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Thread: Waterless Coolant

  1. #1

    Waterless Coolant

    I recently had my Honeycomb radiator re-cored and since it cost so much money I decided to ask the gentleman who specializes in manufacturing radiators what type of maintenance he would recommend to help preserve it.

    He said that he is increasingly coming into more and more contact with antique buffs who swear by waterless coolants. He said that although anti-freeze has anti corrosive additives, they still break down and allow the water to corrode components over time. The waterless coolant is desinged to operate in a non-pressurized system (which mine is) and is non-corrosive.

    Sounds like a good deal. Anyone have experiance or comments about it?

    Thanks
    Dan

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steve Braverman's Avatar
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    Re: Waterless Coolant

    I always use waterless coolant in my Franklin [img]<>/wink.gif[/img]
    Steve Braverman
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    Senior Member Mark Shaw's Avatar
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    Re: Waterless Coolant

    Good comeback Steve! Franklin humor....

    I have no experience with waterless coolant, but since all my cars have adjustable water pump packing that is designed to leak (& always does), I doubt that I will use coolant that costs over $30 per gallon.
    Mark Shaw BCA #40988
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    Re: Waterless Coolant

    Amen to that. The coolant works fine but make sure that you have attended to any leaks in the system. I have not seen the slightest hint of any rust, but have had to spring for a couple more gallons of the coolant. With regular coolant you can always add a little water but with the waterless variety you can only add more coolant as any appreciable amount of water will render it useless according to the manufacturer.

  5. #5

    Re: Waterless Coolant

    One of the concerns I have is that the boiling point of the coolant is 370 degrees and my car does not have a temperature gauge so if the car was to overheat how would I know it? Say for example the car runs extremely hot at 300 degrees. At what temperature does heat start to damage these cast iron heads and blocks?

    On a slightly different topic, can some one please explain to me what the purpose of a thermostat is? I understand that it is designed to open at a certain temperature but why? If there was no thermostat in the engine wouldn't it reach a certain temperature anyway?

    Dan

  6. #6
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    Re: Waterless Coolant

    Of all the concerns you might have about using waterless coolant, your car overheating without you knowing it is not one of them. When a car with water coolant overheats, it boils the water away and then you have nothing to cool at all. This is when real damage to an engine will occur. Waterless coolant may go above the boiling temperature of water, but the higher it goes, the more efficient it will be at removing heat from your engine. This kind of makes it a self regulating system. Waterless coolant is actually slightly less efficient at transfering heat than water. You would actually like your engine to get a little hotter than the boiling point of water as combustion is also more efficient at a higher temperature. More modern cooling systems are more efficient because they are pressurised which causes coolant to have a higher boiling point . So a pressurised cooling system is more efficient and runs at a higher temperature than an unpressurised one. This makes for a more efficient, cleaner burning engine. An engine that has less carbon formation, fouled plugs and the like.
    A thermostat in a car restricts full circulation until the temperature reaches the operational level that it is set for. Remember old cars did not have thermostats and spent a lot of time operating at less than ideal temperature. Read through your old Dykes and see how much information they put in there about removing carbon buildup from an engine. The combination of primative carburators, bad gas and lower operating temperatures made a lot of money for the early mechanic.
    I have a lot more problem trying to get my old car to heat up to a decent operational temperature than trying to keep it cool. This is actually easier with waterless coolant. I wouldn't want to use waterless coolant in an engine that has not been thoroughly flushed and cleaned out. A dirty cooling system could give you a situation where waterless coolant might give you some overheating. Remember that waterless coolant will also give you a situation where corrosion will be practically nonexistent.

  7. #7
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    Re: Waterless Coolant

    The thermostat blocks the coolant from flowing through the engine and radiator until the coolant is at the proper operating temperature and then opens and circulates the water. This happens much quicker with a thermostat. Without a thermostat you are running the engine for a long time with the oil thick and cold and not circulating through the engine and lubricating it properly.
    Woody Michel
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    Senior Member Matt Harwood's Avatar
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    Re: Waterless Coolant

    Quote:
    On a slightly different topic, can some one please explain to me what the purpose of a thermostat is? I understand that it is designed to open at a certain temperature but why? If there was no thermostat in the engine wouldn't it reach a certain temperature anyway?
    In short, the thermostat only sets the minimum temperature at which the car will run, not the max. It also, as the others have said, speeds the warm-up process by reducing flow through the heat exchanger (radiator) until the coolant has warmed up.

    I have no experience with the waterless coolants, but some swear by them (Evans?) and others report nothing but headaches. A regular coolant mixed with distilled water and maintained regularly will probably work just as well, protect your cooling system equally and be cheaper to boot.

    Just some thoughts.
    Matt Harwood (BCA #38767, AACA #987226, CLC #26668, CCCA)
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  9. #9

    Re: Waterless Coolant

    Thanks for the input guys. Just so I'm understanding this correctly, It is better for a car to warm up quicker because it will allow the oil to flow better for lubrication and allow for more efficiant combustion thus the reason for the thermostat?

    If I only run my car in the warmer weather and store it for the winter, can I leave the thermostat out without any worries??

    Also, everything I have read on this waterless coolant says that in essence it would be the same as a pressurized system raising the boiling point on regular coolant because the boiling point is 370 on the waterless. I guess where I'm getting confused is that it is my understanding that these old cars run very hot to begin with. So are you telling me that if the waterless coolant runs at 360 degrees, just before the boiling point, my car is NOT overheating?? If it doesn't boil how can you tell? Again, I have no temp gauge and no way of telling. At what temp. does damage start to occur??

