Expansion tank(s) blew up! HELP!
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    Fellow Frogger! Gordini Pervert's Avatar
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    Icon8 Expansion tank(s) blew up! HELP!

    So got the 10 on the road, took it for a long run and BAM, dropped all its water at the lights and the plastic expansion tank blew, top hose also ruptured pi_ssed out #funtimes this is the second times its happened, and also a recent radiator recondition too...

    So why is this happening?

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    • Thermostat blocked?
    • Cap?? but why would it be the cap?
    • blocked water galleries in head?


    So will replace hose and tank (bottle) and really get in there with the hose and try and flush out the system. Then will top up with water and run without cap and will check for continuous bubbles while idling.

    How do you bleed the system? What would you do?

    Also shout out to Geckoing for the text advice - absolute legend that man

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    1000+ Posts driven's Avatar
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    Relief valve in cap has filed to relieve pressure.
    Expansion tank then blew
    Get a new one

    Hope it hasn't wrecked the head gasket as well

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    Fellow Frogger! Gordini Pervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by driven View Post
    Relief valve in cap has filed to relieve pressure. Expansion tank then blew Get a new one Hope it hasn't wrecked the head gasket as well
    thats relief valve on the expansion tank cap you're talking about?

    Cheers yeh shut it off as soon as possible. No red light came on dash so all good (fingers crossed)

    Thanks for the advice!

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    Fellow Frogger! Paul T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordini Pervert View Post
    So got the 10 on the road, took it for a long run and BAM, dropped all its water at the lights and the plastic expansion tank blew, top hose also ruptured pi_ssed out #funtimes this is the second times its happened, and also a recent radiator recondition too...

    So why is this happening?


    • Thermostat blocked?
    • Cap?? but why would it be the cap?
    • blocked water galleries in head?


    So will replace hose and tank (bottle) and really get in there with the hose and try and flush out the system. Then will top up with water and run without cap and will check for continuous bubbles while idling.

    How do you bleed the system? What would you do?

    Also shout out to Geckoing for the text advice - absolute legend that man
    There is a bleed valve at the heater matrix. LHS I think.

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    Fellow Frogger! Gordini Pervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    There is a bleed valve at the heater matrix. LHS I think.
    thanks! Will give it a go

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    I'd be doing a combustibles test.

    Jo

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    Fellow Frogger! Gordini Pervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    I'd be doing a combustibles test.

    Jo
    sorry what does that mean?

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordini Pervert View Post
    sorry what does that mean?
    A chemical test that checks for hydrocarbons in the coolant.

    If your head gasket is letting combustion pressure through to the cooling system, it may manifest with the symptoms you described.
    Experience tells me it is a bit of a PITA to perform on a renault though.

    Jo

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    Are you sure there isn’t a head gasket leak, which in conjunction with a dodgy cap (or just pressured coolant with nowhere to go) has caused the hose and bottle to blow. For a top hose to blow is very unusual – if it is in good nick. As Jo says, do a combustible gas in the coolant test.

    Bleeding is likely best done with the rear end of the car higher than the nose, say on a slight slope. Although recently I’ve just done it on the flat with success. Open the heater tap, make sure it works. Unscrew the bleed screw on the heater matrix under the front boot latch. It is the usual Renault hollow bleed screw with side exit under the head, so make sure it is unblocked by unscrewing it completely, and checking.

    There is a bleed bolt on the water pump housing, sometimes the bolt head shears off. Steel bolt, alloy housing, do the maths. Unscrew it if possible.

    Fill the bottle to just over the Mini mark, then fill the radiator through the radiator cap (make sure the cap has a good seal).

    Fill until coolant starts flowing freely and without bubbles from the heater matrix bleed screw. Close bleed screw on heater radiator, also mind coolant flowing from the water pump bleed screw – if it flows freely insert the bolt temporarily.

    Start motor, keep topping up motor through radiator, open bleed bolt on water pump, until it flows freely, then close bolt (use anti-seize on the bolt). Then check the heater matrix bleed screw is flowing freely without bubbles. Tighten heater bleed screw.

    Top up radiator, by this stage the thermostat should have opened. Replace cap on radiator, tighten with spark plug socket. Squeeze the top hose, this will then remove the air in the hose between the bottle and radiator.

    Check the coolant level in the bottle, topping it up to half way between Mini and Maxi. Replace cap and check for leaks.
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    Fellow Frogger! Gordini Pervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    A chemical test that checks for hydrocarbons in the coolant.

    If your head gasket is letting combustion pressure through to the cooling system, it may manifest with the symptoms you described.
    Experience tells me it is a bit of a PITA to perform on a renault though.

    Jo
    oh ok cool - so then I don't have to rip the head off! I see - thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    Are you sure there isn’t a head gasket leak, which in conjunction with a dodgy cap (or just pressured coolant with nowhere to go) has caused the hose and bottle to blow. For a top hose to blow is very unusual – if it is in good nick. As Jo says, do a combustible gas in the coolant test.
    ok gotya

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    Bleeding is likely best done with the rear end of the car higher than the nose, say on a slight slope. Although recently I’ve just done it on the flat with success. Open the heater tap, make sure it works. Unscrew the bleed screw on the heater matrix under the front boot latch. It is the usual Renault hollow bleed screw with side exit under the head, so make sure it is unblocked by unscrewing it completely, and checking.
    will do thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    There is a bleed bolt on the water pump housing, sometimes the bolt head shears off. Steel bolt, alloy housing, do the maths. Unscrew it if possible.

