Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - Bottom Feeder

I have the above, obviously petrol, and the expansion tank bubbles over all the time (steaming).

However, the engine does not overheat, the heating and air-con work fine, the fan woks with direct 12v to it but never comes on and the bottom rad hose is hot when the bottom one is clock cold.

I've emptied the coolant, and can't get a full amount back in (short by a couple of litres).

But I can't find a cold spot on the rad, it drains out of the drain plug and out of the bottom hose, and I can put water in the expansion tank or the top pipe and and comes out both the drain plug and the bottom hose.

I want to sell the car and whilst it runs fine I can't sell it with a bubbling steaming expansion tank. Any bright ideas, please?

On another note, the rear n/side brake bulb does not work. I've had the fitting out, checked everything is fine, which it is, put the bulb in outside the car and it works in the fitting when plugged into the loom, but as soon as I put it all back together it stops working.The other two brake lights work fine. This is driving me crackers and I don't want to go to an auto-electrician if I can help it.

Thanks, if you can help with either of these...Oh, bottom feeder is not a perversion, it's where I am in life at the moment, scraping along at the bottom of the pond. Lol

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - Peter D

Does it start to bubble before the water heats up. I suspect this may be a head gasket leak. A garage can sniff the gasses in the header tank and identify the gasses, i.e. combustion gasses. = leaking HG. Regards Peter

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - Peter.N.

+1 for the head gasket.

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - elekie&a/c doctor

These engines are not renowned for HG failure.I would be more inclined to suspect a thermostat fault .Also these engines can be a pita to bleed the cooling system and remove air locks.

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - Bottom Feeder

Hi guys,

Thanks for your replies so far - I've not suspected HG simply because there is no water in the oil (yet) and I've only noticed the bubbling when accompanied by steam so I guess it is only when the engine is hot.

I'll replace the thermostat as they are so cheap and see what happens.

I have followed a protocol to refill the coolant that is detailed in the workshop book but just can't physically get enough in before the expansion tank tops up. I can't see that there would be a residual couple of litres held inside, especially as I tipped the car forwards backwards and sideways on jacks to try and get it all out.

I'll let you know how the thermostat goes and see if my local garage will sniff the water as a favour. Thanks.

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - Bottom Feeder

Me again,

Finally got the car to the garage - been ill. They couldn't sniff it as the water was bubbling out of the header tank so violently. Initially said HG gone but thenbacktracked a bit when I pointed out the bottom hose was clock cold.

Suggested a new thermostat but at 4 hours garage rates I need to do this myself. Does anyone know of a walkthrough on this, as I need to remove the alternator as well, apparently, and this is probably at my limit for mechanical matters.

Would a compression test on the cylinders show up a HG problem?

I can't find one for my engine anywhere on the net, so any help would be appreciated.

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - John F

Sorry to say that 'water bubbling out of the header tank so violently' would almost certainly be caused by a failed head gasket. How old? How many miles?

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - elekie&a/c doctor
Have to disagree on that,sorry.Violent bubbling out of the header tank more likely to be localised boiling due to an air lock and lack of water circulation.The op said rad cold in one corner?
Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - Bottom Feeder

Hi folks,

The bottom hose is cold when the top is hot. I changed the thermostat over the weekend and got something wrong as there is now water p***ing all over the place. I must have messed up sealing the housing back on but I did it without removing the alternator - which I can tell you is a b**** of a job. Working blind with no room for big hands!

I'm glad you are veering away from an HG problem, but I think I need a friendly garage now.

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - Bottom Feeder

Hi folks,

All sorted. It was a stuck thermostat. Replaced it after a learning curve without taking the alternator and belts off, etc. This walkthrough might help someone else, it seemed to work ok for me.

You need two people as you are trying to find three bolts in particular totally blind and they are b*****s to locate.

1. Drain coolant

2. Completely remove bottom radiator hose from rad and thermostat housing

3. Remove smaller hose from thermo housing and tuck out of the way

4. Undo lead to alternator (10mm) and tuck out of way.

5. Now, with 8mm extended bit, undo the four bolts that hold the housing on. You can see the top left one if you look very carefully. The bottom left one is tucked underneath the larger inlet pipe and is an absolute sod to get to and completely invisible. The bottom and top right bolts are visible from below and an assistant can guide the 8mm bit onto them quite easily.

6. They are only nipped up, so quite easy to undo.

7. Remove housing and thermostat

8. Remove thermostat seal ring and throw it (replacement thermo comes with a new one).

9. Clean surface of housing and engine block as best you can being careful not to damage the rubber ring in the housing (can be removed and cleaned, I couldn't find a replacement without buying a new housing so as mine wasn't cracked or damaged I used the rubber seal again).

10. Replace thermostat making sure that you insert it into the tiny split inside the seal ring so that it sits in place seceurely and that the vent hole is at 12 o'clock).

11. Put the large hose on the housing BEFORE you put the housing back in place (the clamp is a vicious brute and without the right tools is impossible to put on afterwards (or use a jubilee clip if you want to risk that).

12. Slide the housing back into place and put on the smaller hose BEFORE bolting up for the same reason as above.

13. Replace the four bolts with the aid of your lookout and do NOT overtighten.

14. Replace bottom hose to the radiator.

15. Fill with coolant and go.

I was quoted over £300 for this job because a garage will remove half the engine compartment to get to the thermostat housing easily. They also have to replace the belts as they are single-use belts. It's four hours labour plus parts.

I did it for £7 plus anti-freeze (you can keep the old stuff if fresh and re-use it) but it took me two goes as the first time I tried on my own and got it wrong. Doing it the way I describe above with two people took about 90 minutes, and avoids more complicated mechanical work.

