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"green" coolant vs vw coolant
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For years I used one of the Nalcool products because it was readily available right down the road, don't remember which one as it has been too long at this point. Once the old couple who sold the Nalcool closed shop and retired I started using the stuff NAPA sells. A reading of the label doesn't make it sound super good for a Vanagon cooling system, but I have had excellent luck with it. I use the recommended dosage.

My 91 Vanagon is presently undergoing a Subaru swap. I intend to do the front hoses before I finish the swap and pull and check the radiator. Weighing the radiator should give a pretty good indication of how much corrosion I have had over the years.

Does anyone off hand know the weight of a new stock radiator?

BTW, ethylene glycol does not go bad it is just the additive packages that get depleted with time and need to be supplemented. I assume the same is true for Sierra and other types of antifreeze.
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bucko
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Does anyone off hand know the weight of a new stock radiator?"

I just missed out giving you this information, as I dropped a new BEHR unit off at the repair shop. Unlike the originals though, the base and the top are a plastic now. My original was completely metal (some sort of alloy).

I'm just not sure of any additive used to "seal" leaks. How does it know how to seal a leak, yet not plug a radiator tube???
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Normally it's reaction with sufficient free oxygen.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bucko wrote:
I'm just not sure of any additive used to "seal" leaks. How does it know how to seal a leak, yet not plug a radiator tube???


My long term use of cooling conditioner is to prevent corrosion and not to actively stop leaks. The stuff I run makes no claim that it will stop a leak. The Suby stuff though is well know for stopping leaks. This doesn't mean that it will clog your radiator. The passages in your radiator are rather large compared to opening that would cause a seeping head gasket.

One way to stop corrosion is to seal the surface against contact with corrosives. Aluminum does this in air, while being quite reactive it doesn't usually corrode very fast because it forms an air tight oxide coating that seals against further corrosion. Unfortunately in a WBX engine the coolant flow erodes the oxide coating and you get pitting. Perhaps the mechanical movement of the rubber head gasket also damages the oxide coating, don't know. I have heard that the Suby conditioner forms a coating that will either withstand the corrosion removing flow or will continually replace it as it is worn off. This same characteristic may have something to so with how it stops leaks.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a good point, and I believe it is why aluminum engines also benefit from use of a low-silicate coolant, as well as phosphate-free. Silicate acts as a fine abrasive in the system, so it scours the protective oxide that would form on the aluminum surfaces. The Dexcool I'm using is both.

The silicate may also end up being one of the components of scale that eventually blocks radiator passages. I'm not sure of that, but low free mineral content within the system seems like a good idea. That's the rationale for using distilled or deionised water as well, besides the paramount concern of controlling pH. Actually if pH is kept neutral, it doesn't matter what dissolved minerals are in water; they will only precipitate out of solution if pH gets high.

And what Wildthings sez is quite true: just like oil, glycol doesn't "wear out". It's the additive package that gets depleted. If you can responsibly replenish it, especially to correct pH, there is no need to replace the bulk of the fluid in either case. With glycol, that is doable, which is why I was curious about what conditioners work. Dumping 4 gallons of toxic waste every few years is environmentally irresponsible, and I'd like to avoid doing it if I can, just like how I'm shooting for longer oil change intervals by keeping my oil cool and well-filtered. Changing coolant yearly is, in my opinion and with no offense meant to those that choose to do so, extreme overkill and environmentally harmful. I think every three years is reasonable and that's the program I'm shooting for.

But it isn't doable to replenish the additive package with multi-vis oils, as far as I know. There may be things that will restore pH buffers (the Total Base Number, or TBN), and replenish anti-wear additives, etc., but I don't know of anything that will replace the long-chain polymers that are what gives multi-vis oils their Viscosity Index rating. And it is these polymers that are damaged by heat.
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74Standard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, all things considered, I won't be adopting any long term fluid change program on any of my cars. When I rebuilt the engine in the 535i I got too see first hand the effects of using tap water in a cooling system that has anything to do with aluminum. It (looked) like it actually rusted. PO must have had a high iron content in his water.

I take all my used fluids to onbe of the oil change places for recycling. I live outside city limits and have a well, so "dumping" isn't even an option for me - NOT THAT I WOULD EVEN THINK ABOUT DOING IT!!!

I have a hard time with the 15k oil change idea simply due to the fact that your oil "filters" the air that cycles through your engine also and captures the dirt. Plus, after 15k, the oil is jet black.

