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Waterless coolant experience


Matt Harwood
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Matt

I've reposted this thread on waterless coolant because the original was deleted. Matt, your post came up first. I hope you don't mind that it looks like you started this thread, but I'm interested in knowing more about it. If you object, I will just start a whole new thread, but I didn't want to see some of this information go to waste.

West

Matt's initial post:

I did a lot of reading about the waterless coolants and am interested in using it myself. I think it's ideal for our cars that are stored for long periods.

From what I've read, the engines may run warmer ... but the stuff doesn't boil over... I read all the theory on the stuff, and it does say that while the overall temperature may go up, the actual amount of cooling being done to vital parts is greater. Basically, more heat is being transferred to the coolant than we're used to, therefore, it gets hotter. But since it has the capacity to hold that heat without boiling, there isn't a problem.

The temperatures we see with water/anti-freeze are the coolant temperature, and from the physics of the coolant itself, it seems that the waterless has more surface area contact with the hot metal, therefore it will absorb more heat, which is reflected in slightly higher operating temperatures. But does this count as overheating? I don't know, but I don't think so. We need to examine what we're worried about--an arbitrary number on a gauge or the actual boiling of the coolant where it has lost its ability to absorb any more heat and the efficiency of the system is reduced? If the coolant isn't boiling, it can continue to absorb heat until the radiator can no longer reject it, and even on old cars, the radiators can remove A LOT of heat. The point that the waterless coolant guys are making is that the margin between operating temperature and failure with water/anti-freeze is very slim, on the order of 15-20 degrees. That's not much of a cushion. The waterless stuff continues to work at 350 degrees, probably 100 degrees hotter than any car can possible make the coolant. So we need to look at how we define overheating in our cars and why it is or isn't dangerous. As far as physics goes, no boiling = working as intended, even at slightly elevated temperatures.

There isn't a specific temperature at which the metal parts in our engines will fail, at least, it isn't in the 200-240 degree range. The temperatures we fear seeing on our gauges and in theory are strictly a result of water's boiling point, nothing else. The engine will probably run happily at hotter temperatures and may in fact run better. The only issues might be vapor lock, but I suspect that the actual temperature of the working parts is close to the same, if not lower, with the waterless coolant.

Gil, what aluminum bits gave you that blister? Even at 130 degrees, metal will damage flesh, so I don't know that this was a result of the coolant--it probably would have been that hot no matter what, yes? And you also switched to a vastly more efficient radiator--that's far more likely than the coolant as credit for your cooling system's improved efficiency (or previous lack thereof).

I have no dog in this fight, but I would consider using the stuff if it works as advertised. The theory seems sound. I'm just wondering if we're used to seeing one number on the gauge and call anything above that "overheating." I guess it depends on how we define "overheating" (which I take to mean boiling). We all like to see nice cool numbers on the temperature gauge, but why? Because it gives us more room and we don't need to worry about overheating, right? It's not the actual temperature of the engine we're worried about, it's the boiling point of the coolant and knowing that it becomes a major PITA at that point. Think about it.

The waterless stuff boils at 368 degrees--there's just no way a Silver Ghost can get coolant that hot unless something is seriously amiss somewhere else--even oil starts to fail at around 270 degrees. I don't know that I would blame the coolant for that, but then again, I wasn't there so who knows?

Anecdotal stories about "it seemed hotter" aside, does anyone have direct experience? I'm very interested, but it seems most of our hobby-side stories are rumors and "I knew a guy who..." kinds of things and warnings about dire consequences. Like I said, the theory is sound, the math works, but everyone seems scared of it the same way we were afraid of taking the lead out of the gas...

Edited by West Peterson
Matt didn't start the thread. I've returned much of the information that was deleted. (see edit history)
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If you are referring to the coolant called Evans, it is a wonderful product and I have been using in in my personal cars for years ranging from a 1912 Model T to a 1927 Rolls Royce PhantomI. The Evans waterless coolant product has been used by people in the racecar business for decades but got discovered by vintage car enthusiasts about 15 years ago when many of the Great Race drivers started using it in their cars.

