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Old 09-14-2011, 03:39 PM   #1
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Do I need an coolant overflow tank?

93 4.0 Was overhauling the coolant system and see there is no overflow tank. The overflow hose just runs down towards the ground.

Is one needed/recommended? Thanks

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Old 09-14-2011, 04:05 PM   #2
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Unless you don't mind getting coolant all over your garage floor when your rad is hot then no you don't need one I have one, it saves my dog from licking it up and dying...apparently the coolant is sort of sweet and animals like the taste.

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Old 09-14-2011, 04:06 PM   #3
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You do need one b/c the coolant will expand when hot so it will flow into the overflow and then when it cools it will suck the coolant back. And if its running to the ground you will have to keep refilling it with coolant b/c it is leaking onto the ground.
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
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A proper cooling system needs the right cap and an overflow. Is there for a reason
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:42 PM   #5
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I have run my jeep for a year without one. It's not a problem and won't kill animals once the radiator has been up to operating temp. After the cooling system is at it's warmest (and spit coolant out of the radiator overflow hose), it will cool off and look low. Don't put any more coolant in it because when it warms back up, the coolant expands again and the radiator core is full. As long as you don't have a leaking cooling system, you never need to add coolant until you replace it. Years ago coolant tanks didn't exist. Is a coolant tank more eco friendly? I guess but I have had coolant on the floor of the shop and it is not a magnet for dogs. Never lost a dog from drinking coolant. Keep in mind my dogs have always had fresh water to drink so they aren't dying for a drink either.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:28 PM   #6
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I have run my jeep for a year without one. It's not a problem and won't kill animals once the radiator has been up to operating temp. After the cooling system is at it's warmest (and spit coolant out of the radiator overflow hose), it will cool off and look low. Don't put any more coolant in it because when it warms back up, the coolant expands again and the radiator core is full. As long as you don't have a leaking cooling system, you never need to add coolant until you replace it. Years ago coolant tanks didn't exist. Is a coolant tank more eco friendly? I guess but I have had coolant on the floor of the shop and it is not a magnet for dogs. Never lost a dog from drinking coolant. Keep in mind my dogs have always had fresh water to drink so they aren't dying for a drink either.
i wouldn't listen to a thing this person says......anyone in their right mind knows radiator fluid is poison for dogs, idk what planet your from, but its not this one.

and i'd like to know how many years ago coolant tanks didn't exsist? because even my grandfathers 1940 buick special 8 had one....its there for a reason, coolant expands and retracts as its heated and cooled, even rat rods have overflows.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by draarong2004
i wouldn't listen to a thing this person says......anyone in their right mind knows radiator fluid is poison for dogs, idk what planet your from, but its not this one.

