Coolant Leak? - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Coolant Leak?

OK I'll start from the beginning. I ride an '06 and I noticed a spot of coolant on the garage floor a few weeks ago but assumed it came from the overflow hose. After my last ride I noticed some coolant collected on the bottom of the fairing. When I pulled off the fairing it looked like the coolant came from the left side radiator and dripped down. I can't see any evidence of a continuing leak on the radiator or hoses. They were bone dry when I looked at them. I did noticed a little discoloration on the bottom front corner of the radiator. Is it a semi normal occurrence for coolant to come out of a hose fitting or possibly the seam of the radiator? I'm riding from Ma to UT in may for the superbike race and I'd like to take care of this if its something serious before I leave. HELP!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 07:51 PM
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Definatly not normal. Sure wouldn't take off on any trip with it like that.
Things to check,
1. the obvious, all hose and clamp connections should be clean and tight with no traces of leakage
2. Maybe your overflow bottle is somehow leaking
3. Check the condition of your radiator cap. If you cant pressure test it, replace it.
4. Check the inspection hose from water pump. It's on the right side. It should show zero sign of leaking. refer to picture...
Are there any other signs or things out of the ordinary when your bike is running? Like is it running slightly warmer? How's the volume of coolant?, it should be no more than 1/2 full in the overflow bottle with the rads full and engine cold.
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John, 2000 RC51 #000100


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jon. seeing what I can find today.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 12:40 PM
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I had the same problem with mine and found that the radiator had a small crack in it that would only leak when it warmed up, guess because they are aluminum and expand when heated.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 01:11 PM
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I had a similar problem coming from the right side. Only happened when warm, usually after shutting down, I looked closely yesterday and thank goodness it's coming from the radiator cap! I was almost weeping as bad as the radiator thinking about having to buy an new radiator, hopefully a new cap and I will be fine. Guess it's time after 11 years.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 02:14 PM
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Similar Issue

I have a 2001 rc51 that i have had since 2003 with 500 miles on it. Now it has about 40k or so miles and I am having a similar issue. However the coolant leak that I am experiencing is coming from the "inspection tube." I removed the plastics and let it run on the stand. Once the temp hits about 180 i start to get a slow drip from that tube. Took it for a naked ride and same thing happens. When I came across this forum I noticed the checklist with the picture of the inspection tube an said EUREKA...

Any Idea what the leak form the inspection tube means?

Thank You!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 08:19 PM
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It's time to refer to your Svc Manual. I don't have hands on experience with it, but that leaking from the inspection tube means your waterpump bearing are going out. I think. I only know what I've read about that, but it makes perfect sense to me.

John, 2000 RC51 #000100

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 12:06 AM
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The inspection tube is indicating your water pump mechanical seal is shot (the same is true for your car as well).
Coolant is leaking past the mechanical seal and into the cavity between the mechanical seal and the oil seal that divides the water pump shaft between the coolant side and oil side where the drive gear is.

Refer to the diagram below.
You need to replace the mechanical seal, oil seal, and water pump bearing (items 2, 8, and 10).

http://www.indyoem.com/fiche_section...2001&fveh=3620

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 11:28 AM
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Sounds Like Fun! Thank You for the quick response!! I was also told to run strictly honda "magical" coolant. Wish I knew that sooner!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-10-2012, 12:58 AM
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Coolant is coolant as long as it's compatable with aluminum and safe for plastic your good to go.
Because of the big twins' thuds and vibration, both of the radiator's hose clamps, especially those close to the frame, should be checked for tightness every 3000 or so miles.
I check them every time I take off the fairings.
This was a item on the things to check for maintenance of the beast from a motorcycling mag reviewing buying/ownership issues for the SP-1 and 2. Mine was dripping from said clamps when I bought it, with 3700 miles on it.
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