I always run antifreeze in my T, and I realized what could be another potential benefit of doing so. Antifreeze has a bit of a pungent smell, and I've gotten to the point that I can tell about how hot my engine is just from it.
But my real point here is that if you run antifreeze and one of your freeze plugs lets go, or something else comes undone, you'll probably know almost immediately from the sudden strong whiff of antifreeze that will come with it. Had you been running straight water, you may not know until it's too late.
Has anyone experienced this, or have any other thoughts?
Cam, yep, sure have. Mostly from when the overflow tube decided to dis-engage itself from the tank and start spewing anti-freeze everywhere, thusly causing the engine to run like crap too!
Also, of course, there's the ever-noticeable green substance on the ground if it leaks while the car is just sitting still.
I also always recommend using the "pet friendly" antifreeze, I use Prestone's "Low Tox", I order it from O'Reilly's. I've read somewhere in the past that these old engines should have Propylene Glycol, rather than Ethylene, but can't remember the reason, but it sounded good at the time, and just happens to be the substance in the Low Tox.
(now get to work!! Ha Ha! )
Yep, I've experienced it. Unfortunately it was in my Chevy S10 when the heater core sprung a leak !
Your right though - can't mistake that smell.
Yeah the stuff does smell. But even water coming out of the overflow has that steam smell and you can instantly sense the change in humidity in the car. And yes, I do run anti-freeze adjusted to -47. Even with a 160 degree thermostat in the system, my car barely touches the bottom of the circle on the motometer on a hot day. Am I complaining? No! Not at all!
If you have a brass radiator, don't use it.
Larry, now you tell me after I have been using antifreeze for over 30 years in my brass cars.
Do you mean that if I use it a long time like maybe 50 years that it may damage something.
Larry, why do you recommend not using in brass radiators?
When U say don't use it did U mean any antifreeze or a specific type?
Yes my question should have read, why not with a brass rad??
Most all T radiators are brass, it's not the inside but the outside, it can tarnish your nice polish job if not cleaned ASAP.
Is an occasional wipe down (or even an after every use wipe down) worth not using anti freeze? I think even H2o with an anti corrosive added to it will leave marks on un-treated brass if not cleaned up immediately. If you live in a climate where anti is necessary there's just one more step you have to handle. Wipe down.
The top of my brass radiator does tend to get wet with coolant and I think that's a matter of my fairly heavy, winged motometer having loosened the seal on the filler neck through vibration. -Wiping away the few green drops after I park the car is just one more little thing to do among many. -
If it's loose, tighten it; if it creaks, oil it; if it squeaks, grease it; if it scrapes, shim it; if it rattles, adjust it; if it's wet, wipe it; if it's dry, polish it; if it drips... Oh. No, that's normal; leave it alone.
Like your "T mantra" !
You're right Cameron, can't mistake that smell.
The last time I had it happen was when a seven year old Good Year heater hose blew.
I now make sure I only use Gates.
If you have a good radiator cap seal on your T how is the radiator gonna get wet?
But then brass radiators are cheap, you can drain it and put in straight water every spring.
Radiators have been made of brass since practically forever.
Truck radiators still are.
In fact some manufacturers who switched to aluminum are now going BACK to brass.
There is no reason to not use antifreeze........even if you're so tight you squeak.
LOL I don't think antifreeze hurts a radiator.
When we got my 1919 T out of storage we found that the radiator was full of antifreeze.
It had been there for 45 years!
At least it didn't freeze!
Fred, I am not going to ask you how Old you are. But 45 years in storage is a very long time.
I hope the engine was not locked up with rust.
I'm talking if you have a '16 or earlier model. The anti-freeze stains or spots the brass, and it's next to impossible to polish out.
Just say "NO!" to polished brass.
Patina all the way, Baby !
That's OK - I am almost 70 - and no the motor was not locked up.
The car belonged to my dad and went into storage when he got sick in 1964.
When I got the car to my house in 2010 I put air in the tires, changed the oil, blew the dust out of the gas tank, cleaned the carb, poured a bit of MMO in the spark plug holes and started it.
It killed every mosquito in the neighborhood.
I am still driving it with the now close to 50 year old tires but did change the antifreeze.
The Model A is another story - it did not store as well.