There are many advantages to it, the main one being that if you have a combination engine (iron block, aluminum head, copper gasket), the Evans will prevent the chemical reaction corrosion that occurs when these metals are mixed. Also, Evans will not decay aluminum as water and water and traditional antifreeze will. When it is cold, Evans flows slowly as it is thicker, so, in essence, it is acting like a thermostat and keeps the engine warm when it is cold. As the engine warms up, the Evans coolant gets thinner and flows easier. I have never had a problem with this product causing any of my vehicles to overheat. Keep in mind that most overheating is caused by other problems-and in reality has nothing to do with whatever you are using for coolant. If you have blocked passages,radiator fins that are beginning to separate from tubes, clogged blocks, leaky headgaskets, improper timing or lean carburetion, no coolant in the world is made to or will prevent your car from overheating. Coolants are not made to be a bandaid. Evans does have a much higher boiling point and will keep your car from overheating in extreme condition, higher elevations, etc. I have toured my Rolls Royce in 100-plus degree weather at high speeds for prolonged time and have never had a temperature spike.

The other advantage of Evans is that if it does leak into the crankcase of you older engine, it will not attack the babbitt bearings as traditional antifreeze will.

As stated in another post, Evans can not be mixed with other coolants, so if your car leaks, boils over, blows water out of the overflow on a regular basis, this is not the product for you-especially at 35.00 a gallon.

Overall, for protection, increased drivability and better cooling, I would highly recommend the Evans product line. Especially for pre-WWII cars.

Just my thoughts....

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  • 1 month later...
I have not used waterless coolant yet. I am thinking about it. I sure would not use it without a working temperature gauge, though, because you will not get the boil-over warning that you are running too hot, like you will with water.

From what I'm reading, I think that's the point of the waterless--it DOESN'T boil over. It just keeps working so you don't run the risk of boiling and losing coolant. In addition, when water boils, it cannot absorb ANY more heat, that's it, it cannot accept more. Go ahead and boil water on your stove, it'll go to 212 but no higher no matter how big a fire you put under it. The waterless coolant will keep absorbing heat, keep feeding it through the radiator where it will keep rejecting heat. No boiling, which also means no vapor pockets that can't absorb any heat, so the cycle of cooling can continue even at elevated temperatures. That's the theory anyway.

I'm inclined to agree that your car will likely show hotter temperatures on the gauge, but again, it's probably more a problem of recalibrating what we, as enthusiasts, think of as "overheating" versus actual damage occurring internally. The theory is that the coolant is removing more heat from the metal, which is a good thing, but it is manifested as more heat in the coolant (no duh). The important parts--the block and internals, may actually end up running cooler despite the warmer coolant. However, this is merely what the theory says.

I'd also argue that if your car is getting that hot, regardless of what coolant is in it, there's something very wrong that has nothing to do with the fluid itself. A healthy cooling system may run warmer with waterless, but there should be no other problems just because of the coolant.

Again, I have no dog in this fight other than having read the information. With that in mind, I am going to pony up and put this stuff in my '29 Cadillac and will drive it this summer and report on my findings. I don't have it back yet from the overdrive installation, but once it's sorted and running properly, I'll invest in the coolant and let everyone know how it goes. As I said, I think the theory is sound, and I'll put my money where my mouth is and see what happens. I think the Cadillac is a good test subject--big radiator, but ancient technology in the cooling system, and I am most definitely going to drive it regularly.

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Guest maudsley

Quite a discussion going on here. I have no comment and will not stir this nest any further. I will say, however, that it is my experience that even if you drain your radiator (flush) and fill with new stuff, all the crud in the head passages and the block as well are much more built up than you could ever have imagined. Especially on a un rebuilt pre war engine. Not to mention that an old radiator that might only be working( or perking) at 70-80%. Wish I took some pictures of what comes out, but you could spread it on toast no problem. So anything added that is thick,is potentially dangerous if you do not have proper circulation.

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Guest Steve Hughes

It has been a while since I have visited the AACA forum, so had not come across this thread until now. I am an EVANS waterless coolant dealer (full disclosure) so I thought I should try to address some of the issues under discussion.

First, waterless coolant is not a panacea. If your cooling system is not working properly the EVANS coolant is not going to fix things. If, however, you do have a cooling system in good operating condition then there are advantages to it's use. Matt Harwood and motoringicons have obviously done their homework and have covered many of the advantages. Yes, the waterless coolant does boil at a much higher temperature. (Around 375° F) so you do not get pockets of vapor creating hot spots on the cylinder walls, and it will continue to carry the heat to the radiator even if the system is running hotter than you can with a 50/50 antifreeze mix or water.

The waterless coolant also is far better at corrosion prevention. Since there is no water there is no rust formation. The EVANS is non-conductive so there is also no chemical reaction caused by electrolysis between dis-similar metals. It is a lifetime coolant. The NPG-R formulation is rated at 5 years at this time only because the testing done is not sufficient as yet to call it lifetime. That should occur in the near future.

