Radiator Leaks
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Thread: Radiator Leaks

  1. #1
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    Radiator Leaks

    One of the many things I love about our little TW200's is how super simple they are mechanically. Learning how to do things on the TW has given me a little more confidence to tackle larger challenges... like finding and fixing the leak on my heavy cruiser, a Kawasaki Nomad.

    The big guy has been losing radiator fluid regularly, but not quickly. I'd fill it up, ride a couple of times, then it would be empty again. I finally got it over to my mother's boyfriend, who has every tool under the sun, and loves working on vehicles. I've bugged him in the past to help me learn how to do more maintenance on my own, and today, instead of saying, leave it here and I'll get to it tomorrow, he said, come on and let's see if we can find that radiator leak.

    Got the bike in his garage on some cardboard and immediately spotted the general area where it was leaking. Set the bike up on a block to be more level and waited to see if it would stop, or if it would drip from another location. It appeared that the center drain plug and left side post were both the culprit. The rubber grommet was crushed and there was fluid build up under the post even after we cleaned it. We pulled the radiator off, and OMG, that was a PITA!!!

    RadiatorFix_ (leak1).jpg RadiatorFix_ (Tank).jpg RadiatorFix_ (pulled).jpg


    We replaced the rubber grommet on the center drain, and after looking at the left pin, discovered it was epoxied. WTF? I'm the original owner of the bike and never remember having anything done to the radiator before! I've taken it in for regular services, oil changes, tune-ups, and battery changes (because one does not simply 'drop' a battery in that SOB ), but nothing major like a radiator issue. Grrrr. Anyway... We cleaned off the crappy epoxy job, found the pin hole, and I got to braze a patch over the area. Hopefully, it will hold.

    RadiatorFix_ (braizeJob1).jpg RadiatorFix_ (braizeJob2).jpg


    Had to come home before the job was done. I'll go back tomorrow and help reassemble and test. Just hoping the brazing job was done properly and will hold under pressure.

    After working on the larger bike, I have become even more grateful the TW is no where near as complicated!!!
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    My 2-Wheel Babies: 2017 Versys X 300 - 2006 Kawasaki Nomad 1600 - 2009 Piaggio MP3 500 - 2014 Honda Ruckus
    My Other Recreational Rides: 1991 Bluebird Prison RV - Cheap Kayak - Burning Man Bike

  2. #2
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Congratulations on tackling this job!

    The biggest hassle with bigger, more complex bikes is just the amount of disassembly that you need to do and the lack of space once you get there.
    Mel, Dryden-Tdub, LuvNot and 2 others like this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    Well, bad news. The braze didn't hold. I think there was some contaminant left on the surface, so a crack appeared once it cooled.
    I'll clean it off and try again... later. Probably won't get back to it until the weekend.
    bummer.
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    My Other Recreational Rides: 1991 Bluebird Prison RV - Cheap Kayak - Burning Man Bike

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    How about some form of miracle-in-a-can like they use in the Worker's Paradise?.


    I have heard all sorts of success stories from a simple egg to Bars Leak additives.
    LuvNot likes this.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
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