Is rain water or distill water better for the fill the radiator of a old ford.
Hmmm, that's a good question! I suspect either would be about the same, certainly better than tap water or even some well water, with all the minerals that are in them. I use distilled water in mine.
Your profile doesn't reveal your locale, Ralph. If you get acid rain, better use purified water. Reverse Osmosis water is 25 cents a gallon here.
Either one is fine if you mix 50/50 with a good brand of green anti freeze. Without anti freeze either one will cause corrosion in your very expensive to replace radiator.
50/50 mixture of Peak, Zerex IAT (In organic Acid Technology) antifreeze. Jim Patrick
If water sits around and green algae begins to grow in it does that qualify as green anti freeze?
I've always known that water causes ferrous metal to rustólearned that from the Tin Man when I was a little kid.
As an adult, I learned that tap water contains all kinds of minerals and lime, and the crusty foam-rubber pad in my gas-furnace's humidifier certainly proved that out. Since I didn't want to have that kind of crud clinging to the inside of my engine, distilled water sounded like it made more sense. Purity is good, right?
But recently, at an antique car club meeting, it was explained to me that distilled water is even more corrosive to bare steel than was the rain water which caused Jack Haley to freeze in place on the yellow brick road. Well, I'm not quite sure whether to believe that, but still, I hedge my bets by using 50:50-premixed antifreeze. I know the neon-green stuff tends to retard corrosion in the engine even if it does tarnish the living daylights out of my brass. That's a pain in the radiator neck to me, because mine is riveted on without solder, so the coolant tends to spill a bit. Best I can do is chase after it with a clean rag after a drive. Maybe that's a small price to pay for corrosion protection-and over the wintertime, I don't have to worry about freeze damage. Good enough.
When I purchased my 1926 coupe in 1970 and tore into the engine for the first time, the water jackets of the head and block were packed solid with gigantic thick flakes of solid black rust that came off of the interior walls of the engine from 44 years of using plain water as a coolant. After dismantling it completely, I sent the engine off to the machinist and had the block chemically cleaned and when it came back it was white steel clean, however, the walls of the block and head were alarmingly thin and deeply pitted where the rust had eaten into the cast iron, so I took no chances with it rusting any thinner and, since then, I have used a 50/50 mix of green antifreeze changed every couple of years. When I had a waterpump I would also mix in water soluble lubricant which may have help deter rust but I no longer add that since ridding my car of the water pump, in 2000. Another 43 years later, while the interior of the water jacket is no longer white steel clean, it only has a slightly brownish tinge, and has rusted no further, nor have the walls gotten any thinner from the harmful rust that almost destroyed the engine in the 44 years between 1926 to 1970. Jim Patrick
Rick, I live in Vermont and our rain is considered to be fairly acidic. With that information, I think I will be using distill water with some green anti-freeze.
Bob - maybe you can try glue the riveted on radiator neck with some epoxi on the inside of the joint to reduce the leaks?
I'll bet "the Right Stuff" spread on the joint around the inside of the neck would seal it. Jim Patrick