Author [NL] [FR] [ES] [DE] [SE] [IT] Unexpected surprise (leaky head gasket) while at shop for recall  (Read 3587 times)

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  • Offline dandrumheller   us

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    Offline dandrumheller

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    Unexpected surprise (leaky head gasket) while at shop for recall
    on: Jun 21, 2020, 06.44 pm
    Jun 21, 2020, 06.44 pm
    As some of you may have seen via my post in the Facebook group from a week ago...

    Yesterday I took my Trophy SE ('15 leftver I purchased new last July, 5600 mi on the clock now) to the dealer for the headstock wiring recall.  However, over the past couple weeks, after two out of 4 rides (the longer and hotter of the two fwiw) I discovered small puddles of what I believe to be coolant on the floor of the garage under the bike.  This was approximately a tablespoon of fluid, which appeared to drip from under the centerline of the bike abeam the sidestand.  Further inspection seems to indicate that it was draining from the coolant overflow hose.  So when making the appointment for the recall, I mentioned this and asked the dealer to inspect.  Coolant levels stayed normal in the overflow tank during this period.  After the second time, I tried pulling the drain hose out of the fairing and putting a container under it to catch fluid, but following a couple more rides, I didn't get any repeat events. 

    Initial inspection by the dealer indicated that the coolant drain hose was either partially or fully blocked, so left side body work teardown and further digging would be necessary and would take some time.  My wife and daughter were there to give me a ride in case the service apointment was going to be long, so off we went, leaving the bike at the dealer.

    Shortly before the dealer closed, they called me and left a message (I was away from the phone and didn't hear it ring) that they suspect a leaking head gasket, and will be calling to get warranty repair authorization from Triumph on Monday (tomorrow 6/22).  The message advised that this will be a "long job" as it requires engine removal from the bike.  I'm hoping to get more info on a timeline when I contact them tomorrow, but looks like I'll be out of commission for a bit. 

    Some questions if anyone is willing to share their thoughts:

    1) What, if anything, should I have been watching for or inspecting to discover this issue?  Temp gauge always runs at 4 blocks, has been to
         5 a few times at idles over a few minutes on hot days.  Never seen it higher than that.  Didn't see any leakage anywhere on the bike. 
         But this is my first water cooled, and first faired motorcycle.  I'm Concerned that I'm not doing sufficient inspections...

    2) It appears from a skim through engine and cylinder head removal sections of the service manual, this process should involve new oil and
        coolant upon reassembly.  Would it make sense, at this mileage, to have them replace the air filter and sync the throttle bodies while
         they are in there?  Any other items in the 10k service  that require teardown that I should think about them doing?

    3) Looks like, at least by part number, the cylinder head gasket for the Trophy is NOT the same as the Tiger Explorer.  Anyone know if they
         are in fact interchageable?  I only ask as I am concerned about potential delays in getting parts.   


    Thanks all, and happy Father's Day!

    Dan
    2015 TTSE.  It's blue.

  • Offline RedMerle   gb

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    Last Edit: Jun 21, 2020, 07.05 pm by RedMerle
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  • Offline digital   es

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    Re: Unexpected surprise (leaky head gasket) while at shop for recall
    Reply #2 on: Jun 21, 2020, 08.54 pm
    Jun 21, 2020, 08.54 pm
    First, the valve head cylinder head gasket is exactly the same as that of the Tiger Explorer. Do not hesitate.

    Second, to remove the cylinder head, it is not necessary to remove the engine. If you agree to have the engine removed, your bill to pay will increase significantly.

    Think that a cylinder head gasket costs about 50 euros. In addition to the 8 screws that hold the cylinder head. The 8 screws must be replaced, this if or if.

    More gaskets, rocker cover, spark plugs, oil filter, air filter and more. In materials little money.

    As I say, if you consent to remove the engine, the hours of work are many.

    If you can avoid removing the engine, the bill will increase to a more or less normal price.

