Coolant gurgling / scooter purchase

Does your Mitsubishi L300 make a strange noise? Need wheel alignment specs?
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nxski
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Coolant gurgling / scooter purchase

Post by nxski » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:36 pm

After my drives home from work, I hear a gurgling noise from around where the expansion tank is. I haven't been able to figure out exactly where, because by the time I open the engine cover, it has stopped. I get extremely slow loss of coolant. It had been 15,000km since I topped it up last, but I noticed the expansion tank was just about empty, so I topped it up and checked the rad (rad was full). I was also getting some gurgling noises after the engine had been turned off for a few days before topping up. Since topping it up, the gurgling has persisted. Although, if I leave the vehicle idling for about 2 minutes before shutting it off, I don't get the gurgling at all. I also have no idea if it's been making this noise all along and I just haven't noticed (is it normal to hear the fluid from the rad going back into the expansion tank once it's turned off?). I also haven't had any changes in water temperature (the gauge reads 1/4 as normal).
Live the life you love, love the life you live...

Had: 1991 Mitsubishi Delica L300 SuperExceed, heavily modified (totalled by a drunk driver)
Have: 2011 Acura CSX manual, lightly modified
Want: Mitsubishi Pajero Evo

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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by FalcoColumbarius » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:17 pm

Could it be the overflow? Or perhaps it's just the rad transferring expanded coolant into the expansion tank?
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nxski
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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by nxski » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:32 pm

FalcoColumbarius wrote:Could it be the overflow? Or perhaps it's just the rad transferring expanded coolant into the expansion tank?
It sounds like it's the rad transferring coolant back into the overflow. At least that's what I'm hoping it is, since that seems perfectly normal. Since I don't recall hearing it before, I fear it may be something else though.
Live the life you love, love the life you live...

Had: 1991 Mitsubishi Delica L300 SuperExceed, heavily modified (totalled by a drunk driver)
Have: 2011 Acura CSX manual, lightly modified
Want: Mitsubishi Pajero Evo

http://nes-design-construction.com
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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by glenn » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:54 am

I know you don't want to hear the C word (who does?), but that was the first symptom I noticed when my head cracked. Keep a sharp eye on you radiator level. In my case, the over pressurized cooling system was forcing coolant into the overflow keeping it full, while draining the actual radiator. I was quite surprised and alarmed to open the radiator cap and find the radiator empty.
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nxski
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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by nxski » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:03 am

That's what I fear. What other symptoms did you have?
Live the life you love, love the life you live...

Had: 1991 Mitsubishi Delica L300 SuperExceed, heavily modified (totalled by a drunk driver)
Have: 2011 Acura CSX manual, lightly modified
Want: Mitsubishi Pajero Evo

http://nes-design-construction.com
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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by glenn » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:49 am

That was really just it for a long time. No white smoke, no discoloured coolant, no sign of coolant in the oil - just a pressurized cooling system. I was able to mitigate the problem quite a bit by running with the rad cap off - but that is only a stop-gap measure to reduce the coolant loss.

In the end, I was getting a billow of white smoke when I started the van up, which dissipated once the van ran for a few minutes. I assume it was the result of coolant pooling in the engine once it was shut off, then burning off once it started. Once it was running, there wasn't enough coolant entering the cylinders to show.

Keep watching your cooling system constantly and carry extra coolant around with you at all times, watch your temperatures like a hawk. Don't rely on the overflow as a gauge of coolant level - open the rad and check there. If it is indeed your head gasket/cracked head it will eventually become obvious. I never got around to a pressure test before it became obvious (I was on a road trip)

Since it happened to me and I fixed my van, I stopped driving like a granny and now drive like a great-granny. What I find ironic about these vans is that the factory temperature gauge usually reads below 1/4 hot. It gives you this false sense of security that you are not pushing your van - I have never, never, ever seen it 1/2 way to hot. Other vehicles usually read 1/2 way when they are warm. I get alarmed now when I drive another car and look at the temperature gauge to see it at the 1/2 way mark - then I remember this is an idiosyncrasy of L300s.

In reality, the L300 temperature gauge should read a hair below hot when it is at normal operating temperature. I bet that would save a lot of heads.

Good luck with it.
Glenn
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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by konadog » Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:08 pm

My temp. gauge reads at the 1/2 mark when things are running normally.
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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by nxski » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:46 pm

When you say quite a while, how long would you think that was? I need my van to move soon and can't afford to replace the head for a couple weeks. Did you do the work yourself? I'm working 7 days a week using my vehicle and can't take time off, so I would be attempting it myself at night if I did. I've heard a head is $600ish of ordered from the uk? Is it worth it to go that route?
Live the life you love, love the life you live...

