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Thread: Cooling system and PS initial fill

  1. #1
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    Cooling system and PS initial fill

    I know this must have been discussed before, but in searching, I cannot find anything regarding a system with a Harrison expansion tank. Since the tank is typically only filled 1/2 full, how can you get fluid into the radiator and the block? I've got to be thinking about this wrong. The filler on the tank is the highest point of the system, so should I just fill it full and let the coolant drain into the radiator and the block at whatever pace it manages on its own?

    On the power steering pump, I'm using a stock Mustang pump with the reservoir on the pump. Everyone has told me that it should hold about one quart of fluid. I know that the engine needs to be running, and the steering turned lock to lock a few time to purge any air, but upon initially putting fluid in the reservoir, I could only get one 14oz. bottle of fluid in. Will this be enough fluid to protect the internal workings of the pump once I get to a first start?

    So, cooling system, power steering, recheck all fuel line fittings, and electrical connections, put a battery in, and try to get this thing started. The anxiety level continues to build!
    Rick

    Mk4 with Mr. Bruce FIA body, Levy 331 w/ Speedmaster Stack Injection, IRS, ABS, PS, PB, FAST FI

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    Once it's running, as you turn the wheel it will pull the fluid through the system. It won't sound pretty either!! Just add more fluid until it stabilizes at the full mark on the pump cap.
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    Thanks Dave. Do you think the amount of fluid I'm starting with, about 12-14oz., is going to be enough to protect the pump motor until more can be added?
    Rick

    Mk4 with Mr. Bruce FIA body, Levy 331 w/ Speedmaster Stack Injection, IRS, ABS, PS, PB, FAST FI

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    Quote Originally Posted by EZ$ View Post
    Thanks Dave. Do you think the amount of fluid I'm starting with, about 12-14oz., is going to be enough to protect the pump motor until more can be added?
    I would think so. You won't be driving the car with a dry pump, just cycling the rack to fill the system. Crank the wheel, add some fluid, repeat until at the proper level.

    Dave
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    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    The PS initial fill is always a challenge. The easiest answer is to have a friend dedicated to keeping the reservoir full while you and others watch for leaks, watch the oil pressure gauge etc. Next best thing is have your fluid ready and keep your ears open. When the pump starts growling, top it up. Worst case, if there is too much else going on, shut off the engine and top it up. Also, don't worry at all about getting the perfect fill level. As long as there is enough fluid that it isn't growling, that is good enough for now.
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    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Another option on the PS fill is the priming process KRC recommends. Remove the PS pump pulley and use a drill motor chucked onto the shaft. Fill the reservoir, and run the drill motor while someone rotates the steering wheel lock-to-lock. Doesn't have to be fast. Top the fluid as needed. It's real easy to tell when the pump gets fluid and starts working as the drill motor starts grunting a little. Maybe a little overkill, but the process I've followed with their pumps on my Coyote builds.
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    Re coolant:
    If you have the time, just keep filling the expansion tank until the level stops going down. This may take several days. Squeezing and releasing the upper hose will help. Don't worry about overfilling- the excess will be puked out.

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    Craig and Paul, thanks for the recommendations on the PS pump fill. I'll try to find a way to get a bit more fluid in before starting, and top it off once it's running.

    davekp, I'll give that a try to see how it goes. Hopefully I can get the coolant to work its way into the system, and again, finish it off after the engine is running.
    Rick

    Mk4 with Mr. Bruce FIA body, Levy 331 w/ Speedmaster Stack Injection, IRS, ABS, PS, PB, FAST FI

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    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    Re coolant fill; I find that if I take the plug out of the intake that is just behind the t-stat bump, that lets air out so coolant goes in much more quickly.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

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    Senior Member rich grsc's Avatar
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    You don't post any pictures, it sounds like the tank could be plumbed wrong.

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    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    Fill the P/S Without the engine running. With the engine running, you are generating bubbles and pushing them through the system.

    The easiest way is to jack the front up and just turn the wheel lock to lock until you stop getting bubbles. Then start the engine and do a few more.

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    OK, so the tank sits just a bit higher than the top of the radiator, but the heater sits higher than the tank. IMAG1292 by Rick Paul, on Flickr
    The red dot is the 1/2" hose that T's into the heater return hose, the green dot is the overflow port connected to the overflow tank, and the blue dot is the port that is connected to the radiator at the top port on the DS.
    Craig, I'm not able to get any coolant into the system from the Harrison tank. Even jacking up the front of the car didn't help.
    Rich, I'm pretty sure I have the tank plumbed right.
    Avalanche, I did that when I first tried filling the PS, but I'll do it again before I try to start it.

    I was actually considering purchasing one of the vacuum coolant filler systems. They use compressed air to suck all the air out of the cooling system to about 24 bars(?), then using a hose to your container of coolant mixture, you open up a valve, and it draws the coolant in without any air getting in. Sounds effective, and the youtube videos looked convincing, but at this point I just don't know the best way to proceed.

    Oh, by the way, pay no attention to the weird cap on top of the Harrison tank. It's a fuel cap, and it's just there to keep crap from falling in the tank. You can see the radiator cap sitting next to the tank.
    Last edited by EZ$; 07-08-2019 at 12:40 PM. Reason: additional info
    Rick

    Mk4 with Mr. Bruce FIA body, Levy 331 w/ Speedmaster Stack Injection, IRS, ABS, PS, PB, FAST FI

  13. #13
    Senior Member rich grsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EZ$ View Post
    OK, so the tank sits just a bit higher than the top of the radiator, but the heater sits higher than the tank. IMAG1292 by Rick Paul, on Flickr
    The red dot is the 1/2" hose that T's into the heater return hose, the green dot is the overflow port connected to the overflow tank, and the blue dot is the port that is connected to the radiator at the top port on the DS.
    Craig, I'm not able to get any coolant into the system from the Harrison tank. Even jacking up the front of the car didn't help.
    Rich, I'm pretty sure I have the tank plumbed right.
    Avalanche, I did that when I first tried filling the PS, but I'll do it again before I try to start it.