I've been running Prestone green in my car for a number of years now - with DISTILLED water - and have no evidence of corrosion. You are not supposed to run it, but antifreeze has had many changes since my car and these vans were new. It's not as toxic as it used to be, you can't use it to kill stray dogs that no one will come and get - not that you could get close enough to catch it anyway - Also much "safer" for aluminum engines. Prestone would have been out of business about 25 years ago if you couldn't use the stuff in an engine that has aluminum. I'm having a hard time coming up with a car on the road that doesn't have at least aluminum heads...

Years ago when you had all the cast iron engines out - sure... but now? I think your worried about "an old wives tail" that may have been true 25 years ago or more, but not now.

And I have to agree ANYTHING that stops leaks is a band-aid, not a perminant fix and will bite you in the ass one day on that long trip to somewhere. Then you will wish you would have found out what really happened as you sit in po-dunk nowhere trying to get parts for your 25 year old VW van. You'll get them - eventually... Stop leak is a used car salesman trick, and yeah I limped a car home on it and then I replaced the blown head gasket and flushed it out.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who said anything about 15k oil changes?

I'm going with the factory-recommended 7500 miles. There's just no good reason to do it more often than that, unless you chronically overheat your oil. Now I know a lot of these motors, even though they're watercooled, do just that. But addressing the chronic high oil temp by adding external cooling is better for the engine, the environment, and far cheaper over the long run than changing oil every 3k. If you think your oil is too dirty before it's time to change, change the filter halfway. Color of oil is not an indicator of its condition as a lubricant.

Quote:
You are not supposed to run it, but antifreeze has had many changes since my car and these vans were new.


That's quite true; the formulations change often, to try to keep up with new engine designs and materials. Just because it's colored green, doesn't mean it's the same old Prestone. The old stuff was loaded with phosphorus, but you can find phosphate-free green coolant these days.

Quote:
It's not as toxic as it used to be, you can't use it to kill stray dogs

Sierra, OK. That's non-toxic propylene glycol (colored green, too, and phosphate-free). Not true of other antifreezes. They're still ethylene glycol, and still lethal to animals and kiddies that like the taste of that sweet syrup. The Albuquerque city gov't is considering a bill that would require a bittering agent to be added to antifreeze products sold in their jurisdiction, to discourage consumption. The old tradition of killing dogs with antifreeze is still alive and well here in NM, thank you very much.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Albuquerque city gov't is considering a bill that would require a bittering agent to be added to antifreeze products sold in their jurisdiction, to discourage consumption.


Oregon has been requiring this for six, maybe eight years now. Suits me fine, its stupid to have deadly poison that looks and taste like coolaid laying around in a drain pan or a puddle on the road. Very stupid for the industry not to do it on their own, surprise they haven't lost shirts in lawsuits.

If you get any of the bittering agent in you mouth, you have a lot of spitting to look forward to. Wink
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74Standard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
The old tradition of killing dogs with antifreeze is still alive and well here in NM, thank you very much.


I used a half gallon of the stuff soaked in dog food to try and kill this dog that was getting pregnant and have 5-6 puppies every litter - and she just ran down to the creek and drank half the creek. 4 weeks later she still had the puppies. It was staight prestone, not even the 50/50 mix you can buy. Had I not done it myself, I would be sckeptical of the story... Given the old "teaspoon" urban legand of what it takes for anti-freeze to kill you.

***I am in no way saying you should run out and drink anti-freeze, but I don't beleive it's as toxic as what it used to be.
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dr. no
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's toxic enough to put you on dialysis if you don't kick off sooner, if you drink enough (like a quart or so). The dog was way smarter than you with it's immediate "self-flush".
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dog probably self-flushed because she wolfed down all that food at the same time, so she had plenty to purge. Plus, soaking food with it would delay uptake; the dog would have to begin digesting the food, and uptake would be both delayed and slower as a result. If she hadn't vomited, her death would have been a drawn-out version of an already dependably slow and agonising process.

Ethylene glycol is ethylene glycol. They don't make a less-toxic version. That's absurd. I've never heard anything about a teaspoon, either. The dogs will lap up a quart or more PDQ, though, the stuff smells so sweet.

Your story angers me. Don't you have rifles up there?
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DAVEURO
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
Quote:
The Albuquerque city gov't is considering a bill that would require a bittering agent to be added to antifreeze products sold in their jurisdiction, to discourage consumption.


Oregon has been requiring this for six, maybe eight years now. Suits me fine, its stupid to have deadly poison that looks and taste like coolaid laying around in a drain pan or a puddle on the road. Very stupid for the industry not to do it on their own, surprise they haven't lost shirts in lawsuits.

