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P38 Paul

Urgent request P38 diesel.

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Hi , I am on holiday at the moment & the rad has blown in the car , can I change the rad without  removal of the viscous fan as I only have a very basic tool kit  , will order a new rad tomorrow if I can fit it , your urgent attention would be appreciated  .

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Yes I think you can.
You have to unclip the cowl from the radiator, pushing the cowl back towards the engine.
Then undo the radiator cover; if they are still in place you may have diificulties with the clips holding the bonnet catch release cable.

What I cannot recall in detail is the oil cooler details. I seem to recall there is one for the engine oil in front of the coolant radiator, but I don't recall how it is fixed.
There may also be one for the gearbox incorporated in the coolant radiator, the possible problem there is the pipe connections. If there are spannered jobs, rather than hose clipped jobs, make sure you have the appropriate spanners before you start. The oil coolers for the auto and manual gearboxes are different.

Be aware that a split radiator is often the first sign you have of a head gasket leak, or similar problem, allowing combustion chamber gasses to pressurise the cooling system.
Consider running the car with the radiator pressure cap partially released. This may not stop you loosing coolant, although with the cap even lightly in place the rate of loss will be reduced, but the main benefit is that the new radiator won't split before you get home.

If you have been a 'wise virgin' and kept your membership of a motoring organisation up to date, the sensible course of action might be to have the car flat bedded home, especially if a caravan is involved.

If you are not a member, but are on holiday for the week, consider joining Britannia or Green Flag online on Tuesday, then ring in with a breakdown on Saturday.
Obviouly check the conditions for any clauses that stop this abuse being possible before you throw more money at the problem.

Regards

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Hi Paul. Sorry for your troubles. I've just done one on my 2001 P38. It was a dog, but I managed it without special tools. 
 
The first prob will be the small bolts at the bottom corners of the rad. They locate in a confined space into brass nuts. Mine were so corroded I ended up grinding them out with a dremel. Took ages.
 
The second is the viscous fan. Mine is a diesel so room is limited. In the end I got a local company to weld two spanners end to end so the reach was enough and used a socket on the alternator to stop the fan rotating. 
 
The viscous fan undoes easily, especially if you hit the spanner the right way! The cowling locates into the bottom of the rad, so once the fan is out it slips up easily. Then the rad comes right out. The oil cooler tubes are easy to undo.
 
When you get the new rad you need to check the new bolts and nuts are included. Mine weren't, so cable ties will have to do till I can buy some new ones.
 
It's a good time to check and replace the belts if they need it. I did mine and have kept the old ones in the back as spares.
 
Hope it goes okay.
 
God bless,
 
Andy

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It should be possible, but as said space will be limited with the fan in place. I've used an adjustable wrench to get the fan off when I didn't have the proper spanner. To loosen it, turn in the direction of the fan blades (i.e. make the fan suck in air).

The bolts at the bottom are a pig, but if the rad has blown anyway, you can cut away the plastic around the nuts to get a spanner on them (they will probably spin if you losen the bolts).

The engine oil cooler is separate, in front of the radiator, together with the intercooler. Those can just stay on the frame.

Oil cooler for the manual is with 2 connections at the bottom of the radiator, not too hard to get off. Autobox cooler is in front of the left wheel, so not relevant.

Good luck,

Filip

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Just got the old rad out of the car & everyone is correct  " WHAT A PIG OF A JOB " the two bottom bolts are a rusted mush but have now been cut out , the fan & shroud are still in place & what a tight squeeze it was to get the rad out , let's hope that I don't damage the new rad when I try to put it back in . The tools I have are very basic & consist of a small set of spanners , a pair of pliers , two screw drivers & a collection of cable ties , glue & gaffa tape so no chance of removing the fan . So here I am at the caravan awaiting the arrival of the new rad & will update you on any progress or failure that I encounter when refitting . Thanks for your help & any more suggestions  on the refitting of the new rad will of course  be most welcome . Paul .

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Well done Paul. Refitting is a doddle. The only thing to remember is to blow into the expansion tube till any coolant still in it empties into the expansion tank and is clear. 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, piloti said:

Well done Paul. Refitting is a doddle. The only thing to remember is to blow into the expansion tube till any coolant still in it empties into the expansion tank and is clear. 

Ok then lads & lasses the rad has just arrived , it's in the middle of a hail storm & I reckon I am going to get wet , wish me luck .

Hello Piloti , what is this expansion tube that I need to blow down , is that the small black plpe that runs from the expansion tank to the rad

& why does it have to be cleared of any old coolant ? Will it not do that itself , regards Paul .

Edited by P38 Paul
Bad spelling .

