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4Life coolant


Jezza
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Hi all,

I've read the debate on here and other forums about waterless vs water based collant, so not looking to reopen that debate.

I currently have 4Life coolant in my standard GT6 Mk2 and want to revert to the standard water based AF (long story, which I won't bore you with!)

I've been told that it isn't possible to convert back to water based AF as residue from 4Life remains in the cooling system even after extensive flusing and refreshing. 

Is this correct? Or is it possible to go from 4Life to regular water based coolant with, perhaps, a cleanser and extensive flusing of the system?

Thanks

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I know you have to remove all of the water before using 4-Life; that's fairly obvious - you don't want any water in the system. For replacing the 4-Life, I don't know what chemicals it has that would cause any problems. I've read plenty of boards on the stuff (many with exactly the same info and phrases so may be an 'insider' singing the praises) but I can't think of anything that it would leave behind when removed. Drain, flush well, refill and run for a few hours, (make sure the heater valve is open) then repeat. Any of the testimonials I've looked at enthused at how clean their engine components were ("I changed my water pump after ten years and it was still a good pump"... so why change it at all??? :)  ) but a good flush followed by a final refill of deionised water and blue Glycol should see the car back to normal.

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Thanks Colin. I thought I'd ask 4Life directly as well, so I phoned their technical helpline (on their website) and asked them what would be needed if I wanted to revert to regular water based coolant if currently using their product. The chap's response was simply "flush it through and refill with the coolant of your choice".

He mentioned the fact that you can add water to the 4Life coolant if you're in a bind and don't have any to hand (roadside breakdown, stone through rad, lose hose, etc) and also mentioned that the product has a different composition to Evans waterless coolant. Evans apparently doesn't work with water, so you can't add water if you need a quick top up (disclaimer: I have no experience with Evans). 

He also mentioned there there could be some confusion between their product and the Evans product because Evans had branded or marketed their product as 'for life' and hence people confuse the two.

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4Life is not a waterless coolant, it is a water/glycol based coolant with enhanced additives to give much longer lasting corrosion protection than standard blue glycol antifreeze. 4Life is not the same as pink OAT antifreeze used in modern cars either.

It follows that it isn't necessary to exclude every last trace of water from the cooling system before filling with 4Life (total exclusion of water is however necessary with Evans Waterless). Switching back and forth between standard blue glycol antifreeze and 4Life is straightforward, just a thorough flush with water in between and fill with the new coolant, as the expert at 4Life has advised. I've used 4Life for 20 years in my Triumphs and replaced it after about 10 years e.g. when changing an engine, though the coolant still appeared to be fine. The cooling systems have remained almost free from corrosion and sediment.

Nigel

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The question is Nigel, which glycol? There's ethylene glycol, and there's propylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is nasty stuff but it's cheap. However, the corrosion inhibitors break down quickly - 2 or 3 years. Whereas the inhibitors in Propylene glycol are more stable and last 20 or 25 years. also, Propylene glycol is nowhere near as poisonous. I can't find an MSDS but it sounds to me as though 4life is based on Propylene glycol and I suspect that's how they get their "enhanced" performance. If so then it's just a "pre-mixed" Propylene Glycol anti-freeze.

I run my Spit with domestic central heating heating antifreeze which is Propylene Glycol with 20 years life, compatible with all cooling system materials, and not too poisonous so no disposal issues. The long life means it works out way cheaper in the long run.

Cheers, Richard

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8 minutes ago, rlubikey said:

The question is Nigel, which glycol? There's ethylene glycol, and there's propylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is nasty stuff but it's cheap. However, the corrosion inhibitors break down quickly - 2 or 3 years. Whereas the inhibitors in Propylene glycol are more stable and last 20 or 25 years. also, Propylene glycol is nowhere near as poisonous. I can't find an MSDS but it sounds to me as though 4life is based on Propylene glycol and I suspect that's how they get their "enhanced" performance. If so then it's just a "pre-mixed" Propylene Glycol anti-freeze.

I run my Spit with domestic central heating heating antifreeze which is Propylene Glycol with 20 years life, compatible with all cooling system materials, and not too poisonous so no disposal issues. The long life means it works out way cheaper in the long run.

Cheers, Richard

Sorry for the ambiguity over type of glycol. 4Life is based on mono-ethylene glycol, same as traditional blue antifreeze:

https://4lifecoolant.co.uk/technical

As for nasty stuff,  everything is relative. Ethylene glycol is not seriously toxic unless ingested in significant quantity.  I have no concern about using ethylene glycol. Paint thinners, for example, needs much more care as it is both more toxic and more flammable.

Nigel

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23 hours ago, Jezza said:

currently have 4Life coolant in my standard GT6 Mk2 and want to revert to the standard water based AF (long story, which I won't bore you with!)

