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While my truck with the D-30 engine is up on blocks in the garage I have been running distilled water in the cooling system since I recored the radiator. The antifreeze was drained out before the radiator removal. I don’t seem to find good ole radiator lube any more at the average auto parts store and counter folk either don’t know or say that the modern antifreeze ingredients do the same.  If I run plain water in the system until colder weather what is used to keep the water pump bearing lubed ?  Just a 1/2 cup of antifreeze then ?   That way I could drain the system and dump the old water on the plants and not worry about nature getting sick or my curious dog wondering what that smell is.  I’m out in the country.  

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I've never been able to understand how water pump lube was supposed to work.  The coolant never touches the bearings unless the seal has failed.  there may be some anti-rust capabilities, depending on the formulation used.  IOW, I think it has always been snake oil.   At least since the very early days, before good seals and bearings.

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If yyou go back in time all of the car manufacturers including Chrylser produced water pump Antirust chemical.  The anti rust preventative is used to keep the antirusting agens active in your radiator and cooling system.

 

Yes antifreeze has antirusting properties but as time goes on these breakdown and one day the AF is green when you look at it in your radiator and then a couple of days later it could be brown like a rust color.  This istelling you that the antirusting agents have wornout and time to chnage the AF and flush the entire system.

 

I have a local discount store that sells the Prestone water pump and antirusting agent in a bottle 11 oz. I use a canof this every fall in my 39 Desoto. It is a milky color and mixes well with the AF.  When the fluid is circulating in the system the bearing and the propeller inside the Water pump is also getting coated with the chemical. So yes the bearing is getting lubricated, but if you have a zerk fitting on your pump then also put some boat propeller grease in the lub point to alsoprotest the seal.

 

Napa did carry the product and it was made by GUNK  also can find it on ebay

 

This is the product that I use and I hae had the car for 35 years, part of my regular maintenance because of the cast iron block.

 

Some think its snake oil but I have had my AF turn brown on a modern car so why take any chances for a few dollars, It can not hurt your car.

 

Rich HArtung

Desoto1939@aol.com

 

 

image.png.29791f1729234342e704885a5ebcafac.png

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Have to agree with @kencombs on snake oil on water pump lube.

 

With a re-cored radiator, I would have to consider that as a investment to be protected. You also need to think about your engine block, heater core.

Distilled water is good, The only reason I can think of not running antifreeze that will protect your radiator & engine. Is you are a race car & they do not want to clean up the mess on the track when the engine blows up.

 

Absolutely I would want antifreeze in the coolant to protect my investments.

There are proper ways to dispose of the used coolant when finished with it ..... Water alone seems like a very poor way to treat a cooling system.

 

Just my humble opinion. I wonder if others agree?

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water pump lube, as I remember it in the days of vintage water pumps was what you would use along with the rope packing and gland nut and allowed you to keep the shaft lubed and also from dripping when the gland nut was tightened.......this is in a non pressurized cooling system...the packing and gland nut was still used in some pig pumps where water is moved in a non pressurized circulation system way down the ages....

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1 hour ago, desoto1939 said:

If yyou go back in time all of the car manufacturers including Chrylser produced water pump Antirust chemical.  The anti rust preventative is used to keep the antirusting agens active in your radiator and cooling system.

 

Yes antifreeze has antirusting properties but as time goes on these breakdown and one day the AF is green when you look at it in your radiator and then a couple of days later it could be brown like a rust color.  This istelling you that the antirusting agents have wornout and time to chnage the AF and flush the entire system.

 

I have a local discount store that sells the Prestone water pump and antirusting agent in a bottle 11 oz. I use a canof this every fall in my 39 Desoto. It is a milky color and mixes well with the AF.  When the fluid is circulating in the system the bearing and the propeller inside the Water pump is also getting coated with the chemical. So yes the bearing is getting lubricated, but if you have a zerk fitting on your pump then also put some boat propeller grease in the lub point to alsoprotest the seal.

 

Napa did carry the product and it was made by GUNK  also can find it on ebay

 

This is the product that I use and I hae had the car for 35 years, part of my regular maintenance because of the cast iron block.

 

Some think its snake oil but I have had my AF turn brown on a modern car so why take any chances for a few dollars, It can not hurt your car.

