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HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system. 

 

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 Post subject: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:53 pm 
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Hi guys Im posting this in the V8 forum because I have been told changing the coolant in a V6 can be the same as V8's.

Did a service on my wife's VT yesterday and decided to do the coolant. So I drained the coolant and it only let me put back in 2 liters back in :roll:

Now before you guys think it, I was not aware of the bleed screw until now, as it was under the darn plastic engine cover. Never had a problem with the I6 when replacing coolant.

So where I am at now is, the heater is on, the front is jacked up to allow for easier bleeding of the air and I have a coke bottle in the filler half full of water. The level has not dropped and this would normally indicate that its full. But I am not convinced that enough water is in the cooing system.

Should I drain the coolant and start from scratch?

Would with some experience with V6's help me understand the process of replacing coolant on a V6?

Cheers

Josh

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in TV V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:03 pm 
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sounds like you got it sorted by jacking up the front and using the ol half coke bottle trick to elevate the coolant level. let it run until at normal operating temp, then crack it little brass air bleed screw, if it sputters and pauses at times there air coming out, if it pisses out then lock it off. then bingo bango. some later model commdores have 2 air bleed screws, one where your talking about above the water pump and another on the plastic piping on the engine where the top radiator hose connects too on the driver side of the engine.

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:22 pm 
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Yeah thats the thing mate, I did all that and and the bleed screw was pissing out coolant then I locked it off. left the engine running for a little longer and it started to gush out the coke bottle again.

Now I have had the car sitting there turned off with half a coke bottle of coolant, and after half an hour its lowered about 10mm.

This is becoming a royal pain in the a** :lol:

Maybe I should drain it and start from scratch knowing now about the bleed screw and elevating the front of the car.

Cheers

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:41 pm 
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Hey Josh,

the old man did his...

Thats much all he used... filled it up and wedged the right size electrical conduit into the neck and filled it up above the engine then got it warm and bled it until water came out... hit didn't jack it up though and did it level... When you think about it there is really nowhere the air can be trapped (if there is its a poor design and even a Ford with a high tank couldn't get rid of it) they have to be smooth tops and eventually all air will head to the highest point ( the thermostat housing on a commodore) so when you open that screw and get water there, then is really nowhere left for air to be trapped...

Thats why when you top up the commodore system you have yellow coolant thingo, not the radiator cap... This was as it cools and the water contracts it sucks in from this coolant tank into the top of the radiator and keeps the air out, part of being a sealed loop...

When you saw it dropped after going cool it couldn't have just been the volume of water contacting as it cooled?

Hope it helps...

Cheers,
Tim

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:59 pm 
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timmytimtim wrote:
Hey Josh,

the old man did his...

Thats much all he used... filled it up and wedged the right size electrical conduit into the neck and filled it up above the engine then got it warm and bled it until water came out... hit didn't jack it up though and did it level... When you think about it there is really nowhere the air can be trapped (if there is its a poor design and even a Ford with a high tank couldn't get rid of it) they have to be smooth tops and eventually all air will head to the highest point ( the thermostat housing on a commodore) so when you open that screw and get water there, then is really nowhere left for air to be trapped...

Thats why when you top up the commodore system you have yellow coolant thingo, not the radiator cap... This was as it cools and the water contracts it sucks in from this coolant tank into the top of the radiator and keeps the air out, part of being a sealed loop...

When you saw it dropped after going cool it couldn't have just been the volume of water contacting as it cooled?

Hope it helps...

Cheers,
Tim


I was under the impression that the air is escaping the highest point, witch is now the coke bottle. but its taking a very long time :roll:

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:14 pm 
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once the water has filled the top radiator hose and headed down to the radiator there is no way for the air lock to escape out of the top of the thermostat housing other than unscrewing this screw (hence its reason for being)...

This is especially true before the thermostat has opened...

To bleed this air out of here the thermostat must be opened so as it rises it pushes the air out... The water in, in your case, the coke bottle adds the required pressure to the now lower thermostat...

Its hard to explain, you have to be able to picture the air lock and understand the fluid mechanics...

But once that airlock is there... the higher water only adds weight to system to push air out... no be means for escaping air...

I probably could a draw a pic if it helps... I'm not good at explaining without a diagram...

The only way he air could be completely clear of here is if the was masses of volume off the pump and the water pump was able to push the air out, but as I said due to the screw, I'm fairly sure its not the case...

Hope it makes sense coz I've nearly confused myself :?

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:14 pm 
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i've learnt from working at Holden that as soon as the thermostat cracks on those V6 it absolutely gushes out the radiator and you've lost so much coolant your back at square one. you've gone about it right though, coke bottle in radiator, bleed screw.

seeings as it's your missus car just bleed it, and rev it using the cable once it's bled so the level drops a bit, using your other hand or with some help while reving it ad more water and put the cap on. then make sure the overflow is nice and full. take it for a hard drive keeping an eye on the temp. and once it's cool recheck. and also recheck once dead cold

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:22 pm 
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Thanks for your replys guys.

