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Radiator overflow/reservoir prototype: Nalgene bottle

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by wantatlc, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    Well, bsevans had a great thread on a Recovery & Windshield Washer Tank setup he built. Damn nifty and got me inspired to build my own radiator reservoir tank based on my own design as I always have hated the cheap plastic reservoir/overflow tank on my rig. Mine is not as cool and refined, but certainly my style (homemade with that 'out door' flavor).

    So, I put my money where my mouth was and built my first prototype. This one is currently riding around in my rig the last few days with just water in it as my #1 test (I have a hose going from port to port so it can cycle around the bottle, ports, hose, seals, etc.). I will do this test for one week. This #1 test will be to make sure it holds liquid and that my seals are sound and fluid does not leak. Test #2 will be to go to an actual water/ethylene glycol mixture. I will do that for about 2 weeks as it also rides around in the engine bay. This will help give me an idea how they (lexan and my rubber seals) handle heat and a more burely toxic liquid.

    According to Nalgene's website, their lexan plastic container, when studied with "ethylene glycol, pure" for 30 days, showed no effects. As I will be using a more moderate 70/30 or so mix - I suspect it will be good to go. Confidence is high, I repeat, confidence is high.

    FWIW, I choose the Nalgene as my option as they are cheap, come in many colors, are a very physically stout and strong and mostly chemical resistant lexan pastic, have measurements on the side, will hold plenty of fluid, can see through them, can withstand great temperatures (from -135ºC (-211ºF) to135ºC (275ºF)), stain resistance, have a guarenteed leak-proof screw top lid, and I have about 15 of them.

    here are my hose ports I created. I used a compression rubber washer on each side between 2 plastic moldable nylon flat washers. to be safe, I used a small bit of black RTV up against the bottle to just be sure the seal is good. As you can see, it works like a sandwich with the bottle between the 2 opposing rubber washers.
    [​IMG]

    here it is mounted up to the bottle. the hole I created was just the right size so I could actually get a bite on the lexan and screw it in. Then, there is a hex nut on the inside to make it nice and snug.
    [​IMG]

    here is the final proof of concept built up. wide mouth, screw top, 32oz, round, loop-top
    [​IMG]


    as I said, there is a mount system in the works that I think should work, but that will come in the next few weeks after I test to make sure this prototype will actually work and hold fluid. if it does, then I will build the mount.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2006
  2. green40

    green40

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    Nice idea! Explain why you are using two ports? The tank I have now (from a Ford PU) just uses one. Coolant expands and flows into the tank, cools and it gets sucked back into the rad.

    Lane
     
  3. Biscuit

    Biscuit Mars Rover Driver Emeritus SILVER Star

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    SWEET! I'm going to have to copy that for my weeknd project. Except on mine I don't have the coolant recovery port (at least not where I can see) so I'll make it a collection only with a vent at the top to keep the nalgene from exploding. (And yes I have blown one up before, it is possible)
     
  4. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    my current reservoir has 2 ports. 1 at the top to vent pressure or a super excess of fluid I suppose? thus, I just copied it. I did not put a lot of research into their configurations, I just assumed if the one I had in the rig worked, a similar design will work. I can always plug.

    OR, maybe on my final version (a new shiny RED one with black mouth to match my rig) I will omit that port if I get a bunch of feedback from here saying it is worthless.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2006
  5. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    if a bail on the top port, a simple small hole in the top cap - dead center - would be a good vent port.

    how did you blow one up? I have been up to 14,000 feet with one frozen solid and it did not crack on me... not to mention the numerous drops and such while climbing.

    oh.... and do not steal my thunder by skipping the 3 week testing protocol phase and going right to production... ;p
     
  6. PabloCruise

    PabloCruise

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    The factory overflow has a tube that runs to the bottom.

    This is so when the radiator cools and is ready to draw coolant back in, it draws coolant from the bottom, and not air from the top on the overflow.

    Have you thought about this?
     
  7. Klunky Chris

    Klunky Chris

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    real simple
    bottom hose goes to the radiator for the reason PabloCruise mentioned

    top just equalizes pressure. There is a hose on it to *direct* collent overflow if it boils over. IOW: run a hose down and out of the engine bay so you don't get coolant everywhere if it boils over.

