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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm hoping for a pointer on this, I have a 96 t,bird 900, last week I noticed through the glass the engine oil looked milky, I drained and replaced it just to be sure, but it has turned milky again. I am assuming a breached gasket, which is most likely. Regards Phil
 

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I'm afraid it's either the head gasket or one of the cylinder liners. I would stop riding it as milky oil makes a lousy lubricant.

You can have the oil tested for antifreeze if you're skeptical, and there is also a test for combustion products in the coolant, which would point to the head gasket.
 

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What kind of riding do you do? Short trips? In town? Has your coolant level dropped? How long have you had the bike?
 

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I'm with WSC on this. Better check it out. Better safe than sorry. If the problem has returned fairly soon after changing the oil, something is wrong. Don't know where you are, but in most part of the U.S. the weather is still too warm to be having condensation problems. ...J.D.
 

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Milky oil will ruin those bearings right quick. Stop riding until it is fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
okay, many thanks, I'll take the head off this weekend. Head gaskets appear to be a hell of a price. Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've taken the head off, gasket is not broken but looks worn-out, I can't drain the coolant from the front of the cylinder barrel , it just sits there. Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm baffled, hoping someone can explain how the coolant in the cylinder block gets back into the coolant system. regards Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks John, before I took the head off I split the water pump to drain coolant, when I lifted the head gasket the front of the cylinder barrel was full of water, I had to syphon it out. when the engine is running normally how does that water get recirculated . Regards Phil
 

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The area around the cylinder sleeves is quite open. The water pump forces water in through the rusty elbow at the rear base of the cylinders in the photo. It circulates around the cylinders and up into the head where it exits through the other elbow to the thermostat housing. There is probably baffling inside the block to force the water to make a full circuit, but hot water is going to naturally rise toward the outlet anyhow.

Completely off topic, but, the SAAB 92, a 750cc 2 cylinder 2-stroke car, had no water pump. Hot water rose into the radiator above and behind the engine, and cooler water fell back to the bottom of the cylinder block. It was called "thermosiphon".
 
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