Is the upper expansion tank on the early XK8 prone to cracking?
After a low coolant message appeared, I noticed leakage. On inspection found a crack in the tank. There has never been an overheating issue and my antifreeze numbers are at specified levels. I've JB Welded the crack, but fear it's temporary at best. Experience? Suggestions?
The coolant expansion tower, thermostat housing, and upper coolant pipe are all made out of the same crappy compressed cardboard/plastic material that seems to corrode when exposed to antifreeze. What an odd choice of materials.
Yes, they are all susceptible to cracking and leakage. The thermostat housing can be replaced with an aluminum unit available from Welsh (about $75 in Apr-09 when I replaced the one on my '97 XK8). The other items are still only available in the cardboard material. Each component on my car failed within 6 months of the first, so I recommend replacing them all at one time as a lot of the crumbling is internal and cannot be seen.
If you would like a PDF showing how to replace the thermostat housing, send me me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org as I cannot figure out how to upload the file to this website.
Good luck, Bill Unger
1969 E-type FHC, 1997 XK8 FHC, 2007 XKR FHC