Hello, I'm new to your group and find the wealth of information here amazing. I'm in the finishing stages of building a 1922 Speedster. I'm a bit confused by the recommendation of some to use antifreeze. It's my understanding that the model T engine is like a giant coffee percolator and will only "percolate" water into the radiator when it boils. If one adds antifreeze to the mix, the boiling point of the cooling liquid will be raised... so this will effectively raise the operating temperature of the engine. Do I have this wrong?
I run a thermometer in the water outlet on my T
it runs 192 with distilled water 210 with 50/50 mix water antifreeze.
It should never boil. Thermosyphon functions simply on the principal that heat rises. Hotter water will rise within the engine, while cooler water, in the radiator, will drop to the bottom. This will drive the flow of coolant. As long as there's a temperature differential and free flow, thermosyphon will occur.
To answer your question: use antifreeze.
My 2 cents.
Go with 50/50. When need to add, add 50/50. Flush and replace annually. Goal is to avoid perculation but encourage thermo syphon. But nothing can overcome a bad radiator. It must be able to exchange heat to avoid purculation.
Fill radiator to overflow. Go Drive it. It will get rid of what it doesn't need.
Use plan old green antifreeze. It is a protectant for engine innards. Rust is not your friend.
There are other opinions.
I use anti freeze in all my older cars to keep internal rust down and to protect the block. I've encountered 3 blocks over the years where just plain water was used and the rust flakes and damage was extensive......
Wow, I did't realize thermosyphoning was enough to keep things moving fast enough... always thought a boil was needed.
It's my understanding that water alone has better heat transfer qualities than an antifreeze solution. Perhaps that's why Dean get two different temperature measurements.
Yes Antifreeze! But use the CONVENTIONAL type. In the T system the boiling point is changed very little because the system is not pressurized. You want the corrosion protection.
Old timers used a water soluble oil but I think modern fluids are superior.
Use the old Green type. If you don't use antifreeze, you need to use rust inhibitor. The anti freeze actually raises the boiling point of water and will not steam away as much when it gets hot. A good cooling system circulates without boiling. You might get a gurgle for a minute or two after turning off the engine on a hot day, but no boiling while driving. As long as the wind is blowing through the radiator, which it does as you drive along, or while the fan is turning at low speeds and idling, the cooling system works. when you turn it off, it will get a little hotter for a while because no wind is blowing through.
We are here in New England, so the thought of being able to use antifreeze is a relief
Distilled water may transfer heat better, but the rust damage it will do far outweighs any benefit. With a clean cooling system and a good radiator, 50/50 is more than good enough. Recently I installed a new Berg's radiator on my touring. After a drive I can put my ear down next to it and hear not even a gurgle.
Thanks to all... you've clarified a lot.
Where does "water wetter" fit into the thermosyphon cycle? How does it effect it?
Supposedly, water-wetter prevents micro bubble from forming around hot spots in the engine. They also claim it helps with heat transfer. I use it in my SAAB.
I volunteer at a local museum where the Model Ts are in daily use around nine months of the year. All the cars use 50-50 mixes of green ethylene glycol antifreeze and my antiques at home run the same mix.
In addition to the ethylene glycol, antifreeze contains sufficient buffers to prevent corrosion in our cars. Some of my engines have aluminum heads and I do not use the anode offered by parts dealers. It's not required; antifreeze does it all.
I have been using the 50/50 mix in my model T s and Model A s. I drive them a lot in the summer and spring when it is hot and have no issues with boiling. Tim
Distilled water by itself without ant freeze will cause severe corrosion, worse than plain tap water, which also causes costly and serious corrosion. Use enough anti freeze / water to safeguard the engine. It will cool just fine.
Water wetter falls into the don't need/ don't care category.
The use of tap water depends on where you are located. Our water leaves calcium and lime deposits on everything. It would soon plug the cooling system. I use nothing but distilled water with the 50% antifreeze. You can get the antifreeze already mixed, or just put in half antifreeze and half water.
Most tap water contains all kinds of dissolved lime and other garbage constituents which tend to solidify as a crusty deposits that joyously clog up radiator tubes, so as far as I'm concerned, it's a "no go."
Distilled water has no impurities at all, but the stuff promotes rust like crazy—another "no go."
Straight, 100% green antifreeze will protect your system from freezing almost for sure and it discourages the heck out of corrosion, but in its pure form, won't cool as well as antifreeze mixed with water. _Even the manufacturers, who would like you to use as much of their product as possible, recommend against such practice, so pure antifreeze is a "no go," too.
The exotic stuff like Evan's Waterless Coolant works, but requires a conversion ceremony to switch over from water-based coolant. _And for a car that tends to blow the excess out the overflow tube and then require an occasional top-off (perhaps along the way), this might be a too expensive, too fussy way to go—just my opinion, you understand.
