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Coolant Recovery Tank

 
  #1  
Old 07-04-2001, 09:48 PM
300ci_till_I_die
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Coolant Recovery Tank

When I bought my 85 "F-one-fitty" in March, the guy who I bought it from (or one of the other owners that he was buddies with) had snaked a 2 and a half foot hose from the radiator cap to the street. When I asked him about it, he said that these trucks never came with a recovery tank (I knew that was bull), but I figured that I would hook one back up myself when I got it home.

The radiator cap is on the passenger side so I figured that that is were the original tank must have sat. When I went to the parts store to see if I could get another recovery tank, the clerk showed me this $5 little universal plastic jug. He told me it was worth a shot so I bought it and hooked it up.

When I went to hook it up, I noticed something interesting under the hood by the wiper fluid reservoir -- a separate tank with anti-freeze looking fluid in it and a gap for a hose on the top of the tank. (I guess it didn't occur to me to check for a tank on the other side of the truck, but I guess that they do route overflow houses to the opposite sides of radiator caps because I just saw the same thing when I popped the hood on my all original 1994 B3000.)

Even with the knowledge that the coolant recovery tank was there, I still decided to hook up this little plastic jug under the hood, just to see if if would work. It did allow coolant to return back to the engine and vice versa, but a problem happened once the engine was warmed up and I shut it off.

Instead of a hose going into the top of the recovery tank, the replacement tank has a hose going into the bottom of the tank. With the engine hot and turned off, the coolant returned to the recovery tank with a vengeance, bubbling up so hard that it would pop the cap off of the cheap little tank.

I am not going to use this tank in the future (I am going to clean out the old one and route some overflow tubing to it), but I still have a couple of questions.


1. What does the overflow tubing look like on the 85 300 ci radiator? Is it just one long hose or are there other connections?

2. Where does the end of the hose sit in the tank? Is it down at the bottom of the tank or is it up high?

3. Do you think that the reason that the over-the-counter recovery tank overflowed was because the hose was routed at the bottom (impossible to keep above radiator cap level with the hood in the way)? It overflows even when I start the engine with levels at the "Add Coolant" mark so I am not starting off with too much anti-freeze, if that is even possible.


According to my idiot gauge (which starts off cold and does seem to work), the engine is operating at normal temperatures. I may decide to change the thermostat, and the hoses are a little brittle, but I would like to isolate the overflow problem first if possible. There must be some reason why someone decided to run the overflow tubing to the street.
 
  #2  
Old 07-04-2001, 11:58 PM
PAUL_2
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Coolant Recovery Tank

The winshield washer resevior & the coolant tank are an all in one deal , with a divider in the middle . The tube connects to a little plastic nipple at the bottom of the tank . The coolant bubbling problem may be a defective radiator cap . I suspect thats why it was disconnected . Instead of solving the problem they disconnected the hose . Is the engine running hot ? The tubing is all one length , Its a specialty type hose , but I think the inside diameter is 1/4 in . Make sure the coolant quanity / quality is up to specs & sufficient .
 
  #3  
Old 07-05-2001, 02:41 PM
tetraruby
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Coolant Recovery Tank

This is a dumb one: The haynes manual for my '79 300 states to fill the radiator to about an inch from the bottom of the cap. I have a recovery tank on my truck that hasn't had fluid in it since I bought the thing. Should the radiator be filled completely and then some in the recovery tank? The recovery tank appears to be stock. Any advice is appreciated.
 
  #4  
Old 07-05-2001, 03:45 PM
300ci_till_I_die
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Coolant Recovery Tank

The winshield washer resevior & the coolant tank are an all in one deal , with a divider in the middle . The tube connects to a little plastic nipple at the bottom of the tank .

I took off the tank and poured out the wiper fluid and antifreeze, but I didn't find a nipple on the inside or outside of the antifreeze side of the tank.

However, there is a round gap where the black cover and the tank meet that looks perfect for a 1/4 inch hose. Should the hose go in here and just hang in the tank or is there a piece missing that should sit in the tank?



The coolant bubbling problem may be a defective radiator cap . I suspect thats why it was disconnected . Instead of solving the problem they disconnected the hose .

Sounds like something that someone would do. I will definitely change the cap.



Is the engine running hot ?

It is not overheating, but it is running a little hotter than I would like sometimes.

The radiator hoses feel old so there is probably an old thermostat in there that should be changed out.




The tubing is all one length , Its a specialty type hose , but I think the inside diameter is 1/4 in .

