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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought I'd report on a vexing coolant leak I recently fixed on my 2002 Vee with 67,000 miles. From what I found, I suspect others with later models may also end up experiencing the same deterioration and the resulting leaks.

All I could tell without disassembly was that antifreeze was coming from somewhere between the cylinders -- it was a bit of a mess in there what with antifreeze blowing around. I was also having trouble getting the radiator hoses to seal after the last valve check -- they were pretty compressed where they attached to the radiator.

So I ordered all new coolant hoses, as well as new o-rings for the cylinder fittings. (Parts # 2, 3, 6, and 9 on the K2 diagram below.)

What I found upon disassembly was that the fittings (#7 & 8 on the diagram) were somewhat corroded, but the leaking was actually coming from the o-rings. The o-rings had for some reason deteriorated into a gooey mess. The passages inside the engine and the radiator looked clean, with little to no buildup or corrosion.

I was able to clean up the fittings and the thermostat housing with a wire wheel, and they sealed up just fine with new o-rings and hoses. It took a good bit of scraping to clean the o-ring goo out of the "receptacles" in the engine where the fittings plug in.

After a few rides in heavy rain earlier this week to rinse things off, the bike has finally stopped smelling like the antifreeze I spilled all over the damn place. :hurray:

The moral of the story? Watch those damn o-rings. And if you're replacing them, it might be a good idea to go ahead and replace the fittings as well.

 

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Thanks for the write up, I am confident this is the root of my coolant leak as well.

03 50k
 

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My 05 has 54k miles and I've started to smell coolant when I'm finished riding so I guess it's time to tear it apart.:thumbdown:
 

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Tighten the large hoses at the engine and radiator first. Those are the usual suspects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tighten the large hoses at the engine and radiator first. Those are the usual suspects.
Agreed -- I was having this problem in addition to the failed o-rings. In my case, the hoses were just too compressed to re-seal after being removed several times to facilitate valve checks.

I'm just wondering why the heck the o-rings would turn to goo like that. The antifreeze seemed pretty fresh and normal when I got the bike, and in the year I've had it I've changed the antifreeze at both of the valve checks I've done. Perhaps Suzuki has updated the o-ring material since 2002.

This wasn't a catastrophic failure or anything, and it wasn't at all difficult to fix. You do need to move the throttle bodies assembly out of the way, but you don't have to disconnect the cables.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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You do need to move the throttle bodies assembly out of the way, but you don't have to disconnect the cables.
I fixed mine without removing the fuel tank. I just removed the left fairing and was able to get to everything from there. It was a little tight though.

Ah, then it's not entirely unknown. But I hadn't seen that post before -- must have missed it last May.

Thanks! :hurray:
I'm glad I'm not the only one that has experienced the problem. :)
 

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My trick believed to so far be successful

I take a high quality like Prestone Anticorrosion and water pump lubricant concentrate and just pour it in the expansion bottle

Little by little it is introduced into the system

I do this on all my vehiclesfor cheap insurance
 

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On my K3, I replaced the front cylinder o-ring at 163,000 miles and the rear cylinder o-ring at 177,000 miles.

It appears that the original rings may have been different than the ones I installed? The originals looked to have squared off edges and the new ones had round edges but the originals could have been deformed by the heat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
On my K3, I replaced the front cylinder o-ring at 163,000 miles and the rear cylinder o-ring at 177,000 miles.

It appears that the original rings may have been different than the ones I installed? The originals looked to have squared off edges and the new ones had round edges but the originals could have been deformed by the heat.
Sounds like yours were just deformed, which is normal.

I have no idea why mine turned to goo.
 

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07 DL1000 - I have now developed that leak also... Have taken all the tupperware off and traced the coolant lines checking and tightening hose clamps trying to find the source of the leak between the cylinders. Thanks to your post I will now R&R the O rings...
No sign of leaking anywhere, or at connections yet I find coolant spotting below the thermostat.
 