For a black Model T Ford, a 50:50 mix of ordinary green antifreeze and distilled water is the simplest, least fussy way to go. _As needed during the driving season, just add either distilled water to it, or in a pinch, tap water. _At the end of the season, empty the system and either discard the coolant (in a Politically Correct manner, of course) or, if you're cheap like me, save it and pour the stuff (except the cruddy dregs at the bottom of the bottle) back in after the spring thaw.
Diluted or not, green antifreeze tarnishes the heck out of brass, so if your radiator neck leaks (like mine does), make wiping up the little neon pearls a part of your post-flight ritual.
It's all been said Wendell and if you look around on the Forum a bit you'll see the results of not using anti freeze if only for the rust/scale preventatives in it.
I use a bit stiffer anti-freeze mix that is adjusted down to -47. I've seen -44 around these parts before, so I like the extra cushion. I've used Redline before and now use Amsoil Coolant Booster. Contrary to popular opinion on here, it does work and does improve heat transfer, if you need it, but it won't fix a bad cooling system. With a good clean cooling system and good radiator, I never worry about over-heating. I change the anti-freeze mix every two years and so far no problems. Gotta like it when things work the way they should.
Any opinions on on soluble oil? I have only seen it used in a 1925 English car. The owner swears by it.
My understanding is that soluble oil is quite good for corrosion protection, but inhibits heat transfer to some degree. So if your car is not at all critical on cooling, soluble will be fine. But it may not be so satisfactory if your car is prone to overheating.
NEVER use 100% antifreeze. In fact, you should never use more than 70/30 antifreeze to water mixture. Once the mixture of antifreeze exceeds 70%, the freezing point actually goes up. 100% antifreeze will turn solid at 10 degrees fahrenheit.
50/50 is typically what is used in most modern vehicles in the continental U.S. and is good to minus 34 fahrenheit. I'm in Minneapolis and it never gets colder than minus 20 fahrenheit (which is rare) and I run 50/50 in my modern car. If I lived further north I would run 60/40 or 70/30.
Does anyone have experience using a mixture of antifreeze with water that's been through a softener? Those systems reduce minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Would be best to just test the pH of your coolant.
Water with minerals and salts (softened) affect pH. And decayed anti-freeze will drop pH too.
You want a safe range of pH for your radiator coolant to protect metal parts (alum, iron, steel) of your engine.
If you have a brass radiator, don't use it. It stains the brass, and is nearly impossible to polish off.
If the water temp in a T gets up to 50F and the fan is turning the system is thermosyphoning.
The thermocycle operates because hot water is less dense than cold water, so the hot water will rise. The Evans waterless coolant does not change density when hot and therefore the thermocycle does not apply. If you use the Evans waterless coolant, you MUST use a water pump.
I also have a friend like Russell who owns an English car (34 Rolls Royce in this case) and he is adamant about using only distilled water and a small percentage of glycerin. I cannot find my notes now, but I believe it was along the lines of 5%.
I have always used green coolant/distilled water 50/50 or a little lighter 40/60. The engine cooling passages look pretty good 27 years after being cleaned when the block was boiled out on rebuild. It doesn't freeze where I live but even so, I'd be pretty leery of putting just a little glycerin in the water.
Pure anti freeze will not stain brass.
Anti freeze + water will stain brass.
Water will stain brass.
I seem to recall that pure anti freeze freezes at about -10F. It also isn't a very effective coolant compared to straight water - different specific gravity slows heat transfer to the coolant and then from the radiator. Seems 50/50 with distilled water is probably the most effective freeze protection, corrosion inhibitor and coolant mix for general use. If you don't need the freeze protection running 25% antifreeze with distilled water should provide enough corrosion protection and provide better heat transfer than higher amounts of anti freeze. Just my 2 cents worth.
Totally agree. I use a gallon of Prestone green original formula 100% anti freeze, then top up with Dallas tap water, which is some of the best in the nation. So my mix is probably 1/3 anti freeze and 2/3 water, which provides protection to about 0 degrees F.
I do close to what Royce does.
0ne gallon of AF and top off with Newfields well water.
If your concerned about Waltham water (I would be concerned about drinking it ) get the pre mixed AF
Premixed antifreeze is about the same price of the pure stuff. I add rainwater 50/50 with pure antifreeze.
Antifreeze is also anti-corrosion and also gives the added benefit that your block won't crack over the winter. I have worked on T's just about full time for 13 years and inside that time I have seen several T motors freeze damaged because the owner had health/other problems in the months before winter and the Model T was the least of anyone's worries until the problem was found several months later... In a couple cases, the owners could have enjoyed driving their T's the following spring/summer, but were not capable of the repair work then needed (block replacement). In a couple other situations cars were "disposed of" for half what they were worth. All could have been avoided by $7 worth of antifreeze.