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TOPIC: Soluble Oil in Radiators

Soluble Oil in Radiators 18 Jan 2011 10:17 #43181

  • Tacho
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G'day, I have used soluble oil in old tractor cooling systems for a while, but with out really knowing the facts.

What concentration should it be (how much soluble oil per 10 litres of water)

Does it have a "life".

Are there motors not to use in.

And in other info.

Cheers Geoff

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Re: Soluble Oil in Radiators 18 Jan 2011 11:49 #43182

  • Rusty Engines
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Hi
You used to be able to buy small bottles of soluble oil from Super Cheap Auto for radiators and I used it in my old worn out Mazda Ute for about 4 years before selling it and that time frame no problems, long term??
I also use soluble oil in all my stationary engines so when I drain out the water it leaves a oily film behind, no more rust inside the water hopper
In a modern day engine I have been told it would not be a good idea, but never got an exact reason why
Ian

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Re: Soluble Oil in Radiators 18 Jan 2011 12:57 #43183

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There are four major reasons why soluble oil has fallen out of favour in the last 20 or 30 years.

1. Soluble oil attacks rubber .. and as such, will degrade hoses, seals and rubber in gaskets, faster than expected.

2. Soluble oil coats engine component surfaces with an oily coating that inhibits heat transfer.

3. Soluble oil is prone to microbiological degradation. That is, bugs such as the ones that create algae in fuel, get into soluble oil and decompose it, thus rendering the oil ineffective at stopping corrosion.

4. Modern engines contain vast quantities of exotic alloys and increasing amounts of plastics. Aluminium alloys and magnesium alloys are commonly used in block, heads and major engine components.
Plastics and resins are used in radiator tanks and hose fittings. Soluble oil is not an effective corrosion inhibitor when you have this large mix of highly incompatible components, that promote corrosion by electrolysis.
These modern, exotic alloys and plastics, produce a wider range of chemicals, when they start to degrade, than what the old-style, cast-iron engines ever did.

Thus, more-precisely-targeted, specifically-designed, cooling system corrosion inhibitors, have been developed for these modern engines, to combat the effects of this wider range of destructive chemical compounds.

If you use the OEM inhibitor developed by the maker of your engine, you have the correct coolant for your engine.

In the old days, corrosion was simply the product of oxidation of iron by water, with scale created by minerals in the water, about the only other problem you had to deal with.

Nowadays, cooling system corrosion is a complex chemical process that involves higher temperatures (most modern engines operate around boiling point today - 100

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Re: Soluble Oil in Radiators 19 Jan 2011 19:21 #43184

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Onetrack, the only problem with using rain water is that it's usually been in contact with metal at some stage, (gutters, downpipes, etc) and these can be rusty, if any rust flakes get into a cooling system they will grow and sometimes block radiator tubing. I gave up drinking rain water after being on my roof, I found bird crap, cat crap and a dead rat as well as moss in the gutters, and the water flows over these before it goes into the tank so it's not all it's cracked up to be. If it's filtered before use fine but as for drinking, forget it, at least tap water has usually had a heap of chemicals that supposedly won't hurt us added, to kill off the nasties, but I'm not so sure anymore. I've also seen rain water tanks with up to a foot of mud in the bottom so is it really all that clean and pure? :-/

Tony
TONY C. (SA)&&&&LIFE'S TOO SHORT TO DRIVE BORING VEHICLES !!

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Last edit: by Thunders-Truk.

Re: Soluble Oil in Radiators 19 Jan 2011 22:55 #43185

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Tony - Yeah, I know where you're coming from, and you're right. However, rainwater is still far better than tap water, even with a few dead birds, rats, and leaves in it .. ;D

I get my rainwater straight off the asbestos roof of my shop, after it's run for a while. The downpipe is busted, so I wait until its been raining for 20 mins, and then slide a 20L black PVC container under it, and fill it in seconds.

I've told this one before on the tractor forums, but it's worth repeating. The brother, his missus and myself rented a nice farmhouse in the SE Wheatbelt (East of Wickepin) when we first started earthmoving contracting in the mid-1960's.

