Aluminum Radiators and Electrolysis

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Don C

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A thread the other day about the best aluminum radiator and a response by Mesozoic prompted this article. As more and more of us are replacing our brass radiators with aluminum this is something we need to be concerned about.

Edit (08262021): Updated the article to include a section about cathodic protection and the availability of a zinc anode for automotive radiators. Thank you TheDude for bringing the availability to my attention.

Aluminum Radiators and Electrolysis-v2.pdf

 

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c9zx

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I agree with Don C. I have both and prefer the brass and copper radiators. Chuck

 
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TheDude

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Don C

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Interesting, I'm familiar with cathodic protection for various things, such as reinforcing in concrete, pipelines, water heaters, and as you said, saltwater vessels, but hadn't heard that it was available for aluminum radiators.

Thank you for sharing, I'll update the article.

Don

 

TheDude

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Actually didn't realize you wrote that. Very cool.

Doing some googling around and I see that the form factor of that zinc is pretty common and used frequently in Marine engines. So there are bunches around in different lengths NPT size etc. and often under $10. One could conceivably screw one of these into the block or water pump. But I'm thinking might be a bad idea as the anode might come apart as it wears? I suppose if you consider it a wear item and replace it before its too far gone that should be OK. 

Here's some examples

https://www.boatzincs.com/engine-sizes.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwsZKJBhC0ARIsAJ96n3UxXJH7Fq_BNOM3a7t-utP3T-oYs4KR5REW3nCUPNUC0nNQMJE6zNcaAktKEALw_wcB

 

detritusmaximus

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Didn't they used to sell an anode that hung just inside the radiator cap? I seem to recall JC Whitney had something like that...although, being JC Whitney, who knows if their version actually worked.

 
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TheDude

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Don C

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Didn't they used to sell an anode that hung just inside the radiator cap? I seem to recall JC Whitney had something like that...although, being JC Whitney, who knows if their version actually worked.
Good memory, now that you mention it, I do seem to recall them. But, I considered them in the same category as the tube of stuff that you squeezed into the battery to rejuvenate it and make it last for many years.

On the other hand, though, I bought my first tool set (Indestro) from them, and I still use the ratchet, a few of the sockets, and most of the end wrenches, and that makes them over a half-century old, even still have the metal tool box.

 

detritusmaximus

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I went looking for an old JC Whitney catalog ad online for giggles...the younger members probably wouldn't believe what they were seeing. I won't muddy up this thread, but I found stuff worthy of a new thread!

 

Don C

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Yeah, I wish I had kept one of the paper catalogs, some interesting stuff.

 

TheDude

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I was at a car show not long ago checking out a pretty cool Nissan GTR surrounded by the owner and a bunch of 20-30 year old guys. He was showing some gadget that helped keep the hood up since the stock hardware wasn't there anymore. I jokingly asked if he got that from JC Whitney... 

huh-ew.gif


 

detritusmaximus

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I can just see the artwork for the "universal fit Nissan GTR hood support rod".....

 

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Bentworker

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I have fond memories of flipping through the JC Whitney catalog at my grandfathers house.  All kinds of goof stuff, retrofit cruise control, sketchy dually wheel kits, random musical horns, chrome stuff etc...

 

detritusmaximus

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