Is it normal to lose any coolant at all?


24 replies to this topic
  • Bitteeinbit

Posted August 22, 2016 - 07:00 PM

#1

I've had a blown seal issue before (coolant literally GUSHING from the waterpump seal). I had the seals/bearings replaced. Last Sunday I went for a 5-6 hour ride. It was hot, as it always is (35+C/100F) and we were mostly doing deep sand tracks. Mostly the pace was brisk (full out 3rd or 2nd), but a bit of crawling now and then. At one stop in the ride I checked my overflow tank and noticed the bike had boiled over a tiny bit, but didn't think too much of it. Got home, washed the bike and then the next morning, checked the coolant level in the radiators. To my unpleasant surprise, I couldn't see any coolant. I topped it up and luckily, the radiators were still almost full. I topped up around 150ml (that's 5oz for you Americanos) of distilled water. Is this normal considering the heat, or does it mean I have yet another seal/bearing/impeller shaft problem coming my way?

 

One thing to note is that I used to have a 1.6 bar tusk radiator cap, but opted for a 1.1 on that ride. I'd been on many rides before with the 1.6 and always had a full radiator, but I figured maybe the 1.6 caused more internal pressure, which in turn caused the seals to blow so badly. Is 150ml loss of coolant during a revvy/sandy/hot 6 hour ride normal?


Edited by Bitteeinbit, August 22, 2016 - 07:09 PM.


  • stevethe

Posted August 22, 2016 - 07:18 PM

#2

There really isn't much of normal. It depends on how hard it is ridden and how much coolant is mixed in. The more coolant it could run hotter however less puking coolant.

  • Bitteeinbit

Posted August 23, 2016 - 07:01 AM

#3

You mean it's not normal to lose any coolant, or there's no "normal" amount to lose, it just depends on the riding conditions? I was certainly wringing her out in 2nd and 3rd a lot. Maybe it boiled over but the coolant never made it back? Either way, it's a bit worrying (though only 150ml isn't too bad). Just worried because I have a 2-day trip coming up and don't want a mechanical failure to ruin it midway. I think I'll be running the 1.6 again to see if it makes a difference. 



  • stevethe

Posted August 23, 2016 - 07:08 AM

#4

You need to run at least a mixture of 50/50 coolant.



  • DeepPurplishBlue

Posted August 23, 2016 - 07:18 AM

#5

When you say "checked my overflow tank and noticed the bike had boiled over a tiny bit" what exactly

does that mean?

 

Are you saying you had the bottle empty before and noticed there was now some coolant in it?    Or,

did you notice the level had increased?

 

I ask because if the level in the bottle is at the correct normal level you should not have had low levels

in the radiators.    If any coolant pushes into the bottle when the bike is hot it is drawn back into the

radiator when it cools.    But this only works if there is already coolant in the catch tank.

 

If the tank was empty I suppose it is possible the bike pushed some coolant out when it was hot

but was unable to draw it back in because the level in the tank was too low.

 

If that is not the situation you may have a leak somewhere because in normal use the catch tank

will keep the radiator full if the tank has coolant in it.



  • Krannie McKranface

Posted August 23, 2016 - 02:05 PM

#6

When the fluid boils over into the overflow tank, usally some remains, in the tank, making the radiator look a little low.

It is fine.



  • Bitteeinbit

Posted August 23, 2016 - 05:26 PM

#7

When you say "checked my overflow tank and noticed the bike had boiled over a tiny bit" what exactly

does that mean?

 

Are you saying you had the bottle empty before and noticed there was now some coolant in it?    Or,

did you notice the level had increased?

 

I ask because if the level in the bottle is at the correct normal level you should not have had low levels

in the radiators.    If any coolant pushes into the bottle when the bike is hot it is drawn back into the

radiator when it cools.    But this only works if there is already coolant in the catch tank.

 

If the tank was empty I suppose it is possible the bike pushed some coolant out when it was hot

but was unable to draw it back in because the level in the tank was too low.

 

If that is not the situation you may have a leak somewhere because in normal use the catch tank

will keep the radiator full if the tank has coolant in it.

