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Old 09-05-2016, 10:59   #1
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Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

Having recently purchased a 16 year old Malo 39 with Yanmar 4JH3E, I decided to have a comprehensive engine service since it did not have a good service history. The fresh water cooling manifold was so badly corroded that a complete replacement is needed. The most likely cause was the use of the wrong antifreeze and since Yanmar does not have anodes in the cooling system, the presence of the correct corrosion inhibitors is critical. The cost of a new manifold? Euro 1100 for parts only. The cost of the correct antifreeze? PRICELESS!!
Time to stop calling it "antifreeze"...
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:27   #2
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

You can call it coolant because it also enhances the cooling properties of the water.

Same goes for your car... use the right stuff. Have it changed about every 2 years.
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:31   #3
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

"The most likely cause was the use of the wrong antifreeze"

I would take issue with this. The cause was most likely insufficiently frequent coolant changes.

Extended life is good for 5 years, "conventional" for 2 years. After that, corrosion sets in.
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Old 09-05-2016, 13:00   #4
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

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Originally Posted by TurninTurtle View Post
You can call it coolant because it also enhances the cooling properties of the water.
Actually glycol coolant reduces the heat exchange rate compaired to water. Straight water transfer more BTU's / thermal energy per unit volumn. Coolant reduces the freeze temperature and with the right corrosion inhibitors, helps to reduce corrosion.
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Old 09-05-2016, 15:16   #5
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Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

There are different chemical formulations and colors of coolant too, some do NOT mix.
I flush until I only get clean water, then drain as much as I can and fill with coolant. I had originally intended to go for an extended life coolant and maybe even coolant filters that replenish the corrosion inhibitors. Then someone pointed out here that a very low percentage of sea water contamination is all it takes to completely disable that route, so I'm now working on plan B, at least every other year a complete flush and re-fill, may seem excessive, but I bet I'll be pulling and cleaning that heat exchanger at least that often anyway, and if I do that, makes sense to flush and re-fill at that time.


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Old 09-05-2016, 16:16   #6
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

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The cost of the correct antifreeze? PRICELESS!!

I'm not sure it's priceless, but you are correct, it's a bad idea to cheap out on something as expensive and critical as your engine.


Coolant is more complex than it might seem. I have an older Volvo. Volvo sells coolant for it and it's far from cheap. Yet, it is designed for the Volvo engine and has additives to prevent corrosion and other problems. My Volvo coolant is green. The color doesn't matter, the chemical composition does. Newer Volvo engines use a yellow or orange coolant. They do the same thing but they are not compatible. According to Volvo, it's impossible to flush an engine well enough to convert from the green to the yellow coolant. Leaving just a bit of the green will cause the coolant to foam and this means air bubbles rather than coolant against the cylinder liners. This means hot spots, uneven cooling and possible failure.


The best plan, of exactly what the engine manufacturer calls for. If you think there's a new and improved product available, check with the engine manufacturer (not the corner mechanic) first.
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Old 09-05-2016, 19:42   #7
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

See the attached Yanmar tech bulletin on coolant caused damage.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:29   #8
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

Alloy housing, copper tubes, no anodes, these things are designed to corrode.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:33   #9
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

If the engine is a diesel, it's important to use a coolant intended for diesel engines. The high compression aspects cause the cylinder liners to flex a bit, and this can cause cavitation bubbles in the coolant solution, against the liners. When these collapse, the can cause pitting. Another bad thing, so don't use automotive coolant products.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:32   #10
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

If the manifold is gone, suspect your cylinder heads are also on their way out along with the rings and gaskets. Might have the heads removed to check.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:51   #11
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

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Originally Posted by briblack View Post
If the engine is a diesel, it's important to use a coolant intended for diesel engines. The high compression aspects cause the cylinder liners to flex a bit, and this can cause cavitation bubbles in the coolant solution, against the liners. When these collapse, the can cause pitting. Another bad thing, so don't use automotive coolant products.

Your correct for wet liners, I believe my 4JHE has wet liners, but think wet liners are uncommon for most engines.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:09   #12
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Actually glycol coolant reduces the heat exchange rate compaired to water. Straight water transfer more BTU's / thermal energy per unit volumn. Coolant reduces the freeze temperature and with the right corrosion inhibitors, helps to reduce corrosion.
I thought ethylene glycol type a/f also raises the boiling point of water,allowing it to hold more heat ?
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:42   #13
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Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

Due to a bunch of reasons I don't really understand, Hydrogen bonding etc., water is a very unique liquid, it's ability to absorb heat without a phase change (boiling) is very high. Just about nothing will absorb more heat than pure water.
Putting it under pressure and adding different chemicals will allow cooling systems to run at much higher temperatures, which means a much greater difference in the temperature of the coolant and what is used to cool the coolant, either air as in a car or seawater in our boats, the higher temperature difference results in having to have smaller heat exchangers or radiators, but adding Glycol Alcohol or anything else to water I believe actually reduces the waters capacity to absorb heat

On edit, the P-51 Mustang for example used a 30% glycol to 70% water mix in hot climates as the more water cooled better, but a 70% glycol to 30% water mix in cold weather where the cooling wasn't needed, but freeze protection was.
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Old 10-05-2016, 13:08   #14
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Due to a bunch of reasons I don't really understand, Hydrogen boning etc., water is a very unique liquid, it's ability to absorb heat without a phase change (boiling) is very high. Just about nothing will absorb more heat than pure water.
Putting it under pressure and adding different chemicals will allow cooling systems to run at much higher temperatures, which means a much greater difference in the temperature of the coolant and what is used to cool the coolant, either air as in a car or seawater in our boats, the higher temperature difference results in having to have smaller heat exchangers or radiators, but adding Glycol Alcohol or anything else to water I believe actually reduces the waters capacity to absorb heat

On edit, the P-51 Mustang for example used a 30% glycol to 70% water mix in hot climates as the more water cooled better, but a 70% glycol to 30% water mix in cold weather where the cooling wasn't needed, but freeze protection was.
Interesting.
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Old 10-05-2016, 13:21   #15
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Re: Dire consequences of wrong antifreeze

FWIW...We had some Yanmar engine work done on our engine while we were in Marmaris, Turkey in 2012, by a local Yanmar certified mechanic. One (of many) of his comments to me was that we absolutely needed to use only a red antifreeze in the fresh water cooling system of our 4JH-TE, and produced a Yanmar Service Bulletin to support his comment. He strongly recommended Texaco brand antifreeze. The thumbnail attach above seems to say pretty much the same thing.
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