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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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More Puzzlement...

I've got a puzzlement that I want to share.

As many know I've got a little problem with my cooling system. It will push water into the over flow tank but not draw it all back on cool down. I even hear sucking as I take the cap off the T-filler when it is cooled down. For the most part the coolant that stays in the over flow tank is just enough to fill the T-filler and leave the tank at the proper level, I'm not loosing coolant...as long as I don't go too far. Going to school,about 20 mile round trip, I would see about an inch above the normal cold level.

Today, for the third time, I had a different experience. I had to go to San Luis Obispo, twice actually, a trip of about 30 miles round trip with a couple miles of city traffic. When I pulled into the garage after the second trip, with no cool down between jaunts, I was loosing coolant out the spill tube on the over flow tank. The engine didn't overheat, never exceeded 90* C in town (that is about when my fan kicks on) and stayed at about 80*C on the highway (65 MPH limit)

After it cooled down I found the block low (as usual) but the over flow tank was sucked dry. I added a little over pint to the block and a couple cups to the tank to get it back to the normal level.

To top it all off, I have taken a couple short trips (to school a couple times as well) when the coolant level is OK after cool down.

I'm puzzled as to why it continually pushes water into the over flow tank.
I'm puzzled as to why the overflow tank was sucked dry when it doesn't do that on shorter trips.
I'm puzzled as to why the coolant stays in the tank (but not every time), leaving a void in the block when there is still vacuum in the system.

I've got my Cougar painted and am starting on the assembly (a couple tasks to get done first though, like replacing the back window and windshield rubber seals and finishing the detailing in the engine compartment) but I still don't want to tear down the FFR until the Cougar is functional, so I'm not taking any long trips for now.

Any comments or hints would be welcome.

Regards, Rick.

BTW, neither AZ or NAPA, in my SLO or MB, has a Stant 10331 cap, they said they couldn't order it either.


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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 11:58 AM
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Can you post pictures or a description of the cooling system? In- line filler, tanks...

Some of your description reminds me of the bad old days of the Moroso in-line filler neck.


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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 11:59 AM
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Don't know if you've got a typo or if we're using different caps, but F5 provided a Stant 10231 with my complete kit. Could it be the fitment is slightly different?


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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 12:35 PM
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Did you ever use a coolant system test kit? You can rent one from AZ for free. If you follow the whole procedure - which only takes about an hour - you get a lot of information.

To me it sounds like head gasket failure.

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 01:01 PM
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In order for the system to work properly, your cap must seal and maintain the pressure in the system. Checking the rubber seal on the cap and the condition of the flange where the seal mates would be the first order of business. A flaw in either of these areas would cause the premature pushing of coolant out to the overflow. The lack of a seal would also, prevent the system from creating a vacuum and pulling the expelled coolant back into the system.
Other than the rubber seal around the flange of the cap, the check valve in the center of the cap may not be seating or defective. Same results.
For testing purposes, a low pressure gauge on the coolant system, will show you what is going on, during a heat up and cool down session.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 01:13 PM
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Go down to the auto parts store and borrow their cooling system pressure checker and let us know what you find out. That same setup might be able to test your caps or they might have another system to do that.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vector1 View Post
Go down to the auto parts store and borrow their cooling system pressure checker and let us know what you find out. That same setup might be able to test your caps or they might have another system to do that.
Pressure test the system first. Also as noted above the Moroso in line filler neck doesn't seal well at pressure and you will get strange things happening with the cooling system. I had similar issues and replacing the Moroso filer fixed it.

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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 04:44 PM
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Hi,
Could it be your radiator cap not sealing?

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Not That...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Forte View Post
Hi,
Could it be your radiator cap not sealing?
Mike, I sent you an e-Mail explaining my set-up. My radiator fill port has a rubber plug sealed in Silicone under the cap, there is no sigh of leakage there.

Regards, Rick.

MJN...When my problems started, on a vacation trip to my Brother's in Idaho, we checked the block and caps, both good, with the tester my Brother-In-Law has at his auto repair shop. We also tested for hydrocarbons in the coolant. Nothing there.

railroad...when I check the fluid level after cool down I can hear the vacuum break when I take the T-Filler cap off.

phileas_fogg...Greg_M recommended the Stant 10331 as it works on two of his vehicles. It is a zero pressure cap that should allow fluid to migrate either direction until there is a rush of fluid or vapor at which time it becomes a 16 lb cap due to a small valve built in.

narve00...Here is a picture of my set-up. You can just see the fill cap on the T-Filler on the right edge of the image, the fill cap is painted red. The over flow tube runs out of the T-Filler on the right and follows the upper hose to the bottom port on the tank.


