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Discussion Starter #1
So i just installed my new 24 inch aluminum radiator with 2 rows of 1 inch tubes over the weekend...
the radiator works GREAT! no more over heating problems not even a little bit! but i still have an over flow problem. i thought before it was because my car was over heating. but now the tempurature stays normal and still get over flow. i went from a 13 lb cap to a 16 lb cap to see if that would help. but no luck.
i know i probably just need an overflow tank. but wanted some opinions first.
ive read that some people just let their radiator overflow until it found its "own level".
some say the coolant level is even 2-3 inches under the radiator cap and runs perfect now instead of filled to the tippy top like i did.
anyway the radiator is cooling a rebuilt 289 .30 over with mild cam. headers. 500 cfm edelbrock carb on an aluminum ford racing manifold. c4 trans.
anyway,
suggestions?
and if i need an overflow tank what would be a good one to get that is pretty cheap and will get the job done?
thanks yall!
 

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You are filling the radiator too full. You shouldn't need an overflow tank if everything is working properly and filled to the correct level.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You are filling the radiator too full. You shouldn't need an overflow tank if everything is working properly and filled to the correct level.
so then it wont hurt to let it over flow for a bit until it hopefully finds its own level.. i drove it around the country for a good 30 mins yesterday testing the radiator. it didnt over flow much. the coolant level was still pretty high when i checked it this morning so i drove it to work. as i parked it wasnt over flowing bad, just a few trickles. had to run to do a job and when i came back and parked it was pretty much gushing haha. im guessing that its probably a good 2 inches under the radiator cap now. will check before i take off to go home at 6.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Tell me you don't have an old Four Loco can laying around.
LOL!!! so im guessing the overflow tanks are really that basic. And no, I do not have a four loco ha
This is my first car. So everything I'm learning about cars (especially 60's muscle cars) is coming from this cougar as the problems come up.
 

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You can pick up a catch can from the local auto parts that's a generic opaque plastic piece for just a few bucks. 2 or 3 bolts and it's in there.
I mounted mine on the inner fender ahead of the front tire.

Drive your car in some stop and go traffic. That'll really test it.
 

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the radiator should be full--this keeps the air out of the system that causes hot spots---look @ any new car---even the coolant tank is presurized to keep air out---its going to overflow because of thermal expansion---bite the bullet and put on an overflow tank and cap
doctordesoto
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ill look into that. even though i dont think air will affect this radiator. this thing COOLS! im just gonna keep a close eye on it for a while. my priority now is replacing my steering gear box because it keeps binding up on me. alreayd replaced everything else that has to do with steering. but thanks for that info.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Took it for a spin yesterday after work and I checked the coolant level before I took it out and it was low enough so that I couldn't see any water. Just the tubes. It wasn't much lower than the top of the tubes because it filled up pretty quickly when I added more water. No overheating what so ever. But with the coolant level that low that kind of throws out my "run it until it finds it's own coolant level" theory. I had a 13psi cap and switched it to a 16psi cap. It overflows about the same (I think). When I parked it again it wasn't overflowing but maybe a few drops. But I was only out driving for about 20 minutes.
So I'm defiantely going to need to fix this overflow issue.
Can someone explain to me how the radiator sucks water back out of the overflow tank and back into the radiator? Do I need a special cap? A special overflow tank? or expansion tank? Would my water pump be affecting this?
I just want to get my ducks all in a row before I go spending MORE money. I want to get it right the first time.
 

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You don't need to fix anything. Fill the rad to just cover the top fins, drive & enjoy. That's it. Add fluid as needed, which won't be much. Don't let your pet lap up the green water.

If you want, you can add a modern overflow tank from a car you find in the junkyard, you can even hide it behind the fender.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You don't need to fix anything. Fill the rad to just cover the top fins, drive & enjoy. That's it. Add fluid as needed, which won't be much. Don't let your pet lap up the green water.

