Heavy Corrosion Inside Aluminum Head/Water Pump

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2009: Heavy Corrosion Inside Aluminum Head/Water Pump
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Von Nordheim on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 11:52 pm:

I have used a Texas T aluminum water pump on my 13 Touring for approx.6 yrs. Last week, I removed the water pump to take out a brass restrictor plate that was sandwiched between the water pump and block. The brass restrictor plate was installed with gaskets/RTV on both sides so the aluminum pump was not in direct contact with the block (Except Mounting Bolts). Inside the aluminum pump housing was a large, 1/4" thick deposit of white corrosion. I also noticed the inside of the pump inlet looked like it was freshly sand blasted or acid etched.
I run 50/50 mix. antifreeze with some water wetter. The coolant has no rust color and the block water jacket openings are not rusty. I made a larger pulley for the pump and that is why I pulled the water pump to remove the home made restrictor plate.
In addition, I had helped a friend with a 15 roadster replace his radiator and discovered that a thin sheet of milky looking corrosion was covering 75% of the upper water out let opening. He was running a Z high compression head and the corrosion was located inside the aluminum head in the water jacket behind the cast iron out let/gasket.
The corrosion was like a sheet of glass which I chiped out and removed with a shop vaccum. He also uses a 50/50 mix. of antifreeze. The coolant was also free of any rust color.
We both use bottled drinking water with the antifreeze and replace it every 2 yrs. I am told the tap water in California has too many minerals for use in a radiator.
Also, my friend does not use a water pump....so don't blame it on the pump this time.
With all the aluminum high compression heads being used with copper head gaskets.....anyone else notice this condition? Corrosion could plug up the water passages thru the aluminum head and copper gasket/block.
Would a Zinc sacrificial anode eliminate this problem?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 12:20 am:

Zinc anodes are available at West Marine hardware stores. They have all shapes and sizes. they are a must on fresh and salt water boats in order to keep from replacing parts on a constant basis.

The issue is the generator and the electricity traveling about. Good ground straps between components help but zinc does the real trick in stopping electrolysis. You may have to drill and tap a hole in the water jacket in order to mount one. I believe that they have one that will fit in the top of the radiator filler cap.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Von Nordheim on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 01:12 am:

Thanks Frank.....I will see what the West Marine in San Diego has in stock. I previously checked to see if Lang's, Snyder's, chaffins and other model T after market sources supplied zinc anodes and found none. I would think that other T owners using aluminum heads should be using them also. Our T's Having brass radiators with copper cores makes the situtation worse compaired to modern vehicles having aluminum radiators.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 01:32 am:

Les, Snyder's has them listed under part no. A-6010-ASH Head Saver, $6.95. Page 25 in their '09 catalog. It doesn't mention zinc, calls it 'waste metal'. Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 07:25 am:

The zinc anode will only add a coating of zinc oxide to the mix. Sacrificial anodes are not meant to operater in a closed system. In your household hot water heater they work because the corrosion is removed with the water flow.

Anti freeze / coolant mixture must be changed every few years to retain corrosion protection. Read the instructions on the anti freeze container.

I don't think a copper gasket is the best idea with an aluminum head. The white asbestos covered head gasket would be my recommendation.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth Harbuck, Shreveport, LA. on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 07:35 am:

I think the culprit is the bottled drinking water - it too could be full of minerals. Far better choice would have been distilled water - about a buck a gallon at grocery stores.

Just for fun, a 15 ounce bottle of Prestone's Anti-Rust and water pump lubricant added to the mix wouldn't hurt a thing other than the hoses over time. Hoses are mighty cheap.

Seth


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 07:46 am:

The vast majority of water heater annodes are magnesium. The water heater anodes made with zinc are only 10% zinc and 90 aluminum. They are used mainly for well water with high sulphur dioxide content and for the anaerobic bacteria that grows in the hot water and makes it smell even worse. There are online marine web sites that sell all types and sized of zinc anodes if you think it necessary.....Michael Pawelek


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 09:14 am:

Corrosion of aluminum depends on the alloy. Pure aluminum takes on only a surface reaction, but it is too soft for most industrial use, so is alloyed with other metals. Those alloys, especially those with magnesium, corrode readily. I don't know if there are alloys that don't corrode, but I'd bet some cylinder heads corrode worse than others. What say, Metallurgists?