West, to address your question as to pressurized systems. I don't know where that mis-information came from. Probably just a mis-understanding of the facts. The EVANS coolant does not "require" a pressurized system. The reason to pressurize a system with water or antifreeze mixture is to raise the boiling point. Since the EVANS boiling point is already at 375° there is no need for the pressurization. Also since the coolant does not boil in the system, it will not build up the pressure that antifreeze will, so even in a system with a 13 or 15 lb. pressure cap it will probably not be running more than 3 or 4 lb. of pressure.

I am running it in my collector cars. I use the NPG-R formula in my cars with thermo-syphon systems (no water pump) because it is thinner and flows easier in the radiator. I don't drive these cars in very cold weather anyway. I use the NPG+ in my cars with a water pump. I have had no overheating problems with any of them. The only problem that I have had is with my 1911 Oakland and that is that the EVANS seems to seep past the packing on the waterpump easier than the antifreeze so it does drip.

If any of you want further information or have questions then send me a PM and I will try to help. Thank you.

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Guest dannirr

This is useful information.

I have a 3 litre Bentley (1925) - they all have marginal cooling systems from new, and later models increased the radiator size and added a fan. Mine has a modern accesory electric fan. Remember - in England very few really hot days so that was not a really huge problem for them - but here in the Southern US - another story.

The car runs at 90 degrees C (195 F roughly) almost all the time in summer. I use water with water wetter in the rad. I am thinking of using Evans as, like Matt, it seems to em that a higher coolant temperature might simply indicate more heat is being removed from the engine. The car will occasionally boil over after stopping.

So, Matt - have you now tried it? Thoughts?

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  • 1 year later...
Guest JWPATE

This thread is quite old now, but I came upon it through the search. Don't wish to rehash what, to some members, may be outdated information, but a number of interesting questions were raised by the various postings, without ever being answered.

Perhaps, now several years later, some members of the group have gained more experience with the subject of "waterless" coolants, particularly in our older engines.

While the subject is quite interesting, todays visit to the EVANS web site didn't provide much satisfaction. I read through just about all of it, I believe, and clearly caught a strong odor of snake-oil throughout. Exaggerated claims of the benefits of the Evans products is to be expected I suppose, but such themes as "3-9 per cent improvements in fuel milage" and "more efficient heat transfer than water" only serve to reduce my interest. Maybe it is just me, but I get visions of some mountebank in a pinch-back suit.

Couldn't find anywhere on the site, just what the produce is, but it seems to be a propylene glycol offered in a couple of different viscosities and without any of the normal additives found in anti-freeze blends. Is this about right? If so, it would seem to me that the greatest advantage to using it would lie in the much higher boiling point of 375 F. This would eliminate any hot-spot boiling and vapor-pockets in our old engines. Mine in particular, the early post-war Rolls-Royce engines, were poorly designed indeed, where the coolant flow is concerned. While the "waterless" coolant would never equal water in heat transfer at moderate temperatures, it very certainly would shine compared to the heat-transfer capacity of steam. In that regard, it just might be worth the extra degrees of engine operating temperature resulting from straight propylene glycol in exchange for a more even temperature throughout the coolant chamber. The question is, just how many degrees higher does the engine run with no water in the mix?

Perhaps someone has now been running on Evans coolants for enough years now to share your experiences with the rest of us.

James

In spite of the lack of information

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I know very little about this product, having just learned of its existence. From what little I have learned, I thought for classic car folk the main advantage was no corrosion, as opposed to the higher boiling point?

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Guest JWPATE
I know very little about this product, having just learned of its existence. From what little I have learned, I thought for classic car folk the main advantage was no corrosion, as opposed to the higher boiling point?

Well, yes one of the advantages of the product is the fact that, without water, there is no need for anti-corrosion additives. Such additives, however effective they may be, do break down over time, leading to a requirement to drain and replace every couple of years.

It is the primary function of the coolant that seems to me more important, and it is the claim of "greater heat transfer" that first sent the fraud alert flags up in my own mind. It has always been my understanding that the fluid which can best satisfy that primary job of heat transfer is water. It does have its limitations, such as the corrosion issue, relative high surface tension, relatively high freezing point and relatively low boiling point. Still it is the standard for specific heat, or the ability to absorb heat. In that regard it is rated at 1.0 while the various glycol formulations are all less than .6. In other words, water is not only better than glycol at transferring heat - WATER IS ROUGHLY TWICE AS GOOD. That is why, without considering all the many other factors, the statement that straight glycol as a coolant will provide "greater heat transfer" is clearly absurd.

