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Coolant level sensor ... UPDATE
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Mud Obsessed


Joined: 06 Feb 2006
Odometer: 4337
Location: Norfolk


1995 Land Rover Defender

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 12:22 pm    Post subject: Coolant level sensor ... UPDATE Reply with quote

Remember the coolant level sensor thread some time ago (here)?
Simon has given permission for this update post:

Land Rover's 300Tdi engine is vulnerable to damage through relatively small loss of coolant. The water pump sits very high on the engine and can easily be starved of coolant; when this happens fluid is no longer pumped around the engine and yet the temperature gauge reads normal. While other engines may not suffer this particular problem they could still benefit from a low coolant level indicator.

The 'Coolant Interface Module' is designed to allow the use of a Range Rover coolant cap (Land Rover part number PRC7925) on alternative vehicles. The cap includes a float which operates a reed switch, opening the switch contact when the level is too low. A series resistor of 680ohm is built-in making direct interface with a relay difficult. The Coolant Interface Module allows the cap switch to drive an external warning lamp and/or buzzer to signify loss of coolant.

The Module needs to connect to a +12V fused ignition point (green wire), and earth (black wire). These are available in the instrument binnacle, for example on the Defender both are available on the temperature gauge. The white wire goes to the coolant cap, along with another lead from the fused 12V. The indicator lamp / buzzer should be connected between the yellow lead and fused +12V. On the Defender there are often unused indicator lamps in the warning lamp cluster which could be used like this:


The Coolant Interface Module could be mounted close to the header tank so that the green LED on the interface module can be viewed, as shown on my installation. The module is secured with a large cable-tie (supplied) to a hole in the wing:

The disadvantage of this location is that a break in either wire leading back to the cab will render the alarm non-functional.

Alternatively the module could be mounted behind the instrument panel and connections wires taken out towards cap switch (green and white). A break in either wire would set off the alarm making it 'fail safe'. However the green LED on the module itself may not be viewable in this location. I believe Mike (mmgemini) put his together like this.

When connected as shown and with the ignition ON, the green LED on the interface module will illuminate when the coolant level is OK, this shows the device is working. If the coolant level drops (or the cap wires are broken) the LED will go out and the alarm will sound. This is my warning lamp (I don't know what the original legend is supposed to mean - pto maybe?)


Difflock were hoping to offer a full kit of parts needed to add this system to your Land Rover, however that isn't available yet. With the permission of Simon I am able to offer the Coolant Interface Module for sale at £17.63 (£15+VAT), which is more expensive than I would like, but I must cover my standard business costs. If this is too expensive also happy to support anyone who wishes to build their own based on the circuit published in the original thread. Please note that I will supply only the interface module; it does not include the cap switch or lamp or alarm. This supplied part is fully potted has an instruction sheet and is a slightly enhanced version of the circuit I posted in the original thread.

If you would like Coolant Interface Module please send a cheque payable to "TEB Technology" for £17.63 to:
42 School Lane, Dereham, Norfolk. NR19 1LS
Please specify on your order that your require part number 063311 and if you require a VAT invoice please indicate this at time of order.

--
Tim.

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-- Timothy Birt --
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dooroy
Just got MTs


Joined: 30 Aug 2004
Odometer: 182
Location: ROI



PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Timothy . I was following this thread with great interest when it was active as I feel it would be a huge benefit to the 300 Tdi's - my brother , sister and myself have one each (Discos) and I would like to put a 'kit' in each .
I got a bit lost along the way in the electronic side of things but would be very interested in your product - the head gasket in my sister's Tdi is gone again and I feel that it is due to a coolant leak and as she wasn't aware of it the level went too low and when she did top it up it airlocked .
The price seems very reasonable compared to a blown gasket or worse .
I live in the west of Ireland where LR are not well catered for and do all my own repairs - with quite a lot of help from this forum.
Would I be correct in saying that I would need your module +PRC7925+warning lamp + buzzer for each ?
Is the wattage of the warning lamp important ?
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mmgemini
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Joined: 26 Dec 2004
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Location: Stockton on Tees



PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used Maplin 12 LED warning lights on mine......
I also have another light on a push switch that tells me the level is OK when I press the switch.
Somewhere there should be a pic.


Top left warning light for fan obn [red]
Middle. Push switch to adjust warning light on water temp gauge.
Right warning light [yellow] low water level warning light.

Bottom left Green LED for level check.
Bottom right push check switch for level check.

The interface is Velcroed to the inside top of the instrument panel behind the fuel gauge.

Also Note.
Because I have an aluminium header tank I have used the Ranger Rover sender for the Range Rover brass header tank Pt No PRC 5077

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mike FOAK

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

I can cause trouble in an empty house !!!
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:)
Mud Obsessed


Joined: 06 Feb 2006
Odometer: 4337
Location: Norfolk


1995 Land Rover Defender

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dooroy wrote:
...Would I be correct in saying that I would need your module +PRC7925+warning lamp + buzzer for each ?
Is the wattage of the warning lamp important ?

