Printable Version | Subscribe | Add to Favourites
New Topic New Poll New Reply
Author: Subject: Help! Headgasket?

posted on 6/3/11 at 11:56 AM Reply With Quote
Help! Headgasket?

My tiger zx9r had some trouble with overheating at the end of last year, I put this down to poor coolant as it was brown and horrible. It still seems to heat up very quickly and I'm beginning to think headgasket! It throws coolant (or lots and lots of vapour) out of the exhaust, enough to make a small puddle on the ground. Also I have been told to let it cool down for a couple of minutes after it's been up to temperature then remove the expansion tank cap and it spewed water out there too which I was told is also a sign of failure. There is also a small bit of Mayo on the oil cap.

Does this sound like a headgasket and is there anything else I can check?

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member

posted on 6/3/11 at 12:04 PM Reply With Quote
Sounds like it, but i would try a few other things before making the final diagnosis;

Change oil & Filter (Maybe even with flushing oil)
Change Coolant Again
Clean dipstick and cam cover
Clean caps

Then i would run it up to temperature and see what happens. If the oil goes milky or the coolant black, then its a definite HG Failure, though in some engines, its signs of a cracked liner. Certainly a head taken off will tell you.

Dont leave it too long though, as the water in the oilways and journals will ruin the block and bearings.

ETA: With the flushing oil in, make sure you read the instructions, as there is a rev limit guidance with such a thin oil.

[Edited on 6-3-11 by MakeEverything]

Kindest Regards,

...You can make it foolProof, but youll never make it Idiot Proof!...

View User's Profile E-Mail User View All Posts By User U2U Member

posted on 6/3/11 at 12:10 PM Reply With Quote
to be fair it does sound like it, but then my engine had most or all of those symptoms and it turned out to be a faulty radiator cap.... there are other ways of cross checking but they all (or all the ones i know) can give false negatives or positives.... you can have a test done on your coolant to test for hydrocarbons, test your oil for signs of water, compression test etc the only way you can really tell is by taking the head off afaik! a little bit of mayo on the cap can just be condensation, it was on mine. Is your oil looking like chocolate milkshake/the colour of hot chocolate?

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member

posted on 6/3/11 at 12:27 PM Reply With Quote
most garages have a pressure test machine which fits on the expansion tank and checks for leaks,
if it looses pressure but has no external leaks then it could be the head gasket
we also have a dye to put in the water which can be seen comming out of the exhaust if its the head gasket
so ask at your local garage or bike shop to get a proper diagnosis

View User's Profile E-Mail User View All Posts By User U2U Member

posted on 6/3/11 at 12:44 PM Reply With Quote
Cheers guys, I will try the things you have suggested (next weekend) and report back, if no improvement I will try and get it to a garage to check the pressure of the coolant. I have just tried it again incase the water was just condensation, put my hand infront of the exhaust and it got soaked!
View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member

posted on 6/3/11 at 02:18 PM Reply With Quote
I had the same with my ZX9R 'E' not so long ago.

Was the head gasket in my case and sounds like yours is the same.

It's an easy enough job if you take your time and follow the manual.

I had never taken an engine apart before doing this and managed not to screw it up

"If in doubt flat out"

Colin McRae

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member

posted on 6/3/11 at 02:44 PM Reply With Quote
I've had exactly the same on my ZX9 C1. I still do get mayo on the oil filler cap and when I look at the oil level sight window the oil looks a light brown colour but when I drain it it looks like oil again and the water has no oil in it.
I had a lot of water coming out the exhaust at SVA and changed the head gasket to no avail but without having the head skimmed. When I did it again it turned out that it had been skimmed previously but they commented that it looked like it had been done with a stone previously. Got it pressure tested too, didn't cost much all in. This skim solved the water in the exhaust problem.
There is a tendency for B1 engines to blow their head gaskets I know and also there is a tendency for the C engines to have a leaky inner seal in the water pump that allows water to pass into the oil. I've thought about changing this seal myself but I'm not losing water or owt its just a funny colour in the sight glass like I say and plays on my mind.
I've changed just about all the gaskets on this engine and its an easy job just take your time and keep it methodical.

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member

posted on 6/3/11 at 02:49 PM Reply With Quote
As above,sounds very headgasketish to me.lots of folk panic when they hear that cause of what garages charge,pretty straight forward to fix yourself really tho just time consuming depending how much crap you have to remove around it.i could do an imps in 3 hrs tho and thats with warming it up again and re torqueing the bolts under the cam.
View User's Profile E-Mail User Visit User's Homepage View All Posts By User U2U Member

posted on 8/3/11 at 01:39 PM Reply With Quote
I'm going to gamble and assume a head gasket! By the time I faff on with other stuff the summer will be over and I lost out on most of last summer (first year of my ownership) due to carb troubles and am not gonna do the same thing again.

Going to have a go of it myself, I have a Haynes and a methodical mind so can't go too wrong!

Could this have been the reason that the tuner couldn't balance my intake and exhaust pressure and why I get a stutter at 6k?

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member

New Topic New Poll New Reply

go to top

Website design and SEO by Studio Montage

All content 2001-16 LocostBuilders. Reproduction prohibited
Opinions expressed in public posts are those of the author and do not necessarily represent
the views of other users or any member of the LocostBuilders team.
Running XMB 1.8 Partagium [ 2002 XMB Group] on Apache under CentOS Linux
Founded, built and operated by ChrisW.