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Thread: Replacing coolant reservoir

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Daytona Beach, FL
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    Replacing coolant reservoir

    So on my way home from school today my car started overheating. So I pulled into O'Reillys and popped the hood. Thank god it wasn't something head gasket related, but there was coolant spilling everywhere, coming from a big crack in the upper part of the reservoir. I bought some gorilla tape and some radiator reservoir epoxy stuff and babied it home.

    I have since established that I'm going to be replacing it. Is there a special procedure that I have to go by or is it pretty straightforward?

    Thanks,
    Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Salem, OR
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    6,293
    I'm going to be replacing it.
    What year?

    I've never had any luck repairing these types of tanks.

    I have some spares for early models, but I think I've sold off the best looking ones so far.

    I might also have the fluid level sensor...long or short?

    Ken
    Last edited by KMT; 09-30-2016 at 05:17 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    380
    Good afternoon

    I would not bother with it. The repair will have to endure repeated hot an cold coolant cycles. Plus over time the "crack" tends to extend past the repair area. Go to your nearest salvage yard for cougar and or thunderbird replacement unit. Inspect for cracks and clean the inside. Don't forget to get a few spare low coolant sensors if your recovery tank has one.



    Good Luck.

  4. #4
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    Tank

    Agreed..no luck fixing them......I have a good early (89' - 92') tank.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougarXR/7 View Post
    Agreed..no luck fixing them......I have a good early (89' - 92') tank.
    So im going to replace it, but gorilla taped it temporarily. About to be hit by a hurricane so that takes priority xD. My question is that is it supposed to run hot with a leak in the reservoir? It doesn't leak anymore, and Its full of coolant, but it still runs hot after driving for like 15 minutes. I'm worried it's a blown HG. Any advice?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    Roanoke, Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roboplex View Post
    So im going to replace it, but gorilla taped it temporarily. About to be hit by a hurricane so that takes priority xD. My question is that is it supposed to run hot with a leak in the reservoir? It doesn't leak anymore, and Its full of coolant, but it still runs hot after driving for like 15 minutes. I'm worried it's a blown HG. Any advice?
    The factory temperature gauge is really worthless in regards of being accurate or giving an actual reading that has value. Does it smell hot or do you smell coolant?

    -Tim
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Salem, OR
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    The coolant reservoir's job is to act as an expansion tank when the engine/coolant heats up. When the engine cools down, the level in the tank lowers as the coolant moves into the main system. This way the level in the closed system is constant and excess air is kept outside.

    The reservoir isn't pressurized and doesn't play a direct role in the normal operation of the cooling system otherwise.

    Was the cooling system opened? Did you bleed all the air out? Is the level in the tank fluctuating between HOT/COLD? is the hose from the radiator cap neck clear? Does the upper hose collapse when the engine cools down?

    If it's just a matter of making sure any air is bled out, then you might see the engine running a bit hot or the gauge acting strange. What indications do you that the engine is running hot? Done any other work to the cooling system lately? How long did it take to notice the tank was cracked and was the car driven around low on coolant?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Oregon
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    759
    Quote Originally Posted by Roboplex View Post
    So im going to replace it, but gorilla taped it temporarily. About to be hit by a hurricane so that takes priority xD. My question is that is it supposed to run hot with a leak in the reservoir? It doesn't leak anymore, and Its full of coolant, but it still runs hot after driving for like 15 minutes. I'm worried it's a blown HG. Any advice?
    I'd be worried about blowing a head gasket. Burping it via the service plug near the thermostat would be the first thing I'd do to it (before driving it again).

  9. #9
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    Bottle

    Were you able to find a good bottle? I have one from a 35 "Anni".

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougarXR/7 View Post
    Were you able to find a good bottle? I have one from a 35 "Anni".
    Haven't found one yet. Do you know if they were the same in the LX Thunderbirds? My junkyard has an LX, not an SC. Burped the radiator today, a lot of bubbles came up, but I haven't taken it on a drive yet. What's the price on the one you have?

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