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Discussion Starter #1
My 2003 VTX1800 has set idle for too many years (shoulder surgery and other life events) but I recently started to ride again . Replaced the Fuel Pressure Regulator which had just gotten old, changed out the oil and started her up. Road around the block, stopped and was chatting with a neighbor and he said there is a leak. Sigh. Checked it out and discovered the coolant leak just where the flange meets with the radiator hard pipe under the bike, near the rear oil drain plug. Tried to get a wrench in there to tighten up the bolt, no room. A friend has a MC lift so this morning we ran it up on there and tightened everything up. Still leaks. Looks like the seal/o-ring that sits in the flange area. So, here is the 64K question, can I put some stop leak designed for aluminum engines to see if it will stop? One drip about every 10 to 15 second. Not a whole lot.
My riding days are numbered and I really do not want to do a tear down if that is what this would indicate.
Long story for a short answer - will this do more harm than good? Will it be safer to find someone to buy the bike as is? As you know, not a lot of resale value in 2003 1800s even though she only has 25K on her. BTW, the tires should be changed as they are about 15K miles old (2009).
All comments appreciated.
 

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Some say to throw talcum powder up to the coolant pump.
That way you can see where it is coming from.
Usually the internal shaft seal leaks and coolant drips from weep hole.
Tighten hose clamps if they have one in that area.
 

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I have a 2003, same mileage as you, but mine only sits 4-5 months over winter here in Pa. FYI I wouldn't run any car thats 17 years old with old coolant hoses, so 2 years ago, I spent $162 from Honda for all new hoses and clamps. I started changing them in Oct. '18, got the 2 longest ones done. Then last year I had a knee replaced, and only got maybe 400+ miles in last year. Only less than 100 so far, and now it's just too hot. I do keep an eye on everything and hope the rest of those old hoses hold up. 700-800 mi. weekend trip south to Welch, W. by-GOD Va. in 2 weeks. My biggie for the year, possibly. Another out to Canton, O. in early Sept. I would NOT use any stop leak product on mine, I'd try to fix or change whats leaking. Are you sure thats where the drip is coming from? Seeking its lowest point to drip from, could it be another location? Some have had drips from the water pump weep hole, indicating the pump is on its way out.
 

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Do not put stop leak in there. Best case it kills your coolant pump, then you have 2 things to fix. Fix it properly, use silicate free coolant and distilled water to refill.

Or sell it as is and let the next guy worry about it. If you put stop leak in there you're just screwing the next guy.
 

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Some say to throw talcum powder up to the coolant pump.
That way you can see where it is coming from.
Usually the internal shaft seal leaks and coolant drips from weep hole.
Tighten hose clamps if they have one in that area.
Or foot powder spray. Easier to apply at those weird angles.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Don't ever use that leak stopping crap. It plugs all sorts of holes, even holes that are supposed to there to allow the flow of coolant through the engine passages.
I was pretty sure that was going to be the response. Just had to ask, just in case. The parts diagram that was passed my way does not show the way the system is. I will try and get a better view. Maybe it will not require a tear down. I can only hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Do not put stop leak in there. Best case it kills your coolant pump, then you have 2 things to fix. Fix it properly, use silicate free coolant and distilled water to refill.

Or sell it as is and let the next guy worry about it. If you put stop leak in there you're just screwing the next guy.
I certainly did not want to do that. Not fair to a guy that would have to repair multiple things rather than just one. I will continue checking around. Maybe the dealer in in Indy can provide some guidance after an actual observation rather than forcing you guys to respond to a word picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a 2003, same mileage as you, but mine only sits 4-5 months over winter here in Pa. FYI I wouldn't run any car thats 17 years old with old coolant hoses, so 2 years ago, I spent $162 from Honda for all new hoses and clamps. I started changing them in Oct. '18, got the 2 longest ones done. Then last year I had a knee replaced, and only got maybe 400+ miles in last year. Only less than 100 so far, and now it's just too hot. I do keep an eye on everything and hope the rest of those old hoses hold up. 700-800 mi. weekend trip south to Welch, W. by-GOD Va. in 2 weeks. My biggie for the year, possibly. Another out to Canton, O. in early Sept. I would NOT use any stop leak product on mine, I'd try to fix or change whats leaking. Are you sure thats where the drip is coming from? Seeking its lowest point to drip from, could it be another location? Some have had drips from the water pump weep hole, indicating the pump is on its way out.
The water pump would be relatively easy to replace but from what I can see from the manual and associated pictures the water pump is in an entirely different area. More research is warranted. Thanks to all of you for the thoughts and advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My 2003 VTX1800 has set idle for too many years (shoulder surgery and other life events) but I recently started to ride again . Replaced the Fuel Pressure Regulator which had just gotten old, changed out the oil and started her up. Road around the block, stopped and was chatting with a neighbor and he said there is a leak. Sigh. Checked it out and discovered the coolant leak just where the flange meets with the radiator hard pipe under the bike, near the rear oil drain plug. Tried to get a wrench in there to tighten up the bolt, no room. A friend has a MC lift so this morning we ran it up on there and tightened everything up. Still leaks. Looks like the seal/o-ring that sits in the flange area. So, here is the 64K question, can I put some stop leak designed for aluminum engines to see if it will stop? One drip about every 10 to 15 second. Not a whole lot.
My riding days are numbered and I really do not want to do a tear down if that is what this would indicate.
Long story for a short answer - will this do more harm than good? Will it be safer to find someone to buy the bike as is? As you know, not a lot of resale value in 2003 1800s even though she only has 25K on her. BTW, the tires should be changed as they are about 15K miles old (2009).
All comments appreciated.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to post. I did some research, in depth, and discovered it very well could be the water pump, just about the right spot of the leak. It's too late tonight to check further but daylight and some crawling around on the ground may confirm. I had not considered the water pump because I was thinking it was in a different spot, similar to a car. Duh!!! I will keep you posted. Saga to be continued.
 

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My 2003 VTX1800 has set idle for too many years (shoulder surgery and other life events) but I recently started to ride again . Replaced the Fuel Pressure Regulator which had just gotten old, changed out the oil and started her up. Road around the block, stopped and was chatting with a neighbor and he said there is a leak. Sigh. Checked it out and discovered the coolant leak just where the flange meets with the radiator hard pipe under the bike, near the rear oil drain plug. Tried to get a wrench in there to tighten up the bolt, no room. A friend has a MC lift so this morning we ran it up on there and tightened everything up. Still leaks. Looks like the seal/o-ring that sits in the flange area. So, here is the 64K question, can I put some stop leak designed for aluminum engines to see if it will stop? One drip about every 10 to 15 second. Not a whole lot.
My riding days are numbered and I really do not want to do a tear down if that is what this would indicate.
Long story for a short answer - will this do more harm than good? Will it be safer to find someone to buy the bike as is? As you know, not a lot of resale value in 2003 1800s even though she only has 25K on her. BTW, the tires should be changed as they are about 15K miles old (2009).
All comments appreciated.
Hi haven’t shared before but you can try this add hy-per lube to coolant. I did this to my 2002 1800 VTX C model with only 33000 miles to fix the nortoris water pump weep hole leak and I haven’t had a leak since. Good luck. Hy-Lube super coolant can be purchase at Walmart or any auto parts store.
 

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Changing water pump is pret straight forward. Think I did mine ('02 C) at around 60,000 miles. It started dripping (a little) from the seal failure hole. Like Ranger I also swapped out all the hoses for fresh a couple of years ago. It's easier than changing the fresh air pump on a Harley.
 
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