Wonder how American Airlines keeps their unpainted aluminum airplanes shiny? Aircraft aluminum alloy sheet has a thin layer of pure aluminum on the surface, for corrosion protection. It's called Alclad. Scratch it, and intergranular corrosion will have a start.

I'm interested in the topic, as I have a Reeder aluminum head I plan to put back to work, having used it only a short time.

rdr


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Joseph W. Rudzik on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 10:25 am:

Bottled water is nothing more than expensive tap water, so I would use distilled from the hardware store if that is your preferance.

Joe R.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 10:48 am:

With an Alum head you have to use an anode. A few years ago I took apart a T engine that had a Berg alum waterpump on it, and the site was a mess where the alum pump was just wallowed out by galvanic erosion at the water pump outlet.

So when I put on a "Z" head or use any alum on the iron block, always have used a sacrificial anode.

I got my anode from Langs, part #3001AHS if I think, or maybe this thing came elsewhere. Anyway its a plastic sleeve with metal anode in it to keep it from banging inside the radiator. I just used JB Weld to attach the coil spring lanyard to the underside of the T radiator cap.


(Pic shows another type that comes with a modern cap for new cars) but the yellow plastic thing with anode and coil attachment wire is what I am using now.

My only issue is removing the cap fully to fill the radiator, that yellow thing hangs up sometimes in the upper tank baffle, and have to fiddle to get it out. But it keeps all things good with the cooling system. An I only use distilled water, (every grocery store has it, I steal the wife's electric clothes iron stash, she uses that distilled water it there too.) Then always add some Water Pump Lube (soluble oil). No antifreeze, but my T's are in FL :-)

Here is another type that fits into the drain cock hole at the bottom of the radiator, may try this type next, seems neat, when you drain your coolant you can check on the anode.

http://www.flex-a-lite.com/auto/html/anode.html


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 10:58 am:

For those that want to try the Flex-a-lite #32060 radiator petcock replacement type, here is a link to an on-line retailer. I just ordered one to try.

http://www.summitracing.com/search/?keyword=32060&dds=1

This is Summit Racing hot rod parts co, but cost is same as other outlets (14.95)less shipping. And their webpage allows PayPal payment, easy to order.

Dan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth Harbuck, Shreveport, LA. on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 11:13 am:

Dan,

Plenty of modern machinery uses both iron and aluminum in contact with the coolant. No manufacturer that I know of recommends the use of any kind of sacrificial anode.

My truck is one such animal. It is 15 years old, has 200,000 miles on it, and is doing just fine - probably because I maintain the cooling system.

Seth


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 11:18 am:

Corrosion is a plaque that will haunt mankind for as long as we attempt to maintain things metalic. If you understand how it forms, you can be successful in preventing it or at least greatly slowing its effects.

There is really nothing special about an aluminum head on a T against an iron block as this same combination is on pracitally everything sold today. The real issue is whether your coolant is acidic (not ideal PH). I run prestone in my T's but there is more to testing anti-freeze than using one of the floaty ball thingys. You can have anti-freeze that shows good to -40 yet is allowing corrosion to take place. If one has a volt meter with a 1 volt scale (such as a simpson 260) place one electode into the anti-freeze and ground the other against the radiator. If you are seeing more that a couple tenths of a volt you need to drain and flush and replace with fresh stuff.

I mentioned this a few years ago and was ridiculed for it (could care less). The man that showed and explained it to me was overhauling an International tractor that had only 750 hours on it. The anti-freeze had turned acidic and caused arcing between the block and cylinder sleeves to the point that it look as if someone had pushed a straight pin through it. That anti-freeze was clean and green and capable of floating all five balls yet was making 1.1 volts in the engine! It was also seven or eight years old.

As someone mentioned in a previous post, change it. Then think of this, when on tour and you need a bit of water and your buddy hands you his jug you should wonder what the PH is (use it anyway but understand it may have negative affects over time). I carry 50/50 for this reason.

