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Thread: Coolant in oil - whats leaking?

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    Member MisterP's Avatar
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    Coolant in oil - whats leaking?

    Hope everyones having a good 'straylia day.

    So...Ive had my ZX7R for a while now, and its been a good workhorse...unfortunately during its summer service I can see I have quite a bit of coolant in the oil backed up by an empty header tank and mayo under the filler cap.

    Heres where I need some help.

    Compression tested the engine and all cylinders show good compression and well within 5% of one another so im ruling out head gasket for now...besides the bike never overheated and always ran really well with no white smoke from the exhaust..

    The 750 engine runs a oil/coolant cooler and is the first thing I suspect could be wrong.
    Only problem is that given that oil runs at higher pressure than coolant (50-80 PSI for oil vs. ~ 15psi for coolant) how would coolant have entered the oil system and not the otherway round? Id have expected high pressure to leak into low pressure not the other way round.

    Any idea how to pressure test it?

    If its not the oil cooler any ideas?

    Theres talk on the ZX forums of water pumps and gaskets, but I cant see where the coolant could leak into the oil system even if the mechanical seal were faulty on the water pump.

    Any pointers or anyone come across this before?

    Cheers

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    Member whipp3t's Avatar
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    Have you looked at the water pump?
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    Member MisterP's Avatar
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    Not had it out and looked, but see that its mentioned a few times in google searches.

    Nothing is coming out of the hole to indicate the mech seal has gone..If the pump seal has gone do they leak into the crankcase?

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    Yeh nah... Coolant remains in high pressure when hot... motor turned off oil pressure falls to zero.

    head gasket.. if oil has dirty appearance in floaties at top of overflow bottle ( ?? ) Exhaust side of gskt....spark plug area and exhasut side of motor is always hottest and needs the flow of coolant...

    thermostat will be siezed. rubber expanded and reducing flow as well.

    Use a co2 sniffer type check thingamajig to be sure.... detects exhaust gas in coolant....( chem simply changes colour in the presence of gas) hopefully it's nuthin...

    Most radiator mobs/2nd year app mechs will have one of these....
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    Member BusaSteve's Avatar
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    Oil coolers are, typically, remote from the coolant system. However on checking the intersnitz it appears your oil cooler is similar to the ones fitted to the MT09's which are actually cooled by the main cooling system via an inlet and outlet. This has happened to a couple of Mt owners where the cooler has been damaged and allowed coolant to enter the oil.



    If yours looks like this then it would be suspect.
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    Member MisterP's Avatar
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    Thanks guys..

    Currently Im looking at cheapest upwards so the oil - water cooler is #1 suspect along with the water pump (apparently they fail but rather than leak thru the hole, they leak down the shaft and drip into the crankcase..stupid design).
    Im hoping its not the head gasket and compression checks and all plugs are nice and tan brown point to the head gasket being OK...I hope

    Cheers again...

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    Member Hillz's Avatar
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    it will be the head gasket
    "Itís not going to judge you like a fucking Volkswagen would."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillz View Post
    it will be the head gasket
    I used to think the same, but then discovered that there is a cheap water pump seal that goes on KTM LC4's. So maybe there is a glimmer of hope for him.
    -

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    Fingers crossed....
    Leakdown test shows no major difference between cylinders so its looking promising.

    New water pump ordered anyway. If its HG then it may be time for a new bike
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    Member BusaSteve's Avatar
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    My money is on the oil cooler. Get a rad check using a sniffer.
    Smoke me a kipper...I'll be home in time for breakfast

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    Thanks for the replies,

    Any idea if the oil cooler is on the hi or lo pressure side of the oil system? Would it need pressure testing to 50+psi or lower (if on the scavenger side)?
    Going to use air and a bucket of water to check for leaks.

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    Member BusaSteve's Avatar
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    I would think it is on the return side to remove heat from the oil.
    Smoke me a kipper...I'll be home in time for breakfast

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    even a pin hole will show up under water with a minimum of pressure...
    " Imagination is the seed of life..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterP View Post
    Thanks for the replies,

    Any idea if the oil cooler is on the hi or lo pressure side of the oil system? Would it need pressure testing to 50+psi or lower (if on the scavenger side)?
    Going to use air and a bucket of water to check for leaks.
    Its on the pressure side of the pump.
    Pressure relief valve would open at ~60psi, but you'll see if there's an air leak well below that.
    Respect is earned, not enforced.

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    Just thought Id close this off.

    Pulled the water pump and the seal was completely shot. New pump wasnt cheap but looks to have fixed the problem.

    Thanks for all the help...fork seals next.
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    HooRay!!!!!!!!!!!
    " Imagination is the seed of life..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterP View Post
    Just thought Id close this off.

    Pulled the water pump and the seal was completely shot. New pump wasnt cheap but looks to have fixed the problem.

    Thanks for all the help...fork seals next.
    Much easier/cheaper than replacing a head gasket Looks like whipp3t nailed it
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    Member whipp3t's Avatar
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    Hi MisterP before you go and spend all the hard earned on the fork seals price up a set of friction pads for the clutch. I've heard that the bonding agent for the friction pads is a water based glue. There's a chance I'm wrong with this but you don't want bits breaking off and going into the oil galleries.

    Sorry to put this in your basket as well

    cheers mate
    The past is History
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    and Now is a Gift, that's why it is called The Present.

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    Member agrid's Avatar
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    That's good news on the head gasket.
    -

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    Member MisterP's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up whipp3t..I'll get a set of friction plates and fit them just in case. As you say not worth saving $75 if the engine goes bang due to the oil pump getting bits in it.

    Cheers

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