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This is a hobby website
dedicated to the Kawasaki KLR650 motorcycle. I make no claim
concerning the accuracy of the procedures, nor do I guarantee
the success of any work done using them. All users of the material
found here are advised that there is no real or implied warranty
associated in any way with the website content, and that all
content available here is for use at your own risk.
Copyright © 2001
Mark's KLR Pages
All Rights Reserved
No copying or
other redistribution by any method will be permitted without
my express written permission.
WATER PUMP SEALS
Waterpump seal replacement:
is one of the easier "big jobs" on the KLR, even though
you will need to remove the clutch cover (right side engine
cover) to complete the job. You should have a Kawasaki KLR600
base manual handy before you start. It will help to see where
the screws go, what the torque values are, and just for general
reference. Take your time, make notes and draw a diagram of
each piece that you remove, showing placement, and orientation;
a simple diagram showing you how to properly reassemble the
parts can be a real life saver. Pictures here should help in
be sure to read #18, Caveats and Pitfalls at the end
of this procecedure.
Cooling System Overview:
The KLR650 uses a liquid cooled engine. The cooling
system consists of a single radiator with electric fan, a thermostat
mounted on the cylinder head, a waterpump to move the coolant
through the system, and an overflow tank. The electric fan is
controlled by a relay, which is triggered by a radiator mounted
temperature pickup (referred to as the fan switch). Three coolant
hoses provide the connections between the radiator, the cylinder
head and the waterpump.
The waterpump is driven off the forward balancer
shaft (the two balancer shafts are chain driven off of the crankshaft).
There are two seals for the waterpump. The first is an oil seal.
This seal prevents engine oil from leaking out of the crankcase
(and prevents contaminants from entering the crankcase). The second
is a coolant seal (referred to as the mechanical seal), and this
seal prevents the coolant from leaking out of the waterpump (and
prevents contaminants from entering the coolant system). The impeller
in the waterpump is mounted on an extension of the balancer shaft.
The impeller must be removed to change the seals.
For optimum results, plan on replacing the oil seal,
the mechanical seal, the o-ring, and the waterpump cover gasket.
Part numbers and suppliers are listed in the appendix. Replacement
parts should cost $40 - $60 depending on the source.
There is a small weep hole located on the bottom
of the waterpump. If either of the seals on the water pump has
failed, engine coolant or engine oil may be leaking from this
hole. The usual indication of a failed waterpump seal is a few
drops of coolant coming from the weep hole, especially noticeable
just after riding the bike. The original coolant is green in color.
Note that some riders have reported riding an additional thousand
miles after the first leak before they replaced the seals. To
be more conservative, if it’s leaking, it’s time to
replace the seals. The middle of nowhere, or the side of the freeway
in rush-hour traffic are unfortunate places to find that the problem
has become too severe to continue riding.
sure engine is cool to the touch – hot coolant or hot engine
oil can cause severe burns. You will need a catch pan to collect
the coolant. Coolant capacity is 1.3 liters (about 1 & ½
quarts). Although you could reuse the coolant, replacing used
coolant with clean, fresh coolant will provide better cooling
and freeze protection. Protect your skin from engine oil and coolant
with nitrile gloves.
1. First, we need to get a
few things out of the way: Drain the engine oil into a suitable
container and dispose of properly. Next, remove the skid-plate,
then remove the clutch cable from it's mounting bracket on the
right side of the engine, and then from the clutch actuator lever.
Also, for clearance on the right side engine cover, you’ll
need to remove the right foot peg mount, and the rear brake lever.
The peg mount is held on by two 8mm bolts (12mm heads), and the
rear brake lever by a single 6mm bolt (with 10mm head). Note:
the rear brake lever is soft aluminum and over-tightening the
steel pinch bolt can strip the threads. If that happens you will
have to replace the lever, or perhaps install a Heli-Coil insert
to restore the damaged threads.
