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Old 01-23-2008, 08:36 PM   #1
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1987 Bluebird Parts...

I know this is kind of random... but before i spend hours searching for it i thought i would give it a shot on here.

I am in search of a new coolant overflow tank. We recently bought our 87 bluebird bus and we discovered that the cap that the overflow hose runs into has broken off of the tank below the cap. right now we just wrapped it with duck tape to keep it shut. Does anyone know where i should start to look for one of these. Or does anyone have any suggestions for fixing it? Is their any where i can order one. Or how about any good salvage companies i could get a used one from? (located in or around oklahoma area).

Also, if the cap on the overflow tank (not the radiator) was loose for a while while driving before we noticed it and with it still not being sealed, would it mess with any of the gauge readings (heat or oil)?
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:46 PM   #2
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Re: 1987 Bluebird Parts...

it won't mess with any guages or anything. driving without a cap for a lot of miles, say cross country, will cause the water to slowly boil out of the system, especially in the summer when it's hot. adding water until you achieve the proper mix of coolant/water will fix that problem. One more thing is that the radiator cap keeps the system under pressure effectively raising the boiling point of the water which helps keep the bus from overheating on long hill climbs.

in short, driving it for a while like you did with a loose or missing radiator cap isn't harmful.

besides the junk yard, i don't have any good info on where to look for the new tank.

can't get the broken piece of radiator cap out of your old tank? i bought a radiator cap that fit my IH dt360 at wal-mart for about $3
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Old 02-03-2008, 10:45 PM   #3
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Re: 1987 Bluebird Parts...


PTP, if I understand you right, there is nothing wrong with the actual radiator and cap. You are talking about the plastic overflow bottle. This is a fairly minor item. In fact, you could run the hose to the bottom of that bottle, with tape to hold it in place and keep dirt out, and it would work fine. In a pinch, you can even do without the overflow bottle alltogether, by allowing the radiator to run a bit low (when cold). The overflow bottle -- also known as recovery bottle -- just allows the radiator to "breathe" fluid in and out as thermal expansion dictates, keeping the radiator brim full at all times.

To buy a new bottle, go to the Blue Bird web site and look up their dealers. Or just hit the Yellow Pages for bus and truck dealers until you find the nearest Blue Bird dealer.
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:25 AM   #4
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Re: 1987 Bluebird Parts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess

PTP, if I understand you right, there is nothing wrong with the actual radiator and cap. You are talking about the plastic overflow bottle. This is a fairly minor item. In fact, you could run the hose to the bottom of that bottle, with tape to hold it in place and keep dirt out, and it would work fine. In a pinch, you can even do without the overflow bottle alltogether, by allowing the radiator to run a bit low (when cold). The overflow bottle -- also known as recovery bottle -- just allows the radiator to "breathe" fluid in and out as thermal expansion dictates, keeping the radiator brim full at all times.

To buy a new bottle, go to the Blue Bird web site and look up their dealers. Or just hit the Yellow Pages for bus and truck dealers until you find the nearest Blue Bird dealer.
the "overflow tank" on all three of my buses was separate from the radiator, but still had the radiator cap on the catch bottle/overflow tank. No cap or access to the radiator itself. I've never seen this setup before on cars or pickups.
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:23 AM   #5
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Re: 1987 Bluebird Parts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m

the "overflow tank" on all three of my buses was separate from the radiator, but still had the radiator cap on the catch bottle/overflow tank. No cap or access to the radiator itself. I've never seen this setup before on cars or pickups.
That's actually a fairly common setup, especially on newer vehicles. Heck, every Chevy truck and SUV I'm aware of since 1999/2000 (newer body style) has had a closed cooling system.

I'd have to check, but I'm sure Motormite or Dorman makes a generic overflow tank if all else fails. Take the tank off if possible and bring it to your local auto parts store. They should be able to help you out.

Of course there's always JB-Weld...
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:39 PM   #6
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Re: 1987 Bluebird Parts...


Jason:
As Andrew says, that's a closed system, common enough. We have that on all the 18-wheelers at work, and many cars have it. And European cars had it before it became common on cars here. In a nut shell, that "EXPANSION TANK" is a direct extension of the radiator, and you simply let the fluid level vary with the temperature -- with plenty of air above the fluid. In the old days, this was "automatic", with tall radiators with tall top tanks and the cap all the way at the top of that. Streamlining the cars made it necessary to lower the radiator cap, and you will often find the "REMOTE TOP TANK" on the firewall. The last Corvette I looked at had a black plastic tank on the inner fender. Some earlier Corvettes had a round aluminum tank somewhere. Some Fords, like Thunderbirds, had a metal tank near the carburator. I have a home-made aluminum one bolted to the thermostat housing and hidden inside the air cleaner scoop on my hot rod roadster.

PTP,
does any of this make sense to you? Do you have a radiator cap on the actual radiator?

Typically, a RECOVERY BOTTLE will be mounted below the radiator cap. And a CLOSED EXPANSION TANK will be ABOVE the radiator.
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:55 PM   #7
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Re: 1987 Bluebird Parts...

I'm guessing it would look like the metal tank here
If so then no cap on the radiator. If you have a metal one like this you could have a new one welded to the top I would think.
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