else. With both plugs out and kill in disable the plug holes plugged with my finger I got compression with fuel misting and no water. Expansion tank when cool is as it was when filled, not higher not lower, same since it is at the high mark as filled.

Can the crossover pipe be disconnected when cold and "O"rings verified or does the coolant need to be drained first? Drove the bike about 20 Km at 100 K/Hr, on shut down ie. engine off got no cloud effect from the exhaust. Started it about 10 minutes later and the right exhaust puffed clouds of white mist, no odour, tasted residue on exhaust nothing like antifreeze. About 1-1/2 hrs later started up with minor cloud like puff, drove for 15 minutes at 100 KM/hr, drove into the garage at full temp shut down all clear. All clear while idling. Temp again runs in the typical normal area.

Does Havoline Extended life burn like typical antifreeze, since I am getting no odour like that of antifreeze? Could the gas tank finally be releasing all the crud from storage? This is the 4th 1/2 tank of fuel in about 3 weeks. I have reinstalled the crankcase vent pipes.



Al
Al, with the coolant level in the over-flow bottle staying up that is good news as it doesn't point directly to a head gasket like a distinct coolant loss would.

Are you using any fuel additive cleaner like Sea Foam? If so, that stuff will smoke a light colored smoke on start-up & after an idle down or low speed run.

If you got a load of gasoline with a high concentration of alcohol in it that could hold a lot of water in the alcohol & come out as a moist smoke when burnt.

On the smell of burning long life, I can't say on all brands but the GM Dexcool gives off a very distinct sour smell..

You might want to run your bike until hot,, then park it,, when cool pull the spark plugs & leave it sit over night.. Next morning crank it with the kill switch off.. If that head gasket is leaking it should spit coolant out a spark plug hole when cranked over.

If you bike has a crankcase vent tank make sure it is not full of water & gunk.

Twisty
 

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Many thanks Twisty, I have done all that and will again examine the situation, I did however spill oil onto the exhaust pipe on the last change out but the smoke is of no odour, white as a cloud, no substance so it appears more condensate than anything else. It is now an intermittant phenomenon but I will redo the investigation and leave it overnight and then re-check for antifreeze. The last time I checked it the bike sat for 24 hours cold, I pulled the plugs right side, and with the kill switch de-energizedI hit the starter and I got wet fuel only.

Again thanks fo rthe advice I will keep you posted, thank you!
 

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On the white puffy smoky cloudy exhaust outpouring: The sparkk plug removal indicated no moisture, the crankcase however had the pipe filled with watery ooze that may have been sucked into the carbs. Removed the not so clear plastic tubing, cleaned, reinstalled.

So now it would appear that all is well. I have driven the GL1100 another 100 Km at speeds from idle to 5000 RPM. I do notice that the exhaust note is crisper and definite, no spewing forth of anything visible. Cooling gauge stays in the low or just before the mid white level. At idle the temp gauge hits the mid point of the targeted white area and stays there until I drive it.

Thanks for all the help. Now my neighbour wants the bike so I am looking again for another project or one that is not in any dire need. I will be staying with a wing simply because of the feedback, comments and great help from this site. Staying in touch.
 
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