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Old 10-05-2016, 13:29   #16
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

Having just replaced the 3 heat exchangers and the hoses/hose clamps on our Ford Lehman 120, I just went down to AutoZone and bought some Prestone Antifreeze. Didn't give it much through at all to be honest, but after spending $1200 on "maintenance items" did I blow the last part?

Now, how do you find out what the manufacturer of an old out of production motor would recommend for Antifreeze? Sheeze...there is ALWAYS something to learn about boat and their maintenance.
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Old 10-05-2016, 13:37   #17
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

And the use of purified or distilled water appears to be equally important. That's the only "water" that we use. For flushing as well as the final mix. At 88 cents a gallon why scrimp ? Go wild.
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Old 10-05-2016, 14:23   #18
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

It's not that hard to add engine zincs to an engine. Often with a tee. It just has to be in contact with all the engine metal (not connected by hose).
Besides freezing, straight water can cause problems. Most FW pumps last longer with water pump lube in the water, and some engines need anti-cavitation additives. Bubbles form on the water side of cylinders at high temps. Where the bubbles form, water doesn't touch or properly cool. Corroding metal puts particles in the water and can eat away seals.
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Old 10-05-2016, 16:45   #19
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Having just replaced the 3 heat exchangers and the hoses/hose clamps on our Ford Lehman 120, I just went down to AutoZone and bought some Prestone Antifreeze. Didn't give it much through at all to be honest, but after spending $1200 on "maintenance items" did I blow the last part?

Now, how do you find out what the manufacturer of an old out of production motor would recommend for Antifreeze? Sheeze...there is ALWAYS something to learn about boat and their maintenance.

Just as a matter of course, I have run Prestone plain ole green antifreeze in everything for forty years, and have never had an antifreeze issue.
The cavitation is a real issue for wet sleeve engines and it was PH you tested for to see if you had protection still, look up Ford Powerstroke and coolant, they had lots of issues.
In my opinion, it's not so much what brand or type of antifreeze you use, it's never mix the types and change it often, if you flush and change it every other year or every time your into the heat exchanger to clean it, I bet you can run plain ole Prestone with no issues.
What I do is flush it until I only get clean water, install a Prestone flush kit in one of your hot water heater lines and hook up a water hose and run it with an engine drain open and engine idling. Run it till you only have clean water coming out.
Then I drain as much as I can get out and fill with pure, undiluted antifreeze, this gives me about a 70% or so mix of antifreeze as there is a lot of trapped water in there. De-ionized water is best, surprisingly not distilled as distilled apparently since it has no dissolved minerals, will dissolve some, seems water is the universal solvent? I bet your water maker water may well be nearly perfect?

I have been shown that extended life antifreeze and long change intervals are probably not a good idea for marine engines as all it takes is a tiny bit of salt water to contaminate antifreeze and destroy that extended life, and I doubt many engines never get any saltwater cross over through the heat exchanger, so I abandoned that idea, plus as I said I'll be in there cleaning eventually and if nothing else that will introduce salt water to the fresh side, maybe only a tiny bit, but hey these engines and parts ain't cheap.


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Old 10-05-2016, 16:50   #20
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

Oh, and the heat exchanger sleeve on my tubes on my 4JHE is either heavily zinc plated, or made from zinc, which gives it a huge amount of zinc. Cause not having a zinc wouldn't be smart and Yanmar Engineers aren't stupid? I know this because I stupidly dropped it into a 5 gl bucket of Muratic acid and water mix, and had a huge reaction indicating that the grey metal that didn't rust, just may be zinc? I didn't leave it there for long, I figured it out pretty quick.
But a pencil zinc is dead easy to add as has been said with a T, just run a ground wire to the block from the T of course to electrically bond the two if you like.


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Old 10-05-2016, 17:28   #21
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

Our last boat had a Yanmar 2GM20F engine. On the second day of our delivery cruise down the St John's river in Florida, the fresh water pump failed right in front of a marina.

