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Go Back   Madabout Kitcars Forum > Mad Build Area > Tribute Automotive Builds

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  #1  
Old 26th December 2017, 11:47
WorldClassAccident WorldClassAccident is offline
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Default Boxing Day coolant leak - help me trace it

I went for quick blast this morning and when I got home I noticed steam coming out of the bonnet vent. Not good. Stuck the car on the ramps and had a look at they problem.

Lots of nice red coolant covering the bottom the engine, the pulley wheels and most other stuff. 10 minutes with paper rags cleared most of it up and I could then try to trace the leak.

The engine was quite dry at the top with no obvious split or leaking hoses.
20171226_122028 by WCA!, on Flickr

From underneath the leaking fluid could be seen but the source was obscured. It appeared to come from behind the big pulley wheel with teeth on.
20171226_123110 by WCA!, on Flickr

Unfortunately I couldn't see the top of this to get a definitive source for the leak. The only next steps I can think of are to whip out the radiator and start stripping back the engine until I find something.

This is not something I really want to do as trying to fix something when you don't know what is broken is always a bit hit and miss. The only other thing that struck me was the main fan seemed to wobble quite a bit when the engine was running. With the engine turned off I can spin it smoothly by hand. If I push one side of the fan backwards it will rock back and forwards a bit I don't think this is normal. this is my current main suspect.

If you need any more pics or video to help then please just ask.

Any suggestions on how to proceed VERY welcome.
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  #2  
Old 26th December 2017, 11:55
WorldClassAccident WorldClassAccident is offline
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Working through this while i await your wisdom : https://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tec..._Leak_Test.htm
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  #3  
Old 26th December 2017, 12:17
Lucky@LeMans Lucky@LeMans is offline
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Sounds like the water pump. I had to change it on my 2.2 soon as I got the car. Its an easy and cheap fix to swop it out for a new one. I bought one new on line for around 40 including a new belt. About half an hours work.
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  #4  
Old 26th December 2017, 12:23
WorldClassAccident WorldClassAccident is offline
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Water pump and thermostat are the usual culprits but is the leak in the right place? I thought I could see if the water pump leaked by looking from above.

Happy to be wrong, just don't want to replace the water pump to discover it is something else.

I will investigate water pumps while the rain blows over and if there are no better solutions when it is dry then I might just replace it anyway.

[EDIT] A bit of YouTube suggests you are indeed right sir. I stand corrected and will now try to source a water pump and pulley belt

This sounds just like my fan/pump : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rf0ugBtGYI

Last edited by WorldClassAccident; 26th December 2017 at 12:32..
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  #5  
Old 26th December 2017, 13:01
Lucky@LeMans Lucky@LeMans is offline
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The bearings usually go first which in turn knackers the seals. If you grab the fan and try move it up and down, any movement at all will indicate a failed pump. The clunky bearings like in the video are a give away too!
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Old 26th December 2017, 13:41
WorldClassAccident WorldClassAccident is offline
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I can get a new pump for just over 30 but struggling to find replacement belts. Sometimes I bloody hate internet searches.

Does this look like the right one?

https://www.autodoc.co.uk/febi-bilstein/1885326

Last edited by WorldClassAccident; 26th December 2017 at 14:36..
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  #7  
Old 26th December 2017, 14:41
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Jaguartvr Jaguartvr is offline
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Water pumps often start with a small leak. If you loosen the radiator cap (expansion tank cap) it lowers the pressure and the leak stops.
This could of course be a leak from anywhere.
Another course of action is to do the caps up, disconnect the rad fan to let it heat up and then try and track down the steam leak. Often easier than trying to locate a drip.
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  #8  
Old 29th December 2017, 15:53
WorldClassAccident WorldClassAccident is offline
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I got back from a lovely day with my mum and various other family members and decided to crack on with fixing the water pump on the Barchetta. There were no delivery notes or packages hidden behind the bins so clearly my 'Next Day' delivery for the pump hadn't arrived the next day at all. Never mind, I was only starting the job now.

As usual, things weren't as straight forward as I would have wished. Draining the radiator is easy once u get a pair of pliers to grip the plastic screw head. Clearly it had been a cross head at some point but was now simply a threaded bit of blue plastic with a rubber washer.

Next I had to drain the engine block. As they said on a number of different clips on YouTube - the engine drain plug can be difficult to identify. Safe to say that even with the car back on the road and running smoothly I still have no idea where the engine drain plug is. When I had put everything back together I simply ran the engine until the fan came on and then opened the radiator drain to let the dirty coolant out while pouring freshly mixed coolant in at the top.