Should I remove every drop of water from my cooling system and then fill it with Evans "waterless" coolant, I would start out fully aware that the engine will now be operating at a higher temperature. The question is - how much hotter? And the answer is starting to emerge after a little searching. The increase is too much for me. Far, far too much for any further interest in this product. I could expect the cylinder head temperature to increase on the order of 125 F, and the coolant temperature to run 25-35 F hotter as well. Everything in the engine will be hotter, with the oil temp. also running, say, 25 F above what it does now. No thanks - I am out.

Before deciding to use any straight glycol in your coolant system, I believe it would be well to read the following link.

No-Rosion Products Technical Questions and Answers

True, this testing was accomplished by a company with their own product to sell, and at the other end of the scale - that of straight water with their additives to address the anti-corrosion issue. That notwithstanding, there is at least some serious testing here, with real numbers instead of such comments as "oh, it may run a little warmer".

For me, the exercise is over.

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Anecdotal evidence isn't worth much I know. Friend of mine regularly drove his '21 Silver Ghost 5000 miles or so a year in all weather conditions. A retired Physics teacher he became interested in the Evans System and replaced the coolant in the Rolls following the directions to the letter. The first chance to drive the car with the new coolant was a 100 mile run in hot weather. The car had been trailered here to use in my Son's wedding and the owner intended to drive the car home that afternoon in high 80's temps. Took him more than 4 hours to make the trip. The waterless coolant "boiled" over several times requiring lengthy stops to cool off. He replaced the waterless with the same water/antifreeze mixture he used previously and has not had a problem since. Your results may vary. My suspicion is that it is problematic in non pressurized systems.

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Evans claim of more heat transfer is probably due to the coolant running at a higher temperature. The greater the differential, the more heat is transferred. Their claim of more engine efficiency comes from the engine running hotter. One of the reasons cooling systems became pressurized is so they could run at a higher temp and thus were more efficient. Knowing what you went through with your carburetors I would think that you don't want any more heat regardless of whether your engine runs more efficiently. I would think that in your situation, it would be better to stick with regular antifreeze.

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Guest JWPATE
Anecdotal evidence isn't worth much I know. Friend of mine regularly drove his '21 Silver Ghost 5000 miles or so a year in all weather conditions. A retired Physics teacher he became interested in the Evans System and replaced the coolant in the Rolls following the directions to the letter. The first chance to drive the car with the new coolant was a 100 mile run in hot weather. The car had been trailered here to use in my Son's wedding and the owner intended to drive the car home that afternoon in high 80's temps. Took him more than 4 hours to make the trip. The waterless coolant "boiled" over several times requiring lengthy stops to cool off. He replaced the waterless with the same water/antifreeze mixture he used previously and has not had a problem since. Your results may vary. My suspicion is that it is problematic in non pressurized systems.

Thank you for passing along that story, and it would seem to conform with the test results by the No-Rosion team.

I cannot know just what your friend referred to when stating that the "waterless coolant boiled over several times", for strictly speaking that just would not have been possible. Whatever he experienced that day, we may be absolutely certain that the Evans waterless coolant did not reach 375 F and actually boil over. The old six cylinder engine would have given up the "Ghost" long before. It simply could never have produced the heat energy to boil the glycol mix.

Most probably, what he intended by that remark was to say the temperature gauge was pegged out in the hot zone. It would not be uncommon for an owner to refer to that condition as "boiling over". Or, he could have actually seen steam, but that would have simply been from the old coolant which was still in the system. Getting it all out before filling with glycol is, of course, a part of the instructions for conversion. In practice it would prove to be a difficult task indeed!

Whichever it was, he did exactly what I would have done, and refused to operate his valuable engine at those elevated temperatures. Would be interesting to know exactly what the temps were. If memory is right, those old Ghost gauges were in centigrade, and probably pegged out at 100 or so.

I am happy that he was able to get the stuff out of his Ghost without further problems. I expect there may have been some strong language along his way home though.

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Guest JWPATE
Evans claim of more heat transfer is probably due to the coolant running at a higher temperature. The greater the differential, the more heat is transferred. Their claim of more engine efficiency comes from the engine running hotter. One of the reasons cooling systems became pressurized is so they could run at a higher temp and thus were more efficient. Knowing what you went through with your carburetors I would think that you don't want any more heat regardless of whether your engine runs more efficiently. I would think that in your situation, it would be better to stick with regular antifreeze.

Oh yes, if the temperatures we are operating at are above 250 F or so, then we are no longer comparing glycol with water, but with steam. There is no temperature I know of where Evans waterless coolant will provide more heat transfer than water. It will only be roughly half as effective as water, throughout the heat range.

