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Corrosion in the coolant expansion tank

Discussion in '348/355' started by Lavenknight, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Lavenknight

    Lavenknight Rookie

    Jun 2, 2018
    31
    Chicago, Illinois
    Full Name:
    Alberto
    While waiting for parts to complete my major I decided to go around the engine compartment and clean things up a bit. I am fascinated with the fact that this car has a metal coolant expansion tank and oil reservoir. I am accustomed to BMW plastic coolant tanks that crack and explode if you stare at it for my than 2 seconds. Unfortunately, it appears that the coolant tank is susceptible to rust. The coolant cap was heavily corroded. The attached picture is after I cleaned most of it. I decided to just buy a new one for 30 dollars.

    The real problem lies in the vent hose. The hose is disconnected in the picture but you can see the nipple (with the white “do not forget to reconnect” tape on it). The corrosion was so bad inside the nipple that I had to grab my dremel and carefully drill through through it until I was able to (unclog it) and stick a rod through it. I don’t think the PO ever changed the coolant or had a less than 50/50 mixture. If the car were to overheat...I would have had problems with this clogged vent hole. I also tested the protection level (see pic) and it was over 0 degrees F. I live in a place where it can get as cold as Siberia (aka Chicago) and we see below 0 frequently in the winter. So check your nipples in the cold Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login to make sure they are not clogged and make sure your coolant is flushed/changed.


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  2. Streetsurfer

    Streetsurfer Formula Junior

    Dec 16, 2015
    861
    near Chicago
    Full Name:
    Ron
    High mineral content water was likely used by po, rather than distilled. We sit atop limestone here, so tap or well water may have contributed the white scale in the nipple.
     
  3. StuR

    StuR Formula Junior

    Jun 14, 2005
    561
    UK Buckinghamshire
    Full Name:
    Stu R
    Nice pics. There are a few older posts here on a similar theme. I replaced mine due to the corrosion. Your right its made worse by people diluting with tap water. I can’t remember the details, but wasn’t there also some specific chemical reaction issue I seem to vaguely remember.

    On mine, the tank neck was actually better than inside, so always worth a good look. Managing to remanufacture (bastardise) the float mechanism and fittings was the real fun bit - NLA at that time (or just ££££).

    That was the start of replacing all the pipes, hairline cracks on some of the aluminium ones, as well as bulging hoses - including the centre section ones - and restoring the pump....


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  4. POLO35

    POLO35 Formula Junior

    Feb 21, 2005
    381
    Treasure Coast Florida
    Full Name:
    MATT
    Very nice! Check the nipple under the intake manifold where the other end of that hose connects. It gets corroded and the hose tends to swell and deteriorate as well.
     
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  5. Jasonberkeley

    Jasonberkeley Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 23, 2017
    985
    New York, NY
    Full Name:
    Jason Berkeley
    After tracking my 348 today, I noticed a slight coolant smell. Starter looking around and noticed some discoloration / spots on top of the right side header under the coolant expansion tank. Ran my fingers up and down the hoses and fittings looking for leaks and nothing. Ran my fingers around the underside of the tank itself and I can feel some moisture along what feels like a crack.

    Just found a replacement on eBay that FerrParts was selling and ordered it.

    Ill post some pics of the leaking unit as soon as I take it off the car.

    It looks like a straight-forward remove and replace. Anything im missing or any tricks?
     
  6. 348Jeff

    348Jeff Formula Junior

    Oct 25, 2011
    994
    UK
    Full Name:
    Jeff
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  7. Ferrarium

    Ferrarium Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 28, 2018
    1,415
    Central NJ
    Full Name:
    Eric
    love thw idea but remember the tank sealer can come off over time and float who knows what clogging who knows what. its super common with motorcycles foe that to happen.

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  8. Jasonberkeley

    Jasonberkeley Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 23, 2017
    985
    New York, NY
    Full Name:
    Jason Berkeley
    Thanks Jeff! Yours looks like a worse version of what mine feels like when I run my hand underneath. I should have it off this weekend to see just how bad it is.

    Great idea on stripping and powdercoating. Probably how I will go when I receive the used one I bought on eBay as well!
     
  9. 348Jeff

    348Jeff Formula Junior

    Oct 25, 2011
    994
    UK
    Full Name:
    Jeff
    http://www.clubscuderia.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?45388-348-DIY-quot-Restoration-quot&p=818203#post818203

    If I had my time again I would buy an aluminium one and have it powdercoated so it looks like a genuine one. No worries then :)
     
  10. 348Jeff

    348Jeff Formula Junior

    Oct 25, 2011
    994
    UK
    Full Name:
    Jeff
  11. m.stojanovic

    m.stojanovic Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 22, 2011
    1,625
    Malaysia - KL
    Full Name:
    Miroljub Stojanovic
    Superformance also have black aluminium tanks. I bought one and it looks perfect.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login 348 Header Tank
    Uprated Aluminium with a Black Finish
    34810011
    £294.86
     
  12. 348Jeff

    348Jeff Formula Junior

    Oct 25, 2011
    994
    UK
    Full Name:
    Jeff
    I obviously didnt notice that! DOH! Sorry folks
     
  13. Jasonberkeley

    Jasonberkeley Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 23, 2017
    985
    New York, NY
    Full Name:
    Jason Berkeley
    Replacement unfortunately hasnt arrived yet. Tried to take a couple of pics from underneath. They arent great, but you can see the beginnings of a much bigger problem. The car was tracked last weekend, has sat for 6 days, and there is only a small weep on the underside after wiping it clean last Saturday pm. This will obviously get worse quickly.

    Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  14. Jasonberkeley

    Jasonberkeley Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 23, 2017
    985
    New York, NY
    Full Name:
    Jason Berkeley


    Video of the Pro Alloy replacements for Superformance UK
     
  15. Jasonberkeley

    Jasonberkeley Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 23, 2017
    985
    New York, NY
    Full Name:
    Jason Berkeley
    Anyone have any suggestions for removing and replacing the expansion tank whil minimizing brain damage?

    Got a new one and would prefer not to drain the coolant system.

    Would appreciate any help!
     
  16. 348Jeff

    348Jeff Formula Junior

    Oct 25, 2011
    994
    UK
    Full Name:
    Jeff
     
  17. Jasonberkeley

    Jasonberkeley Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 23, 2017
    985
    New York, NY
    Full Name:
    Jason Berkeley
    Hi Jeff, agreed and understood.

    I can clamp off the hoses going to the tank, and I guess use a turkey baster to try and get most of the fluid out.

    Just wondering if someone has a technique to drain it completely without spilling any residual coolant all over.

    Thanks,

    Jason
     

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