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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just installed an aluminum crossflow radiator in my 66 fastback and was wondering if I need to ground the radiator. The radiator is isolated due to the rubber lined mounting brackets and I do not want any electrolysis problems . Thanks .
 
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I work in an industry where cooling water conductivity is a very big issue. The cooling water will flow through your ungrounded (floating) radiator, and into your motor. Your motor should be grounded to the vehicle frame. Since the cooling water in your car should conduct electricity (I work on machines that cooling water is not allowed to conduct), then the radiator should be electrically tied to the grounded motor. Dont take this for a fact, but cooling water conductivity is a big issue where I work and grounded cooling water= grounded components. But then again, another ground cable does not hurt anything, may not help anything either, hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks . Better to have extra grounds than a voltage flowing thru the engine . I know some german cars have severe electrolysis problems that eat heads and bolts .
 
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I drive a Pontiac Trans am, (ok, quit laughing). I have heard about some issues with cooling water on the later model cars. That new 100,000 mile radiator fluid is crap, it eats aluminum. That is probably the issue on the german cars you have heard off. Go with plain old green antifreeze, these old mustangs have ran if for 20 years. Its proven to work, and forget about the grounding cable to the radiator (but extra grounds never hurt )
 

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Interesting question! I'm an electrician here in NJ. I have a state license and I'm required to attend continuing ed classes to renew.

Grounding is a big issue. While I work in a office enviorment and not really residential, but I understand that there are some shock situations with pools and hot tubs from the water running throught PVC piping. It acts like rubbing a comb through your hair.

In your case, while the coolant will most likely conduct but not be a perfect conductor, I believe will add capacitance. I'll be willing to bet with a digital voltmeter and the engine running, you'll see a voltage difference between the alu. radiator and support.

In building wiring, the green (gounding) wire and the white (grounded) wire are both connected at the same buss in the main service disconnect. But the farther you travel from the panel, the more voltage you'll read on a digital voltmeter between the green and white wires! Despite the fact they they have a common connection.

'lectricity is strange stuff!
 

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Did you know that the act of just walking across a carpeted room charges you with thousands of volts of electricity? It does it every time you move. Its simply a matter of how much you move and how well you're insulated. Reach for an object and "zap" a little spark jumps. Everybody knows this but takes it for granted. Fact is, if something is moving, its creating electricity all the time, everywhere.
 

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Also, the relative humidity of the air helps discharge personal static charges. Computer component instructions always tell you to put on your static strap before working on the equipment, but down here in Louisiana the air around us works as a static strap. It is 85 degrees right now, with 55% humidity. The air has me so well grounded I can't find the energy to get motivated.
 
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