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Coolant system overhaul
#1
I'm planning to do some major work on the coolant system of my M49 - might even attempt it this weekend if the weather's OK and I can source the right hosing.  I'm planning on replacing the coolant fluid and radiator, also disconnecting the heater matrix by taking off the hoses where they come out the back of the engine block and fitting a new hose bypass loop across the inlet/outlet (and tying up the existing matrix hoses out of the way somewhere).  I've done a search on the site but not much info has popped up, so, any pointers for the best way to go about doing this, and any possible pitfalls to avoid?  I've only ever changed the coolant fluid on a Fiat Panda, over 20 years ago, and that was just a simple fluid change, so this is a bit of a step up.
Work van:     2020 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Enterprise Berlingo
Spare van:    2001 1.9 600d Berlingo
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#2
One or two thoughts - I don't know, but suspect, that the heater to engine pipes may have those horrible clips that attach them which may make it more difficult to attach a 'standard' hose with Jubilee clips. I'd suggest cutting the existing hoses nearer the bulkhead and putting a connector there, along with standard Jubilee clips. 
The rad probably has the plastic clip arrangement too.
If you have any doubts about the thermostat then change it too - yours may be built into a housing, the design of which varies.
Whist under surgery it would be worth flushing the block through with a hose pipe. I'm assuming that the heater is leaking - if it is simply not working then flush it through in both directions - I had to use de-scaler (of the toilet kind) as my car had been fed on hard water during its life in Norfolk. It works fine now.  Don't cut any pipes if you are going to try to rescue the heater, just ease out the double pipe fitting after removing the spring clip. Don't lose the O rings and lube with Vaseline on re-fitting.
Re-filling the system - find the bleed points at bulkhead, thermostat and possibly rad inlet, and also search the bleeding process on here as you ideally need to create a 'header tank' from a plastic bottle to allow the trapped air to escape as the engine warms up - if not, there is the risk that it will sick up the new anti-freeze all over the floor.
Allow an hour longer than you'd hoped! Big Grin
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  • notsofast
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#3
Thanks, oilyrag!  I've uploaded some pics of the hose clamps on the rad outlets - are they spring clamps?  The same kind of clamp are used on the hoses from the heater, where they go into the engine (they have the plastic connections at the other end, where they go into the bulkhead).

The thermostat was changed about 54,000 miles / 6 years ago.  I did notice in the summer heatwave this year that the engine temp seemed to go up higher than normal with no sign of the fan kicking in.

Yes the heater is leaking.  I was intending to leave the hoses from the heater in position (i.e. not take out the plate where the pipes come out of the bulkhead) and tie them up out of the way somehow - or is this a bad idea? I'd like to avoid unnecessary work.

Looking at the positioning of the heater hoses at the back of the engine block, it looks like access might be a bit of a bugger.  Also I'm asuming I'll have to take the expansion tank out in order to get the rad out.  Is this possibly too complicated a job for a beginner?

       
Work van:     2020 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Enterprise Berlingo
Spare van:    2001 1.9 600d Berlingo
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#4
Those are metal clips - if you grip both 'ears' with a small pair of mole grips the ring will expand and allow you to move the clip away from the rad in order to ease the hose off. The clips can be re-used or replaced with suitable jubilee clips (recommended). The two hoses at the bulkhead are both moulded into one fitting - so the hoses can't be detached there - the whole double hose comes as one piece and may be hard to find a replacement.
However if you do cut the two heater hoses say 6" from the bulkhead you can use one of those 'serrated' hose connectors (with jubilees) to join the two 'live' ends, and then support the loop with suitable tie-wraps. Access to this therefore easy.
If you leave the 'stumps' in place at the bulkhead it will allow you to re-connect the system if you ever get round to replacing the matrix.
You can unbolt the header tank and swing it to one side to get to the rad.
It's not a serious job - if you allow plenty of time and have your parts ready - connector/clips etc. and ideally if you are changing the 'stat then take it off first so that you can match it up with a replacement.
If you get stuck just shout - it's all very fixable.
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  • notsofast
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#5
Thanks.  I'm intending to allow at least a whole day to do it, might have to wait a week or two now so I can get more parts. Where should I look for the thermostat location?

I had a closer look at the rad I've already bought (got it about 6 months ago), and I can see now it looks slightly different to the original.  The length and width seem the same but the new one is slightly narrower and has a slightly different design of fin arrangement.  Is this normal - do rad designs change?  The new one was supplied by a local independent Citroen garage who took my VIN number.

Also, while looking at all the hoses I noticed that there's one that I can't work out what its function is - it loops round from one part of the engine block round to another. One of the ports is adjacent to a port for a hose coming off the rad. I've attached a pic of this 'dual port' area - the right-hand one comes from the rad, the left-hand is the one I'm puzzled by.  It's a bit hard to make out but it seems to be a rubber hose within a sort of fabric sheath.  The fabric has either come away from the clamp or else was never held by it (initially I thought the fabric was the pipe and that the whole pipe was coming loose).

   
Work van:     2020 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Enterprise Berlingo
Spare van:    2001 1.9 600d Berlingo
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#6
The two pipes are water feed and return to the oil cooler which is part of the oil filter assembly. All looks fine, no need to touch.
As long as the new rad has the same locations for all pipes and securing bolts then all should be well.
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#7
OK, thanks.  It's good to be told that everything is fixable, as I get concerned I'll bugger something up.  I feel less anxious about the job now (this morning, when I was under the vehicle staring up at the hose connections, I started to feel nauseous - not sure why - which didn't make me feel good about doing the job!).

I notice in Haynes it advises disconnecting the battery negative terminal before tackling either the rad or the thermostat - is this to prevent damage to something?
Work van:     2020 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Enterprise Berlingo
Spare van:    2001 1.9 600d Berlingo
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#8
Just a normal precaution, but you may lose radio code etc. Not really necessary and just put a towel or floormat over the battery to stop your Rolex shorting out. To find stat housing follow top hose back from rad.
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  • notsofast
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#9
I phoned a parts supplier today about a thermostat, and also asked him about the new radiator I've got being a slightly different size to the one on the vehicle.  According to his system, a new rad he'd supply would be the same size as my new one, plus he mentioned that the design was changed toward the end of 2002 - which would be when the M59 was introduced. So the M59 rad must be interchangeable with the old M49 one (I'll find out for sure when I take my old one off.........)
Work van:     2020 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Enterprise Berlingo
Spare van:    2001 1.9 600d Berlingo
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#10
I've planned to do this job today - hope I'll have enough time before it gets dark.

I've searched on the site for how to make and use a header tank when refilling but can't find much. Haynes says to make one out of an old antifreeze container though I've only got old plastic milk bottles - I'm guessing they'd do the job, or will some plastics deform or melt when full of hot coolant?  Question is how to create a seal without anything available that's purpose-made - any tips?

Am I right that the way it works is I fill up the system until there's coolant in the plastic bottle header tank, then start the engine and run it until it gets hot, then switch off and by then the coolant in the header tank will have dropped so much that it can be taken off without coolant spilling everywhere?
Work van:     2020 1.5 BlueHDi 100 Enterprise Berlingo
Spare van:    2001 1.9 600d Berlingo
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