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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all, any advise on this is greatly appreciated. I'm new to forums and look forward to contributing.

My drive is actually a Combo van Mk1 with c14nz engine.

The problem I have is with the cooling system, when starting from cold I get a gargling sound from header tank, really annoying because I know somethings not right. This is caused by coolant rushing from the radiator overflow pipe into the header tank, (not from water rising from the pipe on the bottom of the tank), I know this because it can clearly be seen entering the tank from the pipe coming from the rad.

As I have my own firm which fabricates custom car parts, I decided to make a new aluminium header tank last week, this is fitted with a 20psi pressure cap. When fitting the new tank I removed and flushed the rad with fresh water, disconnected the matrix and flushed with fresh water, refilled the system with 40% coolant/water, and bleed the system by removing the manifold temp sensor as per the Haynes manual. The gargling problem still remains.

This happens immediately from stone cold, so its not due to boiling, and it stops after around 1-2 miles of driving.

It doesn't lose a drop of water, and the heater works fine too.

The engine temp never goes over 95 even when standing, and the fan kicks in as it should, usually at just over 90, but when driving normally for this time of year its running at around 80-85 with no fan needed while driving.

2 years ago I did replace the head gasket, as I had oil in the water and vice versa, this time I have nothing more than a small amount of emulsification on the oil cap, normal in winter from condensation. I have also done a bubble test for compression in the cooling system, both from cold and hot with nothing to indicate that the head gasket has failed, the system is not over pressurising.

My possible thoughts are as follows:

1. Due to the cold weather the thermostat is completely shut on start up, therefore with less room to circulate, coolant is being circulated through the header tank as the radiator is shut off to the rest of the system by the closed stat. After 1-2 miles of driving the engine warms allowing the stat to open, and coolant to flow through the rad, in effect the system is becomes bigger with the stat open.

2. The radiator is of a bad design, the top hose is possitioned as it should (O/S), but the bottom hose for water exiting that has been cooled, is situated to high up on the opposite side of the rad (N/S). Also the overflow pipe on the rad to the expansion tank should be on the hot side, not the cold side of the rad like it is. In the coming weeks I will be making a completely new rad, that cures these issues.

3. Could a head gasket problem seal itself as the engine warms and things expand? However, I think the head has been ruled out.

4. Is it a problem with air locks, I've read the Corsa engine is a pig the bleed.

Sorry its long winded, but hopefully there is enough info here for people to comment, thanks in advance for any advise or help.

Cheers Lee.
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