Watching coolant flow

Does anyone know of something that could be safely mixed in with antifreeze to allow me, with the aid of a segment of clear tubing, actually see the coolant flow? Like, some sort of fine particulate that won't clog up a centrifigal pump or the radiator. Micro beads of some sort, but they would need to remain neutrally buoyant in the coolant so as to not get all trapped somewhere.

Re: Watching coolant flow

Brent Bublitz /

Not that I know of, really, no. Any particulate is going to cause pump problems.

Re: Watching coolant flow

I dunoh, the centrifugal pump is a pretty simple device, and small particles really won't bother it.

Someone on facebook justr suggested glitter, and I'm digging it!

Re: Watching coolant flow

see what happens to glitter when it gets hot first.

Re: Watching coolant flow

^don't help him!

Re: Watching coolant flow

I immediately thought of glitter but with its flat profile and surface area I feel like it would stick to the innards of the radiator and not be washed through.

How about glass beads for media blasting?

Re: Watching coolant flow

Dirty30 Dillon /

Are you just trying to see if the pump is pumping at all, or trying to get an idea of flow rate?

If it was a matter of just seeing if flow was occuring, just pop a section of kitchen twine with a knot at one end in the clear section, and hang the other end out the nearest joint, then close it up and let the hose clamp squeeze the string from geting sucked in.

Or, inject some food coloring, or methyl blue dye, into the output of the pump with a syringe, with the clear at various points, and watching the dye as it flows around.

Re: Watching coolant flow

^THIS

Re: Watching coolant flow

M∆®†Y Køk€š /

Not sure of the particulate, but I've seen cars that use a glass tube within a coolant line.

Re: Watching coolant flow

It would be cool to add something like this . You could probably make a slightly scaled up version fairly easily.

Re: Watching coolant flow

Dirty30 Dillon /

^^^ that is a neat little doodad.

Re: Watching coolant flow

Dillon Ryan Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> Are you just trying to see if the pump is pumping

> at all, or trying to get an idea of flow rate?

A bit of both. I'd like to analyze flowrate initially to get a feeling for how I may want to adjust my driver/slave pump pulleys, but then I would also like to have a 'sight' that I can observe when out and about to make sure the pump is still working.

Re: Watching coolant flow

I actually have one of these but just haven't gotten around to implementing it.

https://www.adafruit.com/blog/2012/05/09/new-product-liquid-flow-meter-plastic-12-npt-threaded/

(edited)

window-183.jpg

Re: Watching coolant flow

Overpriced Parts /

Styrofoam or something like foam balls

Re: Watching coolant flow

Re: Watching coolant flow

I did (broke the wire!) but the problem with that is that if the pump fails, the coolant temp won't change; the X degree coolant will just sit in the lines not moving, thus not changing the temp on the gauge.

Someone on facebook also suggested ground pepper as it is less likely to be affected by the glycol in the antifreeze than something made of plastic.

Re: Watching coolant flow

Simple, get a pump that pumps slightly faster than the system can flow.

The slight cavitation won't hurt the pump, and the tiny bubbles will be viewable in clear hose.

My bosch always cavitates a bit. It just a bit too flowy for the system.

Re: Watching coolant flow

pepper lead me to the great stopleak debate, from mythbusters to nuclear subs.

i see stuff like aluminum particles dropping out of suspension while sitting.

pepper may not be visible enough, riding vs on the stand.

brings up what coolant are you using, tons of options there, red, blue, green, water wetter, long list.

i starting thinking about fluids that aren't miscible, sort of a marbling effect?

@ higher rpms, cavation will destroy a pumps impeller, air pockets aside.

Re: Watching coolant flow

Right now I'm running straight water so if I need to pull some lines I don't have to deal with nasty chemicals or wasting nice non-toxic coolant, but I don't plan on riding it more than a few hundred feet at a time with the water.

Re: Watching coolant flow

a few drops red food coloring injected through a syringe. Make sure you are injecting through a tube that is being replaced or old.

Re: Watching coolant flow

this is what i was thinking, multiphasic liquid.

one color with no flow, turns to an emulsion when flowing.

seperation time determines your window of failure detection.

now the bigger Q is, what works and provides heat transfer and boil protection.

Re: Watching coolant flow

Kind of OT, but if you mount the temp sensor in the head, you'll see if the pump has failed.

Re: Watching coolant flow

^^works

I have both inline water temp gauge and a head temp gauge. Had problems with pump belts breaking or popping off. Head temp will start to climb super fast unless you have your system set up to thermal siphon after pump failure.

Re: Watching coolant flow

I run thermosyphon and my sensor is as close to the cylinder as possible on the up hose. I can tell when I boil over and the cycle stops. It still works, just all has to go through one hose if the level is too low to make the loop. Temps only go up 40°

Re: Watching coolant flow

yeah on my DT the sensor is tapped right into the head, its more like an automotive-type sensor with threads and stuff.

most moped kit heads have cast-in bosses that could be drilled and tapped for something like that.

any coolant problems and it shoots up quick.

as for the flow meter, those visual flow meters are very common in industrial stuff. there are two common types, the one posted which uses a spinny dingus or the one with a vertical column and a loose-fitting ball bearing, kinda like they have on a lot of TIG welders, either one would be pretty easy to make.

if i were you i'd probably just machine a block of polycarbonate or put a poly face on a machined aluminum block.

but yeah, the sensor in the head thing is what every single OEM since the 50's has done. maybe even before that with analog gauges.

Re: Watching coolant flow

I have always thought it would be fun to be able to actually see the flow. Let me know if you end up happy with any of these suggestions -- once you trial and error I will be happy to benefit.

I run an EGT sensor just before the chamber, so I am less worried about missing pump failure and more just excited to visualize the coolant movement.

Re: Watching coolant flow

i just squeeze the tubing, it's pretty obvious whether it's got pressure, and if it's not pumping it doesnt have pressure.

I think clear tubing would also allow you to see if things are moving, fine glitter should work too.

I used to work on a project making "proppants" which were neutrally buoyant steel microballs that'd flow around. it was for fracking things i think, so theyd pump em into the pressurized shale and it flows right in easy, then you release the pressure and they crush into lil cylinders and prop it open. then you can pump the gas out without needing all the nasty shit they use to disolve and later remove the gas in the pressurized fluid.

Re: Watching coolant flow

careful with glitter tho, it can make you gay

Re: Watching coolant flow

Reading this cements my decision to buy a sensor to fit to the head. My kit has a location for it but unsure of the thread size I was going to plug it and run an inline hose block. My problem is that the thermostat (fitted inside the outlet nipple of the head) would drive me mad with low readings as the bike warmed and then suddenly shot up, or fluctuated up and down if I floated right around the opening temp.

« Go to Topics — end of thread

Want to post in this forum? We'd love to have you join the discussion, but first:

Login or Create Account