Honda swap questions from a BMW guy

 
Old 07-08-2019, 05:46 AM
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Default Honda swap questions from a BMW guy

I am doing some wrenching on a 99 Civic si that has been heavily "built" to SCCA Solo SMF specs. Newly acquired by the owner, and while there is some very "tasty" content, and fundamentally well built, there are some issues that need sorting. So, for now, the questions will be about the cooling system.

The car has a high quality aluminum radiator, twin electric puller fans, dual speed electric water pump, and high end hoses and connectors. The component that is attached to the left front of the head is an aluminum piece that has a bleeder, cap, large outlet to the radiator, and a bib for the overflow hose. (I can post a picture if needed.) Warning -- the upcoming questions may sound stupid. However, I am a fairly skilled mechanic and can do ANYTHING to 82-05 BMW 3's, but have little experience with swapped Civics. I would rather sound dumb than hurt a very expensive engine !!!!! So ---

1) I suspect that the reservoir is incorrect and too small. NOT sure what it came out of. What would be the correct until for a K series engine in this 99 SI?
2) On the BMW's I work on, there is a bung on the low side of the block to drain the block. Is there one on the K engine? I have yet to see one.
3) I know the proper methods of clearing air out of various BMW engines. On this Honda, I have worked hard to make sure this engine is purged, but not sure it is air free. I have even jacked up the left side of the car fairly high to try to get air to the overflow bib hose to bubble into the overflow. Yet, after 3-4 hot runs at a Solo event this weekend, the nearly COLD empty reservoir filled up and started pushing some coolant past the screw on plastic cap. This particular aftermarket system cooling system has no t-stat, but rather a temperature controlled electric pump. Is there a specific air purge procedure, or should I use a vacuum system to draw out the coolant and refill it?
4) What reservoir should be used?

I will post pictures if that will be helpful.
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: Honda swap questions from a BMW guy

Originally Posted by snaponbob View Post
I am doing some wrenching on a 99 Civic si that has been heavily "built" to SCCA Solo SMF specs. Newly acquired by the owner, and while there is some very "tasty" content, and fundamentally well built, there are some issues that need sorting. So, for now, the questions will be about the cooling system.

The car has a high quality aluminum radiator, twin electric puller fans, dual speed electric water pump, and high end hoses and connectors. The component that is attached to the left front of the head is an aluminum piece that has a bleeder, cap, large outlet to the radiator, and a bib for the overflow hose. (I can post a picture if needed.) Warning -- the upcoming questions may sound stupid. However, I am a fairly skilled mechanic and can do ANYTHING to 82-05 BMW 3's, but have little experience with swapped Civics. I would rather sound dumb than hurt a very expensive engine !!!!! So ---

1) I suspect that the reservoir is incorrect and too small. NOT sure what it came out of. What would be the correct until for a K series engine in this 99 SI?
2) On the BMW's I work on, there is a bung on the low side of the block to drain the block. Is there one on the K engine? I have yet to see one.
3) I know the proper methods of clearing air out of various BMW engines. On this Honda, I have worked hard to make sure this engine is purged, but not sure it is air free. I have even jacked up the left side of the car fairly high to try to get air to the overflow bib hose to bubble into the overflow. Yet, after 3-4 hot runs at a Solo event this weekend, the nearly COLD empty reservoir filled up and started pushing some coolant past the screw on plastic cap. This particular aftermarket system cooling system has no t-stat, but rather a temperature controlled electric pump. Is there a specific air purge procedure, or should I use a vacuum system to draw out the coolant and refill it?
4) What reservoir should be used?

I will post pictures if that will be helpful.

Hey SnapOnBob,

K series are notorious for being a pain in the *** to get all of the bubbles out of the coolant. I would suggest setting the temperature value as low as possible to kick the pump on and raise the nose of the car as high as you can get it. Use a bleeder funnel like this:
Amazon Amazon
and fill it up while running the car. Once the temp is up, give it some revs (if the electric pump reads RPM and increases along with it) and hopefully you will get all of the air out. I have to do a few iterations of this anytime I drain the coolant on my K series EG. A few sweeps through the rpm band will usually move the bubbles out of the system, top it off and its done. Good Luck!
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