    Of course... if it boils over we have more important issues to worry about.

    The only other thing to consider is enough reserve, and expansion room. I *think* you have enough there but I would be interested in what the OEM volume was. Bigger can be better as well. Ever seen the overflow in an 80?

    I se no problem with the idea unless the Nalgene can't hande the coolant long term. I really like the idea of EASILY seeing how much coolant you have. :D
    All my Toyota's I have to open the lid and guess how close to the line it is. That or back light it with a flashlight...
     
  8. nat

    nat

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    Cool idea, it really adds a great outdoor feel. I would keep the overflow at the top, just run a line out of the engine compartment. I am curious how well the nalgene will hold up to the heat and coolant.
     
  9. Biscuit

    Biscuit Mars Rover Driver Emeritus SILVER Star

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    I've had three fail

    1) Dry ice + water = kaboom
    2) Dropping it three stories with it half full of water normally gets a good explosive blow out of the bottom. The water works like a piston on the air.
    3) Very old very abused one dropped from my pack.

    Don't worry there will be no stealing of your thunder.
     
  10. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    wait wait... are you actually thinking I will be having the tube from the radi going to the top port? :confused: and sucking air?

    clearly, the photo shows the bottom port - which is what will be hooked to the radi. the top port - as I said, was to mimic the current setup and allow for overflow.

    that being said, I have seen versions with the bottom port going straight down from the center and others mounted low as possible off to the side. I liked the low and on the side method as it is easier, straighter to run tubing to and I need less space below the reservoir. as long as fluid is well above that port, I am good to go regaurdless if the port is off to the side or straight down as I see it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2006
  11. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    thanks,

    yes - curenlty that top port that I mimiced on my version runs to a tube that flows out of the engine bay. never seen current reservoir drip or overflow to date (so no boiling over), but I just kept it in the design.
     
  12. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    yeah, I am pretty sure 32-36 oz is plenty. in monitoring my rig since I have owned it, I have never really needed that much capacity to begin with. so I am pretty confident that that will be plenty - which was why I selected this Nalgene.

    again, none of this is rocket science. just mimced what I had but with a different product. as you said, the big issue is will the nalgene take the colant and, I also have a concern about the lid taking the heat in the engine bay as it is not the same lexan plastic as the body.

    so far, so good though and I will get more test driving today...
     
  13. DSRTRDR

    DSRTRDR I can mangle anything ... SILVER Star

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    the Nalgene bottle should be able to take it - actually, there are different Nalgene types: different plastics and properties. Nalgene makes even autoclavable bottles, that means they can withstand multiple heat-cool cycles (105 degree centigrade/room temperature) - mulitple meaning years of weekly autoclaving. The easiest way to get one of those is to hook up with someone who works in a laboratory and have them order one with the properties/size you like (they even come square - much more rational). Alternatively, you could try to buy from a lab supplier direct, the biggest ones are Fisher or VWR. I have not seen Nalgene sell in retail the variety they have for laboratories.
     
  14. PabloCruise

    PabloCruise

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    You know, somehow I missed that bottom port in the pic!
     
  15. Degnol

    Degnol

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    I like the wide mouth of the Nalgene bottle for topping off. Hard to hit those little holes. Oh and as mentioned above, the clear is nice, but I don't know how long that will last.

    Ed
     
  16. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

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    60 series overflow tank mounted in a 40 works great....
     
  17. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    no doubt..... but this has never been done :D



    at least not that I know of
     
  18. wantatlc

    wantatlc

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    you know... I am thinking square now will be the way to go. Square-wide mouth to be exact. easier to fit in the bay and place where I want, more space savings, easier to make a mount for (possibly even still use my existing square mount) versus make the one I had a great concept idea on (which I still might make), and still meets all the criteria I like I mentioned above.

    [​IMG]

    (as for their more exotic lab type options I am sure I could get REI to order some oneses or twoses for me to experiment with.)

    BTW, did some local trails yesterday and normal hot beach DD with the prototype + H20 still in the engine compartment and all is well. it sits about 15-18" from the engine/headers and about 2 from the radi and shows no ill will.
     
  19. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

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    might find the reason why..... ;)