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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tractor Engine Repair Rebuild Forum

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 11-26-2000, 06:34 Post: 21826
TomG

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 engine anti-freeze

I never thought much about anti-freeze. My dealer asked when it was changed when the tractor was there. He said it should be changed every two years and a diesel rated anti-freeze should be used. I had it changed and didn't think much more about it. However, I heard the same thing again today. A guy on another board, whose opinions I respect, was saying that 'auto store' anti-freezes should be avoided unless they are specified as 'low-silicate' or 'heavy diesel engine rated.' I wonder what's the deal on diesel ratings in general and low-silicate ratings specifically. I also wonder how important these recommendations are.






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 11-26-2000, 09:33 Post: 21831
Roger L.



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Tom, I suspect you are going to get a lot of mail on this! Some diesel engines are known to have problems with cylinder wall pitting and it has plagued diesels for many years. There are lots of theories as to why this is so. One of the favorites is that on some engines one of the frequency multiples of the common "diesel knock" is resonant with the lower portion of the cylinder. The high freqency ringing that this causes in this part of the cylinder causes local cavitation bubbles to form on imperfections where the coolant passes over the cylinder wall. As these bubbles form and collapse you have cavitation erosion of the cylinder wall. I've seen pictures of damaged cylinder walls and it certainly looks like cavitation erosion. Looks like...walks like....quacks like....who knows?
Its a pretty theory. There are others just as good.
Design remedies would be to thicken the afflicted part so as to raise the resonant frequency so high that the available energy is not sufficient to cause damage, change the material (cast iron is better than steel), or to add damping to the system. Some diesels spray oil on the inside of the lower cylinder which was originally thought help by adding lubrication there, but might be that it just added damping to the entire vibrating system.
There are also some cooling system additives available that change the surface tension of the coolant and reduce its ability to form the damaging bubbles. This is probably what your friend refers to when saying that 'heavy diesel engine rating' antifreeze is required. Some diesels need this and others do not seem to have the problem. I do not know of any downside to using these additives, but I haven't looked into them for my own tractors since they are not a type that develops the problem. My wife does use the coolant additive in her Ford diesel pickup since the Navistar engine series is one design where this cavitation erosion is well documented and the additive is said to help. The additive must have a limited life in the coolant, because renewing it is a standard Ford service procedure every so many miles/months.






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 11-27-2000, 06:54 Post: 21853
TomG

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Thanks Roger. Fascinating explanation. The anti-freeze discussion actually was on the @agriculture board (the big tractor folks). I don't often comment there on tractor subjects. The sorts of problems mechanical problems dealt with there seem very different than those found on compacts.

There was more discussion today. Cavitation was mentioned, but without your explanation. I was thinking in terms of the water pump and not making much sense of the comments. The additive was mentioned, and an opinion that high-silicate coolant is best for aluminum engines. I think there also was a comment that high silicate coolant contributes to deposits in rad cores.

From my years in the sound business, your theoretical explanation makes me think of 'standing waves.' All acoustic space has resonant audio frequencies, unless the enclosure surfaces are acoustically dead. Standing waves occur at resonate frequencies and are almost self-sustaining. They build up, and even a little bit of energy at the particular frequency maintains them. Standing waves can create huge difficulties for sound systems. Fortunately most primary frequency waves are below audio frequencies except in small rooms. However, harmonic frequencies can create problems for which there are no good solutions. Anyway, I can see that if an engine has resonate frequencies, then high-energy sound waves could build up. The amplitudes of these waves certainly could have enough energy to knock coolant off water-jacket walls even when they are completely submerged.






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 11-27-2000, 07:48 Post: 21856
Roger L.



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Hmmm...Yes, what you are describing with sound waves is the same type of resonance, except in air and walls instead of liquid and walls. It occurs to me I should defined "cavitation" more closely. Cavitation happens when there is a sufficient difference of pressure in a liquid. Specifically, it happens when the pressure in a local area in the fluid is lower than the vapor pressure of the fluid itself. Then the fluid in that area suddenly turns to a gas - forming a bubble. The bubble collapses when the pressure returns.
You are right to think about the water pump, because one of the things that causes a rapid change of pressure (cavitation) is when a flow of water goes past a sharp obstruction. It takes a pretty good flow velocity to do that and as you point out, the water pump in your tractor is not that strong.
Or you can cause the same pressure drop by reversing the situation....by moving the obstruction rapidly within the existing fluid! That is exactly what is happening with the vibration.
Another common way of causing cavitation is adding heat - we call these "hot spots" if they happen in an engine. Of course we do this when we cook and call it "boiling". Yet another way is to reduce the overall pressure on the surface of a liquid. You can see this happen to water in a vacuum chamber.






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 11-27-2000, 10:20 Post: 21861
Art White



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Roger did a great job of explaining cavitation. It was found at first in wet sleeve engines which makes it easier to cool the combustion area of the engine. The problem is these cylinder walls actually move while the piston is going up and down adding to the problem. The jets of oil that Roger talk's of where explained to us as for piston cooling and are mainly used in turbo engines. Some engine manufacter's are saying there non-sleeve blocks are having the same problem. To many of us it is a sand pit in the forging and a flaw in the block. Everyone is trying to do more with less and there are limits as to how far we can stetch a item before it gives out. The cavitation on a wet sleeve engine is always to the inside of the engine (cam side)which does have the most amount of heat and motion. We sometimes see what we call (western tune-ups) in are farm tractors where they actually fill the pits in the sleeve rotate them 180 degree's and reinstall them with new seals.






