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Head gasket? Advice

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First off, thanks for any advice .

Was riding my 07 te510 this weekend in Borrego/Ocotillo Wells. On a long 90 mile loop consisting of lots of sand washes, some trails, occasional hill climb on the way out bike was fine. Stopped for snacks, break. No boil over at stop. On the way back after some high speed easy sand, stopped. Bike starts boiling over after resting for a couple minutes. I get back on to try and cool it. Go a short distance down hill, stop. A couple minutes later starts boiling over again..pukes a little. Not as bad as the first. I cut the ride short, head back to camp on the hwy @ about 55mph. Get back, shut it down, starts to gently boil over again. Not much. Later run it, seems like might be some bubbles in there but really hard to tell because of the lighting. Might be a water pump issue but I don't think so.. No leaks anywhere and the coolant was full when I left.

My questions:

1. If the gasket needs replacing, how tuff is it? I thought some were able to do so on the bike without an engine out. If so my worst issue is keeping the timing lined up?

2. I am the second owner of the bike, it came with a aftermarket warranty. How successful have you guys been having people service these bikes -do they do a decent job or usually half-a**ed as I seen with street bike work? (It will likely go to Malcolm Smith if I use the warranty but the deductible may exceed the parts?)

3. Bike has less than 5k on it. Is this common? I ride a lot of long distance. Usually out in the sticks, occasionally alone. The bike gave me plenty of warning but am concerned. Is this just bad luck? I've not thrashed it. Been a great bike and pretty much everything I want it to do and would hate to go to a xr400 type for the reliability if that is an issue.

Any help on head gaskets would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Chuck

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pressure test your cooling system integrity first, then check the cap for proper pressure or just replace regardless as the cap has a spring and it will go bad after some years and unable to hold the necessary pressure that the cooling system is optimal at.

If it is indeed head gasket, which is very rare but can happen. The head can be pulled off the block while in frame, however you may have to bend the tabs on the frame that hold the CDI box in place in order to get enough clearance to take the head off with studs in place.

Also it's not as simple as ordering a head gasket, there will be 3 to choose from most likely for a 2007 and you'll have to pull your old one off and look for a stamping or measure it's thickness to determing which of the three thicknesses you'll need to order. In order to get proper tolerance of cylinder to head clearance they vary the size of the head gasket upon assembly and unfortunately it's not trackable through VIN# as to which one you'll need

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Thanks -

I been riding for a number of years, inclined to do it myself, unless the warranty really works with no tricks. Where do I find a pressure tester? I've done head gaskets in a diesel 4x4 scout some years ago but was easy, timing was gear driven, etc.

Who would sell a pressure tester and also one with an adapter to test the cap?

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07 and older you have to pull the motor the head gasket should be a 1.2 on that bike. I've done many of them do to over heating.

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getting the timing back inline is not that difficult, there are marks on all 3 gears but i would take some time and to look close before you dismantle. some times the dots they put on the gears are hard to see, take some bright finger nail polish and paint the dots.

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get er all fixed up, head gasket, good hoses, good airflow(no blocking of rads) oem louvers, good cap. Then use ZipTy (evans ) non-aqueous coolant, she will never steam over again under the gnarliest conditions.

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Made a call to the dealer Malcolm in Riverside. I am looking at over a month to do the job there and they wanted about $300 to tear it down for inspection, and possibly the warranty will pay possibly not. Looking more like I ought to just dig in but I cannot get to it myself for a couple of weeks. Once done I know I will learn a lot about the bike. I'm going to need to find a shop manual and good source of parts. Will try to find a pressurizer and check the system first in the hope I ain't got a real problem.

The bike is probably the best dirt trail dual sporter I've ridden. Will admit tho' a head gasket at about 4k miles had me dreaming about a xr400! Sometimes when I ride I am WAY out there and don't need a show stopper like this..

Robertaccio - that special coolant you recommend - non aqueous .. . what is it and any idea of the specific heat? Close to water and won't harm whales n spotted owls?

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this stuff

http://www.ziptyracing.com/products/product_detail.aspx?id=MTgxMQ==

this is the manufacturers label

http://www.evanscooling.com/products/coolants/npg-r/

may find the msds on the evens site.

I ride and race in very ugly terrain, my coolant system, is set up as follows, and I never have any issues under very cruel conditions. On my 2008 TXC450

1.8 bar cap (KX80 cap), CV4 silicone main hoses, High pressure crossover, 2010 model updated coolant pump assy,ZipTy coolant (Evans), OEM overflow tank, OEM radiators, Enduro Engineering Rad guards, OEM Rad louvers.

since installing the ZipTy coolant I probably no longer need the 1.8 bar cap, because the vapor pressure of the coolant is next to nothing even at very high temps. Also of note that although designed to run on pump premium a little race gas boost helps these high comp engines run a little cooler with less chance of detonation under loads and heat.

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PS the head gasket possibility is still not proven, I would get after all the possibilities first, It may just be something simple. These things are pretty solid in the "head gasket department"

Also on my older model 06 TE450 I was never happy with the big tank I installed and its lack of good airflow through the radiators. I love the brand and I think it was just a model year oversight on their part, Ive used them for a bunch of other machines with great satisfaction. The tank I had on that bike (same chassis as yours) really blocked alot of airflow on the backside of the radiators, take a look at that as well.

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Hey all

Thanks for the suggestions. I checked again this morning, could not. Get it to overheat again. No white telltale goo in oil, no oil in coolant. I could not smell where it was coming from so I bought a harbor freight radiator test kit. Doesn't fit. Will try to find some other but I am suspicious of the cap. It says 1.4 on it but may be the leaker. I do have a 3.5 gal tank from ims. Could not see any real bubbles either.

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also check all of your hose clamps and hoses, both at room temp and operating temp.

Also if you're running a high quality synthetic oil, you may see white streaks in the sight glass from condensation until the bike is at operating temp and then it goes away. You should be looking for milky oil vs white streaks in the sight glass.

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I checked oil, looked for bubbles, no white smoke out the pipe nor smell, got soapy water and sprayed it all over each hose, connection, cap, radiator itself. Never did smell a leak. Could not get a pressure tester to properly fit and test the cap. I refilled the coolant, could not get it to overheat again at home. Instead I took the cap to a dealer. The cap stamp was 1.4 bar. The tech told me it would hold back 17 lbs. That's about 1.1-1.15 bar. Replaced the cap with a 1.8. Should be ok. I will look into the evans coolant and some kind of fan kit.

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