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  • Coolant for a tig welder

    What coolant do you guys use? I read somewhere that RV antifreeze is basically same as the coolant that you buy from Miller. Is that true? Or can I use auto antifreeze? Just got my homemade tig cooler up and running, now I need coolant. I dont think water will cut it.

    Thanks

    Steve
    Dont force it, use a BIGGER hammer.

    Linde VI-252C and Linde wire feeder.
    Hobart Cyberwave 300c.
    HH 140.
    Miller Big 40.
    Lincoln SAE 200J.
    Hobart GR-303.
    Lincoln tombstone welder.
    TD Cutmaster 52.
    Hobart Stickmate.
    Miller 211 w/ Spoolgun.
    Lincoln SA 200.

  • #2
    I don't do water-cooled TIG, but I hear the automotive antifreeze has leak-stop additives that aren't good for torches. Might want to check on that.

    Basically any kind of soap would lessen then water's surface tension, but I don't know if that would have a significant effect on heat transfer from torch to fluid.

    Comment


    • #3
      I too am building my own cooler.
      I will use the genuine stuff, why take a chance of clogging a $200 torch?
      I bought most all my stuff from http://www.brwelder.com/
      They are great people, I met them when I picked up my welder last week.
      I have ordered a water cooled torch, it and the coolant will be mailed to me.
      They don't charge shipping, and have about the best prices I could find.

      These people seem to have great service, I have not dealt with them, but I will be buying some small things from them soon. http://arc-zone.com/catalog/web_stor...=5883224_58710

      Here is some good info from them about water coolers, coolant, and torches
      http://arc-zone.com/pdf/WaterCooler10Tips.pdf

      Do you have any pictures of your cooler?

      Grigg
      Pictures of 48 Chevy 6400 truck project with a 4-53T Detroit Diesel.
      http://community.webshots.com/user/Grigg3

      Comment


      • #4
        keep in mind the real deal was engeneared to do the job, that said be shore to use distiled water to keep out calseum deposits and you can get away with standed anty freeze. do a serch there are several options but the best realy is the stuff made for it. its also designed to keep the curent from doing funy stuff. you could also get away with just a antie fungisside, as all you need to do is keep it from starting to grow stuff not actualy keep it from freezing in most places. if you do need to wory about freezing then go with a true anty freeze.
        the real TIG coolant is a lil expensive but when you look at how often you change it and how much you use each time its realy not that much, especily when you compare it to the expense of the welder or even just the torch. so wile there are less expensive options out there the real stuff realy is the best option, just depends on how cheap you want to go.
        thanks for the help
        ......or..........
        hope i helped
        sigpic
        feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
        summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
        JAMES

        Comment


        • #5
          The most important thing about the coolant for Tig is that it is not conductive, if it is it will rob HF away from getting to the end of the torch. RV coolant is conductive. Automotive anti-freeze is not only conductive but the additives in it will attack copper. Everything in a tig system is copper. If you do not have to worry about freezing temps just use distilled water, if you are to worry about freezing temps you should really use a low conductivity coolant, just make sure it it designed for Tig. Copper safe and not conductive !
          Kirk Kopitzke
          Service Technician
          Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Grigg View Post
            I too am building my own cooler.....

            These people seem to have great service, I have not dealt with them, but I will be buying some small things from them soon. http://arc-zone.com/catalog/web_stor...=5883224_58710

            Here is some good info from them about water coolers, coolant, and torches
            http://arc-zone.com/pdf/WaterCooler10Tips.pdf

            Do you have any pictures of your cooler?

            Grigg
            Grigg... thanks for the plug. We have free shipping too, by the way.
            And another link you may want to check out is:
            http://www.thefabricator.com/ArcWeld...le.cfm?ID=1275

            The coolant that is made for water coolers also has lubricating components that are good for the Procon pump.
            Carmen Electrode (Arc-Zone.com)
            CarmenElectrode.com

            powered by... Arc-Zone.com (R) Inc.

            Comment


            • #7
              I just use one gal of the Miller coolant and 1 gal of distilled water for mine as I could never get a definitive answer on the other options (Thanks, service dude for the great info) and like Grigg said "why take a chance of clogging a $200 torch?"
              Regards, George

              Hobart Handler 210 w/DP3035 - Great 240V small Mig
              Hobart Handler 140 - Great 120V Mig
              Hobart Handler EZ125 - IMO the best 120V Flux Core only machine

              Miller Dynasty 200DX with cooler of my design, works for me
              Miller Spectrum 375 - Nice Cutter

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by servicedude View Post
                Automotive anti-freeze is not only conductive but the additives in it will attack copper.