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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 09:26 PM
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Help me out, a little. Does your overflow tank have 2 hoses, one to the top and one to the bottom?
If you have a connection on the bottom of the tank, it should run to the overflow fitting on the fill cap Tee.
If have only an upper connection on the overflow tank, it should have an internal siphon hose that internally goes to the bottom of the tank.
The end of this should be cut on a 45* to prevent sealing off.
If you have both top and bottom fittings on the overflow, use the bottom one and let the top be a vent. The overflow container has to vented.
All lines to and from the overflow, need to be checked for blockage or kinks.
If you are breaking a vacuum with the removal of rad cap, the button valve in the center of the bottom of the cap is stuck or not working. The vacuum should unseat this button and allow the vacuum to pull on the overflow, line, tank.
Hope this helps.


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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-18-2018, 11:35 PM
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I'm puzzled as to why your recovery tank was sucked dry...

However, I believe that you've been steered toward the answer to your problems with the Stant 10231 radiator cap solution.

I've also been experiencing the same problem which reared its head last summer while on an extended cruise into Colorado; puking out of the recovery tank with a failure to recover the fluid upon cool-down. I was worried about leaking head gaskets and tried all the typical tests without finding the culprit. Anyway, to make a long story short, yesterday I replaced my vented radiator cap with a Stant 10231 cap and it appears to have cured my problem. I took a drive up the canyons yesterday following installation of the Stant cap, let the engine get nice and hot and after a short period of idle and upon shutdown several inches of coolant was pushed into the recovery tank. After a short cool-down period - minutes not hours - the fluid level in the recovery tank had dropped as the coolant was sucked back into the system.


I attribute the solution of the problem to the non-spring loaded design of the check valve on the Stant 10231 cap. I found this information very helpful:Radiator Caps Explained

I wish that I'd known FFR was using the Stant cap years ago.

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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 02:42 AM
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Hi Rick,
You can get a radiator cap for a 1990 Mustang 5.0. It fits almost every American car made but the knuckleheads at parts stores need year, make & model.

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 03:16 AM
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My vote is for an intermittent cap problem. Some times not sealing and probably the return valve sticking at times. I run a stock Fox radiator with a 20# cap on the radiator and the over flow nipple capped. Then a stock 16# cap on the T filler. Never had any issues in the 10 years since building the car.

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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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Some Good Feed Back...

railroad...My tank has top and bottom ports. The bottom port is connected to the port on the T-Filler, the top port has a hose that directs any over flow from the tank to the ground, below chassis level. Both hoses are open. I can put pressure on the port on the top, and move the excess fluid back into the T-filler. When I do this after a short drive of about 20 miles, the T-Filler is full and the tank is at the cold level. Agreed on the vacuum, I've tried three different caps with no change in results.

Jim Doak...I'm as puzzled as you when the tank is sucked dry. It has only happened when I drove over 50 or 60 miles without letting it cool down and moving the fluid back into the T-filler. I'm going to see if I can get a Stant 10231 at one of my local parts supply stores. That information on the cap was good. The Stant 10331 that Greg_M suggested appears to function in the same fashion, allowing coolant to move out of, and back into, the block freely.

My theory on the dry tank is that after enough fluid is pushed out to fill, and spill, the over flow tank there is quite a bit of void space in the block. When it cools down it must be creating more vacuum, enough to pull any remaining fluid back into the block until is sucks air. I didn't add enough fluid to equal the total volume of the over flow tank, so the void space was reduced by the amount of fluid in the tank, and the remaining void space (plus the cold level volume in the tank) was what actually spilled out on the ground and needed replacing. Why that additional volume made enough difference to pull the fluid back into the block is not understood

Mike Forte...You are correct, we tried to find the 10331 by looking at every cap they had in stock, at both stores I visited.

Dave M...I have been running the stock cap since I got the car registered in 2014. I have had it on a couple road trips of 1000 miles and several over 500. I didn't experience this problem until last summer when I went on vacation to Idaho to visit my Brother (it was the first time I got the chance to show him my build). I would not have ventured out on that trip if I had known of the problem. I started experiencing over heating going through Utah, about half way there. I pressed on because I have relatives in SLC and South Eastern Idaho, one with a repair garage and a trailer.

So far, from recent discussions, I believe that the radiator cap is my most probable cause for the problem. I'm going to try to get the 10231 cap and see if that does anything.

Thanks for all the input.

Regards, Rick.

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 11:17 AM
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You might check the diameter of the button valve in center of the cap and make sure it is not larger or the same diameter as the opening in the T filler neck. If it is impeded of unseating by its size, it would prevent the overflow coolants return to the engine.
That is about all I've got. Keep posting, good luck.

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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 12:54 PM
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CRZN 427,

My local Pep Boys had the Stant 10231 cap.

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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-19-2018, 09:15 PM
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Check that you don't have contact between the cap and the fill neck opening. The red area in the photo. I had to take a Dremel grinder to those spots.

