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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 03-18-2011, 03:32 PM
rich8818 rich8818 is offline
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Just replaced the radiator and thermostat in my '97 528i.... All went well until I fired it up and went for a test drive around the block. let the car warm up for ten minutes then took off. Within minutes of driving it nearly went to red line. After getting it home, I rechecked the coolant level and that was fine. However after checking the top and bottom hoses I realized they were both super tight and ready to pop from pressure. I let the engine cool down and rechecked the coolant level, it was a smidge low so I filled it to correct level, let warm back up and went for another test drive, did fine for ten minutes or so and as I was on my last turn before home, red line. Same deal, major pressure in the top and bottom hoses, and when I took the radiator cap off, it gushed fluid. It seems as though there isn't and flow...? Maybe its the water pump? Also, on my second test drive the heater worked as normal, when it got hot the cabin heat blew cold air consistently. Stumped here and could use some experienced advice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rich
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  #27  
Old 03-18-2011, 04:34 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich8818 View Post
Maybe its the water pump?
We should probably take this over to another thread as this may have nothing to do with bleeding.

But, I'm incredulous that you did all the work to replace the radiator and thermostat and you didn't also replace the water pump at the same time? (Why did you replace the radiator and thermostat in the first place? What were the symptoms?)

It's only four more bolts after the thermostat comes out:
- What brand of waterpump to buy (1)

In fact, everyone recommends replacing the ENTIRE cooling system whenever replacing any one part of the cooling system:
- Complete cooling system overhaul recommended parts list (1)

Anyway, I'm no expert but it 'sounds' like it could be the waterpump.
- Pictorial look at typical E39 cooling system failure modes (1)

Check out these videos ... but we should move this to its own thread if it no longer is bleed related:

Part 1:


Part 2:
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  #28  
Old 03-18-2011, 05:59 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I was bored.....so I played around with my old coolant reservoir and this is the design:

- Hot coolant expands and exits the radiator via the "Snake Hose" (Orange Color).

- The reservoir has an internal pipe attached to the nipple, so coolant enters the reservoir and exits at the very bottom of the reservoir (Orange Arrow).

- If there is air in the Snake Hose, it may create an "Air Lock", thus the Bleeder Screw (Green Arrow) is there to help get rid of the air trapped in the radiator.



I think this is incorrect because if I squeeze the return (upper) hose, I can hear fluid (and some air) squirt into the top of the reservoir when the cap is off. That indicates to me that the snake hose discharges not at the bottom of the tank but somewhere above the fluid line.
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  #29  
Old 03-18-2011, 06:28 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ztom View Post
I think this is incorrect because if I squeeze the return (upper) hose, I can hear fluid (and some air) squirt into the top of the reservoir when the cap is off. That indicates to me that the snake hose discharges not at the bottom of the tank but somewhere above the fluid line.
ztom,

Get an old reservoir, play with it and you will see. I hooked up a small hose to my old reservoir's nipple, fed with with water and it came out the bottom.
If you look inside, you will see the straight pipe coming down to the bottom.
It makes sense because any air in the radiator is pushed out at the bottom of the reservoir to prevent it from coming back to the radiator.
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  #30  
Old 03-18-2011, 07:13 PM
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moots moots is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
--------
I recently changed my Tstat seals and for my curiosity, decided to probe the coolant passages using electrical wire and my finger!
I confirmed the coolant flow as follows:
- The WP circulates fluid from solid orange line from engine and solid blue line from UPPER Radiator Hose ---> dotted blue line (behind the thermostat) into the WP itself. This brings cool fluid into engine.
- Then hot coolant builds up in the engine block and comes out in the dotted purple line ---> solid purple line into the upper rad hose.

- There is no direct connection between #1 (blue) and #2 (purple) areas.
- So air trap behind the tstat is a distinct possibility in the M52 engine.

howdy cn90...just thot i'd share.looking at yr pic,you mentioned about the water pump removal bit.....to pry slowly with screwdriver little by little all around to remove WP.well i recently replaced the WP on mine without having to do this.(mind you the WP was stuck fast)if you notice on the WP there are 2 additional THREADED bolt holes apart from the existing 4 mounting holes?well these are for ease of WP removal.find 2 bolts of the same diameter and thread,screw in evenly and the WP will be 'pulled' out.............

Last edited by moots; 03-18-2011 at 07:14 PM.
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  #31  
Old 03-18-2011, 07:33 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moots View Post
...if you notice on the WP there are 2 additional THREADED bolt holes apart from the existing 4 mounting holes?well these are for ease of WP removal.find 2 bolts of the same diameter and thread,screw in evenly and the WP will be 'pulled' out.............
I am aware of those 2 bolts. It is old business.
Of course you can use those 2 bolts to extract the WP.