I was on a very level surface, scratched off the mud and saw that the coolant level in my catch tank (it already had coolant) had increased by a hairline. Not much, but noticeable. I'll double check again, but I'm pretty sure I'm between the lines in the catch tank. I tried not to idle too much, but my e-start is dead (AGAIN), and three of the riders in our group were a bit less experienced, so I had to wait for them at junctions to make sure they didn't get lost. I shut off the bike most of the time, but towards the end I would let it idle more than I believe is good for an already hot 450 (20+ seconds). 

 

When the fluid boils over into the overflow tank, usally some remains, in the tank, making the radiator look a little low.

It is fine.

That's reassuring. 5oz/150ml out of 1.2L or whatever it is, isn't that much. Thanks. I'll keep and eye on it on this weekends' ride. 



  • DeepPurplishBlue

Posted August 23, 2016 - 06:57 PM

#8

I was on a very level surface, scratched off the mud and saw that the coolant level in my catch tank (it already had coolant) had increased by a hairline. Not much, but noticeable. I'll double check again, but I'm pretty sure I'm between the lines in the catch tank. I tried not to idle too much, but my e-start is dead (AGAIN), and three of the riders in our group were a bit less experienced, so I had to wait for them at junctions to make sure they didn't get lost. I shut off the bike most of the time, but towards the end I would let it idle more than I believe is good for an already hot 450 (20+ seconds). 

 

That's reassuring. 5oz/150ml out of 1.2L or whatever it is, isn't that much. Thanks. I'll keep and eye on it on this weekends' ride. 

 

 

I ride extensively in the Philippines where it is damn hot, probably hotter than Cambodia. 

 

My WR450 will boil sometimes on long slow technical sections and once it cools the radiator is always

full.  If not to the very top, very close.   Never do I open the cap and NOT see coolant.    The critical

thing is the catch bottle must have coolant in it, and the hoses between the tank and radiator must

be in good condition with no leaks or kinks.

 

If all that is as it should be and you still boiled enough coolant out of the radiator to not see any

you must have got it really really hot...     If the system is tight and working as it is supposed to

it SHOULD eventually draw the coolant back into the radiator after a few normal heat/cool cycles.

Of course, you can also just top it up manually and avoid the wait as you did.



  • Baja trail Rider

Posted August 23, 2016 - 07:50 PM

#9

Good post DPB it also gets hot in baja. In our Wrs we run 100% car coolant no water.They may run slight bit hotter,but don't loose coolant or boil over ever. We have done this on all our bikes since 1987.



  • Bitteeinbit

Posted August 24, 2016 - 12:56 AM

#10

I ride extensively in the Philippines where it is damn hot, probably hotter than Cambodia. 

 

My WR450 will boil sometimes on long slow technical sections and once it cools the radiator is always

full.  If not to the very top, very close.   Never do I open the cap and NOT see coolant.    The critical

thing is the catch bottle must have coolant in it, and the hoses between the tank and radiator must

be in good condition with no leaks or kinks.

 

If all that is as it should be and you still boiled enough coolant out of the radiator to not see any

you must have got it really really hot...     If the system is tight and working as it is supposed to

it SHOULD eventually draw the coolant back into the radiator after a few normal heat/cool cycles.

Of course, you can also just top it up manually and avoid the wait as you did.

 

I've been to the Phils and it's about the same as Cambodia: hot and humid as hell.

 

To be honest, I usually never had this problem with my old radiator cap. If I noticed I had boiled over, I'd wait a bit and the coolant would get sucked back in. However, that old WR radiator cap's seal conked out a few months ago. With no OEM in sight, I replaced it with a Yamaha R1 cap... 1.1 Bar and fit is the same. Seemed to work alright. Maybe a week or two after I started using the R1 cap, theTusk 1.6 I had ordered arrived, so I switched to that. I don't recall ever boiling over with the 1.6 on. When I removed the 1.6 cap a few hours after a ride, the radiators would always be full.

 

Then two weeks ago my waterpump seals gave out. I was worried the 1.6 Tusk might have caused the seal leak (more internal pressure?), so I switched back to the R1 cap before last week's ride. Maybe the used R1 cap is also toast, so it didn't suck it back in? Should I put the 1.6 back on and see how it goes? It seems like tons of people run the Tusk 1.6 with no problems at all, so perhaps the seals weren't installed properly and the 1.6 has nothing to do with the blown waterpump seals.

