Author Topic: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator  (Read 602 times)

Offline richard5933

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Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« on: June 14, 2018, 07:04:25 AM »
On a recent trip we ran the generator for a few hours each day. It was the first time we ran it more than a few minutes since it was worked on in early spring when the water pump was changed on the Perkins.

Temperature at the time of the repair was in the 50s. System was refilled, probably all the way. We did run it for about an hour at that time, but the temp never came up above about 150.

On this recent trip, temperatures outside were over 90. The generator hovered around 170-175 on the gauge. When running it the first time on this trip, there was suddenly a rush of coolant coming from the edge of the bay door and onto the ground. I shut things down and expected to see a burst hose. What I saw was red coolant pouring from the overflow tube by the radiator cap.

I let the system cool enough to open the cap, and there was still coolant. Not to the rim of the surge tank, but part way up.

I restarted and watched carefully. Temp never went above 175 and no more coolant ever came out.

My assumption is that the system was over filled when cold, and on this trip it was warm enough outside for the system to get hot enough for the thermostat to open. Hot coolant expsnds, and result is a big red puddle.

So the question...

Should I install an overflow tank to capture future overflows like this? Or, just leave the coolant a little bit low to allow room for expansion. I'm sure that I can find a plastic tank to mount in there, just not sure if it's worth it.
Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB

Online luvrbus

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 07:17:02 AM »
Once they seek their level you are fine ,recovery tanks on older systems don't do any good they are so low pressure to begin with 
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Offline brmax

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 08:15:35 AM »
In my opinion the overflow plastic canisters are great. In this reason and could relate to your situation or everyones.

When the pressure does rise even to a level overcoming the cap setting it obviously dumps the coolant. I believe this can also help as it heats and in its cooling makes a vacuum of sorts.

This cycle if no airleaks helps eliminate any air in the system, so being able to cycle small amounts contained in the overflow bottle/canister, although the hose requires staying low and covered in coolant.


Good day

Floyd
1992 MC9
6V92
Allison

Online luvrbus

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 08:38:59 AM »
? on a old low pressure system aren't they just for overflow,not a recovery system I installed one on a 89 Ford van it caught the over flow but would never return the coolant back to the system,I changed caps and hoses never could make it work,I know on my GMC you fill from the recovery tank lol it does nothing on the van
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Offline richard5933

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2018, 08:48:06 AM »
Working properly and with the correct type of radiator cap, the tube bringing coolant into the tank should go to the bottom of the jug (or nearly so.) When the system cools a vacuum is formed, and in a sealed system the one-way valve in the radiator cap allows fluid to be sucked back to the radiator.

But you're correct that this doesn't always work, in which case the jug serves as a catch basin only.

With a 40+ year old Perkins I wasn't sure if it would work or not, which is why I asked.
Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB

Offline brmax

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2018, 09:09:50 AM »
I seen this short post, it seems to hit the bases pretty good.
All the information out there is still a pain, as we try to find these parts that would fit our situation.

Many of these were not designed particularly for our equipment, so we may have to use the Hot Rod way and make it ours.  8)

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/the-two-types-of-radiator-caps-confirmation.732464/



Good day

Floyd
1992 MC9
6V92
Allison

Offline bevans6

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 09:12:43 AM »
A forty year old MGB has a coolant recovery surge tank built into the system, and I ran them on all sorts of things.  On race cars I built swirl tanks to de-aerate and provide stability to the cooling system.  At the end of the day the goal is to have the part of the cooling system with the engine and the radiator full all the time, so these things just add excess capacity in a way that ensures the real working parts are always full. 

Brian
1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Allison MT-647
Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Online luvrbus

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 09:37:28 AM »
Some necks on a radiator will not allow the 2 seal caps is what I run into,basically the surge tank on these vintage buses serve the same purpose in keeping a system full and for the expansion,the newer buses it is rare to see a surge tank on a system    
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 09:54:40 AM by luvrbus »
Life is short drink the good wine first

Offline brmax

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2018, 10:27:12 AM »
If a piece of equipment or say a vehicle can use this somehow, heres a reason a reason I like it.
One is the remote location of the canister or tank. This is real helpful on bigger trucks and equipment keeping an operator height access without climbing much or sometimes not at all.

Im real interested in this on the generators we mess with in that their stuffed in places and as I see them and no room for filling a radiator capped tank/part. 

I’ve had my share of filling fluids bent around like a pretzel with having a helper fill dixe cups so i can pour.  Simply sucs!

Even some of these over flow canisters are a pain, case in point my ole arctic cat 650, yep its a dixe cup



But this is all in fun

Floyd
1992 MC9
6V92
Allison

Offline buswarrior

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2018, 11:23:51 AM »
I like a container on all radiator overflows for these 2 reasons:

1) I can manage what I can see. Once it reaches it's level, the height in the container should stay steady. If it goes higher, I will know/have warning that something has changed. Dumping out on the ground, I won't...

2) Anti-freeze is both attractive and poisonous to our 4 legged friends, and I'm likely friends with their owners. A catch can keeps that poison contained for me to deal with in a controlled fashion.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area

Online luvrbus

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2018, 11:41:12 AM »
On my DL3 filling is a snap you open the door on the passengers side there is a tank with a pump turn it on and watch the sight glass all there is too it lol no more ladders now
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Offline chessie4905

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2018, 04:21:16 PM »
We put one on our Koehler 12kw Perkins. It was there mainly to catch any overflow instead of coolant all over the bay. Normally, like old radiator systems, it will seek proper level and push out any excess.
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Offline richard5933

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2018, 04:37:38 PM »
We put one on our Koehler 12kw Perkins. It was there mainly to catch any overflow instead of coolant all over the bay. Normally, like old radiator systems, it will seek proper level and push out any excess.

Since that is the same/similar system to what we've got (Kohler/Perkins) I'm going to take this comment as confirmation that it's worth the effort. If no other purpose is served, I won't have to deal with the thing puking up red coolant all over the area where we are parked.
Richard
1974 GMC P8M4108a-125 (Current Bus)
1964 GM PD4106-2412 (Former Bus)
Located in beautiful Wisconsin
KD9GRB

Offline Iceni John

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2018, 08:35:51 PM »
I like a container on all radiator overflows for these 2 reasons:

1) I can manage what I can see. Once it reaches it's level, the height in the container should stay steady. If it goes higher, I will know/have warning that something has changed. Dumping out on the ground, I won't...

2) Anti-freeze is both attractive and poisonous to our 4 legged friends, and I'm likely friends with their owners. A catch can keeps that poison contained for me to deal with in a controlled fashion.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
Absolutely, I agree.   Some years ago one of my cats was poisoned by a small amount of coolant on the ground, and after several days of progressive kidney failure we had to have her put down.  Very very sad.   I now am obsessive about preventing any coolant getting onto the ground, anywhere.

John
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 08:38:09 PM by Iceni John »
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Offline TomC

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Re: Adding radiator overflow tank to generator
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2018, 07:25:24 AM »
The idea behind an overflow tank is to keep air out of the radiator. When cold, fill the radiator all the way, install the overflow tank and also fill overflow tank to the cold level. Run the generator. High pressure or low pressure doesn't matter in the radiator, the overflow tank works on hot/cold syphoning.
Strange though, both my Kenworth cabovers did not have an overflow tank. Good Luck, TomC
Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.