I know a number of members run soluble oil in their Model T cooling systems. A question to those that do so, how much oil do you add to the system? I run an antifreeze/water mixture in most of my cars but wanted to try this in one of my racers for the season and drain it in the fall.
Likely there will be a lot of opinions on the subject. I've used a pint in a seven-gallon system, so about half that ? Perhaps there are guidelines on the container. Mainly, it's use is less as a corrosion inhibitor than to be helpful to water pumps with glands and packing to seal shafts. Couldn' hoit !
My father had a pristine, unrestored 1927 Hupmobile with only 10,000 miles. It was factory equipped with a water pump and thermostat. He never used anti-freeze. He did always add water pump lube (soluble oil), which he referred to as "lambs milk" to the cooling system . He drained the cooling system every fall.
A couple years ago, the local Dollar Tree stores were selling Prestone Super Anti-Rust (water pump lube/soluble oil). It's a discontinued Prestone product.
I bought as much as I could find and sold them in lots of seven and nine bottles on eBay.
I even sold it to a couple auto parts stores including one that bought 27 bottles.
Based on my sales, it's popular in southern and southwestern states and also with folks with high performance engines (hot-rodders and racers) who don't want to run anti-freeze. It's also used by folks who are too lazy to change their anti-freeze and "recharge" what's already in the cooling system.
Even though it is no longer marketed by Prestone, you can still get the same stuff - Gunk brand or NAPA brand - at the local auto parts store. Don't know what the attraction was with the Prestone brand in particular.
Why not leave it in year round, antifreeze? That way you have year round protection. I am of the OP that too much soluble oil will cut down on heat transfer when it coats the passages. My car holds about 2 1/2 gal's at running level, so a cup would seem to be excessive.
If you keep your water pump (with grease meant for it, if you have one), lubed it should not need soluble oil to lube it and help seal.
My OP is is moot if you have leaks.
Does the Prestone have soluble oil in it or is just an anti rust, the same stuff that would be in off the shelf anti-freeze?
I am curious as to how you formed your opinion that "too much" soluble oil "will coat the passages"?
Have you experienced this with your cooling system? After all the oil is soluble in water. Do you believe it would come out of the solution and bind to the surfaces? I am trying to imagine the chemical or mechanical reaction that would cause this solution to break down to the individual components.
For many years, Prestone used to market Anti-Rust with Waterpump Lube.
I believe the Super Anti-Rust is the same stuff. The MSDS is available online but I am no chemist but I do know it contains petroleum distillates.
The Super Anti-Rust was discontinued a few years ago. I believe the Anti-Rust with Waterpump Lube was also discontinued.
NAPA, Gunk and Motor Medic all have their own version of anti-rust/waterpump lube. It probably all comes from the same manufacturer.
I don't use it. What I said is my OP. And as someone else said, your mileage may very.
Think about this; if you are adding soluble oil to prevent rust etc and you drain the system in the fall and it does not bind to anything, how is going to prevent rust if it does not stick to the interior of the cooling system?
Firstly, I am not worried about my brass radiator rusting. With our late fall and winter relative humidity below 50% at freezing temperatures I am not concerned about rusting in the block. I have had machined blocks sit in my Quonset for a couple of years without rust forming. Your mileage may differ (very....vary??) on the coast.
I use about 1/3 of a cup of soluble oil. No boiling even on 40 degree C days climbing hills, and no rust visible. Prior to using the soluble oil, the water always had a rusty appearance, no matter how much I cleaned out the system.
Google: Shell Dromus B oil. This soluble oil is used for coolant in machining operations. Don't know why it wouldn't work in water for radiator coolant. One word of caution, when I worked for Northrop, they had to use an ant-bacterial additive or it would get pretty ripe after awhile. However, the temperatures achieved in radiators under use may cure that problem.
Thank you for the great information on adding soluble oil. My late friend used to do so on his speedster, but I didn't know the quantity. This will go into the cooling system on my original 1940's dirt track racer. I poured and line bored the mains and just finished assembling the short block. I straightened the pan this evening and now to the final assembly. The first race is a month away so I need to get some hours on it before it gets to the track.
I understood that the main reason to use soluble oil in the coolant is to lubricate the water pump. I have used it forever with no problems. Had to obtain it from machinist supply stores. Is the Napa/Giunk product equally effective?
