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Old 08-01-2020, 07:33 AM
jtkk0360 jtkk0360 is offline
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Default 69 Firebird

Is it necessary for a 69 Firebird to have a radiator overflow tank? They did not come with one back then did they? Thanks.

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Old 08-01-2020, 08:28 AM
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Yep they had one ... and they are a real good idea. Working correctly they will keep your radiator topped up nicely. They don't just catch overflow ... they allow the radiator to suck coolant back into the radiator instead of air when the engine cools off.

At least modern tanks work that way.

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Old 08-01-2020, 01:24 PM
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Thanks for reply. I am no mechanic. I also have a fairly good performance motor. 350 small block, but 408 stroker. Mainly set up for show. All aluminum, chrome, and stainless. Dynoed 522 HP and 519 Torque. I have a custom built aluminum big block radiator , with custom built in aluminum shroud with large electric fan. So it is a modern tank. So overflow should be mandatory in my application you think? Company building car says not necessary. Thanks. Jerry


Last edited by jtkk0360; 08-01-2020 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Forgot.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:17 PM
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I guess it depends on your definition of necessary. No it is not necessary for the car to run, perform well and stay cool ... as long as you check coolant level now and then. Also ... if your radiator does sometime over flow a bit ... the tank would keep the coolant off the underside of the car.
But no, it's not a critical component.

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Old 08-01-2020, 03:36 PM
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Yep they had one ... and they are a real good idea. Working correctly they will keep your radiator topped up nicely. They don't just catch overflow ... they allow the radiator to suck coolant back into the radiator instead of air when the engine cools off.

At least modern tanks work that way.
Are you sure? Do you have a picture? I only remember having just a hose. I ended up adding one later.

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'69 Firebird 400 - Goldenrod Yellow, 455 +.060, '6s-7' heads, Comp Cam 276AH-10 (51-309-4), TH400, Ford 9-inch w/3.08, 800cfm Q-jet, Stock Intake, Hooker Headers, Flowmasters
'68 Coronet 500 Convertible - Medium Gold Metallic, stock 318 +100,000 miles
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:44 PM
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I would add one. While it’s not necessarily “needed” picture a long line getting into the local cruise spot or staging to your spot at the car show. You go register and come back to a large puddle of coolant that has burped itself out of the radiator.

Now everyone that passes by your car gets to see that. How many wonder how nice the car is l, but it may not be mechanically sound.

Pretty hyperbolic of course but that’s the way I always felt about my wife’s Chevelle that just had a tube. That feeling got worse after having to explain to a younger car enthusiast that classics didn’t always have a coolant overflow.

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Old 08-02-2020, 03:47 AM
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Are you sure? Do you have a picture? I only remember having just a hose. I ended up adding one later.
You are correct, 67-72 had no overflow tank.

Jeez, the Tempest based models had them since 68 for sure. Factory couldn't fit one into a Firebird?

So Jtkk ... excuse my ignorance.

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Old 08-02-2020, 07:53 AM
jtkk0360 jtkk0360 is offline
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Default Car is getting overflow

Thanks for all replies. Excellent points. My car is set up for show. Everything Lokar,Ring Brothers, Fesler.etc. Very expensive stuff. Maybe not Jay Leno money. But I am a 57 year old concrete finisher having a good old muscle car show type car from back in the day built. Steel braided hose, polished 4 barrel carbuerator , all stainless, and aluminum, or chrome. Would hate for coolant to escape and chance getting on bottom of motor or under carriage all the way back to rear. Everything was frame off and done up right. I see where they make several nice billet overflow tanks that would fit. Thanks again.

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Old 08-02-2020, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by dataway View Post
You are correct, 67-72 had no overflow tank.

Jeez, the Tempest based models had them since 68 for sure. Factory couldn't fit one into a Firebird?

So Jtkk ... excuse my ignorance.
I don't think so Data. My 68 GTO has never had one as well as my 70 ElCo. Have never felt the need for one either.
They weren't standard equipment until 73 on the A bodies. But IIRC they were a dealer option in 72.

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Old 08-02-2020, 06:23 PM
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I'm getting old ..... in my head I was seeing the washer fluid tank ...

And to make it worse ... just the other day I was cleaning up the over flow tube, and re-zincing the overflow tube clip on my 68.

I'm going to back out of the room slowly and hope no one notices ....

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Old 08-02-2020, 06:40 PM
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Now that's funny, I don't care who you are. Thanks for the amusement dataway.

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Old 08-02-2020, 07:09 PM
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one more question. I have a billet wiper fluid reservoir already. So I have room next to the wiper fluid to install a billet overflow, my fill neck on radiator is on passengers side. I have steel braided hose to run to overflow. Would you just put overflow next to wiper reservoir and I was think either running hose down and under radiator over to bottom of overflow or could go on top of radiator support over to overflow, or last in front of radiator under upper baffles and under hood latch. Any suggestions or recommendations? One other item, I have 69 Coupe, what size wiper arms? Is 13 for convertible and 14 for coupe? And what size blades? Thanks

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Old 08-02-2020, 09:56 PM
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one more question. I have a billet wiper fluid reservoir already. So I have room next to the wiper fluid to install a billet overflow, my fill neck on radiator is on passengers side. I have steel braided hose to run to overflow. Would you just put overflow next to wiper reservoir and I was think either running hose down and under radiator over to bottom of overflow or could go on top of radiator support over to overflow, or last in front of radiator under upper baffles and under hood latch. Any suggestions or recommendations? One other item, I have 69 Coupe, what size wiper arms? Is 13 for convertible and 14 for coupe? And what size blades? Thanks
Just measured my 69 and the blades are 15".

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'69 Firebird 400 - Goldenrod Yellow, 455 +.060, '6s-7' heads, Comp Cam 276AH-10 (51-309-4), TH400, Ford 9-inch w/3.08, 800cfm Q-jet, Stock Intake, Hooker Headers, Flowmasters
'68 Coronet 500 Convertible - Medium Gold Metallic, stock 318 +100,000 miles
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Old 08-03-2020, 02:56 AM
jtkk0360 jtkk0360 is offline
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Thanks. What size are the arms?

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Old 08-03-2020, 10:41 AM
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Thanks. What size are the arms?
Same, 15".

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'69 Firebird 400 - Goldenrod Yellow, 455 +.060, '6s-7' heads, Comp Cam 276AH-10 (51-309-4), TH400, Ford 9-inch w/3.08, 800cfm Q-jet, Stock Intake, Hooker Headers, Flowmasters
'68 Coronet 500 Convertible - Medium Gold Metallic, stock 318 +100,000 miles
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dataway View Post
I'm getting old ..... in my head I was seeing the washer fluid tank ...

And to make it worse ... just the other day I was cleaning up the over flow tube, and re-zincing the overflow tube clip on my 68.

I'm going to back out of the room slowly and hope no one notices ....
Yeah, we're both in the same boat. I can't believe how many times I've done or said something that obviously wasn't correct. Usually after my wife gives me the "Whaa" look.

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