and i'd like to know how many years ago coolant tanks didn't exsist? because even my grandfathers 1940 buick special 8 had one....its there for a reason, coolant expands and retracts as its heated and cooled, even rat rods have overflows.
2x agreed. This person shouldn't even drive a jeep.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:40 PM   #8
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Ok.....I'll repeat in case someone actually reads what I type. I did not say that antifeeze was good for dogs to drink. It's even bad for humans to drink. I said I have never seen one drink it when water was available. I'm still searching the web for a pic of a 1940 Buick with a recapture tank for the cooling system. I'm thinking that the tanks became popular in the 70's. I've owned heavy over the road trucks that never had a tank from the factory. It's simple physics as far as the expansion of the fluid goes. I'm just sharing my experiences. My jeep doesn't drip one drop of coolant in my garage when I park it in my garage. Please feel free to believe whatever you like.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:42 PM   #9
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oh btw..........my cj5 that I had back in the 70's didn't have a recapture tank on it either........lol
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:52 PM   #10
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Just to answer a specific question. Most all 50's, 60's and early 70's vehicles did not have expansion tanks. However, they ran different pressures off of the radiator caps and the coolant/anti-freeze did not leak out unless there was a problem with the system. You used to check the coolant level by opening the radiator cap "cold" and the coolant would be an inch or two below the cap which allowed for expansion. If you happened to overfill it, it was pushed out through the over flow hose onto the ground. Not real eco friendly and definately not good for any animals. The closed systems are more efficient and are needed in computer controlled vehicles to maintain certain temperature tolerances which makes the engine actually perform better with less emissions. Back in the day there were no computers, etc. and emissions in 49 states was a maybe a pcv and oil fumes were recirculated through the air cleaner. Coolant can most definately be deadly to animals.
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:55 PM   #11
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not for nothing, but my 68' Chevelle had one factory, as did my 64 Olds F85... but that's just me.. and as far as the "have water" goes, my dogs (and years ago, my kids) would have MUCH rather had sweet-tasting than plain tasting.... and I have four (4) dogs.... Just an observation....
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:34 AM   #12
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All I know is every time I've seen a dog around antifreeze it's like they know it's sweet tasting and they go for it. Maybe it's the smell but they go for it. So to say it wont do anything to dogs or other animals is false it's irresponsible and down right mean. An flingit 1200's we ain't saying you said it was good for animals but you said it wouldn't kill them and that's not true cause it can kill them I have a friend who lost a dog cause like an idiot he was working on his car and left a catch can full of antifreeze on the ground when he looked it was empty. And guess who drank it? His 3 month old pitbull.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:27 PM   #13
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Thirsty dogs and 60s Buicks aside ... Put a damn puke tank in it. The engineers that designed the system just might have been smart guys. Its inexpensive and it serves a purpose. There's absolutely no gain in getting rid of it.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by kik View Post
Just to answer a specific question. Most all 50's, 60's and early 70's vehicles did not have expansion tanks. However, they ran different pressures off of the radiator caps and the coolant/anti-freeze did not leak out unless there was a problem with the system. You used to check the coolant level by opening the radiator cap "cold" and the coolant would be an inch or two below the cap which allowed for expansion. If you happened to overfill it, it was pushed out through the over flow hose onto the ground. Not real eco friendly and definately not good for any animals. The closed systems are more efficient and are needed in computer controlled vehicles to maintain certain temperature tolerances which makes the engine actually perform better with less emissions. Back in the day there were no computers, etc. and emissions in 49 states was a maybe a pcv and oil fumes were recirculated through the air cleaner. Coolant can most definately be deadly to animals.
Yup. My 68 Cutlass doesn't have one. Will probably put one there eventually, but it didn't come with one, and I daily drove the thing for two years without any issues (beyond the air pockets that plagued it for about a month after getting it on the road).

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All I know is every time I've seen a dog around antifreeze it's like they know it's sweet tasting and they go for it. Maybe it's the smell but they go for it. So to say it wont do anything to dogs or other animals is false it's irresponsible and down right mean. An flingit 1200's we ain't saying you said it was good for animals but you said it wouldn't kill them
That is not at all what he said. He said he's never had a dog die from drinking antifreeze...as in his dogs never drank the stuff, and therefore, never died from it.

Lets read people...com'on. Personally, I wouldn't let my dogs anywhere near it...not worth the risk.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:08 PM   #15
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They make non-toxic coolant for those really concerned about the danger to pets.
To answer the main question no you do not need a over flow tank .
But it is a good idea and you can get a stock plastic one or a cool looking billet aluminum one from places like speedway.com and others.
And make sure your running a fail safe thermostat . Best money you can spend.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:48 PM   #16
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Bubba68 go back and read his original post he said it wouldn't kill them I know what I read
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Flingit1200s
I have run my jeep for a year without one. It's not a problem and won't kill animals once the radiator has been up to operating temp. After the cooling system is at it's warmest (and spit coolant out of the radiator overflow hose), it will cool off and look low. Don't put any more coolant in it because when it warms back up, the coolant expands again and the radiator core is full. As long as you don't have a leaking cooling system, you never need to add coolant until you replace it. Years ago coolant tanks didn't exist. Is a coolant tank more eco friendly? I guess but I have had coolant on the floor of the shop and it is not a magnet for dogs. Never lost a dog from drinking coolant. Keep in mind my dogs have always had fresh water to drink so they aren't dying for a drink either.
This is so you can all read it again he said it won't kill animals I'm not being a jerk I'm just reposting so maybe next time before folks decide to stand up for some one else you read everything that was written by that person. Before you say some one else is lying.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Flingit1200s View Post
I have run my jeep for a year without one. It's not a problem and won't kill animals once the radiator has been up to operating temp. After the cooling system is at it's warmest (and spit coolant out of the radiator overflow hose), it will cool off and look low. Don't put any more coolant in it because when it warms back up, the coolant expands again and the radiator core is full. As long as you don't have a leaking cooling system, you never need to add coolant until you replace it. Years ago coolant tanks didn't exist. Is a coolant tank more eco friendly? I guess but I have had coolant on the floor of the shop and it is not a magnet for dogs. Never lost a dog from drinking coolant. Keep in mind my dogs have always had fresh water to drink so they aren't dying for a drink either.
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Bubba68 go back and read his original post he said it wouldn't kill them I know what I read
I did read it...