Seems like it because I tried on a 3/8 hose and there was a lot of play.


Make sure the coolant quanity / quality is up to specs & sufficient .

I changed it and flushed it in March so it should be good. Still looks nice and green, no oil or nothing scary.

If I open up the cap when the truck is cold, the fluid is not up to the right level. When I add more fluid and run it, that is when it spits out. Is this the radiator cap problem?


Thanks for your help!
 
  #5  
Old 07-05-2001, 04:34 PM
classicfordluvr
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Coolant Recovery Tank

I have the same tank in the bashed up 84 I have (dang them deer) and there is one LONG hose from the rad cap to the driver's side dual-resevoir jug. At the jug, the hose has a plastic 90* joint with a second 6 or 7 inch length of hose running into the bottom of the container ... but it just dangles in there. The 90* joint helps hold it in place.

A bottom-entry jug just plain won't work because it would fill with fluid that isn't "overflow" since it would be lower than the fluid. Kinda like using a siphoning hose ... if you hold it higher than the source fluid, it won't run unless there's pressure behind it ... if you lower the tip though, it runs freely once it's started. That's why it was bubbling up in the jug once you started the engine. The water pump gave it enough pressure to start the "siphon effect". Might be a good idea to change the cap anyway if in doubt about it's pressure-holding ability.

---------------
Chris in Canada
74 Gran Torino Brougham ... the toy ... 351W 2v, C6 auto.
84 F150 2WD ... the truck ... 2WD, 300 I6, NP435 4spd non-OD, 3.08 open rear.
 
  #6  
Old 07-05-2001, 11:01 PM
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Coolant Recovery Tank

As coolant is heated it expands , thats normal , its supposed to go to the recovery tank , but since it isnt connected to the recovery tank it ends up on the ground . I believe it should have a 13Lb cap , which means when the system reaches 13lbs the cap opens & allows the coolant to flow to the recovery tank . When the coolant cools , the coolant is pulled back from the recovery tank to the rad . If the rad cap doesnt hold the desired pressure the coolant will boil at a lower temp . The pressure keeps the coolant from boiling . Since the coolant is fairly new its either a pressure problem or the coolant isnt being cooled . You say the thermostat is likely old , that one area to check on . The next is air flow thru the rad & make sure the fan clutch is operating as it should .
 
  #7  
Old 07-09-2001, 07:41 PM
300ci_till_I_die
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Coolant Recovery Tank

Thanks for all your help! Here is an update.

The radiator overflow line is actually 5/16. I ran it back over top of the radiator and used plastic wire ties to secure it to the radiator.

I didn't use the 90 degree fitting at the entrance of the tank because I couldn't find one. But the hose dangles in there nicely at the bottom of the tank.

I replaced the radiator cap with the 13 pound cap and it held pressure well. I filled up the radiator to the top and left the overflow empty.

I ran the engine for a long time at different RPMs. The entire time, the cap held pressure and no coolant entered the overflow.

When I stopped the engine, the coolant entered the overflow tank. It was hot and it rose about 3/4s of the way up to the top of the tank, but it didn't bubble up and out of the tank. When I checked on the tank after a couple of hours, all of the coolant (except a little at the bottom) had returned to the radiator.

Now, here are some more questions. (Keep in mind that I am going to change my thermostat and hoses in the next couple of weeks, just because it is the humane thing to do for this previously unappreciated workhorse.)


1. There is no "Add Coolant -- Full when cold" marks on the overflow tank and there is no cap on it either. Is this because it isn't necessary to add coolant to this particular recovery tank?

2. The coolant only entered the recovery tank after the engine was turned off. Is this normal?


Thanks for your help. This truck has been begging for a good owner.
 
  #8  
Old 07-09-2001, 11:12 PM
PAUL_2
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Coolant Recovery Tank

Keep the recovery tank about 1/2 full when cold . It may have just had a little air in the system , the reason for the delayed coolant level in the tank . I think once the thermostat is replaced things should be fine .
 
  #9  
Old 07-18-2001, 03:35 PM
300ci_till_I_die
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Coolant Recovery Tank

OK, bigger problems made now, but there might be a simpler solution.

I was putting the thermostat housing back on after replacing the thermostat and I was tightening it down and -- SNAP -- the bottom part of the thermostat housing is broken and the bolt head is broken.

I got a replacement housing (in stock at Parts Plus -- wish I had known they carried them before!) and they gave me an EZ-Out set for the bolt.

