View Full Version : Whats the best radiator coolant additive to cool better?


shawntmartin
06-14-2006, 11:07:05 AM
There are a few different cooling additives (like water wetter) that can be added to the radiator... anyone know which one works the best. I've seen some brands that cant be added to radiator fluid... I guess they're added to plain water... No good for me because I don't want to spend hours flushing the entire system clean with water.

onovakind67
06-14-2006, 11:12:08 AM
Hours flushing the system? What are you using, a teacup? Open the block drains, remove the thermostat and it should only take a few minutes with a garden hose to completely flush the system
Water is the best coolant, it has the highest specific heat. You can add corrosion inhibitors and lubes as you deem necessary.

Marv D
06-14-2006, 12:24:20 PM
Waterwetter lowers the surface tension of water, and slightly raises it's boiling point. The only point of that is steam will not cool as well as liquid. So if you keep the liquid from boiling and becoming steam, you can make better use of the liquid you have. Most antifreeze/coolants do the same thing. Neither will do much for cooling if your cooling system is isn't up to par. Of all the coolant additives, for most of us a crossion inhibitor is probably the most important. With dis-similar metals (iron blocks, aluminum heads and manifold, brass radiator, steel waterpump impellors) you see a LOT of electrolisis (the tranfer of one metal into a solution) as a factor too. I've seen and heard of companies that offer sacrificial cathodes in radiator hoses to help combat electrolisis and damage to expensive aluminum heads. There is a lot more science in a cooling system than just dumping water into the radiator these days.

And with all the high tech crap available,,, For me, it's a 30-50% mix of Prestone green in regular ol tap water. Hasn't failed me yet.

Toomanyhobbys
06-14-2006, 12:42:29 PM
Marv you might want to try distilled water to mix with Prestone, especially out here in the land of "Liquid Rock". I had an old Datsun pickup that was my Dad's we ran that thing for over 200k miles and changed the coolant every other year. One year it started overheating, we changed thermostats, water pumps, hoses, belts. tried flushing the system at home but to no avail it would get hot very quick. We next were thinking head gasket, hell it' couldn't be the radiator as the coolant looked green and the top end looked like it was new, (no corrosion) and we changed the fluid every other year.

Well we get smart and decided to pull the radiator and take it down. Guy at the radiator shop said your tank is almost 1/2 full of crap. I told him what we did and how can it be full of crap as we changed it often.

He explained that Arizona's water that comes from the CAP is basically liquid rock. It is very hard & ruins stuff, pipes, water heaters, radiators. I told him we flushed and drained it. He stated the minerals settle in the bottom of the tank and fuse together to become one big cluster of sh*t at the bottom of the tank. You add new tap water and it then has new minerals to create the process all over again. We ended up putting a new radiator in. He opend up the old tank it was half full of crap. He recommended distilled water.

shawntmartin
06-14-2006, 01:44:20 PM
onovakind67,

Yea I would do that if I had an engine that was "so-so" but I've got everything spotless (show quality) with white headers and what-not. Draining the anitfreeze all over the headers and engine bay would be a nightmare to clean up. I'd have to remove the headers and repaint them, and spend hours wiping up all of the splattered anitfreeze that just went all over everything. So I was just going to drain my radiator, fill it with distilled water, let it warm up and cycle, drain my radiator and repeat until all of the antifreeze was gone. That would take a while. But, it seems like water and antifreeze is the only thing people are using, which is what I already have...

Marv D
06-14-2006, 02:19:53 PM
Jerry, I agree with you 100% in one aspet, and again, I'm no expert in this, but here's what I was told about distilled water. It is clean as a whistle, no questioning that,,, in fact it's too clean. There are no minerals, and because of the dis-similar metals throughout the engine the water IS going to acquire minerals. If you start with water that is squeeky clean and contains no minerals, it will absorb them faster than water that is already loaded with them. SO it's a damn'd if you do and damn'd if you dont. i guess my concern is more electrolisis eating away at a very expensive set of aluminum heads,,, vs. plugging a $200 Rons aluminum radiator.

Toomanyhobbys
06-14-2006, 02:48:05 PM
Ahhh good points Marv. I hate Electrolysis. I salt water fish and I have alum framed reels with Stainless bolts, and a combination of salt spray, ohh yeah rust city there. Maybe a combo of distilled and Az Liquid Rock

Kamikaze
06-14-2006, 03:04:14 PM
Hey guys,

The distilled water is definitely a necessity in areas where the tap water is hard and filled with minerals. Arizona and parts of California have this problem as do other areas across the country.

Marv, the situation of the distilled water being "too clean" is not a consequence. The fact that it is "pulling" the minerals and impurities from the system and not "adding" them into the coolant is a big plus!

The basic minerals in everyday tap water can also enhance the electrolysis process by providing a higher level of conductivity that eats away at the softer metals like aluminum.

If you look at the older Vette's the factory had an "anode" in the radiator to sacrafice itself to prevent the coolant from eating away the softer aluminum intakes and heads.

As for the cooling system in a street or endurance car, IMHO, I suggest using distilled water no matter where you reside and mix 50/50 with your favorite coolant. I prefer Redline's Water-Wetter but have also used Royal Purple's Purple Ice, and Pro Blend's 40 Below. All of these products contain surfactants that help reduce the "tension" of the water and allow the fluid to move through the cooling system more efficiently. Also, with less surface tension, the water is allowed to be more "dense" and carry away more heat to the radiator.

The coolant I like is the newer "Orange" Dex-cool. Granted, this won't mix with older "green" coolant but it does seem to last longer and have temperatures that don't fluctuate as rapidly.

One other thing to consider on any engine, I would suggest a Rad Cap. These are the Hexagon shaped caps but have an anode attached that will erode away during the electrolysis to protect your intake, heads, radiator, heater core, and water pump if they are aluminum. I believe they also offer an anode alone if you're picky about your radiator cap and I heard GM dealers still carry the Corvette anodes.

Hope this helps!

shawntmartin
06-14-2006, 06:01:04 PM
For what its worth... Royal Purple has a product called Purple Ice. It was tested on a 350 and it lowered the water temp 28 degrees (228 to 200) when replacing 50/50 antifreeze with just plain ole water and Purple Ice. Hmmm.. whats wierd is that at the bottom of the page it said that astreet driven car should have a 20% minimum mix of antifreeze.

Doesn't that kind of contradict the test? Are they saying water and Purple Ice would be too cool? 200 isn't too cool. I don't know...