Colant reservoir setup - am I doing it wrong? - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Colant reservoir setup - am I doing it wrong?

I have purchased on of those universal coolant reservoir setups (plastic container, two rubber hoses and metal bracket). You know, trying to be environment friendly and not to dump coolant all over NJ state :-)

Now, while the setup is pretty straight forward (hose from radiator to lower port on the container and another hose from upper part onto the street), when I checked the coolant level, it is always the same. There is no fluctuation in coolant level when the engine is hot or cold. Is it normal? I have filled the radiator to about 1" below the cap and then filled the coolant reservoir to "cold" line (all when the engine was cold). The radiator cap that I have is vented.

Any help in either confirming that it works as it should or that I can't setup simple plastic container is appreciated.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 05:24 PM
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You need a coolant recover pressure cap that has a reed valve to allow lower pressure in the radiator to pull coolant back into the radiator from the tank when the motor cools. Your old style cap is a one directional flow version that only allows coolant out once it exceeds the spring's pressure rating. There is no way for coolant to get back in again. Because the spring has so high a pressure rating it only allows fluid to flow under a boil over.

Change the cap and fill the radiator to the top with no air gap. When you check with the correct cap there should be no air in the system at all.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Dave, I do have the newer radiator cap with red release valve/lever. I just changed the hoses from cheap ones that came with the reservoir to a better ones from Napa. Now, I see fluctuation in the container. I just have to get better container as this one is leaking.

I will follow your instructions once I get new container.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 01:56 PM
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Is it leaking at the hose or the bottle isn't holding fluid? If you are running a quality silicone rubber hose (aka permanent hoses) you need a special screw hose clamp designed for the hose as the silicone rubber is soft and will be cut by a regular screw type hose clamp before the clamp can get a grip on the hose.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I do learn something new every day. I did notice yesterday that the rubber hose was cut by the hose clamp. I guess I need the ones you mentioned.

The leak is at the lower port where the hose is connected. The container is cheap plastic so I will just get nicer metal one since I will be redoing the whole thing anyway.
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