Any Thoughts Re Green Coolant Dilution Ratio? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-21-2018, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Any Thoughts Re Green Coolant Dilution Ratio?

I am aware that many peeps here use / believe in ELT for the 7.3. I don't; I use green. This thread is not about red vs green.

For many years I have used, and the standard recommendation is that green should be diluted 50/50. 50/50 provides appx -25 to -35 degF freezing protection. BUT pure water is better at cooling than glycol is. The lower the glycol content, the better the cooling performance. When I use the strips to check the coolant for SCA, it also tells me the freeze protection. It is typically in the lower than -30F range. I don't take the truck to Alaska or Antarctica. At most it may get cold-soaked to 0deg F at a trailhead in the Rockies overnight. But that happens about once every 5 years. I don't need freeze protection to the current level, but I do need maximum cooling efficiency.

Because I check the coolant regularly with the strips (every oil change, about once a year), I'm considering just adding plain water when it needs a little top-off, and let the freeze protection rise to about -10F at the warmest. Even at -10, I'll never freeze it. I don't go anywhere that cold.

Any thoughts re freeze protection vs increasing the cooling system efficiency by using a lower green-to-water ratio?
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-22-2018, 03:39 AM
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Probably would be ok but what is your goal here?
Diesels like to run hotter rather than cooler- helps with combustion. Around 200f is the sweet spot for the 7.3
The addatives in the antifreeze also help with corrosion protection.
Manufacturers recommendations ate usually well researched to work for your specific vehicle, especially fluids.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-22-2018, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveP. View Post
... Any thoughts re freeze protection vs increasing the cooling system efficiency by using a lower green-to-water ratio?
Water is about 5-10% more efficient to transfer heat than glycol. Obviously the glycol is there to provide freeze and boiling protection, but the coolant is there because - in addition to glycol - it contains corrosion and microbial inhibitors.

The scale caused by not adequately combating corrosion and the problems associated with algae and other microbial growth are generally considered to more than offset any gain by not running coolant. Meaning... it doesn't help if your fluidic heat transfer is 5% better if the scale on your radiator causes the metal-to-fluid heat transfer to be 20% worse.

@Mike Gs (above/below) mentioned the corrosion. I'm with him with the added microbial component.

So... your question should be: "What does everyone think about increasing the percentage of water to provide a net increase in heat transfer efficiency by better balancing the coolant/water ratio while maintaining adequate corrosion and microbial resistance?" I say, that's a fine idea. Go for it! You need only establish whether the 40% coolant/60% water that gives you -10F freeze point has that adequate protection. It probably does. So, again... go for it!

You can get the additives separate. Racers do it.






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...
Diesels like to run hotter rather than cooler- helps with combustion. Around 200f is the sweet spot for the 7.3
...
The hotter/cooler thing is not a function of coolant ratio for a properly functioning cooling system. That would be thermostat choice.

That said... per the above, I agree with your response.
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-22-2018, 05:05 PM
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So if he wants to run cooler the real answer is to change the thermostat- changing the efficiency of the coolant will just cycle the existing stat quicker, and just a few percent. I don't think you can notice.
Like Diesel DC says- don't over think the simple stuff.
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-22-2018, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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@djmaguire : thank you for the well thought out response. I am aware of the attributes of coolant you mention such as corrosion and micro biotic protection. I have a coolant filter that is changed every other oil change which should remove any scale or rust particles that are in suspension. And 40% green will provide 80% of the level of corrosion protection that 50% green would. I don't feel that my proposed 10% reduction in glycol content should present any decrease in corrosion protection. But I appreciate you bringing it up.

My coolant test strips also check Ph. My recollection from High School Science class is that a Ph of 8 is neutral. Not acidic, nor alkaline. I'm not sure what Ph has to do with coolant other than an indication of the quality of the water that is being added to the system. So far my Ph has always been right around 8. If the water added is too alkaline, or combustion leaks cause a change, etc the test strips should pick this up.