I've been bored for pretty much the last year, can you tell us why you are changing back to standard AF? I ask because I've just drained my system to fit a new water pump. 

Iain 

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6 minutes ago, Iain T said:

I've been bored for pretty much the last year, can you tell us why you are changing back to standard AF? I ask because I've just drained my system to fit a new water pump. 

Iain 

Good question... We really want to know!

If I need to drain the 4Life coolant for maintenance, I normally filter it then put it back. Seems to work fine.

Nigel

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I've read 4life will find any weak points in your system but then is that a bad thing? I've also read it's not recommended for classic engines but their website says the opposite. 

A bit like the last year we need to sift out the bs and get down to facts. 4life looks fine to me and maintenance free (I wouldn't go down the Evans route). IAT AF is also fine but is required to be changed every 2 years. I like those two words maintenance free! 

Iain 

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9 hours ago, Iain T said:

I've been bored for pretty much the last year, can you tell us why you are changing back to standard AF? I ask because I've just drained my system to fit a new water pump. 

Iain 

Haven't we all! 

Well, OK, you asked for it! 

As you mention in a later post, 4life will find any weak spots in your system - my guess is that most coolants will do so too..? 

Anyway, I had a leak from the rad that I couldn't identify the source for. So I took it to a garage to see if they could. They did, and also identified a small weep. Neither could be fixed apparently because the solder wouldn't 'take' and they thought the reason was because of the waterless coolant (that they mistakenly assumed was Evans). They mentioned that if it had been regular water based coolant they could have just applied heat and the water would have evaporated and then the solder would 'take'.

I'm haste I assumed 4life might have caused the leak, but as you mention Iain, it's probably just found a weak spot. And so the thought of switching back to regular water based coolant came to mind and conundrum of whether I could having gone with 4life.

... and there you go. I hope it's filled a gap in your Friday evening :)

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I had a newly built 1500 engine at considerable expense fail due to head gasket issues after 500 miles,i had used waterless coolant.

When it was stripped down,the whole engine internally was caked with jelly like stuff,the builder thought the waterless stuff had reacted with the oil and emulsified,it meant a complete strip down and cleanout before another rebuild.

Steve

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On 02/04/2021 at 12:47, Iain T said:

Nigel, did you have any issues when you changed to 4life?

Iain 

Late again, only just spotted Iain's question!

No, no issues at all swapping over. I simply drained the old coolant, flushed the system thoroughly (both directions) then refilled with 4Life.

Nigel

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its known that   Glycol will jelly up if mixed into any   OAT based stuff 

and can be a nightmare to clean out    its as simple as never mix the two types  

but thats if you know what you have inside 

just to make it easy ????  there are OAT Josephs coat of  OAT colours 

TYPE INHIBITOR TECHNOLOGY ZEREX COOLANT VEHICLES COLOR
IAT (Inorganic Additive Technology) Silicates Zerex™ Original Older Vehicles

GREEN

OAT (Organic Acid Technology) Organic Acids Zerex™ Dex-Cool® GM, Saab, VW

ORANGE

HOAT (Hybrid OAT) Silicates & Organic Acids Zerex™ G-05™ Ford, Chrysler, European

YELLOW

HOAT (Hybrid OAT, Phosphate-free) NAP Free ZEREX™ G-48 BMW, Volvo, Tesla, Mini, others

TURQUOISE

P-HOAT (Phosphated HOAT) Phosphates & Organic Acids ZEREX™ Asian Vehicle Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, KIA & other Asian vehicles PINK / BLUE
Si-OAT (Silicated HOAT) Silicates & Organic Acids ZEREX™ G-40 Mercedes-Benz, Audi, VW, Porsche, others

PURPLE

then there's loads of reading matter about colours and types  eg

https://fuelandfriction.com/weekend-warrior/the-different-colors-of-coolant/

 

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Pete, very useful I always research before buying or ask the Forum! The PO of my car mixed AF's and completely gummed up the rad and had to be replaced at their cost. All cean now and I want it to stay that way! 

Iain 

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, here goes...

All my classics have had Evans in them for years, the Mustang for over 16.  It's Propylene Glycol and works very well for me.  The main downside is like all coolants it finds the leaks easily - more than a water mix, but that seems to be because it's neat.  The propensity for leakage seems to be significantly less with rubber hoses than with silicone.  I have no connection whatsoever with either manufacturer or suppliers, but I find it excellent.  No corrosion at all in any of my engines/radiators as far as I can tell.  You need to get the water content to below 3%, I believe, and there's no need to use Evans 'prep' fluid.  One of their tech guys told me just to use cheap ethylene glycol to flush water out, but apart from an old Series 2A Landie I've only ever put it in freshly-rebuilt engines and cooling systems.

Sits back and waits for 'snake oil' or 'too expensive' comments - always get them...

Roger

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