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Old 04-21-2019, 09:18 AM
jgbedford jgbedford is offline
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Default Radiator maintenance

New to 2-stroke. I purchased a used Intrepid chassis with Vortex ROK GP motor. The guy I bought it from was helpful and took me for a very quick once over the kart.

His guidance was to empty the radiator after each session and leave the system dry until my next session. He showed me the drain bolt/plug on the bottom of the motor.

He told me to only run distilled water in the cooling system to avoid track damage if a spill or leak were to occur.

It’s still the start of he season in Canada and pretty cold and rainy, but when things really start to warm up, my hope is to get out on it at least weekly.

Question - does the radiator/cooling system need to be drained after every day before storing the cart?

Does anyone run anything other than distilled water in their cooling system?

Is there any other maintenance I should be aware of to keep my coolong system operating efficiently?

Many thanks in advance!
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Old 04-21-2019, 12:51 PM
Snaker Snaker is offline
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I'm not sure why you would to drain every time, I guess it depends of what level and cost your at. If your doing things like pulling the engine apart after every race then sure.

I did some motorcycle roadracing back in the day and it was common to use a product that was called "Water Wetter" I believe. It gave enough lubrication that some of the coolant pumps required yet it wouldn't grease down the track in a crash. And it was track legal, at least for my situation.
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Old 04-21-2019, 05:06 PM
jgbedford jgbedford is offline
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Thanks - I will check to see if Water Wetter can be used at my track.

I don't want to have to drain it every time if I can avoid it - it's one less thing to worry about.

Maybe I can buy a large jug of distilled water, and mix it with Water Wetter, and keep it at the track to be used when needed.

I'm curious what others are doing? I'm not tearing the kart down after every race, but don't want to skimp on maintenance either.

Thanks!
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Old 04-21-2019, 08:18 PM
Denny Denny is offline
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You can not leave just water in a cooling system all the time unless you want to end up with a big pile of corrosion, then you really have problems. If you can't run anti-freeze then follow the P. O. advise.


Denny
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:23 PM
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itsid itsid is offline
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yes and no..

destilled water might be a good cooling liquid for some setups..
(some additives dropped the thermal capacity of the water too much, some others reduced flow rate (viscosity) and yet others caused various incompatibilities with either rubber or aluminium or both especially when mixed)

So destilled water was rather popular for a looong time IIRC.
For all I know proper additives are the best bet..
(you need to ask around I'm afraid can't recall any brand names...)
But some AFAIR not only increase thermal capacity while not affecting viscosity at all,
they also help 'protecting' the metal
And they can be left in for all season..
None of which are "anti freeze" (who needs that?? or are you planning on ice-karting?)

Once you are about to setup for a new season, yes, flushing the radiator and engine is a good idea, destilled water or with a mild solvent.

That way you not only make sure that all passages are clean and cleared, but you can also detect a radiator leak very early and prevent the engine from overheating accidentally.
(during a race you have very little chance to notice a leaking radiator if your dash computer doesn't light up like a christmas tree)

If you follow POs advice (which certainly is a way of doing it)
plug all ports loosely with clean cotton cloth
the occasional spider can be big enough to reduce radiator vein count by one
and you don't want that.

BTW radiators dry super quick if you hit it with a hot air gun after flushing and draining it
(ports up!) a minute or two and it'll be bone dry (a good time for the cotton cloth and putting it on a clean dry shelf)

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  #6  
Old 04-22-2019, 06:37 AM
jgbedford jgbedford is offline
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Default

Thanks everyone - the radiator is near brand new - not a ding in the fins at all and the previous owner drained the water while it sat for most of it's life. Since I want to use it on a weekly basis at the track - I'm going to try WatterWetter, and leave it in until the motor needs service, or until the end of the season (it gets cold in Canada) for storage.

WATERWETTER®
  • Unique agent for cooling systems that doubles the wetting ability of water
  • Rust and corrosion protection allows for use of straight water in racing or reduced antifreeze levels in warm climates
  • Improves heat transfer and reduces cylinder head temperature
  • May allow more spark advance for increase power and efficiency
  • Use one bottle for most passenger cars and light trucks, treats 3 to 5 gallons or 13.2 to 15.9 liters, vehicles with larger cooling systems should use two bottles, small cooling systems should use 1oz (3 to 4 capfuls) per quart
  • Compatible with new or used antifreeze (including DEX-COOL® and long-life versions) to improve the heat transfer of ethylene and propylene glycol systems
  • Satisfies ASTM D2570 and ASTM D1384 corrosion tests for glycol-based antifreezes
  • Contains no ethylene glycol

PRODUCT DETAILS
These products include a unique agent that lowers temperatures by reducing or eliminating bubbles or vapor barrier that form on hot metal surfaces
  • Reduces or eliminates bubbles or vapor barrier that form on hot metal surfaces to reduce coolant temperatures by up to 20°
  • Superior heat transfer properties compared to glycol-based antifreeze
  • Compatible with new or used antifreeze (including DEX-COOL® and long-life versions) to improve the heat transfer of ethylene and propylene glycol systems
  • Improves heat transfer and reduces cylinder head temperature
  • Designed for use with all modern aluminum, cast iron, copper, brass and bronze cooling systems
  • Cleans and lubricates water pump seals
  • Reduces cavitation and complexes with hard water to reduce scaling
  • Does not lower cooling system below the thermostatically-controlled temperature
  #7  
Old 04-22-2019, 09:58 AM
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jandj jandj is offline
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FWIW, all the paved oval car tracks in my area allow Waterwetter.
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