A coolant reservoir or expansion tank has the responsibility of maintaining a consistent fluid level within the cooling system for optimal performance under varying conditions; which becomes a much more demanding job as your power level increases.
When your coolant system heats up, especially under racing conditions, the fluid will expand and build pressure within the closed system. Once this expansion creates enough pressure to open the spring loaded valve on the radiator cap, the excess pressure and fluid is vented to the expansion tank by a hose connected to a port just under the cap. Once the coolant temperature begins to drop back down, the vacuum created by the contraction of the coolant in the main system will create a siphon effect that will pull the fluid back into the main system.
As you add more power to your engine and race it more often, your coolant system will spend more time near the upper limits of the factory system. This will eventually lead to cracks in the stock plastic expansion tank from the heat and pressure, leading to a much less reliable system when you really need it most. Canton Racing Products is well known for its Accusump oil accumulators, high quality fabricated oil pans, and vehicle specific aluminum valve covers; but did you know they also make fabricated aluminum coolant expansion and recovery tanks?
In the video above, Mike Zeranski Jr., of Canton Racing, walks us through the advantages of their aluminum expansion tanks, from both a performance and aesthetics perspective, and also covers how to install one of their vehicle specific tanks on a 2001 Ford Mustang GT – and no, it doesn’t plow through any crowds.
Canton’s line of model specific, universal, and custom coolant expansion tanks are definitely a worthwhile investment for anyone making more power than from the factory, track junkies, or even just enthusiasts looking to replace their cheap plastic tank with something more durable and aesthetically pleasing.