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Old 02-10-2014, 12:10 PM   #21
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I don't know much about anti-freezes or oils and really don't plan on getting the education or the test equipment nor accumulating the data necessary. What I do is I rely on the manufacturer of my engine and their recommendations. Does that cost me more? Perhaps, but more likely it saves me in the long run. Yes, I might find a cheaper alternative that worked as well, but it might not. Regardless I know also I'm going to be covered under warranty. I will choose somewhere else to save money. To me it's safety first.

Years ago I saw an outboard motor mechanic remove a sparkplug and tell the owner what motor oil he'd been using to cause his problems, just from the feel. Then I saw him do a side by side demonstration. As someone totally non-mechanical I was amazed but it also made it clear to me that very similar products can be very different.
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:18 PM   #22
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:30 PM   #23
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One of the problems with antifreeze is it changes PH over time and becomes an acid. This starts electrolysis and in time eats the engine from the inside. This is the main reason for changing coolant. You can test your coolant with a VOM and readings above .4 mv are eating away metal parts.

I buy the cheapest green at wally world and change frequently. Never use Dexcool. I worked at a GM dealership when it came out. We had blown engines because it gelled and clogged cooling passages. The dealership flushed the orange stuff and replaced it with green.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:15 PM   #24
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I am poised to replace the coolant in my boat and while researching different products (not Evans, I have about 18 gallons to replace!) I read all the labels and read all the reviews but there seems to be a lot of hooey out there. For example, Prestone vs Prestone Long Life or Diesel/heavy duty stuff, all seems to have the same composition when you read the MDS sheets but all have different claims (and prices). Another example is Dex-Cool for GM engines - more expensive than the regular stuff, but some of the Prestones state "safe for all vehicles" while also selling Dex-whosis.

So wtf? I am going to buy the cheapest low silicate coolant I can find that comes with a 'sheet' and add the corrosion inhibitors as per the test strips and to hell with the claptrap the brand names sell. What a scam. WallyWorld, here I come.
The proper coolant for any diesel engine is to a large degree dependent upon the design of the engine. If your engine has wet-sleeve cylinder liners, you need to know about this, although all diesels are susceptible to varying degrees.

The problem is called Cylinder Liner Cavitation and the best explanation I have found is in the following article written by Ed Eaton at Amalgamated Laboratories, Inc.:

"One of the most common and costly results of improper cooling system maintenance is the perforation of wet-sleeve cylinder liners. The perforation is caused by repetitive pitting of the liner resulting from liner vibration. As the fuel inside ignites, the liner vibrates within the block. The outside wall of the liner actually moves away from the coolant causing a near vacuum for an instant. This low-pressure causes the surrounding coolant to boil, forming tiny bubbles. The liner then returns to its position with extremely high velocity, pressing against the bubbles with a violent force. The bubbles implode (collapse) against the liner wall surface at pressures up to 60,000 PSI. The collapse of these bubbles blasts small holes in the steel liner. This pitting process will repeat, digging tiny tunnels through the liner. This will eventually perforate the wall allowing coolant to enter the combustion side of the cylinder."

"Correctly formulated coolant contains either nitrite or a combination of nitrite and molybdate. They will form a thin protective oxide film on the coolant side of the liner wall. This oxide film, which is formed by reaction of the nitrite with the liner wall, acts as a protective barrier to prevent corrosion and cavitation from occurring. In a properly protected system, the imploding bubbles attack the protective film. The film quickly heals over the liner by drawing nitrite from the coolant. In an improperly protected system, the bare metal surface area is immediately exposed to cavitation forming a corroded pit in the metal."

In light of the above, I believe the safest course of action is to simply follow the manufacturer's recommendations.

I am all about saving money where possible, but IMHO, the price of coolant is really fly stuff compared to the price of an overhaul or reduced engine life.

Good luck!