TIP! Thanks to Chris Talbert for this great information:
Instead of removing the brake lever, I just unbolted the lever/master cylinder assembly and pushed the whole mess aside. I hate messing with pinch bolts!
2. Remove and drain the two coolant hoses
from the water pump, catching the coolant in a suitable container
or disposable pan). The coolant system holds 1.3 liters.
TIP! Thanks to Chris Talbert for this great information:
I didn't bother removing the hoses from the water pump housing; just unbolted it and let it drain into my catch pan. Turns out that when you un-hook the clutch cable and then tuck it around the front of the engine to get it out of the way, it holds the hoses and cover out of the way nicely. No big deal at all but a saved step.
WARNING: Remember, coolant is
very toxic to humans as well as to pets, so please dispose of
properly. It has a sweet taste, so it must be kept away from
kids, dogs etc.
3. Next, remove the water pump
cover (3 screws, (2) 6mm x 30mm, and (1) 6mm x 35mm, all with
8mm heads). Take a moment here to inspect the hoses for wear or
cracking and replace as needed. The stock hose set will cost about
$60 from the dealer, but a Goodyear #63936 heater hose can be
cut to fit all three pieces and costs about $25 Replacement hose
clamps are also available from your local auto parts store.
4. Remove the impeller - but
BE GENTLE! The waterpump
shaft is easy to break and expensive to fix. The impeller is held
on the shaft by a small nut (10mm head) and washer. After removing
the nut and washer, remove the impeller by rotating it slowly
counterclockwise while pulling it off. There is a thin washer
behind the impeller, remove this too and set all of the impeller
parts aside (the manual refers to this as a shim).
5. With the impeller off, it’s now time
to remove the right side engine cover, (15 of those little case
screws, again with one of them longer than the others.) It’s
easy to over-torque these small engine screws so it’s
best to use 1/4in drive socket sets and 6-point sockets. The
screws are 6mm x 30mm with 8mm heads, with the one exception
of the long screw installed just to the rear of the oil filter
cover, which is 6mm x 80mm.
With a few taps from a rubber mallet, the right side engine
cover will slide off of the water pump shaft. If it won’t
budge after several good whacks with the mallet, double check
that you have removed all of the case screws. It should come
off easy, not with brute force.
Seal removal: I made my own seal puller using a threaded bolt
(3.5 in by 5/16 in), a few washers, and a couple of sockets
(if you have or can borrow a seal puller, so much the better).
First, put a small flat washer on the bolt, and then insert
it from the inside of the case through the oil seal and mechanical
homemade seal puller by RC:
I used the bolt referenced above with 5/16" flat cut washer.
The washers are Home Depot part number 32501.
2) I used a 24 mm and a 13mm socket for a 3/8
3) Place the 24 and 13 mm socket on the outside
of the cover.
4) Using a 13mm wrench and 13mm socket, simply
tighten down the bolt until the unit simply pops out of the
Then put a large socket (24mm or a 1 & 1/4
inch, 1/2inch drive socket) and a couple of washers on the outside
of the bolt where it sticks through the case (these are just spacers).
You need to use a socket large enough for the mechanical seal
to easily slide into. Put the nut on the end of the bolt and tighten
NOTE: Be careful
here, if the inside washer hangs up on the case, you can damage
the engine cover $$$. Make sure the washer you’re using
fits up against the seal, inside of the cut-out in the engine
cover – without catching on the case. With care, the seals
should easily come out in about a minute. A thin piece of gasket
material between the case and the large socket will protect the
smooth face of the waterpump, protecting it from scratching by
the rather crude seal puller.
7. The other half of the mechanical seal is
in the back of the impeller. It can be gently pried out with
a small screwdriver (jewelers). Take care not to mar or scratch
Inside the impeller bore (where the shaft goes through) there
is a small 6mm o-ring. Again, small screwdriver, pry gently,
and be careful not to scratch the parts.