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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-24-2018, 01:19 AM
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Are you sure you don’t have the inlet hose and the overflow hose reversed? If you do, then if there’s air in your system, all the fluid in the overflow tank could be pushed out when the motor runs hot. And you’ll be pulling air in every time it cools down but the tank will remain full.

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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-24-2018, 02:34 AM
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Rick,
I run the 10331 on 4 vehicles, the two Dodges, the FFR and the TR6. The Dodges came with a vented cap and the other two coincidentally worked perfectly with a vented cap. The 10231 is the same vented cap as the 10331 without the release lever.

The setup on the TR6 is a good example of simplicity. A 2 quart overflow bottle and a hose to the radiator neck for the overflow. The hose from the radiator passes through the lid of the bottle all the way to the bottom. There is no overflow on the bottle other than the pin hole in the lid. I run the bottle 1/2 full cold. When the engine runs a long time at temperature, the level rises to 3/4 full. When the car sits overnight, the water returns to the radiator and the bottle returns to 1/2 full.

Both Dodges exhibit the same behavior. The FFR, has a metal overflow can so I cant see the level but when I mess with the coolant, I fill the can up and it will puke out on the ground what it doesn't want during the first heat cycle, establishing the correct level.





Does the TR6 look like a very simplified version of how yours is designed?

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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-24-2018, 05:53 AM
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Have you tried both a vented cap and a NONvented cap?
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post #21 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-28-2018, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Need To Check, Tomorrow...

rich grsc...I've checked, no interference. This topic came up during my build and I did check it at that time. I've checked each of the subsequent caps to insure they clear.

mdjr70...The hose you see in my photo coming out of the top of the tank is the spill hose. The one coming from the T-Filler is under the upper hose, a short section of it can be seen above the A-Arm just to the right of the tank.

Greg_M...I could not find a 10331, cap but I did find a 10231, also a vented cap, at another parts store in SLO. I put it on last Tuesday but haven't had a chance to drive any distance at all, we were getting ready to go to Idaho for out second oldest Grandson's high school graduation, just got back last night (crappy trip**). Should have an opportunity to go for a 20 mile drive tomorrow. I'll let all know how it goes.

Firesnake...just got a vented cap, going to check it out tomorrow.

Regards. Rick.

**FWIW...We usually fly SBP to DEN to IDA and back. We rent a car in Idaho Falls and drive to Pocatello. The flights into Pocatello are three legs, take longer and cost more. The graduation was OK we had a good time visiting friends and family. On the way there we were stuck on the plane (a 12 row RJ), on the tarmac (engines at about 3/4 throttle) for about an hour while they did some maintenance fix. On the way home our departure from DEN was delayed about an hour waiting on a crew member to show up, then we we not able to land at SBP (original ETA 8:30, late departure arrived at about 9:30) due to fog, and was taken to LAX where they were going to provide two buses to haul us all back to SLO. We landed at around 10:45, the buses would not be there until about 11:30 to 12:00 for a 190 mile 3-1/2 hour (at best) ride. We rented a car and drove home, got here about 2:AM. (Note to travelers, renting a car in LAX, without a reservation is tricky.)

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post #22 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Still Not Sure...

With the Stant 10231 vented cap, I drove around town a couple days, checking the coolant levels after cool down, I did have to add a little at the T-Filler each time. I thought I was getting the last of the air out of the block, but the overflow tank seemed to stay at the cold level.

Today I went to SLO, about a thirty mile trip. The engine temperature never got above normal even on the part of the drive though town in stop and go traffic. When I got home the over flow tank was almost to the point of spilling out the over flow tube, but I don't think I actually lost any coolant. The fluid level was much higher than the normal hot level.

After cool down the over flow tank was about 3/4" below the cold level, and I still had to add a cup or so at the T-Filler, and brought the tank up to the cold level. I didn't think that I had that much air left in the block, but I'll keep checking to make sure. I know the over flow tank didn't get low enough to suck air back in, bit it did pull the coolant back into the block.

So, if I don't have some kind of gasket leak (or cracked block) that allows air to get into the coolant system I think the vented cap solved one problem, the coolant is getting back into the block, now if I can just insure I have all the air out of the block...


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post #23 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 12:00 PM
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I would keep driving it and also stop taking the cap off the t-filler. Do all topping up at the overflow tank.

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post #24 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Want To...But...

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I would keep driving it and also stop taking the cap off the t-filler. Do all topping up at the overflow tank.
When I've checked the fluid levels, especially when the tank was left with too much in it, I have found that the excess fluid in the tank filled the block, but not always. In order to be sure I have all the air out of the block I feel that I need to check it just to insure it is full until I gain some confidence that it will stay that way. If I only found a low level at the T-Filler when the tank was empty I'd know why I had to add, but when I find it low with fluid still in the tank then I need to keep checking until it stays full all the time.

