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LPG Freezing 

 

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 Post subject: LPG Freezing
Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:57 am 
Oompa Loompa
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Bit of Background: 94 EF running a lovato gas system that was installed new in August 2007.

When cruising at about 100 km/h the condensor is freezing and causing the car to stop running. The condensor is heated by the same pipes that supply the heater, when the unit freezes the heater stops working. This started happening last weekend on a long drive, and has happened a few times since. It is only after cruising at about 100.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I have flushed the condensor and have run the car with the heater hoses disconnected to check there is coolant flow. Somehow the water isn't circulating enough to keep the condensor warm when on the freeway, any suggestions of what to check? Could it need its antifreeze changed? The coolant doesn't look very green but I wouldn't have thought that would make a big difference.

Cheers
Andrew
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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:10 am 
Getting Side Ways
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I have found 3 reasons for this happening

1. thermostat - either not opening or the wrong type installed...u need the LPG thermostat its different to std...but u can mod a std one

2. hoses not run in the correct order...sometimes they are just routed wrongly

3. blockage in the convertor itself or lines somewhere...ive had an EF blockage in the heater bypass metal pipe...you have to check thoroughly...

 

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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:16 am 
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It's possible you have a vapour lock - did you bleed the system properly when you filled the coolant - filling coolant, putting the cap on, and away you go isn't the best:
-Half fill the system with coolant mix, heater on full heat,
-Run engine at 1500-2000 RPM (a cable tie between the throttle and idle screw is handy for this)
-Leave cap off, very slowly add coolant mix till overflow fills up
-keep running til engine temp increases (about 15-20 mins), top up if needed, put cap on.

 

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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:35 am 
Getting Side Ways
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How clear is your radiator? I ask this ,as I had the same problem with forklifts that were used to unload bales of wool in a wool store.Loose wool would get in the vanes of the radiator and block it, causing the converter to freeze.

 

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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:21 am 
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Do you have a heater bypass hose? - Sounds like you dont. It also sounds like the converter is on the cold side of the heater (its outlet).

The Converter *needs* to bypass the heater so it always has nice warm water.

Nigel
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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:55 am 
Oompa Loompa
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Thanks for the suggestions..

gogetta
1. I just assumed that the thermostat didn't need modding if I was using the heater circuit, as the heater always gets hot water. What mod to the stat do you reccomend?
2. What is the correct hose order?
3. Blockage is a possibility. I will investigate further.

snap0964
I didn't fill the cooling system like you described. I'm going to be draining it anyway today so when I refil I'll do it like you mentioned.

kwaussiekid
I'm not sure how clear everthing is, I'll check the radiator today.

Nigel,
I don't think I do have a heater bypass hose, because the gas condensor freezing stops the heater working. Is it something that is installed standard or something that should be installed as part of the gas conversion?

Cheers,
Andrew
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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:40 pm 
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Just a suggestion, but check your water pump, it could be that the impeller has lost the vanes and so at highway speed the water isnt circulating. How it the temp gauge reacting when this is happening? if its going up when the condenser freezes, it would indicate that you have minimal coolant flow.

 

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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:58 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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andrewr wrote:

I don't think I do have a heater bypass hose, because the gas condensor freezing stops the heater working.


all EFs have a heater bypass hose as std...the convertor should be T'ed into this pipe.....follow the metal tube from the thermostat, where the heater hose connects to it will be a smaller hose running to the heater return pipe, this is where the convertor is T'ed into. This is how the tickford system is connected but it can be done other ways....

if your heater stops working when the convertor freezes then you most likely have the convertor plumbed in wrong.

as for the thermostat remove it and have a look at it if it doesnt have some of the bottom valve cut out to allow water to flow the convertor can freeze....I just chopped mine up so it looks like the AU in the picture

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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:13 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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grub73 the temp doesn't go up when cruising so I don't think this is the problem..

gogetta thanks for the detailed reply. I have found the bypass pipe. When I get to the end of the metal pipe there are two hoses, one big one small. My convertor is connected to the smaller metal pipe, with the return (from the convertor) connected to another metal pipe about 3" rearward of the end of the heater bypass pipe. Does that sound right?

So the part of the thermostat that needs to be chopped is the lower part that doesn't exist of the AU one? Should I cut the lot off or just a notch (or half)?

Cheers
Andrew
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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:34 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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can u take a picture

I completly chopped the lower disc off on mine

 

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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:51 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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I'll get a pic this arvo, might be tricky though. Therer is no T as such, the pipe just becomes a large pipe and a small pipe. The converter just hooks onto the small metal pipe. The return from the converter hooks onto another small metal pipe just behind, which is like a mirror of the bypass with a large and small pipe.

Once the heater bypass closes (as the stat opens), where does the heater get its hot water from? I'm wondering if the thermostat is blocking the bypass and so the convertor just isn't getting enough water.

cheers
andrew
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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 4:51 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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those little pipes are usually joined by a short length of pipe...the heater is always bypassed a little by these pipes but when u open the heater tap most of the water circulates through the larger ones

you should take the thermostat out and put it in a boiling pot of water to see if it opens...from the sounds of it the heater and convertor arent getting t*** due to the the heater part of the thermostat not opening, that would explain why it seems that the converter freezing stops the heater when its actually just that they both arent getting any hot water



from the sounds of it your lines are hooked up right...make sure they arent blocked...I had a blockage in one of those small metal bypass pipes pipes once

 

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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:06 pm 
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Certainly sounds like your converter hoses are installed correctly.
You only need to drill a small hole or cut a notch in the thermostat base.

When you're driving, if the temp is struggling to get past the first notch in the scale (below the 'L' in NORMAL), I'll keep my betting chips on the vapour lock.

 

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Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:25 pm 
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n/m

 

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Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:22 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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Well I've fitted a thermostat without that bottom part and refilled the coolant as described, will see how it goes. The convertor was roasting hot after about 2 mins running, my money is on the thermostat causing the problem. I couldn't find any blockages, coolant flowed well and the radiator is clear.

If its fixed I think I'll mod the ef thermostat, just didn't want to cut it if it wasn't the problem.

Cheers guys.

andrew
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