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Anti-Foam Agent in Radiator

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Posted (edited)

If you like reading here is a patent from February 12, 1935 for a antifoaming agent for antifreeze applications that mentions automobile radiators so the problem and the solution pre-dates me and I suppose most of you folks too. Now if I just knew what Montan wax was I could make my own. 

 

https://patents.google.com/patent/US2127490A/en

 

Steve 

Edited by stvaughn
Added comment (see edit history)

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No wonder my water jacket was so caked up with montan wax, lard, and castor oil. 

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Posted (edited)

I like Terry Wiegand's idea of thermal cleaning IF an engine is torn down to that level, but for engines running satisfactorily I prefer to attempt simple solutions (no pun intended) first.

 

Larry Schramm, I'm happy you're having excellent results with 50/50 Prestone.  Others have not, and my comments were directed to those in search of a fix and were not, I believe, couched as Universal Truths To Be Believed by All the Faithful.  There are many variables--cruising speeds, original core vs recore, even ethanol vs non-ethanol fuel, to mention just a few.

 

Last month I changed out all the coolant hoses on my 1930 Pierce after 9 years and 5.000 miles (I believe in changing all hoses periodically) and replaced the stocking filter which had absolutely minimal debris in it.  The old coolant itself and the visible portion of the top tank were sparkling clean.  This car has also been running on Pencool for that period.  I will indeed continue to use this product, with which I have no affiliation other than as a very satisfied customer.

 

On another car, my 1922 Paige, I had massive overheating problems which I hope have now been cured.  The car was refurbish-restored almost 50 years ago in Iowa, where I am told, there is an issue with lime and other naturally occurring contaminants in the water.  This was exacerbated by the previous owner's obsession with soluble oil for cooling systems--repeated chemical flushing resulted in much "slime" being caught in my stocking filter, and the soluble oil inhibits heat transfer.  I've also removed the core plugs in the head and have cleaned it out.  The radiator is vee-ed with herringbone fins as a prominent styling design feature, and a new core would cost as much as the car is worth.  I had the radiator tanked and it appeared to weigh a few pounds less when I picked it up!  We'll see--over the winter I will be reassembling after a valve job, and replacing the wiring harness.

Edited by Grimy
added 3rd paragraph (see edit history)
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I had severe foaming with EG coolant which turned out to be a cracked cylinder head at the rear two cylinder exhaust valve seats.  The coolant would virtually blow and bubble out of the overflow tube after a high speed run. After replacing the head I still had a bit of foaming with EG and the car would run cool until a sustained highway drive where the temperature would slowly rise up to over 200 deg.  This turned out to be a partially clogged radiator and after re-coring the radiator the foaming is totally gone. I use standard Prestone EG 50-50 and keep the radiator tank filled about 0.5-1" over the top of the tubes. I have yet to add coolant in two years and it runs 170-180 all the time. 

 

I think that EG coolants tend to foam if agitated enough and air injected into the system (cracked head leak) or a backup in the radiator causing agitation can cause foaming. If the cooling system was in factory new condition I am sure EG coolant would not foam.  To be safe and account for a not so perfect system condition pressurizing the system to 7lb. should suppress any slight tendency to foam. This can be done by removing the metal overflow tube and soldering the opening closed, then changing the filler inlet to a pressure type with a built-in overflow tube port.  A rubber tube can be run from the port down the original overflow tube clips.  I plan to do this soon.

 

As an aside, for every pound of pressure, the boiling point of the coolant will rise by about 2 degrees. A 50-50 mix of EG will boil at about 226 degrees at sea level pressure so with a 7lb. cap the boiling point will be 240 degrees.  This gives a nice margin of safety.


Steve D  

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This is a very old thread.... 

One more thing to consider is a restriction on the suction side of the pump that causes cavitation & results in foaming.. 

The restriction can be caused by corrosion in the engine block, but is more often due to a collapsed hose. 

New hoses usually have a spring shaped wire inside to prevent this.

 

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Please forgive my ignorance here, but, what in the world is this EG coolant that is being talked about?

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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I bet the radiator hoses don't last very long with water/denatured EtOH mix, I know that stuff eats rubber.

 

EtOH meaning...….Et means ethyl and OH is the alcohol symbol, all alcohols end with OH, the symbols for oxygen and hydrogen

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I have had the foaming over experience with my 1929 Buick. I ran coolant at different levels to no avail. I did notice when the engine was running at fast idle how violently the water was circulating inside the radiator. The factory thermostat had been eliminated years ago. I added an inline thermostat from restoration supply to the upper radiator hose. Immediately no more foaming over at road speed. The best I can tell the system needs a restricted , controlled flow to prevent aeration of the coolant.

