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Thread: OT- How cold for how long does it take to crack an engine block with no antifreeze ?

  1. #21
    bridgedog is offline Aluminum
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    As I understand it freeze plugs have nothing to do with freeze protection. They are there as a result of getting the casting material out of the water jackets. I have cracked a small block in one night of minus 25 temps. There are lots of variables as has been stated.

  2. #22
    dkmc is offline Diamond
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    I had no idea 25F could crack a block, thought it would take more like 10F or so.....

    But.......Millicron.....why on Gods green earth would you not put some sort of stop leak in the
    thing along with antifreeze instead of water?? To at least TRY to slow or stop the leak?
    Or FIX the leak? Unless its some sort of situation that no stop leak will help it, but to add only water.....thats just silly....
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  3. #23
    Peter Neill is offline Hot Rolled
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    A lot of good replies, except the first reply!.
    I'll take umbrage at that. Not a bad reply, just a different possibility.
    And I've had personal experience of core plugs popping out with a freeze - albeit a long time ago - without resulting in a cracked block.
    YMMV <shrugs>
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  4. #24
    jlevie is online now Cast Iron
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    I had no idea 25F could crack a block, thought it would take more like 10F or so.....
    31F can crack a block. All that is needed is for the block to go below the freezing of the coolant.

  5. #25
    Milacron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post

    But.......Millicron.....why on Gods green earth would you not put some sort of stop leak in the
    thing along with antifreeze instead of water?? To at least TRY to slow or stop the leak?
    Or FIX the leak? Unless its some sort of situation that no stop leak will help it, but to add only water.....thats just silly....
    Uh...why are you assuming that is the case ? I did stop the leak first. It's just that I only drive the truck every blue moon these days and when one lives where it never snows and rarely gets below freezing one tends to forget that every once in awhile it does get below freezing. I should have added antifreeze for the anticorrosion properties if nothing else but just recently fixed the leak.

  6. #26
    jrmach is online now Stainless
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    Yes, Milacron,,,,anti-freeze for anti-corrosion properties too,,,absolutely

  7. #27
    petersen is offline Plastic
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    answer: Hours or minutes.

    In the fall of '70, I left a model C Allis Chalmers outside the shop on the first day that the temperature plunged
    to about 10F



    5:00 P.M. was too late.

    Petersen
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  8. #28
    Dan Miller is offline Aluminum
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    Anti-freeze also raises the boiling point of water. Handy for hot Summer days when you are running your air conditioning.

    Be aware that sitting still and not freezing is not the same as moving. Wind chill will freeze a radiator if the water/anti-freeze mix ratio is borderline and the cooling system does not have enough anti-freeze in it. Try to get a 50-50 ratio of water/anti-freeze into your truck. For your area that should be just fine. Where I live 70-30 is normal.
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  9. #29
    jlevie is online now Cast Iron
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    The wind chill factor has noting to do with the freezing point, though wind can affect how fast a object can cool down. The temperature is what determines the freezing point.
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  10. #30
    Mebfab is offline Diamond
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    Freeze plugs? You mean the holes they use to knock the sand out at the foundry?
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  11. #31
    Jaxian is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Miller View Post
    Be aware that sitting still and not freezing is not the same as moving. Wind chill will freeze a radiator if the water/anti-freeze mix ratio is borderline and the cooling system does not have enough anti-freeze in it.
    So true. The number of people I have had ask me why big rigs with giant radiators have those little zip up radiator covers on the front. Here in Calif they forget sometimes there is such a thing as too much heat dissipation. Although my favorite is still the mid 60's Volvos, the round looking ones, that had what looked like a roll up window shade you where supposed to pull it down on cold days. I remember being really stumped as to what the heck it was as a teen cutting one up for a friend.
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  12. #32
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    It takes just as long as it takes the water to freeze. Little car, big diesel, block strength doesn't make a pimple on an elephant's butt. Freezing water generates something like 1300 psi per degree for 3 or 4 degrees of depressed freezing point. That block is coming apart overnight.

    A little bit of antifreeze left over will still depress the freezing point. More importantly, a little antifreeze will give a slushy mixture as it starts to freeze rather than all at one temperature.

    As several mentioned, those plugs in the side of the block are core plugs, not freeze plugs. Yes, they may pop out if the engine freezes, but there is usually other damage as well. Their purpose was to control the location and give support to the sand core that formed the water jacket during the casting process.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zonko View Post
    Sometime ye 'mericans are crazy. How the hell can someone even consider running a vehicle without antifreeze.....
    Especially 'cause for modern alloy engines its not just antifreeze. Coolants are supposed to have anti-corrosive properties too. Milacron has mentioned a couple of times how VW has the worst service record. Allot of that is due to hicksticks using yesterday's antifreeze and un-maintaining the motor. VW was the first manufacturer of scope to require corrosion inhibiting coolant in their cars.

    There is a reason that coolant is dyed green, red, orange, yellow, or blue.

    If Milacron has run the Hino for a season with straight tap water the engine and its accessories are probably done.

    .

