Waterless coolants

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 07:36
ThreadID: 131399 Views:2420 Replies:10 FollowUps:9
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Good morning all

My 4.2 TDi Nissan Patrol tends to get hot under the collar when towing our AOR Quantum on hot summer days - especially when towing up long slow.climbs. I know mostly the overheating is caused by the "old" engine design and the head not having big water passages. The cooling system is in good condition.

Has anyone on EO owning a 4.2 Nissan used any of the waterless coolants and if so, what has been the result?

John T (Lifetime Member)
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Reply By: TomH - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 09:33

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 09:33
Before you waste a lot of money read this



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AnswerID: 595146

Reply By: noggins - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 10:18

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 10:18
Instead of spending a heap of Dollars on a new system why not upgrade your existing coolant to 50%
It's a proven way to keep things from overheating and is a well proven addition with the earlier Jags that were prone to overheat.

AnswerID: 595148

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 12:53

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 12:53
I had a vehicle with an inherent borderline cooling system & found this to be quite interesting:

"The specific heat capacity of ethylene glycol–based water solutions is less than that of pure water; in a 50 percent solution, ethylene glycol’s specific heat capacity compared with pure water is decreased at least 20 percent at 36 degrees and about 17 percent at 200 degrees. Propylene glycol, another common coolant, has an even lower specific heat. Assuming a 100-gpm (gallons/minute) coolant flow rate and an energy loss through the coolant system of 189.5 hp, the water temperature increase would be 10 degrees, the ethylene glycol water mix would gain 20 degrees, and propylene glycol would gain 33.3 degrees.

Compensating for the reduced heat capacity of coolant/water mixes would require circulating more fluid through the system. Assuming a fixed amount of circulating fluid and radiator capacity, running 100 percent water would be the most efficient coolant in terms of its ability to conduct heat with minimal temperature rise. In other words, of all common liquids, water requires the most heat energy to change its temperature.

However, there are also differences in the vapor point of the three different coolants. Ethylene glycol and propylene glycol have higher vapor points and therefore can absorb heat at higher temperatures without boiling. Yet even with its lower vapor point, water still carries more heat per unit.

Don’t forget that the coolant is just one part of the total cooling-system “team.” You can raise water’s effective vapor point by using a higher-pressure radiator cap. For every pound of increased system pressure, water’s boiling point goes up by 3 degrees. Higher boiling points also reduce evaporation losses, water-pump cavitation, and heat-soak–induced after-boil. You can get away with a higher system pressure by using a quality aluminum radiator that’s rated for higher pressure than is a brass/copper radiator. Aluminum radiators can take more pressure because their tensile strength is greater than brass—this lets an aluminum unit use tubes with larger cross sections an thinner walls. A larger tube also has more wall-surface area, resulting in improved heat transfer.

Bottom line: A large-tube aluminum radiator filled with pure water and using at least a 20-psi cap is by far the best heat-transfer setup, provided the vehicle is not subject to freezing conditions. Be sure to add a corrosion inhibitor when running pure water."

FollowupID: 863796

Reply By: Member - John - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 10:39

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 10:39
John, Hi, not sure if you have read the posts on Patrol4x4, but some very good info on 4.2 TD cooling. I have thought about waterless coolants, but see lots of problems out touring etc. In a race car maybe a great idea, not so much in a tourer.

John and Jan

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AnswerID: 595151

Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 13:01

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 13:01
It remarks in those links that a lot of race tracks ban it because of its slipperyness if the coolant gets on the track.

As you are supposed to put it a dry engine and not add water what happens if you get a leak in the middle of nowhere and havent got any of it to top up with. Would be more trouble than its worth and as said in the tests the motor could actually run hotter when using it Must be other cheaper solutions
FollowupID: 863797

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 19:52

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 19:52
Such as Redline Water Wetter!

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Reply By: Athol W1 - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 13:43

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 13:43
As you say the issue is that the engine temp slowly increases when under load for long periods I would suggest that there is insufficient heat being dissipated via the existing radiator.

This may be caused by something as simple as the TSVC (Temperature Sensitive Viscous Coupling) for the cooling fan no longer operating as good as it could, or you require a radiator capable of greater rate of heat transfer (dissipation). Even though there may be small water passages in the old style cylinder head it is still a matter of getting rid of the heat from the cooling system, and there is only one way for that to happen , that is transferring the heat from the radiator to the air flowing over it.