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On 4/23/2019 at 5:09 PM, piloti said:
Hi Paul. Sorry for your troubles. I've just done one on my 2001 P38. It was a dog, but I managed it without special tools. 
 
The first prob will be the small bolts at the bottom corners of the rad. They locate in a confined space into brass nuts. Mine were so corroded I ended up grinding them out with a dremel. Took ages.
 
The second is the viscous fan. Mine is a diesel so room is limited. In the end I got a local company to weld two spanners end to end so the reach was enough and used a socket on the alternator to stop the fan rotating. 
 
The viscous fan undoes easily, especially if you hit the spanner the right way! The cowling locates into the bottom of the rad, so once the fan is out it slips up easily. Then the rad comes right out. The oil cooler tubes are easy to undo.
 
When you get the new rad you need to check the new bolts and nuts are included. Mine weren't, so cable ties will have to do till I can buy some new ones.
 
It's a good time to check and replace the belts if they need it. I did mine and have kept the old ones in the back as spares.
 
Hope it goes okay.
 
God bless,
 
Andy

 

On 4/23/2019 at 5:09 PM, piloti said:
Hi Paul. Sorry for your troubles. I've just done one on my 2001 P38. It was a dog, but I managed it without special tools. 
 
The first prob will be the small bolts at the bottom corners of the rad. They locate in a confined space into brass nuts. Mine were so corroded I ended up grinding them out with a dremel. Took ages.
 
The second is the viscous fan. Mine is a diesel so room is limited. In the end I got a local company to weld two spanners end to end so the reach was enough and used a socket on the alternator to stop the fan rotating. 
 
The viscous fan undoes easily, especially if you hit the spanner the right way! The cowling locates into the bottom of the rad, so once the fan is out it slips up easily. Then the rad comes right out. The oil cooler tubes are easy to undo.
 
When you get the new rad you need to check the new bolts and nuts are included. Mine weren't, so cable ties will have to do till I can buy some new ones.
 
It's a good time to check and replace the belts if they need it. I did mine and have kept the old ones in the back as spares.
 
Hope it goes okay.
 
God bless,
 
Andy

 

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Yes that's right. It stops an airlock from happening. I presume the pressure in the pipe is quite low so the system can't shove it out. Easy enough to do. Hope it goes in okay. Did it come with the new nuts and bolts for the bottom fitting, or are you going to use Cable Ties, like me?

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Hi all , I have refitted the rad & it took just over an hour , cable tied the lower fixings as they only supplied the nuts & not the bolts so that will have to do till I get it home , I also had to trim one of the lower brackets to get it past the viscous couplings it was just to wide . I blew through the small tube to clear any fluid inside it & then refilled the system with just water for the moment , I then started the car & drove it for a couple of miles the topped it up as necessary , I then drove it carefully for 10 miles & noticed that the tempreture gauge was very erratic,  it was climbing to just under half way when going up the hills & into the blue when coming back down so I don't think that's to bad , maybe it just needs to blow out any trapped air that is still left in the system . Just an idea , but would the lack of antifreeze make it run hotter or cooler than it normally does ? Am going to risk driving it home 160 miles on Monday , wish me luck .

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The erratic temperature gauge is due to air going past the sensor, (the air is cooler than the coolant or more correctly air doesn't transfer heat (into the sender) as well as liquid does).
Either you have a bubble of air working its way out, or it's a cylinder forcing air into the cooling system.
If it's the latter you won't get 160 miles. Think again about leaving the pressure cap loose, as I advised in an earlier post.

Regards.

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38 minutes ago, David Sparkes said:

The erratic temperature gauge is due to air going past the sensor, (the air is cooler than the coolant or more correctly air doesn't transfer heat (into the sender) as well as liquid does).
Either you have a bubble of air working its way out, or it's a cylinder forcing air into the cooling system.
If it's the latter you won't get 160 miles. Think again about leaving the pressure cap loose, as I advised in an earlier post.

Regards.

Will do David , thanks for your advice .

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I agree, but would doubt it would be a cyl head issue, or it would be cool all of the time. Look into the expansion tank with the engine running to  see if there are little bubbles. Good sign. If not, not sure .maybe ease out the rad inlet hose to see if you can tease any air  out?

Are you towing the caravan?

 

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11 hours ago, piloti said:

Are you towing the caravan?

Hi Piloti , no , not towing a caravan thank God , however today I took the car out for a run to warm it up & pulled into a layby , everything was hot even the small black hose that I blew through the other day , so I carefully undid the expansion cap to check for any bubbles & not one bit of pressure in the system , just a small hiss , the water was hot but no bubbles at all . However the gauge is still showing half way up a hill & into the blue coming down the hill , on this occasion I had the cap on tight for the test . I will give it a longer run tomorrow  before the dreaded trip home on Monday. 

