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Old 10-11-2020, 11:32 PM   #1
31 Woody
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Default Rusty Coolant

Just what it says, I have rusty coolant. I have tried the vinegar trick, I have flushed, flushed again... Vinegar actually caused leaks from my experience. My Dad always ran water because he said antifreeze creeps in places water can’t (smaller molecules).

The engine is only a few years old on a rebuild where it was extensively cleaned out. The radiator was replaced after the vinegar experiment and subsequent leaks. But it’s still rusty.
What do you do to stop the rust? Is there an additive? Do I run antifreeze instead?
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Old 10-12-2020, 12:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

antifreeze has a rust inhibitor. Have you been adding any rust inhibitor ? I myself believe you should use antifreeze in the engine. Others may disagree but a very high majority use it.

Last edited by McMimmcs; 10-12-2020 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 10-12-2020, 12:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/ethyl...l/glycoljs.htm
If I understand the above, the water and anti-freeze bond so what you would be seeing is the stain from the anti-freeze after the water evaporated.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:14 AM   #4
Dan Partain
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

If there is no danger of freezing where you live in California, this will work fine to keep the rust out of your engine and radiator.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

I live in S. California and have had my Model A for 15 years. I have no need for anti-freeze, but do run water and anti-rust additive. Have no rust at all....it works great, but you cannot run straight water......
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Old 10-12-2020, 04:10 PM   #6
31 Woody
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

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Excellent—thanks for the great replies! Sure hope it doesn’t freeze in Southern California, but we do have an election coming up.
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Old 10-12-2020, 05:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

If it does freeze, just drain it until spring.
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Old 10-12-2020, 08:23 PM   #8
McMimmcs
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

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Originally Posted by 31 Woody View Post
Excellent—thanks for the great replies! Sure hope it doesn’t freeze in Southern California, but we do have an election coming up.
Fill with 50/50 anti freeze and water blend and you won’t have to worry.
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Old 10-13-2020, 02:09 PM   #9
Ernie Vitucci
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

Good afternoon...I agree with number 8! I live in Scottsdale, Arizona...pretty warm...warmer than Lake Forest...I run 50/50 water and antifreeze and in the 15 years I've had this Model A, no problems....In the 60's I had a 30 Coupe in Newport Beach when I attended Corona del Mar High School...ran the same mixture for several years...never a problem...a good flush every 5 years or so...and fresh 50/50 is also a good idea. Ernie in Arizona
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Old 10-15-2020, 06:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

I am going through the same thing 31. I have flushed several times and gobs of mud/rust have been coming out. On a good note, the car isnt overheating and is running cool.
Will give it a few more flushes and just antifreeze it for the winter. I even had the garden hose dribbling fresh water in as the drain was letting the dirt out, on a few occasions. the good news is it is getting clearer and clearer. Will go back to the vinegar in the spring.......
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Old 10-15-2020, 07:09 PM   #11
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

I have heard of people putting in a couple tablespoons of baking soda to clean up. Anyone ever heard of that?
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Old 10-15-2020, 07:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

When I replaced the head gasket’s and water pumps on my stock ‘51 F1 flathead (with 8ba stamped on the heads by-the-way) I used compressed air and a shop vac to remove the accumulation of rust pieces and left behind sand from the block. It was an arduous task but I believe I was successful in removing nearly all of it because cooling system is working great with the temp on both sides now (nearly) identical (180degrees) and stays at temp under load - even when temp outside is over 100. I use distilled water with inhibitor. I know it’s not the same as your A but thought I’d share my experience.
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Old 10-15-2020, 07:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

I flushed my cooling system with Thermo Cure. Let it circulate for few days while driving normally. Removed a lot of rust. Then refilled with 50/50 anti freeze mix AND bottle of Water Wetter. I think this worked best.
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Old 10-15-2020, 07:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

yes Gene- that neutralizes the vinegar/acid.
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

I cleaned up and painted an engine this summer for display. While I was high pressure washing it with the head off I held the nozzle in one of the water jackets. I didn't care if water went past the pistons. Rust came out for at least 20 minutes in chunks. Flushed back and forth it kept coming. I really don't think a short flush with a garden hose gets all the crud out.
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Old 10-16-2020, 06:15 AM   #16
ronn
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

I think you are right nobo, but previously I was overheating, so am now content with a cool running engine.

Prob why the water still looks a bit dirty. the antifreeze should help "clean" it up over the winter.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:22 PM   #17
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

I used vinegar and ran it for a week, drained and backflushed thoroughly, refit the hoses and filled with distilled water and put in a cup of backing soda, ran another week and did the backflush again. That's been a year or so and I have a rusty froth at the radiator cap. I have put another cup of baking soda in the radiator and plan to run it for some time more, I haven't lost any water, but don't want the rust problem to return. Any other tips? I had put some type of rust inhibitor in the last time, generic off the shelf and I don't recall the name tho' I may have used a Red Line product as my parts house carries all their stuff.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:09 AM   #18
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveymc29 View Post
I used vinegar and ran it for a week, drained and backflushed thoroughly, refit the hoses and filled with distilled water and put in a cup of backing soda, ran another week and did the backflush again. That's been a year or so and I have a rusty froth at the radiator cap. I have put another cup of baking soda in the radiator and plan to run it for some time more, I haven't lost any water, but don't want the rust problem to return. Any other tips? I had put some type of rust inhibitor in the last time, generic off the shelf and I don't recall the name tho' I may have used a Red Line product as my parts house carries all their stuff.
Use a 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled h2o.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:26 PM   #19
30 Closed Cab PU
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Default Re: Rusty Coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveymc29 View Post
I used vinegar and ran it for a week, drained and backflushed thoroughly, refit the hoses and filled with distilled water and put in a cup of backing soda, ran another week and did the backflush again. That's been a year or so and I have a rusty froth at the radiator cap. I have put another cup of baking soda in the radiator and plan to run it for some time more, I haven't lost any water, but don't want the rust problem to return. Any other tips? I had put some type of rust inhibitor in the last time, generic off the shelf and I don't recall the name tho' I may have used a Red Line product as my parts house carries all their stuff.

I do not know if NAPA 1300 Rust inhibitor is better, but is frequently mentioned.



I run 50/50 antifreeze with a leakless water pump. Decided to do so after talking to a couple of radiator guys - told me that even with Water and Rust Inhibitor that eventually rust devolops, Antifreeze - no rust. Have been told that Water Wetter/similar products do not do a great job of Rust prevention.



Down side of antifreeze is if it leaks in the motor bay, what a mess and can damage paint. There is a belief that antifreeze leaking into the oil causes quick damage to the bearings , and that water leaking into the oil takes longer to damage the bearings - I do not know if true or not.


So each has its advantages/disadvantages.
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