 

 

 

Good post DPB it also gets hot in baja. In our Wrs we run 100% car coolant no water.They may run slight bit hotter,but don't loose coolant or boil over ever. We have done this on all our bikes since 1987.

 

That's weird... I've heard about people doing this before. I've also heard about people only running water... A guy I know informed me that since coolant/antifreeze is thicker than water, it doesn't circulate as well, nor does it carry heat away as well as water. So running more water has better cooling properties than simply adding more green coolant... Thus I've been told two things: some people run ONLY antifreeze, while others run a way higher water-to-coolant ratio. I've tended to stay in the 50-50 range. I'm not arguing with your years of experience, but wouldn't a car or bike on 100% coolant actually run way hotter than if it had some water in there?

 



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  • stevethe

Posted August 24, 2016 - 05:12 AM

#11

I've been to the Phils and it's about the same as Cambodia: hot and humid as hell.
 
To be honest, I usually never had this problem with my old radiator cap. If I noticed I had boiled over, I'd wait a bit and the coolant would get sucked back in. However, that old WR radiator cap's seal conked out a few months ago. With no OEM in sight, I replaced it with a Yamaha R1 cap... 1.1 Bar and fit is the same. Seemed to work alright. Maybe a week or two after I started using the R1 cap, theTusk 1.6 I had ordered arrived, so I switched to that. I don't recall ever boiling over with the 1.6 on. When I removed the 1.6 cap a few hours after a ride, the radiators would always be full.
 
Then two weeks ago my waterpump seals gave out. I was worried the 1.6 Tusk might have caused the seal leak (more internal pressure?), so I switched back to the R1 cap before last week's ride. Maybe the used R1 cap is also toast, so it didn't suck it back in? Should I put the 1.6 back on and see how it goes? It seems like tons of people run the Tusk 1.6 with no problems at all, so perhaps the seals weren't installed properly and the 1.6 has nothing to do with the blown waterpump seals.
 
 
 

 
That's weird... I've heard about people doing this before. I've also heard about people only running water... A guy I know informed me that since coolant/antifreeze is thicker than water, it doesn't circulate as well, nor does it carry heat away as well as water. So running more water has better cooling properties than simply adding more green coolant... Thus I've been told two things: some people run ONLY antifreeze, while others run a way higher water-to-coolant ratio. I've tended to stay in the 50-50 range. I'm not arguing with your years of experience, but wouldn't a car or bike on 100% coolant actually run way hotter than if it had some water in there?


We do some extreme rides that would boil out 50/50 anti freeze real quick. Straight anti freeze works fine in my WR's without fans. Never boils over. Never had any too hot running issues. I also run it straight in my WR450 supermoto street bike. You should run at least 50/50 for corrosion protection.

  • Mr.mudman112

Posted August 24, 2016 - 05:16 AM

#12

Yeah a 50/50 mix in crucial. Antifreeze/ coolant keeps thing cool, and water is a strong heat exchange. I had too much in at one point and My over flow drained it to the correct level. Now I have coolant and water sitting just above the fins and water overtop of it. Yours should look similar to that!

  • Mr.mudman112

Posted August 24, 2016 - 05:17 AM

#13

I've been to the Phils and it's about the same as Cambodia: hot and humid as hell.

To be honest, I usually never had this problem with my old radiator cap. If I noticed I had boiled over, I'd wait a bit and the coolant would get sucked back in. However, that old WR radiator cap's seal conked out a few months ago. With no OEM in sight, I replaced it with a Yamaha R1 cap... 1.1 Bar and fit is the same. Seemed to work alright. Maybe a week or two after I started using the R1 cap, theTusk 1.6 I had ordered arrived, so I switched to that. I don't recall ever boiling over with the 1.6 on. When I removed the 1.6 cap a few hours after a ride, the radiators would always be full.

