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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If you are looking for an overflow coolant return tank, try this (pic). Got it at Autozone, 2.5 quarts for $9.95. Screws right up to the frame or whatever that part is called. Gives me a lot of comfort looking at a half full reservoir before taking a trip.

Of course now I need to stick a low coolant sensor in there to go along with my low water pressure sensor and my temperature gauge and warning light sensors... Maybe I am too sensitive about the water...
 

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I have never heard of running a water PRESSURE gauge, what is the actual purpose of said gauge? (other than to maybe notice a leak while driving, but that said a loss of pressure is usually pretty dramatic and "noticable" with-out a gauge) IE blown hose, bad cap etc....
 

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I have never heard of running a water PRESSURE gauge, what is the actual purpose of said gauge? (other than to maybe notice a leak while driving, but that said a loss of pressure is usually pretty dramatic and "noticable" with-out a gauge) IE blown hose, bad cap etc....
You just might have something here... ;)

Maybe a low water (coolant) pressure light and/or gauge will dazzle and remove (for awhile) the heartbreak of seeing hot coolant clouds coming through the grille.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I once blew a freeze plug, an event that empties every drop of water in three seconds. At 60 mph I did not notice till I heard the clanking... To head off a reoccurrance Jegs sold me an adjustible oil pressure gauge. In the pic it is threaded into the heater hose elbow. It's set to light up when under 2 psi.

But let me ask this. I filled the radiator to neaqt the top, filled the reservoir halfeay and drove atound, including 45 minutes on the highway. The water level never changed. I expected it to rise and then return. Wot hap? Also, months from now as the water level in the radiator leaks out, will it replenish itself from the reservoir? I bought it expecting that to be the case but now I'm wondering.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay, I've got my water level sensor installed. It's a float switch at the end of a plastic tube that's clamped to the lid of the reservoir (pic). If the water gets to 1" of the bottom, the float will drop and the warning light on the dash should turn on.

I hope it will work while driving but I'm not sure about that. The science escapes me. But in the morning if I start her up and the light goes on it will tell me there's been a leak somewhere. Right?
 

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But let me ask this. I filled the radiator to neaqt the top, filled the reservoir halfeay and drove atound, including 45 minutes on the highway. The water level never changed. I expected it to rise and then return. Wot hap? Also, months from now as the water level in the radiator leaks out, will it replenish itself from the reservoir? I bought it expecting that to be the case but now I'm wondering.
I not sure but don't think it will work like that. Where the hose attaches to the nipple on bottle does it have a tube inside bottle going to the bottom?
Or is it just a nipple that flows into bottle?

If it is just a nipple that flows into bottle I don't see how it would suck fluid back into rad. Wouldn't it just suck air?

For it to work as you want I would think it needs to have the nipple on bottom to feed fluid to rad, or a tube running to bottom of tank from nipple.

But boy the price is right. For a nice simple setup

Lou
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There are two tubes, the one you see is just for any overflow in the overflow bottle - probably not really necessary. The working tube runs from the radiator to the bottom of the bottle. It's tougher to see because I painted it black.
 

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putts are you the one I replied to about 'open' and 'closed' cooling systems in a different thread?

If not I will try and 'splain it a little to you.

The old cars used the 'open' type of system, meaning if the engine overheats and you have a weak cap the coolant (steam)rushes past the cap to the "overflow" tube usually vented to the bottom area of the car, and is designed that way.

Coolant RECOVERY systems are "closed" systems as it has a 'catch can' and a radiator cap that is designed to "open and close" while being twisted all the way on. And will push coolant out as it heats, but as it cools will 'recover' (suck the h2o back into the radiator).


(one way to tell the caps apart is the recovery systems cap has 2 rubber 'gaskets', the old open style has only 1 rubber gasket)

I think you are expecting a coolant recovery with an open style system. (which wont work.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What do I need to do to make a recovery system? I have a new cap but should I use my old one, the one with a lever? Or is there a special kind I should have?
 

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For what you are trying to do the lever cap wont work. The other cap will. Someone had ask and you didnt see/answer so i will ask again about your catch can, does the fitting that the hose connects to just dump into the can at the top where its positioned or is the fitting a molded in part of can and dump into the bottom area?

Asking for a specific reason, and thats if it just "dumps" in at the top it will not "recover" any coolant out of the can/jug.... it (the inlet for the hose) HAS to be immersed below the coolant level in the can/jug.

Another question is what is the gauge markings for your Pressure Gauge?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The hose coming from the radiator neck plugs into a nipple in the bottom of the reservoir. The other hose, coming out of the top of the reservoir, just dumps under the car.

The new cap (Autozone 7013) has a button on the top that reads 13.

Do you think my warning light plan will work? That is, in the morning if I start her up and the light goes on, that means there's been a leak somewhere and the radiator has sucked all the water out of the reservoir?
 

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ImageUploadedByAG Free1353655291.818966.jpg
Here's a coolant recovery system I made with a simple water bottle and a couple of hoses and a Stant Lever-Vent cap.

The hose from the radiator goes all the way to the bottom. The other hose is just an overflow which stops at the very top.

The system works great! When cold the coolant level is about two inches from the bottom. When at operating temp (190-195), it's 3/4 full. Then as the engine cools down, the coolant is sucked back in to the radiator.

Total price was around $10 with the radiator cap included. :)


Sent from my iPhone using AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Well you could have gotten the correct lever cap for a recovery system, his wasnt that style. Yeas thats normal on the levels you are seeing and should work just fine.

Putts thats the way its supposed to work, and your low coolant sensor would be telling you that the coolant is low in the coolant reservoir tank. May have to 'fiddle with it to get it where it doesnt show a 'false' reading.

And did you ever get your 'pressure' gauge installed? Or did you scrap the idea? Just curious.....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes I installed a water pressure gauge. At 650 rpm idle the pressure is 2 psi and the warning light in onoffonoffon intermittent. I like it!
 

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What do I need to do to make a recovery system? I have a new cap but should I use my old one, the one with a lever? Or is there a special kind I should have?
If the lever cap is a 13 lb cap it will work just as well as the other. The only thing the lever cap does is help you avoid opening a hot radiator cap and getting a face full of scalding coolant.
 

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In a hurry this AM, so I didn't read all the posts, but

You cannot use an old radiator cap design with a simple overflow bottle and have it pull coolant back in when cold. Two reasons

1 - A recovery system has a cap with a second little valve in the center, when there is vacuum (due to cooling) that little valve opens and pulls on the bottle. Old style standard caps don't do that and the gasket seals harder when there is vacuum, so it won't suck.

2 - Not sure of your bottle, but to suck coolant back in, after you have a cap with the recovery valve, it has to suck from the bottom of the overflow bottle. If it sucks from the top, it'll just suck air in.

Hope this helps
 

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I use one of those simply as a catch can, to keep antifreeze from puking on the ground like the original radiator design did. Hose from radiator to top spigot, and plugged bottom spigot. Works fine.
 
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