In case you can't read that, it says "Its not a magnet for dogs" - his experience...says nothing about it not killing them

"Never lost a dog from drinking coolant" - doesn't say his dogs drank it and didn't die, the key is context given by his previous and the next sentence:

"Keep in mind my dogs have always had fresh water to drink so they aren't dying for a drink either"

Meaning his dogs have never drank it, and therefore he has never lost one to drinking coolant...because they've never drank it.

It NEVER ONCE says ANYTHING about it not killing them if they drink it. Not once. His first sentence, again, is put in CONTEXT by the stuff I put in bold.

This is very basic reading comprehension and it absolutely appalls me how terrible it is on forums all over the internet. Speaks volumes about our society's schools
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:49 PM   #19
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Tell me this what does the second sentence say? I'll tell you what it says. it says it's not a problem and won't kill animals. So don't treat me like I'm stupid.cause what your schools failed to teach you was manners. Cause I'm going off of what he wrote nothing else. And those are his words. You know why your defending him and he's not defending himself?because he's accepted that he wrote it. It's as plain as day.
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:46 AM   #20
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You do need an overflow tank. Its a major part of the cooling system. Dont listen to all these wannabe techs saying that you dont need one, they have no idea what theyre talking about. The reason you do is because when he coolant expands when your engine is hot it gets pushed past the valve in the radiator cap into your overflow bottle. When you turn it off the coolant in the engine cools off and goes back to its normal volume. When its cool it creates a vacuum inside the cooling system and sucks the coolant that was pushed into he overflow jug back into he engine. If you run it without the reservoir you will overheat and run the risk of blowing a head gasket, bending rods, or even warping the head.

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Old 10-02-2014, 11:48 AM   #21
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Sorry for bumping this lost, just was online and saw this come up on google
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Old 10-02-2014, 04:10 PM   #22
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You do need one b/c the coolant will expand when hot so it will flow into the overflow and then when it cools it will suck the coolant back. And if its running to the ground you will have to keep refilling it with coolant b/c it is leaking onto the ground.
X-2 this is the way a modern cooling system is designed. Newer cars run at higher pressures to prevent boilover at 195 degrees which is what the computer wants to see to go into closed loop. When you shut your vehicle off it will heat soak and coolant temp can climb to well over boiling.
Lever vent caps are a no no because they don't allow coolant that is pushed out to be sucked back into the system.
Higher pressure caps and a proper mix of anti freeze is essential to prevent overheating the over flow tank is also a part of this system.
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Old 10-02-2014, 04:29 PM   #23
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You do need an overflow tank. Its a major part of the cooling system. Dont listen to all these wannabe techs saying that you dont need one, they have no idea what theyre talking about. The reason you do is because when he coolant expands when your engine is hot it gets pushed past the valve in the radiator cap into your overflow bottle. When you turn it off the coolant in the engine cools off and goes back to its normal volume. When its cool it creates a vacuum inside the cooling system and sucks the coolant that was pushed into he overflow jug back into he engine. If you run it without the reservoir you will overheat and run the risk of blowing a head gasket, bending rods, or even warping the head.

