HELP, coolant/oil mix coming out of the valve cover breather

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by waynea, Jul 30, 2022.

  1. waynea

    waynea New Member

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    After procrastinating most of the summer I finally rebuilt the clutch master and slave cylinders. I started the bike and noticed a lot of white smoke while warming up. Took off the air cleaner and noticed liquid in the air cleaner base. I started the bike and after a few minutes a coolant and oil mix started spraying out the breather.

    I thought bad head gasket but now I’m thinking maybe a crack in the head. Any way of testing? I’m looking for my compression tester now. Don’t have a leak-down tester.

    Thanks,
    Wayne
     
  2. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    a cooling system pressure tester that goes onto the rad cap area is wacha need.
     
  3. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Member

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    Was this the first time in a long time that the bike has been running? The reason that I ask is that when I start my 5th gen after a long winter's nap it will have a milky oil and water mix that takes a while to clear up due to the condensation built up in the crankcase over the cold weather months. It will be very obvious when I look at the clear clutch window in my Sebspeed modded clutch cover (see attached photo). I will also get some of the crankcase oil that shows up in the air box when/ if I've over filled the crankcase oil level.
     

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  4. waynea

    waynea New Member

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    I don’t have a coolant pressure tester. I know the coolant is getting to the rear head and out the breather and it’s a lot. I disconnected the hose from the air cleaner base and directed it into a container. Ran the engine for a while and about 8oz (200ml for those in Europe) came out the breather in about 10 seconds. See the pic, its brown coolant. I bet when I take the rear valve cover off there won’t be any oil, the coolant washed the head clean.

    I did a compression test on the cylinders, readings below. I drained the coolant and it was a little brown. I drained 7 ¼ cups, about 3 cups missing. Will have to wait to drain the oil, it started raining.

    Rear head
    #1 180psi
    #3 180psi

    Front Head
    #2 170psi
    #4 180psi

    I guess I need to see how the oil looks and the 2 heads when I remove the covers.
     

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  5. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Member

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    What does that coolant look like after a few minutes? Does it seperate into coolant on the bottom and oil on top?
     
  6. waynea

    waynea New Member

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    Well, I took a picture of the coolant after letting it sit overnight. It's the pic in the gallon container. Brown in color, no oil. Maybe rust? The other pic is when I drain it in to a container, it's more green. Starting to rain again so draining the oil will have to wait.

    Does anyone know how to move this thread to another forum ? I want to move it to the Mechanics Garage forum since I really need help on tracing the way coolant got in the head.
     

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  7. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    rust is common in seldom-maintained bikes sitting long with old coolant or empty systems.

    did that bike overheat some time recently ? did you need to add coolant ?


    green looks like normal antifreeze.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
  8. waynea

    waynea New Member

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    The coolant was in the bike for about 4 years. No leaks and never had to add coolant to the reserve. It never overheated maybe 2000 miles in four years. It’s the same coolant in both pictures. It looks brown in the gallon container and green in the pail. No oil mixed in the coolant, but there’s about 28oz of coolant missing. Where did it go? Out the breather and maybe in the crankcase??? With the cause being???
     
  9. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    entropy
     
  10. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    The corrosion inhibitors are being used up...... Google checking coolant with a voltmeter if you're concerned. Use long life (5 year plus) coolants if you can. The OEM stuff is supposed to be changed every two years according to the maintenance schedule.
     
  11. RogueRC24

    RogueRC24 New Member

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    As for the missing coolant, you would be surprised how much fluid remains in the inner pathways of the engine even after a drain. I had my engine out for months and every time I moved the engine around by hand (rotating, sliding.etc) more coolant would come out even with the water pump off.
    I did a pressure flush with my garden hose to blow out potential rust and build up just before placing the engine back in the frame. Did another flush with distilled water to get the mineral garden hose water out.
     
  12. waynea

    waynea New Member

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    Okay, one cup is still in the engine, one cup came out the breather and into the carbs the first time I started the engine with the air filter on and white smoke filled the yard. The 3rd cup came out into the container after I took off the air cleaner housing. No white smoke that time.

    The problem is how to fix the bike. New head gaskets? Has anyone removed the heads? Do I really need to remove the cams from the head just to replace the head gasket?
     
  13. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Your compression test readings do not indicate blown head gaskets.
     
  14. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    ^^i agree, but a crack can open up when the engine reaches operating temp.

    IF you studied the fsm you'd KNOW the cams must come off to remove the head.

    cooling system pressure test would be your next logical step.......
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
  15. waynea

    waynea New Member

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    After taking the valve cover off I realized you need to take the cams out to get to the head bolts. I’ll push 10psi of smoke through the coolant passages in the engine tomorrow when I get a cone adapter.
     
  16. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Member

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    It may help us to know how long this bike sat without being run.

    It is possible that a leak in the head gasket between oil and coolant passages could let coolant leak into an oil passage and that would find it's way into the crankcase and out through a crankcase breather. This would be a bit of a odd possibility, but still..... If that was the case, there should be coolant in the crankcase with the oil. You should be able to see it when you drain the oil.

    If you do your smoke test, take the oil fill cap off of the clutch cover to see if the leak/ smoke ends up comming out of the crankcase.
     
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