Install the new o-ring into the slot inside the impeller bore,
and place a few drops of oil inside the bore. Then fit the other
half of the mechanical seal into the backside of the impeller
(white ceramic thingy).
|8. While you have the engine cover off, take
a few minutes to clean out the oil pump strainer. It's a fragile
looking little thimble shaped stainless steel screen with a rubber
base. Pull it out and clean it carefully using a small brush and
high flash point solvent, WD40 works well for this. Make sure the
oil passageway behind the strainer is also clean and free from debris.
If it's like mine, it will have caught metal shavings, clutch pieces,
and rubber chunks from the balancer and cam chain guides. May also
have globs of gasket compound from some sloppy mechanic or previous
owner. Pull it out, clean it off and then check the oil galley behind
it for any remaining debris. After cleaning it, re-install the oil
9. This is also a good time to inspect your
clutch. While you have the engine cover off, do a careful visual
inspection looking for wear or abuse. On high mileage bikes, you
should consider replacing the clutch springs, as these springs
will usually sag horribly with use (service limit is 33.1mm).
Stock replacements are ~$2.50 ea from ronayers.com, so the entire
set of five is less than $15. Order these with the waterpump seals
and gaskets. The clutch plates and disks are behind the clutch
cover plate, which is held on by five screws (6mm x 18mm, with
If you ride very aggressively, it’s recommended that you
remove the clutch cover and inspect the steel plates and fiber
friction plates. Service limit is 2.8mm for the friction plates.
Check that the steel plates are not scorched (blueish tint). An
aftermarket clutch kit could restore that snappy clutch response
(EBC or Barnett are popular choices).
10. Now it’s time to install the new
oil seal and the mechanical seal. The oil seal goes into the recess
in the engine cover. With a few drops of fresh engine oil and
a bit of thumb pressure, it should glide right into place. Check
the seal from the internal side of the cover to be sure that it
has come to rest against the shoulder on the inside of the engine
cover, and that it sits squarely in the recess – not tilted
to either side. Remember to install it with the smooth side out;
check the diagram to be sure.
The mechanical seal has a stainless steel base that supports
the actual seal. This base has a fluted edge that rides against
the shoulder in the engine cover. The next diagram shows a cut-away
of the oil seal, mechanical seal, and engine case. The special
driver tool forces the mechanical seal into the recess until the
fluted edge is tight against the shoulder in the engine cover,
and is used with a shop press. The same thing can be done with
the puller -draw the seal base up tight against the shoulder.
A 22mm, 12pt socket works perfectly for this - it is the same
diameter as the seal base and still fits into the recess in the
Install a washer onto the puller bolt (step 6) and insert the
bolt into the 22mm socket, then through the seals to the inside
of the engine cover. Install a few larger sockets on the bolt
to take up the excess length of the shaft, then install a flat
washer and the nut. Finally, draw the nut down to pull the seal
into place. Keep the bolt perpendicular to the engine case to
be sure the seal does not get tilted at an angle where it will
bind. Continue tightening until you feel the seal draw up tight
against the shoulder. Give it a close visual inspection to ensure
that the seal is mounted flush all around.
11. Re-installing engine cover: Inspect the
gasket surfaces on the engine cover on the engine case. Clean
the mating surfaces on both the engine and engine cover. Do not
scratch or gouge these surface, but be sure there are no lingering
clumps of old gasket or sealer. Prep the mating surface on the
engine side with a very thin coat of Hylomar gasket compound.
Likewise, prep the engine cover mating with a thin coat of Hylomar.
Carefully wipe away any excess gasket compound; a few minutes
and some paper towels are cheap compared to the possible damage
caused by loose globs of gasket compound that can clog oil passages
and the oil pump intake screen.
If you are careful, you may be able to re-use the original gasket,
if not use the new one you purchased with the other supplies.
Press the gasket into place on the engine, lining up the holes
in the gasket with screw holes in the engine case. The tacky Hylomar
should hold it in position. Before placing the engine cover onto
the engine, lube the water pump oil seal with a few drops of clean
engine oil or engine assembly grease.
Place the cover screws into position and hand tighten all screws.
