Jump to content

Supernaut's Cars - 323i / Astra SXi


Supernaut

Recommended Posts

I guess it's a reflection of my mental state when I say I'm scared of finishing the 323i in case it spews its coolant everywhere when I try to bleed it and / or it spectacularly fails the MOT on something I missed.

It's like Schroedinger's BMW. If I don't actually finish it, it won't get the chance to blow up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, JakeT said:

Focus on the positives, you’ve got this. You’ve fitted new parts and it will be fine. Just raise up the nose to bleed it up. I’ve done plenty, and messed a few up with no dire consequences.

Yep.

I've done this a few times on E36s too.

 

I have a lead on an industrial quantity of neat coolant for a very good price, but it'll be a few days yet.

In the meantime I've ordered up a correct new top hose for the grand sum of £9.

I'm tempted to pour some plain water in today just to check for leaks without even running the engine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Managed to interrogate the Astra with a basic OBD reader and got a P0170 code for fuel trim.

I unplugged the MAF and it still runs... Faulty MAF then?

I might take it for a run later to see if it still violently selects limp mode at random, making me nearly headbutt the steering wheel.

 

 

In BMW news I now have 18L of blue coolant concentrate. Still waiting on my new top hose though.

 

 

 

Edit: having taken the Astra for a run with the MAF unplugged I can't help but feel it's a bit of a smoking gun.

Initial throttle response is ever so slightly dulled, but it pulls so much more smoothly now. No weird hesitation on part throttle, no sharp transition off throttle that almost felt like a worn engine mount.

I know running with no MAF for extended periods is bad for the cat, so I won't do it too much.

Seems like I should order up a MAF, though?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some people pay big money for "starry night" headlining in Rolls Royces and the like.

Achieve the same* result with a rough E36 and some drawing pins!

IMG_20240215_150129.thumb.jpg.a717461adeb05bd6aaf9baf644cee26b.jpg

 

 

I also sprayed some contact cleaner into the Astra's MAF sensor and plugged it back in.

I mean I sprayed it inside, not into the wiring connector.

I didn't even start it up, and I'm not going anywhere else today so I have no idea if it's done anything!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At least I know I've definitely ordered the right part.

My neighbour mechanic just plugged his diagnostics tablet in while also chatting shite for half an hour.

Live data said intake air temperature was iffy. We looked at the MAF sensor and he commented on how it only had two wires. "How could that be a MAF sensor? Must be a temperature sensor with only two wires."

He unplugged it and the intake air temperature went straight to default value. I mentioned it drove a lot better with it unplugged and he said I could probably just leave it unplugged indefinitely, but to take it on a long drive at some point to see if it goes into limp mode again.

 

 

This car is a bit odd, maybe because it's a TWINPORT but the "MAF Sensor" really does look like a MAF sensor. It has 5 pins. However, the car side of the wiring plug only has 2 wires going into it. Like this particular model only uses the temperature part of the sensor, but it's just the same MAF sensor across all engines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Top radiator hose for the BMW has arrived!

It now has some coolant in it.

I followed the HBOL method of pouring it in slowly until it came out the bleed hole, then put the bleed screw back in and squeeze the hoses.

I still wanted to take it outside and park it facing uphill with the engine running then crack the bleed screw ever so slightly.

 

Instead:

IMG_20240217_150310.thumb.jpg.e3e9b787d7a4b8119217559aa13dfdd1.jpg

D'oh!

At least I took the opportunity to absolutely cake the battery tray in kurust.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Luxury!

IMG_20240218_143001.thumb.jpg.4217a5fedabbbcdcb05335c8f398d16a.jpg

 

Can anybody remind me of the exact secret method of bleeding old BMW cooling systems?

It's not overheating, and there's not really any air coming out of the bleed screw, but I still can't get much heat out of the heater vents.

IMG_20240218_145206.thumb.jpg.2a296031a3c397d2743b6c55beb297e7.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blower to full heat and speed 4.

All vents open.

Take the rad cap off and stick a 2L bottle (with bottom cut off) neck first into the rad.

Fill the rad and bottle to the top. This gives you a head of water to push any airlocks out.

Start the car and let it idle.

Massage hoses Inc those into heater matrix if possible.

After a couple of mins raise the revs to 2k rpm and hold for a min or two.

Keep an eye on the bottle to check for any burps/bubbles and the coolant level dropping.

Back to idle and check for heat.

Repeat a couple of times.

 

Always keep an eye on the coolant level and temp gauge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, no.

I managed to get about 5 seconds of heat from the vents then it went cold again.

Temperature gauge stays rock solid but it just somehow keeps swallowing more and more coolant.

All I seem to be doing is making both a mess and racket.

 

I got fed up and instead gave the Astra its first proper wash in my ownership, plus fitted its new MAF.

IMG_20240219_141733.thumb.jpg.d00ccf809c37574efa3380f69396461f.jpg

I used a bucket and a sponge, and even a few squirts of some alloy wheel cleaner I bought a few weeks ago. What am I becoming?!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, dome said:

I've had success before with bleeding things by just fucking driving them and extending them gently through the rev range. But only for a short drive and only as a last resort. 

