Cooling System Cleaner - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Cooling System Cleaner

I've been considering selling my truck, but have received some bad news regarding a potential drawdown on the way and am rethinking my plans for awhile.

So... need to do some maintenance on her before we move back east in a few months.

I'm thinking about flushing the cooling system in my truck this weekend, but want to do things right. Is there a chemical that will dissolve any sludge, rust, etc. in the cooling system before draining the old coolant? I have heard of such things, which are added before the truck is driven for a number of hours to break up anything that may be in the cooling system. Seems like it'd be a good idea to do this on a truck with 200,000+ on the clock.

I don't have my manual here at work... what is the capacity of the cooling system, and can I take the coolant somewhere for disposal? Is there a petcock on the radiator so I can stop draining coolant when swapping out containers as they fill?

Also, how hard is it to replace the thermostat? I have a spare and a spare for my spare, so now would be a good time to put one in the truck. I also have a gasket.

Finally, what coolant should I use, and in what concentration for a truck that will occasionally see freezing temperatures (winter mornings on occasion)? I have several bottles of SCA and know how to test for correct concentration (although if anyone happens to know how many bottles it'll take with regular coolant, then that'd be handy to know--I've never done my own work when changing coolant so someone else has always been the SCA adder).


Thank you,


Mike
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cooling System Cleaner

Just an addendum... something like this was what I was thinking of as far as the chemical solution goes.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2005, 10:41 PM
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Re: Cooling System Cleaner

Seems like CAT makes something like you were talking about which they use to get all the old antifeeze out when switching to ELC but it seems like this would also work well for just plain system cleaning. You fill with teh chemical and stright water...adn drive for awhile....As to replacing teh thermostat, I DK if these guys will recommend any different, but I would leave as is unless it shows symptoms of a problem. You have to take the alternator, fuel filter bracket and thermostat housing off to get at it. Took me about an hour or so last time I did it. Not a hard procedure at all just time consuming and you gotta make sure you get it in teh right way...which can be confusing. I wish you the best of luck...

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2005, 08:05 AM
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Re: Cooling System Cleaner

I thought you have a buyer that is coming out on Saturday morning? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
Also to replace the coolant there is a stopcock on the bottom of the radiator to drain, but it is easier to remove the bottom hose so that all of the coolant drains out. There is also drain plugs in the engine block that should be removed for drainage.
For the thermostat, there is a recent posting that talks about the items that need to be removed in order to get to the thermostat. Some of the items are the alternator and bracket, and fuel filter mount.

I thought the coolant on your truck was just replaced a couple of months ago when you had the A/C compressor replaced.

You can use FleetCharge that is pre-charged with proper amount of SCA, I get mine from 'The Tracker Supply' store for just under $8.00 a gallon. It took 2 1/2 gallons of Pre-Charge, then needed to be mixed 50/50.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2005, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Cooling System Cleaner

Some coolant was replaced when the A/C was done... Ford did it. I trust Ford about as far as I can throw 'em... I'm fairly certain it wasn't a complete flush/fill. They didn't replace the SCA that left with the old coolant, either. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif[/img]


I had the system completely flushed/filled in '04 before coming out west with the truck.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2005, 12:18 PM
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Re: Cooling System Cleaner

Mike,

We're supposed to use a low silicate antifreeze. I've found it quite difficult to locate any which will specifically state that on the container. The last time I changed mine, longer ago than I care to remember, I bought it at Kurtt International Trucks on N 4th street in San Jose. Phone 408-453-0377. I have the part number in my record book in the truck if you need it, but I have the vague recollection that they may have discontinued it. If so, they should have a replacement.

The anti-freeze should be a 50/50 mix, and you'll have to add and check the additive. Be sure to drain both sides of the block as well as the radiator. My truck is fitted with a flush fitting to get the final bits out. Its a long process if you run a cleaning chemical through the system, running the chemical, letting things cool, draining, running the neutralizer, letting it cool, flushing the neutralizer, filling...

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 01:25 AM
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Re: Cooling System Cleaner

Shouldn't be to hard to locate coolant in Monterey. Cypress coast ford should have it regular green motorcraft coolant in stock that is low silicate. or Salinas Valley ford in Salinas cant miss it from 101 and there are several other heavy truck dealers in that area that can get you low silicate green. Or the Napa coolant is low silicate.

2 bottles of VC-8/FW-16 and some cheep distilled water from Walmart and your set. IF your really anal you can buy a couple of cases of distilled water at Walmart and use that to flush until clear. I did it that way when I redid my oil cooler. bought like 3 cases of 12 distilled water for like 16 bucks and new nothing but good stuff in there now. Remember to pull your block drains on either side when doing a flush and refill.

I do the same thing on the strokes too. Spin on new coolant filter if needed. And enjoy.

Oh and Call your local officials but around here the water treatment plants can filter out the coolant if its put in a sanitary sewer drain. Like the sink in the garage for me.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 05:24 AM
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Re: Cooling System Cleaner

Carquest store brand and NAPA store brand, green antifreeze is low silicate.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 08:02 AM
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Re: Cooling System Cleaner

[ QUOTE ]
I had the system completely flushed/filled in '04 before coming out west with the truck.

[/ QUOTE ]

So why do it again so soon, makes no sense really unless A/F is dirty/contaminated or the rad core is plugged.




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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Cooling System Cleaner

Thank you for your reply above and the one a bit farther up the page.

Main reason for flushing/refilling at this point is because I didn't replace the thermostat last time and have noted big swings in water temp, even on minimal grades. I've noticed some small black, dirtlike particles in the reservoir as well and am unsure of their origin. Hoping a flush will fix that, and a thermo will keep temps consistent. I have no idea how long the present unit has been in place.


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