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Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50°
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

The water pump is a Geba model BTW , I dug it out of old pics


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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

syncroserge wrote:
I think you have 2 things adding up to trouble..

1. air in the block from fresh rebuild,

2. it's a TDI.. Wink

I use external heat to start/bleed fresh filled diesels. Coolant block heater, oil pan heater, Espar hydronic..

Being in Hawaii you might not have any of those but anything will do..heat gun even..

I bet nothing's wrong with the engine, hoses, themostat etc..

Get the block as warm as you can artificially...


Oh Serge, ca va?? Cool Cool

Yeah, no heating things but the sun.

I can`t even touch the stainless pipe out of the engine man, it`s blazing hot, 95 tom 98*c from the aftermarket gauge sensor

I never had a Tdi so hard to bleed Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

The ALH in my van now did exactly that..brand new engine from dealer..ALH is the worse for making heat..

I am using coolant circuit from Jetta/Golf so engine compartment hoses different but
same scenario, hose to rad hot but no bleeding happening.

I have all 3 (block, oil pan and Hydronicheaters..gets COOOOLD 'round here!
I plugged those in and voilą..bleeding..

sure hope that's all it is..central America man!.chanceux!..Bon Voyage!!!
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 12:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

Ok, so the coolant pipe from the engine to radiator is hot and the one from the radiator to the engine is cold? Maybe I missed it, but what again is the problem? Is the engine boiling over? Is the gauge pegging and the LED blinking?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

Going to post this knowing it probably isn't the issue, but you never know. Are you sure you got the replacement thermostat seated correctly in the water pump housing? They are difficult to keep in position in the housing when putting on the cover with O-ring (Also, O-ring on the correct side of thermostat?) I use a shop vacuum to hold it in place (coolant not in yet) to create a vacuum in the engine cooling system to hold the thermostat in place. It works great.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

When I was struggling with bleeding my coolant it wasn't my technique, it was a bad gasket at the rear heater. I know you pressurized your system to let it out at a hose clamp, but did you pressurize it and then let it sit?

It might be sucking air in at an extremely small gap somewhere when it cools down. Silicone hoses can be a bit of a pain to cinch down initially. I would go around all of them and tighten the clamps another 1/2 turn.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 2:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

What accessory belt system are you using? Which accessories do you have? I see alt and A/C. Do you have power steering also?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 4:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

A few thoughts. The thermostat has to have the element immersed in the heat to open. The two upper nipples on the water pump both feed hot coolant to the wax pellet. The bypass hose from the upper coolant (outlet) neck feeds the top nipple. That is closed by the foot of the thermostat at operating temperature. The middle one is always open to the pellet and is fed by either the upper hose that is the engine outlet to the radiator or the heater return hose.

Now I always fill cooling systems with an airlift type tool. That gets coolant on both sides of the thermostat. In the old days I filled the block through the upper hose to get coolant behind the thermostat. I remember a Fiat 124 and an early Dasher that the block would stay dry otherwise.

It is my experience that a freshly installed thermostat is often slow to open during the first thermal cycle. Whenever diagnosing cooling systems and especially hard cases I use a non-contact infrared thermometer to monitor temperatures in as many locations as possible at the engine and the cooling system components. Once you start doing that you will learn a lot. The temperature differential between various parts of the cooling system can be quite amazing. I suggest that you monitor the temperature of the coolant feeding the thermostat wax pellet.

You indicated that the heater has good output. This shows good circulation and indicates that the block is not dry. But I am with Waldo here. A diesel generates a lot less waste heat than a gasoline engine. And a Vanagon has a lot of coolant and metal to heat up. Until you know that 100 degree Celsius coolant is flowing over the wax pellet your initial diagnostic path is not yet complete. Do not be surprised if some components reach 120 C before you get there.

Being frustrated doesn't put you in a strong place. Back off, calm down and come back with fresh eyes and an infrared thermometer in hand. Good luck. Perseverance furthers.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

I agree with what "hardway" says sbout the wax element of the thermostst being on the hot side of the housing or on the side that has the hot coolant coming from the engine.
The only way it is going to open is from the coolant flowing from the engine as it gets hot.

I am not familar with this engine so I do not know which side of the housing in your picture is the hot side.