If you want, you can add a modern overflow tank from a car you find in the junkyard, you can even hide it behind the fender.
Yeah I honestly think it will be fine. But I'm the kind of guy to think if something might go wrong.. it will. haha. When the level falls back down to the fins I will run it a little while longer and see what happens. I know it won't over heat. The radiator I put in is a HUGE difference from the old, clogged 20 inch 2 row radiator with what looks like 1/4 inch tubes lol. I mainly just don't want any leaks.
I feel better knowing that I'm still probably ok. Will just keep an eye on my temp gauge.
 

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Yeah I honestly think it will be fine. But I'm the kind of guy to think if something might go wrong.. it will. haha. When the level falls back down to the fins I will run it a little while longer and see what happens. I know it won't over heat. The radiator I put in is a HUGE difference from the old, clogged 20 inch 2 row radiator with what looks like 1/4 inch tubes lol. I mainly just don't want any leaks.
I feel better knowing that I'm still probably ok. Will just keep an eye on my temp gauge.
Once you beat a "running hot" condition it is natural for your eyes to dart to the temp gauge every 10 seconds or so. This lasts about a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Once you beat a "running hot" condition it is natural for your eyes to dart to the temp gauge every 10 seconds or so. This lasts about a year.
LOL thats exactly what I'm going through. Bought this sweet radiator because of it! ha
I had to cut the radiator support tabs to make the radiator fit. Kind of fabricated my own and had my neighbor weld them in. Not the prettiest thing in the world but this is going to be a daily driver and it works. ha
I haven't snapped any new pictures of the radiator completely installed with the fan in and everything. but check it.



Can you see the difference??? haha



I like to use my air conditioning unit as a tray to hold screws and such. pretty convenient!



If your looking for a new home.. try to find one with neighbors who weld! unless you weld then then try to find neighbors who don't work on cars and will not be need welding work done all the time. haha
 

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a coolant recovery rad cap has a gasket for the top of the rad--a gasket that seals aboutb 3/4 in down(this is the presure rated surface and a spring loaded retun seat on the bottom
the sys works cuz the coolant expands while the car runs due to temp--anything over the rad pres cap rating will go out the o;flow tube and into the BOTTOM of the catch can/recovery tank--this is usually less than 1 quart---as the cooland cools , it shrinks iv volume , causing a vaccuum--thus sucking the coolant out of the tank and back into the radiator
the reason for keeping the rad full is to keep out the air--air in the cooland system is the enemy
i'm not sure why spending $15.00 or so to put in a system is so difficult when it will save your engine and complete system!
your car will also cool better with a shroud--try to stay away from braided rad/heater hoses--the rubber hoses act as an accumilator (a large rubber ball if you wish)to keep any sudden pres changes in the sys from blowing off your hoses
doctordesoto
 

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I used a overflow bottle from a Granada for a while on my 1969 Cougar. It was a combination coolant overflow and windshield washer fluid tank.
 

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Yeah, if you really want to keep an eye on it, you fill the radiator to the top and then mark the catch can level when cold and then when warm. That way you know if you're losing coolant somewhere. It turns it into a quick glance type check, instead of removing the cap and peering in to the radiator. You also keep pesky air out of your coolant system, which includes the heads (bad place to get steam pockets).

I like using a catch can as opposed to just letting it drain out on the ground and normalize.
 

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Nice Radiator! Looks like the same one I bought last year. A Northern from Mustangs Unlimited. Had to redo my brackets too. I always fill mine cold to just over the top row of fins. Hasn't burped or puked a bit. Car runs a bit cooler too and it replaced a leaky brass Modine (non original). I use distilled water and stock pressure cap (13#?) with a 50-50 mix year round in the northeast. My car came with a scrap yard combo overflow/washer fluid bottle. So I left it in instead of having the chance of antifreeze leaking into the enviroment. Toxic for animals and keeps Mother Earth happier. Nice looking Cat too.
 
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