If you get any of the bittering agent in you mouth, you have a lot of spitting to look forward to. Wink

I' tried it and I had to rinse my mouth with gas three times before the bitters went away. Yes it works. It is pretty much the norm now as far as coolants and protecting perfectly good pets. Serious, pour some on your wire harness and never have another mouse chew threw or even start. I don't experiment but sometimes use old school methods of siphoning and I will never do it again. EVER. It only takes a drop IE speckle of a splash. If you want to get rid of the neighbors dogs tearing up your trash JUST SHOOT THEM WITH LEAD BULLETS and forget about teasing them to death with anti-freeze. Not a politicaly correct statement but it is how it is. Just use silencers when you shoot at them. (another Non Politically correct statement) I will address the dog issue with the animal patrol before I perform any stupid human tricks as in firearms or poisons. We can all get along and your cooling system will love you also if you don't wait for it to fail.


Last edited by DAVEURO on Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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74Standard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
The dog probably self-flushed because she wolfed down all that food at the same time, so she had plenty to purge. Plus, soaking food with it would delay uptake; the dog would have to begin digesting the food, and uptake would be both delayed and slower as a result. If she hadn't vomited, her death would have been a drawn-out version of an already dependably slow and agonising process.

Ethylene glycol is ethylene glycol. They don't make a less-toxic version. That's absurd. I've never heard anything about a teaspoon, either. The dogs will lap up a quart or more PDQ, though, the stuff smells so sweet.

Your story angers me. Don't you have rifles up there?


hmmm - never saw the dog puke.

And yes they have rifles - as far as angering you which would anger you more, me trying to kill a stray dog pumping out 12-15 dogs a year with anti-freeze - or me discharging a weapon in a neighborhood? I would have shot the thing 20 times if I didn't have a house in every direction the wind could blow - don't be a dumbass. Didn't your father ever teach you not to shoot a weapon if you don't know where the bullet is going to go for sure? By the time the bullet traveled 1,000 feet it would have put it right in my neighbors back window - sweet. He would have loved me for that one. If he was still alive...
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DAVEURO
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kinda think we are getting off of any VW type theme here #Sniper
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you live in town, then get your animal control to deal with the dog. And don't call me a dumbass, that's totally uncalled for. I've been handling guns since I could pick one up, and safely. There's a lot of things I could call you, but I will refrain. Your actions anger me. Not you. Mistreatment of animals will always earn my contempt. Human beings should try to be better than that.
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74Standard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
If you live in town, then get your animal control to deal with the dog. And don't call me a dumbass, that's totally uncalled for. I've been handling guns since I could pick one up, and safely. There's a lot of things I could call you, but I will refrain. Your actions anger me. Not you. Mistreatment of animals will always earn my contempt. Human beings should try to be better than that.


I said I lived outside city limits - never said a thing about no other houses being around, you made that up on your own. Animal control will pick the animal up if 1) I have the owners permission (WTF? it's a stray) 2) it's on my property when they get there. Basically, they don't want to deal with it. They're useless.

Your comment: "Don't you have rifles up there?" was uncalled for. In so many words you implied ignorance. I didn't try to hide my comment behind words.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's called "sarcasm". So was that.

I have nothing to add that would be constructive. Let's let this drop.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

green to red makes no difference. as for now the industry is still stuck in a limbo on coolant in general. in the end water can transport and displace more heat than anything else. but coolant is insurance and also has a little lubricating effect to it. a phosphate-free propylene glycol mix would be the best mix for the van. water MUST be distilled. there should be no questions about that. the problem is the EGR, with the introduction of exuahst gas it quickens the rate of oxidization, causing the coolant(water no the mix of both) to reach its exchange time in only several months. a higher water to coolant mix with extend serive intervals.

I use water alone in the summer with an additive that lubricates. thats the best. the industry is looking into sealed systems that will not need service for up to five years or mabye even the life of the car using propanediol (PDO) or maybe something more "space age". so in the end coolant is only for varied climates and any system in my opinion should be flushed every three months.

don't think colors think composition and purpose. dex-cool is a gimmick. if not so involved with your cars workings just follow the maufactures recomendations.
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74Standard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Red Line "Water Wetter" and distilled water is what I use in the BMW during the summer. In the winter, I add about 25% antifreeze. It doesn't get that cold in San Antonio...
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

74Standard wrote:

And I have to agree ANYTHING that stops leaks is a band-aid, not a perminant fix.


Well, there's "stop-leak" and there's "cooling system conditioner." The former is what you buy down at the FLAPS to stop your system from dripping. The latter is what you buy at the Subaru dealer to prevent your cooling system from leaking. Two completely different processes involved.
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