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Mysterious hole in coolant header tank!


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Morning all

 

Yesterday a small hole mysteriously appeared in our coolant header tank - a few inches below the max fill level. As we were tinkering about in the engine room we caught it before too much water had escaped, but on close inspection we couldn't see any rust/gunk around the sides of the hole - it looks really clean, more like a puncture...

 

As we only bought Grub in January I guess there's a chance that the hole was already there and had been cleverly plugged so that both ourselves and the surveyor missed it. Could this be possible and what's the likely cause? She's been running fine although we haven't been out for a few months. There was a calorifier but it was disconnected before we bought her.

 

We're going on a 3 week round trip up to Warwickshire in July (can't wait!) so am wondering if it's fixable in the short-term or if it's better to get and fit a new header tank (ours is a Ford). Either way, is it quite straight forward for a newbie like me to have a go at?

 

All suggestions/handy hints welcome!

 

Thanks so much!

 

Hedgepig

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Exactly what type of header tank are you describing, please ?

 

A plastic one, remote from the engine ?

 

A metal one, on top of the engine itself ?

 

Something else ?

 

The answer to this is going to determine both the advice, and level of difficulty.

 

Even better, post a picture.....

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Exactly what type of header tank are you describing, please ?

 

A plastic one, remote from the engine ?

 

A metal one, on top of the engine itself ?

 

Something else ?

 

The answer to this is going to determine both the advice, and level of difficulty.

 

Even better, post a picture.....

 

Hi Alan

 

Apologies for my scant description! It's a metal tank, remote from the engine and bracketed to the engine room wall, to the right of the engine. It looks accessible enough and the pipes all look sound. I'd post a pic but am at w*rk at the mo!

 

Cheers!

 

Hedgepig

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Provided it's remote to the engine, replacing it should not be hard.

 

I'd say it's far more usual for such a tank to be plastic than metal, though.

 

I wouldn't imagine a replacement needs to match too exactly, provided it's capacity is similar, and can connect to the same pipes, and accommodate the same pressure cap.

 

Unless you get from a secondhand source like a breakers yard, the plastic ones, at least, are surprisingly expensive, (given what they are).

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Morning all

 

Yesterday a small hole mysteriously appeared in our coolant header tank - a few inches below the max fill level. As we were tinkering about in the engine room we caught it before too much water had escaped, but on close inspection we couldn't see any rust/gunk around the sides of the hole - it looks really clean, more like a puncture...

 

As we only bought Grub in January I guess there's a chance that the hole was already there and had been cleverly plugged so that both ourselves and the surveyor missed it. Could this be possible and what's the likely cause? She's been running fine although we haven't been out for a few months. There was a calorifier but it was disconnected before we bought her.

 

We're going on a 3 week round trip up to Warwickshire in July (can't wait!) so am wondering if it's fixable in the short-term or if it's better to get and fit a new header tank (ours is a Ford). Either way, is it quite straight forward for a newbie like me to have a go at?

 

All suggestions/handy hints welcome!

 

Thanks so much!

 

Hedgepig

 

Is it stainless steel? If so and it is the wrong grade it can corrode below water level, to do with being anerobic, most s/s needs oxygen so as not to corrode. I was told Leesan stopped using s/s holding tanks for that reason.

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Yesterday a small hole mysteriously appeared in our coolant header tank - a few inches below the max fill level. As we were tinkering about in the engine room we caught it before too much water had escaped, but on close inspection we couldn't see any rust/gunk around the sides of the hole - it looks really clean, more like a puncture...

 

As we only bought Grub in January I guess there's a chance that the hole was already there and had been cleverly plugged so that both ourselves and the surveyor missed it. Could this be possible and what's the likely cause? She's been running fine although we haven't been out for a few months. There was a calorifier but it was disconnected before we bought her.

 

We're going on a 3 week round trip up to Warwickshire in July (can't wait!) so am wondering if it's fixable in the short-term or if it's better to get and fit a new header tank (ours is a Ford). Either way, is it quite straight forward for a newbie like me to have a go at?

When you say remote at the side of the engine - it sould be above the engine filler point. Is it pressurised or open (as different systems have pressurised and unpressurised ones)?

Without a calorifier it should not need to be much more than a couple of pints.

It needs to be filled to the bottom of the tank (has it min and max markings?) and their should be sufficient capacity to handle the expansion as the engine gets warm - which will vary depending on whether its pressurised or not.

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When you say remote at the side of the engine - it sould be above the engine filler point. Is it pressurised or open (as different systems have pressurised and unpressurised ones)?

Without a calorifier it should not need to be much more than a couple of pints.

It needs to be filled to the bottom of the tank (has it min and max markings?) and their should be sufficient capacity to handle the expansion as the engine gets warm - which will vary depending on whether its pressurised or not.

 

Hello!

 

Yes, it is higher than the top of the engine and mounted to the wall, with a pressure cap on top. It has a line showing the max fill level and the hole's appeared an inch or so beneath this - have always kept it topped up plus plenty of antifreeze (50% ish) since we bought Grub.

 

Do you think I could have a go at fixing it with some metal putty in the interim (although likely to ping out after a while due to the pressure) or is it simply a case of draining the header tank, removing the jubilee clips/pipes and brackets and replacing with a new (plastic) one? I'd say the existing one holds a few litres.

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Yes, it is higher than the top of the engine and mounted to the wall, with a pressure cap on top. It has a line showing the max fill level and the hole's appeared an inch or so beneath this - have always kept it topped up plus plenty of antifreeze (50% ish) since we bought Grub.

 

Do you think I could have a go at fixing it with some metal putty in the interim (although likely to ping out after a while due to the pressure) or is it simply a case of draining the header tank, removing the jubilee clips/pipes and brackets and replacing with a new (plastic) one? I'd say the existing one holds a few litres.

Can you still get those bolt on pan menders?

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'Eh? They sound ingenious - whatever they are!!

In them olden days when you used to cook over a large fire and hang your pans on hooks from whatever - you could get little bolts and washers arrangements you put through a hole to seal them!

Come on, someone out there must be older than me? :lol:

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For a temporary expedient, either pot mender style (make your own, a screw & nut, two steel washers and a rubber washer), or even simpler though maybe less certain, a self-tapping screw with silicone sealant.

Eventually you'll no doubt need to get it properly repaired or a new one bought or made.

 

Tim

Edited by Timleech
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I guess to some degree, how likely a repair is likely to last will depend on....

 

1) How big the hole is...

2) Whether there is a weak area around or near it that means it can break through near the repair.

3) How high the pressure cap causes the pressure to rise - a repaired tank with a 7 psi cap will probably stand a better chance than one with a 15 psi cap.

 

Personally because I know what a total irritation cooling problems can be, if in any doubt I'd replace.

 

Possibly somthing like this ?

 

EXPANSION TANK PLASTIC 2LTR (NO CAP)

Plastic coolant expansion tank with 2 x 8mm and 1 x 19mm pipe spiggots. For horizontal mounting. Accepts small pressure caps up to 20psi.

 

£24.97 at ASAP supplies

 

It will not let me post a direct link, or image, but you can search for "Expansion Tank" at

 

ASAP Supplies Main Page

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