A farmer had bought his neighbour out, and this nice old cement-brick house, that was less than 20 yrs old, was standing empty, so we rented it for about $200 a yr and ended up staying there for 8 yrs, until his eldest bloke got married and wanted the house.

Anyway, this house had a water supply that was a ground level, 12,000 gallon concrete tank, fully sealed with a pitched CGI roof. It was fed off the roof of an adjacent 60' x 40' shed, and was nearly always full every year.
About early 1967, we started noticing little grey flecks in the tap water. Never took much notice, until the fleck started becoming chunky bits. We decided we'd better investigate what was going on in the tank. We took a sheet of iron off, and nearly puked at what we saw.

The inlet downpipe from the shed ran out into the tank, at the top of the tank, and stopped about a foot out into the tank. Rats had been scampering down the downpipe, squeezing in past the gap where it went into the tank, looking for a drink. They had been running out to the end of the downpipe, then jumping off to get a drink.
Of course, the water was often 2 to 4 feet below the pipe, and there was no way out for them. They swum around until they drowned. The tank had about 100 rat carcasses in it, all bloated and disintegrating!!

We'd been drinking rat soup, for God-knows-how-long!! .. but strangely enough, we never felt any ill-effects from it!! :P

We drained the tank, hosed it right out with the firefighter, re-installed the downpipe with a rat guard and fully sealed the pipe entrance! .. and we checked that tank on very regular occasions, thereafter!! .. ;D

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Re: Soluble Oil in Radiators 20 Jan 2011 07:45 #43186

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We grew up with tank water a couple things Dad would drain the tanks every so often and being kids he would put us inside with a spade and bucket to clean the sludge out and dead creatures. Also a small dose of kero to stop mossies breading and all this came of a old gal roof.

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Re: Soluble Oil in Radiators 20 Jan 2011 10:47 #43187

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Ron, I've given up on rainwater, I work casually at a University and we use a Hydrogen generator in experiments, (dangerous stuff, Hydrogen, ask an old Japanese bloke who was around in '45!), this has to have absolutely pure water used in it. I fill a 20lt. container from the water filtration system that supplies the generator, my wife even uses it in her electric iron, I use it in batteries, radiators and anything that needs clean, absolutely pure water.

Tony
TONY C. (SA)&&&&LIFE'S TOO SHORT TO DRIVE BORING VEHICLES !!

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Last edit: by Thunders-Truk.

Re: Soluble Oil in Radiators 20 Jan 2011 13:10 #43188

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Tony - The problems with tap water is that it contains a % of dissolved mineral salts, that aren't present in any rainwater .. and which salts are dynamite on cooling systems.
I have a filter on our drinking water, and it comprises a 1 micron solids filter, and a .5 micron activated carbon filter, to get the bacteria and other bugs.
Despite this, I still need to clean our kettle with vinegar every few weeks, due to crusty calcium/magnesium salts buildup on the stainless steel in the kettle. That just shows how the dissolved salts get through.

Of course, the best water is distilled water if you have a source of bulk distilled water available. However, not everyone has a close source of bulk distilled water.

That's why I still recommend rainwater .. even off CGI roofs, and full of bird poop and a few leaves, it's still better than straight tap water.

Cheers - Ron.

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Re: Soluble Oil in Radiators 20 Jan 2011 14:18 #43189

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Having worked in the water industry for many years Onetrack you are very correct for a there is Chlorine to kill bacteria then there is fluoride in various forms but that changes Ph levels so something is added hear in Melb that was lime to correct that then in holding tank facilities there is often anti flotsam chemicals to make solid fall out of suspension. So there are lots of chemicals that will cause erosion electrolysis But as pointed in the thread soluble oil main purpose in the machining manufacturing was so that water could be used for cooling with out causing rust
Geoffb

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Re: Soluble Oil in Radiators 20 Jan 2011 22:09 #43190

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With rain water tanks it depends where you live, out in the bush OK
If you live 30 houses away from the main drag, a friend of mine does, the water quality can be crap as he found out when a visitor got sick and the tank water was blamed. So the water was tested and it was full of everything you could think of, the cause was put down to the thousands of cans AND TRUCKS that went by every day, with all the crap landing on his roof then into the water tank
Ian

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