Now, if the claim were worded "waterless coolant will provide superior heat transfer to steam", then it would certainly be accurate.

As to my own situation, I became aware of the Evans products when seeing them in a restoration supply catalog I use. Upon looking through their web site I noted the claim that using their product would result in only slightly warmer operating temperatures in most engines - on the order of less than 5 degrees. That just didn't seem to make sense, and lead me to look into the matter further, asking other members for experience with it. The claim still doesn't make sense, and I believe it is not being unfair to call it nonsense.

On the other thread you refer to, I was dealing with modern fuel vaporization problems. I must not have been clear about it, but the SU carbs on that old Bentley have never been a problem. I check them each year at the annual service, and nine years out of ten they need nothing more than cleaning and topping the damper oil up.

The fuel vaporization after hot weather shutdown did take some experimenting, but I believe it is under control now with just the vapor return to tank. Still testing it, but it looks good so far. Thanks for your interest in it, and you are most certainly correct in pointing out my need for cooler running temperatures - certainly not hotter!

Evans waterless coolant may be an advantage to some special cases, but it is most definitely not in my future plans.

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JW,

Sorry about mentioning your carbs. I just remembered it had to do with your fuel system and fuel vaporization. You misunderstand what I am saying about heat transfer. Given equal temperature, water certainly is better at transferring heat. At higher temps where water would be boiling and not transferring heat, Evans would be more efficient. At 250 degrees Evans is still working. Heat transfer is going to depend on a temperature differential. At 250 degrees coolant temperature and say 130 degree underhood temp the Evans is transferring more heat than water at say 205 degrees and 130 degree underhood temps. 120 degrees differential as opposed to 75. Generally the Evans will transfer as much heat as water but will need a higher temp to reach the same equilibrium. I rather agree with your last statement that Evans may be useful in certain cases but not in yours. I actually have used Evans with no problems except that if you have any kind of leaks at all it gets terribly expensive. It is not that muchtrouble to change your coolant every couple of years.

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Guest prs519

Hmmm, another interesting and rather deep post! As I recall Newton's law of cooling says that the rate of change of temperature between

systems is proportional to the difference in temperatures of the systems. It seems conceivable, then, that because of the higher radiator

versus air temperatures, that the transfer capabilities of the higher temp product might be enough to offset its poorer (than water) heat

capacity. Not sure how one would set up this problem with a mathematical model.

Edited by prs519
split sentences (see edit history)
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Yes, obviously I used a poor choice of words, it could not have "boiled" over. Let's say the vehicle "failed to proceed", quite possibly due to the extreme engine heat causing fatal vapor lock brought on by the poor heat transfer of waterless coolant at lower temps. In modern diesel engines such as my Dodge Ram cavitation of the coolant in contact with the cylinder walls due to extreme localized temperatures can be a real concern, in some cases causing actual spalling away of the cast iron of the block if the correct coolant mixture is not used.

Thank you for passing along that story, and it would seem to conform with the test results by the No-Rosion team.

I cannot know just what your friend referred to when stating that the "waterless coolant boiled over several times", for strictly speaking that just would not have been possible. Whatever he experienced that day, we may be absolutely certain that the Evans waterless coolant did not reach 375 F and actually boil over. The old six cylinder engine would have given up the "Ghost" long before. It simply could never have produced the heat energy to boil the glycol mix.

Most probably, what he intended by that remark was to say the temperature gauge was pegged out in the hot zone. It would not be uncommon for an owner to refer to that condition as "boiling over". Or, he could have actually seen steam, but that would have simply been from the old coolant which was still in the system. Getting it all out before filling with glycol is, of course, a part of the instructions for conversion. In practice it would prove to be a difficult task indeed!

Whichever it was, he did exactly what I would have done, and refused to operate his valuable engine at those elevated temperatures. Would be interesting to know exactly what the temps were. If memory is right, those old Ghost gauges were in centigrade, and probably pegged out at 100 or so.

I am happy that he was able to get the stuff out of his Ghost without further problems. I expect there may have been some strong language along his way home though.

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Guest JWPATE
JW,

Sorry about mentioning your carbs. I just remembered it had to do with your fuel system and fuel vaporization. You misunderstand what I am saying about heat transfer. Given equal temperature, water certainly is better at transferring heat. At higher temps where water would be boiling and not transferring heat, Evans would be more efficient. At 250 degrees Evans is still working. Heat transfer is going to depend on a temperature differential. At 250 degrees coolant temperature and say 130 degree underhood temp the Evans is transferring more heat than water at say 205 degrees and 130 degree underhood temps. 120 degrees differential as opposed to 75. Generally the Evans will transfer as much heat as water but will need a higher temp to reach the same equilibrium. I rather agree with your last statement that Evans may be useful in certain cases but not in yours. I actually have used Evans with no problems except that if you have any kind of leaks at all it gets terribly expensive. It is not that muchtrouble to change your coolant every couple of years.