                I've never heard of that before. Are you sure?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the replies. The place I order my welding stuff from has it for 20 bucks a gallon. I will have to use straight coolant as it gets pretty cold here in the winter. I dont have any pics yet. But heres my setup. Procon pump and motor from a carbonator, tranny oil cooler, 12 qt storage box for temp. use. I cool the coolant before it goes in the holding tank. I bought a fan from Radio shack. Its a HV cooling fan, but I might have to get a bigger fan. Waiting on a SS tray to build a holding tank out of.

                  Steve
                  Dont force it, use a BIGGER hammer.

                  Linde VI-252C and Linde wire feeder.
                  Hobart Cyberwave 300c.
                  HH 140.
                  Miller Big 40.
                  Lincoln SAE 200J.
                  Hobart GR-303.
                  Lincoln tombstone welder.
                  TD Cutmaster 52.
                  Hobart Stickmate.
                  Miller 211 w/ Spoolgun.
                  Lincoln SA 200.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    cunninglinguist, I have seen more than one person put in automotive coolant in a Miller cooler and then try to claim defect because the heat exchanger had little holes in the copper tubes, also its hard on the pump. Seems wierd but I've seen the exchangers for myself.
                    Kirk Kopitzke
                    Service Technician
                    Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      automotive coolant will develop electrolysis (sp) and rapidly erode everything it is touching. i have seen several vehicles that had chronic heater core and radiator failures due to the electrolysis in the system. they have to be thoroughly flushed and new coolant/distilled water added. i would not use automotive coolant on a TIG machine for that specific reason.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't doubt you guys. Its just your real world experiences goes against what I've been reading about in the last month.

                        You see, I just put in a nice new aluminum radiator in my Chevy van and wanted to get some Toyota red antifreeze (which is highly regarded in the Toyota crowd and I do own a Toyota pickup). I went to the local Canadian Tire and picked up some orange Dexcool which at the time I thought was the same stuff under a different name. When I got home I googled it and I found that there were a lot of GM cooling failures from using this stuff so I returned it. It is not the same as Toyota red.

                        I got the normal green stuff and found that aside from protecting from freezing, antifreeze is supposed to lubricate water pumps and has additives that protect metal surfaces.

                        I'm wondering if the failures you are seeing is from Dexcool.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cunninglinguist View Post
                          I'm wondering if the failures you are seeing is from Dexcool.

                          it is quite possible because the high corrosion does seem to be limited mostly to vehicles using Dexcool. its not really an issue with the Asian and European imports.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cunninglinguist View Post
                            I'm wondering if the failures you are seeing is from Dexcool.
                            I thought the problem with Dexcool was due to people adding dexcool without throughly flushing out the green coolant. I've been running Dexcool in my Dodge truck (Cummins) for over 75K miles without any issues. I made sure I completely flushed out the green coolant.

                            From this web site...

                            http://www.imcool.com/articles/antif...l-macs2001.htm

                            GM’s Jay Dankovich and Equilon Enterprises’ (Texaco) Stede Granger directed a 2-year study of thousands of DEX-COOL cooled vehicles. Armed with the results, they really didn’t have anything bad to say about the coolant. In fact, they strongly defended the product’s reputation. What they revealed to the audience is that specific models of GM vehicles have specific cooling system contamination problems. And essentially, that DEX-COOL is not the culprit!
                            Their presentation started with a 14-minute video that is now being circulated to technicians at GM dealers nationwide. In the video, GM’s trainers succinctly described the problems that have been found and the corresponding corrective actions to be taken by technicians.

                            Suggestion. This video is a “must see” for all technicians considering themselves antifreeze/coolant experts. Without this information, your cooling system service knowledge of late model GM vehicles is severely limited. Seriously!
                            Fortunately, you can buy the video for only $10 (plus S&H). Call MSX International of Auburn Hills, Michigan at 800-393-4831. Ask for the DEX-COOL Video: “Understanding Radiator Cap and Cooling System Contamination.” Part number: RADCAPK. Immediately following this article is a report on this training video by John Brunner, recently retired GM field service representative.