Hope this helps someone.

Edited by Bottom Feeder on 06/08/2015 at 22:33

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - Bottom Feeder

Back to square one!

EXACTLY the same symptoms, and I am now convinced that this is an air lock in the coolant system.

Has anyone got a magic way of filling this SoB up?

Cheers!

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - elekie&a/c doctor

Remove the top hose and fill it slowly from here.

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - skidpan

Ford cooling systems are very well designed and I have never known one get an airblock in either the radiator or engine. Any air is simply purged as the engine runs.

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - jc2

If it's not HG,it's the pump.I echo Skidpan;put the heater on a Ford on full blast and run engine at 4000 rpm for five minutes.

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - John F

Back to square one!

EXACTLY the same symptoms, and I am now convinced that this is an air lock in the coolant system.

Wishful thinking?

Sorry to say that 'water bubbling out of the header tank so violently' would almost certainly be caused by a failed head gasket. How old? How many miles?

This is an interesting thread, please keep us posted.

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - Bottom Feeder

Thanks for the feedback - if it is the HG, then why does it run perfectly for hours and then "explode"?

I took it for an MoT after the last "repair" after driving it for an hour and leaving it on the drive ticking over for another hour. No problems whatsoever.

I then run it to the station, the following day, about 10 minutes away. They didn't leave the engine running until the emmissions test at the end and it was only on for 2-3 minutes (I was watching) before it blew coolant all over the place.

I've since used Steel Seal and exactly the same thing happened. It ran perfectly and then suddenly blew on stationary idle.

The fan kicks in so I know it works, but the bottom hose is hot sometimes, cold sometimes - there is just no pattern to it.

It's too nice a car to skip. It's like a 535 I used to have that was plagued with air locks and did exactly the same thing. I also can't get a full amount of coolant into the system. A couple of litres shy.

I've tried filling it from the top hose - no good either.

Forgot, it's a '03 plate and 99,000 miles. Cracking condition, though.

Edited by Bottom Feeder on 11/08/2015 at 17:41

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - bolt

If you havent had the check for combustion gases done, you would be advised to now as its possible you may have a cracked head, this would give the various scenarios you are talking about as it depends where the crack is as to when the gas escape occurs

I dont recall these having bleeding problems but others may have different experiences with this engine, the other possible as mentioned i think is failed water pump impeller or partially failed, nothing is impossible with mechanics

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - skidpan

I also can't get a full amount of coolant into the system. A couple of litres shy.

It won't account for 2 litres but that is because when you drain it you don't get all the coolant out. Remove all the hoses, heater, remove engine and turn it on its side to remove residual water then refit it all and I bet you would get some of the missing back in.

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - Bottom Feeder

It won't account for two litres so I think I'll pass on this one.

What WILL account for two litres other than an air lock???

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - Bottom Feeder

The garage won't check for gases due to the explosive nature of the fault - there seems to be no way of telling when it will blow!

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - bolt

The garage won't check for gases due to the explosive nature of the fault - there seems to be no way of telling when it will blow!

Did you think that up or did the garage actually say that, untill items are eliminated you are going around in circles, so I suggest finding a garage that knows what they are talking about/doing and get it checked

If there is no gases present then look elswhere,

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - John F

The garage won't check for gases due to the explosive nature of the fault - there seems to be no way of telling when it will blow!

Change your garage.

Any update on this, please?

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - John F

, but the bottom hose is hot sometimes, cold sometimes - there is just no pattern to it.

Could the pump impellor be loose and intermittently losing adhesion with the drive shaft on this model? I seem to remember reading about this diagnosis somewhere. If it isn't this then it must be a failed HG or, more rarely, a crack somewhere in the head or block communicating with the water channels.

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - bolt

, but the bottom hose is hot sometimes, cold sometimes - there is just no pattern to it.

Could the pump impellor be loose and intermittently losing adhesion with the drive shaft on this model? I seem to remember reading about this diagnosis somewhere. If it isn't this then it must be a failed HG or, more rarely, a crack somewhere in the head or block communicating with the water channels.

Pump impellor could be loose ? but would at the moment suspect a head crack rather than HG,as HG usually gets worse as time and use go on so it wouldnt be so intermitent, still need to know if combustion gases/exhaust are present in cooling system

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - bolt

1 Possible I forgot about that happened many years ago on a few Fiestas, same as yours and it was caused by a leaking hose connection

ie the hose had cracked internally on the joint below jubilee clip and as engine cooled off it pulled in air, it never once leaked water but sucked in air,it took ages to find the problem but it was eventually just a thought anyway

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - bolt

Any update on this as would be interested to know the outcome if any?

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - Bottom Feeder

Sorry,

I've not been well - just getting back into the saddle.

I thought I'd make a few more things up as I go along - why is there always a troll under the bridge just when you don't need one?

I'll let you know how I get on and thanks to the genuine guys that are interested in helping; those that prefer to take cheap shots or just extract the urine can go and do one.

Fiesta Ghia 1.4 Durashift - Strange one - radiator blocked??? - John F

why is there always a troll under the bridge just when you don't need one?

I'll let you know how I get on

I guess that's aimed at me. Sorry you have not been well, hope you are fully recovered. It is regrettable if you have taken offence where none was intended.

I, like most who take the trouble to post replies to queries, have a genuine interest in automotive problems and their diagnoses. If you want helpful suggestions and debate as to what is wrong and the possible solutions the least you can do is to report back on the outcome so that we can all learn from your experience.

At least one of the moderators has posted to this effect.

Looking forward to your info, BF.

 

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