SCORE Journal


SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 81 of 114

a fluid Situation What’s new in engine coolants and additives By Larry Saavedra Overheating is a performance killer for both off-road recreationists and racers. While the best radiators, fans, and thermostats help reduce the risk of overheating, picking the right coolant is as critical as using the correct viscosity oil. Coolant is generally a mix of 50 percent antifreeze and 50 percent water or a glycol-based chemical. Coolants offer heat reducing properties as well as protection from freezing conditions. Additives (i.e. wetting agents) are primarily formulated to keep high-performance engines cool in hot temperatures, but do not necessarily offer freezing protection like an antifreeze-based coolant. It’s also good to know that additives are mixed by the end-user using purified water, or sometimes with a percentage of antifreeze if the climate calls for it. Additives are known to reduce what is called “surface tension or friction” in the engine, therefore reducing or displacing the heat. Both types of products can often offer plenty of anti-corrosion properties to ensure longer-lasting engine components, including rubber hoses. To find out how coolants and additives actually work, some of the leading coolant/antifreeze and additive manufacturers involved in the off-road market, explained which products they offer can work best for weekend recreation or for competitive racing situations. VP Racing Fuels The Stay Frosty line is the latest product from VP Racing Fuels, the Official Fuel of the SCORE World Desert Championship. According to the company, “it significantly reduces engine temperatures,” protecting sensitive cooling system components, while meeting corrosion protection standards. “Because aluminum is especially vulnerable to electrolysis, Stay Frosty is excellent peace of mind to protect important components in both power sport vehicles and off-road trucks,” says Marketing Director, Steve Patti. VP Fuels offers it in two versions: Hi-Performance and Race Ready. Both versions passed ASTM D1384 corrosion and D4340 aluminum corrosion tests. For recreational use, VP Racing Fuels suggested its Hi-Performance version because it is a pre-mixed coolant and ready to use. “Robby Gordon Motorsports ran Stay Frosty Hi-Performance in their UTVs during the 2019 SCORE Baja 1000 and reported 20-degree reductions in engine operating temperatures,” said Patti. Stay Frosty High Performance also is made to provide protection down to zero degrees Fahrenheit and will work great year-round in warmer climates. Stay Frosty Race Ready provides even greater cooling potential. “In testing, Stay Frosty Race Ready reduced cylinder head temps by an average 111 degrees Fahrenheit as compared to waterless engine coolant, and an average of 77 degrees Fahrenheit as compared to a conventional 50/50 mix,” he added. It’s good to know that Stay Frosty Race Ready is 100 percent water-based, which VP Racing Fuels suggested helps with heat transfer as water transfers approximately 2X more heat than glycol. “Since the viscosity of glycol is 10 times higher than water (50/50 mix is 3 times higher), higher coolant viscosity reduces coolant flow rate (thus, elevating temperatures),” said Patti. “We’re seeing interest in this product across all forms of two-wheel and four-wheel racing, including Sara Price in the SCORE Trophy Truck Spec,” he said. VP Racing Fuels also offers an additive called Cool Down. One of the many things it does is increase coolant flow for better heat transfer, lubricates all vital components, and is approved by most race sanctioning bodies. It can be used with a coolant, or with straight water. According to Patti, it decreases cylinder head temperatures by up to 50 degrees and meets ASTM-D 3306 standards. PEAK (Old World Industries) Ten times the scale-fighting inhibitors than previous technologies and a 10-year/300,000 mile guarantee make PEAK a definite contender for those of us looking for added confidence in what we put in our off-road vehicles. “The new PEAK Antifreeze + Coolant technology with 10X the scale-fighting inhibitors are designed for both recreation and off-road racing applications,” says Marketing Director, Brian Bohlander. “Off-road racing tests products through its significant temperature extremes, from almost freezing in the early morning to very warm conditions in the afternoon. I drove a UTV to a win at a major desert race recently, and the coolant was our new PEAK 10X advance formula. It’s real-life proof that the coolant you can buy off the shelf can thrive and survive in the off-road race environment.” PEAK feels it is important to have a glycol-based antifreeze product to protect in colder temperatures. It also believes the product acts as a robust inhibitor package that protects the various metals in the cooling system while lubricating the water pump. Its universal formula is compatible for use with any color or type of coolant/antifreeze in the system and meets the performance requirements of ASTM D3306 and D4985. “The PEAK Antifreeze + Coolant formula has been tested and proven on Polaris RZR UTV fleets and in off-road racing competition,” said Bohlander. “Most recently protecting a fleet of Zero1 Off-Road buggies and Polaris RZR’s during an off-road race early this season.” AMSOIL AMSOIL recommends using its Passenger Car & Light Truck Antifreeze & Coolant for both recreational off-road vehicles and race vehicles because it is premixed 50/50 with high-purity water and uses high-quality ethylene glycol that maximizes heat transfer. According to AMSOIL, it delivers boil-over protection up to 265°F (129°C) with a 15-psi radiator cap. “AMSOIL Passenger Car & Light Truck Antifreeze & Coolant is made using organic acid technology (OAT),” said Mark Nyholm, AMSOIL Technical Manager, Heavy Duty, and Mechanical R&D. “Our coolant relies solely on organic acids, eliminating the use of inorganic salts, virtually eliminating problems frequently found with “green” coolants. A properly formulated OAT coolant delivers long service life and excellent protection you can’t get from conventional salt-based coolants. OAT’s are the future of coolant technology for best in class protection.” AMSOIL believes the product benefits both groups of off-road enthusiasts for several reasons. Primarily, it offers maximum heat reduction to help increase engine efficiency and protection. According to Nyholm, it “virtually eliminates” corrosion for long component life and ensures best in class heat transfer by eliminating scale formation. Lastly, Nyholm says it is compatible with other coolants as well as plastics and elastomers like a hose, gaskets, etc. AMSOIL also offers an additive for racers called AMSOIL DOMINATOR Coolant Boost. It uses a “tiered-surfactant technology” to reduce engine temperatures up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit in cooling systems using straight water. It does this, according to AMSOIL, by reducing the surface tension of water, allowing it to better absorb and transfer heat from the engine. Redline Oil Redline Oil is known for its cooling additive product called WaterWetter. It is a wetting agent for cooling systems, reducing coolant operating temperatures by improved heat transfer. “It helps prevent corrosion damage to the water pump and engine block caused by cavitation,” according to Kyle Neal, Business Development Director. “It provides additional rust and corrosion protection when straight water is required, like in most racing applications.” The latest cooling additive product from Redline Oil is SuperCool. It is WaterWetter premixed with deionized water for easier convenience. It is designed to be added to any cooling system whether you want to run straight water or blend your own mixture of antifreeze and water. SuperCool is packaged for smaller cooling systems such as ATV’s and motorcycles but can be used for any application. “In a vehicle with air conditioning used on the street, as well as off-road, a mixture of a minimum of 15 percent antifreeze with 85 percent distilled/purified water and WaterWetter would be recommended,” said Neal. “The 15 percent antifreeze raises the boiling point and offers some freeze protection if these conditions are encountered. For racing where you need the best heat transfer, and temperature reduction is desired, Red Line recommends using 100 percent water (preferably distilled) and WaterWetter. Make sure to keep an eye on the weather because even King of the Hammers forced Jason Scherer to run about 15 percent antifreeze to avoid freezing,” he added. SJ VP Racing Fuels PEAK (Old World Industries)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SCORE Journal - score-journal-april-2020