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Rainagain’s MINI adventure


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I've bought Robson3022's over heating Mini. I was planning picking it up on my way back from working at Ellesmere port, but torrential rain + an accident had other ideas.

I'm travelling down from Fife this weekend (three hours each way) with a plan to fix it and then drive it back up.

I did manage a quick look at it, I found it ran up to operating temperature ok, but it didn't look like there was any flow across the radiator. Looking from the front of the car the top left of the radiator where the top hose is was hot but the rest of the radiator was cold. Unfortunately I didn't check if any heat was coming out of the cabin heater.  When I first looked at it the header tank was empty, once water was added to it and the engine started, there was an intermittent stream of bubbles into the header tank but this seem to reduce the longer the engine ran, I'm not sure if this was just air bleeding out or the head gasket has gone as Robson3022's garage suggested. However there was no coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant. The engine was also running happily on four.

Robson3022 said it over heats after driving it for ten miles but cools down whilst going down hills, which looks like no coolant movement to me. 

I was thinking water pump, but I was speaking to someone at work this morning who thought if it has had a leak and Robson3022 has been topping it up with just water the radiator might be clogged. As I won't have access to a hose he recommend taking both hoses off the radiator and trying to blow through it to check for flow. 

What do you guys think and can you recommend some diagnostic stuff I can do before I pointlessly change the water pump.

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2 minutes ago, auld_ALS said:

Where is the thermostat on these? Can you take it out and just leave the housing connected to allow permanent coolant flow? Seems possible that it's stuck shut and it might get you home/confirm that it is or is not HGF.

not sure I've been trying to find a coolant flow diagram but I can't seem to find one online 

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Is this an r50? Apperently the temp gauge on these is woefully inaccurate, it is better to access the secret menu within the guage cluster to monitor temps. 

I have an R53, if its the same the thermostat it is up near the top of the head, and there is a hidden bleed screw near it. Plenty of guides online. 

Id bleed it properly first and then go from there. 

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interesting I was just speaking to Robson3022 and he said when it was overheating he tried to put the car's heater on to cool it down and nothing but cold air came out. To me this rules out the thermostat as it doesn't affect the car's heating system and also the radiator. I'm heading towards pump?

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Take the top hose off and crank it, see if water comes flying out.

I had a blocked radiator or my old Rover and it drove me up the wall . It flowed but not enough stop the water boiling and over pressurising the system . Rads aren’t too expensive for these but it depends if you’re willing to play parts bingo and have the time to fuck about changing it.

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Just now, tooSavvy said:

Ta, I was looking for an R50 one, I'm assuming it works like the conventional one you've linked which shows the car heater circuit being separate from the thermostat/radiator circuit. 

I can only think therefore that when it started to overheat and Robson turned on the car heater and found it was cold, that this could be cause by:

1. pump being faulty

2. All the water had boiled away. 

3. blockage in car heater core

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I’ve bought a second hand pump, I’m too late to get a rad unfortunately. 

I nipped to upullit to try and get an expansion tank cap as it’s missing and they didn’t have one. Probably going to have to buy one from BMW now as time is against me. ?

a copy of the manual would be fantastic as my hbol won’t arrive in time. 

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Hhmmm I think I’m going to struggle to test the water pump. I took this pic at upullit. You can see the bottom hose feeding the pump from the radiator  but not the top one that goes into the block  as it’s under the alternator. If you remove the alternator to see this pipe you then can’t  put the aux belt back on. 

I can only think of removing the top hose feeding  the radiator once the thermostat has opened and check for flow that way???

A6BCC83E-38F7-4AB6-8F64-6E1638DEA706.jpeg

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LIVE UPDATE lol

at car now after three hour drive down. Filled up with water and ran engine, interior heater nice and warm so I think I can rule out the pump. The radiator is only getting at the corner near the top hose. If you open the bleed screw here water comes out but it doesn’t feel like the rest of the hose has water in it. 

My dad thinks it’s the thermostat so has nipped to Euro’s to collect one 

 

what do do you guys think?

5408591D-6837-4972-8695-275CD333B3CE.jpeg

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Ok guys changed stat, it’s a bit of ball ache to get at, hence why I changed it rather than first trying to run without one. 

Straight away once it started to warm up the radiator got hot all the way across. Took it for a drive all good. 

Went and got some fuel and I noticed the coolant had gone from max to below min. 

I topped it up and started heading home. I stopped after twenty miles and it had dropped again by about 10mm. 

I topped up and continued driving, I stopped 50 miles later, all good!

I’m just back in sunny Fife and the coolant is still bang on max. :)

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10 hours ago, rainagain said:

Ok guys changed stat, it’s a bit of ball ache to get at, hence why I changed it rather than first trying to run without one. 

I'm happy to hear it's fixed, but if you fitted the Circoli thermostat you will probably be replacing it before the end of the year. I think my last one failed within 2 weeks.

On the plus side, the Circoli stats on mine always failed open, so the cars just took longer to get warm, or in winter they never warmed up properly.

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This always dropped a bit of coolant (from max to min on the bottle) but it went weeks (probably months) without being topped up. I could never work out where it was going.

 

Glad it’s hopefully been a cheap fix! You did plenty of travelling to collect it.

 

Not glad I didn’t try this before giving up on it!! 

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I’m not sure if it’s fixed yet. I took it to work on Monday as I had some insurance left. When I got home it had dropped below min! I’m not sure if it was still air working it’s way out or it’s leaking when hot and the engine is switched off as this is when the pressure it at the greatest. 

I’ve still got a water pump I can fit. I’m planning on filling it with proper coolant this weekend and seeing what happens after that. I’ve got the rattle to sort and also the back left calliper doesn’t seem to be taken part in hand brake operation. Then I’m going to be looking for tyres as some of them are seven years old.

Did the air con ever work for you? Also you don’t by any chance have the cassette for the cd changer? 

 

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Cassette for cd changer was missing when I got it unfortunately. Air con worked when I first got it but didn’t really use it often enough to tell you when it stopped working. 

 

So when I got the rear pads done afterwards there was a strange thump from the rear. I had this investigated and nothing could be found. The next time I used it the hand break seemed to let go on one side but the thump stopped. Therefore I did not investigate!!! My and break was possibly over tightened? 

 

Anything else give me a shout.

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