Radiator death by corrosion AAARRGH - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-14-2010, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Posts: 4
Radiator death by corrosion AAARRGH

Hi I have a K6 DL 1000, I was recently out on a day ride and on the way home discovered a slow coolant leak from what appeared to be the front face of the radiator, I figured a rock or stone since i had'nt the good sense to install a rad-guard when i bought the bike, needless to say I took it very easy the rest of the way home and monitored the coolant level. When I pulled the radiator out of the bike I noticed serious corrosion on the hose
tails and when I took it to a specialist I was informed to my horror that it was shagged, corroded out from the inside. The specialist said it was either electrolisis from stray electrical current or a mix of old and new coolant had been used. The previous owner of the bike had installed some led's in the front of the bike and the wires were exposed (the plastic wire cover was worn through and the copper was exposed) where they were trapped between cowling parts - I have since removed the led's and their wiring. It is difficult to determine if the damage was caused by coolant contamination and since I have now installed a replacement radiator with fresh coolant thats water under the bridge now anyway but the electrolosis possibility still has me worried. Has anyone heard of this happening before? Can anyone advise me of a good way to test for stray current in the bike frame or radiator?I do have a multi-metre. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Sorry for the long winded explanation.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-14-2010, 11:18 AM
greywolf's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Evanston IL USA
Posts: 38,049
Was there only a single wire to the LED? It could be the lights had a hot wire and the body was used for ground. Using the radiator for ground would cause such a problem.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
See https://www.stromtrooper.com/general-...nicknames.html

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-14-2010, 04:57 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Washington, the state
Posts: 7,437
I test the corrosion inhibitor life in the coolant with a multimeter. With the engine cool and the side panel off, remove the radiator cap and put one meter probe in the coolant not touching metal. Touch the other probe to the battery negative post. The meter should read less than 0.3 volts DC. More voltage than this shows that the corrosion inhibitors are depleted and the coolant needs to be changed. (Works on all engines--cars, etc.)

You should take a good look at all the gizmos the previous owner installed. If any of them are grounded to the frame, disconnect them. Run a negative wire to the battery negative post and connect all these wires to this negative line instead of to the frame/ engine/radiator/whatever.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

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44 B.C.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-15-2010, 08:52 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Round Hill, Va.
Posts: 269
That's a great piece of information PT. Thanks for posting it!

- 2003 DL1000
- 1972 XS 650 (Yamaha)
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-16-2010, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Posts: 4
Good to know

Thanks for the tips, very much appreciated, yes the LEDS had twin core wire running to each of them.
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