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Lol ase certified mechanic huh?! Ill remember to stay away from those cuz u kinda dumb. Like somebody else said.... your vehicle runs at a pretty consistent high temp so the fluid will always expand to that certain amount. If you fill your rad without an overflow tank and run it it will boil over.... until it expands as far as its going to for the temp your vehicle runs at. At that point no more coolant will overflow. Its not like everytime you run your vehicle your going to make the coolant expand more. It will expand to that same point every time(unless system is faulty). Try it. Pull your overflow off and after a trip or two at op temp I bet u it wont leak any more fluid out. And most rad fluid now days wont kill animals. Its toxic yes but usually doesnt lead to death, although I have seen a few cats lose some hair from drinking it. Should you have an overflow tank? Probably.... is it necessary? No
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Old 10-02-2014, 05:57 PM   #24
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You don't really know as much as you think you do Brandonsjeep is 100% correct.
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:55 PM   #25
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Do you absolutely need one? No, as explained in previous threads. Should you have one? I'd vote yes. Why run with less coolant reserve? Gives you more time to spot a small leak and more chances to make it home. Plus it's not like you're saving $$$ by not putting one back in. It's just my opinion of course.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:07 PM   #26
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Ok.....I'll repeat in case someone actually reads what I type. I did not say that antifeeze was good for dogs to drink. It's even bad for humans to drink. I said I have never seen one drink it when water was available. I'm still searching the web for a pic of a 1940 Buick with a recapture tank for the cooling system. I'm thinking that the tanks became popular in the 70's. I've owned heavy over the road trucks that never had a tank from the factory. It's simple physics as far as the expansion of the fluid goes. I'm just sharing my experiences. My jeep doesn't drip one drop of coolant in my garage when I park it in my garage. Please feel free to believe whatever you like.
my dog almost died from spilled antifreeze and a water bowl was right next to it, it does taste sweet to them and if they have the urge they will lick it up.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:13 PM   #27
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You do need an overflow tank. Its a major part of the cooling system. Dont listen to all these wannabe techs saying that you dont need one, they have no idea what theyre talking about. The reason you do is because when he coolant expands when your engine is hot it gets pushed past the valve in the radiator cap into your overflow bottle. When you turn it off the coolant in the engine cools off and goes back to its normal volume. When its cool it creates a vacuum inside the cooling system and sucks the coolant that was pushed into he overflow jug back into he engine. If you run it without the reservoir you will overheat and run the risk of blowing a head gasket, bending rods, or even warping the head.

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i respect you are a certified mechanic and im not saying you dont know what your talking about, because you probably do. with that being said ive never had a problem with overheating and i do not have the resivour.

i usualy run my engine at idle untill the engine is upto temp...Disclamer: WITH THE RADIATOR CAP OFF!!! DO NOT TRY TO OPEN IT WHILE THE ENGINE IS HOT!
then i fill it with fluid. and it usualy gets me the correct ammount...now you may be laughing your ass off at me right now, like haahah what a dumbass hack job LOL and somewhat i agree with you, but it works for me and i havent had problems.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:39 PM   #28
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Sorry for bumping this lost, just was online and saw this come up on google
Nothing wrong with a good zombie thread every now and then.
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Old 10-04-2014, 01:08 PM   #29
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Ha. Zombie thread. But an important issue and good question from the OP. A good helping of bad advice in the beginning, so I feel compelled to add to the good advice for some future searcher's sake.

Is a coolant recovery tank absolutely necessary? No.
Is it a good idea? Yes. Very much so. It enhances cooling capacity and reliability.
My (blah, blah, whatever) never had one and its just fine. Yay, good for you. Disc brakes and fuel injection vs. drums and carbs. Same thing.

As was stated, the modern computer controlled engines run hotter for emissions and fuel efficiency. They expand more and are not tolerant of air space in the system. Intermittent loss of cooling and erratic sensor readings can be experienced if you use the "expand to stasis" filling method as air pockets can now travel around the system. This is why all modern vehicles have a recovery system.

Just run one. Its a great idea. Its cheap. It has no down side.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:12 AM   #30
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I'm sure it varies with your location (like many other things), but a coolant recovery tank may be required by law if your vehicle was originally equipped with one.

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