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Old 02-10-2014, 01:26 PM   #25
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Larry and Capthead,
Very excellent posts indeed. I'd forgotten about the PH in the coolant. And none of us should be the guy driving all over town to find the cheapest gas burning more than saving at the pump. Even my grandmother said "oil's cheap".
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:42 PM   #26
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One of the problems with antifreeze is it changes PH over time and becomes an acid. This starts electrolysis and in time eats the engine from the inside. This is the main reason for changing coolant. You can test your coolant with a VOM and readings above .4 mv are eating away metal parts.

You might want to take a look again at that voltage figure.

And the best way to check coolant pH is with a pH pen or test strips. Before doing that though, it helps to know what the acceptable range might be.
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:08 PM   #27
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Thanks RickB. It should be .07 and above if you use the 20VDC scale.

I usually change over .05

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Old 02-10-2014, 02:11 PM   #28
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Be careful with coolant color.

The 7.3L diesel in my truck and the itty bitty Yanmar diesel in my JD tractor require a diesel rated coolant. The coolant is good for 5 years when the engine is new and then three years there after. Well, the coolant was still good after five/three years but I change it per the manual.

The 7.3L coolant is Gold and the JD coolant is green. When it was time to change the coolant in the truck I used JD coolant since I could use it in the tractor. The coolant chemistry is the same, though the color is different. You really have to read the label and not go by the coolant color.

I wanted to use an ELC coolant in the truck but I could not find it locally so I just used the JD coolant since it works in both truck and tractor.

The 7.3 Liter truck engine I have does NOT have a liner but it can still have problems with cavitation hence the engine needs a coolant with the correct chemistry to prevent the problem.

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Old 02-10-2014, 02:28 PM   #29
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Prestone's product line (other than non-tox antifreeze) Has the words in the titles "Long Life", "Heavy Duty" or "Prime" (premium long life). I didn't see any labeled "for cheapskates that only think they need cheapo, probably bad for your engine green stuff"....

So for anyone thinking they are getting something "special" in their anti-freeze really ought to read the MSDS to see what they are or are not getting. It might be the case that all of the stuff available to you now might protect certain components just as well as the next stuff.

Sure using the manufacturers brand is great and easy and not necessarily very expensive...but over the life of a diesel it COULD be significant in a few cases and realistically...you can't always get what you asked for....

But you bet...in my Ford Powerstroke with a widely know issue with cavitation...I switched to OAT antifreeze as soon as I researched the available options and have passed the magic 150,000 miles issue a long way back. But a lot of us are running ancient iron in our boats and even the Virginia Guru said plain old, cheapo green is perectly fine. Yet again you have to be smart enough to know if they retool coolant pumps that like something else...ya gotta stay up with your own maintenance issues...I would hope pointing that out is even too remedial for most here, it more for the "but... but ...what if types".
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:08 PM   #30
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Never use Dexcool. I worked at a GM dealership when it came out. We had blown engines because it gelled and clogged cooling passages. The dealership flushed the orange stuff and replaced it with green.
I hear you on this. My son owns an auto repair shop and he made tons of $$ by fixing overheated engines that used Dexcool.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:39 PM   #31
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WesK, I buy oil in 20 litre pails. 5 US gallons.
More importantly you missed "the Canadian Surcharge".

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Old 02-10-2014, 09:45 PM   #32
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Eric
Castrol and Mobile are both great oils.

Xsbank. I am the General manager of one of the nations largest truck and heavy equipment remanufacturing centers. I don't sell oil but I always tell my customers "if you don't want to see me on a regular basis, buy the best oil you can".

All I can do is make recommendations. We overhaul over 200 transmissions, differentials and hydraulic pumps every day. I see up close and personal what cheap oil does to mechanical parts.

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Old 02-11-2014, 12:24 AM   #33
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I have used EVANS cool for years it always brings down the temps better than any other coolant combo I have used in my race toy's very stable with that being said it is not readily available and is very pricey! Some times we spend just because we want the best not because we need the best! As far as Rotella that stuff is awesome 300K on my duramac's and still going with Rotella and use it on the dirt scooters as well!
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:35 AM   #34
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I don't get why you think that coolant would be a scam. Yes, they consist mainly of EG or PG, but what you are paying for is the additive pack.

