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While I'm at it....

The last few times I drove the X last fall it was cool enough to use the heater. It was no surprise that the heater worked great but a big surprise that the heater valve was leaking coolant all over the carpet! Of course that meant that my winter project would be to replace the heater valve and, while I was at it, the heater hoses. With the coolant drained it was also logical to replace the radiator hoses & thermostat too and, while I was at it, see what I could to to address the overheating issue that the car has has on and off for the last few years. To this end, it seemed a good idea to clean out, or better yet, replace the OEM radiator so I bought a new "Texas Heat" radiator from Vick Auto.

 

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Not only is the new aluminum radiator a shiny thing of beauty but it also is lighter that stock, only nine pounds!

 

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While I as at it, I replaced the single small, '70's technology OEM fan with a pair of larger, more efficient, modern fans. The new radiator has exactly the same shape and fittings as the stock unit so it was simple to install.

 

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While replacing the hoses and thermostat in the engine compartment I noticed that the clip that holds one of the heater hoses and the FI wiring harness (#1 in photo above) was a bit corroded around the edges so I cleaned it up and powder coated it with the kit I bought from Eastwood. The kit was originally purchased when I was replacing the fuel hoses a couple years ago (don't think I posted about that) so I could put a durable coating on the various FI brackets & etc. While I was at it I also powder coated the oil fill cap, the expansion tank bracket, and the alternator cooling hose bracket (#2 above). With this hose out of the car it was especially obvious that it was in poor shape so, while I was at it, I replaced the hose with a shiny new one (#3 above).

 

 

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The X1/9's cooling system is designed so that any coolant that expands beyond the capacity of the tank will be dumped on the ground. Too much coolant is lost this way could lead to overheating, indeed I think I've had this problem on the past. To prevent this from happening I made a small overflow tank. The tank is a recycled plastic squeeze bottle and the bracket made from a stainless steel strap. To be honest, I don't know if the overflow tank is a good idea or not but I guess for now I'll just pretend that it is.

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Another thing I noticed while in the engine compartment was that one of the plastic clips that hold the FI wires had broken. Mind you the broken clip was hidden between the intake manifold and the cam tower and probably isn't all that necessary anyway but while I was at it I thought it should be replaced. My son Andy made a 3D model of the clip based on the broken original and made the new one (above) on his 3D printer.

 

Oh, and while I was at it I replaced the battery too...

 

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