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 Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze

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alan8376
Lt Col
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Number of posts : 398
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 09:43

When I arrived in BAOR, 1967 antifreeze was the norm in vehicle radiators.

I believe the antifreeze stuff was called AL-3 and was mixed, if I remember correctly to -27C degrees. Even the guardroom had the mixture in a jar to monitor conditions. I believe if it froze, the Regiment's vehicles were to by started.

Prior to antifreeze, vehicles in winter, were to be drained at the end of each day and of course filled next day. I think the radiator cap was placed on the drivers seat to remind drivers that the radiator was empty.

Maybe some of our forum 'old soldiers' or NS guys can enlighten us what procedures took place in the early days, especially in BAOR? I don't think the Uk would have been a big problem!!!

Does anyone know what the practice was during the war? Can't imagine them draining radiators each night once across into Germany, nor can I imagine running engines just because temps dropped?

When I was with one certain Reme Workshop, they would refuse to accept vehicles for 2nd Line repairs where the radiator antifreeze reading was not correct. It was the norm to drain incorrect antifreeze out onto the floor. Can you imagine doing that in Germany today?

Infact, I can remember it was common practise to pour petrol on the training area ground when the Jerry Can was still partly full to achieve an empty can to return when vehicle tanks were full to the brim.


Last edited by alan8376 on 20/12/2009, 10:55; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 10:04

In the early 60s we had a test tube of the stuff on the guardroom verandah which was checked hourly in severe weather.If it froze the drivers were called out to start and run their vehicles for two hours.This seemed to happen a lot,mainly at night,much to our German neighbours annoyance. Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 10:35

My technical involvement diidnt start until the late 70s but AL-3 was the vehicle anti freeze. It was replaced by AL-39. I don't have a date.AL-39 is technically ethylene glycol with "inhibitors" which are supposed to stop the glycol corroding the system.

When Iwent first to BAOR,winter 78-79 it was one of the worst ever. Gutersloh recorded -30C at night and there were regular daytime temperatures of -10C. One guy ,who should have known better said that it was common to use vodka in the windscreen wash.
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alan8376
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Number of posts : 398
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 10:40

What was the code for:

Washer antifreeze stuff
Brakes system antifreeze stuff
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PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 10:58

alan8376 wrote:
What was the code for:

Washer antifreeze stuff
Brakes system antifreeze stuff

Windscreen washer fluid is AL-11, iso propyl alcohol.

I can't remember a brake system anti freeze, but I could have done with some on my old yellow Polo. Made do with a kettle of boiling water. Happy days.

OX-8, the standard brake fluid was supposed to operate down to -40C


Last edited by Chemist on 20/12/2009, 11:13; edited 1 time in total
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alan8376
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Number of posts : 398
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 11:11

The brake antifreeze was placed into the the small tank near the aircompressor on systems that had air brakes or air over hydraulic.

Vehicles which had 100% air brakes could put the sh** up you if the froze whilst being driven.

None was need for servo over hydraulic, as used in later models of Land Rovers and many smaller vehicles.
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PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 11:34

Air brake anti freeze liquids are based on either AL-14 methanol (methyl alcohol)or AL-11 iso propanol (iso propyl alcohol). I have to admit ignorance on their use in vehicle braking systems. Alan -Does this ring any bells?
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alan8376
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Number of posts : 398
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 12:14

Yep, AL- 14 sounds correct!

To understand how the stuff works, just think about holding your head, covered with a towel over a pot over hot water and Vick, then breathe deeply.

The compressor sucks fumes from over the top of the reservoir containing the fluid and pushes it on as an air mixture into the air braking system.

Modern day trucks have a dryer fitted to overcome most freezing problems. Ever wondered why HGVs driving past sound as if they are 'sneezing'? I believe this is how the system gets rid of water/vapour!

See this, although it is abit ancient!
http://www.hmvf.co.uk/pdf/POLcompact.pdf


Last edited by alan8376 on 20/12/2009, 13:33; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 13:31

These alcohol based fluids just absorb the water and stop it freezing in the system. Alcohol/water mixes freeze below 0C

The guy on the website Clive Elliott sounds like a Rupert from the dim and distant days but its agood guide.

