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Old 31-01-2003, 18:12   #1
Atlantic
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Question Metro A-Series Cooling System Air-Lock??

Hi, all!

We had to have a new radiator fitted to our Metro before Christmas, as it decided it would be fun to spill its contents over the drive.

Thus, radiator fitted and filled with antifreeze. The temperature gauge gets up to the 1/4 mark and no matter how hard I drive, will not go over it, which I feel is a good thing.

The only problem is, that I nearly contracted frostbite driving to uni this morning! The heater, it appears, is doing very little. It's not blowing out cold air, but shall we say vaguely tepid air? I think that's fair.

Can any one give me an idea why? I think it could be an air-lock in the system, but only in the heater part, if that's possible. I know this ailment is common on Mogs, but Metros?

Well, anyway, how can I cure it? Would it be a case of removing the cap to the expansion chamber and letting the engine run for a few minutes, or have I got to fiddle about with the heater hoses?

Any help will be deservant of an e-pint.
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Old 31-01-2003, 18:49   #2
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90% sure it will be an airlock but I'm not farmiliar with A-Series only K-series

There is no doubt still a bleed screw on the heater feed hoses under the bonnet near the heater air intake.

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Old 01-02-2003, 01:02   #3
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Wouldnt advise running the engine with the cap off . Coolant system works under high pressure when the engine is running , and you might find it flying all over the engine bay and yourself !
Gently squeeze all the hoses , might shift the air-lock . Not sure if there is a bleed-screw on the A-series ?
Maybe best to check the thermostat as well .
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Old 01-02-2003, 07:52   #4
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If you run it from cold without the expansion cap on, the coolant won't go everywhere, just be careful, if you hold the revs up (to make the water pump work more effectively at higher speeds) and keep it running with the cap off until the temp comes up to near normal, or till the water level rises in the expansion tank. Then you can put the cap on and see how it is...

I wouldn't be surprised if changing the thermostat will help - the new radiator is probably cooling the engine far better than the old one, leaving little spare heat for the heater! This will occur especially if the 'stat opens too early allowing the water to flow around the rad at too low a temperature..

Brian.
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Old 01-02-2003, 08:04   #5
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Brian - good to see you back online m8!

I'd go for the thermostat too.......a common A Series fault!

Cheap aswell........aslong as you can get the housings off.......
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Old 01-02-2003, 13:36   #6
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Thermostat? Oh, crikey! That's a horrific job on Minors, so I'm thinking it's not going to be a nice one. I'm still holding out for an air-lock, because I took her on a 50-minute run down the motorway, and never got anything better than just-above-cold out of her.

Hmmm... Methinks I shall have to have a look. I thought it might be unfair asking about our "ancient" A-series on here, but does anyone know if there is a bleed valve knocking around the engine bay?

Thanks for all the replies!
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Old 01-02-2003, 13:48   #7
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Not really. I've had to do this on every mini i've owned. The good thing about A series engine's is that the Fan is always running on the block and keeping the engine cool. I'm not sure what its like on the metro but on my mini the heating control was on the left hand side of the block as a mechanical devise, make sure water is coming out of the outlet, just unscrew the clip and pop the hose off a bit, this does as well help bleed them. thermostat, as the good Doc says, can be tricky. Use good tools to get it off, and remember to replace the seal with a brand new one and use new bolts is possible to stop the old one's rusting more when they go in.
HTH
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Old 01-02-2003, 14:04   #8
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Hiya, fit an 88 degree thermostat and you will be warm as toast all winter. No bleed valve for cooling system on A series Metro.

Cheers Gary.
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Old 03-02-2003, 23:39   #9
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on some of em where the radiator bottom hose has a take off point for the heater matrix, make sure u aint pushed the connecting pipe so far into the hose that the take off point is blocked
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Old 04-02-2003, 08:13   #10
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My mates mini never got hot in winter....
We found blocking the grill up helped, and then removing the blockage in summer...

Some people just use a sheet of plastic / metal.... we just move the numberplate to over the grill... maed a massive difference...
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Old 04-02-2003, 14:31   #11
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Hmmm... The plot thickens...

