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A mixed bag of problems....... - Printable Version

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A mixed bag of problems....... - TheOriginalMrP - 19 Nov 2012

Hi all.... this covers several areas I have recently had problems with but I guess this is the most appropriate area to post. After going to/returning from the NEC show last weekend, my car had suffered substantial coolant loss. After the coolant smell in the car and having temperature gauge problems on arrival, (Which was rectified at the show with the help of club members) , some investigation led me to the car carpets which were quite wet and on inspection of the expansion tank, the level had droppex substantially. I topped up before returning home and with a perfectly working temperature gauge I made the journey home with the engine uncooked, but my carpets were sodden with most definately coolant. So with a front. radiator that has also been slightly leaking for the 6 years I have owned the car, and a new radiator sat ib a box, I decided now is the time to dive in head first. Day one, and this is as far as I have got....

Note shiny stuff in the air duct is coolant...
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On this picture I presume the yelllowish hoses are the matrix/heater core pipes and the black gooey one has the aircon evaporator pipes inside.. correct me if im wrong but this is new to me....
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First I started on some interior removal...
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Followed by more.... carpets will have a proper clean now they are out....
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That is as far as I got today... as from wednesday, we will have electricity in our unit enabling me to do far more before the nights get dark... will also be able to use the 4 post ramp... what a godsend that will be.

Any tips on this would be greatly appreciated....the carpets will not be going back in until the radiator and all leaks are proven to be cured!

It was bad enough getting that console out, i am not looking forward to the a/c panel and what lurks behind!

Cheers all


Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - Chris Williams - 20 Nov 2012

Good stuff, at least it's not an overheating problem. Has to be the matrix then really, but will be good to see it all in bits!

Thanks again for all your help mate


Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - TheOriginalMrP - 20 Nov 2012

No problem Chris... had a great weekend!

And after reading what i wrote above I should have been more clear...

My radiator is a seperate affair alltogether even though its part of the same system... thing has always spotted since i bought the car and spratty (ChrisS) supplied me with a new one which ive not fitted as of yet....

My plan is to strip out the rest I need to and find the source of the problem while the interior is out. It may be a pipe , it may be the matrix...who knows?
I will only put it back together when the leak has stopped. There was coolant all the way up to the handbrake area drivers side and the same area passenger side... about a litre in total judging by the cold expansion tank the next day....

At least I can pressure wash my carpets off and let them dry over winter... something ive always wanted to do.

Any tips on anything related to this topic would be appreciated...

And I will change the radiator when ive solved the interior coolant leak...

Cheers fellas... looking forward to the xmas meet... I will have to bring my XR2 though....

More to follow.....

Ps do I have to have the a/c gas extracted before i remove any related items near the matrix or can i leave it connected?


Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - Guinney1971 - 20 Nov 2012

tbh, the best person to help you here is RichH, as he did all his heating/AC system
over last winter.

Good luck with it, and see you at Buxton in a few weeks Smile

Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - TheOriginalMrP - 20 Nov 2012

Cheers Claire... Already had a chat with RichH on sunday. Ideally I need a tech day then I can sit back and watch everyone do it for me! On a serious note, I cant grumble... I have not had anything go wrong as such since 2008 touch wood. I am determined to do more myself to save shelling out cash for labour.... I may even learn sonething along the way!

X x x

Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - Rich H - 23 Nov 2012

Quote:Ps do I have to have the a/c gas extracted before i remove any related items near the matrix or can i leave it connected?

If you want to remove your heater box, then yes, both the heater matrix and the evaporator must be disconnected.

As I mentioned at the NEC, the evaporator can be a nightmare to disconnect. The aluminium nuts, on aluminium pipes coupled to more aluminium nuts on more aluminium pipes are a potential corrosion disaster Sad

Quote:I presume the yelllowish hoses are the matrix/heater core pipes and the black gooey one has the aircon evaporator pipes inside

Yup, that's right. The rubber coolant pipes are connected to the heater matrix underneath the access panel in the spare wheel well.

Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - TheOriginalMrP - 24 Nov 2012

Thanks Rich... Should have more updates tomorrow! ;-)

Re: A mixed bag of problems.... UPDATE 2nd December - TheOriginalMrP - 03 Dec 2012

Ok.... where do I start?

