Best Engine Coolants?

Ron H

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A close buddy sometimes has his strong lofty opinions and he’s a decent mechanical sort and worked as a mechanic at a truck shop. We got on the subject of engine coolant and he swears by Delco ELC being the best coolant ever made. I’ve always been selective with coolants in the various makes of vehicles I’ve had GM, mopar, a Ford or two. Seems to me (like no kidding Sherlock) use the coolant the mfg recommends. Lol, we got into another debate about rust prevention coatings when I was doing this on a rust-free truck box I bought; swears by por 15 where I said using this wasn’t the best application with what I was doing. Another topic. Anyway, any thoughts on what is considered the best coolants or have I already answered the question?
 

AR67GTX

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Bought some for my 66 at Napa the other day - couldn’t find green ( possibly some there in the off brands I ignored). Prestone stuff I finally decided on after ignoring all the Asian ones turned out to be almost clear - had a very slight yellowish tinge - but almost like water. I’ll run it for awhile until I figure it out.
 

PurpleBeeper

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I used to be an antifreeze scientist. Any coolant that lists ASTM D3306 on the bottle will work. "ELC" (extended life coolant) also known as an "OAT" will last the longest. "Conventional green" is what our cars came with originally (a little hard to find). Make SURE you used distilled water or deionized water.
 

Belle66

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From Early Spring to late Fall I use Joe Gibbs Coolant System Protectant (CSP) and distilled water. My daily is also bracket raced on the weekends. Most tracks don't allow antifreeze. Also use a sacrificial zinc in a spare water port because of the aluminum radiator. In the winter, antifreeze and distilled water.
 

AR67GTX

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Yes - distilled water. I poured about a half quart of tap water in and caught myself. Oh yeah dummy, that’s why you have those gallon jugs of distilled water sitting over there on the shelves. Geeez, it’s tough getting old.
 

diesel_lv

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In the extreme AZ heat of 125+ I use conventional green w distilled water and 2 bottles of Water Wetter. I use 70% water, 30% conventional green w 2 bottles of Water Wetter. On the interstate w 180° t-stat, I run 174° all day. 196° in stop n go. 16lb cap
 

RJRENTON

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Nothing from the Evans Coolant faction?? (Could not resist)...
Cummins Diesel Engines, use to market a coolant filter system, using a spin on filter canister, which contained a filter media, similar to an oil filter in appearance and a "conditioner" (a rust inhibitor, antifoam agent and a water softening chemical). I used it on my GMC SUV, plumbed into the heater supply line, that filtered, on a by-pass basis, 100% of the coolant in the system. I used this filter in conjunction with the factory coolant or DEXCOOL. I'd change the filter annually, usually in the fall, in conjunction with the winter oil change. After several years, the coolant remained crystal clear. The Cummins system included the filter mounting base and the hose fittings. These filters were used on the old N855 series of 6 cylinder engines....don't know if still available. Just additional food for thought.......
BTW....for those using a "water wetter", consider adding JET DRY, as used in the home dish washer....as its the same thing, an "ionic surfactant" which breaks down the waters surface tension....an at considerably less cost....
BOB RENTON
 
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AR67GTX

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I have a friend with a 69 Hemi who runs the Evans coolant and swears by it. But dang, he had several leaks and a lot of wastage in getting it assembled and all sorted out and that stuff is anything but cheap. I don’t really get it.
 

diesel_lv

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I have a friend with a 69 Hemi who runs the Evans coolant and swears by it. But dang, he had several leaks and a lot of wastage in getting it assembled and all sorted out and that stuff is anything but cheap. I don’t really get it.

I got lucky and read a post where someone suggested using distilled water only on initial build. Put everything together, then rent a pressure tester from a parts store. Pressurize to 18lbs, as cap is 16lbs, n look for leaks. Fix them. Once all fixed, drain n add your coolant.
 

moparedtn

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BTW....for those using a "water wetter", consider adding JET DRY, as used in the home dish washer....as its the same thing, an "ionic surfactant" which breaks down the waters surface tension....an at considerably less cost....
BOB RENTON
Now, that's a first for me - I never knew that!
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moparedtn

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I've never run the orange stuff myself, but the '12 Charger had it from factory.
It never made its' 100k recommended change interval; it got too crappy before even 75k to keep
in there, so I had the entire system flushed and evacuated, then all replaced with green
conventional.
Same old story as witnessed in many a GM back in the day.
I don't care if the orange is supposed to be better; I'll only run green with distilled water.
 

