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Date Name Message
21/10/2003 20:10:54   Tom   The compression is 150psi exactly on all four cylinders, and the timing is perfect, but:-

- there seems to be a constant flow of bubbles in the radiator expansion bottle when the engine is running, especially when hot.
- at the end of a long journey today, I had to put about a pint of water in the radiator (one eye was on the temp gauge the whole journey).
- coolant is obviously being compressed out of the radiator, into the expansion bottle and out of the little hole at the top of the bottle when the engine gets hot on a journey.
- when you sit and watch the temp gauge the needle rises and falls about 5mm and the coolant level in the expansion bottle rises and falls about 20mm

What do you think? What would you advise?

22/10/2003 07:58:27   Richard   You have checked all the hoses for bad joints etc and the expansion bottle top is not damaged? Swap over the rad and expansion caps from your other car and see if this makes a difference.
This is why I am rebuilding the engine that came out of the shed, it had the same problem, but with the abuse its had then I was kinda expecting something to go eventually.  
22/10/2003 08:15:10   Tom   Yes, i've swapped the caps, flushed the system and chemically treated. The hoses are all fine. I've not swapped out the rad though, so that's a job for Saturday.  
22/10/2003 15:00:07   Alistair   That's good compression for a 9.2:1 car!

Also check the stat is opening OK. Have you bled the system when hot using the valve on the heater matrix?

Might be worth finding a friendly garage with one of thos devices for checking coolant for exhaust gases. My Mrs used to have a rover 416 which didn't show any compression trouble but did have this problem with coolant loss & bubbling over, even though it wasn't boiling. Couldn't figure it out for ages, but eventually the head gasket went big style...  
22/10/2003 16:34:09   Richard   All those Rovers had head gasket probs.  
22/10/2003 23:02:37   Alistair   So I discovered, after the new gasket went within 2 days...!  
23/10/2003 13:26:16   Tom   Thanks for the advice. I'm nipping into a garage after work tonight to have the coolant tested for exhaust emissions and Richard is popping over on Saturday to have a look.  
24/10/2003 12:03:08   Tom   The coolant has a high emissions count in it!! As a temporary measure i used a bottle of block sealant but it did not work. A re-build is the only answer now.

Thanks for the advice.  
24/10/2003 18:29:32   Alistair   Bad news Tom, at least you caught it before it turned into something worse.  
28/10/2003 08:20:19   Tom   Could this have been caused by the timing being advanced? When i set the timing a couple of weeks ago i noticed that the chap who sold me the car had it positioned at about 25 degrees! It was so far off the 7-8 degrees i usually go for.  

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