Stray Current Eats Radiator

Submitted: Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 15:22
ThreadID: 65942 Views:3771 Replies:10 FollowUps:13
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I noticed a drip of wetness on the garage floor a couple of days ago. Had a quick look and saw some slimey green stuff coming out the side of the radiator. Then discovered that the filler neck had a small crack at the base. Anyway, pulled the radiator out this morning and saw more signs of green stuff weeping down side of core.

So, off to the neighbouring town to see radiator man. Prognosis not good. Core is RS. Radiator man reckons it may be Stray Current eating at the core.

Aftermarket radiator was fitted at the end of 2006 brand new. (Old Nissan radiator had come to end of life at 300,000km and I could not afford the genuine replacement). New one has survived for 70,000km and only a few hard trips. Maybe it wasn't a new one but a 'rebirthed' jobbie?

So, luminaries, please explain to me where this Stray Current comes from. I do recall a thread here not so long ago about these things, but would like some fresh ideas. Might also be that I have not been running GOOD antifreeze. Dunno. Looks like this will make a bigger hole in my travelling budget for 2009 and I am not in line for the $900 promised by K07.

Radiator man rang a few seconds ago. Will get new radiator up by tomorrow. $528....cheeesh!

Such is life!!!


Cheers

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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 15:27

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 15:27
Willem,

This is the said thread :)

Cheers Kev
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Reply By: Member - John - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 15:43

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 15:43
Willem, awill4x4 is the guru on this problem, I imagine he will read the thread and reply pretty soon. Good luck, looks as if the K07 money is on it's way........................
John

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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:55

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:55
Thanks John. Lex posted what awill4x4 posted in 2004 and I have saved that.

I'm not a taxpayer any longer so will miss out on the $900! Oh well................


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Reply By: Member No 1- Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 15:56

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 15:56
did they check for stray currents?..if he was really doing his job (I assume he is a rad expert) he should have done this ...

else when did you do a flush of old coolant and renew?...i had a good radiator go down within 16 months of when the coolant was supposedly (or was sposed to have been) changed during a major service...
another question that should arise in my instance is..if they did change coolant did they flush out ALL OLD stuff with good clean water nprior to replacing coolant..

528 is a lot cheaper than an original toyo one some 4 yrs ago at that....(yes i know you have a nissan)
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:26

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:26
No, radiator man did nothing. I removed radiator. Radiator man said looked like stray currents. I didn't even see a stray cat...lol

Will put proper fella coolant in this time
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:38

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:38
ya not gunna pee in it are you
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:56

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:56
Might be a solution, what?

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Reply By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:01

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:01
Another thread here

And a good article here
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:53

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:53
Thanks Lex

I should have done a search, eh? I see I even commented on the first one.

Have copied all the info to page on the puter for some light reading :-)

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - Axle - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:30

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:30
G/Day Willem, Always something Eh!! A suggestion?, you know that putty you found ?, better get the frying pan out mate.

hahahaha.

Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:58

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 16:58
Yeah Axle, I am conjuring up things to do with that putty. Maybe go north and find a delinquent 130 and shove it up......hahahaha


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Follow Up By: Member - Axle - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 18:27

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 18:27
Mate you can shove it up our landcruiser at the moment!!! no worries..lol.

Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: troopyman - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 17:56

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 17:56
Stray current or mixed coolants or both will render an aluminium radiator useless 1000 x faster than the old brass radiators . Aluminium is far more efficient in dissipating heat because the solder that holds the brass together doesnt conduct heat very well . Do yourself a favour though and get a brass replacement and get someone to flush out and change the coolant every 12 monrths , they should also check for stray current . Stray current is current thats lost because its stray .
AnswerID: 348902

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Thoughtfully- Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 17:56

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 17:56
Willem, Check your earth to your motor from the chassis. What I understand is that the when the earth connection is poor, the current uses the alternate path thru the coolant and thats what eats away at the core as it passes back to the earthed chassis thru the radiator core, setting up an electrolysis like reaction approximately every 70,000km.

p.s. I made up the bit about the 70,000km
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Follow Up By: Willem - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 13:07

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 13:07
Bonz


For the life of me I cannot find the earth from the chassis to the engine. Where is it on the GU?


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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thoughtfully- Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 13:55

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 13:55
I have a big earth from the aux battery to the engine and from the engine to the chassis, that I fitted when I fitted the aux battery
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 20:12

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 20:12
"For the life of me I cannot find the earth from the chassis to the engine. Where is it on the GU? "

- There isn't one. That's why the radiator is mounted on rubber mounts. If you earth the radiator, you will be providing a path for stray currents to corrode your radiator.
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Follow Up By: bordertrek - Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 01:57

Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 01:57
The earth cable usually goes from the battery neg post to the body and then to the engine, or a separate one for each. The reason most chassis' arent earthed is because everything is usually earthed to the body, and the radiator is connected to the body as well (nose cone) but insulated. Not on old cars though, the radiators werent insulated from the body.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 08:48

Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 08:48
Radiator sits in rubber and is fixed to body via rubber. There is no metal to metal connection
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Reply By: Robnicko - Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 20:21

Friday, Feb 13, 2009 at 20:21
Willem,
I had my first encounter with the dreaded electrolosys back in the late 80's with a Rotary engine. Bugger of a thing cost me 2 new rotor housings at $500 each. Made sure to run dual fat earth leads after that.

Rob
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Follow Up By: RV Powerstream P/L - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 11:44

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 11:44
To me the biggest consideration for stay earths would be in 4x4 vehicles where they have auxilliary batteries located around the vehicle and use a chassis earth where joints with resistance that can be created with loose conections,moisture and corrosion causing the current to wander.

That is a good case for auxilliary batteries to be fitted with both a positive and negative cable to eliminate that potential for current wander.

The worst case of this I have seen is in a boat with no galvanic isolation moored at a Marina where that boat became the sacraficial anode and the electrolosis siezed the engine and the prop fell off.

Ian
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Reply By: garryk - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 14:28

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 14:28
G'day Willem,
Stray currents ,
some possible causes

Have you had panel beating done ? lots of times wireing is attached over newly painted metal , or not tightened or not attached at all

Have accessories like driving lights been fitted ?

or an electric winch ? or shower pump or air compressor? dual batterys ?
and not wired and earthed correctly

major mechanical work ? and wireing as above ?

more info and a test here
http://www.nulon.com.au/facts/Factsheet%20119.PDF

Garry
AnswerID: 349030

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 09:16

Sunday, Feb 22, 2009 at 09:16
A battery consists of an unprotected sheet of metal in sulphuric acid.

Which will result in faster corrosion of the metal -

a) No wire connected to the battery terminal (the battery remains charged for months because minimal chemical chage occurs on the plates)

b) Connecting ANY circuit between the lead plate and the other plate in the sulphuric acid - allowing current to flow and encouraging electrolysis.
AnswerID: 350360

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