If you do not have the hole in the thermostat I would say go ahead and drill it through it.
It is small enough where it will not make a difference to the flow of coolant because of the density of thr liquid, but air - it's going to bleed through so there will not be the air block.
This might make the difference in your problem if this is the hose with the air block.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:57 am    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

I might suggest that you get some crayons and do a coolant hot/cold schematic of the system.

Do two, one with thermostat Closed and one with it Open.

The colored drawings may just reveal the problem point?

Kam did similar drawings for the 2.1 WBX coolant flow. It is in the FAQ thread.

Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:30 am    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

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Normally, I orientate the thermostat so these sections are 90 degree to the flow.

Water will always seek it's own level. The hole drilled in the thermostat helps nature. Filling the engine manually through the head ensures all the air is out of the engine.

Also, its a remote possibility, but your radiator may have a crack in the side tank between the in and the out. This might let coolant bypass the radiator core.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:42 am    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

Drilling a hole in the thermostat is not desirable or beneficial. The TDI engine is efficient enough that it cannot maintain normal operating temperature at idle. An added hole in the thermostat will constantly add an unneeded trickle of cold water to the engine.

The bottom hose of the expansion tank is always open to the center of the thermostat (the control side). It is not possible for the expansion tank to have coolant in it and for the control side of the thermostat to be in air. If the expansion tank is filled, the entire block will fill with coolant. Once the level gets above the top of the spider hose, then with stock hose routing the coolant will then flow down the main hose to the radiator and down the oil cooler circuit to fill the radiator and the other side of the thermostat. If the top of the spider hose is above the top of the expansion tank, then revving the engine will be required, but again, as long as there is coolant in the expansion tank, the control side of the thermostat is submerged fully in coolant.

There is nothing at all challenging about filling and bleeding the cooling system of an AHU in a Vanagon that uses the stock hoses. No need to heat anything, no need to drill any holes, no need to fill through hoses, no need to raise either end of the van, etc...
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:08 am    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

?Waldo? wrote:
Drilling a hole in the thermostat is not desirable or beneficial. The TDI engine is efficient enough that it cannot maintain normal operating temperature at idle. An added hole in the thermostat will constantly add an unneeded trickle of cold water to the engine.

The bottom hose of the expansion tank is always open to the center of the thermostat (the control side). It is not possible for the expansion tank to have coolant in it and for the control side of the thermostat to be in air. If the expansion tank is filled, the entire block will fill with coolant. Once the level gets above the top of the spider hose, then with stock hose routing the coolant will then flow down the main hose to the radiator and down the oil cooler circuit to fill the radiator and the other side of the thermostat. If the top of the spider hose is above the top of the expansion tank, then revving the engine will be required, but again, as long as there is coolant in the expansion tank, the control side of the thermostat is submerged fully in coolant.

There is nothing at all challenging about filling and bleeding the cooling system of an AHU in a Vanagon that uses the stock hoses. No need to heat anything, no need to drill any holes, no need to fill through hoses, no need to raise either end of the van, etc...


So, "Nothing to See Here, Move Along". Alika, might as well head to South America with it. Wink
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:19 am    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

What abnormal behavior has Alika actually described?

I've reread the original post a couple times and gone back through the entire thread and I cannot find where Alika actually describes an issue. The best I can come up with is that when he squeezes the top hose he hears a noise that he describes as 'bubbles' and assumes that is a problem.

FWIW, if the top hose is full of coolant and you squeeze it/ release it you can hear the coolant slosh. If it is full of air you might get a bubble to move to the expansion tank. He doesn't describe seeing any bubble move to the expansion tank, but rather just describes a noise.

I've even asked for details as far as what the actual problem is and have not gotten any response that indicates any issue at all. He has not described any overheating issue. The description of parts getting hot and parts staying cold all sounds completely normal.

Yes, in lieu of any description of any abnormal behavior I would say go have a good trip.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

Never had this much problem bleeding my system (however all OE style rubber hoses) neither when I blew out fluid from all the pipes under the van.

Just fill up, start, refill, blurp, refill, keep rpm around 2000 until warms up, refill, put on the cap while keeping RPM, drive some, bleed radiator, and do some minor refilling and bleeding radiator in the following days.

Are you really sure your freshly rebuilt engine is not having head gasket issues?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:27 am    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Normally, I orientate the thermostat so these sections are 90 degree to the flow.

Water will always seek it's own level. The hole drilled in the thermostat helps nature. Filling the engine manually through the head ensures all the air is out of the engine.

