Busted water temperature sender

Busted water temperature sender

Joined: March 14th, 2005, 7:04 am

April 3rd, 2008, 7:01 am #1

My '79 X has a busted water temp sender. (I haven't written about this car much (at all?) since the only thing it's needed (besides normal maintenance - tires, spark plugs, plug wires, etc) since I bought it in 2000 was a clutch slave cylinder). But that changed tonight....

The water level in the coolant tank would go slightly down over the course of a few weeks. I parked it in the garage a week or so ago to take a look at it and saw a decent sized oil puddle under the car - except the puddle seemed kind of thin - sort of like water.

I checked the engine tonight and found the area under the oil pressure sending unit was clean but the area under the water temp sensor was dirty. I checked and lo and behold the sensor was loose. I tightened it by hand and then gave it about 1/6 of a turn (that's as far as I could turn it given the limited clearance). When I went to try for a 2nd turn, the sensor got looser instead of tighter.

I pulled it out and the sensor is broken at the threads - the threads are still screwed into the engine, and of course it didn't break off cleanly.

I'm looking for suggestions - think I can use an easy out on this or ???

Thanks,

Larry
'79 X1/9
'86 X1/9
'81 Spider 2000
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htf
Joined: May 5th, 2001, 4:29 pm

April 3rd, 2008, 7:23 am #2

I'd use the left hand easy out for that. I think the sender is brass and a hammered type extractor may not be the right one.
Except for the limited space there I don't see a problem. The unit was loose in the first place so it shouldn't pose a problem extracting it.



HaXD
Herzel, in Israel

WhiteX
The late Green '85 X1/9
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Joined: March 14th, 2005, 7:04 am

April 3rd, 2008, 7:27 am #3

Thanks for the response...

I've never used an easy out - left or right handed - so uh... how do I figure out the size to use?

I'm somewhat concerned the sensor might not have been loose, but already busted for some amount of time.

Larry
'79 X1/9
'86 X1/9
'81 Spider 2000
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Joined: December 21st, 2004, 3:04 am

April 3rd, 2008, 7:43 am #4


Most eazy-outs are tapered so one size that GRIPS is what ya need.

You might be able to gain some clearance and ease of access by doing two things,

1.  Remove the engine cover entirely...

2.  Remove one end of the dogbone, and pull engine towards the rear... and brace or tie it.

You can also drill and re-tap the hole if necessary... hopefully not.


My best,



Tony
Black Tooth and me... since 1983!
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Joined: October 15th, 2007, 3:50 am

April 3rd, 2008, 2:59 pm #5

My '79 X has a busted water temp sender. (I haven't written about this car much (at all?) since the only thing it's needed (besides normal maintenance - tires, spark plugs, plug wires, etc) since I bought it in 2000 was a clutch slave cylinder). But that changed tonight....

The water level in the coolant tank would go slightly down over the course of a few weeks. I parked it in the garage a week or so ago to take a look at it and saw a decent sized oil puddle under the car - except the puddle seemed kind of thin - sort of like water.

I checked the engine tonight and found the area under the oil pressure sending unit was clean but the area under the water temp sensor was dirty. I checked and lo and behold the sensor was loose. I tightened it by hand and then gave it about 1/6 of a turn (that's as far as I could turn it given the limited clearance). When I went to try for a 2nd turn, the sensor got looser instead of tighter.

I pulled it out and the sensor is broken at the threads - the threads are still screwed into the engine, and of course it didn't break off cleanly.

I'm looking for suggestions - think I can use an easy out on this or ???

Thanks,

Larry
'79 X1/9
'86 X1/9
'81 Spider 2000
with tapered right hand threads. Tightening the sensor caused the threads to wedge itself tighter in to the threaded hole. There is a sealant used on the threads too. Soak the remaining threads in something like PB blaster for a day or so. It might be possible to cut a slot into the sensor with a cut off wheel and apply a BIG, short right angle slotted screw driver to the broken off sensor body to remove it. The sensor body is hollow, but I don't remember what diameter it is and something like an EZ out might no come in that larger a size. I don't like EZ outs as they have a tapered section that can cause the broken off stud to expand further and make removal near impossible.

Another possibility is try using a left hand tap and a tap wrench. Basically thread the inside body of the sensor and use the tap as a removal tool. It is possible to use a left hand bolt with a nut as a stop to prevent the bolt from breaking thur the bottom of the sensor. Left hand cutting tools are availability from the local machine tool store.

