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TECHNICAL INFORMATION How-to and detailed information on specific technical subjects

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Old 13th February 2012, 08:47 PM
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Oversize Oversize is offline
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Default How to Change Your Coolant

Here's the method I've developed to change coolant. It can be adapted to almost any car:

1. Jack up the car (don't forget to drive it on some small timber ramps first, so the trolley jack will fit),
2. Put safely on axle stands,
3. Have a big floor squeegee on hand,
4. Put a large container (or several) under the radiator, expansion tank and back of the engine (otherwise you’re about to make a huge mess!). I intend to cut down a 1000L plastic water tank so it forms a small pool. I've used a kid's wading pool in the past, but it won’t last long if you drag it across the concrete when it's full of water!
5. Remove the radiator cap off (cold only),
6. Drain the radiator via the bottom hose,
7. Disconnect the top hose at the radiator,
8. Disconnect both heater hoses at the back of the engine,
9. Remove the coolant drain plugs from the block (I've never tried on a 6.9L),
10. Remove the containers from under the car,
11. Discard the old coolant into the sewerage (not the storm water),
12. Reposition the containers back under the car,
13. Fit a trigger nozzle to a garden hose,
14. Blast mains pressure water into the expansion tank, radiator top neck and heater hoses until it comes out clean,
15. Alternate between directions through the heater core,
16. Reconnect the bottom hose without the clamp, just enough to hold water (if you push it on too far, it's too hard to remove/refit several times),
17. Refit the block drain plugs only enough to stop water escaping,
18. Rapidly fill the system with water through expansion tank until it runs out the heater hoses and the top neck of the radiator clean,
19. Drop the bottom hose and allow the water to rush out quickly (the large volume of water rushing out will eventually clean the insides nicely),
20. Repeat refill and drain as many times as necessary until the water comes out clean (alternate filling between the expansion tank, heater hoses and radiator top neck),
21. Remove all the full containers from under the car and empty on the lawn,
22. Replace the block drain plugs if badly corroded (clean the threads with a wire wheel if they're just dirty, but still usable),
23. Refit the block drain plugs with new washers (do not over-tighten them),
24. Replace hoses where necessary,
25. Replace all the hose clamps with Wurth Zebras (which won't badly bite into the hoses and cause them to burst when it’s inconvenient),
26. Reconnect all the hoses,
27. Mix 50% distilled water & 50% MB or OEM coolant (don't use generic stuff) into a clean 20L container,
28. Decant some of the coolant mix into a 2L container and using a funnel refill the cooling system to a level half-way between minimum and maximum,
29. Remove the stands and drop the wheels onto the timber ramps,
30. Remove (hopefully) your trolley jack,
31. Drive off the ramps,
32. Drive back onto the RHF ramp only (this will keep the expansion tank as the highest point in the system),
33. Run the engine with the heater on and the radiator cap removed until hot (to remove all air pockets),
34. Refit the radiator cap,
35. Drive off ramp,
36. Test drive a short distance, while keeping an eye on the temperature,
37. Drink beer (or spirits)!!!

You can get away with only disconnecting one heater hose, if you know what you're doing. On a 6.9, you may be lucky to disconnect them at all, due to accessibility problems! However the flush won't be as thorough if you don't disconnect at least one.

This could take half the day, but you won't have the do it for 2 years! In fact, I've heard the coolant can last up to 5 years if mixed with the correct concentration of distilled water.... Job done!!!
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01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
88 420L Euro#-P
88 420L#-P
88 420L#2477-P
87 560L#2020 (Dora 2)
87 560L #9987
87 420L#4309-P
87 420L#-P
86 560L#5896-P
79 6.9#5541 (Red Bull)
78 6.9#4248 (Skye)
79 6.9#3686 (Moby Dick)
78 6.9#1776 (Dora 1)
77 450L#7010-P
75 450L#8414 (Gold Nugget)-P
57 Buick 73A (Titanic)

Last edited by Oversize; 13th February 2012 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 13th February 2012, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: How to Change Your Coolant

Nice!

The large Bungs for cooling system orifices are usually $20 or so dollars at Repco or similar and often come with a click on hose fitting if you want tu use it, I also used to drill and tap a small bolt hole in the top of thermostat housings or the highest point in the water jacket to bleed off any air without having to rely on the engine running and I suspect that on an M117 is would be near the AAV location.
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Old 13th February 2012, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: How to Change Your Coolant

BTW, Used coolant goes into the same place as used engine oil.

