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This morning I went for a ride to Hazard Ky. got about 30 miles from home and the bike quit and would not restart. Started checking and found bubbles coming up in the coolant recovery tank. So I thought a blown head gasket. A friend came and got me and we hauled it home. Been out checking to see which one was blown, compression check good on all cyl,s 150 or better. Started putting the spark plugs back in one at a time to see which one was causing the bubbles, and guess what no bubbles. Put the wires back on and it started back up no problem. Has anyone ever had this happen or have an answer for it? I don't think head gaskets heal themselves. Radioman

:?
 

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bubbles in the rcovery tank ... that would be from air (or other gasses) in the radiator.

I follow your thinking that the the gasses in the radiator could have been combustion or compression gasses passing through a blown headgasket...

BUT

Was the radiator full AND the hose between the Rad-neck and the recovery bottle also full...?

I would first completely fill the radiator and also most of the recovery bottle... AND change the radiator cap (inspect the filler neck of the radiator for any sealing issues, prolly none since you were passing gas). Then run the bike through some heat/cool cycles.

Then look for gasses building up in the radiator or being passed into the reservoir

Of course the bike would need to run first -- and it sounds like you've got that (If it was me I'd suspect something like turning on the petcock or whetever ? 30-miles is a bit far, for petcock fade, but, something less than a gallon of fuel :p )
 

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Thanks for the replys The engine was not overheated and had been humming along. I had just come down one of our many mountains and the bike was holding back most all the way. When it stoped I checked everything I could. While trying to restart, I could hear bubbles in the tank, but only when it was cranking. It's hard to fix something when you don't know whats broke. Tried it again a little bit ago and it started right up. Radioman :baffled::baffled:



ps I put in a new water pump but that was winter before last.
 

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start it up and get it up to operating temp. pull the plugs and run a compression test while at temp. get back to us with the readings
 

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I'll do that but it will be a couple of days before I can get it done. Radioman
 

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OK here's an update on my bike. I got it up to temp and let it run for a few minutes, then pulled the plugs, then did a compression check.
1=145
2=150
3=158
4=140
I really don't know what to make of the compression cause it is a lot lower than it was a couple of years ago.
I also checked the coolant system, it was down to the bottom of the filler tube, the recovery bottle was above the upper line.
I hope someone has seen this before and can shed some light on the problem cause I'm lost on this one.
Why did it quit, and where did the bubbles in the recovery tank come from? Radioman
 

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hmmmmmmm you are almost at 20% on the cylinders and you dropped below 150 (your cold test) on a couple but if memory serves they are on opposite sides, not likely to blow both at one time, i think i would concentrate on the cooling system, get the rad cleaned at a rad shop, new cap, check the water pump and fan for operation



another test you can run, get it to temp again and pull the plugs, take the compression and put it in 1 cylinder at a time and hook a air hose toit, see if you get any air in the rad tank
 

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Thats a good idea, never thought of that. I'll have to make some kind of adapter for it. I will try that, thanks for the help. Radioman



ps new water pump was installed winter before last, rad was gone over at the same time, fan works fine temp stays about the lower end of the thick bar on the gauge.
 

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sctrucker wrote:
...another test you can run, get it to temp again and pull the plugs, take the compression and put it in 1 cylinder at a time and hook a air hose toit, see if you get any air in the rad tank
+1 Exactly as Randy says here.. When I lost my head gasket, there was no evidence of lower compression.. just that it was losing some coolant.. compression was 170 +or -5 across all four..

I had never seen bubbles in the coolant tank (since you can't see it when riding) but I hooked a hose up to the overflow tube and stuck it in a plastic bottle (full of water) an went riding.. sure enough there were some bubbles.. then I checked using this blowdown method andconfirmedthat indeed the head gasket was leakingbubbles in the coolant..
 

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While trying to restart, I herd those bubbles, so I removed the tray so I could see the bottle. There was a lot of bubbles not little ones but big ones and lots of them, sorta like blowing on a straw in a glass of water. Coolant is clean no junk floating around in it, the oil is also clean, no milky look to it. Three times I tried to start it and it bubbled all three times, now it won't bubble at all. I haven't used compressed air on it yet but I will first chance I get, medical stuff keeping me busy, not much time to work on it. Thanks again. Radioman
 

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Compression is low. Remove the rad cap, fill the reservoir overflow to upper level and mark it. With rad cap off run to normal temperature. With an IR temp gauge check temperatures:
Al all rad surfaces, left to right, top to bottom, record, do both upper and lower parts.
Read temperature of heads at all plug wells
Read temperatures of exhaust valve areas and pipes.