Had a look at the old girl on Sunday. Ran the engine with the cap off the expansion chamber, but there were no bubbles. Tried pressing the hoses, adn we could get the level in the expansion chamber to move a little, but still the heater wouldn't warm up.

There is one hose coming from around the thermostat area which goes to the heater. That one's hot.

There is another hose which is formed into the radiator bottom hose (all welded together, like) and that goes to the heater. Stone cold. :-(

I don't think it's the 'stat because the car wams up to the 1/4 quickly, and when it gets there barely budges above it (as long as the car's moving).

Having poured two pints of water over the drive , I was thinking about taking it for a coolant drain/flush and fill, to see if that would sort the problem.
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Old 04-02-2003, 15:27   #12
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Quite common on older cars for the heater matrix to get blocked with gunge which would explain the heater not working. Wouldn't explain the engine not warming properly. Does the cooling fan ever come on?
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Old 05-02-2003, 14:11   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Atlantic

I don't think it's the 'stat because the car wams up to the 1/4 quickly, and when it gets there barely budges above it (as long as the car's moving).
Sounds like the 'stat to me - a car that warms up to 1/4 then doesn't get warmer indicates a stat that opens too early, or is slightly open all of the time... The engine should run 1/2 way up the gauge throughout the year...

Brian.
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Old 05-02-2003, 19:56   #14
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Yeah.......and an easy job IF the housings come off easily.......which they will (NOT!)
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Old 05-02-2003, 20:06   #15
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Only the top housing has to come off - the sandwich plate with the heater hose can stay on...

Attack the studs and the thermo housing with a blowtorch - that usually helps... (drain the water, remove the top hose and heater hose first)..

If that doesn't work, you'll have to smash the housing off after sourcing a replacement!

Brian.
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Old 05-02-2003, 20:10   #16
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Yeah but the throughbolts corrode with the alloy housings - as soon as you turn the bolt - SNAP!

"If that doesn't work, you'll have to smash the housing off after sourcing a replacement!"

I'd agree
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Old 05-02-2003, 20:13   #17
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Yeah, but it's worth a try - sometimes you are *very* lucky...

*or* you have a car with cadmium plated bolts (pre about '81 - cadmium plating was outlawed after that, as cadmium is very poisonous - not good for the plant workers). My dad's '79 Mini has cad plated bolts - and the thermo housing came off like new! Cadmium plate is a *far* better anti corrosive coating, but rather poisonous!

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Old 06-02-2003, 09:48   #18
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Hmmmm...

Well, I left the engine running, and it got to 1/4 quite quickly. Then with me running it at a fast idle (foot on accelerator jobbie) I managed to get it up to 1/2, but in the thirteen years we've had the car, it rarely does that when moving.

The fan did not come on. However, the handbook states it "should come on before the needle reaches the red area."

It got that high once, when we had a leaky radiator, and I was doing 65 down the M5. There wasn't a lot of water left in the expansion chamber, but the heater was lovely and warm!

It could be that the heater matrix is clogged up with Radweld (ahem... ) but it's really only got this bad (i.e. no heat whatsoever) since we had the radiator replaced.

I think we'll have a chat with our local independent garage chappie ( sorry Dave, you're a long way away, mate ) and see what he thinks. If it's the thermostat, I am resolutely not doing that!

Cheers, all!
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Old 11-02-2003, 13:45   #19
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Just an update for anyone who's still vaguely interested...

Our local garage chappie had a good look over the car and says he couldn't flush the heater matrix out because it was cloggled. Now that could either be with rust, as we live in a hard-water area or blocked with RadWeld, from when we were shoring up the radiator...

Any ideas on how much a new matrix would be (not sure I really want to know, to be honest...!)?

I know a pair of gloves will come to about a tenner!

Ah well.
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Old 11-02-2003, 19:59   #20
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Cloggled?? Is that a local phrase?

I'm real sorry but I haven't got any parts info for 'older' cars.....but I doubt the matrix would be any more than 50 tops.

Fitting might well be a bit tricky
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