Lastly, the question of "what is my goal" is a good one. I'm not positive I have a good answer. The truck always runs with the stock gauge right at the same place regardless of heat load. On trips in high ambient temperatures on grades, I hear the fan clutch come on, but the gauge never moves. So absolute cooling capacity well exceeds heat loads. I don't really need to do anything. But:

Not all areas of the engine cooling system run at the same temperatures. The bottoms of the cylinders are much cooler than around the exhaust ports in the cylinder heads. The thermostat regulates the outlet temperature, but it is an "average" of all the different surface temperatures within the engine. If a lower glycol concentration helps with heat-transfer from hot sections like the heads and exhaust ports, I believe this would be beneficial, particularly under periods of high load such as pulling grades in high ambient temperatures. So now that you've made me think about the goal, I suppose this is it. Plus a gallon of green will make 2-1/2 gallons of 40/60, rather than 2 gallons of 50/50.

I recall years ago that GM trucks shipped to the South West states had 40/60 coolant mixtures rather than 50/50 to address the higher ambient temperatures. I don't think they still do this. So this was not an original thought on my part.

Thanks again for the participation and thoughts.
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-22-2018, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Gs View Post
So if he wants to run cooler the real answer is to change the thermostat-
I don't want to change the outlet temperature at the thermostat. I want to increase the efficiency of the exchange of heat TO the coolant from hot internal surfaces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Gs View Post
changing the efficiency of the coolant will just cycle the existing stat quicker, and just a few percent. I don't think you can notice.
Decreasing the Delta-T at the hot surfaces won't change the outlet temperature at the thermostat. You won't see it at all on the gauge. But I'm not after lower outlet temperature. I want better heat rejection to the coolant, and the lower internal surface temperatures.

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Like Diesel DC says- don't over think the simple stuff.
I don't read anything that forum-***** posts. He's been on my ignore list for about a year. Makes reading the threads more pleasurable for me.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-22-2018, 06:03 PM
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"curiouser and curiouser"

I understand what your shooting for, but is a 10% concentration difference really going to make any difference at the "hot zones"?

I really doubt 40/60 will do any harm, I just can't believe you'll see any benefit other than the economical one.

But WTH, as long as your SCA level is maintained for cavitation prevention, give it a try. For all the inquiring minds around here, could you use an IR thermometer before and after and let us know if you see any difference.

Oh yeah, 7 is neutral PH, not that it matters for this discussion.
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-22-2018, 06:38 PM
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Well- i respect everyone's opinion, even if i disagree with them. I believe everyone has something to teach and I sure have a lot to learn. This is why i enjoy a good discussion and coming away with some knowledge. I know i am never 100% right and I also know you are not either. Nothing, noone is 100%. We all make mistakes. You should always use your judgement and take away from these discussions what you believe to be true and correct, and find out for yourself. The numbers of differing opinions here you are bound to get some good info to help you.
So , I don't think 10% less or more water in your mix will do anything but make you think more about it, until something actually goes wrong that needs real attention.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-23-2018, 06:44 AM
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My first question would be do you have a cooling problem? Our 7.3's have a pretty big cooling system.

Yea, the -30 or -35 deg. F. freeze protection may be a little extreme for most people, but no way would I go to -10.

To add some actual info to the discussion, glycol does indeed kill heat transfer. Pure water at 42F cools the same as a 30% glycol mix at 5F. Most people in the plastics industry don't run glycol in their cooling water systems because it hurts heat transfer that bad.


Ever hear of products like "Water Wetter"? A lot of guys swear by it in snowmobiles and dirt bikes that have cooling issues for various reasons, mainly undersized cooling systems.
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-23-2018, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Gs View Post
Well- i respect everyone's opinion, even if i disagree with them. I believe everyone has something to teach and I sure have a lot to learn. This is why i enjoy a good discussion and coming away with some knowledge. I know i am never 100% right and I also know you are not either. Nothing, noone is 100%. We all make mistakes. You should always use your judgement and take away from these discussions what you believe to be true and correct, and find out for yourself. The numbers of differing opinions here you are bound to get some good info to help you.

So , I don't think 10% less or more water in your mix will do anything but make you think more about it, until something actually goes wrong that needs real attention.

- yeah I keep it simple. OP likes to overthink everything. Don’t rub elbows with him like I did when I called him out on this MPG calculations - you’ll be on his ignore list - then he’ll find reasons to make cheap shots at you intentionally on other posts - kinda like first grade again. It’s okay OP though, I read your posts still b/c I’m not ignoring ya. Pretty informative on some and some are pretty much outliers and long winded - those are the ones I ignore.


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