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Old 12-04-2021, 06:59 PM   #1
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Radiator overflow tank cracked

So I drove 10 hours in my 1997 fleetwood pace arrow and when I made it home I saw that the radiator overflow tank was cracked and empty. The motorhome never over heated though. So do I need the over flow tank. If so does anyone know where I can find one. 1997 fleetwood pace arrow ford 460 7.5l
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Old 12-04-2021, 07:02 PM   #2
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I dunno, but.....want to try JB Weld ?
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Old 12-04-2021, 07:17 PM   #3
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Look and see if you can locate the part # .. it's on there some place.. I would go on line at AutoZone. Com and use 98 ford f350 with same eng and compare to yours.. you may have to search up or down a yr or so... or use f250.. or e350 until you find one close..
Bet you can go to you pull and pay and find one on any ford truck that will work for 5 bucks.. post a picture and better opinions will follow
Good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members
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Old 12-05-2021, 05:30 AM   #4
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You need one or your coolant will be perpetually low. And the hotter it runs the lower the coolant level will be.

Look for the specific model for your chassis or take some measurements and look for a universal reservoir.
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Argosy View Post
You need one or your coolant will be perpetually low. And the hotter it runs the lower the coolant level will be.

Look for the specific model for your chassis or take some measurements and look for a universal reservoir.

I understand this, but why did my motorhome not over heat then?
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Old 12-05-2021, 10:55 AM   #6
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I found this overflow tank. It is for a jeep but looks like what I need. Any comments?
https://www.amazon.com/Omix-Ada-1710...cx_mr_hp_atf_m
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Old 12-05-2021, 11:06 AM   #7
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The simple explanation:

Radiator is “almost” full when cool. There is a bit of air space at the top.

Reservoir = extra fluid if needed.
Reservoir is typically about 1/2 full when cool.

You drive and the engine warms up. As the antifreeze in the radiator warms, it and expands (more volume). If it expands past the capacity of the air space in the radiator, any extra fluid goes into the reservoir. This is held as reserve.

As the engine cools back down, the antifreeze contracts (less volume) and creates air space in the radiator. Antifreeze is then pulled back into the radiator, from the reservoir, to refill the air space.

In the end, if everything is working correctly, the amount of water moving back and forth between the reservoir and the radiator is minimal.

Overheating is normally due to leaks, clogs, dirty radiator, lack of water, bad mixture of antifreeze and water, damage, and so on.

As stated above, without the reservoir, you “will” will be adding fluid at regular intervals.

As for NOT overheating, this means your cooling system is in good shape and working well.

You can always buy a generic reservoir. I bought one at an O’reilly’s Auto Parts for our 8.3L Cummins Diesel in our 42’ pusher. It’s just a water can.
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Old 12-05-2021, 11:14 AM   #8
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The one for our 2001 Dutch Star was replaced 4 times in the 13 years before we purchased it. The original plastic tanks developed small hair line cracks about every 3 years or so and required replacement. I asked Freightliner if there was a steel tank available. Yes, they said, but no one buys them because they cost $9.00 more. . . . Steel tank installed 7 years ago, and no issues since!
A generic tank, if it will fit in your available space, and if it holds approximately the same amount will work just fine.
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Old 12-05-2021, 12:01 PM   #9
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I just noticed yesterday the one on my old F53 is split right down the side. Still holding some coolant at the bottom but I'll need to replace it. Either something used from a salvage yard or something fairly generic from a bus or hotrod supplier are my first thoughts.

On our older coaches it is pretty much an overflow. When the system gets hot the coolant expands and if it's a bit too full or gets very hot, some will go into the bottle. Later when it cools it can draw that coolant back in. In actual practice if the systems isn't terribly full and doesn't get overheated, the back and forth part doesn't really happen. You can test this by using a different color coolant in the overflow. I have. On much older systems there was no overflow, just a hose pointed at the road. The idea being once you had the proper amount of coolant in the system AND you didn't run hot, it didn't matter. Same idea with the overflow tank.

This does NOT compare to late model systems. They use something that looks like an overflow tank but is in fact a "de-gas" tank which is pressurized with the rest of the cooling system. Now is you split one of those you'll certainly lose coolant and run hot. The older systems get away without overflows because there is air in the radiator which allows the coolant to expand and contract. In a de-gas system the air is confined solely to the external tank.
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Old 12-05-2021, 12:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 1997_pace View Post
I understand this, but why did my motorhome not over heat then?

Because it was only low what it pushed out from expansion from the engine heat. The radiator was actually full while it was running, it just can't suck what it pushed out back into the radiator as it cools.
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Old 12-05-2021, 02:35 PM   #11
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Here's the tank used on late 90s Safaris. It's Ford tank too. Check to see if it looks the same.

https://www.fordpartsgiant.com/parts...z-8a080-b.html

Here's a company that makes welded aluminum tanks. This tank replaces the one in the link above:

https://www.fsrproducts.com/shopping...104771&c=13492
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Old 12-06-2021, 06:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by 1997_pace View Post
I found this overflow tank. It is for a jeep but looks like what I need. Any comments?
https://www.amazon.com/Omix-Ada-1710...cx_mr_hp_atf_m
Any reservoir that will fit in the allowed space will work.
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