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Thermostat and Heating Issues


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Good Evening everyone,

Recently I have attempted to purge my cooling system of 20 years of crud and debris from my newly acquired Triumph Spitfire. All was kind of going to plan (well - for someone who has never done it before) and I really learnt a lot from the whole experience.

However, as my temp gauge died one journey, I decided to inspect the sender and opened up the Thermostat Housing and to my surprise there wasn't a thermostat. I bought the mid-range one from Moss Motors and have just installed it and a new gasket as the old one was crumbling away.

Just started her up to recirculate all the fluids and now the is a huge amount of leaks (pressurised spurts) from the housing. Now, I am just curious as to whether this would be an issue with the thermostat being installed OR is it my plumbing?

I also don't really seem to be getting any hot air through the vents from the heating unit, despite having flushed and back flushed the heater matrix at great length and cleaning out literally every part of the system. I know that may seem daft, but I was hoping to do some cruising with the top down when we have a sunny autumnal day!

In addition to this, there is an increasing amount of white smoke coming from the exhaust, which to my knowledge probably indicate water getting into the head. Or is this a completely different issue?

Just for the record, the car is currently in Herts (near Welwyn Garden City) if anyone is local!

Thanks guys!

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sounds like fitting the stat has highlighted the weaknesses in the system as having no stat would mean the temperature never really got high enough to cause trouble.probably the reason it was left out by the PO.

you may get away with re torqueing the head nuts to reseal the head gasket.

the heater hoses may need bleeding,carefully loosen the hose clips at the highest point as the engine heats up and the pressure should push the air out(it might pay to undo the clips before starting and make sure the hose hasn't stuck onto the pipes as it could suddenly blow under pressure),then stop the engine recheck water level when it has cooled enough to prevent it boiling and repeat if it still isn't getting warm.

also check the heater valve isn't full of crud they aren't the best designed valve and can clog easily.

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The water is coming out from under the aluminium housing which sits above the thermostat?

Did you clean off the old gasket?
Did you put on a new one?
A thin smear of sealant always helps on them as well.

As to the watery exhaust, how hot did the engine get and was it taken for a run? If not, it could simply be condensation or water from rain collected into the exhaust and slowly warming. With the engine cold, remove the radiator cap and check to see if any bubbles are coming out. If not, the head gasket probably hasn't blown. If there are some, then it's gone between a bore and water jacket hole - which would explain the water being ejected around the housing.

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