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Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff?


 
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Dennis Minn
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:42 am    Post subject: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

All,

I purchased an older car, mid sixties. It has an orange-ish colored antifreeze in it. I tried my green antifreeze tester and the strength pretty much pegged the scale, as in it is good for many degrees below zero.

However, I got to thinking, dangerous indeed, maybe this tester cannot deal with the orange stuff.

I was going to put this car in cold storage, and did not want to swap antifreeze out this fall. I also do not want to deal with frozen problems either. I tried to contact the previous owner, however they moved to Florida, and when we talked about the car when I bought it, he did not seem too mechanically inclined.

Anyone know of a quick and cheap test to see what I have here? Or do I spend what little time I have and do the hoses/t-stat flush drain and refill?

D.
 
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Steve@Advance
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:59 am    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Sounds like Dexcool, the orange colored GM antifreeze.

Or it could be rust!

If the car is otherwise in good condition, and the antifreeze is clean, it's most likely Dexcool, and if it read good on freeze protection, it will be safe to leave it.

Might take a sample in a glass, let it settle, see what it does. If it stays consistent and is clear, then it's Dexcool. If it separates out, good chance it's old rusty antifreeze.

Either way, it has freeze protection. If it's old rusty antifreeze it won't freeze, but it is not protecting from rust and corrosion.
 
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Dennis Minn
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:22 am    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

SteveAdvance,

Thanks.

I have another question.....the lower radiator hose is long, curved and about 1 and 3/4 in diameter. Do you happen to know a source for a corrosion-resistant inner spring I could install?

D.
 
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Steve@Advance
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:34 am    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

With good antifreeze I would think it would be protected even if it were just steel.
 
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Mike M
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:28 am    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

They make a different tester to do Dexcool. May want to pick one of those up and try it ?
 
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Mule Meat
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Orange = Organic Acid Technology, Dex- Cool, non corrosive, good for Aluminum and metal parts.

Green = Ethylene Glycol, used mainly where metal and copper components are found.

Do not mix the two. It can gel and gob off your cooling system.
 
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MarkB_MI
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Back in the day, Xerex antifreeze was orange. As far as I know, it wasn't any different than the green antifreeze of the day, just dyed a different color. So it's possible you have some (very old) Xerex. Or a lot of rust.

The stuff you can't check with a regular antifreeze tester is propylene glycol, of which Sierra is the only common brand. I believe Sierra is green, so that's not what you have.

These days, orange or pink antifreeze is organic additive technology (OAT). Just because it's orange doesn't mean you can't use your tester on it. The specific gravity is unaffected by the particular additive technology. As long as it's an ethylene glycol antifreeze, a standard tester will work.
 
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Charles in Aus.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We don't have too much trouble with freezing in Australia, it's mainly corrosion that's a problem in cooling systems . Be kind if this sounds silly , couldn't you just take a sample of the fluid and put it in your home freezer to see if it works or not ?
Wanting a new spring for the low hose suggests the original isn't there or is rusty , is this what has caused the orange colour ?
 
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Dennis Minn
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Charles,

My indoor refrigerator/freezer does not get as cold as a Minnesota winter! We can experience 30 degrees F below zero for days on end. I am sure my frozen vegetables in the freezer are not that cold.

D.


Looks like some coolant work in the upcoming time crunch.
 
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FarmingEngineer
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If in doubt and you don't want to take the time to flush and refill it now you could always drain the coolant when you put it in storage. As long as the block has drain plugs you should be able to get enough out that it won't freeze up and crack. If it is indeed dex cool and the car is from the 60's you might want to consider changing to the standard green stuff. Many modern coolants use a much different corrosion inhibitor package and will not protect some older cooling system materials such as lead solder used on older soldered brass radiators and heater cores.

Don
 
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Charles in Aus.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Blimey Dennis that is cold ! :shock:
So would you then use a freezer to stop things getting too cold. :)
 
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Jon Erickson
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Steve Advance said it very well, and I agree with him.
 
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Stephen Newell
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Functionally there is really no difference between the orange and green antifreeze. It's two separate chemicals so you should use one or the other but don't mix them. If you want to use green antifreeze then you should flush the cooling system and then make the change.
 
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Janicholson
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:32 am    Post subject: Re: Orange antifreeze....is it like the green stuff? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You can wind one easily from stainless wire. Depending on the springiness of the wire, a suitable cylinder/pipe/bar is selected that results in a curve that is correct, or a tiny bit big. Then mark the bar with maybe 20mm marks along one side. Clamp the wire at one end , or drill a hole and stick the end in the hole to retain it. Then have a friend rotate the round as you wrap the wire in a helix. Or just go around it while it is held in a vice (which can hold the starting end of the wire). A very slow lathe in back gear is fantastic. Make sure the ends are bent to be away from contacting the hose rubber. It need not look perfect as it is unseen. Jim
 
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