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Author Topic: What material to use for a coolant tank?  (Read 4463 times)

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Offline Paul P

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What material to use for a coolant tank?
« on: February 05, 2019, 08:45:07 AM »
I need to build a 20 gallon coolant tank for my Bonneville car.  I didn't find any specific rules regarding coolant tanks other than you cannot use flammable coolant (like Evans).  I want to mount it behind the driver seat (what would have been the floorboard of the rear seats).  Any problems with this location according to the tech inspectors?  I am thinking of using 6061 aluminum for the tank.  What thickness would you recommend?   What are the best hoses to use ?   I already have 2 AN20 bulkhead connectors that pass though the firewall that was previously used for a dry sump system that I intend to re-purpose for the coolant.  I know some are using a radiator in a box but I am trying to keep it simple.   I don't want to build it then hit a snag in inspection.  I have a TIG welder that will do aluminum or steel.
 
Paul


Offline RichFox

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2019, 09:23:03 AM »
My roadster has an aluminum tank. Much smaller than 20 Gal. What are you building?

Offline Stainless1

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 09:57:58 AM »
You might consider isolating the hot  water tank from you.... being doused with 160-210 degree water will ruin your day. 
Think about what might happen if you blow a head gasket and get compression pressure in your tank.  Your cap pressure relief may not let pressure out fast enough to prevent a tank failure.... consider that when building your tank... rounded corners, internal braces...
Good luck with your project.  :cheers:
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Offline DallasV

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 01:15:57 PM »
We have a 25 gal aluminum water tank right behind the drivers seat. It was an easy way to get 200 lbs of ballast over the rear axle for dual purpose. Our tank is not pressurized as we use an electric water pump and have a large overflow coming from the top of the tank exiting out the bottom of the car.
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Offline ronnieroadster

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 02:03:41 PM »
My water tank is located behind the driver we built it using aluminum .060 thick capacity is 17 gallons I placed the firewall in front of the tank so if any leaks develop no hot water is getting on the driver I also do not run pressure in the tank I found out long ago any shape other than round will not hold pressure without bulging and bursting.
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Offline bearingburner

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2019, 08:05:57 PM »
We have a 10 gal. compressed air tank mounted in the front of our rear engine lakester. .090 Aluminum bulkhead between tank and driver. Had to weld tube between top rear and bottom front of tank for steering shaft to pass through.

Offline SPARKY

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 09:54:09 AM »
keep in mind the "SLOSH" of the chute hit---baffles and edges reinforced---also twist and flex of frame loading and unloading as well as jacking
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Offline Paul P

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 09:58:55 AM »
My roadster has an aluminum tank. Much smaller than 20 Gal. What are you building?

It's already built.  1976 Monza running a turbo charged F motor.  The reason I am adding the tank is to offset the horsepower increase I am putting into the motor.  Previous runs had the water temp at 220 when I hit the chute and shut it down.  I am adding substantial power so I know that means more heat.  I was comfortable with the 220 at shutdown but I'm sure it will be much higher with the added power so I want to build in a buffer.

Offline Paul P

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 10:01:18 AM »
You might consider isolating the hot  water tank from you.... being doused with 160-210 degree water will ruin your day. 
Think about what might happen if you blow a head gasket and get compression pressure in your tank.  Your cap pressure relief may not let pressure out fast enough to prevent a tank failure.... consider that when building your tank... rounded corners, internal braces...
Good luck with your project.  :cheers:

Good advice.  I had been thinking the same thing and was trying to figure out a way of adding extra relief valve volume.  Preferably I would like to find someone who can roll the tank for me.

Offline Paul P

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2019, 10:03:52 AM »
We have a 25 gal aluminum water tank right behind the drivers seat. It was an easy way to get 200 lbs of ballast over the rear axle for dual purpose. Our tank is not pressurized as we use an electric water pump and have a large overflow coming from the top of the tank exiting out the bottom of the car.

If I am reading your post correctly you just let it blow out if it gets hot enough to boil.  I had not thought of that approach but I like it the more I think about it.  Thanks for the ideas.

Offline Paul P

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2019, 10:09:48 AM »
My water tank is located behind the driver we built it using aluminum .060 thick capacity is 17 gallons I placed the firewall in front of the tank so if any leaks develop no hot water is getting on the driver I also do not run pressure in the tank I found out long ago any shape other than round will not hold pressure without bulging and bursting.
 Ronnieroadster

Dallas V also said he does not run pressure.  I like that idea.    Did you get your tank rolled?  Who rolled it?  I realize if you get a head gasket failure that square cornered tank will soon be round.  So I like the idea of a round tank.  It looks like some racers are just taking an air tank and modifying it for coolant.

Offline Paul P

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2019, 10:12:13 AM »
We have a 10 gal. compressed air tank mounted in the front of our rear engine lakester. .090 Aluminum bulkhead between tank and driver. Had to weld tube between top rear and bottom front of tank for steering shaft to pass through.

If I read it right, you modified a standard air tank for coolant?  I thought about that because I can't find anyone to roll the plate for me.  Is your tank aluminum or steel?

Offline Paul P

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2019, 10:15:09 AM »
keep in mind the "SLOSH" of the chute hit---baffles and edges reinforced---also twist and flex of frame loading and unloading as well as jacking

Good advice. 

Offline 7707

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2019, 10:37:43 AM »
We have a 25 gallon water tank in the rear and a water pump that pumps it around the motor. I ran to the 4 mile marker last year at 265mph in my blown fuel roadster  and the water was just warm. We do not seal it but just pump it round. We leave a gap for expansion and we have a catch tank if it gets hit.

Make sure you are not close to the tank. If you get boiling water down your neck it is not a nice experience.

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Offline bearingburner

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Re: What material to use for a coolant tank?
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2019, 10:44:04 AM »
The air tank ii a portable one and is steel. Came from Walmart several years ago for $39. Figured we couldn't make anything for that price. Added an inlet, outlet, vent, and drain.