PurpleBeeper

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Just so everyone knows.....water transfers heat better than antifreeze (ethylene glycol), so the idea of running a 70%water/30%antifreeze blend is a good idea in hot climates. Racing or really hot, just use distilled water and Joe Gibbs, water wetter, blue ice, lucas purple, etc. All of those are simply the corrosion inhibitor package from antifreeze without the ethylene glycol. Evans.... the formula is DexCool concentrate without any water added...that's it. I've analyzed it. Water wetter's hype is that it lowers the surface tension to let water have more intimate contact with the radiator metal...that's bullshit. It has a very low surface tension (I've measured it), but low surface tension causes a lot of foaming, which is bad (I've measured that too).
 

VANDAN

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Any recomendations for our Cummins Diesels ?
 

RemCharger

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Sorry but was that a typo about running 70/30 in hot climates?
 

68 Sport Satellite

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Just so everyone knows.....water transfers heat better than antifreeze (ethylene glycol), so the idea of running a 70%water/30%antifreeze blend is a good idea in hot climates. Racing or really hot, just use distilled water and Joe Gibbs, water wetter, blue ice, lucas purple, etc. All of those are simply the corrosion inhibitor package from antifreeze without the ethylene glycol. Evans.... the formula is DexCool concentrate without any water added...that's it. I've analyzed it. Water wetter's hype is that it lowers the surface tension to let water have more intimate contact with the radiator metal...that's bullshit. It has a very low surface tension (I've measured it), but low surface tension causes a lot of foaming, which is bad (I've measured that too).
please fact check, but I too at one time was going to use water wetter, but then I had just bought a Griffin aluminum radiator and I thought I had read somewhere that water wetter in an aluminum rad could cause long term trouble. Can anyone confirm if they have read something like this?

In my old copper rad on this car and another, I've always had good luck using just 50/50 Prestone and distilled water and a 180F T-stat.

What would be the ambient temperature point where 30% antifreeze won't be enough to protect the engine block and 50% should be used? I've always run 50/50, but being in northern California by the bay, we get down to around low 40F in the winter, but that only lasts a month or two and wouldn't mind running 30% coolant + 70% distilled water if there's any noticeable benefit.
 

RJRENTON

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Just so everyone knows.....water transfers heat better than antifreeze (ethylene glycol), so the idea of running a 70%water/30%antifreeze blend is a good idea in hot climates. Racing or really hot, just use distilled water and Joe Gibbs, water wetter, blue ice, lucas purple, etc. All of those are simply the corrosion inhibitor package from antifreeze without the ethylene glycol. Evans.... the formula is DexCool concentrate without any water added...that's it. I've analyzed it. Water wetter's hype is that it lowers the surface tension to let water have more intimate contact with the radiator metal...that's bullshit. It has a very low surface tension (I've measured it), but low surface tension causes a lot of foaming, which is bad (I've measured that too).
Please supply the results and methodology used of your analyses for the various segments you note: your analysis of the Evans material, the surface tension determination of the specific "water wetter" you measured and the degree of foaming measured and the methology and scale used (from zero thru ?). That way I can make my own determination on products to use or not. BTW....Evans coolant is anhydrous propylene glycol which is not Dexcool.
Your initial comment about heat transfer deals with the Specific Heat characteristics of the heat teansfer media, be it a fluid or a gas (like a refrigerant, which can be both).....specific heat, the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance by one Celsius degree. The units of specific heat are usually calories or joules per gram per Celsius degree. For example, the specific heat of water is 1 calorie (or 4.186 joules) per gram per Celsius degree.
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Thermodynamics is an exact science an can be applied easily to everyday situations. Just my opinion of course.
BOB RENTON
 

diesel_lv

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@PurpleBeeper , ignore Mr Renton as he enjoys using formulas. Yes, a 70/30 mix will cool better, however, it will lower the boiling point and of course the freezing point. I use a 70/30 mix in AZ where my summer frequents the 120° range and have had 125° days. I supplement 2 pints of Water Wetter in the antifreeze portion. I did notice about a 10° reduction in engine temp in my extreme temps here. As for Aluminum, I've got Aluminum heads, pump housing and radiator, haven't noticed anything yet.
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diesel_lv

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Any recomendations for our Cummins Diesels ?
I run standard 50/50 in my '03. Over 275k miles in the 120° summers pulling 28' tritoon boat and 20' enclosed car hauler through 15 mile 7% grades w a/c on at 70mph. "Never" had a cooling issue. What could possibly be the issue w yours in the N/E?
 

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