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Discussion Starter #1
So last night I was bolting the front head on and something strange happened. As I was getting the head bolts started, I noticed some coolant in the top of the head that I thought had just dripped from the coolant hose when I wasn't looking. I soaked it up and continued tightening the head bolts down. Got all done assembling the whole cylinder and just happened to notice some drops of coolant hanging on the bottom of the head right where the gasket is. At first, I thought that it had just run down the side of the engine from the coolant hose, but I could not find a wet spot above the gasket anywhere. Those drips had to come from the gasket itself. So now I am thinking that there must've been some residual coolant from the disassembly process that was in the thread area of bolt hole #1 (the front lowest head bolt hole without a dowel pin) that must've pushed up the bolt hole when I put the bolt in there, and it ran out the bottom along the gasket as I was tightening the head bolts. And another strange thing is that the coolant that came up past the bolt was clear and perfect green. You'd think that if it pushed up past the bolt that had black moly oil on the threads and under the washer would have been nasty looking coolant, but neither the drips at the bottom of the head nor the bit in the top of the head were black at all.
So anyway, now I'm not sure what to do. Should I take the head back off and see how much of the gasket is wet, and see if there's more coolant at the bottom the head bolts? Or just go run it and see if the head gasket leaks?
75824
 

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If you feel there is coolant down in the threads then pull the bolts and blow out the holes then re trq. You don't have to pull the head but you can lift it up to look at the gasket and clean up any coolant.
 

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My thoughts are-If I thought there was any chance that anything got between the combustion ring area of the head gasket prior to torqueing, I would have to remove it and start over with fresh gaskets. However that far to the outside and being on the low side, although some may have gotten between it in that area, there is a pretty good chance it didn't get much closer..of course under compression that coolant can go about anywhere under the gasket and spread way out. It's a crap-shoot but the odds are in your favor...a little. I might be tempted to go 3-5 extra lbs on the bolts and re-check them after the first run. But knowing how these V-twins like any reason to blow head gaskets...that would be on my mind all the time as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My thoughts are-If I thought there was any chance that anything got between the combustion ring area of the head gasket prior to torqueing, I would have to remove it and start over with fresh gaskets. However that far to the outside and being on the low side, although some may have gotten between it in that area, there is a pretty good chance it didn't get much closer..of course under compression that coolant can go about anywhere under the gasket and spread way out. It's a crap-shoot but the odds are in your favor...a little. I might be tempted to go 3-5 extra lbs on the bolts and re-check them after the first run. But knowing how these V-twins like any reason to blow head gaskets...that would be on my mind all the time as well.
Yes, it's been on my mind all day! Lol. I hate the thought of tearing it down again, but I might have to anyway if there's trapped coolant in there and it causes leaks.
I've never tried to see how deep the head bolts go into the case, or how much room is under the bolt when it's tight. It could've pushed it all out, or there might be 1/8" of coolant down there still.😕
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you feel there is coolant down in the threads then pull the bolts and blow out the holes then re trq. You don't have to pull the head but you can lift it up to look at the gasket and clean up any coolant.
If I pull the head up enough to look at it and possibly wipe down any remaining coolant, I think I'd have to buy another gasket and basically start over. It's probably going to be one of those things that I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't.😕😄
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well rather than riding around on what could have been a ticking time bomb, I decided to tear it apart, and boy am I glad I did! That damn coolant snuck out and went around everywhere including right to the edge of the cylinder sleeve. And when I blew out the bolt holes, there was still a thimble full of coolant down in there. 😯
That bolt hole number 1 was 3 inches deep in coolant, but was not full enough that I could see it from the side of the quad when I was putting it back together. Damn. I wish these engines drained better so there wasn't so much coolant that comes out as soon as you loosen the head bolts. There's always some that comes out and goes right down past the rings and makes a mess.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
75829
 

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Yeah..good thing you did...that would have been a problem. Hay doesn't yours have those little cylinder coolant drains at the bottom of the cylinders like the 750s? Little 8mm headed plugs/bolts.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah..good thing you did...that would have been a problem. Hay doesn't yours have those little cylinder coolant drains at the bottom of the cylinders like the 750s? Little 8mm headed plugs/bolts.

Lol. It sure does! But I never noticed them because that page out of the Brute service manual IS NOT in the Prairie manual! There's no mention of it at all. Zip.
Well this little tidbit of info will definitely be the best thing I hear of today.
Thanks NMK!😉🙂
Had that page been in my manual, it would've saved me a couple hours and a head gasket.
 

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Maybe save some aggravation next time. I guess those have to be used to get all the coolant out. I remember when I changed mine out the first time I thought pulling the plug on the water pump..or hose would do it but nope..those had to come out to get the rest of it.

Now just make sure you don't have any coolant where it isn't supposed to be before assembly.
 
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