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 11-28-2000, 07:18 Post: 21886
TomG

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Thanks Art & Roger. Think I've got it now. I was thinking cavitation would result from the high-pressure peaks of a standing wave. Seems like it occurs at the low-pressure amplitudes. Sort of like why scuba divers use pressure chambers and astronauts wear pressure suits. If the standing wave is fairly high frequency, then vapour bubbles could form and disappear many times a second. Guess I can now see how that could erode metal. Of course, casting or forging flaws would be candidates for pitting as well. I suppose sleeves, and pistons for that matter, all could be sand-cast, die cast or forged. Current reality seems to be that, irrespective of which process was the most durable or maintenance free, the least expensive process is going to be used. Too bad things seem to work like that.

Again, thanks for indulging my theoretical curiosity. Now, for the practical, I wonder whether the coolant additive (Nacool is a brand, I think) is worth using in a small diesel engine.






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 11-28-2000, 08:40 Post: 21889
Roger L.



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Art, I'll have to add that description of a "Western tune up" to my list of mechanical chuckles. I have no doubt that it would work - more or less - and have to wonder for how long. Ingenious solution. If they fill in the pits with some sort of welding or metal process, then the surface anneal would help to reduce the work hardening of the the entire liner and this is a plus for some alloys when they are faced with vibration. All in all this pitting is a problem that the designers will eventually figure out and fix. You are right in that small pits or inclusions - even microscopic ones - are "precursors" to bigger craters and cracks. That is why some high stress parts have polished surfaces.
Tom, I disagree that things are always made cheaper. I know it seems that way sometimes, but better to think of it as not spending money unless the gains that you get - in reliability or whatever - for that money are proveable. Its not an all bad philosophy; there is still development money to improve a product, it just has to be better justified so that the company will stay in business. It probably slows progress on individual products, but improves progress for the industry as a whole.
As far as the efficiency of the coolant additives, I'll have to bow to someone with experience here. Could be that Art knows. I just don't have any knowledge based on experience. I can't think of any downsides...but that doesn't mean that there aren't any. Is it necessary? The answer is a solid "maybe"! Smile If it helps you decide, I'm thinking that if someone comes up with one that sounds good from a science viewpoint I'll probably try it in my own compact.






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 11-28-2000, 15:39 Post: 21896
Art White



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Roger I don't know how long they last either we just get to see them after they have finally failed with no more clean sides. If you look at the new block design that Cummins uses on the 505cu-in engine you will notice they use three supports for the sleeve one top middle and bottom with the middle actually being the coolant stop. The treatment we use in our engines protects against corrosion,scale,foam and cylinder sleeve pitting. These features of this product are listed on the bottle and it is provided to us from Case-IH. It's always worked for me.






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 11-28-2000, 16:29 Post: 21897
ThatGuy



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 engine anti-freeze

You can purchase test strips that you can dip in the anti-freeze and it gives you both the level of protection of the anti-freeze and if the level of the additive (nalcool or equilivant) is sufficiant to prevent damage. You just match the color the strip turns to the color chart on the bottle. If the additive level is not sufficiant it will also tell you how much additive to add to the anti-freeze. Any large truck dealerships/shop and truck parts counters (NAPA should carry them also, but autozone etc may not) will have these strips or can order them for you. If memory serves me correctly they are not cheap, but much less expensive than destroying an engine.






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 11-29-2000, 08:20 Post: 21915
TomG

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Thanks again. A product was mentioned on the other board (blue in colour) that is pre-mixed with water and Nalcool additive. Another comment indicated that the additive life is more like months rather than a standard two-year change interval. Good suggestion about the testing strips.

The discussion has cleared up a mystery for me. When my dealer service manager asked me when I changed the coolant, he commented that they had a log skider in. He said that the coolant was never changed and that the skider was destroyed. Now I can guess what actually was destroyed.

Regarding my negative comments about design and quality. I'm less cranky if I stay out of mass merchandizing box stores, but this isn't the time of year that's easy to stay out of them. I've seen too many zero design products that are dumped onto the consumer market and just don't work. I've got a junk pile that includes almost new hand pumps, air tools etc, and even a chain saw that never cut one thing. However, I know that everything isn't like that and it's a good idea to take a longer-term view. I did know somebody who hired into one of the 'big three’ in the early-70's as a junior engineer. He quit in little more than a year. His stated reason was that little seemed to matter except production costs in designs that were approved. Evaluation criteria like expected service life, maintenance costs etc. were virtually insignificant. Of course, the '70's was not a great era for Detroit, but they did pass






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tractor Engine Repair Rebuild Forum

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Art White 3 | Ken Califf 1 | Rich Allen 1 | Roger L. 5 | ThatGuy 1 | TomG 5 |

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