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I just purchased a 1985 1200. It has 56, 000 miles on the motor. Upon starting, I smell the odor of coolant. The odor quickly goes away. I just had the cooling system serviced and the mechanic stated he smelled coolant as well. He stated that I should consider changning the head gaskets. Is thesmell of coolant normal for a bike this age? Thanks. Rebel.
 

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Sounds like one of your head gaskets. My 83 GL1100 had that same odor just before it started blowing steam out the right side exhaust pipe.

Not that difficult to repair, at least on my :11grey:.

Good luck,

Bob
 

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Look on the top of the engine, do you see any coolant puddling anywhere at all? Any on the ground. etc?

Raymond
 

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I checked for leaks and puddles. The engine case is very solid with no leaks of any kind.
 

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Rebel wrote:
I just purchased a 1985 1200. It has 56, 000 miles on the motor. Upon starting, I smell the odor of coolant. The odor quickly goes away. I just had the cooling system serviced and the mechanic stated he smelled coolant as well. He stated that I should consider changning the head gaskets. Is thesmell of coolant normal for a bike this age? Thanks. Rebel.
Rebel, if you smell that coolant smellQuickly (right after) start-up, it probably is a coolant leak onto the combustion chamber. If it takes a minute or two to smell it, then it is probably more like an external leak that is laying on something like the exhaust or other hot engine part.

Twisty
 

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After the bike sits all night, or all day after a good hot run, take the plugs out and crank over the motor and see if you get some coolant spray coming out of one of the plug holes. Be careful, it can really shoot out of there! That'll give you a starting place.

Raymond
 

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Hi Rebel. It does sound like a head gasket, especially if you are certain there are no other leaks. The coolant will pool in the cylinders when the engine is switched off, that´s why you smell it more on startup.
 

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Rebel, is your mechanic just guessing at changing the head gaskets?

Another cause of the coolant smell can be a leaking overflow tank or the coolant tube seals on each cylinder head. Have your cooling system pressure tested before you invest a lot of money. The pressure test will show precisely where the leakage is occuring.

Vic
 

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I'm getting ready to chase a coolant leak. There is a small amount of coolant on the right cylinder bank, in the 2 depressions behind the spark plug boots(after my drive to work, ~ 8 miles). I actually saw a drop of coolant onceon the crossover tube, but I RTV'd the pipe interface, and the leak still occurs. I was going to take the seat and tank off again:X, and run the bike up to temp and see hopefully where the leak occurs. The bike in question is a 1982 Aspencade. I am probably going to change the radiator cap just because its apart. Any heads up on typical suspect areas would be appreciated.



Thanks

Ken
 

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RTV'ing the crossover tubes may not be a good idea, just get new o-rings and fix it up right.

As for the pooling on the right side, if it's not the crossover tubes, it could be one of the tubes feeding the overflow tank. Take the tubes off, and snip off about 1/2 and reinsert them. Make sure the clamps are good and tight too.

Raymond
 

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Don't forget to check the grommets on the overflow tank for leaks as well. I have encountered 2 Wings that had hardened grommets which leaked very small amounts of coolantand really made the bikes smell like anti freeze when first started in the morning.

Vic
 

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Are the grommets on the overflow tank easy to replace? Is it just a generic part you can get at an autoparts or hardware store?
 

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You might be able to find them in a hardware store or auto parts center, if not, you can use a high quality gel type sealer until you can order new ones from the dealer or aftermarket shop such as Power Sports Pro or Bike Bandit.

Vic
 

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Thanks for all your ideas. I will have they system pressure checked first. Rebel.
 
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