Record all temperatures and post results.

From your previous compression reads:
2-4 may be hotter because of a leaking gasket

Make sure the throttle is wide open when doing a compression test. A leak down test cold should be helpful.

A head(s) gasket can open and reseal, test the compression both cold and at temperature, wet and dry to help your decision making. While operating an open hand at the rear of the mufflers feeling the compressions will also be a good indicator and when cool stick your ginger in the tail pipes and taste for sweet coolant and use your nose also.

Good luck!
 

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I don't have a IR temp gauge yet, but I will soon. If I take the rad cap off the overflow tube drains my recovery tank almost dry, so running without rad. cap and a full tank is out of the question, unless it is removed and lowered to same level as rad. cap. I ran another cold compression test today and it was worse than before. Approx. 130psi on all cyls. When I get some time and it isn't 90deg. I'll check my valve adjustment just to be on the safe side. Looks like my rideing seasion is over this year cause this doesn't look like a quick fix. When I find out something I'll post it. Thanks everyone for the help, this forum is the best. Radioman
 

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not so fast there radioman, the heads can be removed in about 2 hours or less and thats if you have to keep going to the book, if you dont have one, get one, take them to any reputable machine shop for a surface job, no need to do the valves, iot was running fine before the head gaskets blew, get oem (original equipment manufacturer) in other words order honda gaskets or go to the local honda shop for the gaskets, when you get the heads back from the shop, usualy a couple days, you put it back together after cleaning all old gasket material from the block and all other mating surfaces,,,,,,,,, when i did mine last year for the right side and this spring for the left it was only a couple hours for reassembly each time, you will need a torque wrench, new oil and filter, new belts,,, you are gonna have them off so ya might as well go back with new ones (available from napa for a heck of a lot less than honda and made by the same folks), a "buffer" which is a right angle grinder of sorts, at harbor freight they have a kit you can buy for about 20 or 30 bucks that takes old gaskets off, makes life much easier, silicate free coolant and distilled water, a little silicone sealer, and i use copper coat sealer from permatex for my head gaskets which is not required but my manual says its ok and it helps to seal and fill small imperfections.

as for the adapter to fit your compression guage to the air hose, fleet pride is the name of a truck supply company that supplies parts to the trucking industry all across the country ( http://www.fleetpride.com/ ), they have a universal coupler which will fit almost any male fitting you have,harbor freight also has a universal coupler but it is cheaply made and falls apart with very little use. thats what i use for a leak down test and i forgot to mention before, when doing a leak down test you need to make sure the valves are both closed on the cylinder you are working on

this is not that bad of a job and will likely only need to be done 1 time during your ownership of the bike
 

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Radioman, your cold test is typical compared to at temperature. SCTRUCKER is giving good advice.

If you are willing to take a gamble, this intermediate repair may keep you going for the rest of summer but will eventually need to be done properly.

THE RESULTS ARE IFFY, SOMETIMES GOOD

The end result may lead you to do more work, or be a cure, that's the gamble.

Mechanic in a can! Head gasket repair which is a solution of silica and water that you pour in the coolant system, run the bake to temperature, the cross your fingers and legs. It may work, it may not. The coolant pump forces this material in nooks and cracks of the gasket and seals the leak. Only if the leak can be dead headed.

If it does the rest of summer is yours to ride. If not you have to drain and flush and flush and flush, then repair as is your immediate future.

The leak you seem to have sounds minimal and may be able to be repaired by the mechanic in a can method.

THINK THIS THROUGH TOTALLY after all you are going to fix this problem one way or another, only you know your capabilities. Good luck
 

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Hey guys.. not recommended for our Gold wings.. the passages are too small (they will plug too) and for sure the water pump will be toast (silicates).. If it were my tractor, I'd say go for it.. sure trouble for the GL
 

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Thanks again guys. I found the problem, antifreeze in #3 and #4, which means it blew both sides, aint that a kick in the head. I'll get me some parts on order and get er done. I don't mind the heads, but I hate removing that radiator, always brings out the worst in me. Might try just pulling it forward enough to get the belt covers off. I will get it done but will take time, Wife and I both have our fair share of medical problems, seems like they never go away.:thumbsdown::thumbsdown:
 

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Radioman wrote:
...Might try just pulling it forward enough to get the belt covers off.....

That is what I did... moved bottom forward.. still some skinned knuckles..

but if planning on replacing thermostat and/or upper hose, might as well take it completely off..
 

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Can make a pressure adapter easy enough just busting a plug up, welding a short pipe and air quick connect to it.
 

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yep thats what I did, and it worked great. Radioman
 
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