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Old 10-30-2010, 12:23 PM
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Cooling system problem after engine swap

I've just got a replacement engine running in my car after 2-years off the road. Engine is running fine, but ALL coolant hoses stay stone cold, as does the header tank. A ran the engine up to operating temperature (going off a temp sender in the head), but it would seem the water in the engine was static and not being pumped? The water pump is a known good pump that came off the old engine. Radiator is brand new. Also, as I began to unscrew the header tank cap, pressure began to escape... this despite the coolant being stone cold, which strikes me as rather odd?

Could this be an airlock? Pump somehow gone bad? Could the pressure building-up in the header tank be trapped air? I'm thinking as the radiator is brand new and has never had water running through it, maybe a large amount of air is trapped in the system? Not sure, never dealt with an air-lock before, so don't know what symptoms it presents with. Is it worth taking the thermostat housing and thermostat out and running the engine (briefly) to make sure water is actually being pumped?

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Old 10-30-2010, 01:40 PM
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Could be an air pocket under the thermostat. Are you sure it is the correct pump. The one for a v-belt and a serpentine are opposite rotation.
What you can try is remove the thermostat housing and slowly fill the radiator until the water fills the well that the thermostat sits in. Once it is full put the stat and housing back on and see if it opens. I have also cracked them while running to let the air out. The other thing you could try is drilling a small hole in the stat to act as a bypass , if there is air getting trapped it will usually slowly let it out.
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:14 PM
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Definitely the correct pump... standard V-belt pump which I was using on the old engine. Strange how every part of the cooling system stays cold (header tank and all hoses).

I'll try running the engine up tomorrow with the header tank cap off and see if that helps. If not, I'll remove the thermostat housing and try drilling a small hole in the stat as you suggested.

Thanks.
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Old 10-30-2010, 03:23 PM
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I almost allways drill a hole (small like 1/8 inch or 3/32 ) in the thermostat. I get some airlocks too, so I pull of the upper HEATER hose and fill the system untill I see coolant running out.Then put hose back on and warm up and fill. Usually works well.I have also poured directly into the heater hose at times. Whatevevr it takes.
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:15 PM
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So, guys, just so I'm clear, does this sound like an air lock situation to you? Just to remind you of the symptoms... all coolant hoses (top hose, bottom hose and heater hoses) cold, header tank cold even when engine running and hot, suggesting static water in engine.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:02 PM
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yeah pretty much.Unless you are sure that the sysytem is absolutley full of coolant.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latech
I almost allways drill a hole (small like 1/8 inch or 3/32 ) in the thermostat. I get some airlocks too, so I pull of the upper HEATER hose and fill the system untill I see coolant running out.Then put hose back on and warm up and fill. Usually works well.I have also poured directly into the heater hose at times. Whatevevr it takes.
Nnot strange at all, it the stat doest open all that will get hot is the engine.
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-bucket23
Nnot strange at all, it the stat doest open all that will get hot is the engine.
Surely the heater hoses should still get hot though? All mine were stone cold. Still, I'm hoping it's just a bad air lock... just having trouble reverse engineering the symptoms though in trying to understand how that would result in every single coolant and heater hose staying cold.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:13 AM
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It could be the pump has lost its impeller. Seen it happen before. The impeller just spins off the end of the water pump shaft due to rust or whatever. Or your pumps bearings are locked up and the shaft isn't turning, but the pulley hub is spinning on the shaft, or the belt is just slipping on the stationary pulley. If I'm not mistaken, your heater hoses are ahead of your thermostat and will get hot even if your thermostat never opens, that is if your heater core isn't plugged. If you bypass the heater core with a piece of tubing that should tell you one way or the other. I would suspect the pump, especially if it sat for 2 years. You could try unhooking the hose that comes off the pump at the heater core to see if its pumping water into a jug.
ssmonty

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Old 10-31-2010, 11:14 AM
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Well, when I took the cap off the header tank today, it was immediately obvious why, at least, the header tank was cold... there was virtually no coolant in it. Yesterday, I filled the header tank up, replaced the cap and started the engine. What I should've done is to leave the cap off and monitor the coolant level, topping-up as required. Anyway, I've now topped it up (needed about 3-4 litres) and everything is now fine... all the hoses get hot, thermostat opens as it should, etc.

Thanks guys for your input.
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