                            What was said at the presentation? Besides the video, Jay and Stede included their personal observations about the study. At the end, they fielded several questions from the audience. Here’s a recap of their entire presentation.

                            1. Keep the cooling system filled. In fact, fill the reservoir bottle to “Hot” level when the system is cold. Problems arise when a system’s coolant level is not maintained. (Fleet vehicles receiving regular maintenance, and with reservoirs kept slightly above normal, do not show signs of contamination. This even applies to the specific “problem” vehicles.)

                            2. The coolant problems found in this survey were caused by system contamination, and not due to the breakdown of DEX-COOL.

                            3. Check and keep the pressure cap clean and functioning. A contaminated and/or malfunctioning cap causes low coolant levels, which in turn causes overheating and a greater loss of coolant: the notorious vicious cycle. No matter what the vehicle, if the cooling system acts suspiciously, test the pressure cap.

                            4. On the ST vehicle models mentioned in the GM DEX-COOL video, you “must” replace all suspect radiator caps, especially those with a Drop-Center design, with a Stant Model 10230 or 11230 (Spring-Center type). (Just do it.)

                            5. Make sure that the coolant is at a 50-50 mix. Often, the flush water was not being removed from the engine block. Consequently, when a 50-50 mix is added to the system the resultant mixture could approach 30-70. Like any fluid that has been diluted beyond its recommended levels, the lowered level of inhibitors will not be able to protect the coolant system effectively. Low levels of inhibitors can cause pitting on aluminum surfaces and general corrosion of cooling system metals.

                            Cutaway of Drop-Center CapLeft: Drop-center, “vented” radiator pressure cap. GM found this cap (like the Stant 10231) to be less helpful than a Spring-center cap (shown below) in controlling the formation of contaminants in the cooling system. If contamination forms, the debris fouls the valve and restricts its ability to seal. In turn, the coolant boils at a lower temperature. Coolant loss is accelerated and so is the accumulation of contaminants.

                            Cutaway of Spring-Center CapLeft: Spring-center, sealed radiator pressure cap (like the Stant 10230). This is the preferred cap for GM applications that are more prone to accumulating cooling system contaminants.

                            6. A safe method of achieving a true 50-50 mix is to first determine the actual capacity of the system (use the owner’s manual). Then add 50% of “that” amount of undiluted DEX-COOL (or any coolant), and top it off with water.

                            7. Mixing a “green” coolant with DEX-COOL reduces the batch’s change interval to 2 years or 30,000 miles, but will otherwise cause no damage to the engine. In order to change back to DEX-COOL however, the cooling system must first be thoroughly drained and flushed.

                            8. Bacteria cannot live in a hot, Ethylene Glycol environment and is therefore not a threat to DEX-COOL.

                            9. While there have been intake gasket failures on CK Series, V8 powered vehicles for various reasons, DEX-COOL has never been found as a cause.

                            10. Use a refractometer to check the condition of DEX-COOL. Its inhibitor package is strong enough that if the batch still provides proper freeze protection, it is probably still providing proper corrosion protection as well.

                            11. DEX-COOL can handle the minerals in hard water better than silicated conventional chemistry coolants. Drinkable water is suitable for top off.

                            12. In ST Blazer applications where the radiator cap is mounted at an angle to the ground, the vehicle is more susceptible to radiator cap contamination and its related problems. The Stant 10230 is a wise choice for these vehicles. $$$

                            Below are findings from local Northern California cooling system service shops that supplement the article above.
                            Millermatic Passport Plus
                            Millermatic 200

                            Millermatic 350P with Python
                            XMT 304 /w S-64 feeder and 12VS
                            Dynasty 300 DX
                            Thermal Arc 400 MST
                            Victor O/A
                            Premier Power Welder for my trail junk.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              well all that seems like a real pain to me. why not just dunp in some green stuff and be done with it ??
                              whats so great about this Dexcool that makes it werth all the truble ??
                              i have always just used standerd anty freeze at unknown mixtures depending on the size of the radeator i get a diferent mix as i just add 1 bottle anty then water. never had any truble that way. so why would i want to spend the $$ to replace all the caps and super flush then make shore i'm over full and at a 50/50 ratio?? when its easyer to jsut add the green stuff and try to remember to keep some water in the reserve resivor adding water as neded when i think to check it.
                              thanks for the help
                              ......or..........
                              hope i helped
                              sigpic
                              feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
                              summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.
                              JAMES

                              Comment

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