R12/15/16/17 Coolant height in bottle when hot
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Thread: R12/15/16/17 Coolant height in bottle when hot

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    Fellow Frogger! 21571's Avatar
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    Default R12/15/16/17 Coolant height in bottle when hot

    Hi guys,

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    Just wondering what heights the coolant get to in your expansion bottles when your engines are hot.
    The spigot in my cap came loose. I've bonded it back on with JB Weld. While doing this I took the cap off the valve and gave everything inside a good clean, riveted it back on and sealed the rivets with more JB weld.
    My coolant has been getting to about 3/4 of the way up the bottle after only 10 minutes or so of driving.
    It's a sealed system, until the pressure opens the valve whenever that is, so the air will compress as the coolant expands. It all goes back in as it cools.
    Assuming I put the valve back together correctly.....
    Cheers, Tim

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    Hi Tim
    I think you need to bleed the system, the level of coolant in the bottle should not change .
    ps the answer to previous question is 21 psi front 26 psi rear.
    Cheers Andy.
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    There is a small change in coolant height as water expand

    or your head gasket is blown if bleeding checks Ok

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    Nothing strange showing up in the oil, so no water going that way. Whether there's gas going into the coolant, hmmm, not sure about that. Not sure how the coolant level would go back down as it cools if some of its volume in the system has been replaced with gas.
    I'll bleed again shortly, hopefully the kids go down early.

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    Hi 21571- The coolant bottle and its valve maintains the pressure level in the system while often there is another heat activated valve or system that limits circulation for fast warm up of the engine. If the system leaks or valves faulty the system doesn't work as designed and if pressure drops in the system, the coolant will boil, most systems have an optimum level of coolant in the bottle when cool and that allows for expansion of the liquid coolant and maintaining the approximate pressure/heat that is best for your engine, summer and winter. Type of coolant mixture may also come into the equation.

    compare yours with another owner, or two, and you should soon be able to see if your setup has a problem.


    Ken

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    The coolant level goes up because the gas in the system (which shouldn't be there) expands immensely compared to its state at normal (ambient) temperature. That explains why the level goes back down again. At normal temperature you will barely see any difference in coolant level when it has gas in it. Gas is also insoluble in liquid as the temperature goes up, so this adds to the effect. As the coolant drops in temperature, the gas can more readily dissolve so less of it will push the coolant level up.

    Your symptoms are typical of a head gasket failure. Maybe not catastrophic yet, but it's coming. Purge the system of any air/gas/whatever and check again. If the coolant level still goes up (assuming you bled the system correctly and completely), it's the head gasket.
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    Didn't notice this before I started "winter maintenance" which has only just been completed. Have only driven it maybe 6 times this year, and it hasn't got hot, so a head gasket issue would be an old one that's just starting to surface.

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    I have had the same result from a almost blocked heater pipe. You could not bleed the air out of the heater but the air would expand and contribute to the bottle. It was almost blocked at the metal pipes as they pass through fire wall. You might be lucky.

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    it is imperative that the cooling system is bled correctly.
    Make sure the coolant bottle seal is intact between the glass and the metal valve assembly and it is also a non - leaker.
    The seal at the filler cap is good.
    Bleed the system with the engine stopped and cold and then with it idling.
    First at the bleed valve on the water pump.
    Then at the radiator as it can trap a lot of air.
    Finally at the heater bleed valve.
    You may need to do this several times.

    Starting the engine cold, have it idling and feel the hose at the thermostat.
    It should remain cold and then heat up relatively quickly as the thermostat opens. ( if it is working correctly)
    Then reach in under the front of the car and you should feel the inlet and outlet of the radiator warm up.

    As you do this and the engine and cooling system are warmed up fully, the coolant level should only rise a little.
    Give the engine several sharp full throttle blips enough to annoy the neighbours.
    If the coolant level rises rapidly, you unfortunately have a failing head gasket.

    Hope this helps.
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    Not too high after the run the run home, bit of traffic too so temp came up. You can actually see on the temp gauge when the thermostat opens and the cold water from the radiator comes into the engine past the sensor.

    I had the heater tap open too. The bleed off the water pump is a bit too close to the pump belt for my likings to do with engine running.

    For no apparent reason the low to mid throttle surge I'd been having went away on the way home too. The D-Jetronic still needs a tune, these things don't tend to fix themselves.

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    My R8 rises maybe 2-3 cm approximately from cold to hot as the coolant expands. Not much. I keep a beady eye on where it sits when the engine is cold as a guide to any losses. Sometimes it uses a medium-sized beer glass of coolant in a year or so.

    If it is rising 5-10+ cm I'd be suspicious.

    The valve, btw, doesn't cause just compression of the air in the bottle, but has a pressure rating so it will let pressure out if necessary. Equally, as the car cools, the valve lets air back in - this valve can jam and cause havoc so check it is opening etc.

    I did once have a small head gasket leak and could see the occasional small bubble coming up to the (removed) radiator cap spigot with the radiator full to the brim and with the engine idling. If your level rises quickly in the bottle on startup, I'd be alarmed because I can only think of one cause....
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    JohnW

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    Ok, another system bleed, make sure bottle cap is screwed on tight. 2cm rise up to thermostat opening and another 5 minutes idling after that. Took maybe 10 minutes at idle to come up to that temperature.
    Maybe not bled properly, maybe cap not on tight enough.
    I'll be keeping a close eye on it.
    Now to find the leak with the remote filter block and oil cooler......

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    The only times I have seen the water level rise in the header tank is when i have had a broken fan belt so there was no water circulating and when the thermostat failed shut.

    The only other thing I can think of to what Steve has mentioned above is to remove the thermostat and check is operation in a saucepan of hot water on the stove and a thermometer.

    Just my worth.
    Regards Col

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    Pleased to report that coolant level has stabilized. Now to fix the D-Jetronic......

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    [QUOTE=JohnW;1645633]My R8 rises maybe 2-3 cm approximately from cold to hot as the coolant expands. Not much. I keep a beady eye on where it sits when the engine is cold as a guide to any losses. Sometimes it uses a medium-sized beer glass of coolant in a year or so.

    Same here in the R10. BTW what is the temperature spec. of the fitted thermostat? (ie 74į or 83į)
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    I've got a Tridon TT237-170P fitted, 77 degrees

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    Quote Originally Posted by 21571 View Post
    I've got a Tridon TT237-170P fitted, 77 degrees

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    As long as it works like it should, it should be fine.
    Regards Col

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    It works, you can see the temp gauge drop as the cold water from the radiator comes into the engine past the sensor.
    The data sheet I have for the A310 says a 75 degree thermostat, got as close as I could.

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    [QUOTE=Jabin;1646469]
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    My R8 rises maybe 2-3 cm approximately from cold to hot as the coolant expands. Not much. I keep a beady eye on where it sits when the engine is cold as a guide to any losses. Sometimes it uses a medium-sized beer glass of coolant in a year or so.

    Same here in the R10. BTW what is the temperature spec. of the fitted thermostat? (ie 74į or 83į)
    I have one of the old brass ones with bellows and just looked at its rating the other day, as it happens. 78 degrees. My temp gauge sits on 78-82 almost all the time except rising to 90 degrees on a long hill on a hot evening - tested this week!!
    JohnW

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    Forgot to mention (and the edit function has crashed for me) that I tested that old 78-degree thermostat that I've had for years and it works properly - mercury thermometer etc etc.
    JohnW

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    250km round trip to the RCCV Round Up Sunday and coolant has where it started the day. Happy days.
    Cracker of a show too!

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