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Any thoughts on grounding my radiator?


shane96ranger

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I was cruising around in the forum I just joined (it sucks) for F150's. While reading this, keep in mind the OEM radiator lasted 208,000 miles - and I don't think my heater core has been changed (knock on wood). I read on the F150 forum that the heater core on my F150 is grounded from the factory to "prevent electrolysis". I also read suggestions of grounding the radiator. Now.... I'm one who really likes an upgrade when I can, but I don't know how much of an upgrade this is.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Any thoughts are appreciated.

I imagine if I ran a volt meter to ground and into the coolant I could see if it is even a problem, eh?

Also wondering if since the heater core is grounded, would the radiator be necessary?
 


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Interesting question. Rads used to be bolted directly to the core support, IIRC, and so grounded. I don't remember seeing any ground straps on the newer ones, even on the heater core. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind is a feeling that current can be generated by moving fluid, I think I remember some science show [ a number of years ago now...maybe 10 or 15] about a new source of energy generation using that principal, and no, not with a water wheel or any derivatives.
Subbed for the knowledge I hope is forthcoming.

Richard
 

shane96ranger

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I was just poking around over at All Ford Mustangs and see some guys are doing it on their fox body's. Although I geared the original question towards my F150, I know for a fact my Mustang suffers from electrolysis.

Here's where it's coming through on my Mustang:


And this is my F150 leak. I think this one is leaking from the crimp seal though:
 

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Do you think its necessary? The original lasted 208K miles.

If you do... Ground it. It cant hurt anything.
 

shane96ranger

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Do you think its necessary? The original lasted 208K miles.

If you do... Ground it. It cant hurt anything.
Necessary? No. Just wanting to prevent issues if possible.

My Mustang concerns me more than the F150. But I would do both if it's a good idea.
 

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There is a max coolant voltage spec on the mod motors for when you need to change the coolant, it slowly builds over time.

There are other aluminum parts on your truck you need to worry about electrolisis and corrsion from nasty coolant aside from just the radiator.

Yours has an aluminum intake manifold so it isn't an issue, mid '99+ have a composite/plastic intake and nasty coolant does weird things to the aluminum crossover pipe which corrodes and cracks the intake... which if you can imagine is very cheap to buy new.

So far the local dealer has only seen the late '99s to '01s do that so I have my fingers crossed that if I keep my coolant looking nice in my '02 it will continue to behave itself. :pray:
 
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shane96ranger

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There is a max coolant voltage spec on the mod motors for when you need to change the coolant, it slowly builds over time.
Dang. I wish I would have known that prior to changing the radiator/hoses/coolant over the weekend. I haven't seen it with my own eyes, but like I said above, I read that Ford grounded the heater core. To me that means they acknowledge the possibility of an issue there. As you probably know, the radiator is completely isolated. I didn't know if that's on purpose, or if it was overlooked.
 

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Dang. I wish I would have known that prior to changing the radiator/hoses/coolant over the weekend. I haven't seen it with my own eyes, but like I said above, I read that Ford grounded the heater core. To me that means they acknowledge the possibility of an issue there. As you probably know, the radiator is completely isolated. I didn't know if that's on purpose, or if it was overlooked.
Most radiators with the plastic tanks are mounted in rubber bushings so they don't crack with the vehicles vibrations and twists, I know my Ranger's is isolated too.

That they have problems with stuff mounted on the engine with electrolisis (heads and crossover pipe) tells me that ground probably isn't a problem.

I will have to ask my brother when I think of it about the voltage and the heater core ground, he has done a couple more of them than me (thank god)
 

shane96ranger

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I will have to ask my brother when I think of it about the voltage and the heater core ground, he has done a couple more of them than me (thank god)
It doesn't look like a fun job. I'll "get" to do it one day though, because I plan on keeping this truck for several years. When I get around to doing the Mustang's entire cooling system, it seems like it might be a good idea to ground the heater core if the F150 has it grounded.
 

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It can't hurt. I won't say it will help, but it can't hurt.

A battery is, effectively two different metals in a liquid. Your rad and core are aluminum, your block is iron. Your coolant is liquid (I hope). So any vehicle has the potential for electrolysis. I have, on several occasions, used "Sir, your cooling system is producing voltage" as a point to upsell a coolant flush. You don't even really have to do anything but stick the leads in the bottle away from each other. If it is bad enough it will show voltage.


And Ford definately acknowledges the issues with electrolysis. There was a TSB and a warranty extension on the heater core for the Edge because of it.
 

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I was reading about replacing the petcock with a zinc anode to prevent radiators against electrolysis and galvanic corrosion. I think I may do this on the Mustang as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Flex-lite-32060-Anode-Drain/dp/B001GR09S4
The problem with that is that it gives you false hope... The zinc is a rather localized solution. It has an effective range of less then foot.

There are 2 different situations that cause electrolysis in a coolant system.

1)stray voltage - (not to be confused with Stray cat... Who causes other problems.) This is usually caused by poor grounding, bad battery cable, etc.

2)acid build up in the coolant. Replace your coolant every few years and this shouldnt ever be a problem.
 

shane96ranger

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The problem with that is that it gives you false hope... The zinc is a rather localized solution. It has an effective range of less then foot.

There are 2 different situations that cause electrolysis in a coolant system.

1)stray voltage - (not to be confused with Stray cat... Who causes other problems.) This is usually caused by poor grounding, bad battery cable, etc.

2)acid build up in the coolant. Replace your coolant every few years and this shouldnt ever be a problem.
:icon_rofl:

Never thought I'd see something about a pet cock and a stray cat in the same post......
 


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