Author Topic: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil  (Read 709 times)

Offline Mark.r

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Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« on: March 24, 2024, 03:59:12 PM »
Hi,
I recently picked up a 94 k75s that was sitting for about 12 years in a garage. I have been going through rebuilding the brakes, injectors and fuel pump. I got to the point of giving it a start after flushing the coolant and oil change. When I tried to start the bike would not turn over. I had turned it over before when checking spark and ensuring it wasn't seized. When I removed the plugs there was coolant in the rear cylinder. My questions are:

1: has this come up before?

2: is it worth tearing in to the engine, and if so where so start?

3: Am I crazy being baffled that there is not coolant in the oil?

At least I learned to never pickup a bike without doing a compression test and just believe the prior owner.

Thanks in advance for the advice

Compression test
Cyl1: 150-155psi
Cyl2: 175-180 psi
Cyl3: 200 psi (the one with coolant)

Mark
  • California
  • 1994 K75S

Offline Mark.r

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2024, 06:32:43 PM »
I was leaning towards pulling he head. Time to look at the manual.
  • California
  • 1994 K75S

Offline daveson

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2024, 08:07:53 PM »
Are you sure that's coolant and not fuel with some oil mixed in? In that case it might be due to a leaking fuel pressure regulator.
  • Victoria, Australia
  • Current;'85 K100RT~100,000km; four other bricks. Past; 1500 Vulcan, V Star 650, KLX 250(dirt bike) TT250(dirt bike)

Offline Laitch

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2024, 08:29:06 PM »
When I tried to start the bike would not turn over. I had turned it over before when checking spark and ensuring it wasn't seized.
Are you indicating the engine is seized now?
  • Along the Ridley in Vermont.
  • 1995 K75 89,000 miles
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Offline Mark.r

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2024, 09:08:13 PM »
It's coolant, the bike turns over now that I pulled the plugs and a bunch of antifreeze came shooting out when I cranked it over
  • California
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Offline daveson

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2024, 11:32:55 PM »
Hydrolock could be caused by fuel or coolant, but I'm not sure if you eliminated fuel as a possibility by some other means.

The compression is good, so that's not a bad sign for the head gasket.
  • Victoria, Australia
  • Current;'85 K100RT~100,000km; four other bricks. Past; 1500 Vulcan, V Star 650, KLX 250(dirt bike) TT250(dirt bike)

Offline Mark.r

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2024, 01:21:23 PM »
So I cranked it over this morning and after sitting for a week coolant came shooting out of the spark plug hole. It looks like it is either a cracked head or gasket. Should I try to get it running, or just go for it and remove the head?
  • California
  • 1994 K75S

Offline caveman

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2024, 04:56:13 AM »
So I cranked it over this morning and after sitting for a week coolant came shooting out of the spark plug hole. It looks like it is either a cracked head or gasket. Should I try to get it running, or just go for it and remove the head?
Mark,
I would get it running if possible. If in fact you have a leak between the cylinder and water jacket it will buble into the coolant reservoir or blow out coolant if bad enough. At the very least I would pressure test the cooling system.
IMO taking things apart without doing a full diagnostic ends up expensive, frustrating, and often with unsuccessful results.
  • Kennerdell, PA.
  • 87 K100RT, 88 K100LT
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Offline bitsa

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2024, 05:13:18 AM »
+1 verify there's actually a problem internally before pulling the head. For one thing, with 200psi on the "wet" cylinder it may very well not have a head/gasket problem and the liquid is from some freak event & for another, if the head is cracked/gasket blown and it was run for any time like that there may have been glycol run through the engine and it may knock like a steam hammer when it fires up.

Either way would be wasted time, effort and money for you (one way you strip/reassemble and replace parts that were good anyway, the other way you spend all that time refreshing the top end and the bottom turns out junk.  Get it spun over with no plugs until the cylinders are empty/no hydrolock, throw plugs in & go for a start. If it runs with no major pressing issues (geysers of coolant or rods attempting to escape) then check out of the gearbox/clutch works too and go from there.

Pressure testing the cooling system is a good shout too, might show up a leak in a silly place.
  • Manchester, UK
  • 1986/87/88/89 K75/100/S/RT (k75s with lots of other parts)

Offline daveson

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2024, 05:13:55 PM »
There's a leak, that's true enough, but how do we know it's a coolant leak?

