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Old 10-01-2010, 01:33 PM   #1
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Coolant recovery

I have a cat 3208 n.a..

*Some previous owner had crimped off the little tube that comes out the side of the expansion tank neck*just under the radiator cap. I was able to un crimp the tube and I have attached a hose that I have run to a gallon jug.
*The question is. Will a gallon be enough?
Not sure how much coolant it will put out once it gets warm.

SD
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:53 PM   #2
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RE: Coolant recovery

The coolant level in your expansion tank is probably down a little when cold and expands to brim full when at operating temp. I would expect little or no coolant to appear in your gallon jug as the engine warms up. A quart container should be adequate as a permanent catch-bottle. Fill your expansion tank to the brim, put a little coolant in the bottle, and check that the end of the hose dips below the surface of the coolant.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:04 PM   #3
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RE: Coolant recovery

Gotcha. I'll Do it.

SD
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:59 PM   #4
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RE: Coolant recovery

SD, Actually your FW tank should be about a 1/2 inch from full. You should then loose very little coolant, if at all unless the engine runs hot. We put in the FW recovery kit from American Diesel so it operates like any other engine now. Chuck
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:45 PM   #5
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RE: Coolant recovery

Quote:
Shoalwaters wrote:

The coolant level in your expansion tank is probably down a little when cold and expands to brim full when at operating temp. I would expect little or no coolant to appear in your gallon jug as the engine warms up. A quart container should be adequate as a permanent catch-bottle. Fill your expansion tank to the brim, put a little coolant in the bottle, and check that the end of the hose dips below the surface of the coolant.
If you do this, and like in your car, you want the excess pushed out to be sucked back in from the overflow bottle when cool, you would need to change the cap to one of the correct pressure relief with the right sort of valve in it so it will suck it back.

*
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Old 10-02-2010, 04:46 AM   #6
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RE: Coolant recovery

There is a difference in radiator caps , the ones that let coolant return are different.

IT is very worthwhile to change EVERY coolant system to the recovery style.

The system will eventually purge all the air in the coolant , making the cooling system about 25% more efficient.

That's why there in cars , 25% smaller radiator to provide.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:47 AM   #7
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RE: Coolant recovery

In the case of the FL120 it's not only the cap that needs to be changed to convert the system to an automotive-type recovery system. The neck in the filler of the header tank also needs to be changed. American Diesel sells a kit to do all this which includes instructions on how to (carefully) cut out the original neck insert and install the new one.
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:54 PM   #8
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RE: Coolant recovery

Good point about the special cap Peter B.

My Phasor genset was originally installed without a catch-bottle - just a little stub of pipe below the header tank cap. There were no drips, but I wanted to install an catch-bottle anyway. I contacted Phasor who said "Fit tube and bottle and away you go". I did so, but I don't see any activity in the catch-bottle. How can I tell if the cap is the right type?

Marin's observation about the length of the Lehman 120's filler neck has got me thinking. Is a special cap the only thing I need, or is the length of the filler neck critical too? If not, why not?
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:13 PM   #9
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RE: Coolant recovery

Mike,
A recovery system will have a radiator cap that has a small center brass "checkvalve". Whenthe system is under pressure it pushes against this round brass center valve. When the system cools down it will actually create a vacuum and draw coolant from the reservoir. It is important that the 2 sealing areas in the neck are clean. The same goes for the two ares of the cap that seal
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:22 PM   #10
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RE: Coolant recovery

I different cap, no matter what type you try to use, will not recapture water as both Marin and myself have said, the filler neck needs to be changed on the Ford Lehman. America Diesel sells the kit including a new cap since the old cap will not fit on the replacement neck. Chuck
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:25 PM   #11
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RE: Coolant recovery

Quote:
Shoalwaters wrote:Marin's observation about the length of the Lehman 120's filler neck has got me thinking. Is a special cap the only thing I need, or is the length of the filler neck critical too? If not, why not?
it's not the length of the neck on the FL120 that needs to be changed.* It's the insert that's inside it that needs to be changed.* The stock insert does not allow coolant to be pulled back into the tank.* So both the neck insert and the cap need to be changed to allow coolant to be drawn back into the tank as the coolant cools down.* The overall neck length remains the same.

