1929 640 Antifreeze

Discussions related to motor & gear oils, greases, anti-freezes, etc.
Post Reply
autoluke
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:14 am

1929 640 Antifreeze

Post by autoluke » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:27 am

Seems to be some confusion regarding the new extended life anti freeze in vintage systems. Looking for advice in preparing to winterize my 640.

Many Thanks

Dave Czirr
Moderator
Posts: 5175
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:30 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: 1929 640 Antifreeze

Post by Dave Czirr » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:46 am

I'd be anxious as well to hear from those with personal experience with the newer formulations. The primary differences from what I've read, between the old original (green) and modern formulations, is the nature of the corrosion inhibitor additive package. As I've had it explained to me, the modern extended-life antifreezes are formulated with their anti-corrosion additive packages aimed primarily at aluminum alloy engine blocks, heads, radiators, etc. A recent article I read in one of the publications to the automotive service trade said that the convention (green) ethylene glycol based antifreeze (the type with the inorganic corrosion inhibitor package) was the best choice for older cars with primarily cast iron engine blocks/heads and copper w/solder radiator cores.

Adam - do you have any experience or information about this situation?

autoluke
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:14 am

Re: 1929 640 Antifreeze

Post by autoluke » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:05 am

My research has confirmed that the older sulphate technology would not harm our components, while the newer extended life formula could destroy critical engine components on vintage autos.

Any suggestions as to a source of the older antifreeze would be appreciated.

Dave Czirr
Moderator
Posts: 5175
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:30 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: 1929 640 Antifreeze

Post by Dave Czirr » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:18 am

I just bought mine, PEAK brand, at K-Mart. Auto Zone had the same product; directly on the label it says "original Green". I suggest just going to auto supply stores and reading the labels. Avoid those marked as "extended life" or similar.

I purchase the full-strength type and not the premixed 50/50 as I can't see paying the manufacturer for water and the shipping cost for same. But a lot of cooling system scale comes from water salts so I do dilute to 50/50 with distilled water. The ethylene glycol itself never looses it's boiling point elevation and freezing point depression properties; more important is the longevity of the inorganic corrision inhibitor package which is probably about two years so in a collector car with limited use, I change every two to three years.

autoluke
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:14 am

Re: 1929 640 Antifreeze

Post by autoluke » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:50 am

Dave

Thank you for the input. I must caution you however, that the Peak Sierra ( which is green in color ) is not the original product, but a new creation based upon propylene glycol technology.

Still searching for the correct anti freeze, containing sulphates and silica.

Dave Czirr
Moderator
Posts: 5175
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:30 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: 1929 640 Antifreeze

Post by Dave Czirr » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:18 am

Yes, thanks for the note of concern and I'm quite familiar (as a retired chemist) with the propylene glycol-based antifreezes. No problem using them in our antiques as long as you have the appropriate inorganic inhibitor (silicate-based). Propylene glycol has far lesser toxicity than ethylene glycol - hence it's appeal, especially with pets and small children around, and for disposal. In fact propylene glycol was (maybe still is) approved for use in certain food products. I've got a friend whose been using Sierra-label antifreezes in his 54 Packard for a decade, maybe more w/o problems.

Again, it's the inhibitor package that's important, not whether it's EG for PG based. Can't you find any plain old fashioned "green label" PEAK? I see it in almost every store I go into, even the A&P.

Al Pressman
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:34 pm

Re: 1929 640 Antifreeze

Post by Al Pressman » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:01 pm

Having used Prestone in my 1940 /356 for the past 33 years, I purchased more this past Tuesday intending to change the antifreeze after 3 years. I then happened (on Wednesday) upon the AACA post stating that the extended formula of any brand would attack the gaskets and gasket cement of our old cars.
Didn't panic, but took back the Prestone and exchanged it for "PEAK green". When the present antifreeze was drained, it was crystal (yellowish) clear. Doubt if any damage was done after all this time, But felt better feeling I would probably avoid any problems (if any) with the extended formula organic technology.
Just a calculated precaution.
Al

Adam
Posts: 1083
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:15 am
Location: lincolnshire, uk

Re: 1929 640 Antifreeze

Post by Adam » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:20 am

Apologies for coming to this rather late on. There has been much talk about the suitability of antifreezes for older cars in the UK too. Although, this thread seems well informed already.

Essentially many of the new products feature Organic Acid Technology (OAT) and the older, standard types utilise Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT). Apparently OAT can be corrosive to non ferrous metals like copper and brass (and possibly some solders), which radiators are made of in older cars, and which do not feature in modern cars. This is the problem. For any older car with components that are suseptable, it is essential to seek out the older style, standard ethylene glycol antifreeze with IAT. Over here it is not a problem, since stockists seem to keep both types. Just ensure that you ask when buying and check the label to avoid OAT. Standard antifreeze tends to be cheaper anyway, for the moment. That may not remain the case when volumes shift towards OAT products.

I hesitate to confuse things by talking about colours, but here the basic ethylene Glycol antifreeze (nobody uses methanol any more) tends to be blue, or green and the OAT products tend to be red, or green. So always read the label, colour alone is not a guide.