Using a torque wrench, tighten the cover screws to the recommended
/ 6 ft-lbs / 72in-lbs– repeat: inch
pounds). Be careful not to over- torque the case screws as they
will either snap off or strip out the case threads. Both are a
real pain to deal with.
12. Impeller and waterpump cover: Clean the
mating surface for the waterpump cover, being careful not to scratch
or gouge the surface. Apply a thin coat of Hylomar, and press
the new cover gasket into place, the Hylomar should keep the gasket
When installing the impeller over the balancer shaft, I wrapped the threaded end of the shaft with a couple turns of scotch tape and twisted the end sticking out so that it comes to a point.
This protects the o-ring from being cut on the threads, and allows it to slip on easily. I got the idea from the little plastic sheaths they used to include in valve guide seal kits to help prevent you from damaging the seal as you slid it over the end of the valve. I would expect they use something like this when it's assembled at the factory.
Check that the impeller is ready to be installed; with the new
o-ring installed inside its slot in the bore, and the white ceramic
half of the new mechanical seal installed in the back recess of
the impeller. Before installing the impeller, wet the mechanical
seal with a few drops of engine coolant. This provides the initial
lubrication between the two halves of the mechanical seal.
Next, install the impeller: first the thin metal washer, then
the impeller, then the 6mm flat washer, and finally the retaining
nut. When pushing the impeller onto the shaft, rotate it slowly
clockwise while pressing it on. This prevents the threaded shaft
from tearing the o-ring in the impeller bore. Torque the retaining
nut to 9.8n-m
/ 87in-lbs / 7.25ft-lbs.
Clean the mating surface on the waterpump cover and then prep
it with a thin coat of Hylomar. Wipe off any excess, then fit
the cover into place over the waterpump. There are three screws
to hold the waterpump cover on, with the longer one going in the
front-most hole. Torque the screws to 8.1n-m
/ 6 ft-lbs / 72in-lbs.
Slip the hose clamps back into place over the hoses, and reconnect
the hoses to the bibs on the waterpump. Take care to connect the
hose from the cylinder to the front-most fitting, yes, it’s
marked “CYL”. Tighten the hose clamps.
13. Re-install the foot peg mount and torque
to spec, you don't want that thing coming off at the wrong time.
Coat each bolt with a few drops of blue thread locker to prevent
it from backing out.
Remove and clean the brake lever mounting shaft. The shaft
is short and can easily be removed by sliding it off to the
inside. There is a spring that provides return tension to the
brake lever, note which way it goes so it can be re-installed
correctly. Clean the shaft and the bushing in the mounting bracket
using WD40 and some lint free rags. Then lube the shaft with
grease and re-install it with the spring. Finally, re-install
the brake lever onto the mounting shaft, and connect the spring
actuator for the brake light. Test the switch position to be
sure that it still lights up the brake light when the lever
Note: The brake lever is soft
aluminum and the pinch bolt is steel, so take care that you
don’t over-tighten the bolt and strip out the threads
in the lever.
14. Reinstall the clutch cable,
being careful to route the cable where it will not be melted by
the exhaust pipe. The bolt for the cable holder is difficult to
access, and although it is somewhate tedious, a 10mm open-end
wrench usually reaches the head.
15. Refill the engine with
good quality motor oil, but do not change out the filter just
yet. It should take about 2.1 liters or 2.2 quarts of oil to refill
16. To rinse the cooling system,
fill it with distilled water, and run the engine for 10 min. Then
drain and repeat the process. Note:
be careful with the hot water. After two rinsing
cycles, refill the radiator with a 50/50 mixture of high quality
coolant and distilled water (be sure the coolant is designed for
aluminum engines and radiators). Use only distilled water to dilute
the coolant. Tap water or drinking water both have impurities
that interfere with the chemistry of the coolant, increasing the
risk of corrosion for the engine and radiator.
Take the bike for a test
run of about 20 miles, and after returning to the garage check
for any oil or coolant leaks, and for any missing or loose fasteners.
