Lotus Elan

4 Life coolant....cheese maker!!!!

PostPost by: bloodknock » Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:49 pm

dsc03874.jpg and
Hello fellow travellers on the car restoration highway.
Heres one for you.................
I have restored a frogeye Sprite that has only been fired up a couple of times since i finished it.
Whilst awaiting some final parts for my Sprint resto, I decided to crank up the sprite and check that all was well.
This car has had a nut and bolt restoration throughout. It has been upgraded with a 1380 A series Midget engine and Rib case gearbox, plus sundry other mechanical mods to brakes, fuel sytem, wheels, etc etc
In the cooling system I have used 4Life coolant, remember, the engine, radiator, waterpump etc have been totally renewed / restored, all cleaned out and bone dry before instllation of the 4Life coolant.
The car ran well as usual but suddenly started to spew out the coolant. I suspected that the thermostat had jammed and on removing the housing this is what I found. :shock:
The waterway / thermostat was compleetely clogged with a cheesy / waxy substance, this was predominatly white but had been tinted by the 4 Life colour. After removing the thermostat and the contaminant, I checked the coolant residing in the top of the radiator and in the head aperture, this was the normal uncontaminated coolant.

Any body have any experience like this or could offer clues to cause or origin???
Thanks
Bob
Attachments
682fe57a-01f5-428d-8878-939a772b39c0.jpg and
4 Life coolant
8475ead8-8c97-46f0-a09d-ce64bee447f6.jpg and
The Removed contaminant
img_1268.jpg and
contaminant as found
img_1267.jpg and
contaminant as found
sprite-engine-and-gearbox-3.jpg and
The restored engine and gearbox prior to installation
engine-bay-view-general.jpg and
The restored engine in situ
img_1274.jpg and
I've got a deadline, at 71, I want to finish it before I die!
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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:09 pm

Leaky head gasket!!
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:12 pm

Could a rag or something have been missed in a coolant passageway?
Some chemical reaction with something
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PostPost by: bloodknock » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:35 pm

The deposit is cheesy, no sign of material particles.
Checked head gasket, the 4 Life coolant changes colour in the presence of combustion contaminants. Compression figures all excellent. No sign of coolant in oil.
thanks guys
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PostPost by: USA64 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:28 pm

You didn't say how long it has sat for. I change my coolent (regular type) before storing the car for what turmed out to be 30+ years. When I restarted the project I checked the coolent and it looked like new EXCEPT for the thermostat area where it had turned into a green jell. Perhaps yours separated over time from lack of movement. Maybe a call the manufacturer would help.
We are supposed to be having fun, are we not?
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PostPost by: bloodknock » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:48 pm

The car had stood for about a year. It curious that the gunge formed only around the thermostat, it has been suggested that there was some sort of reaction with the thermostat housing (an aftermarket part made in Srilanka) maybe of an inferior alloy.....but there is no sign of corrosion in the casting.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:14 pm

This isn't the result of OAT antifreeze in a classic engine is it?
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:01 pm

I've seen some thing similar as a result of mixing glycol-based anti-freeze with modern OAT, it turns into sludge/jelly.

Bit odd if the 4 life stuff has gone in a clean engine rebuild..... maybe some one has topped it up with the wrong antifreeze? or maybe it's had residue of some thing used in the rebuild (a engine cleaner or descaler maybe)
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PostPost by: Donels » Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:32 pm

I would suggest a head gasket leak. This stuff changes colour to indicate a leak, I think. It's also waterless, again I think, so why was it blowing coolant out. Yes it can't circulate but something pressurised the system to blow it out.
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PostPost by: bloodknock » Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:48 pm

The engine was meticulously rebuilt with new water pump thermostat and the rad was recored, all new hoses, etc
The only issue I have found was with the rad cap, this would account for the coolant spewing, the rad cap I bought from a reputable AH supplier has a 22mm reach to the seal, my rad had a deeper filler spout so there was a 2mm clearance between the filler base and the seal. So I have ordered a long reach filler cap :oops: There is no tell tale colour change which would indicate combustion products in the fluid (gasket trouble)
OK so this explains the fluid spew, but not the baby bell in the thermostat housing :?
I have emailed the coolant manufacturer with photos and offering to send a sample of the gunge, I eagerly await their reply.
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PostPost by: USA64 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:58 pm

Please post the results.
We are supposed to be having fun, are we not?
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PostPost by: bloodknock » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:13 pm

Will do.
I've got a deadline, at 71, I want to finish it before I die!
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PostPost by: bloodknock » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:55 pm

Hello folks,
so far no response at all from "4Life", :x Just sent a reminder that they have customers out there.......
Bob
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PostPost by: jono » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:54 am

has the wax leaked out of the stat?
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PostPost by: bloodknock » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:51 am

Thanks for the suggestions.
I have cleaned the crud off the stat and performed an immersion test. The stat performs as it should. There was an incredible ammount of crud, it filled the stat cover and the hose connection, but was above the stat with little below it.
Bob
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