Wednesday 16 September 2015

First Breakdown

The weekend meet was good fun but the journey there and back was another story !!   On the journey there everything was going fine until I got to Melton and hit traffic and road works then she started to overheat.  I actually had to stop 10 miles short of the camp site to put some water in.   Luckily I also saw a big black cloud approaching so had the time to put the top up.  And then drove through a massive rainstorm, luckily short lived.    So a bit depressed that the cooling problem was obviously still there.

So for the journey back this afternoon I filled her up with water and left for a 55 mile journey back.   Got safely back home and under my own steam (literally) After I left I treated her very carefully but as I was driving along the A50 the temperature started to climb and it wasn't looking good.   Crossed the M1 and started down the A6 ready to turn left to Rempstone and Melton.  With 100 yds to go, big bang and engine stopped, so I pulled over in a huge cloud of steam.  Jumped out and saw a huge pool of liquid under the car.   Was actually quite relieved it was water and not oil !

Took the bonnet off and was just getting ready to phone the breakdown service when I happened to notice a stainless steel pipe from the bottom hose had come adrift from the rubber hose to the Thermostat.


Very difficult to access, especially with the engine hot, but after a bit of fiddling and loosening off the jubilee clip a LOT I managed to get the pipes reconnected and the clip tightened.   Got a fairly respectable set of blisters on my hand from the exhaust manifold.   Put 2 litres in from the bottle I have got used to carrying, got her started (a bit reluctant but she had received a dousing) and carefully carried on.  The temperature gauge quickly rose to the 12:00 position slap bang in the middle of normal and then, to my astonishment,  stayed there, unwavering, for the whole of the 35 mile run back regardless of what I was doing, stopped at traffic lights, doing 60mph...etc... 

So here is Hypothesis Number 11.  When I saw the disconnected pipes, the jubilee clip on the rubber one was at an unusual angle and as I said, was much tighter than it should have been, so I am now wondering if it wasn't actually fully on the SS pipe, positioned correctly on the top but just missing the pipe underneath, thereby compressing the rubber hose. 

This would probably be watertight normally, but under pressure the water would come out, creating air locks and hence the vicious cycle.  But putting on the 20psi cap meant that she could get up a lot more pressure, enough to completely blow off the rubber tube. 

And when the pipe was full on and the jubilee clip tighten dead square on the pipe then she behaves immaculately for the rest of the journey, bang on normal, not moving.  Something I have never seen in 2 years.    It couldn't be that simple could it ?   I have said it was solved too often in the past to count my chickens, but it does look promising.   Next step is to make sure the connection is good, fill up and get rid of any air locks (have to take the grill off to 'massage' the lower tube) and see what happens.  I will also revert back to the 13psi cap as if that was the problem I don't want to over pressurise the system unnecessarily.

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