  14. #34
    abarnsley is offline Titanium
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    In Alaska I have seen a cracked block or 20.. Many with so called freeze plugs intact, with a nice 20 in long crack at bottom of water jacket... Also cracked into oil galleries..

    If you are running a diesel/watercooled engine, You need antifreeze, you need the freeze protection, and proper coolant pH. Some engines (Big Cummins) need additives, for the exterior liner cavitation erosion, that can occur on liners..

    This can erode entirely through the liner.. Supplemental Coolant Additives (SCAs).

    http://www.fleetguard.com/pdfs/produ...s/3300963A.pdf

    I have seen a few liners that were so pitted on the exterior, it was amazing that the liner could hold compression.. When they get that bad, they start pressurizing coolant system.

    Running a truck without proper antifreeze, is like running a Deckle with water for spindle bearing lubrication..

    It only takes a few hours, to ruin an engine in cold weather...

    Up at the mine, I have seen a foolproof way of protecting an engine without antifreeze.. Simply let the water fill interior, and entirely cover exterior of engine, before freezing. Takes a few days to thaw that mess out.. Engine is still working for a living.. NOT recommended... A single cylinder, with an open exhaust valve..

  15. #35
    Milacron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by <jbc> View Post
    If Milacron has run the Hino for a season with straight tap water the engine and its accessories are probably done.
    Until about a month ago the leak was slow enough that there probably was some antifreeze in the system...not enough, but some. But for a month I would say it probably was pure tap water sure enough. No ill effects evident yet but we'll see. At 360,000 miles will be hard to say if anything does need replacement if it was due to lack of antifreeze or just miles and age.

  16. #36
    dkmc is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milacron View Post
    Uh...why are you assuming that is the case ? I did stop the leak first. It's just that I only drive the truck every blue moon these days and when one lives where it never snows and rarely gets below freezing one tends to forget that every once in awhile it does get below freezing. I should have added antifreeze for the anticorrosion properties if nothing else but just recently fixed the leak.

    Because you said "Diesel box truck had coolant leak for so long I'm sure it had zero antifreeze"
    So either it was dry (which would not cause you to panic) or it has water in it (which would cause you to panic) and seeing as you were panicing I assumed it was because of water in the system. But you didn't hint that the leak was now fixed, so I took it that it was still leaking. Cold weather or not, my approach would be to at least add more antifreeze (also for boil over) and some flavor of stop leak.....of which there are many these days. You didn't freeze it so you got lucky anyhow...

    If I was better at math I could add in some complicated mathematical theories or Newtonian equations at this point to make this post really sound like something Thermite would conjure up....but I digress...

  17. #37
    Milacron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    Because you said "Diesel box truck had coolant leak for so long I'm sure it had zero antifreeze"
    So either it was dry (which would not cause you to panic) or it has water in it (which would cause you to panic) and seeing as you were panicing I assumed it was because of water in the system. But you didn't hint that the leak was now fixed, so I took it that it was still leaking. Cold weather or not, my approach would be to at least add more antifreeze (also for boil over) and some flavor of stop leak.....of which there are many these days. You didn't freeze it so you got lucky anyhow...
    What I meant was the leak was so long that by now it probably had zero antifreeze. It had some antifreeze until recently. As to not mentioning fixing the leak, etc..., why does this matter so much to you ? I only mentioned my truck situation as to why I was now curious about what it would take to crack a block. And I wasn't "lucky"....I took steps to prevent block problems when it was evident I had to do so right away...no "luck" to it.

  18. #38
    dkmc is offline Diamond
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    It matters way less than you assume....

    I think you were indeed lucky......that you remembered the lack of antifreeze.
    Many times people forget, the temps drop, and things crack.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milacron View Post
    Until about a month ago the leak was slow enough that there probably was some antifreeze in the system...not enough, but some. But for a month I would say it probably was pure tap water sure enough. No ill effects evident yet but we'll see. At 360,000 miles will be hard to say if anything does need replacement if it was due to lack of antifreeze or just miles and age.
    The first thing to do is to stop referring to coolant as antifreeze. That coolant remains fluid below zero is just one of its desirable properties.

    As to the other properties of coolants, the anti corrosive agents are good for about two years. Which is why manufacturers recommend that you flush and replace your coolant regularly.

    It would not surprise me at all if your invisible leak is between the cylinder liners and alloy block or where the liners are supposed to seal against the head. That would be a typical galvanic corrosion coolant failure.

    .

  20. #40
    GregSY is offline Diamond
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    Well, I hate to see you take umbrage....the point is that 'sometimes' a core plug might pop out but that's a risky thing to count on. More often the block just cracks.


    But really...tap water? I'll just leave it at this - everything I own gets new fresh antifreeze (about 35% here in Texas) and distilled water from a jug. Freezing aside, the corrosion and junk-in-the-engine aspect of tap water is a no-no.



    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Neill View Post
    I'll take umbrage at that. Not a bad reply, just a different possibility.
    And I've had personal experience of core plugs popping out with a freeze - albeit a long time ago - without resulting in a cracked block.
    YMMV <shrugs>

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