Preventing dirt/dust in coolant overflow tank/cooling system

jellis

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Apr 29, 2011
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After 6 weeks of more or less continuous wicked wind here in Southern Utah, the bit of fluid in the bottom of my coolant overflow tank was almost a sludge with all the dust/dirt that had blown up in the small, totally-open overflow tube. After cleaning it out I thought it would be nice to prevent this from happening again, but how? So I put a small chainsaw fuel filter I had sitting around on there and it fit perfectly! I thought I would post it here for others in wicked wind/dust country to consider as well, certainly that can't be good on the water pump once it gets into the engine.....

IMG_20220516_134457708.jpg


...and I promptly ordered an air filter because if my COOLANT tank looks like this then.....
 
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@jellis I like it and I am going to steal your idea.


Do you live on Arrakis??

Great work 👍


Southern utah = Arrakis

 
Joined
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After 6 weeks of more or less continuous wicked wind here in Southern Utah, the bit of fluid in the bottom of my coolant overflow tank was almost a sludge with all the dust/dirt that had blown up in the small, totally-open overflow tube. After cleaning it out I thought it would be nice to prevent this from happening again, but how? So I put a small chainsaw fuel filter I had sitting around on there and it fit perfectly! I thought I would post it here for others in wicked wind/dust country to consider as well, certainly that can't be good on the water pump once it gets into the engine.....

View attachment 3010918

...and I promptly ordered an air filter because if my COOLANT tank looks like this then.....
Do you have a part number for the filter which you can share? You just tickled my MUD OCD.
 
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Do you have a part number for the filter which you can share? You just tickled my MUD OCD.

You should be able to find something that will work at any small engine shop, auto parts shop, or hardware store perhaps

I am going to order these so I don't have to deal with going to the store.

 
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Olathe, KS, USA
I'm going to say, I REALLY doubt this sludge you are finding in your overflow tank is from external dust coming up that little tube and into the reservoir.

1) Dust is heavier than air.
2) During operation, the overflow tank is more likely to be pushing out air rather than sucking in due to heat increases, or it will remain stable as the engine heat remains in the operating range. The only time air will be pulling in is during the cool-down cycle and the inlet air velocity will need to be in the 3000 FPM range to pull in dust like that. (I work in dust control and pneumatic conveying of mineral products as well as other dry granular products)
3) Personally, I would want absolutely NOTHING to be a restriction on the outlet of that tank in the event of the radiator needing to vent quickly.
4) The dust must make two directional changes (losing energy) to transfer into that reservoir.

You can do what you want, I just think you are fixing something that's not the root cause.
I also don't live in those conditions, so maybe you can prove me wrong.
If that were the case, wouldn't those folks in the Middle East have this as a regular issue?
 
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I'll add that my 80 came with a dirty cooling system. Many initial flushes (ran on vinegar, etc.) were effective and got most of the crud out but I do annual radiator drain/re-fills and I still find a little red/corrosion looking build up in the overflow every year. This may not be what you are seeing but I'm sure that the redish dust in my overflow bottle is still coming out of the cooling system. It's getting better every year and hasn't been causing any issues so I just wash the overflow out, clean the rad cap and roll on. Maybe in a few more years it will stop showing up altogether?...
 
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I agree that's a good idea to pull the overflow bottle out (just pull it up, and slightly rearward) and inspect it at least annually. It's easy enough to pour out the contents to get a good look, and then refill after reinstallation.
We just did this to my buddy's 80 and discovered that the tube which was supposed to be affixed to the bottom of the reservoir cap had fallen off, and was floating in some ill looking sludge. Rinsing and shaking some gravel around in the reservoir, then reattaching the tube with a clamp, gave him good peace of mind before our subsequent desert trip. Another Mud poster put up a comment a few months ago that the factory clamp on the bottom of the reservoir cap is weak and now old, and it's worth replacing. I think that's good advice.
 

jellis

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Boulder, Utah
This isn't a dirty cooling system, it's DEFINITELY dust/dirt. I also just replaced the radiator and there was nothing in the reservoir before then after years of service. But this also makes it very improbable that it blew in, as BILT4ME is saying, if for no other reason than because nothing has changed in terms of service environment. It makes more sense that I left the lid askew at some point, but I'm not sure when that would have happened?!?

It has been a hell of a windy spring though.....
 

jellis

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14 years. It's an awesome place to live if you hate people and urban conveniences......and the local joke: hot springs. =P

Let me know next time you're rolling thru! Are you in St. George?
 
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14 years. It's an awesome place to live if you hate people and urban conveniences......and the local joke: hot springs. =P

Let me know next time you're rolling thru! Are you in St. George?
Yeah, I am in Saint George. I usually get over to the boulders at least once a year. I will definitely hit you up next time I am over in that area.
 

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