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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,I picked up a 1988 GL1500 last week to use the drivetrain on a Morgan style 3 wheel car. I got the bike home without testing it being it was a reasonable deal and i trusted the guy. I ended up finding two cylinder slam full of water and it was hydro locked. slightly rusty water came out of those cylinders and and I figured they would be in really bad shape. Upon doing a complete compression test I found that all cylinders were around 170 and the two that had water in them were around 150...So knowing this should be enough compression to test run the engine It actually fired up pretty easy and honestly ran pretty nice with a good idle and revved out clean. I then checked the oil again and saw that it was a milkshake. I figured let me change the oil and see how bad its mixing water and oil...It is pretty bad but non of the cylinders have gotten water in them again so I am thinking its not a head gasket but more likely the water pump as the oil is once again getting milky. I did another compression test after running the engine for a short time and was surprised to see those two low cylinders up to almost 165psi so I figured they are going to be fine...Well the bike has sat for a week and I went to start it up to get the oil warmed before draining it again. The bike would not start only spit and sputtered and backfired a few times. I figured maybe some plugs were bad so I checked them all and all had good spark. I figured I would do another compression test and did not like what I found. I have two cylinders the front cylinder on the right side and the middle cylinder on the left side are DEAD as in ZERO compression. I watched to see if there was even a piston coming up and down and yes there is so no broken rods or anything. I then removed the valve covers and watched the cams rotate and valves operate and nothing seems stuck or anything. I did another compression test and had almost 60psi and then all of the sudden it vanished back to zero. What is going on here? The bike had fantastic compression and has only been run momentarily for testing and now two cylinders have nothing. I see there is no valve adjustment so i assume it can not be a tight valve staying open. I do have a bore scope if I can find it and I will try to look in the cylinder but something would have to be bad wrong to get a zero compression reading. Anyone heard of anything like this before? BTW the bike only has 62K on it but clearly was left outside for the last part of its life and I think that is how two cylinders got water in them in the first place.
 

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Pretty much has to be a valve problem. A leak down would tell you for sure. With water in the oil, the likely issue is a stuck hydraulic lifter. If you can solve the water problem, you might get lucky and the lifters will clear on their own. A quart of ATF in the oil can help speed up the cleaning process. Otherwise, you will need to submerge them in clean oil and pump them to flush out all the gunk you got in them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So a stuck hydraulic lifter will hold a valve open? can the lifters be removed without removing the cam, I didnt look at it real close when I as out there?
 

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The oil/water emulsion can make the lifters not work properly. Technically you don't have to remove the cams, but when you remove the rocker assembly, that is what holds the cams in place. There are plugs that retain the lifters, but I think you can't access them without taking out the rocker assemblies. You need to find out how the water is getting in there.
 

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1993 GL1500 Aspy 1980 GL1100 STD
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Sounds nice and even in the video....

On an oil change the 1500 holds about half quart of oil in rear cover that doesn't drain when you pull the drain plug, that may be the source of the continued milk in the oil. As to the lifters stuck, I've heard of this before, heard a fix was to turn the engine backward some with a wrench from the timing cover access and let it sit a while' then backwards some more.....

The hydraulic lifters probably don't like milky oil.....

Try to see if you can get it to start and idle again, even if badly with choke on, it might straighten itself out after a while of idling. Keep eye on temperature gauge and oil light, and check for more milky oil afterward,
 

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On an oil change the 1500 holds about half quart of oil in rear cover that doesn't drain when you pull the drain plug, that may be the source of the continued milk in the oil. As to the lifters stuck, I've heard of this before, heard a fix was to turn the engine backward some with a wrench from the timing cover access and let it sit a while' then backwards some more.....

The hydraulic lifters probably don't like milky oil.....
True, I have seen it take 3 or 4 oil changes to get all the water out of the oil in automotive engines.
As far as turning the engine backward, that was the genius over on GWD that thinks the oil pump will pump enough oil to keep the lifters pumped when turning forward by hand. It's never a good idea to turn and engine with belt driven cams backwards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What if I did something like this to get the bulk of the milky oil out of the engine cases? What if I filled the cases with diesel and slosh it around (not turning engine over) a few times and drain it. The I could add fresh oil with transmission fluid and turn the engine over to get the system cleaned out and maybe it wont take as long to get all that crap out and hopefully the lifters unstuck...
 

