Coolant in Oil - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 17 Old 10-21-2018, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Coolant in Oil

The model is a 2016 with a previously installed ThermoBob2, plus DeCalifed and DeAIS'd. Yoshi slip-on. It has about 15,000 miles.

Although there are several posts on this general topic (milky oil), they largely seem to be inquiries about observations that owners have about their site glasses. In my case, I have coolant entering the oil in the crankcase and I have oil in the coolant, both determined by draining the oil and coolant separately. The oil and coolant separate with the oil on top. When initially drained the oil looked foamy off-white; then separated into the two components. When the coolant was drained, several large oil spots floated in the coolant.

I have just completed a top end replacement (2013 Cylinder Head, Cams and Valves) after the decompression assembly (aka KACR) on the exhaust cam literally exploded...massive damage. I completed the top end replacement and believe everything was okay. It ran, I rode it around for two miles. However, I had to take it apart again to re-shim the exhaust clearances. I waited on the clearance adjustments until I was sure my used top end actually worked and that's when this new frustration started.

When I put everything back together today after reshimming, the bike started up fine, sounded great; it ran for a couple minutes when I heard a subtle pop or some noise; enough to turn the bike off and snoop around for the cause. I quickly noticed that the oil behind the sight glass was milky white. I had no other observations. I then drained the oil and coolant and started over with fresh fluids. The bike sounded and run fine (did not ride it, just listened, no funny noises)...but I had the same result..milky oil and oil in the coolant.

So bottom line, I have coolant mixing with oil where the oil belongs...and...oil mixing with the coolant where the coolant belongs. This strikes me that it has to be the oil seal behind oil pump (the one inside the case cover). That's the only place that the oil/coolant can go back and forth between crankcase and coolant channels. Do you agree? Or, do you think there is a way that this condition could have arisen from a blown head gasket (I admittedly used the 2016 head gasket in the rebuild)? Or is there possibly something else?

Thanks in advance.

Edit: The 2013 Top End Components were represented to have 5,400 miles.

Last edited by Bill10; 10-21-2018 at 08:39 PM. Reason: Additional Information Provided
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-21-2018, 08:44 PM
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Just to clarify concerning the head gasket. You re-used the 2016 head gasket or installed new?

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

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Last edited by klr4evr; 10-22-2018 at 09:40 AM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-21-2018, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, reused the existing head gasket.
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-21-2018, 11:19 PM
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I would suspect the head gasket. That is not a reusable item.
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-22-2018, 09:40 AM
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What Tom said.
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My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #6 of 17 Old 10-22-2018, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
I would suspect the head gasket. That is not a reusable item.
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Originally Posted by klr4evr View Post
What Tom said.
Bill10, There is a about a 5 - 10mm gap between the water pump shaft Oil Seal & the base of the Water Seal. Between those seals is a 'weep hole' to prevent the interchange of those 2 fluids. Would be pretty rare for that hole to be plugged that completely. Look under your water pump & poke a wire up the hole.
The coolant would be under pressure in that area. But the oil in that area has No Pressure. So even if the hole was plugged, I'd think that the fluid transfer would only be from coolant system to crankcase oil only. Not back & forth.


The all of the pictures of 'exploded KACR' that I have ever seen showed evidence of Lack of Oil destroying the cam bearings & blueing of the cam journal, prior to KACR failure. Do you have pics, that you might share?

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post #7 of 17 Old 10-22-2018, 12:57 PM
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I would also be inclined to at-least use a straight edge to check the level of the gasket surfaces of both of those used parts, cylinder & the head.

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post #8 of 17 Old 10-22-2018, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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pdwestman, okay, I guess that explains why there really isn't a two way street (oil to coolant, coolant to oil) down at the water pump as I was thinking. Just the same, I'm going to go ahead and get a new seal (along with other rubber bits) for the water pump along with a new head gasket. I'll check the weep hole and let ya'll know what the outcome is in about a week I guess. If I'm lucky everything will be here this week and I can work on it next weekend.

As for photos of the KACR and other top end damage, go to my blog at this link just below. I have detail photos of the damage. As you'll see from the blog post, I'm not certain that I have all the facts behind the damage, but all the research I did on this topic seems to point to oil starvation.

KamoKLR: Welcome home...

Thank you to all who offered their advice.
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-22-2018, 06:05 PM
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Bill10,
I will suggest to NOT disturb the water pump and its seals if one really doesn't Need to. Many people snag the oil seal with the water pump shaft while re-installing the clutch cover which Creates an oil leak that they Previously did not have. Of-course, now you are forewarned to be extra careful.

Maybe you would care to perform the PDW 100% oil filtration mod to the oil filter cavity, if you remove the clutch cover to inspect the oil screen & replace the pump seals?

I hope that you repurchased your bike for 10 cents or less per dollar, against his original payment to you.

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post #10 of 17 Old 10-22-2018, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, noted on the water pump. I've got the head gasket on order; should be here this week.
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