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Author Topic: j63 2.2i petrol // Draining the cooling system  (Read 93 times)
pduke
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« on: May 23, 2020, 07:53:14 pm »

And here we go!
The cooling system had water and antifreeze inside for quite a few years so i decideted to drain it and see if i can save the radiator. I can't seem to find a lowest point than the one with the red arrow in the photo. I took out the hose, opened the cap from the expansion tank and let the fluid run. The plastic intake where the hose fits looks up, so it is impossible to drain the entire system. Squeezing the upper hose (green arrow) i can hear liquid bubbling inside.
Looking under the radiator i can't seem to find any valve or something.
Also i remember having great problems with the cooling system keeping air bubbles inside and thus heating up the engine above normal. The fans switched to the fastest speed too late when the gauge was already deep in the "reds"
Could you please suggest the best method for draining and refilling the cooling system the "right way" ?

Last, i realized that the temp gauge in the cockpit doesn't work anymore. is there a way to test what could be the problem? the valve fitted on the radiator (just above red in photo), the gauge itself? something else?

do excuse my english... car repairing vocabulary is too hard to learn Sad

cheers!



EDIT I: after going through some articles it seems that there should be a cylinder block drain plug but no photos. I ll check tommorow and see if i can find it.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 08:52:52 pm by pduke » Logged
roy4matra
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2020, 09:31:37 pm »

And here we go!
The cooling system had water and antifreeze inside for quite a few years so i decideted to drain it and see if i can save the radiator. I can't seem to find a lowest point than the one with the red arrow in the photo. I took out the hose, opened the cap from the expansion tank and let the fluid run. The plastic intake where the hose fits looks up, so it is impossible to drain the entire system. Squeezing the upper hose (green arrow) i can hear liquid bubbling inside.
Looking under the radiator i can't seem to find any valve or something.

There is no proper drain point any more.  The best way is to remove the radiator, and empty that, and whilst the radiator is out, lower the lowest hoses to drain the system.  Make sure you have the heater control set to hot so the tap is fully open and the heater will drain too.

Quote
Also i remember having great problems with the cooling system keeping air bubbles inside and thus heating up the engine above normal. The fans switched to the fastest speed too late when the gauge was already deep in the "reds"
Could you please suggest the best method for draining and refilling the cooling system the "right way" ?

Yes the correct way now is with a special tool, which sucks all the air out of the system, and you see all the hoses collapse owing to the vacuum inside!  It is held in that state for a few minutes to see that it doesn't loose any vacuum, proving the system is air tight.  Then if all is OK you turn the tap on the special tool and it sucks the pre-mixed anti-freeze and water from its reservoir back into the system, filling it completely with no air locks!

Now obviously you won't have this expensive special tool as it is for garages.  So the only thing you can do is fill it and pressurise the header tank bottle to push the fluid around the system and try to get the air out from the highest point - so you leave the radiator bleed hose slightly loose to start with to let the air out.  When it is as full as you get get, you secure the hoses, and run the engine, but as it gets up to temperature and starts building pressure, you must open the bleed screw carefully (don't forget the coolant will be very hot) to allow any air or steam to escape.  You may need to do this several times, allowing the coolant to circulate and hopefully bringing any air out of the pockets it has been staying in, so that it can be bled out.  Note the coolant tank level.

Finally you can take the vehicle for a run, carrying some spare pre-mixed coolant, and you watch the gauge carefully to make sure it doesn't rise above the top temp. which should be around 100 degrees, and also note that the fan is cutting in if it gets above 90 whilst stationary, as in traffic.  If the coolant level in the tank has dropped considerably you need to top it up again, but let it cool a little first and as you release the header tank cap, be careful because as you release the pressure the coolant may boil.  Once it is topped up to a safe level, you can run the vehicle some more.

If you think you have all the air out, and the radiator fan is cutting in when it reaches the switch cut-in temperature, then you should let it cool at least overnight, and then check the header tank is on the max. level mark, and adjust if necessary.  From this point, whenever it is cold after a long period without running such as overnight, the level should always be at the same level.  These are sealed systems and the level should never drop, otherwise you have a leak or a problem somewhere.


Quote
Last, i realized that the temp gauge in the cockpit doesn't work anymore. is there a way to test what could be the problem? the valve fitted on the radiator (just above red in photo), the gauge itself? something else?

You need to fix this first because you must be able to see the temperature from the instruments, otherwise how would you know if it is overheating?  Especially after filling the system and making sure all the air is out, as described above.

The first thing to check is the temperature sender and wiring.  The sender should be in the thermostat housing.  It has one wire to it, and if you remove it from the sender and earth it, the temperature gauge should go to maximum.  If it does, then replace the sender.  If it does not then you have to investigate and diagnose where the fault actually is, and if you are an auto electrician you will know how to do this properly.  If you are not an auto electrician, then I am not going to detail it here, because it is too long and I doubt you would have the knowledge or equipment to do it correctly.  Take it to someone who does know.

