Antifreeze and aluminum heads

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Antifreeze and aluminum heads
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 10:50 pm:

I have thought about this for a while and after mentioning it to a couple folks at the club meeting I decided to ask about it.I mentioned a couple weeks back I had found a Z head I can get reasonable.That is 1 of the reasons for the question.

For reference here is what I am looking at. The aluminum head for a T requires the use of a sacrificial anode or it will be damaged.By what I understand as being the antifreeze and electrolysis?
Ok, My mechanically annoying but comfy Cadi has a slightly under 300 hp aluminum v8 engine. I have found no reference to a sacrificial anode in it. But I know I can not use the Green antifreeze like what we run in our T's. It uses a orange coolant that is made for the aluminum. Now, is the issue the orange antifreeze prevents the same issue the anode prevents in our T's?

Although the anode is not a horribly expensive component,it is something that some of us memory challenged types might forget about. I am wondering if using the modern antifreeze would help bridge that gap and prevent damage.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Alan George Long on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 11:40 pm:

I fitted a Z Head back in 2004 on my 1926 and have only ever used Coolant only because of the slightly higher boiling point. The Anoid I purchased at the time is still in my parts shed!

After 13 years I’m starting to wonder how long it’s going to last
Alan in Western Australia


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:30 am:

I have two Prus heads and run green coolant and anodes. After two years they look good. I think the orange coolant will cause problems with solder. Might look that one up. PK


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chadwick Azevedo on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:48 am:

It is a matter of electrolisis. Use distilled water and the antifreeze of your choice.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 02:38 am:

Where I work we use green antifreeze in most of the German cars we service that are out of warrantee.
I have used green antifreeze in my ‘84 Volvo for 10 years, the original owner used green antifreeze since it was new. And it still has the original aluminum head.
But if you are too worried that you are going to damage your aluminum head with regular everyday antifreeze you can always go to AutoZone or O’Reiley’s and get some VW antifreeze, it’s only $20 a liter.
Did you ever read the labels on the green antifreeze?
Does it warn you against using it with aluminum.
You mean to tell me that companies like Preston don’t sell antifreeze made for late model American cars and trucks?
P. T. was right.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 02:41 am:

Where I work we use green antifreeze in most of the German cars we service that are out of warrantee.
I have used green antifreeze in my ‘84 Volvo for 10 years, the original owner used green antifreeze since it was new. And it still has the original aluminum head.
But if you are too worried that you are going to damage your aluminum head with regular everyday antifreeze you can always go to AutoZone or O’Reiley’s and get some VW antifreeze, it’s only $20 a liter.
Did you ever read the labels on the green antifreeze?
Does it warn you against using it with aluminum.
You mean to tell me that companies like Preston don’t sell antifreeze made for late model American cars and trucks?
P. T. was right.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Rogers - South of the Adirondacks on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 10:09 am:

Traditional Coolant

• Also referred to as conventional coolant
• Corrosion Inhibitors based on inorganic salts; borate, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, molybdate and silicate
• There are generally two versions of conventional coolant
• Automotive which is typically green in color
• Heavy duty which typically is purple or green

• Limited lifespan: Automotive is typically up to 2 years or 80,000 km (48,000 miles); Heavy Duty is typically up to 3,000 hours or 300,000 km (180,000 miles). This life can be extended through the proper use of supplemental coolant additives (SCA’s)

The corrosion inhibitor chemistry used in traditional coolants comes in two main types:

The light duty version is typically nitrite free and can be based on
Borate, silicate, nitrate
Borate / phosphate, silicate, nitrate
Phosphate, silicate, nitrate

OAT Coolant

Corrosion Inhibitors based on fully neutralized organic acids and azoles
Typically amber, orange or red in color
Designed for use in automotive, light duty and heavy duty diesel applications
Silicate free, avoids silicate gelation and related fallout issues
Amine, borate, nitrite and silicate free meeting the basic chemistry requirements of Asian OEM’s
Phosphate free, meeting some basic chemistry requirements of European and some North American OEM’s
Excellent high temperature aluminum protection
Can provide wet sleeve liner cavitation protection without the use of nitrite
Extended life in both light and heavy duty applications
Lifespan: Automotive - Up to 5 years or 250,000 km (150,000 miles); Heavy Duty - Up to 6 years or 960,000 km (600,000 miles)

Hybrid Coolant

Inhibitors based on a combination of inorganic salts (as found in traditional coolant) and some fully neutralized organic acids (as found in OAT coolant)
Typically yellow or red in color
Designed for use in both automotive, light duty and heavy duty diesel applications
Formulations are available: with or without nitrite/ with or without borate / with or without phosphate/ with or without silicate
Product can have good coolant to coolant compatibility
Excellent wet sleeve liner cavitation protection
Good high temperature aluminum performance
Generally compatible with SCA’S and Coolant Extenders
Extended life in both light and heavy duty applications; mixed fleet application
Lifespan: Automotive - Up to 5 years or 250,000 km (150,000 miles); Heavy Duty - Up to 6 years or 960,000 km (600,000 miles)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Lew Morrill on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 10:31 am:

One of the several critical jobs of modern antifreeze coolant is preventing corrosion in the cooling system. This is especially important when there are dissimilar metals like iron and aluminum in use. Use a good quality name brand antifreeze mixed with distilled water at 50/50 strength for best corrosion and freeze protection.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 01:52 pm:

Reviewed the available info and contacted makers of high compression heads too to come to the conclusion that 50-50 mix, antifreeze and distilled water is best for alum heads on the cast iron block of the Ford.

A sacrificial anode may be a benefit to reduce electrolysis (corrosion produced between dissimilar metals in a caustic environment). Modern autos with aluminum engine parts and radiators rely on special formulated coolants that contain additives to prevent corrosion.

In contact with one mfg., of Model T OHV high compression cylinder heads, the comment was such a sacrificial product wouldn't hurt the head, and may be useful, but the degraded anode materials would contaminate the cooling system.

Another mfg. stated their high compression heads and the makers of aluminum OHV heads use a polymer vacuum immersion process that seals the aluminum surfaces from porosity intrinsic to castings, and reduces the possibility of corrosion.

Good practices, regardless of the cylinder head metal, would be to drain the cooling system each season, flush to remove build- up of contaminates, and refill with a new 50/50 mix of anti-freeze, containing additives to fight rust and corrosion, and distilled water, for a healthy radiator and engine.

Tap, bottled, rain, pond or other water will contain minerals, chlorides or contaminates that leave behind deposits that can degrade the cooling system. Use of a 50/50 anti-freeze pre-mix or anti-freeze with distilled water is satisfactory.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 02:36 pm:

I rebuilt an EV8 engine with new (high quality) aluminum heads of the original design and about a year later there was a coolant consumption problem -- heavy steam from the exhaust, overheating, etc. This was a full rebuild, everything clean, common green 50/50 mix, proper surface finish on the heads and block. Pulled the heads and there were a few places where corrosion had caused some leaks. Had the corrosion spots welded and 0.010 skim skim cut off the heads and used new 50/50 same as before. I installed an anode and that was 4-1/2 years ago and all has been fine since.

This is the anode I used:

http://www.jegs.com/i/Flex-a-lite/400/32060/10002/-1

Very tidy installation as I was able to simply thread it into an exiting pipe thread. I wasn't too keen on fussing with one of those attached with a braided lanyard. Cheap insurance and easy to inspect when replacing the coolant.

That's not a scientific study. Just reporting my results.


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