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Old 10-10-2019, 01:40 PM   #1
Nodnarb76
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Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

I would like to get everyone's opinion on something.
When I did my LS swap 3 years ago, I bought a radiator/fan combo from Entropy radiator. about a year and 7000 miles later it started leaking. I sent it back to them and they replaced it under warranty.

Last month it started leaking again from what looks like the same spot. I sent it back in to them. After two weeks I call to check up on it and I am told they won't cover it under warranty because they determined it was Electrolysis damage that caused it to leak. They offered to sell me a new radiator for 1/2 price. After doing some research It looks like Electrolysis happens on older cars/cooling systems when the coolant is old, and the engine isn't properly grounded.

I only have about 5000 miles on the radiator since they sent it to me last time, and every time I have had the radiator out, I use brand new pre mixed AC Delco coolant. I have the battery grounded to the frame, block, and radiator support. and also have the block grounded to the frame and firewall on the other side.

Could I have an Electrolysis problem with only 5000 miles, new OEM coolant, and 5 grounds?
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:56 PM   #2
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

I hesitate to say never ,,,but I've never heard of that...
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:58 PM   #3
Steeveedee
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

In my free internet opinion, no. I have aluminum radiators in my truck and my furriner-built econoboxes and they are not suffering from electrolysis after several years. I guess the only thing that springs to mind is that maybe their fans have something to do with it. Also, if it's leaking from the same area on both, I'd look at workmanship. Where exactly is it leaking from?

ETA- In older vehicles, I used water soluble oil to completely isolate the system. It lays a thin layer of oil on all the inside surfaces of the cooling system. It's not thick enough to alter the cooling characteristics. I've run straight tap water with soluble oil in climates where there is no freezing, and the water stays clear- there was no rust in it, even after many thousands of miles. I don't use it in my econoboxes because they are all under warranty and I don't want anything to mess that up. But they all go to the dealer for maintenance. If they determine it is time for a flush and fill, they will get the job, since they would be responsible if anything went wrong.
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Last edited by Steeveedee; 10-10-2019 at 02:05 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:16 PM   #4
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

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Originally Posted by Steeveedee View Post
In my free internet opinion, no. I have aluminum radiators in my truck and my furriner-built econoboxes and they are not suffering from electrolysis after several years. I guess the only thing that springs to mind is that maybe their fans have something to do with it. Also, if it's leaking from the same area on both, I'd look at workmanship. Where exactly is it leaking from?

ETA- In older vehicles, I used water soluble oil to completely isolate the system. It lays a thin layer of oil on all the inside surfaces of the cooling system. It's not thick enough to alter the cooling characteristics. I've run straight tap water with soluble oil in climates where there is no freezing, and the water stays clear- there was no rust in it, even after many thousands of miles. I don't use it in my econoboxes because they are all under warranty and I don't want anything to mess that up. But they all go to the dealer for maintenance. If they determine it is time for a flush and fill, they will get the job, since they would be responsible if anything went wrong.
It is leaking from the driver's side between the end tank and the fins. See pic.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:57 PM   #5
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

I wonder if grounding the Rad would help?
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:29 PM   #6
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

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I wonder if grounding the Rad would help?
It might require that. If the failure was in the same place twice, I'd consider a bad weld though. One can measure the voltage or resistance (with a high impedance meter) to detect electrolysis in action. If he had all new coolant, I just have a hard time believing that it was electrolysis.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:18 PM   #7
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

Idk my 3 year old Griffin ls swap rad only has 1k mile on it with vavloine extend life antifreeze they wouldnt stand behind it they only gave 2 year warranty it started leaking from every core on both sides rad shop said they never seen any leak like that but it seems to be common on that brand. Any thing is possible but im going to say no
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:14 PM   #8
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

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Idk my 3 year old Griffin ls swap rad only has 1k mile on it with vavloine extend life antifreeze they wouldnt stand behind it they only gave 2 year warranty it started leaking from every core on both sides rad shop said they never seen any leak like that but it seems to be common on that brand. Any thing is possible but im going to say no
Does Griffin weld, or use epoxy? I know that some of the radiators are put together with epoxy and can't take high pressure, so have to have a low pressure cap.
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:11 AM   #9
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

Did you see electrolysis? It sounds to me like an easy blanket response on any radiators leaking that have any age on them. Can't say it on ones in the first couple years, but to snake out of the rest they probably fall back on the electrolysis move.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:41 AM   #10
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

In just about every build I have had similar issues with electrolysis. It's very frustrating since I'd be cruising around thinking all is well, only to realize a year later I was unaware of the damage happening all the while. I found this to be a helpful video. It is promoting a product near the end, which I have nothing to do with, but the explanation of how and why electrolysis occurs is very good.

https://youtu.be/LrUxMQkXgM0

This one also was interesting to me... a way to test how much electrolysis is happening. Probably basic information to most of you guys, but I had no clue.

https://youtu.be/3eazP_D06cU
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:37 AM   #11
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

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Originally Posted by special-K View Post
Did you see electrolysis? It sounds to me like an easy blanket response on any radiators leaking that have any age on them. Can't say it on ones in the first couple years, but to snake out of the rest they probably fall back on the electrolysis move.
that's how I read it also. BS excuse to get out of covering for poor quality. I see and work on so many trucks with LS engines and very seldom do they have a leaking radiator. GM has to stand behind them for at least 3 years, sometimes longer. They use quality radiators for that very reason.

Have you seen how these aftermarket radiators are made? As fast as they fly down the assembly line it's amazing they don't all leak
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:26 AM   #12
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

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that's how I read it also. BS excuse to get out of covering for poor quality. I see and work on so many trucks with LS engines and very seldom do they have a leaking radiator. GM has to stand behind them for at least 3 years, sometimes longer. They use quality radiators for that very reason.