There are two water temp sensor thread sizes, make sure to get the proper sized one when it's replaced. Use Teflon paste to seal the threads and DO NOT over tighten the replacement sensor.
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Joined: March 14th, 2005, 7:04 am

April 3rd, 2008, 6:14 pm #6

I don't know if this'll change things but I thought a picture might explain it better...




So the threaded part is what's still in the engine.

I take it these don't normally work themselves loose? So when it was easy to turn, I should've stopped there and tried to remove it?

Any idea how it could have come loose (just asking for creative guesses).

Larry
'79 X/19
'86 X1/9
'81 Spider 2000
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Bob Brown
Bob Brown

April 3rd, 2008, 6:47 pm #7

My '79 X has a busted water temp sender. (I haven't written about this car much (at all?) since the only thing it's needed (besides normal maintenance - tires, spark plugs, plug wires, etc) since I bought it in 2000 was a clutch slave cylinder). But that changed tonight....

The water level in the coolant tank would go slightly down over the course of a few weeks. I parked it in the garage a week or so ago to take a look at it and saw a decent sized oil puddle under the car - except the puddle seemed kind of thin - sort of like water.

I checked the engine tonight and found the area under the oil pressure sending unit was clean but the area under the water temp sensor was dirty. I checked and lo and behold the sensor was loose. I tightened it by hand and then gave it about 1/6 of a turn (that's as far as I could turn it given the limited clearance). When I went to try for a 2nd turn, the sensor got looser instead of tighter.

I pulled it out and the sensor is broken at the threads - the threads are still screwed into the engine, and of course it didn't break off cleanly.

I'm looking for suggestions - think I can use an easy out on this or ???

Thanks,

Larry
'79 X1/9
'86 X1/9
'81 Spider 2000
If I perceive you're photo correctly, you NOW have the BRASS tip of the sensor (still) in the block, and the area inside the hole is sealed off from the rest of the motor.

What I would do: (only if the above is true)
Using an Oxi-acetelene torch, (fine tip) I'd heat up the block AROUND THE OUTSIDE of the brass threads (being careful NOT to overheat the brass to the melting point!) then (while very hot) tin the inside of the brass nipple with plumber's solder and resin, then inserting an allen wrench (largest that fits in the hole) and plumber's solder to fill the gaps until it cools. (cools to the point the solder is solid, but not cold) Then try turning the hex wrench (and sensor nipple) out of the block.

But as Tony said, you'll likely need better access and drop the engine down.

Ideas. -Bob
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Joined: August 6th, 2005, 6:03 pm

April 3rd, 2008, 8:04 pm #8

heating the aluminum head to get the brass hot enough to take solder- you'll melt the head. head transfer from the head to brass is throroughly poor due to the thin surface ox between them.

braze a nut (or bolt if it is deep) right to the remaining piece of the temp sender.

alternately, a right angle pneumatic drill, with the drill bit packed in grease to catch the shavings. DEFINITELY try this with a left hand drill bit of good size, about 1/4" or so, it may walk right out. If not, you now have a hole through it and adress the situation with an easy-out type of extractor. The bigger the hole, the better it will work, within reason.

Not sure that it is a tapered thread, I believe it is a straight DIN pipe thread, Msomethingx1.5

Absolute worst case, drill the whole thing out and rethread the head.

From the glass lined tanks of old Bertone

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Bob Brown
Bob Brown

April 3rd, 2008, 8:23 pm #9

The aluminum shouldn't get that hot (over 1200 Deg F? to melt) it if you're reasonably careful. I've also noticed the "grip" of oxidation inside an oxidized aluminum thread (from my experience) diminishes greatly when heat is applied. But yes, you have to be careful. You also don't want to overheat older at (say) over 600 degrees for any length of time either.

Just a comment from the peanut gallery, worth about a peanut!
-Bob

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Joined: August 6th, 2005, 6:03 pm

April 3rd, 2008, 9:01 pm #10

the heat would have to transfer across the oxidation, then heat the brass. The oxidation is a miserable conductor of heat. In fact, if you have a rusty steel bolt in a steel hole, you can torch cut the bolt away from the threads, relying entirely on the oxidation interface to keep the hole/threads undamaged.

That and the fact that aluminum doesn't show much sign of melting before it turns into a puddle on the floor. If you can set an O/A torch for 1000° you'd be safer, but I don't know any that operate like that.

If you want to weld/braze/etc on the broken portion of the sender, do it directly to the sender. Either the heat from the incident will weaken the ox and it will come right out, or after it cools and constricts it may have a better chance.

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