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Hi Folks. I posted here recently about the 1977 GL1000 I'm trying to renovate. Well... I have it all looking cosmetically great and will be getting a professional rebuild done in Glasgow on the carbs.

So.. the bike runs, albeit a bit roughly. Here's my next problem..... the coolant level in the top-up tank drops, seemingly at random, after the bike's ticked over for a while. There are no actual coolant leaks or overflowing through the overflow pipe on the top-up tank. So, am I correct in thinking that there are two ways thre fluid is dropping.. 1. head gasket failure, so the water is entering the combustion chamber/s or 2. Somehow getting into the lube system?

I rebuilt the water pump with a rebuild kit with new bearing seals and mechanical washer/sealer. I replaced the O rings in the front casing. Gasket was brand new etc. I think did it all properly, using new parts but may have missed something??

I've drained the oil after running the bike for a while and can't see or smell any of the luminous green coolant (proper Honda coolant for alloy engines) and the oil doesn't look emulsified or have obvious signs of coolant in it. I've now re-filled the engine with oil, run it and double-checked the level. Presumably, if coolant is entering the lube system, the level will rise in the inspection window?

There is no sign that I can see of coolant being expelled from the exhaust pipes.

Can anyone advise me of how to proceed with this please? Re-reading this, it looks like I'm technically inept... but... I'm not! I've a lot of experience on Yamaha XS1100's and many other aircooled bikes. This is the first GL1000 which I've tried, because I fancied a challenge (the XS's are easy now). Yep, it's turned into that, all right! A learning curve for me, so, if anyone can assist, I'd be most grateful. :)
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Are you sure you are loosing coolant and not just burping out air bubbles? On mine, it usually takes a couple top-offs after refilling the radiator.

Is there any leaking at the weep hole?
 

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Could you specify which of the front bolts is the weep hole please? There is a large bolt at the bottom which, when removed, drains the cooling fluid straight out. I presume this isn't a weep hole because the fluid gushes out and would empty the radiator.
 

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Look under the front cover you removed to replace the water pump. there is a small hole under there. that is the weep hole.If you see any oil or water there you will have to redo the seals and gasket again.Don't ask me how I know this ^%%$$##
 

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No bolts. It's just a little hole on the bottom of the water pump housing. Just look under the bike and you'll see it.
 

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Yes, I found it. In fact, I remember unblocking it when I had the front of the engine off to recondition the water pump... just a hole from inside the mechanical seal of the water pump. It's completely clear and no evidence whatsoever of weepage.

I topped up the coolant reservoir again and ran the bike on tickover until the fan kicked in. At that point, the level in the reservoir dropped considerably and remained at the lower level after I turned the engine off. I topped up the reservoir again and the level dropped only slightly the next time the fan switched on. Looking at the oil level in the inspection window, I can't be 100% sure that it increased! I've let everything settle down and have marked the oil level on the inspection window. The coolant reservoir is exactly level on the 'high' line. Tomorrow (it's pretty late here), I'll run the bike again and will know better if the oil level raises.

Does the coolant mix well with oil?? I drained some oil out, wondering if there would be coolant underneath the oil but it's just clean looking oil colour. The coolant is bright green but doesn't appear to have changed the colour of the oil (if, indeed, there is any coolant in the oil).

I took extra special care on the water pump area, because of all the O rings, gaskets, dowels, seals etc. Do you know what the danger areas are on that casing.... I read on this forum about a small O ring on the left which, if damaged, allows water into the oil (or oil into the water?) . Could it be that, I wonder? I renewed it with a brand-new one, same as all the seals etc.
 

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any coolant in the oil and you end up with a white frothy mess. If the oil looks nornal there is no water or coolant in it they will not seperate if mixed you will just have a mess
Wilf

The oil level in the inspection window will vary when you start the bike it takes some time for it to run back the bottom of the engine. Always check the oil with bike on centerstand and when bike is cold like sitting overnight. Make shure you do not overfill the oil either a bad thing

Wilf
 

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Well, I checked the oil again and it just looks like oil. No frothy gunge or anything at all like that whatsoever. I did notice that the oil level doesn't return to a constant level immediately (unlike the XS11's I'm used to). It seems to take ages to get an accurate reading. I'll do as you say and leave it overnight.

The oil in the engine, and the sample I took out (about 100ml) are 100% oil coloured... transparent golden. That's after running the bike on tickover and the fan kicking in and the coolant level dropping. I kept it running for 10 minutes after that point and definitely no gunge in the oil. Just clean and golden.

Someone kindly posted on here, along with your extremely helpful comments, that their engine 'burps' for a while before the coolant stays right. My bike's been in loads of pieces and I wonder if it's having an attack of indigestion and 'burping' a lot until everything stabilises? It would be a relief if it is.

So... I've put quite a lot of coolant in twice, Nothing from the weep hole. No visible leaks. No coolant in the oil. The other possibility is a blown head gasket? But that would mean about two pints of coolant going through the engine in about 15 minutes. There's no coolant whatsoever, nor a smell of it, in the entire exhaust system. So, somehow, I don't think it's head gasket/s. Would you agree?

This is looking like I might think I have a problem but not actually have one, because of my lack of experience with these bikes. I hope so........
 

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Just a question.When you filled the bike with water after replaceing the pump did you fill the radiator through the radiator or the overflow bottle?
 

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I filled it through the radiator spout. Then I screwed the radiator cap on and then filled the coolant reservoir. Did I do right? Does it make a difference?
 

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If you just filled the radiator once and capped it, then it wasn't completely full. It takes awhile to get all the cooling system completely filled. After a few warm ups, it should have all the air purged out and replaced with coolant. If you aren't seeing coolant anywhere or smelling it in the exhaust, I doubt you have a problem.
 

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I think you are correct. Oil level was fine this morning from cold. Coolant level fine. No signs of leaks. I started the bike and ran it for 10 minutes at tickover and everytning remained constant. Phew! I think it was just me worrying and not being familiar with water cooling.

Thank you everyone who came back to me about this. It was immensely helpful and morale boosting....
 
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