I'd try 320tourings ideas first though 

Yeah, I've already done the 2L bottle thing.

It actually bubbled the bottle nearly over the top a couple of times before swallowing it all.

 

Some part of me wonders if it has HGF but there's no oil in the coolant, it's not pissing steam out the exhaust etc etc...

 

Where is it all going though? I've definitely gone through more than the HBOL quoted figure of 10.5L!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, dome said:

I've had success before with bleeding things by just fucking driving them and extending them gently through the rev range. But only for a short drive and only as a last resort. 

I'd try 320tourings ideas first though 

This ^ 

A bumpy track and cap off or loose has worked for me in the past.  Or on the journey home keep stopping and burping the system. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Supernaut said:

Yeah, I've already done the 2L bottle thing.

It actually bubbled the bottle nearly over the top a couple of times before swallowing it all.

 

Some part of me wonders if it has HGF but there's no oil in the coolant, it's not pissing steam out the exhaust etc etc...

 

Where is it all going though? I've definitely gone through more than the HBOL quoted figure of 10.5L!

Some cars can just be a cunt to bleed. The steep slope thing is a good idea. 

You live on a farm, you have an E36. You're practically Donkey262. Get the front o the hoor lifted right up tae fuck wi the loader and rev the tits clean aff it.

Other opinions are available 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I definitely need to take more inspiration from him and stop being so precious over it.

It's a sturdy old car, trying to bleed the coolant isn't going to blow it up...

 

Hell, I used to drive this thing flat-out everywhere, now I'm scared to take it down the farm track. (Meanwhile I still drive the Astra absolutely fucking flat everywhere).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember bleeding my old 1.4 zx after a belt and waterpump change and it tool forever! Also have to use the cut off bottle to extend the header trick on those, and it was 40 minutes of fucking a out before it bled out and settled. 

Including a worrying rapid rise to the OMGENGINESFUCKED portion of the temp gauge, luckily that's when it did a burp and all the coolant in the header tank vanished so 2l in and she settled, but I was worried for a while. 

Xsara just burped itself on idle and 2 mins later was sorted! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMG_20240220_092413.thumb.jpg.a3f8000803da2e4c04eaf34045cd9e43.jpg

Well the handbrake is good anyway.

 

Managed to get the gauge above halfway, opened the bleed screw and got a load of steam coming out of there... and the top bolt on the thermostat housing! Parked it up, switched it off, tightened that bolt, still no heat from the vents at any time throughout all this. I even drove it up and down the farm track with the radiator cap loose.

I'm once again thoroughly pissed off and going to do something else for the rest of the day.

I'll need to put a jerry can of petrol in it soon, it's just above the red now!

The whole car just reeks of coolant now too. Blergh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tayne said:

Have you tried cycling the vents and all the hvac controls?

Could the lack of hot air be an air distribution issue?

I've had it on windscreen defrost mode and also all vents open.

Fans on full and the climate control set to max (32 Celsius!) I get plenty of air through the vents but it's barely above ambient temperature.

When the heater in that car is working it's like a furnace, as you can imagine it would be with a straight 6 in such a small car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Tayne said:

I know p38s have issues with blend motors, hopefully your e36 has nothing of the sort, but I’d try cycling through all settings and going both ways.  

The blend motors seem to be fine. It noticeably changes the direction of the air.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Tayne said:

Is the temperature sensor on the dash clear?

It is now.

That... wasn't the problem.

 

I thought the thermostat housing looked like it was leaking a little bit.

For context I re-used the old one due to the Febi Bilstein one I bought doing this the first time I tried to fit it:

IMG_20240220_142220.thumb.jpg.5cae72c66733ba086c18b93fd7269901.jpg

 

Somehow the bolts holding on the housing had backed off to not much more than finger tight.

I took it off, cleaned up the surfaces and gave it a nice smear of RTV.

Upon refitting, it made a slight BANG.

IMG_20240220_141524.thumb.jpg.82949ae44d29e812e279ef87345613e1.jpg

Fair enough, that's fucking cooked.

Glad I found it out parked at the top of the farm yard rather than mid overtake at 5 grand.

I'm going to try sourcing a Meyle thermostat housing, as they're the only brand I actually trust for BMW parts.

 

...or do I go for an aluminium one? They're no more expensive than plastic ones but probably less likely to crack.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JakeT said:

https://www.c3bmw.co.uk/thermostat-housing-m50-m52/p/578
 

I put this one on an M50 a couple of years ago, it’s been fine and I’ve added a little coolant in the time since which isn’t unreasonable. I don’t have a real love for Ali bits like thermostats and waterpumps. Plastic is fine 99% of the time.

Aha, Autodoc also stock that for a very similar price. Plus a Meyle thermostat itself too. Oddly rated at 75 Celsius meanwhile all the others are in the 80s or 90s...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...