It was my first time removing a broken bolt and I wish I had known that people have a lot of problems with EZ-Outs breaking because that is exactly what happened. In my mind, I was being careful by drilling smaller holes first, but the tip of a SIZE 1 EZ-out is now broken off in the bolt and I obviously can't drill it out now.

Most of the shops that I called don't want to tackle this job (neither do I really), but a machine shop said that I could put a bracket over the entire housing and that would hold it well enough if it was secured. And I looked on the front of the engine again and there just happens to be two holes (with threads I presume) on opposite sides of the housing that might do the job.

Here are my questions:


1. What are the empty holes on the front of the block used for? Is there a four bolt or larger thermostat housing that I could buy? (curious?)

2. Do the empty holes have good threads in them?

3. What size bolts would fit in there? 1/2 " was too small and 9/16" is too big. I am guessing maybe 14mm?

4. I have one bolt in (top bolt), a gasket, and an orange RTV "gasket maker" sealant on the new housing setting overnight. Do you think it will hold the water and pressure well on its own or is this a really bad idea?


Thanks for your help. Sometimes you gotta learn things the hard way to remember them well. Oh well, "Ford will never give me more than I can handle".


85 F150 Short Bed
4 speed
300 - 6
 
  #10  
Old 07-30-2001, 05:13 PM
300ci_till_I_die
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Coolant Recovery Tank

Been back home visiting my parents, but here are the answers to some of my own questions now that I got the answers.

1. What are the empty holes on the front of the block used for?

For other accessories that are belt driven.


4. I have one bolt in (top bolt), a gasket, and an orange RTV "gasket maker" sealant on the new housing setting overnight. Do you think it will hold the water and pressure well on its own or is this a really bad idea?

Bad idea. Of course not.

I got the bolt out with a blow torch, a wax candle, and a center punch. Heated up the bolt, touched the candle to the threads, and punched the bolt counter clockwise until I could get the robo grips on to spin it out.

Here is a tip for other newcomers to 300-6 thermostat replacement so that you don't split your thermostat housing like I did. Place the thermostat on the flats in the housing and keep it in place with gasket sealer. That way when you go to tighten up the thermostat housing, the thermostat won't slip down and cause the housing to split.

All's well now, I just want to get a more accurate aftermarket temperature gauge that fits in the new housing. I might need to replace the fan clutch.
 
  #11  
Old 07-31-2001, 04:41 AM
walterdanek
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Coolant Recovery Tank

Just a reminder, the form-a-gasket stuff in the tube is for when you do not have a gasket. So if you use it with a paper gasket, spread it thin, you don't need much. Found that out on the wife's 84 Merc Marquis t-stat. Rip every assesory off to put in the new gasket with no gunk on it
Walter
 
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Old 07-31-2001, 10:07 AM
PAUL_2
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Coolant Recovery Tank

The thermostat housings & thermostats for the 300 are designed so that you place the thermostat in the housing & turn it to lock it in the housing , this only works on Ford thermostats & housings , I dont think aftermarket ones are designed that way . Makes it much easier to install them & no Rtv needed if the head & the housing are clean , the gasket will seal it .
 
  #13  
Old 06-19-2002, 12:28 PM
smith1462
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Post Coolant Recovery Tank

I have a 1985 F250 460 7.5L engine. My radiator has two hose spouts, and I need to know the proper placement of hoses to attach to the recovery tank. Thanks for any help.
 
  #14  
Old 06-19-2002, 07:59 PM
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Coolant Recovery Tank

I just dug out the manual for my 80, there is nothing mentioned about putting fluid in the recovery tank, and, I recently cleaned the tank on my 82, the cover was glued on from the factory...
The 82 has a habit of emptying the overflow and windshield washer resivoir when I'm off road... Oh well...
Evan
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300 HD: Cliffy 290H, 9.1:1 compression, forged everything, ARP'd bottom end/Hedman hedder/dual 2" exhaust
NP 435/2.75 geared 9"
1986 F150 HD, 300 HD/needs a NP 435/4.10 geared 8.8
70,000 miles
1984 F150 XLT Lariat parts donor, 351W/C6/9" LOADED to the hilt, 201,000 miles
1980 F100 Custom, 300/Np 435/2.75, 58,000 miles
 
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Old 06-20-2002, 12:14 AM
tetraruby
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Coolant Recovery Tank

Depends on the year, I know pre '80 the fluid recovery tanks were pure aftermarket parts...and honestly my Rad. doesn't need it anyway.
 

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