Typically the green stuff is a mixture of phospahates and silicates and form a protective layer on the metal components. When they are depleted, there is no more protection.

Extended Life antifreeze has OAT carboxylates which chemically interact (chelation, I think) with the exposed metal.

I don't have any wet liner diesels, so I don't know a heck of a lot about cavitaion erosion and the additives to prevent, but there is that aspect too.

You could check pH as glycol turns acidic, check glycol/water ratio with a refractometer, and check additive packs with test strips...or you could buy a good quality recommended coolant and change it every two years.

Sometimes in life, you actually do get what you pay for; or you can go to Walmart and take your chances.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:47 AM   #35
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Folks, Speaking of scams, how many on you are buying the 50% / 50% coolant premix and paying coolant prices for water? While I am aware that a 50/50 mix is one of the best ratios for freeze / coolant protection, I buy a good 100% coolant for just a little more than the premix and purchase a equal number of gallons of distilled water for less than a buck a gallon! A hell of a lot cheaper than the premix when all is said and done! George
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:39 AM   #36
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>I buy a good 100% coolant for just a little more than the premix and purchase a equal number of gallons of distilled water for less than a buck a gallon!<

Good thinking IF your engine actually requires the low temperature protection of 50/50.

For most folks 35% antifreez will give the required corrosion protection , and actually does a better job of heat transfer , coolants basic purpose.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:03 AM   #37
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Folks, Speaking of scams, how many on you are buying the 50% / 50% coolant premix and paying coolant prices for water? While I am aware that a 50/50 mix is one of the best ratios for freeze / coolant protection, I buy a good 100% coolant for just a little more than the premix and purchase a equal number of gallons of distilled water for less than a buck a gallon! A hell of a lot cheaper than the premix when all is said and done! George
Yes, 4 gallons of 100% Valvoline Heavy Duty ELC at $20 per and 4 gallons of distilled water at $1 per. Flush and replace after 5 years. No worries.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:04 AM   #38
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Folks, Speaking of scams, how many on you are buying the 50% / 50% coolant premix and paying coolant prices for water? While I am aware that a 50/50 mix is one of the best ratios for freeze / coolant protection, I buy a good 100% coolant for just a little more than the premix and purchase a equal number of gallons of distilled water for less than a buck a gallon! A hell of a lot cheaper than the premix when all is said and done! George
I buy full strength and mix with distilled water as well. My engine manual recommends a 50/50 mix.

Pre-mix is convenient for people who need to top off their coolant from time to time and is probably marketed for auto and truck owners who may carry a jug in their vehicles.

Of course you can mix your own for topping off and that is what I generally do.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:34 AM   #39
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Deloģ Extended Life Coolants (ELC)
Delo Extended Life Coolants (ELC) are recommended for virtually all diesel and natural gas engines and include patented technology that keeps cooling systems running cooler, cleaner, and with less downtime. Tested over millions of miles, in every major U.S. heavy-duty engine, Delo ELC can protect for 750,000 miles/8 years/12,000 hours. Also available as a Nitrite-free pre-diluted 50/50 coolant.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:07 AM   #40
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>I buy a good 100% coolant for just a little more than the premix and purchase a equal number of gallons of distilled water for less than a buck a gallon!<

Good thinking IF your engine actually requires the low temperature protection of 50/50.

For most folks 35% antifreez will give the required corrosion protection , and actually does a better job of heat transfer , coolants basic purpose.
Yes FF! I had a water cooled BMW motorcycle and the manual recommended a 40% mix for best performance and more IF you needed it for freeze protection. But 50-50 is easier to measure that 40-60.

Wesk wrote;
"Pre-mix is convenient for people who need to top off their coolant from time to time and is probably marketed for auto and truck owners who may carry a jug in their vehicles."
I do that. It's better than to think "did I add a dab of water last time or AF? But of course you premix your own.

Hey Capthead I'm unsung synthe tic oil now .... In my new car.
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