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heater is cold, gurgling noises, and loss of coolant

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I have just spent 2 weeks off and on repacing leaking radiator on a 1981 s3 g car, now the heater only blows tepid air and the car seems to require half a litre of water after every drive. i have checked for leaks, and i dont suspect the head gasket, where is the water going? Do i have an airlock? There are no puddles underneath either???? only clue is the gurgling sound when you rev it.

joolz

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That defo sounds like you have got an air lock.

I had a similar problem with mine when I drained it to re-fill with anti-freeze.

You need to make sure the interior heater valve is on hot when re-filling after a complete drain down, some have found that raising the rear of the car helps get the air out of the system. Another thing you can try is to take off the heater matrix hose off the cylinder head (it is the 5/8" hose at the back of the head near the inlet manifold) and pump water back in with a hose pipe.

As yours is a 1981 (same as mine) the you probably wont have the air bleed valve in the front wheel arch.

What I do is loosen the top radiator hose clamp and then slide a screw driver between the hose and pipe while filling the system.

This then allows any air trapped in the top of the radiator to escape.

If this lot doesn't work then shout and we'll have another think about it.

Hilly


1981 S3 4.2 V8 6 speed (The Mutant)

Mutant V8 Conversion Thread

Knowledge is power .................... apparently.

 

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As Hilly says raise the back of the car. Try to park it facing downwards on a steep slope and then with the engine nice and warm and the heater on hot try and see if you can get any more water in.


Regards

Mat

post-1-0302470001278592957.jpg

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Thanks for the advice - Is that the same Hilly that did the impressive V8 conversion? I would love to have a look at that car - I recently moved from Maidenhead to Wallingford so I dont think Im too far away from you. I too am an electronics engineer who prefers tinkering with cars!

I have a bad habit of collecting G Esprits (and BMW 635s) and currently have 3, the best of which is an HC turbo converted to fuel injection that has only covered 10000 miles from new, but I prefer my slightly tatty S3 (the one that cant hang on to its coolant) as I can drive it every day without many worries - it has done nearly 100000 miles now and apart from the water/heater problem is very reliable as I have cured every fault as it appeared!

Anyhow I will try to get the air out the system and I will let you know how it went.

Joolz

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Is that the same Hilly that did the V8 conversion?

Errrrrrrrrrrrrr............. yeap, that's me.

You are more than welcome to swing round and have peek at the Mutant, just let me know when you are in the area and we can set something up.

Hilly


1981 S3 4.2 V8 6 speed (The Mutant)

Mutant V8 Conversion Thread

Knowledge is power .................... apparently.

 

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I have got an update on the S3 heater problem, it took another litre of water/antifreeze with the back jacked up and after that the gurgling sound stopped behind the dash, and it doesnt appear to be using water now after several drives, one down to Wales and back.

The heater is still not that warm though, on the max setting of the blower it blows tepid. The halfway setting seems to be slightly hotter.

Is there a mod that will get all that nice hot water that zips round around the car to warm up my toes a bit better in this cold weather? Lagging of the heater pipes?

I was previously logged in as LOTUS

Joolz

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Joolz, as you probably know, the heater uses a water valve to control the flow of water through the heater. Is this opening fully?

Are you flaps moving to the right settings? If not, it's usually because a vacuum pipe has come off somewhere.

Do you have a standard or a cooler-standard-thermostat fitted. The cooler the thermostat setting, the cooler you heater will be.


S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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I have just got my heater working after 3 years of tepid heat.

I thought it was the valve not working so i bypassed this with a length of copper pipe, still only tepid at best......

Got underneath yesterday a back flushed the heater with a hose pipe.. lots of brown muck came out then i got very wet.....

Put it all back together and Ureeka hot air as good as any modern heater, Put a thermometer in the blower vent and i am now getting 60 deg c air through the vent.

Now if only i could get it to stop in a straight line !!!!!!!

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