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I am amazed about this talk about foaming. I have always used 50-50 anti-freeze and water. Never any foaming. Sometimes the Dodge gives a big burp, esp. when travelling at speed and lifting off for the brakes. It only does it once, some time after the coolant has been drained and refilled. I think there is an air lock in there somewhere. The water pump impeller is a radial blade kind but has been repaired so there is little clearance between the blades and the body of the pump, minimising turbulence.

 

Remember to leave space for the water to expand when heated. One of my books says to leave the water c. 3" below filler neck, = not far above the top of the radiator core. Otherwise it just ejects the extra water and you are always wasting time topping up when there is no problem.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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I originally researched whether I could use Dex-Cool in my 29. I have found a couple of articles about it. One in Car and Driver, Top it Up with Green? Or Orange? Which Antifreeze?. The other appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Keeping Your Cool Over Antifreeze Use. Both articles are over 15 years old so may be out of date. There is also a 2006 article on the Consumer Affairs website, GM Owners Still Steaming Over Dex-Cool - Corrosion, Engine Damage Blamed on Coolant. It looks like GM lost the lawsuits and agreed to pay consumers for engine damage caused by Dex-Cool, GM to Finish Paying Dex-Cool Class Action Settlements.  I believe my 08 Trailblazer has Dex-Cool in it but not for long, I will be going back to Green. 

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6 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

Remember to leave space for the water to expand when heated. One of my books says to leave the water c. 3" below filler neck, = not far above the top of the radiator core. Otherwise it just ejects the extra water and you are always wasting time topping up when there is no problem.

Agreed, BUT....  When radiator fillers were moved under batwing (split-center) hoods, the curved filler neck does not permit seeing the coolant level until within half an inch of absolute full (1934-38 Pierce, 1934-35 Buick, etc.), so it is best to fill when the coolant is hot and expanded.  And some cars with exposed filler necks have a baffle to divert the natural flow of coolant away from the overflow:  on my 1918 Pierce so equipped, I top off hot (and running) but have to use a penlight to find the level below the baffle.

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8 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

Update.

The chemical concerned is 2-EHA and it was central in a case DEX-Cool vs GM and the problem with GM's manifold gasket. This is probably where this myth came from. Penrite's anti-freeze AFAB is based on Glysantin, made by BASF in Germany. Glysantin is tested for swelling of rubber, amoung other things.

 

In my opinion, the problem arises from leaving the coolant in too long. Back before DexCool and similar concoctions were available, Many people felt that if the antifreeze would pass a specific gravity test, there was no reason to change it. Those same people had rotten radiators, rotten freeze plugs, and white powdery corrosion under every hose connection where the acidic old coolant tried to eat its way to freedom. Today, the only thing that has really changed is that the factory approves.

 

I have seen inside of one of the affected GM rigs, with a vortec V6. Yes, the gasket failed, but there was also severe corrosion to the aluminum surfaces. Interestingly the gasket GM used was a FEL-PRO, not just any FEL-PRO, but a specific type that had a plastic core, and silicone beads around the ports. You can see pictures of the deformed failed gaskets all over the web.

 

Interestingly, FEL-PRO offered that same gasket design as an aftermarket upgrade for the Ford FE (352-390-428-etc.). The web is full of horror stories about these gaskets failing, and there are plenty of pictures to view. The failures look exactly the same as the GM failures. Ford FE engines are cast iron. I doubt many of those guys use special GM coolant.

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1 minute ago, Bloo said:

In my opinion, the problem arises from leaving the coolant in too long.

 

Yep. Acids gradually form in the coolant. After two or three years the anti-corrosive additives are used up from holding the decreasing pH at bay.

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Here is an interesting question, what do you do with the old antifreeze? Do auto stores recycle it? Pour it down the drain ( I can't because I have a septic system)? Pour it in the creek behind the house (does not seem eco-friendly and will probably destroy aquatic life)? Dig a hole and bury it? Take it to town and put it down someone else's drain? How does one dispose of used antifreeze in the US, especially a very backwards mid-western state like Indiana?  

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Ken, I suggest you Google "how to dispose of antifreeze in Indiana."  As you all might expect, in California we are REQUIRED to dispose of antifreeze (and used oil filters, gear oil, fluorescent tubes, and paint) at haz waste sites.  For over 20 years here, antifreeze sold here must have an added "bitterant" to make it unattractive to pets and children.  I believe it varies widely by state. 

