As it's starting to get colder I thought that this weekend would be a good time to flush the system, fit the new set of hoses I bought a month back and fill with fresh antifreeze.
I half expected there to be no thermostat in it as the temperature has struggled to even hit the first line on the gauge from cold now that we have run into some cooler weather, but no, there it was sat in it's cradle, blinking in the daylight when I uncorked it. I'm used to cars having a marked normal position, or centigrade markings, and the handbook is of no use in finding out what the temperature gauge should read, merely stating that if the pointer moves up quickly then one is to get ones mechanic to attend to it at once. Time to go old school I thought, and stuck a pan of water on the stove with a steamed milk thermometer (it's all I had!) and thermostat dangled in it. Now the stat is marked 82°c, but it was already starting to open long before that temperature arrived at around 60°c, time to raid the spare parts bin known as my spare engine and that one waited until 80°c and then started to open, that'll do.
The filler hole in the thermostat housing had a bolt in it rather than the big brass plug, which was odd. I'll never be able to fill it up via the small bolt hole so took the bolt out and there appeared to be a plastic insert that the bolt went into. Off to the spare parts bin again but sadly I was let down for once, as the expansion tank connector had been snapped off at some point. Back to the old one and I took a gamble and hacksawed through the plastic and managed to get it all out, though cleaning up the threads was an effort without a tap, but I was rewarded by the brass filler from the spare going in like a charm.
After what seemed like hours of emptying, filling, idling, emptying, filling, flushing etc. that is involved with the Holts two pack Radflush, I put on all the new hoses with new stainless steel clips and started to put the thermostat housing back on for the last time today, all ready to fill up with antifreeze and congratulate myself on another job out of the way and for once without a hitch, when the last bolt sheared in half...