    Matt.. Why do you use distilled water with the regular coolant?

    Thanks again guys for all your help.

    Dan

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mark Shaw's Avatar
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    Re: Waterless Coolant

    Dan,
    The bottom line is that engines are more efficient at temperatures above that of boiling water at 1 atmosphere.

    When teens and 20's cars were built, they did not come with pressurized cooling systems, and they worked just fine with water when they were new.

    Waterless coolant can effectively provide the benefits of running at higher temperatures like a pressurized cooling system while eliminating the corrosive effects of water.

    If you remove the scale and rust from your engine's cooling jacket and repair or replace your radiator, water based antifreeze would work just fine too.
    Mark Shaw BCA #40988
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    1912 Buick Model 34 roadster
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    1915 Buick Model C-25 "Speedster"
    1924 Buick Model 45 "Roadster Truck"
    1929 Buick Model 29-27 Sedan (Now my son's car)
    1931 Buick Model 57 Sedan
    1938 Buick Model 48 Sedan

  11. #11
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    Re: Waterless Coolant

    You say that it is your understanding that these old cars run hot anyway. That is usually not the case when they are set up right,have a reasonably clean cooling system, and are not pushing the engine too hard. At the same time, the cooling systems of the times were sort of a compromise without a thermostat. Not having a thermostat, the temperatures that they run at varied considerably and you had to add water all the time since they always leaked from the water pump and when they overheated just a little bit, it meant boiling the water off. If you boil just a little water off it means you have less water to cool and that accelerates the process even more. When you added a thermostat, you could add considerable cooling capacity with out having to use it (thermostat closed) unless you needed it (thermostat open).
    Waterless coolant will allow these old cooling systems to get hotter than the boiling point of water without loosing any coolant. With water the system could not get any hotter than 212 degrees before it would start to boil. If your system started getting hotter than that, say 230 degrees for example, the rate of heat transfer would increase dramatically, causing the system to shed heat at a much greater rate than it would at 212 degrees. This means that the hotter the engine gets, the more efficient the system is at shedding heat. Your example of an engine running at 360 degrees would not happen because the hotter it gets the better it is at loosing heat. This makes it ,in effect, a self regulating system.
    They suggest that you use distilled water mixed with antifreeze so that you don't have a bunch of hard water ions that would promote corrosion and deposits in your system. This is why they started selling prediluted antifreeze diluted with deionized water for lazy people who would just have put regular water in their antifreeze. I hope we have answered yoyr questions! If not let us know and we will try again.

    David

  12. #12
    Senior Member Matt Harwood's Avatar
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    Re: Waterless Coolant

    I use distilled water because it doesn't have any minerals or other contaminants in it. Tap water from your hose has minerals that can cause corriosion. In addition, distilled water doesn't conduct electricity very well (it's the other stuff in the water that does it), so galvanic action between dissimilar metals is reduced. There is also some evidence that it cools better, though I haven't noticed any difference. It's just more "pure."

    I'm personally not a fan of running without a thermostat. As mentioned, they do help get the car warmed up faster, which is a good thing--warm oil flows better than cold oil and typically warm carburetors work better than cold ones, especially on these old cars.

    Even if you don't run in cold weather a thermostat is still a good idea. Again, it speeds warm up--there's a big difference between even 90 degrees ambient and 200 degrees operating temperature. The faster you can close that gap, the better.

    Second, the thermostat also helps slow down the flow of coolant through the system. If the coolant flows through the radiator too quickly, it doesn't exchange as much heat as it could if it stayed in there a bit longer. In many cases, removing the thermostat has either no effect or actually increases the temperature of the coolant (although I'm sure there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to the contrary).

    If the car has provisions for a thermostat and the thermostat is functioning properly, there's absolutely no reason to go without it. The guys who built these cars were pretty smart, so if they put it in there, I'm always inclined to trust them.

    Hope this helps.
    Matt Harwood (BCA #38767, AACA #987226, CLC #26668, CCCA)
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Ron Green's Avatar
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    Re: Waterless Coolant

    You need to run some kind of water restriction. As Matt stated coolant / water can cycle too fast which will not adequately slow the coolant down and allow the radiator to properly take the heat out. Some don't like thermostats as they can stick, etc. I have played around using a reducing ring and not a thermostat. See attached. These allow the engine to heat up somewhat quicker while restricting flow.

    http://performanceparts.com/part.php?partID=4471
    Ron Green

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    Re: Waterless Coolant

    Matt beet me to the punch on this one. You need the t/stat for the exc. reasons stated. Years ago some folks would put washers in one of the hoses to slow the flow.
    Dick Griswold 1965 Buick skylark 1972 Chevelle AACA member and One pistol club The difficult at once, the impossible next.

  15. #15

    Re: Waterless Coolant

    Now I understand. Thank you guys. Can someone tell me where I can get a replacement thermostat for my car? The original was stuck closed which is why I took it out to begin with.

    I know there are different temperature thermostats too. Based on my car and the type of weather I drive in what would you recommend? If all else fails, I guess i'll try the washer trick.

    Thank you all again.

    Dan

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    Re: Waterless Coolant

    Thats realy not a good idea. Contact your local parts house esp NAPA and see if they can help Do it right
    Dick Griswold 1965 Buick skylark 1972 Chevelle AACA member and One pistol club The difficult at once, the impossible next.

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