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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning all

I just recently purchased a 2001 RMK for my fiance, and after a few days of running great, we had a problem with it out the other day. It started draining all of its coolant, draining out from the bottom right near the exhaust, very near where your right foot would be riding. Thankfully I think I caught it in the process of happening and we killed the sled and towed it out. When I attempted to refill the coolant reservoir, the just continued to drain out, even with the engine off.

I have the area it is pooling in and draining circled in the pictures. I don't see a leak anywhere apparent when looking from the top. I'm fairly mechanically inclined and love fixing a problem, just a little lost as to where it could be coming from. I will also try and get all of the snow inside the engine bay out today and take some better pictures.

From the bottom of the coolant reservoir, the line Ts and I think from looking at the diagrams, I think one side goes down to the water pump on the engine, the other to the heat exchanger that sits right in front of the track. My first thought was to pull the bottom panel off and see if the leak was apparent looking from the bottom, but I will be doing this outside at 11000ft in Colorado in the middle of January, so I was hoping someone here might have some advice or tips for the quickest way to track down the coolant leak.

Thanks a bunch in advanced, I'm only a couple of years into sledding and the support and help I've already received in the sledding community is unreal.


Cheers

Sean
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I'd get the snow off (maybe an electric heat gun?) and get the sled on it's side to take a look. It's likely the hose that goes to that side heat exchanger is bad, or worst case, the heat exchanger itself has a leak. If it's leaking that much, you should be able to narrow it down pretty easily. If it's the heat exchanger, those are a pain to remove and replace, but it's do-able. You may need to drill and replace some rivets to get it out, if that's your issue.

I would also try to figure out a way to keep all that snow out of the engine bay, especially if it's on the PTO side. It probably doesn't matter much for your fiance, but snowmobile engines are tuned for a hot pipe. If the pipe is cooled by the snow, there can be a loss of power and performance. Snow on the PTO side can interfere with the pulleys engaging the belt and you can get belt slippage big time. Any water on the belt or pulleys is not a good thing.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Dan, thanks for the help!

As far as the snow in the engine goes, I'm hoping that was a result of it being towed very close to my other sled, I didn't have a longer rope that day, so the sled and my friend that was steering it were both getting pelted with my rooster tail. I cannot recall the engine ever looking that snowy before, but to prevent that I am assuming I should just make sure any vents on the hood or plastics around the engine are covered?

As far as getting it on its side, I'm assuming you mean put it on its right side (MAG side down, PTO up if I understand those correctly)?

At that point to find the leak, can I just keep adding water(Hoping to not have to waste a ton of coolant to find the leak) to the coolant reservoir and then visually hunt down the leak?

Thanks again, have a great day!
 

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I'd put it on the side where the oil doesn't leak out of the cap. If you can get the back up high enough, that will work, too. You just want to get eyes on it to see where it's coming from. If it's leaking a lot, it should be easy to see. I would put Mag side up so you can more easily see the area in question. If oil is going to leak out, remove the cap and put some plastic wrap over the opening, then screw the cap back on to keep the oil in the reservoir. You may also lose a bit of gas out of the tank, having the tank 1/2 full or less will help that from happening.

If the snow is a one-off thing due to towing, you are probably ok. Some guys that ride in a lot of powder will buy after-market mesh grills for the vents in the hood. The air flow is important at helping keep things cool, but powder that reaches the primary or the pipe can reduce performance. That's pretty significant, especially at high elevations. You are already at a power loss, you don't want to lose even more!

If you do keep adding water until the leak is found, you will need to do a drain and replace after. You will want at least a 50/50 coolant to water ratio to keep the freezing temp of the coolant to at least -34F. Replacing the coolant is probably not a bad thing to do, as that is something that a lot of folks seldom get around to. It's probably due anyway :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Dan

So finally got it to a friends garage and pulled the exhaust and put in some water and pressure tested it. It was just pooling in the right foot area. I stuck my phone camera down in there and unfortunately looks like its coming from the front of the running board exchanger.

Looking at this diagram, it looks like it is held in with 9 rivets. I tried drilling them out with an old 18v dewalt with pretty mediocre drill bits and that didn't work. Any other suggestions for getting those rivets out and the side exchanger off?

Think I have a friend who can weld the hole for me once I get it off.

Thanks!

 
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