However, I find it much quicker to tap the WP with a hammer and wiggle it out.
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  #32  
Old 03-18-2011, 08:19 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
ztom,

Get an old reservoir, play with it and you will see. I hooked up a small hose to my old reservoir's nipple, fed with with water and it came out the bottom.
If you look inside, you will see the straight pipe coming down to the bottom.
It makes sense because any air in the radiator is pushed out at the bottom of the reservoir to prevent it from coming back to the radiator.
It makes sense, I'll check again. But I'm just saying that I think I hear air coming in at the top of the reservoir when I squeeze the upper hose. Also, if it was coming in at the bottom, I think I would then see bubbles come up if I squeeze.
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  #33  
Old 03-18-2011, 11:26 PM
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WagonTheDog WagonTheDog is offline
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I know this isn't a new thread, but I have to say, there are more than a couple DIY's out there for bleeding the cooling system... As I'm a "video first" kinda guy, the first DIY I saw on YT used the auxiliary pump method, so that's how I did mine... I mean, you just turn the key on, set the heat to 90* on the lowest fan setting, and that bad boy starts pumping as you're adding coolant. You can literally hear the air going out of the system as the bubbles initially cavitating throughout the system finally fall silent after tweaking the bleeder screws.

I just got onto the whole lower cluster thing, so I'm going to open it up and watch my temp on the way up to LA tomorrow...
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  #34  
Old 04-29-2011, 10:07 PM
jshough jshough is offline
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CN90 & BlueBee you guys rock! I used tips from the both of you on a quick (60 minute) replacement of both my AC/Acc Belt and Serpentine! Your tips were very helpful and clear. I still have an unidentifiable 'whistle/rattle' sound which I thought I would resolve with a belt change? However, following the installation of the new belts, replacement of coolant, I still have the rattle/whistle when the car is idling? I welcome any ideas..

Thank you both.
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  #35  
Old 04-29-2011, 10:53 PM
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Orxan4ik Orxan4ik is offline
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omg the "thermostat drilling guy" strikes yet again


Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Nothing new, but the cooling system on the 6-cylinder engines has baffled me for a long time, why it is too difficult to bleed the air out etc.
he says, when in fact THERES NOTHING HARD about bleeding the system by simply REFILLING slowly nice 1 buddy

if anybody wants to take refill/bleeding process beyond the level shown in the video, that is fine by me just dont come here feeding us BS about the complexity of the procedure and ur "genius" ways of fixing whats not broken



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  #36  
Old 04-29-2011, 11:58 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Neat videos Orxan!
Me likes!
I have always turned the car on, and switched the fan to full blast while filling, regardless if the car is a BMW or a Jeep, whatever...
LOL!
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  #37  
Old 04-30-2011, 05:10 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
omg the "thermostat drilling guy" strikes yet again :rofl
Orxan,

Have you ever Googled Images using keyword "thermostat drilled".
There are thousands of people doing it.
http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1...w=1219&bih=651


Anyway Orxan, nice try at rants against other forum members.
I do not recall that you contribute anything significant to the forum at all.
One thing is certain though, I will not stoop to your immaturity.
You need to grow up.


This is just an example from another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack View Post
I won't bash your car orx because I won't stoop to your childishly immature level. But I do enjoy your pathetic attempts at rants against other members. So keep going and keep us entertained with your infantile tirades.

Last edited by cn90; 04-30-2011 at 05:12 AM.
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  #38  
Old 04-30-2011, 09:12 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Orxan,
... stuff deleted ...

Anyway Orxan, nice try at rants against other forum members.
I do not recall that you contribute anything significant to the forum at all.
One thing is certain though, I will not stoop to your immaturity.
You need to grow up.

... stuff deleted ...
CN90
I think you're wasting your keystrokes with him. Self-important fools never listen. Let him flame away until the moderators take care of him - the sooner the better. And in the meantime, the rest of us simply tune him out.

Everyone who has spent more than 10 minutes on this forum knows who has contributed more, useful, accurate & timely advice and DIY's. Whenever I see your ID on a thread I make a point of reading it, even if the title doesn't interest me. I know that I'm likely to learn something. I suspect that I'm not alone. Keep up the good work.

Regards
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  #39  
Old 04-30-2011, 10:03 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
Whenever I see your ID on a thread I make a point of reading it
I do the same for cn90 and for you RDL (which is what brought me here just now).