My car has a Z head and used to have a Bergs pump which I removed. My pump was spotless and the inside if my head is clear as well (cylinder head). It will also help to either use copper coat on your gaskets that come in contact with coolant or zinc chromate primer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By dana crosby on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 02:52 pm:

I've had a Z head on my '25 for about 5 years. I have also used the anode sold by Snyders since then. I have to replace the anode a couple times a year because it eats itself up completely. I haven't had the head off and I hope the anode is the only thing being eaten.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 06:03 pm:

Most modern cars have aluminum cylinder heads and iron components such as the block or water pump. They don't have corrosion problems IF the anti freeze is replaced before it gets contaminated.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Vitko on Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 09:19 pm:

Hate to mention a Toy but the recommended cooling system change is 35k. I am dilatory about my T with a Z head so its time to get in gear.

Seth could tell you about his recent bout with a Wills with NO parts available on coolant system change. It appears to me that once a year with a T would be advisable.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Friday, October 30, 2009 - 12:02 am:

It's 100K miles recommended coolant change on the Ford Freestar.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Von Nordheim on Friday, October 30, 2009 - 12:17 am:

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I will test my coolant in accordance with Gary Tillstrom recommendations and also look at adding a Flex-a-Lite petcock replacement item. Will also use distilled water vice bottled drinking water. Talked to a Chemist at work and he recommended using deionize water.
I know that most modern vehicles have aluminum radiator cores vice copper and do not use copper head gaskets. It is also interesting how many car/truck manufacturers specify their own antifreeze products. Many use pink colored coolants. In the past, I have used Prestone green colored antifreeze in my model T. I will also replace the antifreeze yearly to be on the safe side.
Thanks again for shairing your recommendations on this important subject.
Les


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Friday, October 30, 2009 - 08:31 am:

Evans NPG coolant will not cause any galvanic reactions in the engine. I've been using it in the T engine for the past 9 years, no problems.

Bob Jablonski


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David_Cockey on Friday, October 30, 2009 - 09:25 am:

"the corrosion is removed with the water flow"

Corrosion isn't in the water. The type of corrosion being discussed is galvanic corrosion where different metals are present. A galvanic cell, essentially a battery cell is set up where differences in potential cause metal ions to be carried from the lower potential metal. Zinc has a very low potential so it's used as a sacrificial anode because it will be preferentially corroded. Also a factor is the fluid in the system; essentially how electrically conductive it is. De-ionized water is much better to use than water with some mineral content.

Galvanic corrosion has nothing to do with open versus closed system.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Vitko on Friday, October 30, 2009 - 09:48 am:

Last week I replaced a heater core on one of my Ford vans with 118K. The core came with instructions to use an ohmmeter with one end in the radiator water and the other to ground with specific continuity----or less. The engine ground was mentioned as a source of problem, guess I had better go back and re read it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Friday, October 30, 2009 - 06:31 pm:

David Cockey,

As the zinc corrodes it contaminates the entire engine cooling with zinc oxide, because the system is sealed. This will agravate corrosion of the radiator and the aluminum cylinder head.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Von Nordheim on Friday, October 30, 2009 - 08:25 pm:

Royce Peterson.

Is it your most viable recommendation to use de-ionized water and Prestone with a 50/50 mix and change the coolant annually? What sources would provide de-ionized water in gallions other than Lab's?
Also, I am sorry to hear you are leaving Tuscon Az. so quickly.....was looking forward to touring with you in Az. However, I am happy you are getting a promotion and Virginia has great areas for touring.
Les


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David_Cockey on Friday, October 30, 2009 - 09:13 pm:

Royce, zinc oxide buildup in the water causing accelerated corrosion sounds reasonable.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David_Cockey on Friday, October 30, 2009 - 09:16 pm:

De-ionized water source: try your local supermarket in the section selling gallon jugs of water.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce Peterson on Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 09:36 am:

Les,

I like the sound of deionized water. I am guilty of using plain old distilled water and anti freeze. Not sure if I know where to buy deionized water? A copper head gasket right against a piece of aluminum is to me a very scary situation.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 09:52 am:

I use water that's gone through Reverse Osmosis at a local water store: 25 cents a gallon, and bring your own bottle. To that I add waterpump lube and ant-rust, and an occasional dose of Aluma-seal for the leaky head.

