I was wondering today if anyone has done tests. Not tests along the lines of my car runs cooler but more directly heat related. Some of the questions I've been thinking of.
Antifreeze raises the boiling temperature so while a T with no antifreeze will maximize at 212 (provided there is water in the engine) a T with antifreeze could be running at a higher temperature without boiling at all. What does this do to the engine?
In a closed loop system the same amount of heat generated will create a thermo syphon effect. What will the differences between flow with regards to water vs antifreeze?
If there is a flow difference and there is less flow for antifreeze than water would it be better to run a T with a water pump if you are running antifreeze and without if you are running water?
I don't know about test but I run antifreeze in my 27rpu no water p***p but when I first got the car it had water only so after 2 miles I hit the radiator with a non contact thermometer and then changed it out with 50/50 antifreeze same distance driving radiator had no significant temperature difference! I realize my test is not scientific!
Flow would probably be a bit better with anti-freeze solution due to it's surfactant properties.... as regard to the engine temperature, it would probably be the same but a boil would not be as noticiable.
If antifreeze runs hotter than plain water, it's not enough hotter to do any damage. Otherwise the roads would be lined by millions of defunct autos with fried engines. The real world experience of Model T's using antifreeze and no superfluous water pump without any ill effects answers the last question. Of course, without it you don't have anything to sling grease and coolant all over your engine compartment.
I run 50/50 distilled water, and green antifreeze, no fan or water pump, new Berg's radiator. The block is clean, as the engine was rebuilt over the winter. It runs just below the circle on the motometer on a hot day, (mid/upper 90's) and may creep into the circle at a long red light, but drops soon after the car moves again. I have never heard it gurgle or boil running or after I shut it off.
All I know is it works as is.
I would guess that anti-freeze slows thermosyphon, figuring that anti-freeze is more viscous than water and therefore raises the viscosity of coolant in a 50-50 mix. Should be a negligible change however.
A modern engine is designed to run pressurizied which throws a good monkey wrench into the comparison to an unpressurizied system.
It would be useful to see a graph of density vs. temperature of plain water and that of water/antifreeze mix for the temperature range in question. The one with the steeper curve would flow better than the one with the shallower curve.
I love how you guys can turn every aspect of the Model T into a science fair project !! Fun, eh ?
It's an approach to life's questions and problems not limited to our T's for most of us, I think. Drives my wife and kids nuts!
This doesn't add any information but my cousin next door uses his dads farmall tractor with an open thermo syphon system and always gripes saying it overheats. He fills it to the top every time he drives it. He'd go broke buying antifreeze for it since he won't believe me when I tell him that's how it works, water finds its own level.
I like Henry's thought. The T is so fundamental it allows you to learn some very basic application of physics, science and mechanics. You also get to drive your experiments. They could try to call it Zen and the art of model t mechanics. I admit trying to change the basic design is not a good idea to improve reliability but I learned at some point you really don't know how something works until you try to modify it.
Unless you need freeze protection down to -34°F, a 50/50 mix of antifreeze in never recommended in a thermosyphon cooling system. Plain water is more efficient at heat transfer then water/antifreeze mix. A little antifreeze is good for rust protection but a 50/50 mix is almost never a good idea.
When Ford made Model T's there was no glycol antifreeze and they had no recommendation on the mix. There is a modern engine that uses a thermosyphon system (I forgot the name but it is in this forum) and they see over heating problems if people use a 50/50 mix.
It can get darn cold up here. I've seen -44. Since it lives in an unheated garage all winter, I adjust my T's coolant to handle it down to -47 and add a coolant booster. Granted, I rarely experience triple digit heat up here in the frozen tundra, but even on warm days in the 90's my car never overheats. Me overheating...that's another story.
I use a 50/50 mix in our '25 Coupe year round. It never gets above about halfway in the circle on the MotoMeter, even idling along in a parade for about 2 hours in 95+ heat. All I have is an old era correct flat tube radiator. Works for me. Dave
Something else to think about, a motometer does not measure the water temp but the air temp above the water. Is it getting an accurate reading of engine temp?
I love my water pump.
Is 50/50 less efficient than plain water or 20/80? I suppose. So what? Does it damage the car? Nope. Does it cool adequately? It does for me.