Antifreeze leak

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by lazer 46, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. lazer 46

    lazer 46 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 521

    This is my second season on my 27HP Kawi Liquid cooled Lazer. Since the machine was new I noticed the antifreeze level gradually drop in the reserve bottle. I attributed it to rough lawns where the liquid would slop around in the bottle and perhaps escape through the overflow hose or top. This year I noticed that the area around the radiator itself was showing antifreeze. While not a lot of moisture it was still there and my fluid level was still going down. My dealer pressure tested the radiator for me and found no leaks and no reason for it to leak but it does. Any ideas? Great machine, but I think I will go air cooled next time. One less thing to maintain.
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Lazer 46,

    If you've had the radiator tested and it's not leaking it's probably okay.

    If you're not seeing a leak then there are a couple of other places the water could be going. If you've got a bad head gasket or a problem with the head the water generally will show up as a milky substance in the oil or as clouds of white smoke when you start the engine. These two are also unlikely because you'd most likely notice it, besides things generally get worse real fast when either of these happen.

    More than likely the water is simply evaporating away. It kinda works like this. The water gets hot then circulates through the cooling system to be cooled. Some of the water is sent to through the overflow to the reservoir, which is vented. Some of the hot water in the reservoir vaporizes and evaporates out of the vent hole, which requires you to add a little water every now and then.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    Well, I'm going to have to agree with Lazer 46's info here. Mine does the EXACT same thing. The reservoir bottle leaked since day one. Its always furry and wet. Just this year I am noticing a leak that looks to have started at the top hose and leaked down the radiator. Then I see a leak at the bottom hose and it leaks down the hose and onto the engine deck. The hose clamps are tight (they weren't the first time though!) and the hoses are seated properly. There is pink Dexcool all over the rear radiator support, I hope its not a worn through radiator from all my bouncing.

    I have added just about a full gallon of Dexcool since new. A splash here, a splash there. I'll get through this season, and I want to change the coolant this winter anyway. I'll get a new set of hoses and see if that works.

    I really feel that the reservoir tank needs a total re-design. There is no way that this tank is anywhere close to water tight. (after all, it did leak out approx a full gal in 600 hrs!!) The only way it should leak is through that emergency overflow tube. That, however is the only dry hose on the mower!!!

    I'm not mad, but just a little concerned just as Lazer 46 is. My machine is out of warranty and I think his is too.

    Keep up the great work guys!
     
  4. lazer 46

    lazer 46 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 521

    I accept the evaporation theory. It's the wet radiator support that has me concerned.
     
  5. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Lazer46,

    Where on the support is the anti-freeze located? I have seen some radiator caps on various cars over the years that when they open to allow coolant to flow to the reservoir they also allow some seepage around the cap as well. If the coolant is appearing high on the radiator or the radiator support I'd probably start looking there first.

    Tough one to call with out seeing the machine. If the radiator has been pressure tested and if the cap checks out I'd suggest getting one of those new luminescent leak test kits from your local auto parts store.

    I'd need to do some checking but the last one I saw in use required that you add a die to the radiator, run it to get it good and hot (possibly longer I don't recall). Then you had to hold a "black light" over the radiator, hoses, water pump etc. and the die would glow. I'm not sure but they may have one that doesn't require the black light now or the story you bought the die at might go over the machine with the "black light" for you. From what I recall it works pretty good.

    Besides it's kinda cool too.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  6. Columbia Turf

    Columbia Turf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 99

    Glad I saw this post. Just Saturday, I saw this trail of dried coolant running down the rad. hose of one of our lazers. I have not checked te othes yet.
     
  7. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    No, its NOT the drain petcock. The hoses are leaking and the clamps are tight.

    Any other suggestions?

    leak.jpg
     
  8. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    TLS,

    Hard to say. If the hoses are leaking then I would probably loosen them at the end that is leaking and pull it off. Then clan up the surface areas of both, replace the clamp and put it back together.

    If the leak is at the hose that should eliminate it. It's entirely possible that replacing the hose clamp will eliminate the leak as well but as long as you've got the hose of you may as well clean up both surfaces.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  9. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    Here is a pic of the overflow tank. It is always wet and leaky at the cap. This is the second cap/rubber gasket. It just will not seal properly. I've seen other manufacturers that use the 27 hp Kawi and they retain the Kawasaki overflow tank and they seem to seal tight. A nice threaded positive sealing cap would be the way to go here. This pic was taken after the mower was sitting for 3+ weeks due to drought.

    overflowtank.jpg
     
  10. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    TLS,

    I'll pass the photos and feedback along to the engineering team ASAP and get back with you if they have any questions or recommendations.

    Thanks!

    Terry
     

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