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Old 08-08-2011, 09:46 AM   #1
ddombrowski
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Best day for DISA failure AND expansion tank failure? A track day, of course!

So I got up at the buttcrack of dawn to drive out to Sebring for another track day since I haven't done one in awhile. Off to a great start, got a nice shot of sunrise over the empty course entering the track. First session goes off well with the car performing nicely and me riding the tail of an E92 M3 the entire way (that refused to give me a point-by and had the license plate of "ALL EGO". I really, REALLY wish I had a cam in my car to post that video of me riding his bumper.

Anyway, first session ends and I notice some coolant under the car after parking it - not good. Check it out looking for leaks, can't find any other than the top of the expansion tank under the cap. Figure cap isn't holding pressure. Topped off a little coolant and all of the sudden - rough idle. Great!

Grab an OBD tool and pull the codes - misfires on all 6 cylinders and running lean on both banks. Pulled out my phone and googled a couple of the codes, and after reading a few threads on bfc and e46fan came to the conclusion it was the disa flap that failed. Pulled disa valve and sure enough - broken flap. So ripped the broken flap and and said screw it, still running the car.

Car runs okay (can't idle for crap but runs okay at speed) on the track, go through another 3 sessions. Last session of the day, I'm about 4 laps in and the low coolant light comes on - game over. Pull into the pits to find coolant spilling everywhere. Busted expansion tank you say? Yes, but not in the way you'd expect.

At some point, a bump must have knocked the radiator loose and the expansion tank rubbed against the belt. The belt cut through the expansion tank like a band saw. Coolant EVERYWHERE pulling into the pits. Hooray for an undriveable car at 5pm as the track is closing!

Fortunately, a little voice in the back of my head said to bring my spare expansion tank with me to the track that day (the one I saved when I replaced it preventatively at 70k miles, just in case). An hour of swearing and working on a hot car in 100 deg weather and I had the new (old) expansion tank in, filled with water, tried a half ass bleed and hit the road. Had to add coolant twice as I was pulling off the track but finally I got enough in there (and enough air out) that I could drive the rest of the way home. Car never overheated, thankfully.

Car is still leaking coolant at times, but I've already written a book and I'll figure out why eventually. Still suspect the radiator cap. Now I get to spend $300 on non-performance parts - my favorite kind!

Wish I had some on track pictures, but was too busy most of the day trying to keep the thing running. My friend got a few, and there might be some pro shots coming up on the web eventually.










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Old 08-08-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
Steven747
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ouch well just do a complete cooling overhaul which only cost 350 i believe and diy so you wont have to worry about doing this stuff for nother 60k
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:48 AM   #3
Hector45
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So what gave out to let the ET move that much hitting the belt?

Edit: Is it possible that your motor mounts are toast letting the engine shift enough during a turn hitting the ET?
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:58 AM   #4
ddombrowski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hector45 View Post
So what gave out to let the ET move that much hitting the belt?

Edit: Is it possible that your motor mounts are toast letting the engine shift enough during a turn hitting the ET?
Don't know. I was hitting the rumble strips a bit and that was a little rough on the car, but I wouldn't expect it to move the radiator.

It was definitely the radiator that moved. My engine mounts are new as of 2 months ago, and when I saw the expansion tank pushed into the belt, I grabbed the bottom of the radiator and pulled it back into place by hand to give the tank the clearance to pull it out, so it was definitely the radiator that moved.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:00 AM   #5
ddombrowski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven747 View Post
ouch well just do a complete cooling overhaul which only cost 350 i believe and diy so you wont have to worry about doing this stuff for nother 60k
The rest of the cooling system isn't all that old. Its just going to be an expansion tank and a radiator cap, and maybe I'll pick up a water pump to sit on the shelf so I'm ready for when I have to do that. Well, that and the DISA valve too.
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