No, again I cannot agree with several of your statements above. To say that "generally the Evans coolant will transfer as much heat as water but will need a higher temp to reach the same equilibrium" is simply not accurate. Water will ALWAYS transfer roughly twice the heat of the glycol mixture, and at any and all temperatures, so long as it is still water and not steam. That is the meaning of specific heat capacity, and water is 1.0 on the scale at every temperature it can exist in.

What you are generally expressing in the above post, is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and I most certainly will not argue that point. Heat will always transfer from a hotter medium to a cooler medium, and the rate of transfer will most certainly increase with increasing heat differentials. That is equally true, whether we are dealing with water, with the Evans product or anything else we may pour into the coolant system.

For that matter, why not fill the system with a light weight engine oil? Or better yet, lets suppose I drain out the water mix, and fill up with four and a half gallons of Marvel Mystery Oil (MMO). What do you suppose would be the result? After all, Porsche most certainly did use engine oil to assist the cooling of their air-cooled models, complete with thermostat, radiator and electric fan. Actually, I don't have an accurate figure for the specific heat capacity of MMO, but for most light oils it runs about 50%. That is only roughly ten percent less than the Evans waterless coolant. If I should fill up with MMO we would be happy to find zero complaint of corrosion problems, and our engine/radiator internals would be spotless. The MMO would never boil over. We could expect extended water pump life from the lubrication provided, and we would enjoy even higher operating temperatures and a correspondingly greater spread between coolant temperature and under-hood temperatures. Whats not to like?

More I think about it, what say we start out by getting a truckload price on the stuff, put new labels on it, say, NickleRoadster Mystery Coolant, and take out a booth in the next auto-show?

Seriously, the very same thing is wrong with NickleRoadster Mystery Coolant that is wrong with Evans Waterless Coolant, only the MMO is about ten percent worse than the glycol mix. In both cases we are messing about with a fluid which has half the cooling capacity of water. All the advantages listed above are quickly wiped out when we consider how long our engines can be expected to operate at such extreme temperatures. And THAT is the reason why such mixtures are not already being used by the auto manufactures. It is not the worry about possible vapor lock from higher under-hood temps which could concern us, but rather the very real and logical consequence of operating our old engines at elevated temperatures. Think burnt exhaust valves, pre-ignition, ruined pistons and the like.

Now on the notion that "our old cars will actually run better if they are operated at higher temperatures". Well some can believe that if they wish to, but please don't be offended to learn that some among us cannot share that belief. Yes, it is true that modern cars run at higher operating temperatures, but that trend came right alongside the EPA regulations, especially starting with the 1984 model year. With the closed crankcase ventilation, exhaust gas after-burning in catalytic converters, that year, and later exhaust gas recirculation, and so forth, auto engines have increasingly been required to conform to, among other things, higher operating temperatures. To meet the requirements without boiling over at the radiator, the coolant boiling point has been increased by engineering cooling systems capable of operating at higher pressures. Now at about 16 psi, boiling over is not a common problem. The higher operating temperatures of today though, are a result of EPA regulations which have no direct relation to our discussions of what is best for the old cars. It is principally pre-EPA cars and engines that make up the kinds of interests, to which this site is dedicated.

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I think that you are still misunderstanding my statements. In general, an internal combustion engine will be more efficient at higher temps than most of our old cars run at. This is theoretical and rather general. In practice it is only true up to a point. In addition most cars were not designed with this in mind so it in no way means that we should try to run the cars at a higher temp. For the first thirty years or so cars did not have thermostats and were often only marginal at cooling. Sometimes we can put a thermostat in an old car and it improves the operation. Other times it doesn't work very well because the cooling system has all it can handle running full time. The lack of a thermostat provided poor regulation of the temperature. One day the car might get too hot , the next day not hot enough leading to deposits and combustion products in the oil. When cars were designed with thermostats, they began to be designed with higher capacity cooling systems that were only operational intermittently. This provided a more stable temperature and better running. They began to use pressurized cooling systems long before there were any pollution regulations. This was because engines were more efficient running at higher temperatures and with a greater differential, more heat could be shed. You are correct that EPA made the cars run hotter but that was several years later. Cars also run more efficiently with a compression ratio of ten to one than they do at four to one. This does not mean that we should change all our old cars to a ten to one compression ratio. The real world has many other things that effect how we do things.