Regarding the human factor, for anyone who purposefully & repeatedly irks me (either by posting repeated rubbish or by repeated unwarranted attacks), I simply press the ignore button and then vow never to respond to any ignored posts ever again. If an ingoree subsequently opens a thread, I ignore the entire thread. Works for me.

As for the topic on drilling holes in the thermostat housings, I too was (and still am) confused (as can be seen in the record above). I 'think' I don't need to drill (because I have the 2002 integral thermostat & housing); but I didn't do it anyway because of the confusion I had. But that's just me.

As for the bleeding procedure, I too was confused (again, as the record shows above).

At the time I last did that research, I found (at that time) three fundamental procedures:
- Bleeding the cooling system (1) (2) (3)

I tried all three methods at the time, but, IIRC, the auxiliary-pump-on with the car-on-ramps method seemed to be the easiest for me to comprehend and perform.
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  #40  
Old 06-30-2011, 11:38 AM
530i-bie 530i-bie is offline
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Well...
I am in the process of doing the full cooling system overhaul...
I have read (feels like 20 hours of good information, and too many hours of foolish BS), both from bimmerfest, and bimmerforum, and seen near 'battles of words' between Veteran Wrenches (folks here know the threads I am referring to, without naming names), over proper ways to Bleed the air out of E39's.

I am fully confident about doing the actual work on my 2003 530i. What I am frustrated about, is the fact that there are many versions of E39 cars.
IE: 6 year span of time, with different engines, different t-stat housings, different t-stats, different expansion tanks, different plumbing (hoses), different, different, different, etc.etc.
This is obvious when you view the massive selection of parts at Pelican, or any other OEM/aftermarket parts house... ALL because each year model and engine are different...

My point is that all the EXPERIENCE (trusted wrenches) here, seem to all have older cars (97,98, 00, etc.), where some are 528's, and the others are 540's, they ARE DIFFERENT from each other.... and have basic t-stats...

Some of us have 2003's, and happen to be the 530, and THEY have the Aux. Pumps, AND electric t-stats...

I know this is somewhat rambling, but when everyone chimes in with 'what method' works for them, it still is NOT GOOD, and may not work, for everyone....

It seems like there would be a specific 'air bleeding' instruction for each and every model of the E39 !!! Since the design and parts are DIFFERENT....

Would someone say with absolute confidence which method works BEST for the 2003 530i, with the Aux. Pump, and its special t-stat housing ????

PLEASE.
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  #41  
Old 06-30-2011, 11:45 AM
530i-bie 530i-bie is offline
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Also, Post the BEST bleeding method for 'every' year model and engine variant...
that would help more people than one can imagine, rather than having to read thread, after thread, after thread of multiple opinions...

Thanks everyone for the vast information available here. You help save everyone large amounts of $$$ from the Stealers.

I just want to know what works for my 2003...
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  #42  
Old 06-30-2011, 12:18 PM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530i-bie View Post
Well...
I am in the process of doing the full cooling system overhaul...
... stuff deleted ...


Would someone say with absolute confidence which method works BEST for the 2003 530i, with the Aux. Pump, and its special t-stat housing ????

PLEASE.
Well, "with absolute confidence" is a high hurdle However, I've used the method described in the TIS for my 2003 530 (see attached) with success. I have the auxillary pump & electrically controlled thermostat, just as yours does.

I have never had any "coolant bubble" symptoms. I did have to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup the next morning or after a several hour cool down to get the expansion tank indicator rod at the exact point. But only a single time each flush and bleed; never had to add coolant multiple times.

Interestingly, the TIS instructions direct one to open only the expansion tank bleed screw. There is no comment regards the bleed screw on the upper rad hose by the thermostat.

EDIT: my auxillary pump does work. One can hear it running, it's not loud but definitely a hum when running with the key on engine off. If the auxillary pump is not working, it could well make a difference to the bleed; the pressure and flow volume is impressive.

Regards
RDL
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Last edited by rdl; 06-30-2011 at 12:22 PM.
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  #43  
Old 06-30-2011, 12:51 PM
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doru doru is offline
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I followed the TIS, just as RDL mentioned, and didn't have to add anything. It was a one time deal. Also, I only used the vent screw at the exp tank level, didn't touched the one on the upper rad hose.
All is well after 1 month.
Also, as mentione by RDL, you can hear the aux pump working and gurgling when filling up.
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  #44  
Old 06-30-2011, 01:52 PM
USAMSG USAMSG is offline
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Which Method is Better?

cn90, thanks for the great DIY for coolant fill, I will add it to the others I have saved.

