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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone with a right hand drive conversion S4 send/post a picture of the cooling system filler bottle (expansion bottle) and its position in the engine bay? The reason is that I want to verify mine is the correct one as I think it maybe to small. Also are they meant to have an overflow pipe as it is not shown in the workshop manual?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks very much for posting the pics. The set up is very different from mine, which is a Bell & Colvill conversion.I will try to post pics of mine later.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
View attachment 20291 SPOT THE DIFFERENCE!

I knew the S4 in the Uk was a bit of a kit car but............
What is the electrical connection on your tank? I cannot make out if there is an overflow on yours. I think I am going to draw a line on this as I fear I will turn into an Alfa 'anorak'!!!!( wife thinks I am there already)
 

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renone said:
What is the electrical connection on your tank?
I'd never looked at it before............. it's just a wire with a connector at the end that doesn't go anywhere :confused: :lol: :lol: :lol:

The overflow is at the back near the firewall

Confusing isn't it :confused:

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looking at the diagram of the original LH it is without doubt a pressurised/ closed system and the workshop manual confirms this. The RH drive conversions both appear not to be. Anyone know the difference between closed system and the other? Technically I figure both are pressurised. Does it make any difference? Why were the conversions not a closed system? Any engineer out there able to explain this?
 

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Looking at the 2 installations and the drawing, it seems to me that the red Spider’s installation is more correct.
The expansion bottle have 3 tubes connected to it, the top tube an inlet from illustration 5, 1 lower an outlet to no. 15 and the other lower tube connect to the radiator and makes the bottle act as the radiator’s expansion.
I take it that no. 5 and 15 are some sort of feelers that register the coolant temperature and therefore a flow of coolant is necessary. If this is the case the blinded out/inlet of the silver Spider’s bottles should be connected in order to get all and correct info to the ECU for fuel mixture setting.
If one or both are just tube connections or brackets it probably doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t seem that the original installation includes an overflow outlet. This is not necessary if the bottles are not filled over the “MAX” indication.
It seems, from the drawing, that the feeler for low coolant level warning is fitted on top of the engine. The second black lid on the silver Spider’s bottle is a level feeler and not necessary and thus not connected.
A coolant system is never a completely closed circle as the radiator or expansion cab can be removed for topping up or refilling, whether an expansion bottle is fitted or not. Both version run pressurized, the cab determents the pressure.
Erik
 

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Looking at the 2 installations and the drawing, it seems to me that the red Spider’s installation is more correct.
The expansion bottle have 3 tubes connected to it, the top tube an inlet from illustration 5, 1 lower an outlet to no. 15 and the other lower tube connect to the radiator and makes the bottle act as the radiator’s expansion.
I take it that no. 5 and 15 are some sort of feelers that register the coolant temperature and therefore a flow of coolant is necessary. If this is the case the blinded out/inlet of the silver Spider’s bottles should be connected in order to get all and correct info to the ECU for fuel mixture setting.
If one or both are just tube connections or brackets it probably doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t seem that the original installation includes an overflow outlet. This is not necessary if the bottles are not filled over the “MAX” indication.
It seems, from the drawing, that the feeler for low coolant level warning is fitted on top of the engine. The second black lid on the silver Spider’s bottle is a level feeler and not necessary and thus not connected.
A coolant system is never a completely closed circle as the radiator or expansion cab can be removed for topping up or refilling, whether an expansion bottle is fitted or not. Both version run pressurized, the cab determents the pressure.
Erik
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Erik, I follow your logic however if an overflow pipe is fitted and the pressure builds up the coolant will run out of the pipe onto the road. Does that mean that the pressurised cap fitted on my S4 (red one) is in effect of no use?
 

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renone said:
Erik, I follow your logic however if an overflow pipe is fitted and the pressure builds up the coolant will run out of the pipe onto the road. Does that mean that the pressurised cap fitted on my S4 (red one) is in effect of no use?
Renone - The bottle on the red car is not designed for the other type cap. If it doesn’t loose coolant I wouldn’t bother changing bottle and cap.
The difference is, that red car’s cap is spring loaded and is designed to let coolant out if over filled or over heating, thus need a tube to let the coolant away under the car. The silver car’s configuration has a valve in the cap and is designed to let air in and out as required and mustn’t be filled above the MAX mark, it’s probably what is called a closed system. This is like the system used in the non RHD converted setup – and on all newer Alfas.
On older variants (like mine 1970 Spider) you see a combination of a radiator with spring loaded cap, a thin tube to an expansion bottle with a rubber sealed cap. In the 2 seasons and 20000 km I’ve driven it; it hasn’t lost a drop of coolant.
So if the car doesn’t loose coolant, overheats, run cold and is running probably, there is no need for change.
Erik
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Erik, thanks for all the information its been a lot of help and I understand the workings of the cooling system much better.
 

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I found this thread whilst searching for info on S4 RHD header tank. Mine is a Seaking conversion with a tank like the red spider above with a spring loaded radiator type cap. Mine has a leak from a crack underneath which is currently sealed with Fernox LS-X silicone plumbing sealant - not a good long term solution but it got me to the Le Mans Classic and back! The tank is from an Alfa 33 or Sud I think. I imagine the silver spider tank is a later version with coolant level monitoring. I managed to get a spare from Just Suds for £15.

The main outlet on mine is blocked off as in the silver spider as it looks like it can't be used because the servo bracket is in the way. Mine has a another outlet araldited into the bottom of the tank. Where is the main outlet on the silver spider? However, the red spider installation seems to have got round this somehow. Has the bracket been altered?

How did the Bell & Colvill conversions deal with the header tank?
 

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Yes..inorder to have a closed system you need a header tank with enough volume of air to take up the expansion when the coolant is hot, if this is nt possible then you have an over flow, which overflows the first time it heats and then leaves enough space for expansion. The sealed system still has a pressure release cap to cope with the possibility of overheating and the owner who fills it to the top to be on the safe side
Spanish Spider
 

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I have a S4 here in Spain but although it came from UK its RHD and looks like a proper job If it will help I will post some pictures tomorrow
Spanish Spider
 
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