I measured the amount of coolant it took to go from low (cold) level to high (hot) level on the Mustang tank and bought an after market tank that was larger, it is possible that with a vented cap that I will need more space for displaced fluid, at least there was more than I expected yesterday. If that isn't the case, then I've got a problem of something (a bad gasket???) pushing more fluid into the tank leaving a void in the block.

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post #25 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 09:21 PM
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I get it Rick. Just be sure it is fully cooled before removing the pressure cap. I know it's not always possible but I like either overnight or all day. The good thing is you are now getting coolant sucked back into the engine. Yeeeehawwww!

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post #26 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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Still Not All Good...

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I get it Rick. Just be sure it is fully cooled before removing the pressure cap. I know it's not always possible but I like either overnight or all day. The good thing is you are now getting coolant sucked back into the engine. Yeeeehawwww!
I took another trip to SLO today, same as yesterday, temperature stayed below the range where the fan kicks on. When I got home the hot level in the overflow tank was very high, about 1/2" below the spill port, so again I don't think I lost any there.

After cool down the level in the tank was at the cold level,,, but...when I took the cap off the T-Filler, it was down over a cup full (I didn't measure it, next time I will).

If I had a gasket leak that allowed coolant to spill on the outside of the engine (or a leak at the radiator), and evaporate away I should have a dry (or at least very low) over flow tank after cool down. If I have a gasket leak where pressure is getting into the cooling system and it is pushing coolant out into the tank, why does it go back to the cold level after cool down???...and leave a void in the block???

I checked the oil, it is the correct color and a little low due to my known consumption.

I'm going to keep driving it, and keep checking on it, until I either have a major failure or I get my Cougar running, then tear into it. I'd like to have an idea what to look for as I do the tear down, it is nice to know when you actually find the problem.

Regards, Rick.

Driving a car like this is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.

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post #27 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 10:48 AM
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You have the T filler and I have the brass expansion tank. They are both the high point in the system. My tank level also runs about 1/2” below the filler neck when I open it cool. That used to concern me so I added water and it would puke the water I added out of the overflow bottle when the engine warmed up fully. I never have to add water to the system.

I think you are fine. Drive several more times and see if the level in the overflow finds the level it is happy at.

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post #28 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 02:27 PM
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Vented caps are used on systems using a Harrison type tank. Where air is pushed out of the tank as coolant expands and air returns when the coolant cools and contracts. Non-vented caps are used with separate expansion tanks. There shouldn't be air in this system and any there should be pushed out into the expansion tank making it essentially self-bleeding. A small amount of coolant should be in the expansion tank if any air is purged it will be replaced with coolant when the coolant contracts. Non-vented caps seal at the top of the filler neck so they return coolant from the expansion tank as the coolant cools and contracts. Not air from the vent on the cap.


When my Coupe left more coolant than usual in the expansion tank, I discovered a small leak in the lower hose. It is easier to suck in the air than coolant so in comes the air.


I hope this helps, Glen

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post #29 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsides9 View Post
Vented caps are used on systems using a Harrison type tank. Where air is pushed out of the tank as coolant expands and air returns when the coolant cools and contracts. Non-vented caps are used with separate expansion tanks. There shouldn't be air in this system and any there should be pushed out into the expansion tank making it essentially self-bleeding. A small amount of coolant should be in the expansion tank if any air is purged it will be replaced with coolant when the coolant contracts. Non-vented caps seal at the top of the filler neck so they return coolant from the expansion tank as the coolant cools and contracts. Not air from the vent on the cap.


When my Coupe left more coolant than usual in the expansion tank, I discovered a small leak in the lower hose. It is easier to suck in the air than coolant so in comes the air.


I hope this helps, Glen
I understand that the fluid level in the over flow tank should be at the lower level when cool, the added volume that migrates to the tank when hot was a little unexpected but probably normal for a vented cap. I'll either put in a larger tank or a secondary recovery tank, but the idea of a pin hole that allows air in on cool down but not water out on heat up is worth looking into.

I need to see if I can put a vacuum on the system, cold, and listen for a leak. I don't have a vacuum pump but I do have an air brush compressor that I may be able to convert to a suction pump that I can run for short periods. That is the best solution I've heard yet.

I'll try to set that up in the next couple days and see what I find.

Regards, Rick.

Driving a car like this is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.

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post #30 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 03:26 PM
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Now that the talk has turned to leaks I'm reminded of a time shortly after putting mine on the road. I had noticed a small puddle of antifreeze in a hollow on top of the timing chain cover. Long story short it turned out to be a hose clamp that had loosened after a few heat cycles. Checked tightened all the clamps and haven't had a problem since.

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