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No coolent in top hose


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Hi everyone

I have a Vitesse Mk1 2litre. There is never any coolent in the top hose when I remove it from the stat housing. I have tried to make sure the system is bled by opening heater and raising the front of car and running engine with rad cap off. I have also tried filling top hose with coolent and quickly attaching to stat housing. Makes no difference. I have checked the overflow tube for leaks by sucking air out at bottle end and putting tongue over end ot tube. It holds vacuem.

Does this issue matter. I assumed there should be no air in this system. If so any ideas on what might be causing it.

The car runs at 1/4 hot on the gauge when cruising and will run a bit over 1/2 if idling in traffic on a hot day ( it runs badly when hot like this and is harder to start). I am aware this could be other issues.

Any advice much appriciated.



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I cannot give any advice on the lack of coolant in the top hose, although without a doubt you will get the answer for that.


However what I can say is that your coolant system certainly seems healthy on the gauge readings you have given in the traffic circumstances - I would imagine a number of owners would be happy with those readings !!


The other point you raise is not uncommon (fuel vaporisation via excess heat) and I experienced that myself when first owning my Mk2 Vitesse.


A couple of mods I did which improved / stopped the situation are:


1. s/s carb shields - probably the best instant upgrade you can do. The s/s is better than other materials. You will notice a massive improvement on start-up with a hot engine. 


2. replaced rubber fuel hose with thicker fuel injection hose - the wall diameter is thicker due to fuel injection pressure.


3. electric fan - not that this is a must in your case as the temp readings look good; however it is very useful.


4. exhaust manifold  heat wrap - I've not done this, but have heard great reports / benefits with it being fitted. My only concern / question is "where does all that "trapped" heat go as it has to be dissipated somewhere - preferably not in to the cylinder head.


Hope the above is a "starter for ten" ?? 


Best wishes.



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Can you actually fill the hose with water through the rad cap with the engine cold, i.e. does that hose fill up when the system is topped up? If so, when it’s hot, does it expand out of the overflow? I’d reckon if the system is running well enough then it’s getting enough water to cool properly.

Watch your fingers on any rotating / sharp / hot objects and with the engine running squeeze the hose to expel any air. Just a handgrip is enough to get a lot of air out and let water through again. However it’s worth bearing in mind that the hose doesn’t have to be full of water, it just has to have enough to allow water to be pumped into the radiator, so will probably expand out of the system again once it gets hot. If you can see the water pumping with the rad cap removed, it’s working. One point to bear in mind is that when the system is hot and the water has expanded, the system loses it into the expansion bottle; when cold, it’s drawn back in again by vacuum. If your rad cap seal isn’t tight, it won’t return back in. This may be the reason your hose appears empty when cold, but when running at full heat is actually carrying water. Does it get hot when running, and you can feel the hot water running through it? I’d keep an eye on the level, but as long as the temperature is ok when driving, it may just be a case of losing it to expansion without the system refilling when cooling down. A new rad cap seal may help. (Is the cap the correct poundage?)

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