Last night while boarding a ferry, I was queuing on the car deck with engine running to waiting get parked and strapped down. I didn't notice or feel that the engine was running particularly hot. About 30 seconds after switching off the ignition, the bike took a pi$$ all over the floor. Taking a pi$$ is a good analogy because that's exactly what it looked like, the same rate of flow, the same length of time, and the same quantity of fluid, as a small dog taking a pee.
My coolant level in the expansion tank has always been a little high, it's been like that since I bought the bike 18 months ago and I've never had to add any coolant. But if this were simply overflow, why would it not have happened before now? It's certainly not the first time the bike has been that hot.
The coolant level in the tank has dropped slightly, but is still acceptable between min and max levels. The bike is getting up to 104 degrees at which point the fan is kicking in OK, but it's now only taking about 3 minutes to get there from stone cold, whereas I would be expecting 5-10 minutes at tickover normally.
The coolant hoses to the radiator are getting hot.
It doesn't seem like just a hose popped off or split as it is not leaking any more, unless there just isn't any coolant getting to that part of the system anymore.
Theories from the recovery agent are a blown head gasket causing combustion gases to pressurise the cooling system and trigger the expansion bottle overflow, or a stuck thermostat, resulting in the fluid not getting to where it needs to go, so back pressure causing the same overflow.
The water did come from underneath the rear of the engine, where there are some rubber overflow/breather pipes, and the expansion tank is under the seat.
Maybe just burping off excess. Mine did it until the level stabilised. The overflow pipe from the expansion would be down behind the engine. I would run it and keep an eye for the same thing and watch the engine temp making sure the fan kicks in ok.
Thanks. My worry, and why the recovery agent suggested recovery rather than riding it home, was that the coolant level has never moved in 18 months I've had the bike. It's been hot whilst stationary and had long fast motorway runs plenty of times, so why is it only getting rid of the excess now? Has something changed which I need to be aware of?
Checked the little coolant return pipe inside the coolant tank is still connected - If it's come off or split it has no prob pushing it out of system into header when hot but can't pull it back in as it cools...
Could be all of the above or none of the above its had to say dealer compression test would tell you if its the head gasket. Or it could be aboslutly nothing like a sticking thermostat. If its not pumping any out now its most likely to be the latter.
Exactly the same happened to my Daytona 955 (1999) last weekend. Coolant was brown and stank. System drained, flushed through a number of times, running engine for a few minutes each time. Coolant finally replaced and engine seems to run ok. There were no signs of oil in coolant and no signs of water in engine oil. I've read elsewhere that a seized radiator cap can be the culprit? I cleaned the cap in boiling water, it seems to function ok but no way of telling of the spring behaves when in position at temperature. For the approx £15 cost I'm off to get a replacement just in case. would be very interested to know more from anyone. Thanks
my 955 speed triple used to do the same the 955 engines dont like the coolent in the expantion tank on the full mark just let it blow the coolent out till it finds its own level think its just under min then it will stay there nothing to worry about its common with the 955 engine
The coolant level was at the correct level in the expansion tank but when I took the rad cap off after cooling a little there was no coolant visible in either the rad or the expansion tank!. I've since stripped out the thermostat and it failed to open when boiled so that's being replaced with new as well. I also removed and split the waterpump as a precaution and removed and flushed through a very grimey looking expansion tank. Found both quite stained with sludge also lying in there. Water pump rotor was stiff to turn but apparently normal (according to local Triumph dealer) and after a clean it's ok so I'm just replacing the seal before refitting. What's evident is the bike needs coolant completely replaced with new every couple of years and not just checked and topped up. I don't believe it's normal for any bike to dump that volume of coolant overboard. Certainly with my bike I'm glad I stripped the coolant system down.
Rob123: The coolant level was at the correct level in the expansion tank but when I took the rad cap off after cooling a little there was no coolant visible in either the rad or the expansion tank!. I've since stripped out the thermostat and it failed to open when boiled so that's being replaced with new as well. I also removed and split the waterpump as a precaution and removed and flushed through a very grimey looking expansion tank. Found both quite stained with sludge also lying in there. Water pump rotor was stiff to turn but apparently normal (according to local Triumph dealer) and after a clean it's ok so I'm just replacing the seal before refitting. What's evident is the bike needs coolant completely replaced with new every couple of years and not just checked and topped up. I don't believe it's normal for any bike to dump that volume of coolant overboard. Certainly with my bike I'm glad I stripped the coolant system down.
to the above Generally there are several reasons for coolant loss, burning it through the cylinder head, or insufficient pressure in the system due to a leak or more catastrophic is cylinder exhaust gases causing excess pressure in the coolant system from a headgasket failure - this tends to split/explode coolant pipes.
There are many threads on here showing a replacement BRAND NEW radiator cap fixes most of the problems most of the time and fixed mine too when my coolant started to unusually fill the overflow tank. The rad cap rubber seal wears out then leaks and failing to hold the pressure in the cooling system which allows the coolant to expand out of the system into the expansion tank hence the leak out of the expasion tank etc.
Also check all coolant pipes for splits or tell tale salt deposits at the joints too as that will cause the same effect as above.
Bike put back together today and have to say it's running great. In fact maybe my imagination or wishful thinking, but it even sounds better and runs smoother ! The problem has been sorted so I'll stand by my a comments and say anyone with the same symptoms should; drain and flush coolant system (twice warm up motor in between), replace rad cap and thermostat, flush out expansion tank and if the system looked pretty grimy clean out the water pump and check all hoses. The job isn't difficult for anyone with basic skills and all areas are readily accessible with little difficulty.
peter jordan: my 955 speed triple used to do the same the 955 engines dont like the coolent in the expansion tank on the full mark just let it blow the coolent out till it finds its own level think its just under min then it will stay there nothing to worry about its common with the 955 engine
I have had my 955 on an 06 plate for a couple of months now, and I suffered the same problem, ie. bike doing a little wee wee after I had ridden it for a few miles, so I kept on topping up the expansion tank as the level was just below the minimum to bring it back up to the max, not wanting it to run dry. Well it was getting a bit embarrassing every time I went out it would do the same and people would comment. " hay mate, your bikes just done a piss " So with no signs of a leak, and after reading all the theories on here I opted for new rad cap solution, worth a try I thought and not an expensive fix.
I called Stratstone Triumph in Birmingham to order one and the guy there could not have been more helpful, he re-affirmed what Peter has said in his thread. He said, when checking the water level when cold, if its just visible in the expansion tank it will rise up between min and max when up to 85 degrees operating temperature, so therefore topping up when cold will cause it to overflow when hot, he said it was a case of the min and max markers being a bit inaccurate on the 955. So I shot off into the garage to test his assumptions, engine cold and coolant about 5mm below minimum mark started engine and waited for temp to rise, and as if by magic the coolant began to rise, finally topping out just under the max mark Not trying to blow my own trumpet, but I should have been a science teacher a great example of expansion just demonstated and 15 minutes away from the missus
The missus just asked where I had been, told her I was potty training my bike she said nothing