Columbia / Solo coolant

Yesterday, I managed to get the coolant filler plug un-stuck from the Solo engine in the Columbia. Much to my dismay, I stuck a wire down the hole to act as a dipstick, and found that the water jacket was bone-dry.

This is bothering me a bit.. where did the coolant go? Guess it's possible that the previous owner drained it before the bike got parked, but not bloody likely. Does the coolant level in these bikes naturally go down over the course of time? Doesn't seem like it should.

Filled it with coolant, about 2/3 water to 1/3 prestone. The drain plug is also seized.. I got it it move a little, but it started to bind up as I unscrewed it. Tightened it back down and left it.

The bike did sit for 24 years, so the truth of the matter is lost to time. I guess I'll find out when I have it up & running around. Maybe there is a leak in the head gasket, or in the outer o-ring seal on the water jacket. Not sure about the design, but I don't think the base gasket can leak coolant.

Comments appreciated.

Re: Columbia / Solo coolant

One more question.. does the manual specify the quantity of coolant? I just filled it till it wouldn't take any more. Had to 'burp' it a couple of times. There is a tube in the filler that seems to prevent over-filling the water jacket. Once the level is a certain height, the tube prevents more coolant entering the cylinder.

Re: Columbia / Solo coolant

We just got a Wards/Solo in our shop the other day. Haven't started to play with it too much yet, but are you finding them difficult to work on? I've read damn near every post on the forums with the word "Solo" in it, and have heard mixed things. How is it going for you so far?

Re: Columbia / Solo coolant

bryank,

IMO, the Solo engine is just about the best part of this bike. The overall quality of the bike is cheap & cheery, but according to other members, they actually hold together very well. Lots of hardware store parts on them, and other standard industrial items. The electrics are all Bosch (M-19 magneto) which is common to Puch and a couple other makes as well - which is nice. They also share tire sizes with Puch and Motobecane.

My bike has been sitting since 1981 (when it was crashed), so I can't really blame the manufacturers for the state of things. But with a clean carb and points, the motor popped off on the first kick.

Like most American made stuff, for every bolt or screw you take out, there is a nut and lockwasher that falls off the back somewhere.

Overall, a pretty typical ped. Don't know how far gone yours is, but it's probably worth some time & parts.

Re: Columbia / Solo coolant

my buddy has a parts 1 he wants 35 dollars for that would make a decent parts bike ,,,,,,,look under my mystery bike post for some pics of the rusty old gal,,,,,,,,

Re: Columbia / Solo coolant

I can't wait to start digging into it.

Re: Columbia / Solo coolant

Oh, btw.. if you need to replace any of the bushings in the frame (like the pedal crank, swingarm, engine pivot) I'm pretty sure they are all standard items from the Mc Master catalog. When I replaced the pedal crank bushings, I did have to ream the ID to 16mm (as it was a 5/8 ID bushing). I assume the engine pivot is the same situation, but the swingarm is probably all inch sizes.

Columbia / Solo coolant

revives old thread

i just got one of these bikes for $60 from some guy who yelled at me that he had a bike for sale while i was out riding. i didn't even know it took coolant until about 5 minutes ago when i cam across this thread. where is this coolant fill plug? anyone know where i can find a manual? i checked at mopedriders.org with no luck. thanks, guys.

Re: Columbia / Solo coolant

I have the manual in front of me, it calls for 2/3 normal water to 1/3 commercial anti freeze. It also warns to check the drain and fill plugs seals as well as the main rubber gasket on the head. If you need a new engine handybikes has them. I have two of these mopeds.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Solo-Columbia-KKM-NEW-Moped-engine-motor-NOS-47-6cc-NR_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ84149QQitemZ4633464352QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

Also, I ordered your tires and am in the process of locating your 12/12

Re: Columbia / Solo coolant

thanks for the help and good news, chad. also, i won one of those engines from them today.

Re: Columbia / Solo coolant

Did you ride yours at all without coolant? I'm afraid to put any in mine. I have no idea what condition the gaskets are in and hate the idea of testing them with coolant. It runs (sorta) right now!

1268927660_moped.jpg

Re: Columbia / Solo coolant

Pushrod Fifty /

It will overheat without the coolant.

Re: Columbia / Solo coolant

I just changed my coolant last week. There was maybe 1.5 floz left in it and it was a clear stagnant fluid. I filled it with premix antifreeze then I lifted the back end real fast to drip out a little bit of the overfill.

DO NOT RIDE WITH OUT COOLANT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Put some PB Blaster on the screws and let it sit for an hour, it will come out.

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