I am in the middle of a total cooling system update for my 97 528i. I used a previously posted cooling system overhaul DIY for the I6. That DIY made the job much easier. Everything has been removed and I have flushed the block. Now just waiting for parts to arrive from Arizona. I did not go with the stewart WP, just not in the budget.

Based on my success with this one will help when I do the same for my 03 530i.



Now the question, per your instructions you fill and bleed the system using the expansion tank. That is what I had been previously doing and it seems to work just fine.

Per the DIY I have been using for the cooloing system overhaul, the instructions say to fill with coolant using the bleeder screw on the thermostat housing, and drilling a 1/16" hole in the thermostat before installing to assist with the bleeding process. Bleeder screw on the expansion tank also removed for the departing air.

Or will both methods produce the best result? One not being any better than the other.

These BMWs are alot of fun, however I sure seem to be spending much of my free time with a wrench in my hand.

This forum has been a great help.
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  #45  
Old 07-04-2011, 11:52 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, there is a nice thread on the brass bleeder screws here:
- How to retrofit brass bleeder screws (1) (2)
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  #46  
Old 07-30-2011, 08:15 PM
NNY528i NNY528i is offline
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Wow still cant accept the reality of what is needed to bleed the cooling system I see. It is dead simple as shown in the videos, it works for all versions of the E39 that I have yet encountered(has been used on countless i6, V8 late and old models, several 3 series cars, European cars and at least one diesel) yet the rumors and fabricated stories about air lock and drilling thermostats continue to be spread in regards to these engines. The information on the coolant flow paths presented here has been shown to be incorrect and even within this thread you are contradicting yourself regarding the connection between the lower radiator hose and the upper radiator hose.

Guess I should post the DIY over here so this side can see how truly simple it is to bleed these engines.
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  #47  
Old 07-30-2011, 08:54 PM
NNY528i NNY528i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
..... Coolant contains Methanol, even trace amount will be converted by your body Alcohol Dehydrogenase enzyme to "Formic Acid" = blindness!
Um no there is no methanol in automobile coolant, none whatsoever, there is however Ethylene Glycol which is not good for you.
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  #48  
Old 07-30-2011, 09:09 PM
NNY528i NNY528i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I was bored.....so I played around with my old coolant reservoir and this is the design:

- Hot coolant expands and exits the radiator via the "Snake Hose" (Orange Color).

- The reservoir has an internal pipe attached to the nipple, so coolant enters the reservoir and exits at the very bottom of the reservoir (Orange Arrow).

- If there is air in the Snake Hose, it may create an "Air Lock", thus the Bleeder Screw (Green Arrow) is there to help get rid of the air trapped in the radiator.

Air in the snake hose will not cause any kind of air lock, the design of the expansion tank is specifically that way so that any air in the radiator is forced into the snake hose and as the system warms up it will be pushed out through the dip tube inside the tank, the air then rises to the top of the expansion tank and then when the system cools down, the system draws only coolant back into the engine. The design is a self purging system which will expel any air trapped within the system as long as the dip tube in the expansion tank remains submerged under the coolant in the tank.
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  #49  
Old 07-30-2011, 09:17 PM
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jayster0966 jayster0966 is offline
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Nice job explaining the cooling system flow. BRAVO!
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  #50  
Old 01-03-2012, 10:17 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I looked up NNY528I's bleeding procedure to help the OP of this thread today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > thermostat or bleeder valve on radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by landerson03 View Post
I have a 98 540i that is starting to overheat. I have replaced water pump,radiator, clutch fan and belt, and hose from radiator to engine. Have not replaced thermostat. I have no heat and my car does not go all the way to the red. Could it be it hasnt been bled properly when the radiator hose was replaced and coolant was replaced? please help. thanks. lisa
Here is that famous NNY528I's DIY on the other forum:
- Cooling System Bleeding

Quote:
Here is a complete DIY for Bleeding the E39 cooling system using the proper BMW/Bentley Procedure.
This procedure is based on the following BMW TIS documents

TIS 17 00 Instructions for working on cooling system
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/04/35/64

TIS 17 00 005 Draining and topping up coolant
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/02/26/14

TIS 17 00 039 Bleeding cooling system and checking for leaks
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/01/34/82

The V8 bleeding procedure is essentially identical except that there is no thermostat cover bleeder screw, all bleeding is done at the expansion tank bleeder screw.

NOTE: Much more deleted here but available in the original reference

Last edited by bluebee; 01-03-2012 at 10:38 PM.
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