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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently noticed a dribble of (water/coolant?) down the right front side of my engine. It originates at a small hole, just under the right spark plug.

I was worried it might be a coolant pump weep hole (which I've never heard of until yesterday when I started reading around the subject), so I went in to my local garage to inspect the bike, still under warranty.
He says that judging from the location it seems to be a drain hole for the spark plug well. Perhaps some water got in there when I was cleaning my bike (very likely), and due to corrosion (?) it got that greenish tint.

Anyone else seen a similar leak?
Can/should I indeed relax and assume it's just a drain hole for excess water?
I couldn't find it mentioned anywhere in the shop manual...
 

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You should ask them to investigate the leak, Or take it to another dealer pronto :frown2:

That is certainly not normal, and is definitely the coolant leaking out, needs fixing urgently,
 

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Hmmm, hard to tell from the pic, but the color matches both coolant and copper corrosion.
First step I would do is wipe it down and see if it returns. If not, then it probably was just water that got into the plug port. If it does return - or if you can determine for sure that it is coolant - then that would mean one of two things: either a cracked head (unlikely), or you have a coolant leak somewhere above and dripping down the head into the plug well or onto the plug wire and following it down. I'd put my money on a coolant leak.

EDIT: Actually, the very first thing to do is check the coolant level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmmm, hard to tell from the pic, but the color matches both coolant and copper corrosion.
First step I would do is wipe it down and see if it returns. If not, then it probably was just water that got into the plug port. If it does return - or if you can determine for sure that it is coolant - then that would mean one of two things: either a cracked head (unlikely), or you have a coolant leak somewhere above and dripping down the head into the plug well or onto the plug wire and following it down. I'd put my money on a coolant leak.

EDIT: Actually, the very first thing to do is check the coolant level.

Coolant level seems to be OK, i.e. it's over the minimum level, I don't remember exactly where it was last time I checked.
Searching a bit on google, it seems that there is such a thing as a spark plug drainage hole on various motorcycle models, and it looks exactly like the one on my bike (although I admit this is the first time I've ever noticed the existence of such a thing, and I've owned quite a few bikes up to now :| ).

I really don't know what the cause is.
As suggested, for now, I'll clean it up and keep watching it.
 

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Personally, anytime there's a leak (especially if coolant colored) I wouldn't relax till I'm convinced it's normal (i.e. service manual).
 

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the more i think about it, more i'm convinced it's definitely coolant. You wouldn't get that much coloring/corrosion there. I would let it idle to get hot enough that the rad fans come on. And poke around with a flash light in all the crevices up top. Try and follow hose paths. And, yes, that definitely is the plug weep hole - many bikes have them. Also check the rad cap, as it is right in front of and above that area. make sure the overflow tube is secure.
 

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And, yes, that definitely is the plug weep hole - many bikes have them.
I know one of my race (sport) bikes had one but it's plugged up with a screw, not left open.

This is my first bike that came with an open "plug weep hole" AND a water bleed valve. Which Honda says a little coolant leak from the water bleed valve is normal. WTHeck?!!!
 

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I know my honda 450X will puke coolant when it idles too long stationary and gets too hot. Is it possible the coolant was part of an overflow while the bike ran idle and hot? Just working off past bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quick (not very informative) update.

The coolant continues to leak slowly from that hole, so I went back to the garage. This time he took of the right side plastics and radiator, removed the spark plug, and had a good look around.
As far as he can tell it is indeed a leak originating from inside the engine, perhaps a cylinder head gasket or even a crack in the actual head, in order to further investigate they need to remove the engine head...
Honda approved the investigation under warranty, so some time soon (seeing that I'm kind of busy and rely on the bike for daily commute, and seeing that it doesn't seem too urgent I'm waiting for a good time to part from my bike for a few days) I'll give in the bike for further investigation and fixing.

I'll keep you posted when something is found.
 
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i doubt it's a head gastket. The head and cylinder are mated together below this point and wouldn't leak coolant there. The plug weep hole is external to the head chamber. It's lets water that has come from the outside (dripped into the plug well) back out again so that it doesn't sit in the well and cause corrosion. In order to have coolant leak from that hole, it must either be: 1. dripping into the well from above, or 2. a cracked head.
Hope it's #1. Try stuffing some paper towel into the plug well and around the spark plug and run the engine for a while to see if it picks up any coolant entering the well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UPDATE:

The parts arrived and my Engine Head was replace last week. So far so good (haven't ridden enough to tell yet), hopefully the problem has been fixed. According to the mechanic there was a very fine crack where the right side spark plugs screw in.
While I was at it I also filed a claim for the corroded spokes... the parts should arrive in a couple of weeks.

Seeing that my original warranty is ending next month, they also decided to extend my warranty for another half a year in order to give me peace of mind.

I was pleasantly please with the customer service of the Honda dealer here.
 

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Good to hear they found the issue and are treating you well. A little concerning about the failure mode though, probably never know for sure but makes you wonder if it was a casting flaw or what else happened.. I'll be paranoid and watching those weepholes closely now :)
 
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