I could use our well water after it's been through the water heater to precipitate out the lime, but now we have a tankless water heater set low, so it doesn't precipitate the lime.

If you're considering a tankless water heater, I can offer experience.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth Harbuck, Shreveport, LA. on Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 10:17 am:

Ralph,

The water heater may precipitate all the lime out of your water but what makes you think that it precipitates all the minerals out that could cause problems in your cooling system?

Water from Hot Springs Arkansas comes out of the ground at some 140F loaded with all kinds of minerals. It is great drinking water but I'd never use it in an automotive cooling system.

My point is that hot water can have dissolved minerals that you'd never know were there. Sure, if you chill Hot Springs water, you'll see the little white flakes of calcium precipitate out, but what about all that other stuff?

Seth


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By andy samuelson on Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 08:27 pm:

If you have a dehumidifier in your house what comes out is almost distilled water.
It is moisture from the air and has no ground minerals.
Most of us just dump it down the drain.
What a waste when you think about it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth Harbuck, Shreveport, LA. on Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 08:39 pm:

This has been an interesting thread and informative to me. Thank you Gary for that voltmeter info - I checked the new coolant/distilled water/Alumaseal mix in the priceless-to-me Wills Sainte Claire in my garage and it measured 208 mV. You can bet that I'll monitor that for its owner after what I've had to do to restore its swiss cheese aluminum intake manifold.

OK, I'm wondering something now. When you buy 50/50 antifreeze mix, what kind of water is in it - tap, distilled, or deionized? I've never bought the first gallon of the stuff.

Seth


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Menomomonee Falls,WI on Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 10:19 pm:

Prestone MSDS just says water. It does not say what kind of water.

Another website states that if you purchase 50/50 premix you save about $1.00 over the price of 100% antifreeze. So if a gallon of premix is $11.00 and a gallon of 100% is $12.00, then you are getting half a gallon of water and you are paying $5 for it. Pretty expensive water considering you cannot drink it yourself. Especially since distilled is only .79-.99 at the local grocer.

Distilled should be cleaner than deionized water, because deionizing primarily removes the salts and minerals, but not bacteria and other organic stuff.

And you obviously do not want your car to get swine flu.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth Harbuck, Shreveport, LA. on Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 10:25 pm:

Let's hope it's not seawater, sewer water, gray water, or gutter water. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Hansen on Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 11:51 pm:

I would estimate approximately twenty five years ago we learned an expensive lesson concerning anti freeze. We were in the need of adding a little to some of our equipment and doing a complete refill to some pieces

There had been a vendor selling us tube lube for general maintenance, he also sold anti freeze at what we thought was a low price over other brands. We purchased a substantial amount, used most of it that fall.

Starting the following Spring and Summer our year of radiator and cooling systems hit hard, donít recall the number of not cheap radiators that failed plus the down time for a truck, loader or fork lift plus our laboróit was expensive

After asking equipment and truck owners who had before being educated on anti freeze and had similar trouble with cooling systems, plus some fuel/lube suppliers it all came down to the antifreeze. Donít recall the exact details of some of the ingredients. Cheap anti freeze separates, part of the separated liquid has a high toxicity to the cooling system particularly when the piece sets unused for a period of time, it also separates in storage containers.The coolant turned a nasty rusty colored brown, the radiators in general were so plugged and deteriorated there was no choice other than replace rather than possibly blowing a lot of money on a questionable repair/flushing at a shop. The engines also had to be thoroughly flushed, which seemed to work, radiators were the weak point of the cooling system

We now use name brand high dollar antifreeze that does not separate, usually Shellzone, with our local tap water, no more problems. Some of the pieces at the business plus some I have at home including Tís have had the same anti freeze in them for five years, generally we only add if necessary. If a total take down of engine or blown radiator hose we will replace with fresh anti freeze. Excluding my Tís I reuse the same as I take out on an engine take down. Never have purchased, even name brand, pre mixed anti freeze, simple math dictates it is a waste of money plus we know our tap water is not a problem. The coolant now stays clear, no cooling system deterioration. We go for a 20 or few more degrees below O mix throughout the year. Never really calculated if it is 50/50 it works for us

I donít recall the nasty ingredients in the anti freeze (donít recall the brand name) it simply went away as we solved the problem and there was no need to retain or dwell on it.