    Fill the bottle to just over the Mini mark, then fill the radiator through the radiator cap (make sure the cap has a good seal).

    Fill until coolant starts flowing freely and without bubbles from the heater matrix bleed screw. Close bleed screw on heater radiator, also mind coolant flowing from the water pump bleed screw – if it flows freely insert the bolt temporarily.

    Start motor, keep topping up motor through radiator, open bleed bolt on water pump, until it flows freely, then close bolt (use anti-seize on the bolt). Then check the heater matrix bleed screw is flowing freely without bubbles. Tighten heater bleed screw.

    Top up radiator, by this stage the thermostat should have opened. Replace cap on radiator, tighten with spark plug socket. Squeeze the top hose, this will then remove the air in the hose between the bottle and radiator.

    Check the coolant level in the bottle, topping it up to half way between Mini and Maxi. Replace cap and check for leaks.
    So sounds like I should do a combustibles test... Sigh will go to rep or something and check it out - thanks again!

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    A chemical test that checks for hydrocarbons in the coolant.

    If your head gasket is letting combustion pressure through to the cooling system, it may manifest with the symptoms you described.
    Experience tells me it is a bit of a PITA to perform on a renault though.

    Jo
    Jo,
    My understanding is is this check is the test looks for combustion products within the coolant.

    CO (carbon monoxide) products dissolved in coolant.

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    COL
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    Another way to check for blown head gasket is to do a leak down test and see if the cooling system becomes pressurised.
    Regards Col

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    I would also check the obvious first.
    Plastic reservoir bottles from Renault seem reknown for becoming brittle and breaking (particularly the early to mid 2000's models) it isn't just simply a bottle that has gone bang through age and brittleness?

    You might be imagining the issue to be bigger than it is. The old glass bottles when these cars still retained the rear radiator (I'm assuming yours hasn't) were also known to explode occasionally. Usually because the vent hole was blocked as mentioned earlier.
    KB


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    I've never broken a plastic bottle from any Renaults dating from the '70's or '80's. Im still running a late '70's Renault 5 without problem.

    I have, however, broken 3 glass bottles from the same period. The glass bottles were original equipment in my Renault 4,5,6 and 10, a faulty head gasket was the cause on each occasion. It happened in a couple of R4s with all of 850 cc displacement and the 10, before I put a 16TL motor in it. I've also broken the threaded plastic cap a few times before the glass bottle let go.

    I agree with Jo and Simon that the combustion test ( CO ) is the logical way to go. I think you have a blown head gasket. I'd get a NEW plastic replacement bottle for future use unless period authenticity is high on your priorities. The glass is toughened in some way, I presume. In my experience the bottle goes into several largish pieces unlike a windscreen which explodes into millions of little ones.

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    The later Fuegos with the bottle in the scuttle were notorious for exploding. UV through the plenum vent made the bottle brittle, leading to exploding bottles even under normal operating pressures. Also some of the pirate plastic bottles available through the 1980/90’s seem to have been of poor quality, prematurely deteriorating.

    Perhaps with an 8/10, it may be an idea to wrap the bottle in a rubber blanket to minimise UV exposure and deterioration through the engine lid vent.

    I’ve never had a glass bottle explode, but it isn’t unknown if the cooling system pressurises. Also I’ve heard that they could get shattered by stray rocks thrown up on dirt roads. I’m a big fan of the old glass pickle jar, it’s just something different, and if the cooling system is in good nick, fairly harmless. I’ve even noticed that the glass bottle valve is available again in some places.
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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    I used aluminium foil tape on my fuego bottles…
    However, in the later days of heavily modified components, simply eliminating all the AC components and using a new radiator completely did away with any need for a pressurised system, so the cap was just there to stop the coolant sloshing out and no hoses or bottles ever breached.

    Jo

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    Fellow Frogger! Gordini Pervert's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your help guys...

    This is what Ill do

    Flush out with hose
    replace top hose
    top up / bleed system
    let it warm up, see if it the water cycles through
    replace cap - see if it holds pressure
    check expansion tank cap

    Then if all else fails - take head off and clean inside water galleries as best I can

    (combustibles test: costs around $150 from Repco - F_uck that!! - great advice though, just expensive option)

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    Do a leak down test as advised above. That'll tell you if the head gasket is gone and shouldn't cost as much.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    Col already told you about it way above.

    You do realise you need a compressor, right?
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    haha - scanning thread!!

    Yeh - will get an extension cord and fire it up!

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    I never understood why do people ask a question on a forum and then don't bother to read all the answers.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordini Pervert View Post
    Thanks for all your help guys...

    This is what Ill do

    Flush out with hose
    replace top hose
    top up / bleed system
    let it warm up, see if it the water cycles through
    replace cap - see if it holds pressure
    check expansion tank cap

    Then if all else fails - take head off and clean inside water galleries as best I can

    (combustibles test: costs around $150 from Repco - F_uck that!! - great advice though, just expensive option)
    Ive had a workshop perform the test for about $20

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