Universal Radiator Overflow Tank Installation

Universal Radiator Overflow Tank Installation

Last Updated December 6, 2023 | Cory Jones

Tackling the open road with your ride is supposed to be an enjoyable, worry-free experience. However, your day and your car can be ruined if your engine starts to overheat. One easy and effective way to prevent your engine from overheating is by adding a radiator overflow tank to your cooling system.

The coolant in your engine pressurizes and expands as your engine warms up. A radiator overflow tank gives your coolant a place to go. This means the coolant doesn't need to be vented into the atmosphere through the radiator cap. If you don't have a radiator overflow tank, air will be let into the system through the radiator cap and cause your engine to be more likely to overheat.

General Auto Signup

Universal Radiator Overflow Tank Install

In this article, we're going to show you how to install a universal radiator overflow tank. The radiator overflow tank we're installing is made of stainless steel which isn't prone to cracks or leaks like a plastic tank. Our installation is on a Chevy C10, but the process is basically the same for any car.

The mounting brackets and hardware are provided with the kit, so you only need some extra coolant hose and a drill to install the overflow tank properly. Check out the video below for an in-depth, visual guide to the installation.

Step 1: Find a Mounting Point

Before doing anything else, find a mounting point for the radiator overflow tank. This can be on your radiator itself or nearby in the engine bay.

Mechanic pointing at a mounting point for the overflow tank by the radiator

Step 2: Bolt the Mounting Brackets to the Tank

Then, bolt the supplied mounting brackets to the tank with the hardware included in the kit.

Mechanic holding the mounting brackets and hardware to attach to the overflow tank

Step 3: Mark your Holes (Optional)

If you don't have holes predrilled in your engine bay or on your radiator for a radiator overflow tank, mock up your tank and mark where your holes will be.

Step 4: Drill your Holes (Optional)

Then, drill the necessary holes in your engine bay to mount your radiator overflow tank. Then, drill out the mounting tabs on your tank's mounting brackets to match.

Step 5: Mount your Radiator Overflow Tank

Use the supplied hardware to mount the radiator overflow tank in your designated spot.

Mechanic bolting the radiator overflow tank to the car

Step 6: Connect the Tank to the Radiator

Run the extra coolant hose from the top port on your radiator to the bottom of your overflow tank. Be sure to connect the hose to the smaller of the two ports on the overflow tank.

It's important to run the coolant hose away from any important wiring. The coolant hose will be carrying hot coolant that can damage wiring.

Mechanic connecting the coolant hose to the top of the overflow tank

Step 7: Tighten your Hose into Place

Tighten your hose into place with the supplied hose clamps to ensure there are no leaks.

A close up of the coolant hose connected to the bottom of the overflow tank with a hose clamp

Congratulations, you're all done!

Prevent Overheating with This Easy Modification

Installing a radiator overflow tank in your engine bay is a great way to prevent your engine from overheating without breaking the bank. Whether you've got an aftermarket radiator or a stock unit, a radiator overflow tank can improve reliability and keep your car on the road for longer.


This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.