I think Caveman's advice is good, it's better to verify a coolant leak than to just rip into it.

On my brick for example the coolant is green, so if I saw a leak like that on mine, I'd go hmm, doesn't look green, what's it smell like. I'd look for leaking signs around the vacuum hose. If none I'd look for signs of dampness in it while cranking, or after cranking. Or bubbles in the coolant while cranking, stuff like that. This would only take seconds, and could save a bunch of time. The vacuum hose is on cylinder three, the leak is on cylinder three, coincidence, maybe.

I've fixed leaking head gaskets a bunch of times, where coolant was leaking into the cylinders, without removing the head. On all of those occasions it has always been on an outside cylinder, coincidence, maybe.
  • Victoria, Australia
  • Current;'85 K100RT~100,000km; four other bricks. Past; 1500 Vulcan, V Star 650, KLX 250(dirt bike) TT250(dirt bike)
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Offline Chaos

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2024, 07:47:13 PM »
I panicked when I found a puddle of green under my bike.  Turns out it was a can of Mountain Dew that sprang a leak in my saddlebag.  Compression was fine nonetheless.
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Offline caveman

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2024, 07:58:26 PM »
If I was looking at a brick that has sat for 12 years and I had no first hand knowledge of it....
I would not jump on the first symptom I find.

If it came with a death certificate and you want to preform a autopsy then please post pictures.
  • Kennerdell, PA.
  • 87 K100RT, 88 K100LT
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Offline daveson

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2024, 10:45:01 PM »
Yes we can, but here's a thing. Was it yesterday that schrocketeer said his no start problem wasn't related to his starter spinning direction. You didn't trust that, I didn't, we were right. But I trusted everything else he said. Sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, does that mean put your balls on the line and admit to something you don't want to? Schrocketeer did, bonus. Maybe there is another reason. What's wrong with spending ten seconds to verify that the fuel pressure regulator isn't leaking, instead of guessing it isn't and pulling the head?
  • Victoria, Australia
  • Current;'85 K100RT~100,000km; four other bricks. Past; 1500 Vulcan, V Star 650, KLX 250(dirt bike) TT250(dirt bike)
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Offline caveman

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2024, 04:30:25 AM »
Is the clutch good? Driveshaft? Final drive? Is it charging? Instruments all work? Does it ride like a pogo stick?

Is there vibration in the engine? Does it make a knocking sound?
  • Kennerdell, PA.
  • 87 K100RT, 88 K100LT

Offline Laitch

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2024, 07:29:50 AM »
Доверяй, но проверяй
  • Along the Ridley in Vermont.
  • 1995 K75 89,000 miles
I wept because I had no radials until I met a man who had no splines.
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Offline daveson

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2024, 11:31:56 AM »
No not saying he doesn't know twice, but the question was ignored twice, this could be for a number of different reasons.

Colour? Bubbles? Smell? Moisture in the vacuum hose? Stuff like that. No special equipment required.

Four posters hunting for coolant leak to be verified.

An answer would be good (it's 2 30 am, getting up at 5, waiting for the weekend)
  • Victoria, Australia
  • Current;'85 K100RT~100,000km; four other bricks. Past; 1500 Vulcan, V Star 650, KLX 250(dirt bike) TT250(dirt bike)

Offline Laitch

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2024, 11:52:44 AM »
3: Am I crazy being baffled that there is not coolant in the oil?
You aren't crazy being baffled. If it hadn't run in 12 years coolant likely wouldn't be flowing much without pump pressure. If it had been on the side stand most of the time during idleness, any coolant after its last run probably would remain above the piston because the angle of the engine when the Brick is on the side stand would have moved it toward the valves.

As far as the cost of testing equipment—leak-down or other—testing goes, any of that would likely be loaned by NAPA, Autozone, or some other big outfit, with only a refundable credit card deposit. I've taken advantage of that a few times with NAPA.
  • Along the Ridley in Vermont.
  • 1995 K75 89,000 miles
I wept because I had no radials until I met a man who had no splines.
https://tinyurl.com/RillRider

Offline Mark.r

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2024, 11:03:41 PM »
I should have the head off this weekend. When I get it apart I will post some pics. Any tips on identifying a cracked head vs a bad gasket?
  • California
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Offline frankenduck

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2024, 06:28:28 AM »
Pay attention to the numbers on the cam bearing caps:

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Offline bitsa

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2024, 04:42:57 PM »

Easiest test would be to take a match to what is coming out of the cylinder.  What does it say if the stuff doesn't ignite? 


