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Coolant color--very basic questions

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  • fmarshall
    replied
    The owner's manual for my Studebaker recommends draining and replacing coolant every year.

    If you had the radiator cored in 2005, but did not ensure that the cooling system was totally clean, then the discolored crud could be from stuff that was there previously. Plus, if you are using tap water, then that will add to the corrosion problem. And a bad ground will increase electrolisys too.

    I live in California, so I don't fret too much about antifreeze. I run a bottle of Mac's 1300 Rust Inhibitor/Water Pump lube, a bottle of Red Line Water Wetter, 1 Gal Anti-Freeze and the rest H20.

    Clean fluid and 170 degrees on a hot day.

    Good luck.

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  • John Kirchhoff
    replied
    Something I found is when using those generic flex radiator hoses with the slinky like spring inside, after a very long time the spring rusts away and you find chunks of it in all sorts of places inside. Chucks Stude is correct about changing the coolant. Chrysler 2.2 & 2.5 engines had a cast iron block and aluminum head and if you didn't change the coolant every couple of years, you ended up changing the head gasket. Electrolysis was the culprit and you could check the condition of the coolant with a digital multi-meter. Stick the positive probe in the coolant and ground the other and if it showed more than about .2 volts, it was time to get rid of the stuff.

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  • Lark Parker
    replied
    100% Prestone freezes at -7 degrees F.

    The lowest freezing point is -92 degrees F with a 68% Prestone mixture.
    Above 68% the freezing point rises linearly (almost) to -7 @ 100%.

    The more Prestone you have in the system the poorer the heat conductivity. The 50% mixture is selected as the best compromise point for all factors. Boiling point, freezing point, thermal conductivity.

    Whether your radiator is half full or half empty depends upon whether you are an optimist or a pessimist.
    On the other hand, an engineer will decide that the radiator is twice the size needed for the liquid present.



    If at first you don't succeed you will get a lot of advice.

    Lark Parker aka Trim Trader

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  • Laemmle
    replied
    You must get a product called 'No-Rosion'.....will extend flushing for up to five years.........also for the hot summer months I use Red Line Water Whetter.......

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  • Chucks Stude
    replied
    Changing the anti-freeze every two years is religion when dealing with engines that are made of aluminum. I am beginning to believe that it is not such a bad idea with these older engines also. IMHO.

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  • JeffDeWitt
    replied
    Bill, as I recall those cans have lids like paint cans, you should be able to use the stuff and then put the lids back on, and you can put some sand or something in it to add weight if you want.

    Jeff DeWitt

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  • Bill Pressler
    replied
    I had a reputable place put the freeze plugs in, and I remember the owner telling me they (I think) they stuck wire in there to get as much crud out as possible, but I don't remember him saying that they used a hose to do the whole messy thing I've heard about. Looking at their receipt this morning, I don't see that mentioned as a service item.

    Thanks for the advice, everybody. I think I'm gonna find a local place who will do a flush and reverse-flush and refill with 50/50 green coolant. I do in fact have a can of S-P Cooling System Cleaner and Neutralizer, but it's a display item in my office! Not sure I want to empty/ruin the can!

    Thanks!
    Bill

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  • chocolate turkey
    replied
    Having seen most everything that happened in a cooling system at one time or another, I would guess that you have a block full of crud. Flush, and back flush the cooling system, get the heater repaired, check the hoses and t-stat and use 50-50 mix coolant, preferable the diesel designation as it doesn't contain all the additives that are put in the "new-car" stuff for multiple metal breakdown. Do every 2 yrs., and don't forget to change out the hoses!

    Brian K. Curtis

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  • JeffDeWitt
    replied
    Bill, your original post says you replaced the freeze plugs, did you clean out the block at the same time?

    If you did it's doubtful that the block could have crudded up this quickly. Is it possible you might have mixed types of antifreeze? Some of the modern antifreezes do really ugly things when mixed.

    In any case by all means you want to throughly flush out the cooling system and put fresh coolant in it. You might also want to use some of the good old fashioned Studebaker Packard radiator flush... it may be considered an environmental hate crime these days but it's good stuff.

    Jeff DeWitt

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  • Jeff_H
    replied
    How old are your hoses? I had coolant get like that in a vehicle once after neglecting it for a long time. Numerous flushes failed to clear it up. The insides of the hoses were breaking down. You could actually rub material off the inside of the hose with your finger.

    Jeff in ND

    '53 Champion Hardtop

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  • Dick Steinkamp
    replied
    quote:Originally posted by Bill Pressler
    A friend of mine fills his Stude cars and trucks with straight coolant, no water added. Opinions?
    Your buddy is liable to have his block freeze and crack if you get a real cold spell.

    "The freezing point of an anti-freeze/coolant solution depends on the concentration of the solution, and rises when the ratio of antifreeze to water exceeds 60%."

    http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF6/680.html


    The cooling passages in your block are probably full of crud. That accounts for the overheating and the dirty antifreeze. Remove your freeze plugs and wash/dig all the crud out of the block, then replace the plugs with new.






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  • Bill Pressler
    replied
    Thanks John...good advice.

    I forgot to mention that last year I had a Stude buddy bypass the heater core, since it was dripping a bit on the floor mat on the right side and I was going to use the car in a wedding. Never got it repaired ($$)

    Bill Pressler

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  • John Kirchhoff
    replied
    Sounds like there's crud in the cooling system. It wouldn't hurt to drain the coolant and then flush the radiator, block and heater core with straight water until it's clear. On the engine removing the freeze plugs would probably help get the stuff out but that's up to you depending upon how hard they are to get to and replace. Were it me, I'd drain things, remove the bottom radiator hose and flush it out throughly with a garden hose. Having the hoses off will also allow you to run water into the top hose, through the engine and out the bottom. Filling it up with straight water, running it for a while and draining that should give you an idea of how much crud is still floating around in there. I know from experience that old, dirty coolant does not transfer heat like clean stuff and changing it solved the overheating problem.

    50/50 is probably best since 100% antifreeze does not conduct heat as well either, or so I read in some tech report one time.

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  • Bill Pressler
    replied
    Follow-up--should I use a 50/50 combo of coolant and water if I replace it soon? The car is stored all winter (Ohio cold, snowy winters). A friend of mine fills his Stude cars and trucks with straight coolant, no water added. Opinions?

    Thanks,
    Bill Pressler

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill Pressler
    started a topic Coolant color--very basic questions

    Coolant color--very basic questions

    I noticed yesterday, in some stop-and-go traffic, outside temperature high seventies, four kids 13 and under in the car with me, for a second or two the temperature gauge went almost two notches past center in my R1 Lark. When I pulled into our driveway, it went back down to one notch above center. This morning when I looked at the coolant (probably first time in several months), it looked brownish-green pea-soup dirty--not thick like pea soup, but not that nice, clear bright green that it looked like as late as last fall.

    Coolant was last changed in July '05, radiator recored at that time, new freeze and drain plugs then, new thermostat then, new temp gauge sending unit only last December. I have only driven it probably 250 miles this year so far. Did have a remanufactured carb and new fuel pump put on this year. Should the coolant be this color so soon, and since it's two years old should I change it?

    Thanks,
    Bill Pressler
    '63 Lark Daytona Skytop R1
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