Spent most of the last week researching the heater box removal but everything was very vague....
The brill news it that its out.... like a filthy bad black tooth! ;-)

I was dreading the whole removal thing and changing a heater matrix on any car is a headache... I would say this on the whole isnt too bad. What I have learned is most people who have done it seem to struggle with certain aspects but when there was enough space and everything was removed it came out effortlessly....

A vague guide.....

Removed Seats and Seatbelt Anchorages
Removed Carpets
Removed Gearshift Gaiter Panel
Removed Centre Comsole
Removed Glovebox and Lid plus underneath Airduct Pipe
Removed Passenger Knee Pad
Removed Drivers Knee Pad Closest to A/C Panel
Removed A/C Panel loosely and moved wiring
Removed Access Panel under hood and disconnected 2 Heater Core Pipes
Jacked up O/S/F corner and removed front wheel
Evacuate the A/C system... mine was virtually empty anyway
Disconnected large A/C hose first with mole grips and a large adjustable spanner
Move A/C cannister under to aid removal of smaller A/C hose
Disconnect smaller A/C hose
Remove the large rubber boot on bulkhead that 4 pipes pass through
Remove Blower motor
Undo the 3 small bolts up inside the fan housing.... this is the testing part...
Undo the (rusty) silver bracket on the bottom centre of the heater box. 2 bolts 2 screws. Remove bracket.
Remove metal strip on the centre of dashboard underside
Disconnect blue cable that attaches to the heat control knob
Remove the front flap off the airbox... most important part
Remove 2 screws on top of airbox that hold windscreen vent in place and the stubby tube linking them
Remove drivers door air pipe allowing the big plastic duct to slide out of the airbox out of the way
When the double sided tape has been broken on the fan end and all the tubes and stuff have been marked, it will come out easily.... and it felt so good to have achieved this!

I may be able to save the evaporator after pressure testing it but more than likely I will replace that too.... The floor vents are full of coolant so its obvious at this stage the core is shot!

I will be splitting the box in the next week or so!
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More to follow.... gotta compose a list of parts I need to order now!



Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - Chris Williams - 03 Dec 2012

Great stuff, just gotta love that garageMr Green


Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - TheOriginalMrP - 03 Dec 2012

Chris Williams Wrote:Great stuff, just gotta love that garageMr Green


I'm very lucky mate... recently had power connected so we can use the ramp too which works... what a bonus! Could do with water down there too but i'd never go home!
We even have a makeshift spray booth....

Think its 6000ish sq feet in total plus 4 offices, kitchen and bogs!

Cheers Chris


Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - dmc4087 - 04 Dec 2012

I need to do this job too. Theres no visible coolant leaks but the exterior of the box has been covered in sealant tape and goo from a PO so there must be an underlying problem.

Most of the interior is already out for a retrim but I'm still dreading it.

Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - TheOriginalMrP - 04 Dec 2012

Honestly mate its not that bad... everybody who has done it reckons its an awful job but the hardest part i found removing it was the a/c pipes and the 3 small nuts up inside the heater motor housing. You can hardly get a tool up there and all the captive thread will turn lol.

But it wont come out easily as a whole unit.. you need to take the vindow vent duct off and the air vent flap panel off too... it helps to have the drivers knee pad off too but do it now its already in bits! It wll take about 3 hours tops.

If you need any advice give me a shout!

Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - dmc4087 - 04 Dec 2012

Cheers I'll probably take you up on that.

My interior is in bits anyway while bits are off getting nice leather.

You can see the cack glued to my heater box in this pic

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Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - TheOriginalMrP - 04 Dec 2012

Its only covered in thin foam anyway mate... just clean it off with some glue remover and recover with a similar foam.

Where to get it from is another thing but it looks like a lot of other foam needs replacing too such as on the flaps etc... a full shopping list will be compiled after ive split the box!

And now you are that far in you just as well do it... if you reinstall a retrimmed interior and your heater core is leaking, it could ruin your carpets and cause a smell...


Re: A mixed bag of problems....... - TheOriginalMrP - 10 Dec 2012

More progress!

Heater box now split and its apparent the heater core has corroded allowing leakage.

I did find too that the nuts in the heater motor receas are easily accessible if the vacuum powered flap above it is removed... ive started another topic about this as mine wasnt connected to anything and the mechanism is shot anyway.

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Just gotta order a load of parts now! ;-)