It would suggest that (if it is in fact gasoline) that it was bad from being 12 years old, or that (if it is indeed antifreeze) that it's not a very high concentration since Glycol is also flammable...

  • Manchester, UK
  • 1986/87/88/89 K75/100/S/RT (k75s with lots of other parts)

Offline Laitch

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2024, 05:17:18 PM »
OMFG!  I'm done posting or even reading this thread.
How about listening to it as a podcast? Would that be ok?
  • Along the Ridley in Vermont.
  • 1995 K75 89,000 miles
I wept because I had no radials until I met a man who had no splines.
https://tinyurl.com/RillRider
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Offline bitsa

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2024, 05:36:00 PM »
OMFG!  I'm done posting or even reading this thread.

 4265249878

But in all seriousness my original thought (and one I stand by) is that at least getting it to run/ride one could confirm viability of the project/potential cost of getting it up to snuff prior to dumping time effort and money into replacing the HG (or even the head too). I think that's where Caveman & daveson were also getting at.

I know it's highly likely to in fact be HG or head cracked (hell, even split liner worst case?), but if you're going to the effort of doing the head you might as well know whether your bottom end is any cop beforehand, or the gearbox/final/clutch/suspension etc etc etc.  Just a small amount of glycol causes an engines plain bearings to fail in pretty short order as I'm sure you know given you have double my years around engines & given the lack of known history what's to say the oil wasn't changed/leaked coolant bled out the drain just after it started hammering? It was parked 12 years ago for something, more likely than they just stopped riding but held onto the bike... 
  • Manchester, UK
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Offline caveman

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2024, 05:33:44 AM »
bitsa,
That is exactly what I was thinking. Thank you for putting it into words for me!

I am also very lazy and hate doing things twice or more. Half the engines that I have worked on have had other problems caused by being hydro locked. Mainly damaged bearings and/or bent connecting rods.

If the OP asked me to check the head and replace the gasket I would turn the job down. I pride myself as a mechanic and not a parts changer. I would however offer to sell him my 88LT that is in good running order but all fairing parts are damaged as well as right side peg plate broken and muffler skinned up for less $ than the head repair.

note: My son got his first 8-10K miles on a full size bike using that LT.
  • Kennerdell, PA.
  • 87 K100RT, 88 K100LT

Offline daveson

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2024, 07:34:39 AM »
Time for someone to say time out guys, we're all on the same side here, we're just trying to help Mark out, that's all, no big deal.

Come on Gryph try to understand what I'm on about, I never asked for a chemical analysis. What I was looking for was a comment like, it's green like my coolant, or it smells like coolant, or something like that.

Before I posted the recent schrocketeer question I thought I hope this doesn't come across like a suck eggs comment, and you helped me with that, but even so he felt he had to swallow some pride. Maybe my English was too sloppy this time.

Mark please believe me this was a genuine question with no intent to offend. You did say thanks for comments, well that was mine, given for free, with the slim hope that I might be able to save you some time.

Gryph, please don't stop posting, I don't think it's fair on Mark, let Mark sort the wheat from the shaff, I think he already has.

  • Victoria, Australia
  • Current;'85 K100RT~100,000km; four other bricks. Past; 1500 Vulcan, V Star 650, KLX 250(dirt bike) TT250(dirt bike)
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Offline daveson

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Re: Coolant/antifreeze in cylinder, but not oil
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2024, 07:54:29 AM »
  I have been around engines for about 65 years now, and in my experience it is pretty hard to mistake gasoline for glycol antifreeze.

Therein lies the problem. You couldn't but many could. Most of us riders aren't mechanics. Many of us don't have much mechanical skill and aren't good at this, including myself. I think you know more than 99 percent of people here, and I'll never know one percent of what you do about mechanics.

Here's where I was coming from. Over here at least, petrol (gas) is usually red, but sometimes it's colourless and looks like water. Some riders would look at a leak like that and say water, I must have a coolant leak.
  • Victoria, Australia
  • Current;'85 K100RT~100,000km; four other bricks. Past; 1500 Vulcan, V Star 650, KLX 250(dirt bike) TT250(dirt bike)

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