    Before anyone says that the workshop manual says that the engine must be removed to access the cylinder head.

    Say that I know the manual says so. But it is not necessary to remove the engine.

    I have replaced the cylinder head and reassembled another cylinder head without removing the engine at all.
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  • Offline digital   es

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    Re: Unexpected surprise (leaky head gasket) while at shop for recall
    Reply #3 on: Jun 21, 2020, 09.05 pm
    Jun 21, 2020, 09.05 pm
    Now I will search my PC for a photo I took when I changed the cylinder head without removing the engine.
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  • Offline digital   es

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    Re: Unexpected surprise (leaky head gasket) while at shop for recall
    Reply #4 on: Jun 21, 2020, 09.12 pm
    Jun 21, 2020, 09.12 pm






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  • Offline digital   es

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    Re: Unexpected surprise (leaky head gasket) while at shop for recall
    Reply #5 on: Jun 21, 2020, 09.19 pm
    Jun 21, 2020, 09.19 pm
    Now I show you these 5 photos so you can compare what it can mean at work if you remove the engine from the chassis.

    This will give you an idea of what it means to access the cylinder head by removing the engine or without removing the engine from the chassis.









    Only motorcyclists know why dogs stick their head out the car window.


  • Offline dandrumheller   us

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    Re: Unexpected surprise (leaky head gasket) while at shop for recall
    Reply #6 on: Jun 22, 2020, 02.52 am
    Jun 22, 2020, 02.52 am
    Thanks for the feedback gents!

    RedMerle: I took a look through that thread after getting some suggestions that the initial leaking was likely coolant; that thread seemed to confirm it for me.  As I haven't directly talked to the service folks at the dealer since getting the message about the head gasket leak, I can only assume that a blocked vent hose may have led to excessive pressure in the system (assuming maybe a failed radiator cap as well??) that led to the head gasket failure??  Not sure I understand the system well enough, so I'm probably talking out my a$$ here. 

    Digital: thanks for the somewhat 'scary' pictures!  As the bike was purchased brand new last year, it is still under Triumph factory warranty.  I don't have particular concerns over cost for the repairs, at least at this point, as I assume that they will be covered by the warranty.  However, if that turns out not to be true, I would certainly advocate for a less costly approach to the repair - so thank you for showing that full engine removal isn't necessary.

    2015 TTSE.  It's blue.

  • Offline digital   es

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    Re: Unexpected surprise (leaky head gasket) while at shop for recall
    Reply #7 on: Jun 22, 2020, 08.01 am
    Jun 22, 2020, 08.01 am
    There is another point that usually loses very common coolant in the trophy, it is due to the hose that comes out from the right side of the radiator and ends in the nozzle that is just below the injection bodies, that hose has a metal flange that loosens and the loss of refrigerant is poured right next to the sleeves that are next to the left footrest and creates confusion as to whether the loss can come from the radiator cap or the sump of the expansion box.

    If the mechanic says that one of the tubes is clogged, that could have been the cause. But ... In that case you should have noticed an overheating in the motor. This type of motors withstands quite a high temperature before the red light of the warning.

    Rare is that with those kilometers and years of your motorcycle you have a clogged tube, the obstruction is created by the residues of the engine gases in contact with the coolant.

    In the event that the red indicator light (due to sensor failure or poor conession) had not given the warning, you would have noticed it by the temperature bars on the instrument panel.

    For a cylinder head gasket to burn, that would be the first cause, the high temperature (engine heater), I think you said that on trips the engine had not heated the engine out of the ordinary.

    I thought that the warranty does not cover him, but he will agree with me that even if it does not cost him money from his pocket, nobody likes to have his motorcycle engine removed and see the condition of the bare chassis. Then you have to reassemble everything and pray that they have done everything to the letter, if not, then there may be other problems caused by not paying maximum attention to the assembly of everything that is removed.
    Only motorcyclists know why dogs stick their head out the car window.