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So dumb I didn't want to put it in the topic. But here goes. How much anti-freeze should I put in my 68 350 with 3 core 23" radiator? I just put it together this summer and only put water in it so far. Would just draining the radiator and filling it up with AF be sufficient or do I need to get one of those hygrometer (sp?) things? Oh, this is in the St. Louis, Missouri area so I guess I should protect it down to about -10 and it won't get driven over winter at all.
 

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Not a dumb question at all. If you are looking for cold weather freezing protection follow the directions on the lable to get optimal protection. If freezing isn't an issue you could drain a gal of water and add a gal of anti freeze and I think you would get the corrosion protection you need. Where I live I like running less than 50/50 anti-freeze to water but it doesn't get to freezing around here.

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I definately want freeze protection. I guess what I don't know is the capacity of the entire system. If I knew that I could use the directions then. I just need to pick up a gallon and read up on it.
 

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Capacity should be about 3-3.5 gallons if the block is empty. This is how I always do it - Buy 2 gallons of antifreeze. add the 1st gallon of AF to the radiator, then add 1 gallon of water. Pour 1/2 the 2nd bottle into the 1st empty bottle and fill them both the rest of the way with water to make 2 gals of 50/50 mix. Then I just top it off and keep whatever's left to add later if needed.

A 50/50 mix with most brands should be more than enough to protect against freeze in Missouri - you could probably get away with 40/60 or even 30/70 if you keep it garaged. You might check the label though like Dennis said.
 

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I would think being in Missouri, as I used to live in Iowa, one would want a 50/50 mix.

One has to think of the wind chill factor, 50 mph flowing through the radiator before the thermostat opens up would freeze the coolant.

Fortunately, the block's drain plugs are easy to get removed. Pull the plugs, remove the thermostat, run water through the block to rinse out any residue, replace plugs. Fill coolant system and radiator with a gallon jug and count the jugs used. Now, you have the number ofquarts for capacity. Plug the plugs, and drain the radiator, and refill with 50/50 mix, after installing drain plugs. Replace thermostat and rad cap. Check the belt?

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Just a note, water dissipates heat more quickly than AF. Down here, with no worries about freezing, I run 100% water with a wetting agent to help prevent corrosion.

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Wind chill has no effect on inanimate objects. the temp is the temp. If its 30 degrees out and you are driving your car at 60 your car is still 30 degrees give or take.
Wind chill is the rate at which the heat is removed it will feel colder if the heat is removed from your body faster.(IE blowing wind)
Thought I would never use that tid-bit.

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OK - looked at a bottle of "Full Force" brand antifreeze I had in my garage.

50/50 mix is good to -34*F
40/60 mix is good to -12*F
33/67 mix is good to 0*F

As Milan stated wind chill has no effect on freeze points, its a "humans only" number.

My little sister lives in Springfield MO and she insists that "IT DOES get cold down thar in the Ozarks; it just doesn't stay that way for long."
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think I'll just drain the radiator and if I can get 1 1/2 gals back in it I'll be alright. I'll do your idea of mixing the remaining 1/2 gal 50/50 for topping off.
Thanks
 

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Most Chevy cooling systems are around 4.5 gallons capacity. If you have straight water in there now, I'd just drain the radiator and add 2 gal of anti-freeze, then add more water if needed to top off.
You can use a test guage to determine freeze point, which tells you the percent of anti-freeze too.
For a California car, 30 to 40 percent is plenty.
David

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A 350 has a 16 Qt heating system capacity, a 327 has a 17 Qt capacity. It is hard to get much more than a gallon and a half of water/antifreeze out of the system when draining the radiator. The rest seems to sit in the heater core and bottom of the block.

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100% water is not a good choice to run in an engine. The water pump needs lubricated . This is done with antifreeze /coolant. Water also has a lower boiling point. Not only does it help keep an engine from freezing in the winter, it helps keep an engine cooler in the summer.Even if you live in a warm climate all year long.
 

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Anti-freeze or coolant will not keep your car running cooler in warm weather-it will simply just raise the boiling point. Water is much more thermally efficient.

Of course, if the water is boiling, then yes, anti-freeze will keep it cooler.

It provides rust protection, also.

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Silver69Camaro, you are correct. This is what intended to say but didn't type. After reading your reply, i see where it is misleading on my part. I stand corrected.
 

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DON'T FORGET TO RUN THE ENGINE AFTER ADDING ANTI-FREEZE. I hope I'm stating the obvious but I thought I would make sure it was said.

I recommend picking up one of those $2 meters that tell you exactly what temp your radiator mixture is good to. That way you can drain as much as you can thru the radiator; replace with anti-freeze (make sure you don't buy the pre-mixed stuff); run the engine; check your mixture; adjust if needed.

-Gregg
 

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why noit just drain the thing completely empty, then refill with a 50/50 mix until it's full? instead of draining it, and refilling it, then draining it agin to find the capacity.
wanna know a good way to get any air pockets out? take off the upper heater hose where it goes into the heater core, and fill thru the radiator until coolant comes out of the hose, or overflows from the radiator. put the hose back on, and you can then start it up and not worry about air bubbles.

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[This message has been edited by novaderrik (edited 10-17-2002).]
 

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I keep two gallons of already mixed 50/50 stuff in MARKED plastic jugs so I don't have ta screw with the stuff when I periodically top off my vehicles.

And I measure the stuff at 50/50 to make sure it is 50/50!!! pdq67
 

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straight water (even with a wetter) isn't the best idea(reguardless of where you live)Anti-freeze helps with boil-over protection as well as to prevent freezing. 50/50 mix is the best on 90%? of most brands, straight Anti-freeze is just as bad as straight water(so I've heard). Also use distilled(bottled) water due to impurities in tap water.

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Since were on the topic, can someone tell me if the newer vehicles use something different. I did the yearly anti-freeze checkup on all the rigs yesterday & noticed the 99 GMC has a reddish tinted fluid in it. I was using my gauge to test the strenght of the coolant and it didn't read very well in this truck. I think I remember hearing about some vehicles requiring a different type of coolant but not sure what.

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I can't be sure about the "lubrication of the bearings" thing, but straight water will keep the temps lower in my direct experience. I run straight water and water wetter as well a bottle of prestone anti corrosion fluid. My 454 is kept at 190 degrees 95% of the time and never over 200. I have a newer stock 23" 3 core radiator and flex fan. I got lazy this year and did not fully drain my system of the winter mixture of 50/50 so some antifreeze was left in the system. After 3 weeks.. and temps often cresting into the 200's I fully drained the system and have had no problems . Pressure itself raises the boiling point of water by, I think, 1 degree for every pound of extra pressure, therefor, with a 15# cap you will be good to almost 230 degrees. Freezing is another matter all together.
 
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