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Old 11-26-2011, 09:24 AM
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Radiator overflow / recirculation diagram?

Hey All...I'm trying to find out what to do for coolant recovery/recirculation on my '70 Buick GS 350. First off, I don't seem to have any real problem here. (Yeah? So why you buggin' us, huh?) The thing is, there once was some type of "catch can" or recovery tank installed at the factory, and it had a purpose. That tank was gone by 1980 when I got the car, and the thing has never ran hot. Years ago, there was a situation where I had no heat to warm my girlfriend in the winter, but the car ran good so I didn't try to "fix it". At that time, the radiator would not stay full. I'd top it off, and the heater would work fine for about two days. When the heater would stop working, I'd find that I'd lost a quart or so. Later, I rebuilt the engine and put in a new radiator...then... my heater came back, and the radiator stayed full! My question is, would the engine benefit from having a tank of some kind, and how in the world are those tanks connected to the system? My searches of this forum and the net have shown me some tanks for sale, but for whatever reason I haven't been able to find good information on how to install them. Thanks....Bob.

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Old 11-26-2011, 06:43 PM
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Hi Bob, What you are refering to is called an expansion tank. In the old days the rads were bigger and you did not fill them all the way and when the coolant expanded it had a place to go I assume.
Now rads are smaller and an expansion tank or overflow tank is provided, Mounted level with the top of the rad , The filler neck on the rad has an overflow outlet. When the pressure builds up to a certain it lifts the inside of the rad cap and lets the coolant escape. Into the expansion tank. Saving it to return magically to the rad thru vacuum as the pressure subsides and the collant cools.The after market tanks have a overflow built in allowing for the coolant to leave the expansion tank and end up on the street.That would happen if you over fill the exp. tank
If your heater is blowing cold you don't have enough coolant in the rad or the motor. You may not notice any loss of coolant because it may only overflow when driving and not in the driveway. I would add a tank. They are easy to put in Just run your overflow hose to the bottom of the tank and add a short tube to the overflow coming out the other hole. If you buy one they give instructuions. Luck.
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