Also, its a remote possibility, but your radiator may have a crack in the side tank between the in and the out. This might let coolant bypass the radiator core.


I had slight overheating with the thermostat oriented this way. (Needle leaving the LED on the gauge) Turned it 90 degrees and no overheating since.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:30 am    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

Sure wish I had something to offer as help, but I keep thinking the air is being introduced via combustion gases.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

?Waldo? wrote:
Ok, so the coolant pipe from the engine to radiator is hot and the one from the radiator to the engine is cold? No they were both cold, like ice cold from radiator, cold on hot pipe, but slowly getting blazing hot on the upper side of the diameter, warm on the bottom of the hot pipe, telling me it wasdn`t circulating. Cold hose at the engine bay was getting hot from the oil cooler circulation where it mixes into the cold going in. Maybe I missed it, but what again is the problem? Is the engine boiling over? Is the gauge pegging and the LED blinking? Yes, it gets there, and the Gowesty coolant warning bips, but it`s right at the edge, it goes up into blinking, then bips, goes down a hair, stops bipping but still blinking. Wel, hot AF according to it


DigiMatrix wrote:
Going to post this knowing it probably isn't the issue, but you never know. Are you sure you got the replacement thermostat seated correctly in the water pump housing? Yes, I`m being super anal when installing, I hold it in place with one hand, and install the elbow with my finger through it to keep pressure on the thermostat, then remove the previous hand out of the way and press the cover elbow on to avoid the thermostat slipping out of place, it`s always in place this way. Contorsion game but worth it. If it were slipping, it would be leaking too, I don`t goop the o`ring, the o`ring can only go after the thermostat before the cover elbow, there`s a tiny recess machined into the pump housing to sit the thermostat lip in. They are difficult to keep in position in the housing when putting on the cover with O-ring (Also, O-ring on the correct side of thermostat?) I use a shop vacuum to hold it in place Great idea!! Razz Razz (coolant not in yet) to create a vacuum in the engine cooling system to hold the thermostat in place. It works great.


4Gears4Tires wrote:
When I was struggling with bleeding my coolant it wasn't my technique, it was a bad gasket at the rear heater. I know you pressurized your system to let it out at a hose clamp, but did you pressurize it and then let it sit? I did a while back ( did 300 miles over time this and there sorting out issues. The silicone hoses indeed gave me a lot of trouble at first. Wherever I can I used spring clamps, they`re the best, the lined hose clamps indeed required a lot of retightening.

It might be sucking air in at an extremely small gap somewhere when it cools down. Correct, I found a leak yesterday morning after sitting overnight, after I had removed the fuel warmer heat exchanger hoses.
Silicone hoses can be a bit of a pain to cinch down initially. I would go around all of them and tighten the clamps another 1/2 turn.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Stainless elbow to delete the JX electrical pump since it`s a conversion, added adhesive lined shrink tubing to increase a bit the diameter for the silicone hose kit.

?Waldo? wrote:
What accessory belt system are you using? Which accessories do you have? I see alt and A/C. Do you have power steering also?


AHU factory set up with AC and PS. All is correct down to the part numbers on pulleys.
V-belt for the water pump, crank and PS. clockwise set up.



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hardway wrote:
A few thoughts. The thermostat has to have the element immersed in the heat to open. The two upper nipples on the water pump both feed hot coolant to the wax pellet. The bypass hose from the upper coolant (outlet) neck feeds the top nipple. That is closed by the foot of the thermostat at operating temperature. Correct The middle one is always open to the pellet and is fed by either the upper hose that is the engine outlet to the radiator or the heater return hose. It is fed by the bottom of expansion tank that has a tee back from thhe cabin heater loop, the upper hose of the expansion tank is the hot from the cylinder head, so it loops through there a bit upon warm up with thermostat closed. It`s all kosher according to the diagram and matches your statement too.

Now I always fill cooling systems with an airlift type tool. That gets coolant on both sides of the thermostat. In the old days I filled the block through the upper hose to get coolant behind the thermostat. I remember a Fiat 124 and an early Dasher that the block would stay dry otherwise.

