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Old 04-19-2010, 07:42 AM
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Stock aluminum replacement Radiator - Water or antifreeze?

I just replaced my copper/bronze radiator for an aluminum core one. Is it still ok to run straight water?

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Old 04-19-2010, 07:47 AM
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Nope, your engine will benefit from a 50/ 50 water coolant mix. The heat transfer ability is slightly less with coolant but that is the only negative aspect.
Bill
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:07 AM
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50/50 is what you want, all current coolant is aluminum compatible. The thing is either use the 50/50 mix or mix your own, but use distilled water not tap water. Tap water contains stuff in it that may or may not start corrosion in your system.

Vince
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:32 AM
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The thing is, I'm using this in a dirt track racecar in a stock class. we are not allowed to run antifreeze. Would distilled water work ok?
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:55 AM
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I would run distilled water with a glop of water soluble oil to lubricate the pump and thermostat. Do you use a thermostat or a washer with 5/8 inch hole in it. The old time sprinters used a washer/ plate to slow the water flow a tad so it would pick up more heat transfer. At least that's the story I heard. Protect the radiator, aluminum isn't as tough as copper allows.
Bill
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxpower_454
The thing is, I'm using this in a dirt track racecar in a stock class. we are not allowed to run antifreeze. Would distilled water work ok?
A couple thoughts:

Coolant should be water, w/a WP seal lubricant additive. IMHO, the "Water Wetter"-type surfactants do nothing to help cool the engine- the pressures and velocities are high enough and fast enough that they're not needed in a race, high RPM situation. A street engine is another deal altogether- and may well benefit from a surface tension reducer.

You haven't mentioned what pressure you're running your cooling system at, but up to a point- more is better. A racing radiator in good shape will handle at least 22 psi up to maybe as much as 30 psi. But in any event, run as much cap as the rad. will take. You won't be anywhere near 30 psi at 200 degrees F, but it gives a cushion, should the engine overheat.

The cap should be at the highest point of the cooling system, else a surge tank needs to be used to act as an air/water separator.

There are easily plumbed set-ups that run water to the rear of the intake and to the heads that can help, if external cooling lines are allowed.

A "good" WP will have an equalized flow to both sides, a 3/4" shaft, ball/roller brngs., impellers w/directional vanes (6-8 vane impellers are available), and should not need to turn any faster than 6-7K RPM to get the job done.

The way I see it, the value of the high flow WP's on the market isn't the added flow, it's the ability to turn them slower to get enough flow.

The radiator is as important as the pump. A cross flow would be the first choice, unless you have to run an OEM type that has top and bottom tanks. Use as big of a surface area radiator as will fit the car. Area is better than thickness, but if the area isn't enough, well, there's thickness. One rule of thumb is to double the heat dissipation, double the area. But if the thickness is doubled, the heat dissipation is only 25% better.

Air flow is obviously important- that's where ducting and shrouds comes into play- w/o enough air through the rad., it won't work as well as it could. There are all sorts of schemes for keeping dirt/mud from clogging the rad, I'm sure you've found something that works for you- if not, look around the pits at your track. You'll no doubt see differing shaker screens, etc.

The fan shouldn't be any larger than necessary. Flex fans are usually power robbers. Clutch fans can be troublesome at high RPM. A mechanical fan would be probably the best choice for a dirt race car.

Use a high flow thermostat like the Shaw. And forget the idea that the coolant flows too fast through the radiator to cool. It just doesn't work that way.

I guess what I'm trying to say here, is the cooling system IS a system- and if designed to work as such, will do a better job than if it's just looked at as a pump and a radiator connected by two hoses.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:58 PM
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I just read your post and have to respond perhaps explaining my statements. As for water soluable oil, I got that idea from Mercedes Benz engineers many years back so it may well be outdated but to be honest I tend to go with them on most things. As for the restrictor I couldn't really argue as I stated it was an explanation given me at a race track during an event, the person telling the story was at the time getting 24000 per engine as he was a builder. I did after reading and thinking about your statement read your wiki articles and your piece on cooling systems did mention the restrictor and recommend it's use as a method of slowing the speed of the coolant flow. If I misunderstood please explain as I really enjoy the technical side of things.
Bill
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:18 PM
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Go to your local parts store and get a can of corrosion inhibitor. There are several companies that make it. I use the stuff by DuPont, as I have an aluminum radiator and can't use antifreeze at the track.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:04 PM
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I don't think I've ever said the restrictor was to slow coolant. I have said it would be an aid to maintaining a pressure differential between the block and radiator.

AFA water soluble grease, I have no experience either way w/it. If it serves to lubricate the water pump seal, that's what is needed IMHO.

BTW, the post above was mostly a cut/paste from another thread by another member about the race car he was driving. It wasn't in direct response to your post or the OP's, but did touch on the OP's questions, and then some.

Last edited by cobalt327; 04-19-2010 at 08:18 PM. Reason: Add link to thread.
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