Had: 1991 Mitsubishi Delica L300 SuperExceed, heavily modified (totalled by a drunk driver)
Have: 2011 Acura CSX manual, lightly modified
Want: Mitsubishi Pajero Evo

http://nes-design-construction.com
http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/nicolas-spurling/46/b48/924

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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by glenn » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:16 pm

I don't drive my van a lot - we walk to and from work/school - but it lasted for months while I waited for my L400 to arrive from Japan. But, I did drove my van all the way home from Yellowstone with the rad cap off - slow and steady. If your situation is anything like mine was, you will be fine - but you never know.

I paid to have my head done. I put a complete new head (valves, springs, etc)all new belts, EGR blanking plate, balancer shaft bearing & sleeve, oil pump o-ring, injection pump main seal, valve cover gasket, and other misc items all for about $3000. I went to RSI - they were able to get me in fast, and the price was good. I needed it in under two weeks to go on a road trip.

If you want to do the work yourself, Rattlenbang is the man to talk to. I just didn't have the time, or the know how.
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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by nxski » Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:37 pm

I don't really have time to do it myself, so will probably end up taking it to a shop. I thought it would be closer to $2000 than $3000. That's almost what I paid for the van. :shock: I'm in the process of putting an offer in on an apartment, so I can't spend the money until after it's been purchased. Any idea if there are shops that would defer payment for a month? I'm happy to pay interest on it, I just need a vehicle to use ASAP and don't really feel comfortable driving it as-is, given how much I drive (100km/day). I'm also open to paying one of the members here to do the work if they are trustworthy and willing to charge a bit less. Is 2 weeks the fastest it can be done? I'm mid reno on a place in West Van, and live in Tsawwassen.
Live the life you love, love the life you live...

Had: 1991 Mitsubishi Delica L300 SuperExceed, heavily modified (totalled by a drunk driver)
Have: 2011 Acura CSX manual, lightly modified
Want: Mitsubishi Pajero Evo

http://nes-design-construction.com
http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/nicolas-spurling/46/b48/924

Nicola Spurling

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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by FalcoColumbarius » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:39 pm

Check the rad itself for coolant. Fill the overflow bottle with coolant to the full line. Start the engine with the cap on the radiator but open on the expansion bottle but with the hose still dipped in the coolant and see if you can see bubbles (helps to have a flashlight to see).

Falco.
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nxski
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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by nxski » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:39 pm

I'll check that out ASAP! I just went to start the van after sitting for 2 days. I got 5 coughs where it blew white smoke, then it ran smoothly. Is this the kind of white smoke I need to be worried about? Maybe I can bring the van into Butch on Tuesday and he can take a quick look as well.

EDIT:

When I arrived home, I kept the engine running and went to check on the expansion bottle. It was definitely bubbling, which was the gurgling sound I heard. It just can't be heard over the engine, which is why I only noticed it when I shut the vehicle down. I'm guessing this confirms my fears that either the head or head gasket is kaput!? It didn't lose a ton of coolant though, so I suppose I can still keep driving it for a little while until I've secured my mortgage, then take out a line of credit to cover the repairs. That is, unless someone knows if CVI, etc will defer payments with or without interest?
Live the life you love, love the life you live...

Had: 1991 Mitsubishi Delica L300 SuperExceed, heavily modified (totalled by a drunk driver)
Have: 2011 Acura CSX manual, lightly modified
Want: Mitsubishi Pajero Evo

http://nes-design-construction.com
http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/nicolas-spurling/46/b48/924

Nicola Spurling

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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by Firesong » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:03 am

I know people laugh when they see these posts but honestly
this stuff works. I brought it up before when someone was
hurting over cracked head costs:

http://www.rxauto.com/?gclid=CL-Zg8TYlroCFZFFMgodIUIAkg

Thermagasket is great stuff
It's a ceramic fix.
We used it on my friend's 2.5 liter Toyota Surf. The surf with
the horrible motor. The guy in the States walked us through it
over the phone for the entire time it took.

Under $200 I believe it was. It's been solid for a couple years now.
Ordered right off the web site.

Firesong

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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by psilosin » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:32 am

This thread is like the movie 'The Ring'.

When i stopped at the gas station for a fillup this morning my tank was gurgling away for 20seconds. Hope it is related to having the heat on for 5the first time this year and not the other thing...

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Re: Coolant gurgling

Post by glenn » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:31 am

Yikes! It's hard when you depend on your van daily - I was fortunate enough to have a second vehicle while I sorted things out.

And by the way, the cost of a simple head is closer to $2000 - I had a complete head rather than a bare head installed, plus I did a bunch of extra things while the engine was disassembled - as mentioned,all belts (alternator, timing and balancer), water pump, head bolts, balancer shaft bearing, oil pump o-ring, injection pump main seal, new fooling fan and clutch assembly, and misc other things. These things were replaced for the cost of the parts - a little extra piece of mind.

And it's sad, but head issues can make these vans nearly worthless. But I figure $3000 is not outrageous to keep a vehicle on the road for a few more years. My brother's C class depreciated that much when he drove it off the lot. I've had my L300 for 5 years. It owes me nothing.
Glenn
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L400 and L300 consoles
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