Coolant "bubbling" in expansion tank and spitting out - GSXR.com
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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Coolant "bubbling" in expansion tank and spitting out

2003 GSXR 750.

I had a small coolant leank from the small hose from the top of the thermostat hosing to the radiator. I replaced both hoses from the thermostat housing to the radiator just to be sure, and the radiator cap with a Stant 10233 (16 psi / 1.1 bar) because OEM cap looked slightly damaged.

I'm pretty sure I bled all of the air out of the system. The radiator was full and the expansion tank was on the "low" level line. Figured I would leave it there to give the coolant some room for when it rises and comes back down. (Was told this was normal operation)

Got the bike all back together and rode it around 2 nights ago with no issues. Got stuck in some traffic yesterday and bike temperature climbed to 238*F while the coolant in the expansion tank was bubbling/boiling and pretty steadily coming out of the expansion tank hose on the ground. I pulled off and let the bike cool, then brought it home.

Kind of at a loss here. The fan was operating properly and it didn't do this before I changed the coolant hoses.

Am I getting air into the system somehow? Possible head gasket issues? There wasn't any smoke in the exhaust and no oil in the coolant.

I didn't change the thermostat, I might try to do that and try an OEM radiator cap to be sure. If that doesn't work, I will have to have to cooling system pressure tested and a compression test on the engine to check for a cracked head or bad head gasket.

Looking for any input.

Thanks,
Joe.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 05:24 AM
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Welcome.

The service manual says the cap should be 14-18 psi so the cap you have sounds correct.

Did the fan come on around 221F? Mine does that, the temp rises to about 230ish then starts to go down till the fan turns off.

The cap should not bleed coolant at 238F. I would suspect the cap is defective or possibly the radiator neck is damaged?

Fill and bleed the system again and see what happens.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rv6john View Post
Welcome.

The service manual says the cap should be 14-18 psi so the cap you have sounds correct.

Did the fan come on around 221F? Mine does that, the temp rises to about 230ish then starts to go down till the fan turns off.

The cap should not bleed coolant at 238F. I would suspect the cap is defective or possibly the radiator neck is damaged?

Fill and bleed the system again and see what happens.
My money is on the rad cap. Mine had similar issues, replaced cap, no issues since.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rv6john View Post
Welcome.

The service manual says the cap should be 14-18 psi so the cap you have sounds correct.

Did the fan come on around 221F? Mine does that, the temp rises to about 230ish then starts to go down till the fan turns off.

The cap should not bleed coolant at 238F. I would suspect the cap is defective or possibly the radiator neck is damaged?

Fill and bleed the system again and see what happens.
Wasn't coming out of the radiator cap, but the expansion tank on the left hand side of the bike.

Not a single shop near me has a cap or thermostat in stock... good thing rain is in the forecast all weekend and early next week.

Last edited by jgiardino89; 08-10-2016 at 10:16 AM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgiardino89 View Post
Wasn't coming out of the radiator cap, but the expansion tank on the left hand side of the bike.
The cap has two seals. If the lower seal/gasket is not solid, or the cap spring is weak, it leaks and goes into the overflow but more importantly, it can't maintain pressure.

Actually, this happens normally as the coolant expands. The excess goes into the expansion tank. When the engine cools it pulls it back in through that little valve on the bottom.

That is the way it supposed to work if the system is tight.

You can order the correct cap on line and have it a few days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckster View Post
If you think reading is tricky, how the hell are you going to follow troubleshooting directions?
"Riding well is difficult, riding poorly is easy and painful."
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 11:33 AM
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I just went through the most complete cooling system check and fix in the world LOL.

If the system is airtight and the cap pressure is good it WON'T boil. If it's boiling it's because the water inside isn't under pressure.

Most likely causes are

1) The aftermarket cap.

2)Air in the system. When I bleed I fill with distilled water and coolant/water wetter until it overflows, then rock back and forth and squeeze all hoses and refill. Then start it and give it a few good revs to spin the water pump and push air out. Let it get hot enough that the water rises to start to overflow then cap it, shut it off and let it cool. When it's cool top it off and do the whole start and rev process again then go for a ride. Let it cool and top it off one last time.

3)A minor leak somewhere either a pinhole in a hose or a loose clamp.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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I ordered a new factory cap and thermostat. Should be here the middle of next week.

For now, I filled and bled the system while the bike was cold. Did the whole fill, rock the bike back and forth until the radiator was full. Then filled the expansion tank up to full. Started the bike, revved it few time to circulate everything, and ran it until 195*. Shut it off and letting it cool.

Still waiting for it to cool so I can check the level again.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Bike is at 103* now and it didn't loose any coolant from the cool down. I will start it in a little while and let it run until the fan comes on to see if it start boiling the coolant again.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 05:43 PM
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I had this issue with a car... cause was air at the thermostat

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2016, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Bike got it's hottest at 229*F letting it idle. Coolant started to bubble at 215*F...

Fan did not kick on until 224*F, sometimes 226*F. That seems a little late to me. I would notice it coming on before at 217*.. is there anyway to change it back to this?

Steam and coolant were coming out of the expansion tank hose when the temperature got to about 223*F. When the fan kicked on, the boiling and steam would stop, but would gradually come back when the fan stopped.

I noticed some coolant on the front tire, and traced it back up to the radiator cap. I was using the OEM cap I have the looks a little damaged.

The whole coolant system was bubbling when I shut the bike off, turned the key back on, the fan kicked on cooled it enough for the boiling to stop.

I'm thinking the new cap will do the trick. Only will be able to tell when it gets here.

Last edited by jgiardino89; 08-10-2016 at 05:54 PM.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 09:11 PM
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgiardino89 View Post
Bike got it's hottest at 229*F letting it idle. Coolant started to bubble at 215*F...

Fan did not kick on until 224*F, sometimes 226*F. That seems a little late to me. I would notice it coming on before at 217*.. is there anyway to change it back to this?

Steam and coolant were coming out of the expansion tank hose when the temperature got to about 223*F. When the fan kicked on, the boiling and steam would stop, but would gradually come back when the fan stopped.

I noticed some coolant on the front tire, and traced it back up to the radiator cap. I was using the OEM cap I have the looks a little damaged.

The whole coolant system was bubbling when I shut the bike off, turned the key back on, the fan kicked on cooled it enough for the boiling to stop.

I'm thinking the new cap will do the trick. Only will be able to tell when it gets here.
So was the radiator cap the problem?

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