70-72 GS/Skylark Coolant Tank
One of the worst problems with any restoration is the plastic parts. While metal parts can be cut out and replaced, or worked, or new parts machined, plastic parts can't simply be made and often the plastic degrades in appearance even though it still functions. One of the worst offenders for these particular cars is the radiator overflow coolant tank. Sitting on the passenger fender, and made of white translucent plastic, they took a beating from engine and coolant heat, cold, and all kinds of nastiness going on under the hood. While many functionally survived, they all turned yellow to some extent or another and opening the hood on a beautiful car to see this large old ugly yellow tank will ruin the entire engine compartment.
Now there is a replacement (finally!) for this important part. It is a private venture as far as I understand and while word travels fast, I thought I would add my two cents, and also I wish them all the success possible, perhaps it will lead to other parts being made. That being said, here is my honest (nit -picking) evaluation.
As you can see, the new tank is a fabulous looking piece compared to the old tank (and that is the best original one I have). Overall first impression is simply "wow!". It is a great piece. The white is very white, and the black top is very glossy (I am not sure they were that glossy as new but who cares?). Note the curve on the bottom of the tank is slightly different, although once installed you will never see that.
This is a closeup of the two lids. As you can see it is very faithful right down to the little plastic "line" holding the cap to the lid. The lettering is slightly larger and not as deep as the original, but wording is correct and again the overall effect is excellent. Note the fill cap also has the correct lettering. The lid on the new tank comes off fairly easy for cleaning, which is a nice touch. The originals you could get the lid off but it was an ugly thing to do sometimes.
Closeup up of the stem that connects to the rad hose. It is thicker than the original which would sometimes bend or break. Its hard to see detail in such a white part, but you can just see the "ADD" line on the LH side of the picture. The detailing on the tank is quite nice and I noticed a lot of the seams were put in the same place as original....they are finer than the original but they are there and make it look very authentic. If you made it just like original people would think it was a bad job...again, old time mass production was pretty rough compared to todays standards.
If you look closely at the picture, you can see some mold marks. Not a bad thing, but they are there.
The one issue that some might have concern with is the mounting holes. I found on my tanks that the two fender mounting holes were about 3/16" off from my original. The aft mouting tab is longer as well, so it all works out. Put in the front screw on the fender, line up the screw for the wheelwell housing, and then you may or may not have to drill a small pilot hole for the aft screw. This is not a big deal as the tab will hide the old one and nobody will ever notice. Many times these holes are very sloppy anyway and new holes gives some strength to the screws that support the weight of the tank and coolant. Very small issue for me, and I am pretty uptight about this kind of thing. Overall, this tank is a wonderful, sorely needed piece.
I understand that the early 70 cars will get the option of a white lid version of this tank, although my understanding is that it will use the same wording as as the black lid, which is not correct for the early cars.
The last NOS coolant tank I saw sold for some $700.00US (no that's not a typo - seven hundred dollars)..so for $149.00 US plus shipping, this is a steal. It has already been accepted as correct by the judging rules, and will probably reduce the price of the old tanks out there thus making them more affordable for the guys who just want functionality. The biggest problem you will have is that it will make the rest of your engine compartment look bad!
1) Its WHITE!!!
2) Correct wording
3) Easy removal of lid for cleaning
4) Strengthened hose connections
5) Correct molding details
6) The price is extremely reasonable given the market and product
1) Screw holes slightly off
2) Lettering size slightly off
Basically, you can't go wrong with one of these tanks. If you wish to order one, they will be available at some of the resto suppliers, you can contact JR at firstname.lastname@example.org or Frank at email@example.com
Feb 9, 2004
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