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Coolant leak

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TheWizardofOdds
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Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 6:45 pm

I had noticed that my right boot had small spots on of fluid on recently, I mean tiny. I thought nothing more, maybe just the wax oil grease I put on melting in the heat..Erm, no. 

Checked my bike earlier before I take it to work tomorrow and saw a leak under the radiator. 

Checked coolant, low. Only just into the upper part of the plastic chamber and well below the low level. I took the bike out yesterday and worked it hard, with the heat and a serious blast through the country. 

On close inspection I noticed a reddish fluid same colour as coolant sitting in a small pool next to clutch cable above where you fill the oil, I know, I'm clueless, but there you go. I ran the engine and noticed that the fluid is leaking from the bottom of the clutch cable, which would explain the small spots of fluid on my boot. 

My question is... what's going on!? I've bought a coolant/antifreeze concentrate, on the bottle it says not to mix different types, but can I fill up with this concentrate? Do I fill it when the engine is stopped and cool? 

Any help much appreciated. I'm on a good run and have been on the bike every day for a while now and want to ride it to work tomorrow. I can then take the fairing/tank off and have a proper look on my five days off from tomorrow teatime.
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wornsprokets
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by wornsprokets on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 7:08 pm

I wouldnt ride the bike if its leaking coolant. The cb radiators are not great with age mine was leakin at the weld where the pipe goes in on bottom of lhs. I got a second hand radiator and i recommend a fender extender too, my coolant when i got cb was green and when i changed the radiator i used blue, they say not to mix different colour coolants  .i changed coolant and the flushed out the system  and put new coolant in (had connected new rad in before)  check where leak is and if it rad not a pipe, i get one on ebay. Also u need to check coolant level at radiator cap under tank. Not expansion bottle(plastic bottle) on rhs. Hope this helps
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Jameshambleton
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by Jameshambleton on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 7:21 pm

Coolant is supposed to be changed every 2 years so if it's been longer than that just change it, it not then it might be worth doing or just top up with water.
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 7:26 pm

Jameshambleton wrote:Coolant is supposed to be changed every 2 years so if it's been longer than that just change it, it not then it might be worth doing or just top up with water.

Can I add the concentrate 50/50 with de-ionised water as per Haynes manual, tonight, or should I just top up with water as you say? How much does the system take when its drained and replaced ?
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 3:08 pm

wornsprokets wrote:I wouldnt ride the bike if its leaking coolant. The cb radiators are not great with age mine was leakin at the weld where the pipe goes in on bottom of lhs. I got a second hand radiator and i recommend a fender extender too, my coolant when i got cb was green and when i changed the radiator i used blue, they say not to mix different colour coolants  .i changed coolant and the flushed out the system  and put new coolant in (had connected new rad in before)  check where leak is and if it rad not a pipe, i get one on ebay. Also u need to check coolant level at radiator cap under tank. Not expansion bottle(plastic bottle) on rhs. Hope this helps
Sorry, somehow missed this post yesterday. 


Yes, I thought better of riding it this morning and took the car instead. 


Where you described is where the leak was on the garage floor. Looks like I'll have to drain the coolant and refill. I'm wondering if it's used more coolant due to the heat and the front of the rad is a bit muddy/fly ridden etc. 


I'm stumped with the red fluid emanating from the clutch cable though. 
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ashcroc
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by ashcroc on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 5:36 pm

Could your cables have been lubed with transmission fluid?
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 6:06 pm

ashcroc wrote:Could your cables have been lubed with transmission fluid?

The thought crossed my mind yesterday. Correct me if I'm wrong but you don't have to monitor gearbox fluid do you? It's a red colour and has only appeared since the temperature has risen, seeping out at the bottom as if it's been lubed. Clutch operation is fine, brakes are fine although as per my other thread I can't monitor the front cylinder level as the screws are seized. 
When I had the bike idling yesterday there was no leak from the rad but could this be because all fluids drained from it?
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Anigai
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by Anigai on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 12:51 pm

CB500 shares it's engine oil with the gearbox so it's all one system so just keep it topped up.

One thing to consider would be your radiator cap under the tank.
These have been known to go bad on the CB but seem perfectly fine.
As far as I know Honda still manufacture the caps as i believe the very same cap fits a few of their cars but i don't know it's part number.
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 2:21 pm

Anigai wrote:CB500 shares it's engine oil with the gearbox so it's all one system so just keep it topped up.

One thing to consider would be your radiator cap under the tank.
These have been known to go bad on the CB but seem perfectly fine.
As far as I know Honda still manufacture the caps as i believe the very same cap fits a few of their cars but i don't know it's part number.