Yes, that is the parts list, I have lamp and buzzer but there is no requirement for both. The module will easily switch 5A, so there is plenty of options to drive whatever lamp you like. My warning lamp is only the standard 1.2W type.
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Tim.

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reedx
Just got MTs


Joined: 12 May 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim, great job. Please expect my order in the next few days.

The cheapest price I've been able to find for PRC7925 is £25.55 excluding vat and delivery

http://www.land-rover-parts-shop.com/shop/en/br...home/cHJjNzkyNQ==

Their prices on other spares and service items are pretty good, and if you get your order up to £50 excluding vat you can have free delivery.

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Colin Reed
www.REEDX.net/landrover
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:)
Mud Obsessed


Joined: 06 Feb 2006
Odometer: 4337
Location: Norfolk


1995 Land Rover Defender

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin,
That is a good price for the cap switch - I think I paid more than £35 for mine.
--
Tim

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:)
Mud Obsessed


Joined: 06 Feb 2006
Odometer: 4337
Location: Norfolk


1995 Land Rover Defender

PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few people have these now.
Would anyone like to post pictures of your installation? It may be inspiration of others.
--
Tim.

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van_kerr
Just got MTs


Joined: 05 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fitted one of these systems and was very pleased with it. Fitted a 75db buzzer from Maplins (£1.67) and put the actual unit in a redundant switch hole (bank of three), next to the steering wheel, that way I know by the green LED everything is OK. HUGE piece of mind considering the problems with coolant on a 300Tdi motor. Easy fitment and the instructions/suggestions are good. I'll attempt to add photos later. Applause
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I only bought one because they were used to chase me.
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Phil Wilson
Off-Road Guru


Joined: 23 Aug 2005
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Location: Surrey


1996 Land Rover Defender

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have fitted mine behind the fan speed switch, so that the green light is in my eyeline. When I find the warning lamp and buzzer I want, I may well put the unit behind the dash.

I will put some photos up when I have finished the install.

Thanks Tim, a fine job mate! Very Happy

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Phil Wilson
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stable
Articulating


Joined: 19 May 2005
Odometer: 819
Location: Northumberland



PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim, you are the man! Cool
Cheque will be on its way very soon.
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Mud Obsessed


Joined: 06 Feb 2006
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Location: Norfolk


1995 Land Rover Defender

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, glad the device is doing its job.
--
Tim.

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stable
Articulating


Joined: 19 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just took delivery of mine. The module looks excellent. It's small, neat and looks very robust. Good work, Tim. Wink Great peace of mind provided by a very neat device.
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Phil Wilson
Off-Road Guru


Joined: 23 Aug 2005
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Location: Surrey


1996 Land Rover Defender

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fitted my warning buzzer and lamp on Saturday. My warning lamp is a spare one, which seems to show a car symbol?!?

Anyway, the buzzer is so annoying that I won't be driving a yard with it going off. Very Happy

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bertie_bas205
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Joined: 06 Jun 2007
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Location: ABERDEENSHIRE


1985 Land Rover 90nad

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to but in but, does the 200Tdi suffer the same problem??
Is there a kit for the 200 Tdi??

Thanx.
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:)
Mud Obsessed


Joined: 06 Feb 2006
Odometer: 4337
Location: Norfolk


1995 Land Rover Defender

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bertie_bas205 wrote:
Sorry to but in but, does the 200Tdi suffer the same problem??

The specific problem with the 300Tdi is that after relatively little coolant loss the water isn't being pumped so the temperature gauge looks normal, until after the damage is done! The 200Tdi has it's water pump mounted lower so it isn't as bad; as long as you notice the temperature climbing. However, an alarm is a good idea on any vehicle.

I think the header tank is the same for both 200Tdi and 300Tdi, but I can't be certain - can anyone confirm? If it is the same than you can use the same set-up.

Phil,
I have a cunning and devious plan for my alarm wiring. I need to try it out before posting another idea. Idea
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Tim.

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cipman
Gate Opener


Joined: 06 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all, my 1st post here.

One interesting solution I found is here: http://ar.geocities.com/vigiland4/Folleto.html , for those of you not familiar with spanish here's a rough babelfish translation: http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfish/trurl_...and4/Folleto.html

Things that I like:
- the neat implementation for discos
- oil alarm goes off only if engine is turning (uses the tacho gauge signal)
- uses the factory senders/switches (high impedance op amps)

Not entirely convinced on the wire-in-the-coolant approach. It works, no doubt about it, but I'm not sure if it will perform flawlessly in time.

Thought this might be useful.

Personally, I have the RR cap version with a 110 deg A/C temp switch in series (it's a normal closed type switch - fitted on top of the cyl head) in a similar circuit with yours.
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Mud Obsessed


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1995 Land Rover Defender

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cipman wrote:
Hi all, my 1st post here.
...
Not entirely convinced on the wire-in-the-coolant approach. It works, no doubt about it, but I'm not sure if it will perform flawlessly in time.

Hi cipman,
Welcome to Difflock.

I agree with your assessment about using a wire as a sensor, it won't last - however it would be cheap to replace, but how would you know it needs fixing!
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Tim.