Adam..
"Do not underestimate the English cousin.....they are not as stupid as they look!" - Signor Altabani in The Italian Job.

Adam
Posts: 1083
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:15 am
Location: lincolnshire, uk

Re: 1929 640 Antifreeze

Post by Adam » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:21 am

As a further note on this I came across the following:-

A cautionary tale...all true. The following was posted on the Vintage Sports Car Club forum, here in the UK. The writer, Stephe Boddice, is an expert restorer of Rolls-Royce cars

Adam..

A WARNING ABOUT COOLANTS

COOLANTS - This posting is a WARNING to ALL OWNERS.


I have just picked up on the Peter Mitchell posting (RROC) of 11th March relating to coolant loss from the weep holes on his Shadow.

The following comments are made with the reservation that they are my opinions only, that the only statements of fact are those relating to my experiences and that any remedial action taken by owners is at their own risk. Certain information has been withheld from the following story pending a possible legal action against the retailer and/or manufacturer concerned.

In July 2006 I serviced my Phantom III. The engine on this car had been totally rebuild, by me, in 2003 and, following a complete restoration of the rest of the vehicle, it won First Prize in the PIII class at the RREC National in 2005. The point being that the whole vehicle is in 90+ point condition. The coolant was two years old and therefore ready for replacement. My local auto spares store, part of a national (UK) chain, was out of stock of the standard own-brand antifreeze but was fully stocked with their own-brand 'Advanced Coolant'. The information on the label quoted the usual compliance numbers, offered extended coolant life, better anti-corrosion protection and stated that the product was suitable for older engines. On that basis, following a cooling system flush, I decided to use the new coolant.

After about 4 weeks I noticed damp patches on the floor beneath the engine. Further investigation revealed that coolant was leeching from almost every possible joint: both radiator top hoses, both radiator bottom hoses, the Calorstat joint in the header tank, drain tap joint in the bottom tank plus the weep holes in the block. Tightening joints and hose clips had no effect. My bodily fluids started to threaten sympathetic reaction with the coolant.

The new coolant was drained off, all hoses were replaced with new items and leaking gaskets replaced; obviously, the liner 'O' rings were left in situ pending further investigations. The engine was thoroughly flushed three times and the coolant replaced with a known standard anti-freeze from a different supplier. The result was that all of the coolant leaks stopped immediately. Unfortunately, after driving the car, there was evidence that minute amounts of oil had started to seep from at least three of the weep holes. Baring in mind that this a concours standard car the result was not entirely satisfactory.

Cutting a very long story short, I spent 5 months attempting to get the retailers to provide technical information of any changes made to the formulation of the 'Advanced' coolant compared with their previous offering. This process went through the usual steps of stonewalling, denial, acknowledgement of changes, admission of known problems and culminated with them blaming me for using their product without the manufacturer's recommendation. At this point I escalated the problem and am now in discussions at Board level within the company, which is, in turn, making the manufacturer (one of GB's main producers) provide evidence of the product's suitability or otherwise.

It turns out that the 'Advanced' coolant is manufactured using an Organic Acid Technology (OAT) corrosion inhibitor pack. The previous anti-freeze used an Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT). Evidence supplied to the retailer by the manufacturer admits that the OAT inhibited coolant is known to cause leak problems even in engines that do not use wet liners. The major fault with the inhibitor being that it attacks, amongst other things, silicon compounds. The most commonly used base compound for gasket sealants is silicon.

The immediate problem to the buying public is that the manufacturers and retailers are failing to disclose which inhibitor technology is being incorporated in their coolants/anti-freezes . Anybody replacing their coolant MUST investigate with the manufacturer which system is employed. It appears that OAT, and even HOAT (Hybrid OAT), inhibited coolant can be supplied under the same national compliance standard codes as the earlier IAT technology.

To date, the industry has overlooked the volume/number of old car users who may inadvertently buy their products and the potential risks that this consumption represents. In 2006 there was a survey conducted relating to the 'old car' movement and its contribution to the EU economy. In the UK this was co-ordinated by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC), which is an umbrella body, funded by all of the recognised auto clubs, to fight poorly drafted EU automotive regulations that may accidentally drive old cars off the road. The findings, for the UK alone, were that this business sector contributed £2 billion (say $3.8 billion) to the UK economy alone. If the coolant manufacturers and retailers carelessly move to OAT inhibitors without considering the ramifications on the old car sector they may find that class actions through the courts will damage their Balance Sheets as much as these products do our old engines.

I believe Bill Vatter, in RROC postings, has already coined the warning slogan:

If it is RED - STOP
If it is yellow - proceed at your own risk
If it is green (or blue) - it is OK to use FOR NOW.

Make sure you check.

This information has been posted on the following Rolls-Royce & Bentley sites: -
RROC - http://www.rroc.org
RROC (Aus) - http://www.rroc.org.au
RREC - http://www.rrec.co.uk
RRBEW - http://www.rrbew.co.uk
Plus
VSCC - http://www.vscc.co.uk

SB
http://www.boddice.co.uk
"Do not underestimate the English cousin.....they are not as stupid as they look!" - Signor Altabani in The Italian Job.

Post Reply