The mechanic at the marina only worked on gas engines, but helped us order a replacement and installed it for us.

The engine ran great for two more days, but on our third day out it over heated.

A Yanmar certified diesel mechanic looked at our engine. He told us that the wrong antifreeze had been used and reacted with the aluminum in the engine.
In our case, an acid flush cleared out all of the junk, and solved the problem. http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...lies/trash.gif
We had no further problems over the 3 years we owned the boat.
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Old 10-05-2016, 17:32   #22
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

Regarding the Lehman 120. Those are old school cast iron blocks. No need for special antifreeze.


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Old 10-05-2016, 20:29   #23
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

As all have said here, Antifreeze/Coolants need to be used for the already mentioned reasons, even in the older motors, to avoid hot spots, cavitation and of course for wintering in freezing areas. Also check your pressure cap seal and pressure. Important that it's the correct pressure cap as it's pressure increases the boiling point of water. DO NOT remove when hot, as the water, if still under pressure can immediately boil and explode over you. Expansion tanks from the motor are used commonly now to contain expanded coolant when the motor is hot, and then return it to the motor when cooled down. A faulty cap will expel the coolant, but not return it, especially if the tank is situated lower than the filler cap.Water will naturally produce rust and corrosion over time, remembering all engines have a mixture of metals that react against each other in the cooling system, alloy, cast iron etc. These cause electrolysis, hence the addition of inhibitors to the coolant, and not flushing systems regularly will eventually cause major problems. Rusty water is almost always a result of low temperature, caused by a faulty or non fitted thermostat!
Regarding the Lees engines, take particular care of raw water pumps that connect directly to the front of the crank case, driven through the case by injector pump shaft. When the pump leaks externally, always check the INNER SEAL in the pump. If these seals leak, they will allow raw water to ingest into the engine oil creating a drama you don't want to know about!!
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Old 10-05-2016, 20:58   #24
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

Coolant performs two primary functions. Increase boiling point and corrosion inhibitor. It also acts as a lubricant for pump seals.

It can also stabilize and reduces heat transfer, compared to water, but that is really a secondary function. The increased boiling reduces cavitation. Cavitation or boiling will degrade ethylene glycol.

It does break down over time. With cast iron you're relatively safe. With non ferrous components is where you can run into trouble. It can become acidic when it oxidizes and therefore it accelerates corrosion.

It should always be clean and green, or red, yellow or blue depending on its original color. The stuff is cheap so therebis no excuse for not replacing it regularly.

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Old 10-05-2016, 21:04   #25
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

There are 2 main types of Anti-freeze, Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol.
Most engine antifreeze is the Ethylene.
It is available neat, but normally with a whole cocktail of additives to control the PH.
Left exposed to atmosphere, Ethylene Glycol will oxidise, the anti-corrosion stuff deals with that for a while. That is why we change it at regular intervals, it effectively runs-out of capacity to inhibit corrosion.
The issue of what corrosion inhibitor is needed is based on the Alloy / Cast Iron in the engine.
Do not change to the food grade (Propylene glycol) as the two do not mix - result looks like a jelly fish and they do not do well at cooling, or even circulating. Trust me, I have seen the result on a large commercial scale!
I used to purchase ethylene glycol from ICI, branded specially for me. Sold at a premium. The difference between their product and "mine" was the colour. Pink / Blue, but it was exactly the same stuff with different dye (and a $ margin for myself).

Volvo or Yanmar, or whoever will sell you theirs supposedly specially formulated, but it is really only specially marketed. Trick is to find the additives you need, irrespective of the brand name.

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Old 10-05-2016, 21:22   #26
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

Now, in the other corner we have another contender, known as Stray Electrical Current and his offsider Poor Bonding.


Anyone ever do a electrical value of their engine cooling water/ system?
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Old 22-05-2016, 15:16   #27
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

Don't forget Napacool or equivalent to reduce cavitation at the cylinder walls!
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