I can't answer them all, but I'll hit up a couple...
At 03:02 PM 8/22/00 +0100, Scott Beavis wrote:
>- The radiator has no cap on top, but instead an 'over flow' pipe comes from
>the top of the rad to a catch bottle (I wouldn't call it an expansion
>bottle) mounted on the engine bay side wall. Worryingly, this bottle is
>empty and it is not at a higher level than the top of the rad. I am not too
>keen on this setup. On my mini I have a metro front rad and expansion
>bottle. The expansion bottle has a drain pipe to a low point on the system
>and a balance pipe at the top which connects to the stat housing. I am
>guessing that the stat bolt pattern is the same on A and B series. I am
>tempted to install a proper expansion bottle and replace the stat housing
>with a metro one. The current stat housing has a big nut thing on top of it
>and a wierd bracket sticking out (maybe designed for mounting a dynamo?).
>Any comments about this?
It is called an expansion tank, it does pipe off from the top. I keep mine
about half full. I wouldn't recommend running it empty - your radiator
might be low. Worse, the thermoswitch on the radiator is at the top, and
if coolant gets too low, the switch won't trip and fans won't go on, just
exacerbating the situation. Make sure you have plenty-o-coolant - get the
tank about half full, and check occasionally making sure it isn't
disappearing somewhere on you.
>- There is a lever up in the passenger foot well. It sounds like it is
>moving a vent flap or something. What is it doing?
That's exactly it - it's a fresh air vent control. Most noticeable in
winter when you can't figure out where all that -20 degree air is coming in...
I don't think you mentioned what year your car was...