I use the Napa brand soluble oil - no problems
Most NAPA stores have it.
It tells on the container how much to use. Seems like itís 2 oz. per gallon but I use more.
In my Ď51 V8 pickup I use a a half qt. It holds a lot of water.
In more modern cars I use about a half cup in each car, same for a T.
There was a guy in this town that ran a radiator shop. He filled his own carís cooling system with 100% strait soluble oil!
Aaron, if that was true then he was a man who didn't know the consequence of doing so.
Soluble oil will react to rubber, even any more than recommended will stuff the radiator hoses and the rubber seal on radiator caps, that in turn would over pressurise the cooling system.
Good stuff that soluble oil!! made my old man very wealthy in the radiator business.
Harry, The only reason anybody is using antifreeze in a Model T is to keep rust down...it doesn't do beans for cooling the car at all. Antifreeze is designed to carry away heat when it's under pressure which a Model T cooling system never is.
The stuff I use (Mobilcut 100) comes from WW Graingers and is yellow in color (I buy it the gallon jug, (last time I bought it was a bit cheaper) for about $33.00 which lasts about 10 years or so). I mix soluble oil with water to about the color of milky lemon aid which I guess is about 25 oil to 75 water. It keeps the rust down which is the only reason I use it...as for keeping the engine cool can't say for sure, but my engine has never overheated, but then if your cooling system is really clean and free of rust it never should anyway.
Martin, please explain? " Antifreeze is designed to carry away heat when it's under pressure,,,". thanks,jb
From my experience, soluble oil in radiator water does reduce corrosion. It's effect on rubber hoses is apparent after time even in small concentrations, but nothing to get all fuzzed up about. For what it's worth, nothing you can use transfers heat like plain water. Antifreeze is less efficient and prone to leak where water will not, but that's less of a consideration when you're worried about water freezing and breaking things. I'd expect increasing concentrations of soluble oil to reduce the efficiency of water, but it can't be enough to make a really noticeable difference.
I put about one cup in my radiator. Don't use anti-freeze if you have a pre '17 car. It stains the brass real bad.
Uh - I found that out !! Hard wired to use it here in the frozen north, I'm finally realizing my T is not really vulnerable to freezing up where I keep it, and how I use it. Time to flush and use straight water (and a wee bit of soluble oil!)
Rich B. - Not to be "argumentative", however in my opinion, the common belief (mis-belief) is a myth, that, as you said,....."antifreeze is prone to leak where water will not".
In the case of a very minor leak, say for example, one drop every couple minutes perhaps. Either water or antifreeze will leak, however, antifreeze evaporates very slowly computer to water. Therefore, you will see that there is a minor leak when using antifreeze, because the very slowly evaporating antifreeze is visible. That same leak with water will be much less visible, because the drop or two of water evaporates very quickly, In fact, you may never see the leak at all with water, but you will with antifreeze,....hence the "myth". FWIW,.....harold
Aaagh,....."auto-correct"! .....very slowly COMPARED to water! I typed "compared",....not "computer"!
Thank you Harold.
I've had nothing but problems with antifreeze so I don't like and I never use it. But here in Califunny it never gets quite cold enough to freeze anything in the radiator so I don't know if it's applicable to your area or not. And I also keep my car in a garage as well, so it is never in any weather unless I'm driving through or in it.
But as antifreeze isn't good for brass, it's not so hot on acrylic lacquer either, left stains all down my radiator shell when I tried using it. Plain water rusts the engine and head, adding a bit of soluble oil keeps it from doing that and also does something akin to what Armor-all does for rubber parts on the outside it does it on the inside of the hoses too, so in my opinion that's a win, win.
James, all modern cooling systems are pressurized, that's why you add coolant to your radiator via a reservoir to the side of the engine which isn't pressurized. When or if the engine requires more coolant it draws from this reservoir and of course this is all governed by the thermostat (something else Model T doesn't have nor needs to either for that matter), as for the cooling aspect it works a lot like Freon in an air conditioner. I guess now they're all Freon-less air conditioners though...hmm, I wonder what they're using...formaldehyde maybe, it also removes heat almost as well as Freon does, but is a lot more dangerous than Freon (you don't what that stuff touching your skin or breathing any of it's vapors either for that matter), although small amounts are not dangerous. That's why they can use it on salad bars to keep the greens green, it wont hurt you, they wash the salad greens off, but that is what keeps them fresh looking, the ice is just window dressing...even when they're not...if this bothers you, forget I said anything...eat the salad, it's good for you.