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On 4/26/2019 at 6:22 PM, David Sparkes said:

The erratic temperature gauge is due to air going past the sensor, (the air is cooler than the coolant or more correctly air doesn't transfer heat (into the sender) as well as liquid does).
Either you have a bubble of air working its way out, or it's a cylinder forcing air into the cooling system.
If it's the latter you won't get 160 miles. Think again about leaving the pressure cap loose, as I advised in an earlier post.

Regards.

Hi Dave , is it good or bad that there seems to be no real pressure in the system ? There are no apparent leaks anywhere that I can see & I have not had to top the water up .

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You've got me, I'm afraid, Paul. I guess you have tried driving gently with the cap on loosely like David suggested and check the expansion tank now and again. Good luck for tomorrow!

 

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If the temperature drops that much going down hill, I'd suspect the thermostat is not closing as it should. Not too bad, certainly a lot better than not opening! Airbubbles in the system certainly wont help, but with an airlock you'd get high temperature spikes.

Filling with water or coolant shouldn't make difference to the temperature, as the thermostat should open/close appropriately. FYI, pure water has a higher temperature transfer coefficient than anti-freeze, so theoretically the engine could run a but cooler, but the boiling point is also reduced, so pressure will rise sooner. Under normal circumstances, you're unlikely to notice any difference.

Good luck!

Filip

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52 minutes ago, P38 Paul said:

Hi Dave , is it good or bad that there seems to be no real pressure in the system ? There are no apparent leaks anywhere that I can see & I have not had to top the water up .

On the face of it, good.
What I see as totally bad news is the fluctuating temperature. If it's stopped doing that then the situation looks more positive.
Keeping the cap tight allows the coolant to reach a higher temperature without boiling. Any air trapped in the system cannot get out, potentially allowing an air lock to develop, with the attendant localised overheating.
For the sake of longevity (before the next breakdown) I suggest leaving the cap loose and  using the least amount of engine performance. The biggest contributor here is vehicle speed, use 50 rather than 60. Obviously take a plentiful supply of water with you.

After you have been travelling for 30 mins, without fluctuating temperature, you can start to feel more confident and can decide to tighten the cap. At this stop don't be surprised by water gushing out of the expansion tank, it's a byproduct of heat being pushed into the water as the flow slows down. Don't stop the engine when doing this check stop to tighten the cap; you want to keep the water circulating, absorbing some of the heat from the block.  After closing the cap carry on driving, but at low speed.

You are fortunate that the weather has cooled in the UK. Set the in-car temperature as high as you can bear; if you can stand the noise, crack open a window or two, or the sunroof, to allow heat to escape the cabin.
I am being cautious to try and help you get home without further breakdown. Once there you can get more adventurous, but I will say DO NOT leave the engine for long without antifreeze. The anti corrosion additives are essential to the life of the engine. Saving £10 by not using AF is false economy, changing the headgasket is much more expensive than that.

Regards.

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Good luck!

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, piloti said:

Likewise Paul 

Trumpet fanfare , IT GOT US HOME . Cheers for everyone's support , I couldn't have done this without the forum I'm sure . The journey took just over 6 hours as I took it very steady from the start & didn't drive above 60 mph , I kept the cap loose for all of the journey & checked under the bonnet every half hour , the temperature gauge is still a bit up & down but seemed steadier on the motorway maintaining about one third of the way up the gauge , it lost no water whatsoever during the whole journey .

Here are a couple of pictures I took or the rad & the recovery of the vehicle , sorry about quality of the photos but it was getting dark after a 8 1/2 hour wait for recovery . Last two pictures are the split on the top of the rad , around 4" long .

DSCF3979.JPG

DSCF3982.JPG

DSCF3983.JPG

DSCF3980.JPG

DSCF3981.JPG

Edited by P38 Paul
Needed t description .o add a bit more
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A few years back when I had a (smaller) split in my rad, I bought some high-temp epoxy and smeared that on. Worked fine for over a year.

Maybe would've been an easier fix on the road than swapping the whole rad out, but I'm glad you managed it.

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Well done Paul, but I think I must have missed something. Glad it got you home, but why the recovery vehicle?

 

 

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5 hours ago, piloti said:

Well done Paul, but I think I must have missed something. Glad it got you home, but why the recovery vehicle?

The car blew the rad on the way to my holiday park , I had the choice of a single onward journey or recovery back home so I took a chance & got it lifted to the holiday park , that is where I wrote my plea on the forum , if I couldn't do the job outside the caravan I would have had to have it recovered again to a garage at my cost , it had to be recovered in the first place because it blew in the middle of nowhere & had no chance of holding water " not that there was any water available anyway " hope that explains the recovery vehicle . Regards Paul .

 

 

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