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MattV

Coolant system help

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MattV

Hi all,

picked up my “new” westy at the weekend and drove it 200 miles home with no problems. 

Noticed a sight coolant drip from the bottom hose when I got back and the expansion tank was a bit murky and virtually empty. In my wisdom I thought this would be a good time to refresh the coolant. 

However, can’t get the bottom hose off to drain all the old stuff out (did get maybe a litre out though). Filled the expansion tank which only took a litre. 

Ran the engine to get it warm and open the thermostat but not sure what the problem is now!!

The top hose got hot enough I could cook on it, but the bottom hose which I assume comes from the water pump still felt empty. See pic attached in case I have the labels wrong. Temp gauge in the car said 50 degrees. 

Do I need to leave it running longer? Do I have an airlock somewhere?

converned that the gauge won’t show the correct temp if it isn’t getting any water and don’t want to melt my engine!

thanks

8771D71A-F752-4B65-9B6F-DBD3CAA2A539.jpeg

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Ian Kinder (Bagpuss) - Joint Peak District AO

I drain mine by taking the bottom hose of the radiator and then spray it over the floor/catch some in a bucket! 

Sounds like an airlock to me. I'm sure a Zetec expert will be along in a moment to advise further.

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MattV
Just now, IanK (Bagpuss) said:

I drain mine by taking the bottom hose of the radiator and then spray it over the floor/catch some in a bucket!

I tried that Ian and couldn’t get the damn thing off. With time against me decided to can the fluid change for another day and tighten it all back up and just top it off. A job for another day!

concerned it doesn’t have enough coolant in now though

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KugaWestie

You need to let the engine run for at least 10 minutes whilst closely watching the temp gauge and feeling the top and bottom rad pipes.

You should be able to tell when the stat opens as the top pipe will suddenly go warm as the hot water is let through the stat.

From that point in time the bottom hose should slowly get warmer and warmer until the fan kicks in, somewhere around 95c normally.

You should also feel the rad getting an even temp from top to bottom as the hot water drops through the rad.

If the bottom hose is not getting hot then you have an airlock in the rad.

Whilst bringing it up to temp keep the lid off the expansion tank to help it bleed, and squeeze the top and bottom rad pipes regularly to move the water around/burp it.

Do that and report back 

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Rhett - Joint Black Country AO

I also drained mine by removing the bottom hose from the radiator, it's a bit of a pain but possible. It does then take a few goes to fill and for it to spread through the system. It's a 2L Zetec SE.

I've got silicon hoses and it took a while to get them all tightened to the correct amount and stop drips, I still occasionally give them a check and pinch. 

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Julie Hall - Peak District AO

I did this on Monday afternoon, after finding a split in one of my hoses. I took the nose cone off to give me easy access to the bottom hose, which helped in its removal. I did exactly as Gary has described above, and had no problems. I refilled the coolant from my bucket using a measuring jug out of the kitchen, meaning I could fill it slowly to reduce trapping air. You will see air bubbles rise up in the expansion tank. It does seem to take forever to get the engine up to temperature though.

Just in case you get into trouble for stealing cookware from out of the kitchen, I have replaced the measuring jug today and it cost me 35p from Wilkos :)

Good luck

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MattV

Quick update - no coolant loss overnight which means I managed to cure the drip. Result # 1. 

Tried to massage the lower pipe to get rid of any air and after 5 mins no change, so took the car for a drive. It’s so cold that it took ages to get anywhere near warm, with the gauge hovering around 50 degrees or so. Letting it sit idling on the driveway it eventually got to 90. 

Tried ‘burping’ more air out with no joy, so I guess all is ok. 

Think i’ll make sure I carry some water with me for the next few journeys though. 

Thanks for all your help everyone!

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