Register now to get rid of these ads!

Expansion tank to STOP the boiling!!! One way how to...TECH WEEK

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ether, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. I had a clearance issue on my Merc build where the fill cap was hitting the hood. There was no way to recess the radiator so I had to cap off the radiator side tank and installed an inline fill tube in the upper hose I bought from Speedway. The problem is there was about 2.5 to 3 inches of air left in the top of the radiator and the coolant would steam up and expand only to push coolant out the catch can.

    I had to do something to get coolant to the top of the rad. I looked at a bunch of options, even bought a cool brass expansion tank for a Nash, but everthing had inlets and outlets in the wrong places.

    Sooooo, to build my own!!! Ride along and hope this helps someone else!!

    Here are a few pics of what I started with. Slightly modified SUMMITT radiator and Speedway inline fill tube. This setup just didnt cut it!!!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2010
  2. I purchased a piece of 4" 6061 .083 thick aluminum tubing from velocityair off ebay. Great people to deal with and good prices, sells by the foot. I cut the tubing to the lenght that worked for my application.
    I had some 6061-T6 sheet .063 thick laying around for the end caps and for the doubler for the fill cap. I put a 45 degree bend in the endcaps only for cosmetic reasons that ill show later. You can leave them flat just as well with good results!
    The fill doubler had to be curved to fit the contour of the tubing. I used a roller but you could use a brake, piece of pipe, or if you have any aluminum left from your 4" tubing. I made this doubler due to the fact that Im using the fill neck I cut off the radiator and it is hard to weld it to the tube from the inside. I planned on welding the neck to the doubler and then it to the tank. You can purchase a new one that has a land around it to assist in welding to the tubing.
    I used a Unibit and drilled a hole in the center of the doubler and the tank tubing. The fill neck had to be sanded or filed to fit the contour of the tank before welding it to the doubler. After the neck fitment I welded it to the doubler with 4043 welding rod and then welded both to the tank.
    I will get to the end caps next, as you can see I did a bit of everything at the same time but for tech purposes, Ill describe that next.

    Attached Files:

  3. Topless Ford
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 560

    Topless Ford

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2010
  4. As stated before, I cut the endcaps from .063 6061-T6 aluminum sheet and bent them 45 degrees. I trimmed the tank tubing at a 45 degree angle from the halfway mark on up. Templates had to be made out of greesepaper or cardboard and bent to assist in marking the bent aluminum endcap plates. After trim and fit I tack welded the endcaps on and continued to final weld them. I welded the fill cap on first so the hole in it would release the pressure in the tank that would happen from the heat and expanding gasses while welding. The endcaps were welded with 4043 aluminum rod and a tig welder. I wanted a smooth finish for the endcaps so a little sanding and WALLA, moving right along!!!

    Attached Files:

  5. The mount and placement had to be done before I could weld on the inlet and outlet tubes. It is easier to work around how it was mounted rather than mount it with what is available and have to work around tubes.
    Back to the .063 6061-T6 sheet. I bent the sheet AGAINST the grain in a brake and then flipped it over to bend it a little at a time till it fit the contour of the tank. If you bend it WITH the grain, the mount has a good chance at cracking, especially T-6 aluminum. I was pushing my luck as it was but wanted a harder aluminum for the mount.
    I placed the tank in the mount and held it up to its future location so I could mark where the inlet and outlet would best be located. Once located I cut holes in the tank with a hole saw for the in and outlets.
    The 1 1/2" in/outlet tubes where purchased from Speedway motors which I cut in half to make two tubes. I purchased a couple weldable small tubes from my auto A/C supplier for getting all the air out of the radiator (Ill get to that later) I tacked the tubes in place and trimmed the tank mount to give clearence to them.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2010
  6. After everything was fit and trimmed I drilled a little hole in the tank and in the upper most point of the radiator side tank. This is where I welded in the small tubes from the A/C supplier. These tubes will be connected with good rubber hose to get the last of the air out of the radiator.
    I then drilled and filed two slots in the bend of the mount wide enough for a couple hose clamps to fit to hold the tanks on place, I could have welded the tank to the mount but wanted to retain the option fo removing it if I had to.
    With everything fit, finished, and rechecked for placement, I welded the mount onto the radiator fan shroud that is also aluminum. The tank has to be mounted so the top off level is higher than the radiator for it to work. The tank was placed in the mount and hose clamps tightened. Now to the parts store for hoses that will fit. I ended up using all that I had on the engine before the tank, just had to cut and trim.
    I hooked up my catchcan and filled it to the top with antifreeze only to drive the Merc like I hope to never do again. NO leakes or overflow!!! Man what a headache. I hope I didnt leave anything out but probobly did, just let me know if ya have any questions. There are a few other pics I wish I would have taken but when the project is going its hard to remember to stop for them!!!!