The strip down process continued with the unclipping of fan shroud and the attempted removal. If you try this, do not miss the throw away one liner of 'unbolt the fan and remove with the cowl' as the cowl will not come out with the fan in place. How do you do this? Well according one website I read you just put the spanner on the bolt and give a sharp tap to release it. According to another you wedges a screwdriver against the water pump bolts while carefully removing the fan bolt - do not try to shock the fan nut as you risk snapping the water pump bolts. A third website simply said 'unbolt the fan which has a reverse thread. So I needed to unbolt the nut with and without hitting the spanner and either clockwise or anti-clockwise with the water pump locked firmly while free to spin. Clear on that?

It doesn't really matter as I didn't have a 32mm spanner that was thin enough to fit in the gap and connect with the nut. Off to the shops to buy a spanner which was pleasantly cheap at just a tenner. Unfortunately the only spanner I could find had a offset rather than being a straight flat spanner so it was clamped and hammered as best I could with a sprung steel spanner and was still a tight fit. In the end the fan bolt did come free. No shock required but with the pump held still and with a reverse thread - clockwise to undo.

The water pump cover was simple, just four 10mm bolts loosened before trying to remove the serpentine belt. Pop the dust cap off the tensioner pulley. Use a 16mm socket to push the tensioner clockwise and the pulley moves releasing the tension. Now we were really motoring, just the water pump to remove and we were ready to start putting it all back together again. Undo another four 10mm nuts and the pump is free. Well sort of free, there is an empty bolt hole on each side of the water pump into which you insert M6 bolts and tighten each one gently, a bit at a time, to push the water pump free. Rock and roll, we were ready to fit the new water pump in record time.

Now remember I ordered the new water pump from Europarts around lunch time on Boxing Day with next day delivery? Apparently the day after December 26th is December 28th for Europarts and also can be as late as some time after 4pm which explains why the delivery man couldn't see me working in front of the house and had to hide the parcel behind the bins. The guy would make an expert cat burglar - sneaking over me while I worked under the car and sliding the 'You missed the parcel' form into the letter box curling it as it went in so both the inside and outside flaps were shut with the paper hidden between. The whole charade was only discovered the next day when the postman tried to deliver a letter but found the letter box jammed.

Back on the car this morning and the new water pump - found at last - went in easily. I cleaned up the fan, cover, cowl etc and refitted. So much easier going back together with fresh experience that taking it apart was yesterday.

Topping the coolant up was a bit fun as I mentioned but everything went back together, nothing leaked, it was a whole lot quieter and the temperature was steady with the needle in the middle of the dial.

I mentioned last time that when I used Europarts it was against my better judgement but hoped to be pleasantly surprised. I wasn't. They did what they seem to do every time I use them. They frustrated me and wasted a load of my time. Next Day delivery for means not the next day but at the end of the day after the next day so basically 2 days before you can actually use what you have ordered. It would have been quicker to wait a day and collect the damn thing directly from the branch.

If you ever hear me say "I am going to use Europart" please slap me around the head with a fresh salmon until I come to my senses.
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  #9  
Old 29th December 2017, 16:16
Lucky@LeMans Lucky@LeMans is offline
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The only hard part of the job for me was working out how the belt went back on. I think it took two cups of tea and a pork pie before it went on right !
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  #10  
Old 29th December 2017, 17:40
WorldClassAccident WorldClassAccident is offline
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I used google.

Having said that, the ac belt tensioner fell apart as I released tension. That may explain the weak aircon. Not a problem in the future with no belt to confuse things
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  #11  
Old 29th December 2017, 17:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky@LeMans View Post
The only hard part of the job for me was working out how the belt went back on. I think it took two cups of tea and a pork pie before it went on right !
Those water pump belts, they will do anything for pork pie.
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  #12  
Old 30th December 2017, 13:22
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Jaguartvr Jaguartvr is offline
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Europarts now seem to work on a voucher scheme, they bombard you with emails containing discount codes, if you don't have a discount code the parts are very expensive.
Trouble is you get so much junk mail, I have marked them as spam and order elsewhere.
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  #13  
Old 30th December 2017, 15:44
WorldClassAccident WorldClassAccident is offline
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I fell for the voucher discount. I saved a fiver and wasted three days waiting it to arrive
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