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Old 06-22-2011, 06:29 PM   #1
dmax
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Bleeding cooling system without draining

I started off quoting the TIS really well for bleeding after an engine drain, but I know there's a new TIS (or an old TIS for other models) that seems to be a great method to solve our bleeding issues here.

I read it once here, got mention of it quickly elsewhere, remember 'fighting' foolishly with Mkodama about his preferred bleeding while the car is running method, but I think he might have also been the source of this 'new' (to me) method of bleeding when you've only replaced a few components and the coolant is otherwise fine to keep in a while longer.

You still with me?

I've heard for this that at one or two times you should rev the engine to 4-5K rpms for 30 secs only. Then adjust level.

(I'm assuming that you'd still have fan on low, heater on high, three red dots)

I believe you should have the ET cap off.

I'm not sure about whether bleeder should be open or not (complicated plumbing inside the ET (see sig!)...or what the BMW TIS says about this.

I think this new method was developed because of not only us, but idiots doing cooling at shops all over the world having issues with it...because they probably do it the way they do it for other cars.

I know there's a 'bleeding' thread that's very good...I'm going to make this my last cooling thread ever...unless a new TIS comes out for us.

So, if you help, it'll shut me up on cooling forever...I promise!

Hope you'll help if you know. Hope you won't if you don't (but you can say hi!)
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:35 PM   #2
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I opened the bleed screw and revved engine until coolant started spraying out of bleed screw. Did this 3-4 times and that fixed my overheating issue which was caused by air in the system.
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:41 PM   #3
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I just keep the ET cap off, bleed screw out, heat on full, fan on full, 3 red dots. Fill ET fil only coolant is coming out of the bleed screw. Replace screw, ET cap, close hood, drive away. I've had no problems with this method, never revved the engine.
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:51 PM   #4
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Hi Doug

I've done two complete coolant overhauls in the past 4 weeks on a 330 and 325 using pretty much the same method my dad taught me on old cars.

With car off pour coolant slowly into completely dry coolant system via the ET cap hole until full. In both cases the system only took about 3L of it's 8.4L capacity at this point.

Set ignition to position 2 and adjust heater so the max heat is on and the fan is on lowest setting. Leave ET cap OFF. Start car. The minute you start the car the water pump basically scoops all the coolant and starts to push it through the system. With only half the coolant in the system it will get hot fast and thermostat will open. The waterpump doesn't push air so you have to start adding the rest of the coolant.

Continue to add coolant slowly - at this point you need to rev the engine about 4 times up to about 4000 RPMs so that the waterpump is spinning hard enough to push the water through the coolant system. As the system fills it will push water easier and you will see the coolant starting to cycle as it will begin spitting back into the ET tank at the bottle neck. At this point you'll have about 90% full. Since the coolant is now getting hot put the cap on the ET tank.

Rev the car once or twice more and then open up the bleeder screw at the ET tank - don't remove it just turn it back a couple of turns to let the remaining air escape. This takes about 2 mins.

Turn car off - let it cool then adjust the ET tank level to the recommended bobbing position for a cold tank. Might take another 1/2 liter at most.

Done.


The TIS I have says basically the same thing except they forgot the engine reving. I think what many folk on here might not do is leave the cap off long enough and rev the engine - for me both of these things are essential for a proper bleeding of air.


BMW TIS: RA Venting cooling system and checking for leaks (M54 / M56)

Adding coolant:
To ensure the cooling system is properly vented, it is absolutely
essential to follow the steps below:
1. Open cap (1) on coolant expansion tank.
2. Open vent screw (2).
3. Switch on ignition.
4. Set heater control to maximum temperature.
5. Set fan to lower speed (so that heater valves open).
6. Fill with coolant slowly.
7. Close vent screw (2) when bubble-free coolant emerges.
8. Pour coolant into coolant expansion tank up to max. cold fill
level. Marking (2) is then on a level with upper edge of
coolant expansion tank.
9. Close coolant expansion tank
10. Allow engine to warm up until thermostat opens

Last edited by BMW-North; 06-22-2011 at 06:57 PM. Reason: Added TIS info
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:03 PM   #5
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Deadpass: That's what I do, or have done too, but many have issues, and frankly, I'm getting tired of trying to help everyone on the same thing....so think a back up method is in order.

Why the need? Maybe coz they're not doing it on level ground, maybe they're pouring in too quickly?

I think a lot is the partial drain, as in, only doing the thermostat or WP...not the entire system. That, combined with too rapid filling of coolant maybe puts that bubble into the system. If not level, air would get in and might not get out. The heater valve doesn't have a pump in it, so if tilted, I'm sure some amount of air would be hiding inside. I don't think everyone has a level surface for all their work...that might be part of it.

That said, many swear by the tilt the front end up and start the car bleeding too...while squeezing the upper hose (another old hand trick). Some level and running it after a decent amount of coolant has gone in.

In any case, if someone else has ever done cooling system work for you, be sure to keep checking it for a few days after (mine keeps dropping a little...a cup the first a.m., a few ounces the next day, and maybe an ounce the day after that. All air coming out.

Am I the only one that's noticed this?
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Last edited by dmax; 06-22-2011 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW-North View Post
Hi Doug

I've done two complete coolant overhauls in the past 4 weeks on a 330 and 325 using pretty much the same method my dad taught me on old cars.

With car off pour coolant slowly into completely dry coolant system via the ET cap hole until full. In both cases the system only took about 3L of it's 8.4L capacity at this point.

I like this method, and sounds just like what I'd read in BMW TIS...with a minor exception.

You can improve what you do with the amount of coolant you have significantly by pos 2/heat on high/fan on low/3 red dots. You'll be at 90% then...and the WP will like you better, I bet.

But, this makes me think that the new TIS (not the one you quoted) maybe includes (after initial filling to 90%) a closed ET cap and cracked open bleeder while revving to 4K for 30 secs.

I'm going to figure this out eventually...well, someone has already, and they'll come around! (I did search, btw!)
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post
In any case, if someone else has ever done cooling system work for you, be sure to keep checking it for a few days after (mine keeps dropping a little...a cup the first a.m., a few ounces the next day, and maybe an ounce the day after that. All air coming out.

Am I the only one that's noticed this?
I think that's pretty normal, even with a "good" bleed there will still be little pockets of air that need a few days to escape. I need to check mine since it's bit a minute since I changed my ET.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadpass View Post
I think that's pretty normal, even with a "good" bleed there will still be little pockets of air that need a few days to escape. I need to check mine since it's bit a minute since I changed my ET.
That reminds me, I need to check mine too, since it's been a few weeks since I've checked and about a year (or more) since I've done anything to it!
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