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Water In Oil - HG Time

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  • Water In Oil - HG Time

    Hi All,

    Yesterday I looked in the filler plug hole with a torch and the recently added oil is now caramel and watery. Expansion tank empty, starts on 2 then after a while the other pots come in. Also sounds like an exhaust gasket has failed on one or more of the headers when ridden and temps slightly higher than usual.

    I guess thats a sign of HG failure ?

    The bike is a 1990C model in average condition and the clocks show 9700 miles.

    I bought it for 600, put 400 in and this is now make or break with this bike.

    I can either bite the bulet and do the HG in the hope nothing else goes wrong, or list as spares or repair.

    Do the above symptoms sound like HG or could it be something else ?

    How hard is the HG replacement on these ?

    If its not too hard I may go for it but dont want any more gremlins to come out.

    any advice welcome.



  • #2
    what is HG pray tell ……


    • #3
      I'm thinking, HG=head gasket. Sounds like a project to say the least.
      "If it ain't broke, don't fix it...
      but sometimes it just needs a mod"


      • #4
        Yes HG meaning Head Gasket.

        i have read that the water pump seal can cause coolant in the oil too so trying to figure out which is the culprit and if it is the HG how tough of a job is it and what else might I encounter while doing it ?


        • #5
          It depends on how much time you can devote to the project, or if you have the funds to let someone else do the diagnosis and repair work. This is one of those projects that I end up with "mission creep", where in addition to the main repair work I see other things that need to be done "while I'm in there anyway".

          I'd start with diagnosing the water pump first, since it requires the least effort. And it sounds to me like the motor was more likely neglected than abused (as in the coolant not changed in years) so odds are good that it's the pump.

          If you want to diagnose the head gasket, do a compression check of the cylinders as a start. If you get two adjacent (very) low readings, that's usually a blown gasket. If all readings are good, turn each cyl. to TDC Compression and run air to the compression tester hose at about 30psi. Look for bubbles in the radiator. You may even be able to hear or see it at the pump seals.

          I'm not sure if you are in the U.S. but AutoZone will lend you a compression tester if you can't borrow one from a friend.

          Get the manual if you don't already have one, and best of luck-we're all rooting for you! Oh, and post what you find so we can all learn.


          • #6
            Update - I pulled the water pump and the rear ouil seal just fell off in to the crank cases.
            Not a good start but indicative of a seal failure. I used a endoscope to recover it and fitted a used pump from another ZZR1100.
            I re filled the coolant system and pressurised the coolant via the expansion tank nipple on the T-Stat housing to 18PSI - and it held pressure. No leaks and no water coming from the sump plug (sump is empty and plug out).

            I reall hope this means that the water pump was the cause of the water in oil. I would expect a loss of pressure if there was a cracked block head or blown gasket.

            Agree ?


            • #7
              Sounds like you may be ok with the replacement pump. I'd still run a quick compression check just for peace of mind.