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cipman
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Tim.

Right. I was initially thinking to use a silver coated (or aluminum) wire with a teflon jacket (like used in thin RF coaxes), but I discarded the idea at some point.

In fact it all started with the idea of fitting a similar sensor to the top of thermostat housing where the (genuine plastic) cap goes. Thought of making a new metal cap with a short aluminum probe (teflon insulation or something) to "catch" the air pockets there. As you might know, on 300tdi Discos that is the highest point (the exp tank sits lower than on 300 tdi Defenders). But, as above, I didn't trust the technology Smile. I couldn't find a proper way to make that cap reliable enough to withstand the heat and pressure without me worry about it.

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1998 Discovery 300 Tdi
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Mud Obsessed


Joined: 06 Feb 2006
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Location: Norfolk


1995 Land Rover Defender

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cipman wrote:
Right. I was initially thinking to use a silver coated (or aluminum) wire with a teflon jacket (like used in thin RF coaxes), but I discarded the idea at some point.

Aluminium may not work too well as aluminium oxide will form quickly which is an insulator, but silver oxide is conductive, so that would be the better choice of the two. However it will still corrode away (or be plated) by the electrochemical action of a current passing through the wire. I have come across a number of water sensors which use conductivity to measure the level, but I can't recall anything which offered the long term reliability. AC sensing has been tried to minimise the plating/corrosion problem, but it is still not as good as non-contact methods.
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Tim.

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Ricky
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Joined: 21 May 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im looking to fit one to a td5 Disco ,Heres another option re a level float http://forums.lr4x4.com/lofiversion/index.php/t15271.html
I think the idea of a delay in activation for when offroading is a good idea
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Mud Obsessed


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1995 Land Rover Defender

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ricky, good link.
I like the float switch and the idea of a small delay, but I'm less enthusiastic about the 555 circuit used; it has no protection for 'normal' automotive faults like load-dump, reverse battery and double battery jump-starts.

I have a switch to silence my buzzer (but the dash lamp still lights).
If a delay is wanted by a lot of people then I could modify my circuit module accordingly, but how much delay? Alternatively the delay could be built into the buzzer.
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Tim.

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Ricky
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have been trying to source the float from uk but struggling with it.
Plan is use their float with your box. I'm not bothered about delay as i don't really use her off road but i do think it's a good idea for the off roaders amongst us
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Mud Obsessed


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If that float switch is a plain switch you probably will not need my little module. A reed switch should be able to energise a small relay fine, although a 'flyback' diode would be needed to stop sparking across the reed contacts.

The reason you might need my module is if there is a series resistor (like the LR cap is which has a a 680ohm series resistor) which means it can't supply enough current to reliably energise a relay.
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Tim.

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ralph
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dragging up a old thread from the depths.

any further info on this interface box of electical tricks & how to obtain said box ?

I want to fit a coolant level sensor PRC7925 to my 200Tdi's header tank [black plastic type] in my 110.

here's hoping Very Happy


Last edited by ralph on Sun May 09, 2010 2:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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anglefire
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Joined: 21 Jun 2007
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1997 Land Rover Defender

PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim has no been on here that I know of for some time - he is a little busy with another project. (Look Here and down a bit for some idea!

However, he is still contactable - see a little further up this thread for his contact details.

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Mark
http://www.colston-online.co.uk
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ralph
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anglefire wrote:
Tim has no been on here that I know of for some time - he is a little busy with another project. (Look Here and down a bit for some idea!

However, he is still contactable - see a little further up this thread for his contact details.



Hi Mark

Thanks, I've sent him a e.mail via this address sales@NanoControls.co.uk<sales@NanoControls.co.uk>;

no reply as yet.

got the sensor unit today.
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anglefire
Just got MTs


Joined: 21 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ralph wrote:
anglefire wrote:
Tim has no been on here that I know of for some time - he is a little busy with another project. (Look Here and down a bit for some idea!

However, he is still contactable - see a little further up this thread for his contact details.



Hi Mark

Thanks, I've sent him a e.mail via this address sales@NanoControls.co.uk<sales>;

no reply as yet.

got the sensor unit today.


Ralph, I happened to speak to Tim this afternoon - and he hasn't got your email - it maybe due to his AV software being a bit keen!

Nest way to get in touch is via the email button on this forum under his name. Failling that, give him a ring contact details are on http://www.teb-tec.co.uk/co/index.htm

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Mark
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ralph
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Mark for your help, appreciated. I'll drop Tim a copy of the e.mail via the forum link.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ralph wrote:
Cheers Mark for your help, appreciated. I'll drop Tim a copy of the e.mail via the forum link.



anybody know where Tim is or when he last checked in here ?

sent him a e.mail via here & his nano controls website, I haven't had a reply to either. Confused
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anglefire
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Joined: 21 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ralph,

Tims not been on here for months due to work - but I do speak to him every now and then, in fact I spoke to Tim on Monday night.

I'll try and give him a ring today and see if hes getting his mails ok - I know his sales one is spammed a lot, but the one from here should have got through ok.

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