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1 hour ago, Morgan Wright said:

Scratch Mac's 1300 Anti-rust...…………….it foams!

 

Not in my REO.

 

I’ve been following this thread with interest. I got my 32 REO sedan drivable this spring and I’ve put almost a thousand miles on it with distilled water in the radiator while I worked out the bugs. Friday I changed over to NAPA green EG and a bottle of Mac’s 1300 anti rust. I’m happy to report absolutely no foaming issues whatsoever in 70+ miles of driving, some of it pushing the REO harder than I really want to. (55 mph). 

 

YMMV, Steve 

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1 hour ago, stvaughn said:

 

Not in my REO.

 

I’ve been following this thread with interest. I got my 32 REO sedan drivable this spring and I’ve put almost a thousand miles on it with distilled water in the radiator while I worked out the bugs. Friday I changed over to NAPA green EG and a bottle of Mac’s 1300 anti rust. I’m happy to report absolutely no foaming issues whatsoever in 70+ miles of driving, some of it pushing the REO harder than I really want to. (55 mph). 

 

YMMV, Steve 

 

What sort of water pump do Reo's have?

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Foaming is caused by air being drawn in by the pump seal/packing. Easy quick fix, drain the system of antifreeze and flush with clean water. Add 4 oz of cutting oil from a machine shop. It’s water soluble and will not foam. It will prevent rust, and if the car overflows it washes off with a hose. Just don’t leave it in if you live in areas that freeze. 

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1 hour ago, Morgan Wright said:

 

What sort of water pump do Reo's have?

It’s a fairly common design for later cars. If I’m not mistaken yours is a different design. Mine mounts on the front of the engine and is belt driven from the crankshaft and has been rebuilt with a ceramic seal so no leaks. This picture is before it was rebuilt. 

 

A301757F-4369-4A91-A633-5B09244D4A80.thumb.jpeg.d5f7d24cd0847c1a8673401189993fc3.jpeg

 

 

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

Foaming is caused by air being drawn in by the pump seal/packing. Easy quick fix, drain the system of antifreeze and flush with clean water. Add 4 oz of cutting oil from a machine shop. It’s water soluble and will not foam. It will prevent rust, and if the car overflows it washes off with a hose. Just don’t leave it in if you live in areas that freeze. 

 

What brand(s) have you used that work?

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Posted (edited)

Just go to a local machine shop and ask for cutting oil. Or order some from Napa or Amazon. I have always borrowed it from local shops, so I have no idea as to brand. Just be sure it’s water soluble cutting oil. I have a water bottle full in the cabinet here. When I moved south, I asked for the nearest local machine shop. Introduced myself, and pick up the oil at the same time.

 

PS- be sure it’s cutting OIL not fluid.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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17 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

 

PS- be sure it’s cutting OIL not fluid.

 

All the ones that say water soluble say cutting fluid and the ones that say cutting oil don't way water soluble. And how do I know which one in an anti-rust?

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Posted (edited)

Petroleum based oil will prevent rust. 

 

Looking at it, looks like 10/40

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, edinmass said:

Just go to a local machine shop and ask for cutting oil.

 

Are you taking about the oil concentrate with an emulsifier that is mixed with water to use as a cooling fluid for a milling machine?  Or, the lubricating oil that would be used when drilling a large hole with a drill press?  As a retired machinist when you say "cutting oil" I think of the latter.

 

 

 

Edited by Ronnie (see edit history)

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Morgan, why not try some of that Rug Doctor anti-foam just to see what happens? If it works, it’s an easy solution. 

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The stuff I refer to as cutting oil is used on lathes and Bridgeport's too cool and lubricate the cutting tool. It stays suspended in water, and turns the water white........like diluted milk. Works great, won't stain you driveway or floor when leaking, doesn't foam, ad keeps seals working without problems while preventing rust. It's a win-win, as long as you car can't freeze. On a CCCA cross country Caravan back in 1995, a newly restored 1932 V-12 Cadillac was pushing out water by the overflow and kept overheating. I inspected it, and instead of pulling the car apart the day before the tour left, we did the drain and fill with water. Drove to a machine shop, added the oil and drove away. The car did well over 4000 miles without adding any more water. It's best to replace water pump packings with modern seals or a ceramic seal if possible. I'm a purist, but NONE of my cars have packings in them. Packing will always leak sooner or later, and at a hard to predict rate. I like to keep the garage and trailer floor dry, and don't like last minute leaks before or while on tour. A water pump with packing can and often will run trouble free for years, until it doesn't. My 36 Pierce has all over 20K on the ceramic seal I installed back in 1992......hard to believe its been that long. The car does not leak.

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