Ordered a new T radiator from Berg's. I asked him what coolant to run. I asked about a anti-freeze/water mix. He said anti-freeze is heavy and does not absorb heat as well as plain water. He's opinion is distilled or rain water and NAPA Rust Inhibitor 1300. Drain for winter if freezing is a concern. Its also a water pump lib. Just wanted to pass this along.
This is going to spark a few comments. Like what do you do for winter driving if you happen to want to. Re-fill and drain for every ride I guess?
I have been using a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and my Model T stays very cool as well as both my model A s. Even on those hot humid Georgia summer days. I think it's all about having a new radiator or really good radiator. Tim
Charlie, I was not concerned with winter driving. That's when I work on them. I guess all the big boys here will have to decide for themselves.
We have no need for antifreeze here in Australia, so I use a Castrol product which is a concentrated corrosion inhibitor without any glycol anti freeze.
That is, I used to. Now it is no longer available. I used the last bottle on my Tudor when I replaced a stripped fibre timing gear a couple of weeks ago.
Allan from down under.
With a new Berg's radiator you can use anti-freeze and not have to worry about heat absorbtion. I can barely get the motometer on my '27 touring into the normal operating range sitting at an open draw bridge in 95 degree heat with a Bergs radiator.
What Val said. I'm running 50/50 in a new Berg's, and so far I haven't even heard a gurgle. Of course we're not into the dog days of summer yet, but I suspect that won't be a problem.
I live up here in the frozen tundra of Northern WI. I've run a mix adjusted to -47 with about 6 oz. of Amsoil coolant booster. On the hottest days, my motometer only barely gets into the bottom of the circle. I too have a Berg's radiator and it works flawlessly. I'm pretty well convinced that its not what you run it, but the condition of the radiator that matters the most. The rest of it depends on whether you get nasty winter weather, and if you like to drain your cooling system at the end of your driving season.
It tops 100 degrees all summer here. I run about a 30/70 mix of anti freeze and tap water. No corrosion and good to 0 degrees. Never had an overheating problem in any Model T.
By saying that anti-freeze is "heavy", I'm assuming he as talking about specific heat capacity.
From Hot Rod magazine:
The specific heat capacity of ethylene glycol–based water solutions is less than that of pure water; in a 50 percent solution, ethylene glycol’s specific heat capacity compared with pure water is decreased at least 20 percent at 36 degrees and about 17 percent at 200 degrees. Propylene glycol, another common coolant, has an even lower specific heat. Assuming a 100-gpm (gallons/minute) coolant flow rate and an energy loss through the coolant system of 189.5 hp, the water temperature increase would be 10 degrees, the ethylene glycol water mix would gain 20 degrees, and propylene glycol would gain 33.3 degrees.
Compensating for the reduced heat capacity of coolant/water mixes would require circulating more fluid through the system. Assuming a fixed amount of circulating fluid and radiator capacity, running 100 percent water would be the most efficient coolant in terms of its ability to conduct heat with minimal temperature rise. In other words, of all common liquids, water requires the most heat energy to change its temperature.
However, there are also differences in the vapor point of the three different coolants. Ethylene glycol and propylene glycol have higher vapor points and therefore can absorb heat at higher temperatures without boiling. Yet even with its lower vapor point, water still carries more heat per unit.
Water is a better coolant. Unfortunately, it does not contain the rust inhibitors that anti-freeze does.
Even my operators manual for my 1948 F2 truck states "Do not run straight water" the owner/operator is to use anti-freeze or Ford rust inhibitor to prevent the inside of the block from rusting.
So straight water is a more efficient coolant than 50/50 or 30/70. So what? As long as the antifreeze mixture cools adequately and adds the bonus of preventing rust, that's plenty good enough for me.
There you have it. About what I expected really. It's simply easiest to fill with 50/50 and fagedaboudit.
If you have an early T, I don't recommend anti-freeze. It stains the brass, and is next to impossible to get off. I use plain water, and a cup of water soluble oil.
Plain distilled, or plain tap? While our well water here TASTES good, it's plenty hard, which disqualifies it for use in a T engine.