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Author Topic: Heater Core failures in modern cars with aluminum radiators/ cores...  (Read 1523 times)

J dot Miller

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A leaky core is caused by several factors...  Aluminum is more vulnerable to electrolytic corrosion than copper or brass because aluminum is a highly reactive metal. When the corrosion inhibitors are used up and the pH of the coolant drops to 7 or below, aluminum becomes a sacrificial anode and is eaten away.

This same type of corrosion can also occur even when the coolant is in good condition if the engine does not have a good ground connection. Voltage from the charging system will flow through the coolant to ground, creating electrolysis corrosion that attacks the components in the cooling system. Checking your ground wire is a good thing especially in an older MN12.

I am of the opinion that the stock grounding wiring is insufficient and should be upgraded to a higher gage wire size. My opinion is strengthened by Ford CYA TSB 01-15-6.  Or cars are getting old and the wire corrodes.  I replaced my engine ground with a Zero gauge welding wire and have no heater core issues...

Checking the pH of the coolant with chemically-treated test strips can help you determine if the coolant is overdue for a change. The alkalinity of a typical antifreeze/water mixture will vary depending on the additives in the antifreeze and the ratio of ingredients, but is usually somewhere between 8 and 11. Higher is not always better, because some of the new long-life coolants have a pH of only 8.3.

Here are my recommendations:
1.Use deionized or distilled water for your radiator. Never use tap water (chlorine ions Cl- can destroy aluminum).
2.Check your ph (see my comments above)
3.Use antifreeze with an anti corrosive inhibitor.
4.Upgrade your engine ground wire. The TSB above has instructions on how to test grounding.
5. Since you are there I would install a 1 way ground wire on the core.  You can get them Here!.  Do not use a normal ground here as it can draw current into the core.
The 5.4 swap has been called a bad idea, and considered an underpowered considerable waste of time, since 2007.

Nice to see that most donít think that anymore.
Bondfreak13 07/28/09 09:05 PM

Jake

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Re: Heater Core failures in modern cars with aluminum radiators/ cores...
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2006, 03:41:59 PM »
Yup, sounds good, but also, too many people think they can go forever :o on a coolant change, when actually with the amount of aluminum in our cars, the antifreeze should be changed every two years, and should be preceeded with a good radiator flush......Also, never ever use the orange gunk thats supposed to last 5/50000, as that will add to your cooling problems.... ???
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J dot Miller

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Re: Heater Core failures in modern cars with aluminum radiators/ cores...
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2007, 07:27:11 PM »
Fer sure.  The orange stuff came stock in Chevrolets.  It is prone to plugging up radiators and etc.  That stuff should be drained and flushed out and replaced with a 50/ 50 mix of modern radiator fluid.

Another thing recently discussed was the use of stop leak.  You have to turn on the heater if you use it or it will plug up the line... ;)
The 5.4 swap has been called a bad idea, and considered an underpowered considerable waste of time, since 2007.

Nice to see that most donít think that anymore.
Bondfreak13 07/28/09 09:05 PM

rjstat

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Re: Heater Core failures in modern cars with aluminum radiators/ cores...
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2007, 09:46:51 PM »
Fer sure.  The orange stuff came stock in Chevrolets.  It is prone to plugging up radiators and etc.  That stuff should be drained and flushed out and replaced with a 50/ 50 mix of modern radiator fluid.

Another thing recently discussed was the use of stop leak.  You have to turn on the ehatr if you use it or it will plug you things... ;)
Tried to tell that to my nephew who owns a Grand Am which got hit in the nose I replaced the nose and replaced the radiator (cracked tank) when it came time to put in the antifreeze I had three gallons of Prestone (the normal antifreeze) he said no you had to use the orange :censor: I told him flash out the orange antifreeze and put in the Preston that I have which was free but he is brain washed that it is better. But stop leak is a ticking time :boom: one the coolant should be at normall operating temperature :miller: you are right heat has to be on. But the real problem is stop leak was originally designed for copper radiator cores and heater cores it has copper particles which clot but what happen when copper and aluminum come in contact with each other and add the coolant galvanic action starts taking place. So stop leak was meant as a temporary fix.
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Jake

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Re: Heater Core failures in modern cars with aluminum radiators/ cores...
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2007, 10:30:15 PM »
Yup a temporary fix..... just before you sell it... udderwise that same stuff (:censor:) gets into your heads as well, and more problems, deeper seated.... :-\
'95 T-Bird 5.4L blower and sum stuff
13.6sec 1/4 mi, 300RW at 5250 RPM
GVW 4340 lbs, go figure!


 
http://www.soulcast.com/user/posts/70579       note; this is a new blogsite