It is my experience that a freshly installed thermostat is often slow to open during the first thermal cycle. Interesting Whenever diagnosing cooling systems and especially hard cases I use a non-contact infrared thermometer ( I despise these guns, I used to have them at work installing solar, AC and all, we used to have 2 side by side, a Fluke and a Ryobi to make something of them. I find them a good tool but inaccurate, they never read twice the same when pressing the trigger. It`s a good indicator though. I don`t trust them anymore. Maybe some are much better than others, Fluke is not a cheap brand like Ryobi... they do fly the same way though Laughing Laughing )to monitor temperatures in as many locations as possible at the engine and the cooling system components. Once you start doing that you will learn a lot. The temperature differential between various parts of the cooling system can be quite amazing. I suggest that you monitor the temperature of the coolant feeding the thermostat wax pellet.

You indicated that the heater has good output. This shows good circulation and indicates that the block is not dry. But I am with Waldo here. A diesel generates a lot less waste heat than a gasoline engine. And a Vanagon has a lot of coolant and metal to heat up. Until you know that 100 degree Celsius coolant is flowing over the wax pellet your initial diagnostic path is not yet complete. Do not be surprised if some components reach 120 C before you get there.

Being frustrated doesn't put you in a strong place. That`s for sure, I spent days on this shit, and parts can take up to a month to get here for a 3 day priority mail shipping Evil or Very Mad Back off, calm down and come back with fresh eyes and an infrared thermometer in hand. Good luck. Perseverance furthers.


MarkWard wrote:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Normally, I orientate the thermostat so these sections are 90 degree to the flow.
ok, so that`s what I did then ( not on this pic obviously). If the arms are vertical 12 and 6 o`clock, the nipple being at 3 o`clock, that`s arms 90 degrees to the flow so it hits the wax element plenty.

Water will always seek it's own level. The hole drilled in the thermostat helps nature. Filling the engine manually through the head ensures all the air is out of the engine.

Also, its a remote possibility, but your radiator may have a crack in the side tank between the in and the out. This might let coolant bypass the radiator core.


?Waldo? wrote:
Drilling a hole in the thermostat is not desirable or beneficial. The TDI engine is efficient enough that it cannot maintain normal operating temperature at idle. An added hole in the thermostat will constantly add an unneeded trickle of cold water to the engine.

The bottom hose of the expansion tank is always open to the center of the thermostat (the control side). It is not possible for the expansion tank to have coolant in it and for the control side of the thermostat to be in air. If the expansion tank is filled, the entire block will fill with coolant. Once the level gets above the top of the spider hose, then with stock hose routing the coolant will then flow down the main hose to the radiator and down the oil cooler circuit to fill the radiator and the other side of the thermostat. If the top of the spider hose is above the top of the expansion tank, then revving the engine will be required, but again, as long as there is coolant in the expansion tank, the control side of the thermostat is submerged fully in coolant.

There is nothing at all challenging about filling and bleeding the cooling system of an AHU in a Vanagon that uses the stock hoses. No need to heat anything, no need to drill any holes, no need to fill through hoses, no need to raise either end of the van, etc...


I agree, it`s usually simple AF, like I said, it`s the next easiest thing after a Ford A Laughing

It`s flowing! Level low to show better to people.

The sloshing noise when pressing on hoses is a bit too much IMO

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


ZsZ wrote:
Never had this much problem bleeding my system (however all OE style rubber hoses) neither when I blew out fluid from all the pipes under the van.

Just fill up, start, refill, blurp, refill, keep rpm around 2000 until warms up, refill, put on the cap while keeping RPM, drive some, bleed radiator, and do some minor refilling and bleeding radiator in the following days.

Are you really sure your freshly rebuilt engine is not having head gasket issues?

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
Sure wish I had something to offer as help, but I keep thinking the air is being introduced via combustion gases.


I did a block tester, all good

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


OK guys, update time, I didn`t have time yesterday to respond to you guys, I was head first into it, and type nice colored responses on the phone is near impossible.

I bought a nice set of hose pincher clamps yesterday to force the flow some ways to bust the air out of the spider hose.

I found a tiny leak at the oil cooler elbow so I addressed it. Pic posted earlier in this group response.

I bled the van.

I went driving the van well hot, needle pinged to the top and led blinking, then stopped by in a park with a nice hill and proceeded to bleed flat, then nose down, moving the set of clamps to force things to the radiator.



Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


No more air, or at least the slightest faint slosh when pressing on the cold hose at the thermostat, hearing noises in the top hot spider hose, engine off.
Call it good.
Went driving again, well hot, overheating according to the factory gauge. I had replaced the VDO sensor the day before but it reads the same, both used units as I don`t trust the new ones like Meyle. Go Westy printed circuit, gauges and the whole van are 17k original miles, zero corrosion wicked up wires, beefy ground wires off the bellhousing and off the block to chassis.

I added a GoWesty potentiometer? to adjust the needle at the gauge reading on the LED on the hot side of it while after driving a while, accelerating and all to get some turbo action, let it idle, radiator fan would just not turn on.
Brand new Wahler 75-82*c thermoswitch just in case. The electrical works ( I can jump the connector and fan turns on , both first and 3rd speed work, 2nd speed turns on with AC switch, AC not charged yet).
The digital gauges at idle sitting for an hour after driving it hot barely change a degree Celsius with or without radiator fan on ( ON manually). Same with the cabin heater on full blast with its cabin fan. It`s hot, but doesn`t take the engine temps down, well, 1*C it is, that`s the fluctuation I get).
So that`s where I put the VW gauge needle at in this condition.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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The radiator is finally flowing, I get hot coolant coming off the bleeder with radiator fan off, with fan on, radiator feels cold, coolant cold coming out of the bleeder.
Pipes are feeling correct under the van, cold out, hot in.
Same feeling at the engine bay, but I still feel the digital gauge is reading high, or there`s a crazy substantial temperature drop as soon as it enters the radiator, so much that the thermoswitch never kicks in the radiator fan. It feels blazing hot though, the side of the thermoswitch feels hot AF when I touch it, but again I don`t have a thermometer gun, so I mind as well make up anything.

So at this point, it is cooling extremely well if I trust the thermoswitch for the radiator fan over the VW gauge or the digital gauge.
I`m not sure how much they are supposed to be at idle.

I drove home last night for the first time, well at least to the carport, not in the street Laughing

Driving cool, 40 45 MPH, the coolant reads 96-98*C (204-208F), I find that pretty high.
The oil is slightly above at 97-99*c.
I dared to drive up the steepest street I know on the island close to home to get that turbo heat going on. My EGT`s at 0.7mm advance are still way low, the readings were moving constantly so it was hard to read, but I flirted once with close to 500*c (932F) which is still low to my taste.

The coolant jumped at 99-100*C (212F) and oil went up til 110*c which I find funny bc the thermostatic piston in my Audi 80 AAZ external oil by pass cooler is stamped at 110*C.
Coolant went back to 98-99*c driving back home on slight incline, oil temps never went down after that, coolant went up to 100*c by the time I was done giving it another bleed session in the steep driveway, nose down, no air coming off the radiator, then manoeuvering in the carport.

I think it`s now cooling extremely well, I also have a charge cooler radiator made by Behr in Austria for AMG with a Spal fan on top (all AMG equipement), a Tecomotive controller for a CWA 50 electronic Pierburg pump for Audi. The target temperature is set at 25*c I recall, must be working damn well, I can put my hand on the intake manifold anywhere, even close to the head, it`s not hot. I do have a phenolic intake spacer too.

Next I`ll add a 1mm spacer on the dynamic advance piston to see if I can increase the EGT and get that heat out of the cylinder head and therefore out of the coolant.


The radiator fan never kicked in though.

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hans j
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

For next time, bleed/fill with a vacuum coolant filler and you can also add a couple asprin to the thermostat to lock it open to circulate everything. They will dissolve.
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Unsolvable airlock? Cooling system issue on AHU TDI JX style 50° Reply with quote

hans j wrote:
For next time, bleed/fill with a vacuum coolant filler and you can also add a couple asprin to the thermostat to lock it open to circulate everything. They will dissolve.


I never needed fancy vacuum tools to fill any van/engine but I'll consider it.
Somebody on IG mentioned a Tic Tac, I like the idea but I don't know how to open it to install it, you'll have to overcome the wax cartridge.
To be fair the air was stuck in the top hose where stuff circulates back to the top of the expansion tank when cold, the hose closed before the thermostat would only matter for the oil cooler loop, the rest was bled with a sneeze. I think I had a combination of shit happening here: gauge reading high, engine cooling more than I thought and air trapped in the coolers. When I removed one cooler and fixed the leak ( was it leaking before I worked there to remove the 2nd heat exchanger), I dunno. Was dry, but could have sucked air in...
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