*
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:04 AM   #12
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RE: Coolant recovery

Marin, correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember you saying once you got this kit for both, but have not yet got round, 10 yrs later, to fitting same. If so I can understand it, as like someone else said before, if you don't overfill the header tank, the same gap between the coolant surface and the cap seems to stay pretty constant, and I find I add a smidgeon of coolant about once a season. I would not bother with the conversion myself as a result, and I can confirm when the boat was re-painted recently and the duckboard was off, we found behind it the hull stamp reading CHB 1 - 1975 plus several numbers and letters I didn't understand what they meant. The point being it's 'just worked', for 35 yrs, so why fix it?.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:23 AM   #13
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RE: Coolant recovery

Here's an explanation of HINs and how to interpret them:
http://www.boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/hin.html
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:46 AM   #14
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RE: Coolant recovery

Quote:
Peter B wrote:

If so I can understand it, as like someone else said before, if you don't overfill the header tank, the same gap between the coolant surface and the cap seems to stay pretty constan
The danger in an FL120 is if the coolant level in the tank gets low enough to allow an air pocket to form in the top-front of the exhaust manifold.* If that happens the heat will soar in that one spot and the manifold will be ruined in short order.* Given that these Lehman manifolds are almost impossible to get these days, I believe it's smart to make sure an air pockket doesn't form there.

We do have a recovery system in our boat, it's just not an efficient one.* I extended the overflow tubes from the header tanks so they dump into small bottles down in the engine drip pans.* I periodically dump this fluid from the bottles back into the header tanks.

I make it a practice to check the coolant level in the tank before every start---- as you say there can be an air gap between the level and the bottom of the neck and as long as this level does not drop it will be sufficient to prevent the formation of an air pocket in the exhaust manifold.* I also crack the bleed valve at the front of the manifold before most starts to ensure that no air has gathered there.

What you say you do sounds fine to me as long as the coolant level in the tank is not allowed to drop to the point where an air pocket can form in the exhaust manifold.* I* prefer to minimize the chances of this happening by using my "poor man's" recovery system until the day comes I get around to installing the proper ones.

*
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:32 PM   #15
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RE: Coolant recovery

Keith,
That is a great link. Turns out we are hull 65 for Present Yachts. PYZ000650683.
Didn't you post a link once that let you use the Documentation nber to be able to tell who the owner is? Sorry to hijack the thread.
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:22 PM   #16
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RE: Coolant recovery

http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/CoastGuard/index.html

You can search by name or number.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:56 PM   #17
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RE: Coolant recovery

Got it. Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:21 AM   #18
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RE: Coolant recovery

So, do I need a retro fit cap*for the cat 3208?
*
SD
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:42 PM   #19
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RE: Coolant recovery

Hi SD,

If you want to go with a coolant recovery bottle you will need to get a cap specifically for COOLANT RECOVERY SYSTEMS. If you don't, the existing cap will allow coolant to spit out to the bottle upon heatup, but upon cooldown it will not pull the coolant back.

Cat should have a RECOVERY type cap. If not then go to the nearest auto/truck parts supply house , take the existing cap with you and go through the catalogues. Stant or Gates should have a match that is suitable.

This is worth doing.
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:30 PM   #20
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RE: Coolant recovery

I don't have a coolant recovery system. My exhaust manifold dos'nt have the heat exchanger in it as it's on the bulkhead so the exhaust manifold has nothing in the upper half (or more) so it's nearly full of coolant. I run it about 1 1/4" below the cap so there's plenty of air space for expansion and the extra volume of coolant. I have a "Murphy Switch" on the side of the manifold so long before the coolant level gets low enough to cause overheating the alarm sounds. I really like this setup.
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