How things have changed with vehicle servicing. My Ford just goes in once-a-year,no 3000 miles oil changes, checking anti freeze,etc etc. Do'nt know theyre born these days. Wink Wink
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dandc
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Number of posts : 382
Age : 67
Localisation : gateshead
Cap Badge : 15/19H.ARMY AIR CORPS
Places Served : tidworth, fallingbostle, detmold, hongkong, minden
Registration date : 2009-05-22

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 15:09

my first time in germany,1969,we were up every 2 hrs to start the tanks and b-vehs,i did not think it could get so cold,dave.
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TomM
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Number of posts : 11
Age : 81
Localisation : Benfleet Essex
Cap Badge : RASC
Places Served : Kettwig Germany
Registration date : 2009-11-19

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 15:32

To answer the question of antifreeze in vehicles in the 50's is easy,
We had 50 ambulances in Kettwig on the Ruhr in the winter of 1954/55 we would drain them every night and put the radiator cap on drivers seat, But when on call to BMH hospitals we didn't drain, The vehicle park guard would start up the ambulances every hour or so. I hope that answers your question, Anyway we didn't know what antifreeze!!.
tom
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donald
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Number of posts : 156
Age : 88
Cap Badge : 1st The Royal Dragoons - The Blues and Royals (RHG/D)
Places Served : UK,BOAR,Egypt
Registration date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 15:36

I do know that we had AL3 in the radiaters when I joined the Regt in 1948,and in cold weather it was tested on first parade maint.When we had exteme winters,and most of them were,then, a jar of antifreeze mixture was placed outside the guardroom window(s)and the guard commander would turn out the Regt if the mixture started to freeze.Only on one occasion do I remember this,we were in Wesendorf,an exteme winter with the temperatures down to nearly -30c,and the vehicles had to be started up every two hours even with the maximum strength antifreeze mixture in the radiators.I also remember we had a couple of german workers who got very ill drinking the stuff,had the same effect as kartoffel schnapps!Any of you bad lads ever drink any kartoffel schnapps?
------
Don
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Ian-redcap70
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Number of posts : 65
Age : 86
Localisation : Brisbane, OZ
Cap Badge : RMP
Places Served : Bielefeld, Colchester
Registration date : 2007-08-16

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 19:50

I can remember parking a Jeep outside block 8 at Ripon Bks in Bielefeld after a night patrol in January 1954 when the temperature had dropped to minus 27 deg. REME garage regularly checked anti-freeze levels in radiators.

Next morning the front of the Jeep was several inches off of the road as the anti-freeze had frozen, cracked the block and steadily leaked building up a stalagmite!

This happened in a matter of four hours.

No action was taken against anyone!
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PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 21:08

One of our mates collected his brand new car, a Stiletto from somewhere up north in the winter.When he got back to camp in Muenster, it was a bit late, so he parked it outside the barrack block.Next morning the Antifreeze in the system froze. Had to leave it in the LAD for a couple of days to thaw out.
Speaking about thawing out. I was lifting a power pack with a FV434. The heat of the engine melted the snow and ice on the top of the 434 and it all ran down into the hull. Later I started up the 434 headed down the camp road, intending to turn left and park up behind the LAD.What I did not realize was that the melted snow and ice had re-froze and held the the steering control linkages solid. Barely missed knocking over the POL Point.
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Teabag
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Number of posts : 960
Age : 67
Localisation : Merseyside
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Wildenrath Detmold
Registration date : 2008-10-30

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   20/12/2009, 22:05

Seem to remember a guy putting anti freeze in the oil filler of a dirty great generator at Wildenrath. Wrong hole soft lad!

Digressing slightly, we popped down to 21 Panzer area to play in some Hussars chieftains while they were away in the emerald isle and left our FV432 in a German wash point. When we came back, our little tank wouldn't go. Those naughty Germans had put a high pressure hose down the exhaust and our pack was full of water.

