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Thread: Alcohol Evaporator for winter daily driver? Good or bad idea?

              
   
   
  1. #1
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    Alcohol Evaporator for winter daily driver? Good or bad idea?

    So I am prepping my system for the winter and when my dad and I were putting in air brake anti-freeze, he had the idea that we should just put on an alcohol evaporator that will spray evaporated alcohol directly into the tank. Apparently trucks that run in the cold have been doing it for ages (but don't anymore). Anybody with any experience or input here would be appreciated. My dad already bought the evaporator, so it is happening unless I find out it's a colossally bad idea in the near future.......
    Bagged Rat Rod '85 Chevy C-10 Pickup. Not bad for a first car. Always working on it, but never finished.

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    how do you set it up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky J View Post
    how do you set it up?
    Uhmmm, I will keep you posted. He seems to have it figured out. I'm a bit confused. From the brief conversation we had about it, he wants to have it feeding in evaporated alcohol when the compressors are on. I would assume that he would have it between the compressors and tank, but I could be wrong. We have to put the truck on the ramps tomorrow and see where to mount the evaporator and how to connect it all, but he also got 1/4" hosing and seems to have it all planned out. When we do mount it, I will be sure to take some pics and explain it when I understand it better. I will also let you guys know if/how it works.
    Bagged Rat Rod '85 Chevy C-10 Pickup. Not bad for a first car. Always working on it, but never finished.

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    I would just run the normal antifreeze. Some trucks pumps a ton of air through their system so it would be necessary for them, but probably not for you. However, it wouldn't hurt to put it in if you already have it.

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    wouldn't this just fill your tank & traps with alcohol after a while?

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    I did a little reading on this last night. Seems that goes between the compressor and the tank, preferably after a water trap, and the alcohol is atomized by the pressure coming from the compressor. Having this small amount of alcohol vaporized in the system prevents freezing of any remaining water in the lines. I would tend to agree with Slamtastic that for systems as small as what we run that some air line anti-freeze would be more than enough, but hey if you already have it why not try it.
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    Yah, you guys are saying pretty much the same thing I said to my dad. I don't see the point for such a small system. He just thinks it's a pain in the ass to pour in the air brake anti-freeze and he loves tinkering. That said, no harm in trying. I have been doing a little reading into how they use it on air brake systems.

    "The alcohol evaporator installs in the discharge line from the air compressor. Place it after the air dryer if one is installed on the truck. The alcohol evaporates as pressurized air passes through the unit. Then, the alcohol vapor is carried down the line into the reservoir and air lines where it does its work to prevent ice buildup in the air brake system."

    I have decided that I want to get my system air tight before I put the evaporator on for the sake of priority and knowing if the evaporator causes leaks when installed.

    I will put on my new compression fittings this weekend and then do the evaporator next weekend. That gives me more time to research this and plan.

    Here are some illustrations I found. Not 100% relevant. But help conceptually.

    Bagged Rat Rod '85 Chevy C-10 Pickup. Not bad for a first car. Always working on it, but never finished.

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    i moved this thread into the plumbing/compressors section.

  9. #9
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    Thanks.
    Bagged Rat Rod '85 Chevy C-10 Pickup. Not bad for a first car. Always working on it, but never finished.

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    So we mounted the evaporator today under the hood. We are going to run the hoses tomorrow, but will need a few bushings before we can get it working. It is going between one of my compressors and the tank. We are also attaching a fitting between it and the tank for air tools. Yay. I will take some pics tomorrow. It may be overkill, but why the hell not??? Hahahah. I am starting the best collection of brass compression fittings!!
    Last edited by ChoLow; 11-19-2011 at 07:36 PM.
    Bagged Rat Rod '85 Chevy C-10 Pickup. Not bad for a first car. Always working on it, but never finished.

  11. #11
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    So, it's installed and working. No problems. Not sure if it's necessary, but can't hurt. I will snap a few pics when I go out later. Running the hoses to/from it SUCKED. I mean it sucked so damn bad. Word to the wise: Don't route shit so you have to reach near your exhaust and cat converter when they are still hot. You will burn yourself. Also, if soapy water drips on a light bulb, it will explode in your face.
    Last edited by ChoLow; 11-20-2011 at 07:25 PM.
    Bagged Rat Rod '85 Chevy C-10 Pickup. Not bad for a first car. Always working on it, but never finished.

  12. #12
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    Alright, so here it is..... The project that isn't necessary, but gives me winter peace of mind.

    Quick rundown:

    1/4" hose running from one compressor to the alcohol evaporator (under the hood). Another 1/4 " hose back to the rear of the truck and meets the hose from the other compressor at a joint and that heads into the tank.

    There are moisture catchers between my tank and valves and they haven't been collecting any excess moisture since we installed the evaporator. I have also drained the tank since installation and no noticeable excess of moisture due to the evaporator. It just introduces a very small amount of evaporated alcohol to the tank when my compressors are on. It didn't cause any leaks in my air ride system and works great. We have the air brake antifreeze in it ( _______ alcohol..... name escapes me) and I am pretty stoked for winter, no matter how far north I end up.

    Bagged Rat Rod '85 Chevy C-10 Pickup. Not bad for a first car. Always working on it, but never finished.

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    i hope it's worth the effort. does it dispense the alcohol automatically or do you do it yourself?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky J View Post
    i hope it's worth the effort. does it dispense the alcohol automatically or do you do it yourself?
    Honestly, it wasn't a big job and I am under there replacing fittings anyways. Trouble light explosion was the only real hassle. It works automatically as long as the compressors are on.
    Bagged Rat Rod '85 Chevy C-10 Pickup. Not bad for a first car. Always working on it, but never finished.

 

 

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