Have you seen how these aftermarket radiators are made? As fast as they fly down the assembly line it's amazing they don't all leak
China can send sea-tainers full of substandard quality knowing there's nothing we can do but accept it. Internet sales can be the same way. It makes buying easier but not better. Many websites don't even give you the business's physical location. I move on if I don't even know what state a business is in. And I don't buy from a company just because they popped up with a cheaper priced product. I look for a better deal on a brand name (read "known to be good") company. And one that stands behind their product.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:20 AM   #13
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

Entropy is considered top of the line in many-a-mind. Here is a blurb I pulled from their advertisement....

“Like all of our radiators, it's made with pride in the USA with USA made cores. Unlike most radiators, our cores are purpose built for high performance cooling and are not made using standard passenger car (PC) cores. All of our radiators are fully TIG welded, use heavy duty transmission coolers, no epoxy, a billet filler neck, brass overflow connections and a brass drain cock.”

I figure it should be the very best at nearly 1000$
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:35 AM   #14
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

I buy US Radiator, made right there in the LA area, been to their shop. This build is my first aluminum unit so I may ground it since I have a nearby post for that. But I just don't seem to remember ever having to do that in the past. I've only been active in building since 1979 (active), my first was a T in 1974 I made a mess out of. But this whole electrolysis thing was never an issue to me before.
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:37 AM   #15
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

My statements were general addressing today's business mentality born of the internet from far away. Not the guy down the street that has to face you. And how buying online from afar with some things is a thing to consider. It's not just bad companies who fall into this and it's not just crappy products or only those from China. More like part of a new modern business model.
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Old 10-12-2019, 03:36 PM   #16
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

I have read the corrosion prevention additives in anti-freeze do not work beyond 2 years, so it is a good idea to replace the coolant more often than that. And sacrificial anodes will be the first thing to corrode if you have one. I wrote an email to ECP a while back and asked them if the stuff I read on the internet about sacrificial anodes is a real thing, and they wrote back and said yes and suggested I get one. I ordered my ECP radiator and this sacrificial anode: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001GR09S4/
After a couple of years I had no deterioration of the anode, so I took it out and put the petcock back on. I think some trucks get it and some don't. I wonder if electric fans contribute to the problem. Electricity is part of the corrosion process.
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Old 10-12-2019, 04:12 PM   #17
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

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Originally Posted by Steeveedee View Post
Does Griffin weld, or use epoxy? I know that some of the radiators are put together with epoxy and can't take high pressure, so have to have a low pressure cap.
according to griffin they wled when cover the welds in epoxy, i had a 16 pound cap on it that they sold with the radiator
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Build Thread http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=421305

2007 Honda Accord my daily 101kmiles
2002 Honda Accord 4 door With 275k(sisters car)
2003 Honda Accord 109k( brothers car)
2002 Sububran 5.3 225k
2000 Tahoe 5.3l 369k

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Old 10-12-2019, 04:12 PM   #18
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

Factory radiators are grounded through the transmission lines. If you continue with this you should be golden. With aftermarket lines usually being rubber then you lose that.
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Old 10-12-2019, 06:14 PM   #19
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmjlambert View Post
I have read the corrosion prevention additives in anti-freeze do not work beyond 2 years, so it is a good idea to replace the coolant more often than that. And sacrificial anodes will be the first thing to corrode if you have one. I wrote an email to ECP a while back and asked them if the stuff I read on the internet about sacrificial anodes is a real thing, and they wrote back and said yes and suggested I get one. I ordered my ECP radiator and this sacrificial anode: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001GR09S4/
After a couple of years I had no deterioration of the anode, so I took it out and put the petcock back on. I think some trucks get it and some don't. I wonder if electric fans contribute to the problem. Electricity is part of the corrosion process.
Anodes are used in numerous industrial and naval systems so I know they do work. I've changed them in both worlds. I forgot all about those you can use in our cooling systems.
Thanks
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Old 10-12-2019, 07:41 PM   #20
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

Unless you are doing something wrong in the way it's mounted .. Twice . This is poor quality . Just too much Chineseium in parts
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Old 10-13-2019, 10:49 AM   #21
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

My son worked at a radiator shop thru high school. He bought an aluminum radiator for his gmc which has been changed out to a stock 4 core now. But he grounded the radiator with a small wire to the core support. Never had a.problem with it. But yes any aluminum radiator needs to be grounded to the body to stop the process.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:30 PM   #22
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Re: Electrolysis damage to my radiator after 5,000 miles?

I have looked in to this a few years back, I am a old timer like most of us we came from the Copper era rad , when you could throw just about any type of water or antifreeze in your cooling system and forget about it , Not today, the thin aluminium is very sesaptable to this problem , today you must put a quality antifreeze in you system and if any water is to be added it must be a distilled water, I personly use only BMW coolant they have been addresing this issue for years and have a very good formula that addresses this issue , yes its BMW expensive but it work ,if you ever owned a BMW then you know how delicate there cooling systems are , let me put it this way, the saying in BMW world is if one cooling part fails even a hose , replace everything,, and everything is 4 times as many parts you see in a American built cooling system.

here is the test you must preform if you have a aluminium rad, take a voltage reading , anything over 0.10 volt will cause eletrolysis effect ,

this is how you check take a volt/ohm meter take positive lead and stick it in your radiator make sure its only touching the fluid

first check is neg ro rad support read meter then neg to engine read meter then neg to frame read meter after that have someone sit in the cab put ignition to on, keep your neg to frame , I like to use the engine to frame ground wire , then have that person turn on every electrical acc you have on one by one radio, lights , brake light, horn,etc etc. and watch the meter when you find high volt spikes these will be the problem areas that are giving you your issues
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