I will still maintain that the Evans can transfer as much heat as water, it only needs a higher temperature to do it. Water is more efficient at transferring heat and will reach equilibrium (where heat produced equals heat lost) at a lower temperature than the Evans. Evans will reach equilibrium at a higher temp but unless it is really overwhelmed, will transfer just as much heat as water. If it did not then the system would keep retaining heat until the engine quit.

I think that we basically agree that due to the characteristics of Evans, water is a better choice for you. You might even be better running water with just anticorrosion additive rather than a fifty-fifty water antifreeze mixture.

I have enjoyed the discussion.

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  • 5 years later...

An old thread that I'm pushing to the top.    I'm wondering what guys are running in their prewar engines?    I'm seeing corrosion issues (especially on the aluminum parts) with traditional antifreeze.     I'm looking for thoughts on the following:

 

1.  Traditional anti-freeze, diluted with water.   How diluted?

 

2.  Straight water and alcohol.

 

3.  Evans

 

4.  Purple Ice

 

5.  Corrosion additives with any of the above?   Suggestions?

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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I guess I never came back to this topic with a follow-up. I did put Evans Coolant in my '29 Cadillac and have had it in there for about four years now. It seems to run insignificantly hotter on the gauge but not beyond any of the norms I've seen driving it over the past 10 years and 10,000 miles. It used to run at 155-160 all the time, now it runs at maybe 160-165 all the time. Negligible and so slight that it's hard to say whether it's due to any single factor. I will note that on one particularly miserable hot day when I was driving in heavy traffic and seemed to miss every traffic light, it started to stutter and stall, but that was a fuel problem and the carburetor was just getting cooked by the exhaust--the gauge never showed more than 190. It has not misbehaved since then, so I attribute it solely to that very hot day and a bad confluence of traffic conditions, not the coolant failing to do an adequate job. That was perhaps two years ago.

 

I run a 60/40 mix of water/antifreeze in my '41 Limited and it, too, runs ice cold--about 170 even on the hottest days. That car's radiator seeps a little at the top tank and the water pump is a little noisy. I have replacements for both but it runs so danged well and stays so cool that I'm kind of unwilling to change anything. We'll see how this year's driving season works.

 

In summary, I think the Evans Coolant works as advertised. I like that it never wears out, it doesn't corrode anything, and it has a very low freezing point and a very high boiling point. However, I'll admit that I've never really needed those advantages, either. The car is stored in a heated facility and it runs ice cold under most circumstances so boil-overs don't happen no matter what's in there. However, the fact that the coolant never needs to be changed and doesn't hurt the various metals inside is a pretty nice perk. It's expensive, but I still have about a half-gallon left over for the '29 and it hasn't needed more than a few splashes now and then to top it off over the past 4 years, so it's not like I'm going through a lot of it in normal use. Since that car's cooling system is in good health, it was probably a good choice and has eliminated coolant from the list of things I need to fret about on a car that sits a lot. Did I see enough of a change or advantage to want to put it in all my other cars? Meh, I don't know. If I ultimately change the water pump and radiator on the Limited, maybe I'll put it in just to eliminate the maintenance issues.

 

I'm convinced that Evans Coolant is a good product, but I'm not evangelical about it. Does that help?

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I run Evans in my old cars, have done for years. Most of the peripheral benefits of using it have been covered here. My understanding is that its not the water boiling that damages an engine its the steam pockets this creates at much higher temperatures than 212F, as coolant is lost. The much higher boiling point of Evans avoids this issue.

 

I had a real world experience of this with my XK120 Jaguar. As we know, cooling in these is marginal. I had Evans in it and got stuck in traffic before I fitted an auxiliary electric fan (that became a mission in itself because the genny couldn’t cope). XK120s have a dual temp/oil pressure gauge. It got so hot the temp wound into the oil pressure quadrant, but it didn’t boil, so no coolant was lost and the engine didn’t stop and no damage. 

 

This was enough to convince me.

 

John

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Thanks for the responses.   I'll ask what the guys are using to clean the system.  This was done thoroughly when the car was restored 20 years ago,  and the fact that a pile of junk is coming out again makes me think the current 50/50 anti freeze mix is not helping, hence the questions.

 

I guess I'm open minded on the Evans,  has anyone used the Purple Ice?  Allegedly the guys in at the shop have had good luck with it.