    I was actually considering purchasing one of the vacuum coolant filler systems. They use compressed air to suck all the air out of the cooling system to about 24 bars(?), then using a hose to your container of coolant mixture, you open up a valve, and it draws the coolant in without any air getting in. Sounds effective, and the youtube videos looked convincing, but at this point I just don't know the best way to proceed.

    Oh, by the way, pay no attention to the weird cap on top of the Harrison tank. It's a fuel cap, and it's just there to keep crap from falling in the tank. You can see the radiator cap sitting next to the tank.
    Water won't run up hill. The return from the heater should go to the water pump, is that how it's plumbed? The red dot hose should drop down to the pump, so if it is T'd in lower than the tank water should fill the block and radiator.
    Last edited by rich grsc; 07-08-2019 at 01:01 PM.

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    Rich, the return for the heater, and the Harrison tank go to a fitting just behind the thermostat housing. The red line in the picture is the route for the Harrison tank to that fitting, and the blue is the return from the heater. The line from the Harrison tank comes up under the 3/4 tube to merge with the heater line.
    IMAG1293 by Rick Paul, on Flickr
    I know it won't run uphill, although God knows I tried! I'm just wondering if I should abandon the stainless upper hose, (I know you hate them), go to a rubber hose, and add an inline filler at a higher point in the system. Just don't know if adding the additional filler is a good idea.
    Rick

    Mk4 with Mr. Bruce FIA body, Levy 331 w/ Speedmaster Stack Injection, IRS, ABS, PS, PB, FAST FI

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    Last question for this, at least for now. Is there any down side to adding an inline filler to the top hose? It's either that, or a half stick of dynamite at this point. I've run out of items to stall with, and need to get this ready to attempt a start. Thanks to everyone for all the help.
    Rick

    Mk4 with Mr. Bruce FIA body, Levy 331 w/ Speedmaster Stack Injection, IRS, ABS, PS, PB, FAST FI

  16. #16
    Senior Member rich grsc's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, that is not the return line from the heater, that is the inlet. When you get your car running, the water pump will be pumping coolant into the Harrison tank, bypassing the thermostat. Return lines go directly to the water pump housing. It's my understanding the Harrison tank should be plumbed to the return side of the pump, not the output side, in other words, downstream of the thermostat.

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    Rich, I'll double check which side it's plumbed to. I believe I checked with Mike Forte when I was running the lines.
    Rick

    Mk4 with Mr. Bruce FIA body, Levy 331 w/ Speedmaster Stack Injection, IRS, ABS, PS, PB, FAST FI

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    OK, so I double checked how I had this plumbed, and it turns out, you are correct. I had the Harrison tank plumbed to the inlet side of the heater! Thank you Rich for catching that for me. So today I know what I'm going to be doing. I'll report back once I get this fixed.
    Rick

    Mk4 with Mr. Bruce FIA body, Levy 331 w/ Speedmaster Stack Injection, IRS, ABS, PS, PB, FAST FI

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    Got the lines switched around. The bottom line from the Harrison tank now goes to the return line from the heater, and into the water pump lower fitting. The line from the top of the intake manifold goes to the intake line of the heater. Still can't get coolant to fill the block or the radiator, so my question goes back to the same one. Is there any downside to removing the top radiator hose, installing an inline filler, and having it and the Harrison tank as fill points? I think with an inline filler in the top hose I could get coolant into the radiator, and possibly into the block as well, but just not sure about the use of both.
    Rick

    Mk4 with Mr. Bruce FIA body, Levy 331 w/ Speedmaster Stack Injection, IRS, ABS, PS, PB, FAST FI

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    Bump to top. Hopefully someone has an answer. Thanks
    Rick

    Mk4 with Mr. Bruce FIA body, Levy 331 w/ Speedmaster Stack Injection, IRS, ABS, PS, PB, FAST FI

  21. #21
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    I'm not familiar with your plumbing, but the big yellow funnel worked great for me. https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-24610-S.../dp/B001A4EAV0

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    I'd remove the upper radiator hose from the thermostat housing and start filling the radiator from there.. Remove the thermostat and keep filling until water comes out at the thermostat housing. This will get the radiator and block filled.

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    Dave, It sounds like putting a tee filler in the top hose could also be the answer, but I just wasn't sure if it would cause any issues that I'm not thinking about. The top hose is the corrugated stainless from FFR, so with the existing bends, it would be difficult to use to fill, not impossible, just difficult bending and re-bending. I don't want to fatigue the tubing.
    Rick

    Mk4 with Mr. Bruce FIA body, Levy 331 w/ Speedmaster Stack Injection, IRS, ABS, PS, PB, FAST FI

  24. #24
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    The reason I recommended removing the top hose and filling into the radiator is the radiator and block will fill to the level of the thermostat housing with no air entrapped. Just putting in a Tee would not guarantee that. You sounded desperate so I suggested a more basic answer. Remove the SS top hose, go to your local FLAPS, get a (any) hose that fits the radiator and start filling. It ain't rocket surgery.

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    Thanks Dave, that's the answer I was kind of looking for. If the tee won't help the situation then I'll replace that top hose and fill as you and others have suggested.
    Rick

    Mk4 with Mr. Bruce FIA body, Levy 331 w/ Speedmaster Stack Injection, IRS, ABS, PS, PB, FAST FI

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