Roy
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 09:36:31 pm by roy4matra » Logged

mhi
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 10:58:08 pm »

I had temperature gauge problems a few years back in my J63. If your reference is the Haynes manual, beware, because it is not clear. There are TWO temperature sensors/senders. There's one connected only to the engine management computer, and the other connected only to the dashboard temperature gauge.

My fault was intermittent: the gauge used to flicker up to maximum. Eventually it became bad enough to find the cause, which was a bit of the insulation worn through over the wire to the sensor. This was just where the single wire leaves the wiring loom in front of the engine; it short-circuited to the (earthed) metal bracket holding the loom.

Once found, easily fixed with a little insulating tape over the worn patch and a length of spiral plastic cable wrap to support the single wire and prevent more wear.

Your fault may be different, but the point where that wire leaves the support of the loom is worth checking.

  Mark
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1994 Espace RXE 2.0 (J636)
pduke
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2020, 10:32:01 am »


Now obviously you won't have this expensive special tool as it is for garages.  So the only thing you can do is fill it and pressurise the header tank bottle to push the fluid around the system and try to get the air out from the highest point - so you leave the radiator bleed hose slightly loose to start with to let the air out.  When it is as full as you get get, you secure the hoses, and run the engine, but as it gets up to temperature and starts building pressure, you must open the bleed screw carefully (don't forget the coolant will be very hot) to allow any air or steam to escape.  You may need to do this several times, allowing the coolant to circulate and hopefully bringing any air out of the pockets it has been staying in, so that it can be bled out.  Note the coolant tank level.

Finally you can take the vehicle for a run, carrying some spare pre-mixed coolant, and you watch the gauge carefully to make sure it doesn't rise above the top temp. which should be around 100 degrees, and also note that the fan is cutting in if it gets above 90 whilst stationary, as in traffic.  If the coolant level in the tank has dropped considerably you need to top it up again, but let it cool a little first and as you release the header tank cap, be careful because as you release the pressure the coolant may boil.  Once it is topped up to a safe level, you can run the vehicle some more.

If you think you have all the air out, and the radiator fan is cutting in when it reaches the switch cut-in temperature, then you should let it cool at least overnight, and then check the header tank is on the max. level mark, and adjust if necessary.  From this point, whenever it is cold after a long period without running such as overnight, the level should always be at the same level.  These are sealed systems and the level should never drop, otherwise you have a leak or a problem somewhere.
Roy thank you for your long detailed answer. I found my Haynes book yesterday and it is far less detailed than you Smiley
I think i understand what you say. Note that i have another problem. If you check my photos, the main top hose is not an original part so it misses the bleed screw. This will make it harder. but i will give it a shot. I will also try to spot if this cylinder block drain plug exists.
Removing the radiator is not an option yet because i wouldn't know how to do it... I assume i should take out the front mask, grill, headlights probably and the fans system, but i do not feel confident ... yet. NowiIt stuck in my mind though so .. i ll let it there see how it evolves...

You need to fix this first because you must be able to see the temperature from the instruments, otherwise how would you know if it is overheating?  Especially after filling the system and making sure all the air is out, as described above.

The first thing to check is the temperature sender and wiring.  The sender should be in the thermostat housing.  It has one wire to it, and if you remove it from the sender and earth it, the temperature gauge should go to maximum.  If it does, then replace the sender.  If it does not then you have to investigate and diagnose where the fault actually is, and if you are an auto electrician you will know how to do this properly.  If you are not an auto electrician, then I am not going to detail it here, because it is too long and I doubt you would have the knowledge or equipment to do it correctly.  Take it to someone who does know.

Roy
By temperature sender i believe you are reffering to the sensor/switch at the right side of the radiator about middle hight, correct?  The one that switches fans on and off? I'll check and see into it, try to earth it and see if the gauge is ...alive.

I had temperature gauge problems a few years back in my J63. If your reference is the Haynes manual, beware, because it is not clear. There are TWO temperature sensors/senders. There's one connected only to the engine management computer, and the other connected only to the dashboard temperature gauge.

My fault was intermittent: the gauge used to flicker up to maximum. Eventually it became bad enough to find the cause, which was a bit of the insulation worn through over the wire to the sensor. This was just where the single wire leaves the wiring loom in front of the engine; it short-circuited to the (earthed) metal bracket holding the loom.

Once found, easily fixed with a little insulating tape over the worn patch and a length of spiral plastic cable wrap to support the single wire and prevent more wear.

Your fault may be different, but the point where that wire leaves the support of the loom is worth checking.

  Mark
Deffinatelly a good find this one. Thank you Mark. Now i need to find where these two guys are...

