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Old 05-05-2004, 04:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

am curious as to whether I am currently running the right water in my engine. Why I ask is, last time I pulled my intake, Aluminum, It was starting to corrode. I was using 50/50 green antifreeze and distilled water. since then I switched to 50/50 green antifreeze and drinking water. I will be pulling my intake again on Saturday, but next time I fill my motor. What should I use for water? Or is the antifreeze the reason the aluminum is corroding? It had a buildup of white, sandlike substance on the intake. Also noticed that the top of my radiator has pieces of hard, almost like rocks, I guess this would be scaling? How can I prevent this from happening next time around.
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Old 05-05-2004, 05:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

Electrolisis will cause that type of corroding. Make sure you have a good engine to chassis ground and don't ground to the aluminum.
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Old 05-05-2004, 06:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

The distilled to drinking water switch wont make any difference except that you might have side reactions with the ions taking place in the drinking water. distilled is the best choice (if you have it) because you dont have any other chemicals in the water to react with metals, or metal ions in solution. Also, if your using well, city, etc, drinking water, you have a lot of iron (as ions) in the water. These ions will want to oxidize the aluminum (for chemical reasons I wont go into) and eat away your aluminum. Also, with drinking water, you make your cooling system fluid electrolytic, which means if the engine block has a better ground through the coolant to the radiator mount than the ground strap on the motor, you'll form your "pellets" there (probably iron pellets, see if their magnetic) if they are, you've got a bad ground to the block.

I may have spouted off alot for nothing, but yeah, check your engine ground.
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Old 05-05-2004, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

you should consider the Rad Cap. This is a radiator cap with a sacrificial anode. It will take up the corosion rather than your aluminum components.

More info:
http://www.radcapproducts.com/newproducts.html
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Old 05-05-2004, 08:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

thats a cool product...though you have to buy a new one every so often (the magnesium rod gets used up)
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

It's been said that the DexCool coolants are better for all-Aluminum and AL/CI combos.
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

I gotta disagee with Bad 88(I think it is the first time). I would not use Dex Cool in anything. I have seen way too many problems. If you do, treat it as regular coolant and flush it every 2 years or 30k.
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

Dont mean to hijack the thread or anything, but what have you heard thats bad about Dexcool?
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

The main problems are 1) expense and 2) if it gets mixed at all with regular coolant, corrosion will go wild and chew things up bad. If you decide to go with Dex, be sure you flush the entire system COMPLETELY. Also, I understand that there are physics and chemical reasons that the sacrificial anodes in those radiator caps only work in the immediate area of the cap and not in the entire system.

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/autom...m_dexcool.html

http://www.cwcd.com/CM/MassTorts/MassTorts5.asp

http://www.angelfire.com/ia2/vmax/coolantnotes.htm
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

Dexcool is for all iron/aluminum cooling systems and most cars use a brass radiator and/or brass heater cores. If you use an aluminum heater core and alum radiator then it is alright. I use CAT(Caterpillar brand) Extended life and Texaco extended life antifreeze in everything for quite a few years and I still have almost all the cars I had from the mid '90s and still running without any problems ever still using the same Texaco and CAT extended life. Ground the engine good but I have seen on many Caterpillar diesel engines where the ground wire was attached to the aluminum T-stat housing causing severe electrolysis eating the aluminum up(also in the aluminum water pump if grounded there). It is simple to prevent though. NEVER let the radiator be the engine ground through the coolant. BAD BAD BAD!
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Old 05-06-2004, 05:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

Man, those reads make me a little nervous about the DexCool in my car.

Its been in the motor since the rebuild, im running 50/50 with distilled water, and im using a aluminum radiator/pump with no heater.

I would rather not have to replace parts on my sweet new motor soon. Do you guys think I should flush the DexCool out and run the green stuff?
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

Great thread!

I do run Dex-Cool in my wife's '97 and change it every 2 years.

Often I have though about switching it over to the good old green anti-freeze but wimp out each time and just keep using the Dex-Cool.

Thanks for emphasizing the importance for grounding the engine.

Sometime I lose the importance of that when putting a car back together.




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Old 05-06-2004, 04:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

Tap water will really do a number on the aluminum timing cover. I had two corrode completely through in the '80s on a 289. Put distilled water in with a water pump lubricant additive and no more problems. No anitfreeze either, but i'm in sunny So Cal.
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

Oxygen is what causes Dexcool to gel. I have seen rads completey clogged heater cores clogged. Not from rust but from gel. I might use but again only if I flushed just like you would not extended periods 5 years 150,000 is BS. However that is the reason you would want it, so why bother.
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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What kind of Water/Antifreeze for Aluminum

The Rad Cap has wroked great for me. Cleaned up the exact problem you are having. I have switched to one small (32oz)bottle of Valvoline/Xerex SuperCoolant with distilled water. Dropped average temperature by about 10 degrees, very clean radiator and coolant passages. Had to order form Napa in a six pack, but I think its worth it.

It is just a coolant additive not antifreeze which doesn't matter here in SoCal.
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