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Morocco Overland: From the Atlas to the Sahara - 4WD, Motorcycle, Van, Mountain Bike

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  #1  
Old 9 Dec 2012
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Where to swap to antifreeze in Morocco?

Coming up from sub-Saharan Africa and currently only running coolant as anti-freeze is not available down here. Is there a decent shop that anyone can recommend to change me over to anti-freeze so I don't bust the engine block in the Atlas mountains in January? I'd prefer someone with a hydrometer to actually check the final mix for freeze protection.
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  #2  
Old 9 Dec 2012
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The coolant for combustion engines by preference is water.

However, you should never run on water only. Adding anti-freeze, not only do you get protection against freezing but you also get anti-boil and corrosion protection.
Anti-freeze not only lowers the freezing point but also raises the boiling point!
This can mean all the difference when you are driving offroad in the heat.
A good mix is 50/50. So then you can do it yourself.
We're having 18 below here today btw.

http://www.caltex.com.au/Lists/Lubri...1210%20CAL.pdf
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Old 9 Dec 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by priffe View Post
The coolant for combustion engines by preference is water.

However, you should never run on water only. Adding anti-freeze, not only do you get protection against freezing but you also get anti-boil and corrosion protection.
Anti-freeze not only lowers the freezing point but also raises the boiling point!
This can mean all the difference when you are driving offroad in the heat.
A good mix is 50/50. So then you can do it yourself.
We're having 18 below here today btw.

http://www.caltex.com.au/Lists/Lubri...1210%20CAL.pdf
All this I am aware of but does coolant that is advertized and sold STRICTLY as coolant without mention of any anti-freeze properties still work as anti-freeze? Do I even want to try and see? A mistake would be very costly if the engine block cracks!
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Old 10 Dec 2012
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Depends on what it is...good thing is that even a low alcohol content (say 10%) means it will become sludgey but not hard freeze.
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  #5  
Old 10 Dec 2012
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This is what is sold here. Summer coolant. It does have some glycol so it likely does provide some anti-freeze properties but it does not claim any.
Do I want to trust my engine to that in freezing temperatures? I don't think so without proof it will work.
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  #6  
Old 10 Dec 2012
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Products
INGREDIENTS:
Ethylene Glycol, Anti Corrosion Inhibitor & Color. Mix Engi-Cool with water at a ratio of 40% Engi-Cool.
You should be good.
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  #7  
Old 11 Dec 2012
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My reply from the manufacturer:

Mr. Xxxxxx,

Thank you for using our product! No you don’t need to change it out: Engi-Cool has anti-freeze properties as well so you will be totally fine in cooler climates.

I would just make sure that you do have a good 40% in your radiator, that’s all!

Best Regards,
Hani
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  #8  
Old 19 Jan 2013
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I think how far you trust this product will depend on how high your going into the Atlas, bearing in mind the higher the colder it will be. The issue is the Glycol content of the product.

I have tried to find more information about online but cannot. Just because the manufacturer says one thing does not make it so. The temperature above 2500m, anywhere in the world, can drop easily to below -20°C, but then you need to factor in wind chill.

Last time I was in Morocco we went to 3200m in April, and recorded a temperature of -21°C and the windchill took it almost -30°C as we were on an exposed Plateau along which the wind was channeled by the surrounding terrain..Extreme I know, but just because it's "The Sahara" does not mean these temperature cannot be experienced, especially this time of year. I have known it fall below 0°C in the middle of the Libyan desert on a Summer night...
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Old 19 Jan 2013
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Inanimate objects such as radiators ultimately aren't affected by windchill. Windchill will shorten the time it takes for a radiator to cool, but won't chill it to below the ambient temperature.

Where were you at 3200m?
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Old 20 Feb 2013
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I'm in Morocco now and trying to find someone to check the antifreeze properties of the coolant in the engine (that was one tool I left behind in Canada when going to Africa). I want to know at what point will the coolant/antifreeze or what ever it is freeze and crack the block.

I tried at a garage today and they were ready to change the head gasket, water pump and most anything else but I was unable to communicate that I simply need the antifreeze checked.

When I looked at a parts store they only had antifreeze in 4% concentration good to a mere -2.5C. I'm in Dakhla so it doesn't freeze here anyways. I'll be trying again as I travel north.

What phrase can I use in French?

Does "A quelle temperature va geler l'eau dans mon moteur?" work?

Alternatively what is an antifreeze tester called in French? If necessary I'll buy one if I can find one and check it myself.

In Arabic Babelfish gives me this ما هي درجة حرارة سوف تجمد الماء في بلدي محرك؟
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Old 20 Feb 2013
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Theres a Toyota Dealership in Agadir, when I stopped by in 2011 one of the staff spoke a little english. AFAIK thats the first dealership heading north
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Old 21 Feb 2013
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You might be worrying unnecessarily over this. I've been over both the Tichka and Test passes this trip during daylight hours, the Tichka was 12ºC at the top, the Test was 8ºC.

The night time freezing level over the next ten days is between 2700m and 3700m which is way higher altitude than anything you will encounter.

Please keep an eye out for Derek, an English guy on a bicycle heading south towards you, he was in Tarfaya three nights ago.
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Old 22 Feb 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
Inanimate objects such as radiators ultimately aren't affected by windchill. Windchill will shorten the time it takes for a radiator to cool, but won't chill it to below the ambient temperature.

Where were you at 3200m?
Indeed...which overpass is the max altitude you can get to with a 4x4 in Morocco?
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Old 22 Feb 2013
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Highest I know is a dead-end piste near Oukaimden at 3060m. Highest through piste that I'm aware of is over the Tizi n'Igui west of Agoudal at 2982m, see Tizi n'Igui - YouTube
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  #15  
Old 22 Feb 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
You might be worrying unnecessarily over this. I've been over both the Tichka and Test passes this trip during daylight hours, the Tichka was 12ºC at the top, the Test was 8ºC.

The night time freezing level over the next ten days is between 2700m and 3700m which is way higher altitude than anything you will encounter.

Please keep an eye out for Derek, an English guy on a bicycle heading south towards you, he was in Tarfaya three nights ago.
Thanks!!

I saw a guy on a bicycle yesterday going south from Boujdoul?? We're in Tarfaya today.
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