 

http://www.royalpurple.com/product/purple-ice-cooling-system-optimizer/

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For cleaning, I took another forum member's advice and started using undiluted Evapo-Rust as coolant for a few weeks, then draining and flushing. Yes, remove water and antifreeze, replace with pure Evapo-Rust, then drive as usual. Use a ladies pantyhose sock as a filter in the upper hose(s) and you'll be amazed what comes out. Harmless to the internals of the engine and cooling system (unlike acid) but extremely effective. Same viscosity as water so flow isn't harmed. I don't know if it's a great coolant, but driving gently for a while to let it work is better than anything else I've ever tried and I haven't had a car overheat with it, so it seems to work fine to keep it cool. Not permanent, of course, but for a few weeks of start/run cycles it is more effective than anything else I've tried.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have driven on evapo rust as a coolant in a car for over 1000 miles, including a national tour. The car was an older restoration that had plain water left in it in a heated garage. The water was a pure red rust color, and looked like it has coco powder floating in it. The car was not over heating, but was pushing water out of the over flow tube, so as I would drive it, it ran hotter from lack of coolant. I flushed the thing five times, and only got marginal improvement, and the green anti freeze turned crap brown in fifteen minutes every time. Had a national tour to go on, and I wanted to take the car. Since I could carry enough extra water to add while driving and would only have to do it every fifty miles, I figured ok.........I will try the evapo rust and see what I get. Before the tour I put it in at full strength and ran the car twenty five miles. The yellow almost instantly turned pure black, a chemical reaction to the iron oxide in the system. The car was already running cooler on the gauge than before, and within 100 miles it totally stopped pushing coolant out the overflow. Obviously it was opening up the passages in the radiator. I did the tour, and left it in all summer. Finally I decided to drain it and take a look at the system before winter to add freeze protection. The entire system looked like it was shot blasted and a new casting. It really was that clean. I was stunned. Two years later I had a head crack, so we pulled it off to replace it. The entire block was spotless.......the only thing left in the water jackets were old sand casting rods that had been stuck in the engine when new and not removed. They rotted away, probably causing half the issues.........and after the evapo rust, just sat there looking like welding rods in the passages. Evapo rust will not help if you have organic junk in the system.......if a mouse makes a nest, your in trouble. I also have a new twist I use evapo rust for today. If I am going to pull a running and worn out engine to rebuild it, I do the treatment before I take it down. Yes, the rebuild will clean the block out fine, but this way, I get to use it to clean the radiator Ahead of time, making the flushing process on the car much easier and less likely to cause leaks when back flushing with pressure. Works like a charm. I have been able to take old radiators that were marginal after a regular back flush and get them back to 90 percent of when they were new. I love the stuff.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, Robert G. Smits said:

Ed and Matt thank you for the great tip.  I am forever amazed at the education one gets on this forum.  Bob Smits

 

You beat me to the thank you!

Yes, Matt and Ed, thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Of all the regular forum members here, I value you a lot,

knowing that your postings are usually going to

give some not-so-common insights.

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EvapoRust sells a product to clean rusty radiators called Thermocure. You can check it out online. 

Another old remedy that still works a "sal-soda" (which is Arm & Hammer washing soda) mixed with water, available at the big box stores. 

 

Phil

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A tip I learned from yet another forum member (thanks, Grimy) is to put a woman's pantyhose foot in the upper radiator hose to catch any trash that comes loose before it goes into the radiator. It's a decent filter and you can easily pull it out and clean it periodically while the Evapo-Rust is working. Even though the Evapo-Rust will eventually break down the rust particles too, this might be faster and a good way to catch non-ferrous stuff.

 

Good luck!

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Thanks for all of repIies I'm definitely going to buy some.Speaking of rust,I'm getting ready to epoxy primer the body on my old Buick. I've gotten as much old laquer primer off as I can but there are still some rust pits. I heard vinegar and water work well,what do you guys suggest? I know the epoxy is supposed to seal the rust from coming through,I just don't want it to pop up again later,Greg.

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You should probably start a new topic for that, but if there are pits there's still micro-rust in there that you have to kill. I use a product called Picklex-20, which not only neutralizes the micro-rust, but leaves a protective coating that will protect bare metal against flash rust. You are also supposed to be able to paint over it, but I usually do a pre-primer wipe down with my favorite solvent anyway. I sandblasted much of my '41 Century down to bare metal about 15 years ago and haven't touched it since--still no rust as long as it's inside.

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13 hours ago, c49er said:

If you have a small coolant leak with Evans product you certainly will smell it.

 

If you have Evans, you will have leaks. Seems it’s a smaller molecule and tends to seep past clamps and such. So I have been told by people who use it. 

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