 

Rich HArtung

Desoto1939@aol.com

 

 

image.png.29791f1729234342e704885a5ebcafac.png

Fully agree with the anti-rust comments.  But please remember that the seal is between the coolant and bearing and if intact, no water will reach the bearing.   I’d much rather have a quality anti-freeze rather than water alone.  Change it as needed and it will keep rust and other metal corrosion at bay.  
 

I’m also a believer in sealed caps and coolant recovery systems.   That minimizes the amount of oxygen that dissolves in the coolant.  Minimize O2, minimize rust.  

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1 hour ago, kencombs said:

Fully agree with the anti-rust comments.  But please remember that the seal is between the coolant and bearing and if intact, no water will reach the bearing.   I’d much rather have a quality anti-freeze rather than water alone.  Change it as needed and it will keep rust and other metal corrosion at bay.  
 

I’m also a believer in sealed caps and coolant recovery systems.   That minimizes the amount of oxygen that dissolves in the coolant.  Minimize O2, minimize rust.  

Hi Ken

you commented on my project in another thread and I'm curious about the catch can system you mention. I have a 47 dodge with a zero pressure system.  A regular cap and a little tower fitting in the center of the top of the radiator with an overflow hose to under the car. What kind of system is appropriate and would work on my set up? 

Thanks

Andy

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Water is one third oxygen.  Dissimilar metals cause electrolysis, which uses the oxygen in the water to rust things.  Sealed systems are nice, but you will still get rust with plain water.

 

The OP asked about water pump lube.  Not anti rust chemicals.  Two separate things though these days it's hard to find them separately any more.

 

As PA talked about, unless you are still running an old style pump it's unneeded.  Because modern water pumps, including new ones for our engines, use sealed bearings  Older designs didn't so a lube was needed.  In the case of our water pumps they didn't even run bearings, just two bushing and that grease nipple on it was for water pump grease.  So in our case, you'd need that. 

 

 

https://www.counterman.com/do-water-pump-lubricants-really-work/

 

NAPA can get the anti corrosion additive if they don't have it on the shelf https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ZRXZXC04

 

The MSDS says it contains Sodium nitrate (used as a food additive) and Sodium mercaptobenzothiazole (industrial uses) not sure I'd let my dog drink it.

 

 

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1 hour ago, LeRoy said:

Hi Ken

you commented on my project in another thread and I'm curious about the catch can system you mention. I have a 47 dodge with a zero pressure system.  A regular cap and a little tower fitting in the center of the top of the radiator with an overflow hose to under the car. What kind of system is appropriate and would work on my set up? 

Thanks

Andy

It only works with sealed systems.  Doesn't have to have much pressure, a 2 or 4psi would be fine, anything to keep extra O2 out.  A radiator like yours would need a pressure cap, assuming there is a sealing ledge in there, and  the overflow plugged and  moved to an area in the neck above the sealing ledge.  May need a neck transplant, depending on the actual configuration of yours.

Edited by kencombs
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1 hour ago, Sniper said:

Water is one third oxygen.  Dissimilar metals cause electrolysis, which uses the oxygen in the water to rust things.  Sealed systems are nice, but you will still get rust with plain water.

 

The OP asked about water pump lube.  Not anti rust chemicals.  Two separate things though these days it's hard to find them separately any more.

 

As PA talked about, unless you are still running an old style pump it's unneeded.  Because modern water pumps, including new ones for our engines, use sealed bearings  Older designs didn't so a lube was needed.  In the case of our water pumps they didn't even run bearings, just two bushing and that grease nipple on it was for water pump grease.  So in our case, you'd need that. 

 

 

https://www.counterman.com/do-water-pump-lubricants-really-work/

 

NAPA can get the anti corrosion additive if they don't have it on the shelf https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ZRXZXC04

 

The MSDS says it contains Sodium nitrate (used as a food additive) and Sodium mercaptobenzothiazole (industrial uses) not sure I'd let my dog drink it.

 

 

Water is an electrolyte and allows the iron ions flow.  Excess O2, not bound as a water molecule will greatly speed the process as it will bind with the Fe ions..

 

I don't think I've ever seen a product that didn't claim both anti-rust and lube properties if it claimed either.   Left over labeling I guess.   With the old bushing and packing system, especially adjustable packing, the lube may help as the packing will absorb some coolant as it wears and the clearance increases.  With modern carbon seals any seepage past the seal will show in the bleed hole on the pumps bottom side. The sealed bearings aren't sealed to keep water out, it to keep the lube in.  It is the seals job to prevent water from ever reaching the bearing.   In my climate antifreeze is necessary and contains the needed protections.  I know I should change more frequently, but don't.  Just watch the color and change over 2-3 years.

