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Radiator cap alert - check yours

Andy65

Jedi Hopeful
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The radiator cap on my BJ8 has a rubber seal as is common. It was installed and purchased many years ago from one of the usual suspects. The radiator shop man alerted me that the rubber had stretched and grown to where it actually blocks the overflow tube. There would be no way for the water to get out if it overheated under pressure even though the cap valve opened. He said he has seen radiators blow apart because of this. The overflow is close to the top in a Healey. It doesn't take much to block it. My rubber had grown about half an inch larger then the outer diameter of the valve portion of the cap.

I remember some time ago that some vendors were providing caps with too much rubber on them. It never occurred to me that rubber in a good cap could grow to an unsafe size, but was told it is not that uncommon due to the pressure.

The fix is simple - just trim the rubber back with a blade to where it is less than the outer diameter of the valve part of the cap.

Also you may want to check the headlight wires where they cross over the vertical shrouds on either side of the radiator. The sheet metal is a V at the cross point and is sharp on one edge (the other is folded over). I found the wire chaffed. A neat chafe protector is to take a 2 in piece of clear 1/4 in. plastic tubing, slit the tubing lengthwise and slip it over the sheet metal edge. It is a natural clamp but a little Goop or silicon sealant will help hold it.

Safety related aging wear points might be a good subject for the Wiki. The fan rivets and the right rear brake hose are two more.
 

Keoke

Great Pumpkin
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/bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/shocked.gif Andy! If that is the case I would check every rubber hose in the cooling and heating system as they are rubber too and should be susceptible to the same fate as the cap's double valve seal. Course now that just might have been an Irish Whisper.--Keoke
 
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Andy65

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Now, now Keoke, neither I or the radiator shop made this stuff up while riding with the aliens. On this cap, yours may be different, it is more like a thin rubber flap which is what I should have called it. It was at least 15 years old. What do you think will happen of the overflow is blocked?

Your hoses are safe for now - Irish whiskey is a fine substitute for antifreeze.
 

Keoke

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Andy65 said:
Now, now Keoke,

Your hoses are safe for now - Irish whiskey is a fine substitute for antifreeze.


--- /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/savewave.gif

--------------------Yep Andy, en I bet that is just what someone put in that radiator to cause the problem.--Keoke-- /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif
 
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Andy65

Jedi Hopeful
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Either that or while drinking the whiskey they got mixed up and put on one of those problem caps from the local autoparts store. Could I have done that? Nah, I only drink beer while working on the Healey.
 

Keoke

Great Pumpkin
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Andy65 said:
Either that or while drinking the whiskey they got mixed up and put on one of those problem caps from the local autoparts store. Could I have done that? Nah, I only drink beer while working on the Healey.


Was the beer cold? Healey prolly didn't like that.----Keoke /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/nonod.gif------Keoke--------------- /bcforum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif
 
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