Then two weeks ago my waterpump seals gave out. I was worried the 1.6 Tusk might have caused the seal leak (more internal pressure?), so I switched back to the R1 cap before last week's ride. Maybe the used R1 cap is also toast, so it didn't suck it back in? Should I put the 1.6 back on and see how it goes? It seems like tons of people run the Tusk 1.6 with no problems at all, so perhaps the seals weren't installed properly and the 1.6 has nothing to do with the blown waterpump seals.




That's weird... I've heard about people doing this before. I've also heard about people only running water... A guy I know informed me that since coolant/antifreeze is thicker than water, it doesn't circulate as well, nor does it carry heat away as well as water. So running more water has better cooling properties than simply adding more green coolant... Thus I've been told two things: some people run ONLY antifreeze, while others run a way higher water-to-coolant ratio. I've tended to stay in the 50-50 range. I'm not arguing with your years of experience, but wouldn't a car or bike on 100% coolant actually run way hotter than if it had some water in there?

listen to this guy he is absolutely correct.

  • Bitteeinbit

Posted August 24, 2016 - 05:47 AM

#14

Which guy? The guy who says to run more coolant, or the one who says to run more water?

  • Baja trail Rider

Posted August 24, 2016 - 06:31 AM

#15

Let me explain Bitt we are both right.100% coolant does run hotter.Here is the deal for me,we are on hard slow trail for hours.Our bikes with all coolant do not boil over.My buddys on ride that happen to be engineers that said you have to run 50%/50%mix.All over heat boiled out there 50%/50% mix.Its hot as hell outside,now there canteen water goes in radiator.They suffered now say what the hell 100% coolant. This is nothing new My old 87Cr500 I still have 100% coolant. All bets are off with KTM over heating cooling fans/100% coolant/over size radiators/double overflow tanks still over heat.So the experts can argue,but the results for me go back to 1987.What is better boiled over nothing in radiator,or full radiator runs slight bit hotter. This does not work in a car or truck it boils over.



  • DeepPurplishBlue

Posted August 24, 2016 - 07:24 AM

#16

The 50/50 mix is the best compromise with respect to heat transfer (better with water) and boiling point (better with coolant).

 

Running pure coolant will get you the highest possible boiling point but as BTR says it will run hotter because the heat transfer

is not as good as with a mix.  

 

Never run only water unless it is just temporary in an emergency as there is no corrosion protection and the boiling point is lower.

 

In my bikes I run 50/50 propylene glycol, which is what Engine Ice is.   I just get it in gallon bottles from Cummins/Fleetguard at

half the price.   This coolant has better heat transfer and higher boiling point than ethylene glycol (the usual green coolant) so in

our hot climates it works much better.   We very rarely boil with this coolant, and only in extreme conditions.  Whereas the green

stuff would boil at the drop of a hat.   The freezing point is higher than the green stuff, but in SE Asia we don't care because

it never gets cold there.



  • The Salt

Posted August 26, 2016 - 03:43 AM

#17

Why not just run the factory Yamalube that came in your bike when it was new?  I believe its pre mixed too... no fuss or mixing.



  • Baja trail Rider

Posted August 27, 2016 - 06:41 AM

#18

Why   Because all of our bikes overheated And all the Yamalube on ground past over flow tank. 100% coolent no fuss or mixing.



  • Mr.mudman112

Posted August 28, 2016 - 03:55 PM

#19

Let me explain Bitt we are both right.100% coolant does run hotter.Here is the deal for me,we are on hard slow trail for hours.Our bikes with all coolant do not boil over.My buddys on ride that happen to be engineers that said you have to run 50%/50%mix.All over heat boiled out there 50%/50% mix.Its hot as hell outside,now there canteen water goes in radiator.They suffered now say what the hell 100% coolant. This is nothing new My old 87Cr500 I still have 100% coolant. All bets are off with KTM over heating cooling fans/100% coolant/over size radiators/double overflow tanks still over heat.So the experts can argue,but the results for me go back to 1987.What is better boiled over nothing in radiator,or full radiator runs slight bit hotter. This does not work in a car or truck it boils over.

I got a small note.. Maybe get air cooled bike? Most trail bikes are air cooled! Then you have no coolant worries!

  • Baja trail Rider

Posted August 28, 2016 - 03:58 PM

#20

I ride both air cooled and water cooled. Your right .






 
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