steam

Technical advice Q&A

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redkitty
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Location: oregon
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#1 steam

Post by redkitty » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:41 pm

Hi - I own a 1967 E-type FHC with a stock 4.2 litre engine. I took it out for a drive this afternoon, and when I parked it upon my return, there was a bit of steam coming through the louvers on the right side of the hood /bonnet.
I turned off the engine and it went away pretty quickly. I started up the engine a few minutes later, and let it idle for a while. No steam, and no drips from any of the hoses.
Any suggestions?
Stephen Cook, Portland Oregon

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cactusman
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#2 Re: steam

Post by cactusman » Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:57 am

Happy New year. Ah...the joys of an e type.....I know it is stating the obvious but unless you had recently splashed through a puddle prior to parking up, there is a leak somewhere. It only takes a very small drop on something hot to get wisps of steam... Check very carefully everywhere :bigrin:
Julian the E-type man
1962 FHC
1966 MGB....fab little car too

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Topic author
redkitty
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Location: oregon
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#3 Re: steam

Post by redkitty » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:43 am

If it helps, I have smelled coolant in the past when driving and I have had some steam coming from the same place. It's pretty dry right now so I am pretty sure I didn't go through any puddles.
Stephen Cook, Portland Oregon

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christopher storey
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#4 Re: steam

Post by christopher storey » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:38 am

If you have smelled coolant, then you have a leak. On the right side the most likely places are the manifold to head joint ( not very likely ) ; the water pump and/or manifold to radiator/header tank ; and most likely the heater to manifold connections

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cactusman
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#5 Re: steam

Post by cactusman » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:06 am

Run the car up to temp until the fan cuts in and then switch off. Carefully wipe a sheet of kitchen paper around all joints and pipes etc and look for damp. Wear gloves as everything will be hot. If there is a leak it is very unlikely to get better. You can also peer under the car and look for a drip although it does not always give a good indication of the origin as the coolant can trickle quite a way as it finds its way out in my experience at least. Do remember that glycol based coolant is toxic and very toxic to dogs and cats - even in small amounts it can kill cats so mop up any that does escape. Hope you get it sorted...
Julian the E-type man
1962 FHC
1966 MGB....fab little car too

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Topic author
redkitty
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#6 Re: steam

Post by redkitty » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:21 pm

Thanks for the insight, everybody. I have some investigating to do!
Stephen Cook, Portland Oregon

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Gerry
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#7 Re: steam

Post by Gerry » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:19 pm

Hi I would go to Harbor Freight and buy a cooling system pressure tester,goes on in place of the header tank cap so you can pressurize the system cold.

Regards Gerry 62 Ots Ontario Canada.

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Moeregaard
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Location: Thousand Oaks, California
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#8 Re: steam

Post by Moeregaard » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:48 am

After reading the excellent suggestions put forth, I thought of two more potential causes. First, check to see if any of your core plugs are leaking. The ones along the side of the engine block can be replaced in situ. The rear one is a different story and I'd just toss in a can of Bars Leaks and replace the plug next time the engine has to come out.

Another possibility is the head gasket. The edge margins on the 4.2 are fairly small, and I've seen a number of 4.2s (including mine) weep along the joint. You will smell coolant and while the engine is running and warm, you will see a very small amount of coolant escaping. This one is kind of a bugger to track down, since the amount of leakage is so slight that it often evaporates before you find it.
Mark (Moe) Shipley
Former owner '66FHC, #1E32208
Former owner '65FHC, #1E30036

Planning on getting E-Type No. 3 as soon as possible....

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Topic author
redkitty
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#9 Re: steam

Post by redkitty » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:19 pm

Ok, I purchased the Harbor Freight pressure tester. It's not the most elegant and well made tool, but after wrestling with the universal adapter for a few minutes, I was able to get the cold system up to 15 psi. There were two leaks, and I think I got lucky. First, the big right side hose was leaking, so I tightened the clamp as much as I could. Second, the big left side hose was leaking at the tank, so I tightened that up as well. I ran the pressure back up, and they appear to leak no more.
The right side hose is looking a bit brittle, so replacing it will be the next task to do on my car. Hopefully, the leaks are now fixed.
Stephen Cook, Portland Oregon

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