I joined just comodores to see what I could find on there and found a thread that says.

Fill the radiator overflow bottle 25mm over Max, with a little coolant and water. Leave the radiator cap off and start the engine, as the coolant level drops, continue to top it up. Once the level will not go down anymore, replace the cap and observe the thermostat housing. Once coolant starts to flow from the housing, turn the car off and replace the top hose and secure it with the clamp. Start the car once more and observe the temperate gauge. Once it begins to rise, feel the top radiator hose and make sure its getting hot and building up pressure.

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:37 pm 
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there you go... I drew these up anyway...

picture a clear hose like this filled with water, open both ends...

Attachment:
untitled1.JPG
untitled1.JPG [ 14.2 KiB | Viewed 151 times ]


Now where your thermostat end is picture it sealed (the screw)

Attachment:
untitled2.JPG
untitled2.JPG [ 14.4 KiB | Viewed 128 times ]


and this is your general arrangement

Attachment:
untitled3.JPG
untitled3.JPG [ 16.91 KiB | Viewed 126 times ]


Your thermostat housing sits higher... and due to the seal your water changes level relative to the other end of the hose...

Attachment:
untitled4.JPG
untitled4.JPG [ 16.85 KiB | Viewed 104 times ]


as such your water weighting is like like this, but due to the seal on one end it will not flow to level out

Hence your air lock in the top of thermostat housing...

Attachment:
untitled5.JPG
untitled5.JPG [ 17.49 KiB | Viewed 123 times ]


now see part two coming shortly...

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:40 pm 
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If you open that screw your water will level out (raise in the radiator) and you only increase your airlock...

Attachment:
untitled6.JPG
untitled6.JPG [ 17.01 KiB | Viewed 115 times ]


This is bad...

Going back to image 5 (last in the above post) and imagine your coke bottle... full of water... now your water weighting has changed...

Attachment:
untitled7.JPG
untitled7.JPG [ 20.72 KiB | Viewed 118 times ]


Now assuming you keep adding water when you open the thermostat screw the water will rise and escape out the top eliminating the air lock... It doesn't transfer to the highest point...

Attachment:
untitled8.JPG
untitled8.JPG [ 20.72 KiB | Viewed 123 times ]


So yeah...

I hope this makes more sense...

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:13 pm 
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Yeah I see what you mean..

I was having another go at this while you where doing these diagrams.

The car is now level, was still using the coke bottle. This time I opened the screw and noticed if I let the water piss out of the bleeder for a while (witch was intermittent ) the level of the coke bottle would drop faster than what was coming out of the bleeder eventually. Then I would close the bleeder and rev the engine a few times and this would drop the level of coolant in the coke bottle even more. Then I started this over again and undid the bleeder and started getting the intermittent pissing again. I did this about 5 times and it seamed to be slowly gaining water and getting rid of air in the system, but then it gushed out of the coke bottle like Niagara falls again so I am back to square 1 again.

Cheers

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:18 pm 
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Do the Ford V8's have a bleeder screw in the thermostat housing like this? Or are the Fords just a better cooling system design all round.

This seems to be the most stupid setup I have ever seen.

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:23 pm 
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in all cars though whenever you rev the level drops...

i notice this when working old cars... IE no header tanks or nothing... just a plain simple high radiator... you undo the lid... fill up level and rev them and the level drops, idle and the level comes back, must just be the water going around quicker...

the reason the ford systems self bleed links to my diagrams...

they have a high water tank (above thermostat housing) and that small tube off the thermostat housing to the header tank... as the water pushes down the air in the thermostat housing travels down that hose back to the head tank...

As the fittings on the header tank aren't under water... the bottom half (thermostat end) of the hose would be full of water, to top half would be full of air (when running engine forces small amount of water down here though)...

So what your doing by bleeding and having a higher level is what the ford system does itself...

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:28 pm 
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Yeah the level dropped when revd but did not come back up the the level before I revd it. So I was under the impression that more water was getting into the system.

When the radiator surges and spits out all that water its because there is air trapped in the system and its being forced out with any water in front of it.

 

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 Post subject: Re: HELP, Air lock in VT V6 cooling system.
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:29 pm 
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XR-Lane wrote:
Do the Ford V8's have a bleeder screw in the thermostat housing like this? Or are the Fords just a better cooling system design all round.

This seems to be the most stupid setup I have ever seen.



As long as the header tank is higher and there is that bleed hose of the thermostat then it self bleeds all the time... imagine a commodore loosing water on the side of the road... you repair, but still can't drive until you refill, grab that coke bottle you keep in the boot (handy tool for the commodore owners to carry)... and then re-bleed...

Ford systems always have been and probably still are better...

 

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