1. Water is a better coolant than 50/50 antifreeze. (higher specific heat).
2. Boiling water is a terrible coolant.
3. Antifreeze raises the boiling point of water, as does a pressurized system - you get better cooling once the coolant is above water's boiling temperature.
4. 100% (or 50%) antifreeze will not shed as much heat as 100% water.
5. 100% antifreeze freezes at a higher temperature than a 50/50 mixture - more is not better.
6. According to the Hot Rod Network, the best coolant would be 100% water (with anti-rust/lubricant) and a 20# cap. Not a good idea in a Model T!
Martin: Well, that explains that, and I will keep eating (Non-Romaine) salad!
I always assumed it worked like Kurt explained, that antifreeze solutions carry less heat per unit volume then water at the same temperature. My Google search shows that pressure does not significantly affect that relationship, but does allow the system to operate at a higher temperature without boiling. Higher delta T compensates in large part for reduced heat capacity of the solution. ( Pls note, I am not suggesting T systems should be pressurized.) My Google source indicates a 50/50 glycol/water mix carries about 85% of the heat that pure water will at the same temp. 50/50 boils at 225 DegF at sea level. The solution is more viscous than water, a factor that will lower the circulation rate, compared to water, in a thermo syphon (or in any cooling system for that matter. The article noted solutions containing more than 70% eth glycol were not recommended, I assume b/c of the reduced heat capacity and increased viscosity of the high concentration mix. And this information in no way addresses benefits/problems related to rust inhibitors & lubricant additives in commercial products. I will continue to use antifreeze to insure winter time freeze protection and accept the 15% or greater reduction in heat transfer that comes with it. Respectfully, jb
Something to consider, water boils at 212 F at sea-level, and the boiling point lowers by roughly one degree for each 500 feet of altitude - at 7500 feet, water boils at 198F. Perhaps this is why the Model T lore of years past included so many reports of "Model T Geyser" sightings in the intermountain region where I live.
Cooling systems began to be pressurized in the late 1930s. This requires a pressure release cap to seal the system below the overflow tube. It would be a real chore to rig a pressure system for a Model T, using a stock radiator.
The advantage of pressurizing the cooling system is much like using a pressure-cooker. At altitude especially, higher operating temps can be sustained without the coolant boiling - at which point, coolant vaporizes and heat transfer stops.
Surge tanks are nothing new - these allow coolant to expand in the system without being lost out the overflow, and became popular accessories concurrent with the development of pressurized systems.
I'm old school and use plain softened water from the hose spigot on the house for the T's. Ya, I know, naughty naughty. :-)
Always drain the water when hot so it evaporates, for less rust, like a boiler. That was taught to me.
If the wheel chock shaft packing or a hose has a minor drip when I fill for the season on Lizzhe, it will stop weeping in a week or so due to the rusting action here.
Would anti-freeze or drill coolant do that? I dunno.
I should try the anti rust products.
(Message edited by duey_c on May 18, 2018)
They used to sell it at Pep Boys in small cans. I think it was called anti-rust. I buy it by the gallon at a local machine tool shop.
". . . wheel chock shaft packing . . . " ?!? Duey, please explain ?
Water pump=wheel chock as seen in several past postings. LOL
I'm slow - note to self, don't post to the forum before coffee !
Not to worry, I didn't get it the first time I read it. Just didn't click.
Thanks, Mark, I'm getting "gun shy" from all the stupid things auto-correct does to me !! ; )
Hehehe! Sorry 'bout that guys. ;-)
Auto-correct will fix things "behind our back" when we're on to the next notion! Bricken-bracken phone.
My brain leaves things out as my fingers are too slow on this desk top!
Wheel chocks have been so verboten from time to time here.
I honestly feel I might not need it on the 24. I did put another brand fan in it and it really moves the air.
And I have a couple of extra water inlets for the block finally.
NAPA store for the anti-rust. Hmmm, I'll try them next week. OR Where to nab a soda can of coolant, straight from the pail.