Undisputedly the best liquid available to carry heat from an engine to the radiator is plain clean WATER, however there are problems with using just water as it can cause corrosion and electrolysis issues, and also cavitation issues in both the water pump area and that surface contact with the cylinders. Water can effectively 'drill holes' in cylinder walls due to the cavitation caused on each power stroke of the engine (yes the pressure increase within the cylinder causes the cylinder to expand and contract rapidly and this contraction can result in a gap forming between the cylinder and the coolant, the rapid action of the coolant then hitting the cylinder wall is what can cause this 'cavitation erosion'. Good quality coolant is designed to eliminate this cavitation and its effects, as well as electrolytic erosion and also assists with any 'stray current' erosion, it is also designed to reduce/prevent rust forming on parts containing iron and also the formation of Scale on all the metal parts it contacts. The formation of scale on the metal parts of the cooling system slows down the transfer of heat from that part to the coolant used, resulting in higher operating temps within the engine but not necessarily higher coolant temps.

A good coolant will also reduce the freezing point and may also increase the boiling point of he water that it is working with.

I fail to see how any product that can result in greater internal temps (read heat) can be of any benefit, as it is heat that will kill most machinery including engines. Keeping them cool (not cold) is, and always has been, the answer.

Hope this helps.
(Retired) Motor Mechanic
AnswerID: 595156

Follow Up By: Colcam42 - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 14:16

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 14:16
Another retired Mechanic's observation, if you are like the rest of us, you probably have restricted air flow from a bullbar, winch, spotties, fly mesh, a/c condenser full of bugs; and a temperature gauge that probably works. Our set up as describes, doesn't appear to increase temperature when pulling our 4 tonne over the mountains but I bet it does. A better quality gauge would let us know and as long as the coolant keeps below the pressurized boiling point, all would be well.
FollowupID: 863800

Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 01:56

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 01:56
Athol, as an aside, it has been proven that some coolants will in fact increase a Stray Current situation.

ARE Stray Current Article
John and Jan

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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 19:35

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 19:35
Gday John , long time no see
Anyway, many years ago i was employed by a reasonably large concrete and quarry company , as you can imagine , lots of trucks and earth moving machines. All we used for coolant was h2o and a good floculant, cant remember its name , but thats all. Routine checks were done to make sure the ph was rite and all radiators were drained and flushed once a year. I have had a think and the product was called "Alfloc" a catepiller product
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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AnswerID: 595171

Reply By: Member - MARIC - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 21:01

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 21:01
Hi John, I own a 1999 td4.2 diesel cab chassis, and also have an intercooler in front of the radiator. I "DID" have the same problem towing heavy weights on 40c days or uphill on hot days.

My solution was firstly to have the radiator and cooling system completely flushed, and that helped a little. Then I decided to just pop the bonnet (probably illegal) and the reduction in the temperature was immediate. I think that the hot air post radiator can't escape easily and thus the overheating.

Some people get bigger heavier duty radiators, and i must admit that was going to be my next try.

Now 15 odd years later and no more radiator flushes no more problems. EGR temperatures are normal as well.

Cheers Ric
It is only when you see mosquito land on your testicles that you find another way to solve problems without violence

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AnswerID: 595173

Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 21:57

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 21:57
The practice of lifting the bonnet at the rear can work if there is some sort of restriction to the air flow OUT of the engine bay. I have seen some sump guards cause overheating of both the engine coolant and the engine oil, just because a sump guard interfered with the normal flow of air.
Always consider the exposed engine sump to be part of the cooling system.
I recall that there were a number of Ford Falcon's practiced at Bathurst back about 1970 with the rear edge of their bonnets lifted about 30mm, following their final practice session, at the drivers meeting, it was made very clear to them that any car that was still in this configuration for the race would be black flagged for a mechanical infringement. There were several cars that had overheating issues during the race that they could have sorted earlier had they done their homework better.

Lifting the front of the bonnet is not only illegal but dangerous, as you are then relying solely on the secondary catch, which is only designed as a back up for short term use in an emergency.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 08:43

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 08:43
When I was travelling and it got pretty hot I removed the plastic inner guards and it allowed better air flow through under the bonnet.
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Follow Up By: Member - mick C (NSW) - Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 14:11

Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 14:11
I used to have same problem with year model 85 diesel cruiser ute due to sealing of bonnet to prevent engine noise [ earlier utes had a fluted bonnet ] and with the narrow bonnet/mudguard design air flow was compromised , I made up 3mm spacers and put them between bonnet and hinges , it was enough to allow improved air flow and the temperature dropped substantially , and if you are worried , they could be removed in the cooler weather , also this overheating caused batteries to cook as the battery was in top rear left of engine bay , later models had an air vent installed in top rear of left mudguard which helped the batteries a little , At the same I had an 86 turbo cruiser wagon which never looked like heating up due to different bonnet/ mudguard design which allowed better air flow
All the best
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Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 23:48