Thanks Anigai. Good info there. The engine oil is topped up and is fine. I have taken the fairing off but not the tank yet. I have to say. It is very very rusty. The rad fan is absolutely gubbed, that is, all the housing etc the  fan hasnt come on yet and I've been idling the bike for about twenty mins so far. The temp needle has gone up to three quarter way, should the fan kick in by then? It's hot today, maybe 23 c plus. I'll take the tank off tomorrow, can't do anything else today, if the rad cap is like the rest of the bike it'll be a mess too. This bike must've been kept out in all weathers with no cover. It's a wonder it's been so go to ride for me considering the state it's in.
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 2:26 pm

Just switched the bike off as the needle was edging towards the red. No fan running. I know the bike is water cooled etc. but it shouldn't creep up that high should it, would  a working fan have cooled it sufficiently to stabilise the needle, say, half way on the gauge, even with the bike just standing with the engine running that long?
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Mon 13 Jun 2016, 9:24 pm

Took the bike out for a fifty mile blast today to see how things went with the coolant/temperature.  Granted, it was cool today and I wasn't stopped in traffic too long but the needle didn't rise above quarter way at most on the temp gauge.  There are no leaks. I have to ascertain why the fan isn't coming on. Possibilities are,I think: the motor is defective, there is an airlock in the system or there is a possible loose connection. As I mentioned earlier, the rad fan mounting is very rusty and in dire need of replacement. At the first opportunity I'll have to remove the tank for proper access. It has to be said though, I find it almost impossible to gauge how much coolant is in the reservoir. It's a newish one seemingly but I cannot for the life of me see any liquid without opening the cap. It cannot be checked visually by looking at the reservoir .
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ashcroc
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by ashcroc on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 2:35 pm

I think my fan comes on around the half way mark & the earth to it corroding is a known weakness if the bike's been left out in all weathers.

This thread goes into it a bit.
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 3:15 pm

ashcroc wrote:I think my fan comes on around the half way mark & the earth to it coreroding is a known weakness if the bike's been left out in all weathers.

This thread goes into it a bit.
Lovely stuff, thanks. 

I've just got back from a 165 mile ride and after all being well (ish) yesterday, my right leg and boot were drenched when I got back. There is a tiny amount of fluid coming from the radiator somewhere but plenty coming from the reservoir. It's coming out the cap I imagine. The hoses are dry. Does this indicate an airlock in the system?
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 6:28 pm

Now, correct me if I'm wrong but upper coolant reservoir/rad thingy shouldn't look like this, should it? ...
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 6:29 pm

What's my next step ? Drain all coolant, flush, refill?
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Beresford
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by Beresford on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 7:07 pm

Looking at that,I'd guess that the problem is the rad cap. I'm a great believer in always looking for the simple things first !!
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 8:54 am

Beresford wrote:Looking at that,I'd guess that the problem is the rad cap. I'm a great believer in always looking for the simple things first !!

Agreed. I'll drain the coolant, flush it and refill. New rad cap ( nearly forty quid!?) and take it from there.
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Beresford
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by Beresford on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 2:00 pm

Take the cap to a motor factor. They should be able to give you a similar car one for a lot less money.
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Anigai
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by Anigai on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 8:52 pm

Or take it to a motorcycle breakers they might cost even less although you'd have to make sure you get a decent looking one and a receipt as if your issue still continues and the fault can only be the rad cap then you can bring it back.
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 2:40 pm

Thanks for the suggestions regarding the rad cap. 

Strategy when I get a chance, working until next Wednesday /Thursday now, I will check the fuse for the fan, I've bought a multimeter, that will be necessary for checking the fan? 
I think I'll get the honda coolant, ready mixed stuff. I need flushing compound? Get that online or at halfords possibly. And then, I'm thinking about just going ahead with the honda rad cap, it should last and I'll have this bike a long time, someone needs to look after it! That's my job now.
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 2:48 pm

Strike 1! 

Fan fuse blown. Renewed. 

That should be that, although will need to check it runs with use of multimeter.
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Anigai
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by Anigai on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 6:10 pm

Keep a spare fan fuse with you on the bike. Something made the last one go didn't it? What's to they that something still isn't there.
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 7:44 pm

Anigai wrote:Keep a spare fan fuse with you on the bike. Something made the last one go didn't it? What's to they that something still isn't there.

Yeah, good point, that did occur to me. 

The Haynes manual mentions this and to look at the wiring diagram and check for earth or something. Utterly clueless as to what it means.
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TheWizardofOdds
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by TheWizardofOdds on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 7:48 pm

Is the honda pro blue coolant ok to use? David silver sells a litre for six quid mixed but I think the same stuff is available at 5 litres for £19.99 online. There's no real mention that it's for bikes, nothing to say it isn't either though. 
Also, I'll have to replace every hose clip along the way, they're in bad shape. Where's the best place for stainless steel ones? Screwfix sell sixty assorted galvanised for £11.95.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: Coolant leak

Post by eternally_troubled on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 11:06 am

The cheap blue concentrated coolant from halfords plus some distilled/deionised/pure water is fine for the CB500 - you don't need a Honda specific one!

Unless the system is very gunked up you don't really need a flushing agent either - fill the bike with tap water, run it up to temperature, rev it a bit and leave it to cool and then drain, then re-fill with the correct coolant.

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