    Attached Files:

  7. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242


    Looks real nice.

    Or, you could just use the inline and jack the back of the car up when you fill the coolant, or park it on a big hill.

    But, your way is way more professional.

    And now you have better cooling with the water tank, with extra volume of coolant added etc..

  8. KrisKustomPaint
    Joined: Apr 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,107


    Why not just weld the fill cap on the radiator?
  9. I had a clearence problem with the hood. When the hood was lowered it was just an 1/8 inch from the radiator cap. I had to cut the fill neck off for more space.
  10. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,169


    Beautiful work! I LIKE the 5.0 too.
  11. Topless Ford
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 560

    Topless Ford

    Ether, That looks good. Are you familiar with the 63 or 64 FE ford tank and cap? That would look neat as well.

    I saw an old chevy powered (50?) ford in Scottsdale Az that had a unique approach to rad fill. His car was overheating so in went an oversize rad. He explained that he was having the same trouble as you(fill lower than rad top). The man had 3/4 inch aluminum bungs installed on the top corners of the rad. He filled it to the in line cap, then popped both plugs one for a vent and one for a fill and took care of the rest from there.

    Great thinking though, is the front unit for a/c? I will probably do a similar install in my 63 Galaxie ragtop. I was going to build it as an FE car with 2 fours and a set of factory long tube cast iron headers. Some ass stole the carbs, intake, linkage, air cleaner etc. I still have the headers...:mad:

    That was what I posted above. I deleted it so I didn't interfere with your tech. I like what you did with the venting and the can much better than that old ford I saw. It looks great and I am sure it performs well too!!!
  12. Yep, It is a condensor for the a/c. Im building this one to drive!!! Crosscountry that is!!! A little comfort for the ride, I welded angle mounts to the radiator that the condensor bolts to. I have air in my 64 Galaxie, Ill send you a few pics of how I installed the a/c condenser on it.

    Thanks all for the comments and BAILEIGH INC for sponsoring tech week!!!! I never thought of jacking up the rear to fill the rad with antifreeze!!!! I like that one!!!
  13. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,284


    I like it. Form AND funtion! If you gotta make something work might as well make it look trick doing it.
  14. StanDaManTX
    Joined: Feb 27, 2009
    Posts: 597

    from The South

  15. Nice. What e-fans are you running, and what is the width of your radiator?
  16. John, the radiator is about 25 1/4" wide and the fans came with it in kit form from SUMMITT. It is their brand universal fit radiator.
  17. Great Idea & execution. This started me thinking that I could build the same out of Copper. I've got a copper sheet & a slip roller so I could just solder the copper together. I'd also put an offset in the seam to get an overlap for strength.

  18. chopt49
    Joined: Jul 5, 2006
    Posts: 945


    That is some nice metal fab work. You got some serious welding skills my friend.

    I too had and issue with the rad filler cap and my hood, my solution was to lean the rad and put fan on the outside as a pusher. Maybe i will change this to be more like yours once I learn to weld aluminum. :rolleyes:..
  19. El KaMiNo KiD
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 509

    El KaMiNo KiD

    great way to solve your problem...looks good too..your merc is badass...kool headlights..
  20. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242


    Unless you have an air bleed on top of the radiator, are you going to still have air trapped in the top of the radiator?

    Or, you could angle the car to get the air out on it's side.
    I am into less work these days, and jacking cars up I guess.

    Either way, I like what you did a lot.

  21. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,242


    :D I am having a lazy week, and have just worked on too many crazy things...
  22. I too thought to use copper and it would look great shined up. Aluminum was a faster way to go for me and since I plan on keeping the Mercs hood buttoned up, I didnt want to spend a bunch of time polishing. The tank could be made of most anything exotic, stainless, titanium, brass, etc.
  23. Diavolo
    Joined: Apr 1, 2009
    Posts: 815


    It does look pretty under there. Not the way I would have tackled it, but it does work. If it were me, and since I don't have aluminum welding skills, I would have located a tank mounted with a bracket on the intake manifold with the inlet (water out of the intake) connected with a short pipe. Very small tank, probably just a tube with the cap on it, then the outlet (to the radiator) from the upper part of the little tank. It does look nice, but it also kinda looks like a lot more work than it needed to be.

    Either way, good fabrication there!
  24. I too thought of that but the tank wouldnt have been high enough to fill the radiator if I mounted it on the intake.
  25. Ill next do a tech thread on how to weld aluminum so you can build one!!!! Anyone else interested??????

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.