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Re: radiator overflow

To: Bill Saidel <>
Subject: Re: radiator overflow
From: Barney Gaylord <>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 21:59:41 -0500
At 09:01 PM 7/19/2000 -0400, Bill Saidel wrote:
>In fact I did refill the radiator recently and the last time it
overflowed, it was more like foam (like the end of overflowing which might
be wishful thinking). 

OOPS.  Foam?  That does sound like a blown head gasket.

>       But I am surprised that overfilling should lead to overflowing since
water does not expand that much. 

Probably more than you think.  With a two gallon cooling system the
difference between cold and hot liquid is about one pint of expansion (and
overflow if it was filled to the top to begin with).

>.... But interestingly, the fluid in the radiator hasn't dropped much
below the neck and no core is showing. ....

The top tank typically holds nearly a quart of fluid, so when it loses a
pint the fluid level will still be above the top of the core.  That is
exactly why the top tank is that large.  On many newer cars with sealed
cooling systems and expansion tanks the top tank (or side tanks for cross
flow) is often miniscule by comparison, because it doesn't have to hold the
volume of the expansion fluid.

Oh, and a pint of coolant dumped on the ground all in one spot will look
like a LOT of coolant.

Barney Gaylord
1958 MGA with an attitude

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