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Oh No, I think I have blown a head-gasket?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Paulie, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. Hey all, yet ANOTHER problem with the gpx, now its heating up SUPER quick to boiling! I'm talking if I sit and rev it a few times in the cold evening it gets right up to boil and then I get coolant coming out the overflow thingies! It runs fine aslong as I don't stop for more than a few minutes then it will start cooking up

    Does anyone concur that this sounds like a head gasket? And if so.... is it gonna cause me a small (or large) fortune to repair?

    Anyone wanna buy my bike? It has nice paint! :D

  2. Hmm I think there could be a number of reasons for this to happen...

    Water pump?? perhaps the thermostat stuck?? it is interesting that the temp goes up only when stationary... could the air cooling be suficient when moving??

    Have you checked the coolant level... if there is to much coolant it can over boil... though this usualy happen after the coolant has been changed/toped up... than the levels balance out...
  3. Lord, it was getting real hot on the weekend and up to boil and the water came out of the overflows. This morning I checked the coolant level and it was on low, so I topped it up to full today (actually, I think I may have gone a little bit overfull,) so tomorrow I'll take some excess coolant out and just let her idle and see if she still boils. I took the long way home tonight so that I would avoid the traffic grind and so I was on open road the whole way and she sat on pretty much cold.

    How would I check if the thermostat is busted>? I think its probably the head gasket cause everythin on this bike stuffs up. Never go to CARRUTHERS MOTORCYCLES in Sydney! They are the ones who built my dodgy bike
  4. As lordtb suggested, there could be many causes. What happens when the cap is off (and the bike is cool to start with). As it warms up and you are watching the cap, does it bubble when cold (showing that exhaust gas is leaking into the water jacket) as that would be a sign of what you are suggesting to cause the quick boil. Another thing to check for is when it is running (and cold at first) does the water move (as if it is being pumped) when cold and as the bike warms up? If it is being pumped when cold it could be a themostat stuck open, if it doesnt get pumped at all it could be the water pump. What is the condition of the water/coolant? has it been recently changed/topped up?

    There can be many causes. As for the cost if it is a head gasget - is $49 roughly for a new gasget. Of course that is assuming there is no machine work required, would have to add in other costs such as coolant, labour, oil etc. As well as most mechanics will change the barrel gasget as well which is another $50. Then depends on age as to other gasgets etc. Bottom line is that it can be expensive, especially as the labour is high!!! Basically it is extra incentive to find other causes!!!

    It is not a job I would recommend for someone to learn on, unless they have a pretty good idea as to what they are doing. Kawasaki's do require overhead valve gear to be set up pretty much spot on, as do all bikes, but with these rockers and valves are easily damaged if not set right.

  5. bloody hell, I will take the cap off when I start it tomorrow and see what happens

    Thanks guys
  6. If the thermostat is stuck CLOSED, you would find the temperature rise pretty rapidly. When you take the cap off (bike cold), see if the coolant kind of "surges" to overflow rather than actually bubbles. It can be kind of hard to tell sometimes.
    If your model has a fan at the radiator, could its fuse be blown?
  7. Check your oil first before jumping to conclusions.
    Is the oil milky and frothy?
    if it is then water is getting into the oil hence head gasket is the culprit.
    Seems to me you are describing a stuck thermostat.
  8. Where would I be without all you experts around huh?

    Just pulled out the manuals to find out where the thermostat is.

    So you guys reckon that at a dealers I'd be lookin at around a grand to get a blown head gasket fixed?
  9. Oh about the fan, it only seems to cut in SOMETIMES, even when its boiling the fan is on sometimes so I dunno if that means anything?
  10. I would bet on the following three: 1. Water pump buggered. 2. Thermostat buggered. 3. Cooling system clogged with shit.

    If the head gasket has gone you'll know about it when you check the oil, but it's far more likely to be the coolong system. How old is the bike? Chances are, it's never had the system and radiatop properly cleaned and flushed. This won't be expensive, nor will a pump or thermostat so I'd relax and check these before worrying about the head gasket. :)
  11. its an 89 model with 54,000kms on it. The guy who had it before me boggied the carbies up with silicon rather than replace the O rings so hopefully one of the 3 things u listed are the only problem
  12. Its Not the head gasket. :roll:
  13. that's not a cooling system problem... there's no chance that the temperature of a
    bike will rise to boiling after a few revs, even with the thermostat stuck closed, unless something is seriously wrong...
  14. Hey all! Went and got a new thermostat today cost me $60 and about 10 minutes to swap over now the bike appears to be all swell!!! YAY!!! thanks everyone for your input!

    Least it wasnt the bloody head gasket!!
  15. Whoohoooo
    Fantatstic news....and cheaper too!
    Get out and have a celebratory ride this weekend.
  16. I'll take my cheque now thanks.
  17. I've come in late so my opinion is moot at this point. However, since I just bothered to read this thread all the way through I'm going to have a say anyway;).

    I had a similar issue with the Viffer recently. The coolant tank was full to the brim and spilling coolant out the overflow hose when it should have remained half full. Also the fan refused to cut in. After a minor panic like any biker sensing an expensive fix I worked my way through the various problems and found that 1) The radiator cap was cactus and letting coolant escape and 2) The Thermofan switch had died. Both were easy to replace and the problems solved.

    The moral, if there is one, is don't always assume the worst and start with the simple posibilities first and work your way up.

    Glad to hear that it was a simple fix :)
  18. A few years ago my falcon did exactly the same thing as the bike.

    RACV arrived 2 hours later and the mech said I had blown both head gaskets.

    I borrowed his tools and pulled the thermostat out. Passed him on the way home. Put in a newy a few days later and all was ok.

    If ever you get a thermo stuck and you cant get another quick, simply jam the bugger open a bit and you can drive around ok. It will take a lot more time to heat up with any associated problems but it will work.

    Most heating problems are thermostat, then pump, then radiator related.
    Some are cracked heads. And they do not necessarily show water in the oil. Depends on where the crack is.
  19. Well done. You see, those little engines take a tough so when things don't work check the little things first. :)
  20. Lots of thermostats are seperately removable, with this type you can just remove the thermostat until you can get another one. The vehicle will run cool for longer but it won't hurt it.

    You can roughly test if it's working by putting it in a pot of water and heating the water whilst monitoring the temperature of the water with a cooking thermometer.