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 at 23:48
Before you get into exotic solutions start with the mundane and straight forward.
Remember commercial coolants have come a long way in the last few years ...... any ideas or arguments about glycol V pure water are now irrelivent.
The current generation of commercially available coolants are highly and very cleverly engineered, proprietry technology ...... and most of them are either made by or made under licence to, only a couple of companies. ( like (CCI)
These coolants have wetting and heat transfer agents, in addition to antifreeze/ antiboil and anti-corrosion components. ...many contain no glycol at all.
You would have to go a long way to find anything that works better than one of the modern commercial coolants.
Now a couple of critical things ........ Toyota and many of the Japanese derived, run Higher concentrations than the standard listed on the bottle ........ they should be running 50/50 mix of coolant concentrate not the standard 2:1 water : coolant mix.
this increases the boiling temperature and thus the efficiency of the cooling system.
Now to debunk one claim of the waterless coolant people ....... they claim that standard coolant boils at 100C ....... that is rubbish ..... standard long life green coolant boils at 127C in the standard 33% mix and at 132C at 50/50 mix ..... that is unpreasurised ...... preasurise the system and ya boiling point goes up considerably.
One thing that MUST be understood is....... most pasenger cars have nowhere near sufficient cooling capacity to cope with the heat generated with the motor running continuously near maximum power.
Even well designed high performance cars run hard for sustained periods will overheat.
Now when you say hot under the collar ...... do you mean the temperature guage gets up in the high range or does the radiatir boil?
It may be as simple as making sure you have the correct coolant concentration, correct radiator cap in good condition and a few other things .......... then backing off on the hills a bit. ......... dropping back a gear may be all that is required.
Here is another thaught ....... Is this vehicle an automatic ..... if so do you have a decent additional transmission cooler ....... remember the factory transmission cooler is in the radiator ..... this puts extra load on your cooling system ....... upgrading your transmission cooler may help.
AnswerID: 595177

Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 07:10

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 07:10
Thank you for the replies. I have not had the cooling system flushed out for a few years so will get that done and have the fan fluid changed as well. Again thanks to all

John T (Lifetime Member)
VKS-737 Mobile 2619
Selcall 2619
"Argue for your limitations and sure enough they're yours" - Richard Bach in "Illusions"

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AnswerID: 595179

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 11:51

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 11:51
On the matter of flushing and replacement of coolant.

All the modern long life coolants will claim very long drain periods ..... but regardless it is wise to drain flush and refill every 2 years every 3 at the outside.

On the matter of flushing chemicals ........ unless you have a badly contaminated cooling system, these agressive chemicals are un-necessary avoid them like the plague.

A hose flush followed by a couple of system fills with with clean tap water followed by short drives is all that is required.

Remember ...... in most modern vehicles it is very hard .... almost impossible to completely drain a cooling system.

So you flushing methods must reflect this.

ALSO, when adding coolant concentrate after a clean water flush ...... add concentrate bassed on the published coolant capacity,....... then top up with demineralised water. ....... if you mix coolant before adding it to the cooling system, the remaining water will dilute it.

Being a little over concentrated is no problem.

Another thaught ....... if it is an older vehicle and it has not been drained and properly flushed it is very likely it has an older generation coolant or a mixture of coolants ...... which although compatable will not be as effective as a complete fill of modern coolant.

FollowupID: 863842

Reply By: mountainman - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 10:52

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016 at 10:52
The ally radiator is a very good fix for the 4.2 TD patrol woes.
AnswerID: 595185

Reply By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 16:41

Friday, Jan 22, 2016 at 16:41
Interesting seeing all the assertions about how to cool a 4.2 Nissan. If you have any history reading EO, you may have noticed that others with 4.2s have either fitted oil cooling, another V8 engine option, or ended buying something else. One member I could name spent thousands trying to fix the problem. Bigger radiator, bigger pump capacity, bigger fan, electric fan, oil cooler and then went to Brunswick Diesel to a heart transplant. He ultimately went 100 Series Landcruiser, before a bigger dual cab ute.

It has all been done before and they continue to overheat as the water ways aren't designed for the water flow to dissipate the heat. The engine was for a light truck years ago and the life you are trying to generate, is just like someone who can't move on. Trying to tow a low profile vehicle overheated mine and it always ran out of torque on hills
AnswerID: 595280

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