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Old 10-30-2011, 08:10 PM   #1
Bill Goddard
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Default Antifreeze History?

Question came up today about when antifreeze was first used. Thought I'd go to the barn. i have seen picturs of old "black" cars stuck in snow banks so there was some driving in the winter. Does anyone know when it came into use?
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:23 PM   #2
RonC
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

antifreeze was used since cars used water for cooling
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:09 PM   #3
Special Coupe Frank
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

It is mentioned in my 1918 edition Dykes' Automotive handbook. They were alcohol-based, usually methanol.

"Permanent" anti-freezes ( ethylene-glycol ) such as Prestone go back to the very early '30s, possibly the late 1920's.

Prior to "permanent" antifreezes, alcohol was the principle ingredient; it would boil-off at temps above 160 * F, so it had to be constantly checked and replenished.

Even into the 1950's, there were 160* thermostats for folks who continued to use alcohol-based antifreezes, and 180* thermostats for folks using "permanent" anti-freezes in pressurized systems.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

And folks who drove Franklins didn't give hoot one way or the other ( air-cooled ! )
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:35 PM   #5
Bruce Adams
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

My 1930 Service Bulletins, page 520, specifies "Ethylene Glyco" (no L) for the Model A
The 1928 page just mentions Alcohol on page 288.
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

Bill Goddard .........................
Anti-Freeze was not invented, it was discovered. Back in the days, when chemical, or any other plants were allowed to dump all waste, right into the river, at the Union Carbide plant in South Charleston, West Virginia, they saw that this certain waste product was melting the ice in the Kanawha river.
They soon thought up the idea to sell this waste product as antifreeze for automobiles.
MIKE
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:03 PM   #7
John Duden
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

It kinda taste sweet too!
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

Worked in a sevice station in rural central Michigan and we always had a 55 gallon drum of methanol in the corner of the wash bay. I was drafted in 1965 and there was a fresh drum at christmas time in 65.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

Ethylene glycol is processed from sugar beets, thus the sweet taste. Wonder what Union Carbide was doing with sugar beets?
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

Don't know if this is a hard fact,but the current model A Times has an antifreeze article and said Ethylene Glycol became available in1937. It was sold as permanent antifreeze because you could use it in summer too.

They also caution against using the new organic acid technology(OAT) in our A's. This is the pink,orange and sometimes green stuff.

Also the "universal type" is OAT,do not use it, Use "permanent type" green antifreeze.

I think the acid type eats the solder in the. radiator.

John
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:51 PM   #11
tmiller6
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

I'm surprised after the sweetness comments no one mentioned this...

Ethylene glycol is poisonous. It does taste sweet and ultimately causes kidney failure.
Diethylene glycol is also poisonous. Polyethylene Glycol is not poisonous but it does do a great job of getting you ready for a colonoscopy. Propylene glycol is also safe as a food additive and also is called RV antifreeze.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

"Ethylene glycol is poisonous"
TRUE
Antidote: Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol.
Read this in Mother Earth News in the '70's and I tell everyone that I know who has dogs, or other animals. Speed is of the essence.
Get Advice for Treatment. At first sign or if you suspect poisoning - begin treatment.
I have helped to treat a number of dogs, who went on to live long lives. A couple day hangover is better than a prolonged death.

Darryl in Fairbanks
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:46 PM   #13
Clem Clement
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

I can remember in the 40's,Daddy would drain the stuff out of his car and shore it under the porch until fall.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:12 PM   #14
Dick Deegan
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

So, Can RV antifreeze be used in an "A"?
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:24 PM   #15
Jerry Parr WI
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

The reason for using alcohol was the new "permanent" antifreeze was expensive by comparison, especially for old cars that tended to leak. I did know a Model A owner who drove his A as an everyday car at least as late as the early 90's. He used windshield washer solvent as antifreeze.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

Also used as an antifreeze has been salt water. A friend in Idaho bought a 1906 Winton that had salt water antifreeze left sitting in it for years. The salt water prevented freeze up but over the years of storage, it ate holes through the cylinder walls. Also used as an antifreeze has been straight kerosene. No-freeze windshield washer solvent can foam up in the cooling system and over heat it. I presently use RV antifreeze for our Stanley steamers for winter storage. Works well but like it seems it is a little hard to get a quick steam up for winter use while using the RV antifreeze.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:14 AM   #17
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

I don't know what truth there is to this but I read that Ethylene glycol was designed for use in pressurized systems and that Propylene glycol works better in unpressurized systems beacuse it's not as prone to boil over. I run prestone Low Tox in my Town Sedan it's Propylene glycol you have to use the litmus paper test strips to test the mixture. it was easy to find a few years ago but harder to find now. Thanks to this thread I may check into using RV antifreeze.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:33 AM   #18
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

My RV antifreeze cautions "NOT FOR USE IN ENGINES."
Maybe no antirust additives?

Propylene Glycol Antifreeze by Sierra is available from ACE under special order for $13 /gal.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FL&WVMIKE View Post
Bill Goddard .........................
Anti-Freeze was not invented, it was discovered. Back in the days, when chemical, or any other plants were allowed to dump all waste, right into the river, at the Union Carbide plant in South Charleston, West Virginia, they saw that this certain waste product was melting the ice in the Kanawha river.
They soon thought up the idea to sell this waste product as antifreeze for automobiles.
MIKE
Mike, I was debating on whether or not to post this same story. My Dad told it to me years ago when he worked in South Charleston.

Tim (Hillbilly at Large)
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:26 AM   #20
Special Coupe Frank
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HillbillyTim View Post
Mike, I was debating on whether or not to post this same story. My Dad told it to me years ago when he worked in South Charleston.

Tim (Hillbilly at Large)

Hey Tim,

What color is that coupe in your avatar ?

SC Frank
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:03 PM   #21
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HillbillyTim View Post
Mike, I was debating on whether or not to post this same story. My Dad told it to me years ago when he worked in South Charleston.

Tim (Hillbilly at Large)
Hillbilly Tim .......................
This is a well known story around the Kanawha Valley. I suppose it is true.
MIKE (Another Hillbilly at Large)
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:00 PM   #22
HillbillyTim
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

Frank,

The color of my coupe is Andalusite Blue. I took this picture on a very sunny day. It looks a lot darker when it is not in full sun.

Tim
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:28 PM   #23
Special Coupe Frank
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

Tim,

Thanks - Looks good !

I had a hunch it was Andalusite... I discovered this summer that my Special Coupe was originally Andalusite with black belt and French Gray stripe...

In the shop it almost looked black...


Frank
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:43 PM   #24
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Default Re: Antifreeze History?

Back to anti-freeze, I just looked in an original copy of a Ford Model "A" Instruction Book, copyright 1929, and while they speak of using an anti-freeze solution, they make no mention of specific brands, or of "permanent" type anti-freeze.

Here's the text from page 21:

Care of the Radiator in Winter

"In freezing weather it is necessary to use an anti-freeze solution in the circulating system to prevent freezing of the water, and bursting the tubes in the radiator.

Do not overlook the fact that constant evaporation will eventually weaken most anti-freeze solutions, consequently they should be tested frequently, especially in severe weather.

A suitable anti-freeze solution can be obtained from any authorized Ford dealer. Also complete directions as to the percentage of solution to be used to withstand the varying degrees of cold.

As anti-freeze solutions usually contain alcohol, care should be used when filling the radiator not to spill any of the solution, as it may damage the pyroxylin finish. After filling the radiator, be sure the radiator cap is screwed down tight. "
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