You old guys in your seventies will agreeóthe older you get the more you have to remember therefore there is more for you to forget


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Sunday, November 01, 2009 - 02:14 am:

I think the 50-50 mix is a scam myself. I haven't found water to be that expensive, no matter what kind. Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska on Sunday, November 01, 2009 - 02:43 am:

In modern cars the cooling system is closed, pressurized, and there is a minimum of free air available to circulate in system. In MY T's the system is open to the atmosphere and despite the 50/50 or 70/30 mix they have to reach almost boiling temperature in order to circulate. All that gurgling after shutting down the car is bound to introduce oxygen to the cooling system. I wonder if in open cooling systems, such as in our Tís, are subject to more oxidization and therefore need to be serviced and changed out more often?

Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier on Sunday, November 01, 2009 - 06:33 am:

I guess you could do like my dad said they used to do, drain the radiator every night after you finished the day or run alcohol for antifreeze. Trouble with the alcohol is that it evaporates as the engine gets warm. Have fun, KB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom on Monday, November 02, 2009 - 08:01 am:

When I advocated 50/50 I wasn't advocating actually buying the premix stuff. I dump in a gallon of straight, then a gallon of water. Now having an empty jug I pour half of the second gallon in to the empty an top them both off with water. I then write 50/50 on the jugs so I know it has already been cut with water.

Seth, the 208mv is pretty normal. If you see it make 300 then it is becoming active and needs attention.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth Harbuck, Shreveport, LA. on Monday, November 02, 2009 - 09:28 am:

Gary,

Just for grins I decided to do that voltage test on both my Mini and my truck. The truck's radiator core is isolated electrically from ground so this time I measured the voltage both between the radiator's core and the coolant and also the engine block and the coolant.

As I had done with the Wills, I used the negative probe as ground.

In both the Mini and the truck, the voltmeter read NEGATIVE voltages - all less than -100 mV (meaning closer to zero than -100 mV).

So now I'm a bit confused. Why negative?

Before I filled the Wills' cooling system I had flushed the "block" with vinegar. Though I had filled and drained the cooling system with straight water about four times, I didn't use anything to neutralize any traces of vinegar (such as dishwashing liquid).

I'm kind of asking myself if the Wills measures positive voltage because the coolant mix is somewhat acidic and maybe I should measure the pH and if slightly acidic, add a bit of something to make it ever so slightly alkaline.

After all I've gone through with the Wills' cooling system, I'm way more than just slightly interested in preventing any future corrosion. :-)

Seth


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom on Monday, November 02, 2009 - 10:14 am:

The polarity never concerned me as it is just one metal giving up something to the other and as long as it's low (rate of corrosion taking place) I've always been good with it. You may want to try a bit of baking soda to see if it brings the 2 tenths down even further. Your other two vehicles is common for something having fresh new anti-freeze in it and give no concern whatsoever.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth Harbuck, Shreveport, LA. on Monday, November 02, 2009 - 10:17 am:

Thanks Gary. I'll do just that.

Seth


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Berch on Monday, November 02, 2009 - 11:19 am:

I had an old 92 Cadillac that we had owned since 99. The owners manual recommended Propylene glycol antifreeze to prevent corrosion. It had an aluminum block with cast iron heads. I always used "Prestone Low Tox", which is Propylene Glycol and 50% distilled water. I changed it several times over the years. It had 100,000 mi on it when we got it and we put another 100,000 on it. I gave it to my son when he got his drivers license and he put another 12000 miles on it. If he hadn't rolled it last winter on an icy highway he'd probably still be driving it. After 212000 mi, I never had any corrosion problems that I know of.


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