If you get reported pouring coolant down a drain the EPA may turn nasty, I used to add it to my waste oil.

And if you are really keen on doing it right you can buy large fluid trays to go under the car, getting cheaper all the time too!
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Old 14th February 2012, 03:13 AM
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Default Re: How to Change Your Coolant

Well Mark, that's as comprehensive a list as I have ever seen and, as you say, it is extremely time consuming. I must admit to never having done it as thoroughly as you suggest. I haven't looked at the welsh plugs for a while, but removing those would take half a day at least (I should think), if one can get to them in the first place. I also like your idea of the Wurth hose clips - those made by Tridon bite into the rubber.

I have flushed the cooling system twice on Gleaming Beauty, and also on the Astral Silver 6.9 that is now owned by ChrisP. in Western Australia - I wonder if he still has that car ? (Just as a matter of interest). In my situations, this work was done at valve grind and de-coking time, with both water pump and water pump housing (which is attached to engine block) removed from the car, and radiator out as well (normally have those professionally serviced). With housing and pump removed, you can actually feed a garden hose well into the water jackets and the high pressure does remove a lot of the sediment that settles in the engine block. I also use compressed air, particularly when the heads have been removed from the car. Regards Styria
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Old 14th February 2012, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: How to Change Your Coolant

It's probably a good idea to blow out (with compressed air) the water in the heater core after it's flushed too. Not doing this step will mean the new coolant will be (slightly) diluted.

Using bungs, compressed air and mains water can help loosen stubborn sediment; but one must be careful.

Does a 6.9 (or 6.3) have coolant drain plugs in the block? Or do they just have welsh plugs? From memory they're a large threaded type and I'd imagine they'd be a nightmare to remove if corroded....

Tony I'd been told putting coolant with sump oil contaminates it and makes it unsuitable for recycling.... I thought it'd be ok to pour used coolant down the sewer access opening (generally in the backyard near the laundry), or into the laundry trough. This means it heads to the sewage treatment plant, instead of into storm water, creeks, rivers and eventually the ocean...
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01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
88 420L Euro#-P
88 420L#-P
88 420L#2477-P
87 560L#2020 (Dora 2)
87 560L #9987
87 420L#4309-P
87 420L#-P
86 560L#5896-P
79 6.9#5541 (Red Bull)
78 6.9#4248 (Skye)
79 6.9#3686 (Moby Dick)
78 6.9#1776 (Dora 1)
77 450L#7010-P
75 450L#8414 (Gold Nugget)-P
57 Buick 73A (Titanic)

Last edited by Oversize; 14th February 2012 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 14th February 2012, 10:31 AM
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Tony66_au Tony66_au is offline
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Default Re: How to Change Your Coolant

ethylene glycol is a hydrocarbon like fuel or oil mate and the rule is if you wouldnt drink it or if it isnt the by product of something youd eat or drink ten it doesnt go down the gully trap.

I have a 1000 lt stillage I store waste oil, trans fluid and coolant in and envirowaste who do my pumpouts told me its fine to add coolant to the tank and they pay me 5 cents per litre for the privilege.

Last time I had a visit from the EPA at the workshop (8 years ago) they told me the same thing.
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Old 14th February 2012, 11:05 AM
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Tony66_au Tony66_au is offline
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Default Re: How to Change Your Coolant

Just looked it up and this document covers it.

LINK

the specific section says
Radiator fluid coolants often contain ethylene glycol
and corrosion inhibitors. With a trade waste agreement
with the local water authority, these liquids can be
discharged to sewer. Otherwise they must be collected
and disposed of as PI
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Old 17th February 2012, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: How to Change Your Coolant

This is cheap, but shipping might make it not....

http://www.autohausaz.com/search/pro...cid=16@Cooling System&gid=11393@Antifreeze/Coolant
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Mark

01 Ford AU 5L (Deep Blue)
88 420L Euro#-P
88 420L#-P
88 420L#2477-P
87 560L#2020 (Dora 2)
87 560L #9987
87 420L#4309-P
87 420L#-P
86 560L#5896-P
79 6.9#5541 (Red Bull)
78 6.9#4248 (Skye)
79 6.9#3686 (Moby Dick)
78 6.9#1776 (Dora 1)
77 450L#7010-P
75 450L#8414 (Gold Nugget)-P
57 Buick 73A (Titanic)
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