 

My Dad was always conscientious  about oil and filter, not so much on antifreeze.  I changed a water pump on Moms Taurus shortly after his passing.  It would overheat at idle, quickly.   Ford cheaped out and use a stamped steel impeller rather that stainless or cast.   It was gone!   I mean literally gone.  Only a tiny sleeve that was press onto the shaft remained.  Everything else was contributing to the red coolant color.  This was a 96 and the impeller lasted till 2002 on the original coolant.

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I don't think I have ever seen an impeller rusted off.  Makes you wonder, probably a real thin stamped sheet metal one.

 

If you do a voltage check on your coolant you can see if it needs replacing.  Coolant goes acidic as it ages, the radiator is brass, the block iron, you have a battery now.  That's where the electrolysis comes into play.  Just like the science fair project of making hydrogen and oxygen out of water.  But in this case the freed oxygen doesn't escape so it starts to rusting things.

 

 

 

 

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I don't think I have ever seen an impeller rusted off.  Makes you wonder, probably a real thin stamped sheet metal one.

I actually have seen this, was a 1970 Dart with a 360 engine.

 

I wanted to buy the car and the owner convinced me my wife did not want it.

 

The car was overheating and it was the impeller on the water pump that failed, just broke and would not turn water.

 

Just saying, yes a impeller can break. You simply need to adjust your social media.

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I have been using Prestone Anti-Rust (Soluble oil) and Water Wetter with nothing else for 20 straight years in the '47 Desoto. If I am going into the mountains in the winter, I add a quart or so of Alcohol for anti-freeze. The Alcohol lasts for a few months.

 

This way, I can dump the water on the sidewalk here in San Fransisco, or anyplace else, and not worry about the pollution police giving me a hard time.

 

My block and radiator look just fine inside, by bore scope inspection last year.  Now all that said, 99% of the water I have used in it is San Francisco tap water. This water is one of the most pure municipal water sources in the world with almost no minerals in it. Thank you Hetch-Hechy snow melt.

 

Snake oil or not, this combination works well for me with both factory bushing water pumps and sealed ones.

 

James

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James...when you say alcohol...what kind is that ? Walgreens 90% ?    I do use distilled water always.  The radiator shop told me some of the same theory that Sniper mentions about the brass alloy reacting to acidity.  You know...I’m a product of what my dad told me what do when I first started out fiddling with cars. 1971. He said to always put a can of water pump lube in after you change the water pump or replace the radiator.  Hmmm.  Good info here for me to digest. I think I’ll put the antifreeze back in just to help with the anti-rust maintenance.  Water pumps always had me stumped though. When the water appears on the ground you look for the leaking weep hole.  Is that when the impeller finally gets lubricant?  A joke.     Speaking of leaking, I started my P-23 today and the thermostat housing finally croaked after being patched with liquid steel. A last resort.  Cost has gone up on those.  Yikes.    Thanks for the insights all !    R

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I use Denatured alcohol. Although many years ago I was with some guys in Lake Tahoe in the fall. We got a very early cold spell and a couple of the classic cars did not have any anti freeze. We went and got couple of bottles of every-clear at a liqueur store as it was late at night. We poured that in. It got down to like 25F that night. The car was in an open air parking lot. Next morning it was fine.

 

James

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Yes on the older original style MoPar water pumps you had a graphite seal to seal the beaning and yes these would wear. So yes the Prestone radiator water seal would coat the seal.  Now they pumps have been remade and they are using the sealed bearing that was also used in the Chysler 8 water pumps.  But you still have the cast irn block, the brass radiator core and the brass thermostat.  So what is the harm of putting in a pint of antirust agent that does have a waterpump lubricate chemical mixed in with the product.

 

Also remember our cars do sit so to me an ounce of preention for around $2.00 per bottle, yes you saw the price, I can get these at this price is not going to break me in the cash register and so to pour $4 in the rad every fall is good insurance for me.  I still have the original High Altitude honeycomb radiator in my 39 Desoto that is 83 years old so I plan on using the product as long as I own the car and ounce of prevention is worth the cost of even a new rad.

 

Rich Hartung

Desoto1939@aol.com

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