If anyone could post any pictures of these sensors, i will be obliged. As you can tell i am really the visual kind of person Smiley

i ll report back, cheers!
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roy4matra
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2020, 02:55:27 pm »


By temperature sender i believe you are reffering to the sensor/switch at the right side of the radiator about middle hight, correct?  The one that switches fans on and off? I'll check and see into it, try to earth it and see if the gauge is ...alive.

No, the switch in the radiator is the fan switch, which triggers the cooling fan when the coolant reaches a certain level.  Your switch should be a 95/86 degrees switch (as long as you don't have air conditioning fitted) meaning it cuts in at 95 degrees and out again once the coolant has dropped to 86 degrees.

This switch has nothing to do with the gauge in the instrument panel.

The temperature sender, as I stated, is in the thermostat housing.  There are two.  One for the gauge (a single wire) and the other is for the engine computer (two wire).

The thermostat housing is on the front right of the cylinder head.

Also beware of the Haynes manual for the Espace Series 1 Phase 1 (1984 to 1987) Espace I Phase II (1988 to 1991) and Series II (1991 to 1996) as it gets it all wrong and the wiring diagrams are mostly inaccurate since they are based on the pre-production model and not the real things!  Matra and Renault had already updated much by the time the first ones hit the road, so the diagrams in the Haynes manual are well out of date!  One example is the heater fan according to the diagrams in the Haynes have three speeds.  Not true, except for the very first 1984/5.  They all have a four speed fan set up where '0' is the first speed and comes on as soon as you switch the ignition on.  There is no 'Off' except with the ignition off.  '1' on the switch is speed 2,  '2' is speed 3, and '3' is speed 4 or the top speed which is a direct connection.  The others pass through various resistors and relays.

Haynes can't even get the name correct!  Your J63 Espace is a Series II, but Haynes calls it a Series 3.  An Espace Series III is the transverse engined highly electronic and complex Espace that ran from 1996 to 2002.

Roy
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 03:03:35 pm by roy4matra » Logged

pduke
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2020, 05:09:58 pm »

Ok i got it. This is not the one. Is this the one?


i really can't find any single or double cables ... i wonder how bad i am at this  Roll Eyes

I know Haynes is very inaccurate, few times is usefull since there is nothing else out there.

Here's what i did so far

- i drained as much as i could from the lower tube connection.
- I put a hose from the garden tap in the expansion tank and let it flow for a bit until the brown water became clear and transparent
- i did the same removing the top hose from the cylinder block and using the garden hose there
- Then since i couldn't suck .. i started to blow .... To be honest i think i managed to take the most of the remaining water out.
- I replaced the top hose with the original one which has a bleeding screw, and did some repairs to the screw.
- conected all hoses and started filling with valeo antifreeze 35 (g11) from the tank with leaving bleed screew open

So it seems full. Left the tank open (thinking that air bubbles could escape when the liquid got hoter..) tighten the bleeding screw and I started the engine, rev a bit for until i saw the bubbles in the tank. I was actually waiting for the fans to kick in. They didn't. And the liquid started bubbling a bit like before boil, so i got scared, turn off the engine and came back to the forum  Grin

I don't know... shouldn't the fans kick in already? Truth is that without a temp gauge i can't go on. So i will focus on that.
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pduke
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2020, 01:20:15 pm »

The temperature sender, as I stated, is in the thermostat housing.  There are two.  One for the gauge (a single wire) and the other is for the engine computer (two wire).

The thermostat housing is on the front right of the cylinder head.
I honestly can't find where or even what a thermostat housing is in my model.
Searching in online parts catalogues they all have housing only for the diesel models.
-> https://www.onlinecarparts.co.uk/spares-search.html?keyword=Thermostat%20Housing

There is the classic water thermostat that goes in the upper hose
-> https://www.autodoc.co.uk/spares-search?keyword=Thermostat

And there is the coolant temperature sensor, which i believe it is the one on the left side of the radiator and toggles the fans.
-> https://www.autodoc.co.uk/spares-search?keyword=coolant+temperature+sensor

Forgot to say, since you mention it Roy, i got the Air Condition model.
Also as far as i can remember my model has 2 fan speeds, normal and fast.

Also i found this very usefull website. Still no thermostat housing...
-> http://www.catcar.info/renault/?lang=en&l=c3Q9PTQwfHxzdHM9PXsiMTAiOiJNb2RlbCIsIjIwIjoiRXNwYWNlIElJIiwiMzAiOiJKNjM3IiwiNDAiOiJNYW51YWwifXx8bm9wcnM9PTEyMzR8fGJyYW5kPT1SZW5hdWx0fHxub3ByPT0xMjM0fHx0eXBlPT1KNjM3fHxjYXRfaWQ9PU0%3D

Pan
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 01:27:21 pm by pduke » Logged
pduke
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« Reply #7 on: Today at 01:19:24 pm »

anybody ? Sad
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