Finally, do a regular oil change, replacing the oil, the oil
filter and filter cover o-ring. The o-ring usually lasts for
years and years, but if you have enough miles on the bike to
do the waterpump, it's a good idea to also replace the old filter
cover o-ring as well. The full oil change after the 20 mile
run is to purge any contaminants that may have fallen into the
crankcase when you were working on the thing. The contaminants
should be either caught in the oil filter or suspended in the
oil. A full oil change is 2.5 liters, or about 2 quarts and
20 ounces (US).
Caveats and Pitfalls
should carefully study and understand the Kawasaki diagram for
the waterpump shown above. In particularly be aware of these things:
The 6mm O-ring is inside the impeller bore - about halfway - it
is not obvious. It sits in a small groove and you have to peel
it out with a dental probe or other small tool. Some recommend
that it be replaced every time you remove the impeller. To avoid
damaging this O-ring, screw the impeller on clockwise - pushing
the impeller onto the shaft will certainly cut and damage the
Always install oil seal (92049) prior to installing the mechanical
Both seals fit into the same opening - back to back. You can remove
and install the side case multiple times, but YOU CAN ONLY REMOVE
the mechanical and oil seals from the case once and then they
should be considered damaged.
mechanical seal consists of three pieces and is listed as part
- 49063. The first piece has blue waterproof sealer, a spring
with rubber face and it fits into the case. It should be driven
gently until the lip is seated flush into the case using an appropriately
sized socket (after first installing the oil seal). The other
two pieces of the mechanical seal fit in back of the impeller
- namely the white ceramic disk and its mating rubber 'ring' into
which is the holder for the ceramic ring.
if you remove the mechanical seal, you MUST replace both the oil
seal and the mechanical seal set. Don't forget the shims - one
on each side of the impeller.
After assembly, it is best to test you work for leaks using distilled
water. Fill the bike with fresh oil in the crankcase and distilled
water in the radiator. Then check for leaks. If you have a leak
using antifreeze it most likely will contaminated your fresh oil,
whereas a little water in your fresh oil will evaporate after
you fix the leak. Check the weep hole to ensure it stays dry when
you start and run the bike to operating temperature. If all is
well, wait for the bike to cool and drain the distilled water
by removing the two hoses at the water pump and the drain screw
and refill with 50-50 silicate-free antifreeze mixture.
The side case gasket seems to be resilient to reuse, assuming
it didn't get damaged during removal. Use some Yamabond or other
good motorcycle sealer if you reuse the gasket. Of course you
do this at your own peril - the gasket is around $13.
E). Be careful to not mix up the impeller shim with the washer for the nut which screws onto the end of the shaft. It's easy to do if you're not paying attention, since they're of similar size.
Parts & Materials:
The following are part numbers from 1997, KLR650-A11. These are
likely the same for all years, 1987 – 2003. You can double
check the part numbers for your model at www.buykawasaki.com.
11060-1114, Waterpump cover gasket
92049-1157, Waterpump oil seal
49063-1054 : superceded by 49063-1056 : Waterpump
670B1506, Impeller o-ring
11060-1111, Engine cover gasket
92144-1559, Clutch spring (5 needed)
16099-004, Oil filter
671B2555, Oil filter cover o-ring
(5) quarts of high quality engine oil,
Permatex Hylomar gasket compound,
Permatex thread locking compound, blue,
Roll of paper shop towels, or lint free rags,
1 gal high quality antifreeze/coolant designed for aluminum engines
1 gal distilled water,
nitrile gloves to protect your hands from oil/antifreeze.
2970 Desert Road
Moab, UT 84532
Ron Ayers Motorsports
1929 North Memorial Drive
Greenville, NC 27834
Your local Kawasaki dealership, which can be found from their
Your local auto parts store can provide the Hylomar, nitrile
gloves, quality engine oil, quality antifreeze-coolant. Distilled
water is usually available from your grocery store.