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What if I did something like this to get the bulk of the milky oil out of the engine cases? What if I filled the cases with diesel and slosh it around (not turning engine over) a few times and drain it. The I could add fresh oil with transmission fluid and turn the engine over to get the system cleaned out and maybe it wont take as long to get all that crap out and hopefully the lifters unstuck...
Maybe. If you added maybe a quart of alcohol to the diesel it would help absorb the water.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I guess the only two means of water getting into the oil would be head gasket or water pump...Bad head gaskets would surely result in uneven compression numbers and of course constant water in cylinders right? The engine did have water in two cylinders when I got it home after buying it but I believe that was from rain getting into the system somehow as I have not seen water in a cylinder sense. The two dead cylinders are not the same as the two that had originally had water in them either. I am going to drain all the coolant while I try to troubleshoot the valve/lifter issues and recover compression to the two dead cylinders and then after I am sure they are going to be recoverable I will address the water pump or head gaskets whichever it may be before adding more coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well after cranking on this thing for a good 10 minutes off and on I finally got it to fire up. I lost compression on almost all the cylinders but it seems to be back now after flushing the oil and adding some ATF. The engine seems to be back running smoothly and idling fairly well and all cylinders are now back to 160ish. This is some of the most interesting stuff I have ever seen, who would have thought a little water in the oil would have caused such an issue? Anyhow, I think its the water pump as its actually dripping from the water pump area as well. I sure hope the cylinder head gaskets are fine but if not I will replace them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have not messed with the GL1500 for a few weeks but just started messing with it again. I think there is water from the coolant system getting into the oil and at a fairly high rate. The bike is back to having great compression numbers so chances are it is not a blow head gasket? It seems to be a gross water leak that with just running the bike on the stand for 10 minutes with fresh oil results in more milkshake. I have drained all the coolant and changed the oil again and the bike just starts, idles and runs fantastic so I have a hard time believing it could be a head gasket. How common is it for the water pump seal to go out? I have been trying to research this a bit but have not found anything showing that its all that common especially on a bike with such low miles. I just want to make sure I address anything possible before I go to remove cylinder heads for inspection.
 

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The coolant should leak out of the weep hole in the water pump before it's able to get into the engine unless the hole is plugged. It's not the miles, it's the age, it is at least 34 years old & sitting is harder on seals than running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
To have as much water getting into the oil as I am having it would have to be a horrible head gasket leak or possible something busted in a water jacket or something. The compression is a rock solid 165 on every single cylinder and I would sure suspect one of them to be off just a little if a gasket had blown. I read that the water pump seal goes bad when the pump bearings go bad, I could stick my finger in the pump inlet/outlet and the pump impeller feels solid with not even the slightest play. I am going to drain the oil and pull the water pump and I sure hope it proves the be the problem. The only things I can say for sure is that the bike has great even compression, It starts up and runs fantastic, coolant is going down in the system, and coolant is getting into the crankcase making a milkshake and making it quicker that Dairy queen....

 

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Is it my faulty memory or do I remember something about coolant getting into the intake manifold somehow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Is it my faulty memory or do I remember something about coolant getting into the intake manifold somehow?
Yes, when I got the bike it had two cylinder full of water. The water was not coolant though as it was rusty and the coolant would not have caused rust like that being it has rust inhibitors in it. I guess I could be wrong. The bike had sat outside for a good long time so maybe rain water made its way into the engine somehow. I read about it getting in through the airbox but the filter looks super clean and didnt see any water damage or anything where it was stained or something. I want to pull the water pump and look it but but havent yet. will try to pressurize the coolant system and see if it holds any kind of pressure. The coolant I drained was nice and clean, no oil or anything in it. The only reason I believe coolant was getting into the crankcase is because the coolant level was for sure dropping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I had no means of doing a correct pressure test on the coolant system so I figured second best option would be a vacuum test. I just rigged up a fitting in the upper fill hose with a vacuum line to my hand vacuum pump and pulled 10" vac on the system. It say for 10 plus minutes and didn't move at all. I even turned the engine over while under vac to see if maybe the water pump rotating would cause the vacuum to leak off but nope, it stayed dead on 10". I am going to have to conclude that the coolant system is in fact fine. Maybe the coolant dropping was normal and it didn't really drop as much as I thought anyhow. I just no it was at the cap (full) then later it was not where I could touch it with a finger in the fill hole. I know this much. I just can not imagine the coolant system holding 10" of vac for any amount of time and it have a gross leaks through a seal or blown head gasket.
 

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Putting suction on a seal is not the same as putting pressure on a seal, you are in fact reversing the load on the seal so not a good test
 
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