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07 DL1000 - I have now developed that leak also... Have taken all the tupperware off and traced the coolant lines checking and tightening hose clamps trying to find the source of the leak between the cylinders. Thanks to your post I will now R&R the O rings...
No sign of leaking anywhere, or at connections yet I find coolant spotting below the thermostat.
Same issue and year model, 15,000 mi. I could smell it and finally found a trace of coolant at bottom of thermo housing. Probably saved me some time. Thanks!
 

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I know this is a super old post, but I was wondering, do I need to use a specific type of o-ring? Or will the proper sized one from a generic kit work? Mine is leaking pretty bad (I can see the coolant coming from part #8 fits to the engine), and I have a bunch of o-rings of various sizes, but I don't want to start taking it apart if I need to end up ordering it.

Also, does anyone happen to know the o-ring size?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm still around, and 6 years later my Vee still isn't leaking! ;)


I would just order the correct o-rings from Suzuki. They're cheap and it's just not worth the risk of doing the job again.

The Suzuki part number is:
09280-18009

The "18" in the last half implies a nominal inside diameter of 18mm, but thickness/OD are unknown. They're $3.58 each from my usual OEM parts souce, which is a bit steep and might imply that they might be a nonstandard material. (Buna-N is compatible with antifreeze, but could be a little marginal as far as long term heat resistance.)

I would NOT install Buna-N/Nitrile o-rings from an assortment or hardware store. Perhaps if you have access to high-quality non-Chinese metric Viton o-rings and can measure and match the size.

In your case, I would also seriously consider replacing the fittings that plug into the cylinders -- these were pretty corroded and pitted on my bike, but I was just barely able to salvage them with a lot of sandpaper and polishing. If it starts leaking again, I'll definitely need to replace them.
 
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I replaced the fitting and o-ring, and it worked great. The old fitting looked fine, but I replaced it anyway since I had the part. I did notice a difference between the old and new fittings, I'm guessing Suzuki did this for a reason:
 

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I replaced the fitting and o-ring, and it worked great. The old fitting looked fine, but I replaced it anyway since I had the part. I did notice a difference between the old and new fittings, I'm guessing Suzuki did this for a reason:
been a while I know, but the parts in your hands there, are they #8 in this diagram?
Did you ever figure out the reason for the change in design?

271310
 

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Just thought I'd report on a vexing coolant leak I recently fixed on my 2002 Vee with 67,000 miles. From what I found, I suspect others with later models may also end up experiencing the same deterioration and the resulting leaks.

All I could tell without disassembly was that antifreeze was coming from somewhere between the cylinders -- it was a bit of a mess in there what with antifreeze blowing around. I was also having trouble getting the radiator hoses to seal after the last valve check -- they were pretty compressed where they attached to the radiator.

So I ordered all new coolant hoses, as well as new o-rings for the cylinder fittings. (Parts # 2, 3, 6, and 9 on the K2 diagram below.)

What I found upon disassembly was that the fittings (#7 & 8 on the diagram) were somewhat corroded, but the leaking was actually coming from the o-rings. The o-rings had for some reason deteriorated into a gooey mess. The passages inside the engine and the radiator looked clean, with little to no buildup or corrosion.

I was able to clean up the fittings and the thermostat housing with a wire wheel, and they sealed up just fine with new o-rings and hoses. It took a good bit of scraping to clean the o-ring goo out of the "receptacles" in the engine where the fittings plug in.

After a few rides in heavy rain earlier this week to rinse things off, the bike has finally stopped smelling like the antifreeze I spilled all over the damn place. :hurray:

The moral of the story? Watch those damn o-rings. And if you're replacing them, it might be a good idea to go ahead and replace the fittings as well.

Hello. Did you put any kind of sealant on those #9 0 rings?
 

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been a while I know, but the parts in your hands there, are they #8 in this diagram?
Did you ever figure out the reason for the change in design?

View attachment 271310
Yes, that's them. You need to replace at least #9 and probably #8 will be corroded and need replacing. While you're in there, you might as well replace the thermostat hoses as well.
 
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