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When putting water into the radiator, do you guys prefer distilled water or straight spigot water and how full of water do you run your radiator?

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Distilled is best when mixing with glycol as it minimizes any impurities.  RO is okay too. If you are using just water without any glycol, I would go with bottled drinking water and use an anti-corrosion additive like No-Rosion (what I use).

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45 minutes ago, Stude Light said:

Distilled is best when mixing with glycol as it minimizes any impurities.  RO is okay too. If you are using just water without any glycol, I would go with bottled drinking water and use an anti-corrosion additive like No-Rosion (what I use).

 

Where can one find glycol? I don't know if I'll use it, but I know I'll use some penncool 2000. 

 

How full do you get the radiator? I wouldn't think that you would fill it completely up to give it a little room to expand when heated up but possibly close. But I'm not sure that's why I'm asking. 

Edited by kclark (see edit history)

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By glycol, I'm referring to the various anti-freeze solutions on the market.  There is much written about the correct anti-freeze to use (even in this thread) so I won't repeat that info. The Pencool you mention is an anti corrosion additive like No-Rosion.  So use as much anti-freeze is needed to get the freezing protection required - say 50% of your cooling system capacity is antifreeze, add the Pencool (1 pint/4 gallons of system capacity - so you may not even use a pint) and top it off with distilled water.  If this is for your Dictator then I suggest leaving a couple of inches of space in your top radiator tank.  My radiator has a little shelf that is down a couple of inches - I fill to that shelf.  If you fill it full it will dump lots out as the engine warms up.

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1 hour ago, kclark said:

Where can one find glycol? I don't know if I'll use it, but I know I'll use some penncool 2000. 

"Glycol" here means Ethylene Glycol (EG) anti-freeze.  As I think I said earlier in the thread, a Penray chemist told me to use Pencool 2000 with NO anti-freeze (my climate), and Pencool 3000 with ANY amount of anti-freeze.

 

For my earlier unpressurized-system cars which consume a significant amount of coolant, I'll use distilled water for a complete coolant change, but don't hesitate to carry and add tap water (ours is very pure) as top-off.  Carried top-off water has had the initial dose of Pencool added (1 oz per gallon). I prefer to do an initial fill about 90% of capacity when the vehicle is cold, and top-off to 2-3 inches down on a fully warmed up engine, such as when putting the car away at the end of a tour or other substantial run. 

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Distilled water if you are planning on leaving it in there. You probably don't know whats in your tap water.

 

On the one car that I drain after every outing, I use tap water.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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When I first bought it, I found my '29 Cadillac foaming. I changed from a plain radiator cap to a goddess hood ornament and the goddess is simply bolted to a plain cap and the foam came out of the hole where they were bolted together. The ornament wasn't the cause of the foam, of course, it was simply letting the foam out whereas the plain cap did not. I had a foam problem, I just didn't know about it at the time. Peeking in there, it would foam up a bit. We did a head gasket test and they were fine and eventually decided that it was just a contaminant of some kind on the cooling system. A thorough flush and refill with fresh water and anti-freeze (about a 30% solution) seems to have eliminated the problem.

 

I know that's kind of a non-answer for you, but that's the only explanation we have for the problem. I eventually switched to permanent coolant from Evans Coolant and haven't had a problem since.

 

Also, don't over-fill. On the old cars, just fill it to the top of the tubes, not the top of the upper tank. It needs room to expand or else it'll puke out the overflow and foam up at the top.

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I lubed the pump shafts well with Texaco water pump grease. I used our well water which does not have any lime but does have a bit of iron and mixed 60/40 water to Tech 2000 EG antifreeze. My hydrometer says safe to -20 and it never gets that cold here. I also made a cap gasket out of cotton material so it fits snugly now. The weather has really cooled down but we drove many miles last weekend, temperature was in the low 60s when we started and fell into the 50s before arriving back home. We did not experience any foaming. 

 

I next plan to remove the thermostat and change it to the winter setting and perhaps block my louvers to force warmer air under the cabin since I don't have a heater. 

Edited by keninman (see edit history)

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