Quite funny when the pack was lifted and the REME guy said turn the engine over. Water gushing out everywhere. There was a charge but it was a formality and our leader was admonished.
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Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1026
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   21/12/2009, 00:08

Block heaters are the answer to our newer vehicles. The old 2 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton and jeep had heavy duty jumper cables with an out let on the vehicle for jump starting or giving the same. On winter exercise in Canada we would do 2 hour start up, run for a 15 minutes shut off the vehicle holding down the gas pedal so as to have gas in the carburator for next start. In Germany I don't remember ever doing cold weather start up's. Incidentaly the above mentioned vehicles didn't have interior heaters for the drivers cab. Very, very cold in winter conditions. The back of the T.U. Van 3/4 ton had a gas heater in the van box. Very efficient when it worked.

Now to hear more on Winter Training stories. Must be loads out there.
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alan8376
Lt Col
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Number of posts : 398
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   21/12/2009, 08:33

None of the British vehicles had the luxury of a heater either,

The first vehicles, Land Rovers had them around 1969. Even into the 1970-80s, some vehicles ie. Recovery Vehicles did not have them. Brrrrrrrrrrrr.

On a slightly different tack! How many people enjoyed the rigours of a German winter on Soltau training area in a tent. Even worse, maybe overnight in an Armoured Vehicle?

'Pick up thy shovel' and going for a walk has a rather poinient meaning!

Northern Gemany has a very sandy soil, so breaking the top layer wasn't too difficult when frozen!
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PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   21/12/2009, 10:25

There was a commercial spray which when put into the air intake did miraculous things in cold weather. It smelt like ether, the ancient anaesthetic. Anyone come across it,can't recall the name.
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alan8376
Lt Col
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Number of posts : 398
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   21/12/2009, 14:08

The stuff you are referring to is called: Start-Pilot

Yes, it helps older style diesel engines start in winter, especially if the cylider compressions are down.

There is a lot of folklore surrounding these cold start products.
Once it has been used the engine gets 'hooked' on it, and will probably not want to start in the future without. Which is often true!

Many people claim the stuff washes off the oil of the bores, thus in effect reducing the compression.

In the opinion of many Vehicle Engineers, it is said that due to the detonation of Start-Pilot on igniting, causes a shock wave which cracks the piston rings and or damages other components.
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Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1026
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   21/12/2009, 15:06

They still sell that sort of product over here. But new cars, better batteries are solving the problem. Also many out door parking lots here in Canada have plug in's for the block heater. I know, I know getting of topic here.
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donald
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Number of posts : 156
Age : 88
Cap Badge : 1st The Royal Dragoons - The Blues and Royals (RHG/D)
Places Served : UK,BOAR,Egypt
Registration date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   21/12/2009, 15:18

Alan,
I had the pleasure(?)of sleeping out in the Winter at Soltau when the temperature was down in the celler.We did dismounted winter training,the ground was frozen,but we had to dig a hole,fill it with pine brances,put our two man bivvy on top of that,then bed down with our blankets on top of our poncho(NO sleeping bags then)If you got some snow on top of the bivvy it was quite cosy,but did we long to get back to our cosy central heating!!!!It was so cold that winter that they had to return the water bowsers to camp as they froze solid.We currently have the same sort of weather today!!!!!!!!Brrrrrr.
-----
Don
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Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1026
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   21/12/2009, 15:28

We had immersion water heaters that hung into the top of the water bowsers. Only ever saw them in use in Norway in 71.
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alan8376
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Number of posts : 398
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   21/12/2009, 15:33

We normally put parafin lanterns inside the folding tap access doors on the 2 ton Water Bowser Trailer.
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Mikey
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Number of posts : 35
Localisation : North Yorkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : BAOR, Cyprus, Aden
Registration date : 2009-01-25

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   21/12/2009, 17:23

Commonly known as Easy Start in civvy street and intended for diesel engines and yes engines did get hooked on it and yes it also ruined them if used too much, the fluid smelt like ether, also seen the aerosol cans used as little flame throwers by brave/fools.
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alan8376
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Number of posts : 398
Age : 69
Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Vehicle Radiator Anti Freeze   21/12/2009, 17:31

Yes, it has a very, very distinctive smell. It would, in my opinion, if got into the hands of a 'glue sniffer', would probably send them to where there is no return ticket!
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