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Old 03-03-2006, 11:30 AM
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cooling system electrolysys

I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge of cooling system electrolysys. I have two C7500's (with the 8.1 propane engines) that eat heater cores. I originally, and incorrectly I might ad, blamed the failures on the dex cool coolant. After the first failure on the trucks I switched to the green stuff and it took a little longer but the heater core failed again. I am now going on 3 for one of them and 4 for the older of the two. I have since moved the newer truck to another plant. The mechanic there was measuring the voltage at the heater core and it was over 700mv. He decided to ground the heater core and after the reading was 4mv. I was wondering if that will help or speed up the process. I was even thinking of adding some sort of mag anode in the system to help, but not sure about how to do that.

Anyone here have any experience with this type of thing?

John

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Old 03-03-2006, 11:34 AM
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Maybe you need some kind of anode rod in there.
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Old 03-03-2006, 02:35 PM
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Doc here,

Sounds like you have some ground issues..Although I never heard of a Heater core going be fore a water pump..Here is my standard "Cut & Paste " Cure..

Run a properly gauged Ground cable from the battery to any handy bolt at or near the starter, From that same bolt get a Battery cable at the parts store, that has two 3/8 ring terminals on each end and attach it there and to the Frame.

Next get some 10 gauge wire and ring terminals and run that from your bolt on the block to the Firewall, and another to the Alternator bracket or mount bolt.

If the Bracket and alternator is power white remove them both and their hardware, sand or pressure wash them until clean semi shiny metal, dry and reinstall.

You have electrolysis there..and it will also eat a water pump impeller up faster than any acid..The Alternator Bracket and Alternator housing is Aluminum and the block is Steel..(what were they thinking?)

When you go to reinstall the brackets, go to the hardware store and get some aluminum wire compound, and coat everywhere the mount hardware meets steel (bolts, mount surfaces Ect..)


Next get some Wire Braid, (Radio Shack) and install braid from the radiator support to the frame, Fenderwells to frame , hood to firewall, Doors to door posts, gas flap to body, tailgate / Trunk to body. In your case add braid to the HEATER core fan motor..

At each point the wire is grounded, Burnish ALL the paint and grease off to bare metal. Use a proper star-washer and lock. Use sheetmetal or Tech screws where no screws are available.

It sounds like a lot of work, but after you assemble all the parts, it's only a few hours to do..and you'll end up with a system that will work reliably for many years to come..and can eliminate that from your troubleshooting list.

Doc
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Old 03-03-2006, 03:33 PM
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Electrolysis is caused when dissimilar metals are in contact with each other.
Like aluminum and copper. Or Steel and copper. AND electrical current passed thru them. Then one metal gives up (sacrifices) it's electrons to the other metal.
You may find that a high amount of ground current is passing thru the radiator assembly.
The grounding should help but the final cure is to isolate the core from it's support or other metal with a dielectric.
If you can't isolate the core from the support, you can isolate the entire radiator, so no current can pass thru it, that should help.
Another possible remedy would be to spray CRC "Zinc-it" (it's galvanizing paint) on the metal junction but the metal needs to unpainted for it to be effective. The Zinc becomes a sacrificial anode instead of the radiator core.

vicrod
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Old 03-04-2006, 03:16 PM
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Thanks everyone I will try some of those suggestions and see if it will help. I am a little dissapointed with these trucks. Both have been doing this since they were new(01&02). My dad also has had the same problem on his 01 pickup. His first heater core went around 40,000, he is now on #3. Since this has happened to three vehicles, all gm, with the same engine. I was thinking it might be a engineering thing. All the heater cores are isolated in plastic. I will try grounding all the trucks cores and see if that helps too.

I will keep you posted on my progress

John
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Old 03-04-2006, 03:43 PM
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check if there is a radiator cap with a sacrificial anode arm (magnesium/zinc) that fits that truck (?<$20)

prolongs life on all parts of the cooling system...freeze plugs, pump, rad etc

yes, just a bare wire stuffed into the fins (or screwed into the core frame)on the core and grounded to the dash will help alot....the rubber in and out hoses are insulating the core from any ground while the charged coolant is flowing thru
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:17 PM
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Electrolysis is a major problem on diesel engines,I've seen it eat right thru blocks and liners on cats and cummins.

We routinely test the coolant for DCA levels,and adjust as needed.

DCA's are chemical additives to prevent electrolysis,go to any truck shop and they can test and adjust your coolant for you.
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Old 03-09-2006, 05:58 AM
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I just bought a Ron Davis alum radiator & they say to remove all BRASS from the cooling ststem. That's nearly impossible in my case-ie,brass freeze plugs & water & oil pressure sending units.
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:43 AM
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Don....is there a question in your post?
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Old 03-10-2006, 03:10 PM
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Red65 mustang.... I Just made a statememnt of what one alum radiator mfg says.

Did you think I make an inapproprate post? I simply made a statment of information I recieved from Ron Davis - alum Rad Mfg. Did I mis interpret your attitude.

Your friend Don-(Retired Mech Engr) WWW.MeyerbrosRods.com

Last edited by Don Meyer; 03-10-2006 at 03:41 PM.
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