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Waterpump mechanical seal. 3 months 1 week ago #31311

  • Kawboy
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All's well that ends well. Glad to hear you're sorted out.

Looking forward to the day when we can "service" a leaking seal at home by ourselves and not have to rely on skimpy availability of replacements.
Sometimes I wonder if the initiation of a leaking seal is a consequence of old antifreeze that's worn out from a PH perspective or possibly caused by using an antifreeze not compatible with the metals of the engine. Too many variables that could initiate a seal leak.

Some of my experience with antifreeze relates back to the days when I had Ford Power Stroke diesels and the need to check the PH of the antifreeze every 50,000 K. Typically you would have to add a PH balancing additive to correct the PH but you could only do that once. Then if required again, it required an antifreeze change out. Failure to do this and it usually would cost you  a head gasket replacement a job in the $4k range. The cab had to come off to be able to remove the cylinder heads. PITA and not something able to be done at home.

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Waterpump mechanical seal. 3 months 1 week ago #31314

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All's well that ends well. Glad to hear you're sorted out.

Looking forward to the day when we can "service" a leaking seal at home by ourselves and not have to rely on skimpy availability of replacements.
Sometimes I wonder if the initiation of a leaking seal is a consequence of old antifreeze that's worn out from a PH perspective or possibly caused by using an antifreeze not compatible with the metals of the engine. Too many variables that could initiate a seal leak.

Some of my experience with antifreeze relates back to the days when I had Ford Power Stroke diesels and the need to check the PH of the antifreeze every 50,000 K. Typically you would have to add a PH balancing additive to correct the PH but you could only do that once. Then if required again, it required an antifreeze change out. Failure to do this and it usually would cost you  a head gasket replacement a job in the $4k range. The cab had to come off to be able to remove the cylinder heads. PITA and not something able to be done at home.
 
Old Seal Pictured below.  Does seem to be some wear.  There was no evidence that it had ever been replaced (I got the bike with about 5k miles on it) yet there was black silicone sealant used on the seal components - I've never seen black sealant used on another Kawasaki ???


There was lots of brown crud in the 'T nut' (for lack of a better term) cavity that the impeller shaft fits into in the impeller.  Not sure what it was or where it would come from.

The container for the replacement seal is also pictured.

 
Hello from Canada's We(s)t coast.
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Waterpump mechanical seal. 3 months 1 week ago #31315

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Lots of interesting info here Bucko. thanks !!
The new seal package with the part #- It's a very standard 5/8" seal with a carbob rotating seal and a ceramic stationary face. Stainless steel springs and a viton o-ring. this is a common mechanical seal used on most swimming pool pumps.
The brown crud you found may have been residue from the previous owner trying something like "Bar's Leak" to seal up the leak. Bar's Leak is a coconut shell fiber based coolant sealant and it's dark chocolate brown in color.

I'm still looking forward to finding a simple cheap way to refurbish the seal face and not have to search for a new replacement. I lapped hundreds of mechanical seals when I was a working stiff at the nuke plant. Every mechanical pump had one. Our Low Pressure Service Water Pumps moved 500,000 gallons of lake water a minute and as I remember, the mechanical seal cost new 40 years ago was nearly $10,000, so we had an entire department that resurfaced mechanical seals. 10 mechanics worked on rebuilding pumps and nothing else. Every pump had the mechanical seal refurbished.
The carbon rotating seal element was resurfaced by hand on a diamond plate and used water as the viscous fluid.
The fixed seal face was usually silicone carbide and it got resurfaced on a machine called a Lapmaster. Diamond paste and varsol as a viscous fluid was the media that resurfaced the face. The Lapmaster was a rotating cast iron plate that was lapped to 2 light bands and there was 3 rotating rings that sat on top of the rotating plate and conditioned the plate while the machine was in use. 5 minutes on the Lapmaster to resurface the silicone carbide face and about 2 minutes on the diamond plate to resurface the carbon face by hand.
2 minute video on the Lapmaster in use

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Waterpump mechanical seal. 3 months 1 week ago #31316

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Lots of interesting info here Bucko. thanks !!

The brown crud you found may have been residue from the previous owner trying something like "Bar's Leak" to seal up the leak. Bar's Leak is a coconut shell fiber based coolant sealant and it's dark chocolate brown in color.


 
That 'dark chocolate brown' colour does describe what I found, but there was no evidence of it anywhere else in the cooling system.  I've flushed the cooling system out twice (three time including this seal replacement project, although I didn't do much of a flush this time) since I've had the bike and never got anything out other than old antifreeze. 

A question for future reference:  Is the tin can part of the seal, that's pressed into the inner cover along with some silicon sealant, supposed to separate from the rest of the seal?  I could separate the rubber bellows and spring bits easily out of the old 'can', but I was reluctant to try that with the new seal, however, doing so would have made installing that metal can in the inner cover easier (I didn't have the right size socket to press the can in place so had to get creative with some heat and PVC tubing).
Hello from Canada's We(s)t coast.

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Waterpump mechanical seal. 3 months 1 week ago #31317

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Thanks for the enlightenment, Kawboy.  I’d never heard of ‘light bands’ before now. We learn something every day. Engineering is such a fascinating subject.Most people have no idea just what goes into making every day items, nor the clever minds that enable such manufacture.
Those cooling water pumps you mentioned- can you recall what power the motors were?   If I’m not mistaken, the eight main condenser pumps on the liner QUEEN MARY each had a motor of around 300hp, for comparison. Here’s a picture of two of them.
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Waterpump mechanical seal. 3 months 1 week ago #31318

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Thanks for the enlightenment, Kawboy.  I’d never heard of ‘light bands’ before now. We learn something every day. Engineering is such a fascinating subject.Most people have no idea just what goes into making every day items, nor the clever minds that enable such manufacture.
Those cooling water pumps you mentioned- can you recall what power the motors were?   If I’m not mistaken, the eight main condenser pumps on the liner QUEEN MARY each had a motor of around 300hp, for comparison. Here’s a picture of two of them.
I can't find a picture of the Condensate Coolant Pumps and it's been ( since 1986) 37 years since I worked in that area of the plant, but as I remember it the General Electric motors that drove each of the 3 CCW pumps per 540 MW unit was an 80,000 HP motor. The inlet pipe for each of the pumps was 8 ft in diameter and an 8 ft diameter outlet. 2 CCW pumps fed the 4 steam condensers on each running unit and 1 CCW pump was on standyby.

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