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Thread: Oil in coolant

  1. #1
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    Default Oil in coolant

    This morning, while doing regular maintenance, I noticed a thick brown sludge in the coolant recovery container...smells like oil. Unfortuantely for me, I checked the coolant level approx 6 months ago, after doing a coolant flush and fill, so I don;t know exactly WHEN the oil started seeping into the coolant system.

    I've completely emptied and cleaned the recovery container...When I removed the radiator cap...yep....oily sludge.

    It's an 08 RSV so Im pretty sure it's under warranty.

    So...exactly "how screwed" am I?

    Any thoughts on where I should start? Funny thing is, the bike seems to be running fine...

    Thanks for any/all comments and suggestions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBear View Post
    So...exactly "how screwed" am I?
    Hmm, good question.
    The experience that I have with oil sludge in the res/rad cap has been with the motor in several cars that I've worked on. Of the two that I owned both were blown head gaskets. One was repaired and the oil problem went away. The other was discovered at 80K miles and has never been fixed.....it now has 150K miles on it and still runs fine, and still has the oil sludge.

    I would take the bike in for service under warranty. Oil in the coolant, in any quantity, is not right.

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    I too would suspect a head gasket problem. It really surprises me because it's the first I've heard of this on any of these bikes. There was an issue with the head bolts but I think that was on the '07 models, not the '08. The good news is that you should still be under warranty and it should be covered.

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    Walt,

    Most likely cuprit are the seals on the water pump shaft, the water pump is on a driven gear in the crank case, there are seals to keep the oil in the crank case and coolant in the cooling system, sometimes when the seals go bad you will get oil in the coolant.
    There is a small chamber between the seals where any leaks should go first, check under the bike for a small rubber vent hose inline and behind the water pump housing, see if it is wet with oil or coolant, that should confirm if the seals are leeking.

    Had the same thing happen on my 98 Royal Star Tour Classic, but not till way after the warrenty was up.

    Check that you do not have coolant in your oil also.
    A compression test and compression leak down test at the deal should tell them if you have a blown head gasket.

    Good luck
    Steve K
    Edgewater , FL
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    Thumbs up Very Interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by M61A1MECH View Post
    Walt,

    Most likely cuprit are the seals on the water pump shaft, the water pump is on a driven gear in the crank case, there are seals to keep the oil in the crank case and coolant in the cooling system, sometimes when the seals go bad you will get oil in the coolant.
    There is a small chamber between the seals where any leaks should go first, check under the bike for a small rubber vent hose inline and behind the water pump housing, see if it is wet with oil or coolant, that should confirm if the seals are leeking.

    Had the same thing happen on my 98 Royal Star Tour Classic, but not till way after the warrenty was up.

    Check that you do not have coolant in your oil also.
    A compression test and compression leak down test at the deal should tell them if you have a blown head gasket.

    Good luck
    This is a very interesting suggestion - to be honest, it initially sounded pretty weak to me; in a response to a PM from BigBear I had already told him I thought it was almost certainly a head gasket.

    But after seeing this post, I pulled up the oil routing diagrams for this engine, and I now think that a bad head gasket is very unlikely!

    Unlike a typical car engine, there are no high-pressure oil passages running up through the block-to-head joint where a head gasket can develop a leak into a water passage. Looks like the only high-pressure oil line is an external connection directly to the heads. In contrast, the water pump driven gear and impeller shaft are prominently shown and labeled in several places in the lubrication diagrams, making it clear that they have a direct access to the high-pressure oil galleries.

    I now think that M61A1MECH's diagnosis is quite likely correct. Good job!

    But you still need to get that to the dealer ASAP to get it fixed before something else is damaged by the oil and water being where they do not belong.
    Goose
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    There are also coolant joints running between the heads. One front bank, one rear.

    They are plastic and keep the oil and water separate with three o-rings. If they fail, the two could mix.

    In cars, I agree, most often this issue signifies a blown head gasket ... and it might do here too. But the other suggestions are easier fixes, and worth trying first.

    A compression and leakdown test should help indicate a head gasket problem .... That would be my starting point.

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    I know the water pump seals were the culprit on my 98 TC, a couple of folks over on the Delphi forums had similar issues and found it to be the water pump shaft.
    Steve K
    Edgewater , FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by M61A1MECH View Post
    Walt,

    Check that you do not have coolant in your oil also.
    Steve;

    I drained the oil into a big open pan...no coolant in the oil...JUST (lol) oil in coolant.

    I'm gonna check the vent hose behind the waterpump in the morning....

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Walt

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    Quote Originally Posted by V7Goose View Post
    But after seeing this post, I pulled up the oil routing diagrams for this engine, and I now think that a bad head gasket is very unlikely!

    I now think that M61A1MECH's diagnosis is quite likely correct. Good job!

    But you still need to get that to the dealer ASAP to get it fixed before something else is damaged by the oil and water being where they do not belong.
    Goose
    Agreed! The dealer "should" be able to diagnose and repair the waterpump seals.

    Thanks checking the oil routing, and confirming Steve's suspicions!

    You guys rock!

    Walt

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    Quote Originally Posted by M61A1MECH View Post
    Walt,

    There is a small chamber between the seals where any leaks should go first, check under the bike for a small rubber vent hose inline and behind the water pump housing, see if it is wet with oil or coolant, that should confirm if the seals are leeking.
    Is this the waterpump vent hose? If so, it's dry as a bone...no coolant or oil.

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    Yes that is the one I was talking about, dry just means the oil is not collecting into that area for some reason.

    When you have the dealer fix it, make sure they flush the cooling system to get the residual oil out of the system.
    Steve K
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    Default The Dealer agrees with the experts!

    Had the coolant leak checked out by the Dealer, and confirmed by "DealerNet" (?).

    As M61A1MECH stated, the inner seal on the waterpump shaft is defective, and will be covered 100% under warranty!

    Should get the scoot back Tues/Wed, and should be good as new....just in time for our three week ride:

    1) Week 1 - Moonshiner 28, Deals Gap, Cherahola skyway, and general Smoky Mountain riding.
    2) Week 2 - Up to Dearborn Heights and Grand Rapids, then up the west coast of MI (UP)
    3) Week 3 - Over to Niagara Falls, then down to DC.

    Should be fun! The wife is proabably more excited than I am!

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