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1996 F250 Diesel antifreeze

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by dj89, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. dj89

    dj89 Senior Member
    from wny
    Messages: 112

    I just replaced the thermostat in my 1996 F250 7.3l Turbo diesel. It has red antifreeze, Do i need to put the same color in or can i just use the green stuff? Or should i change it all over to the green stuff?
  2. Reliable Snow and Ice

    Reliable Snow and Ice Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    you can use the green doesnt matter just make sure it's 50/50
  3. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I have always been told not to mix the two. Either put red back in to top it off, or drain out all the red, flush the system, and put all green back in. Again, I am not an expert, but thats what I have always been told and have done on my trucks.
  4. Sabsan84

    Sabsan84 Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    NOOOOO, dont do it...power strokes use special anti-freeze "propalene gylcol" Motor craft premium gold. Regular anti-freeze is "ethalene gylcol" it gums up power stroke radiators and cause failures, just put the right stuff in it, its cheaper in the long run. good luck
  5. dj89

    dj89 Senior Member
    from wny
    Messages: 112

    Already did it. What do i do now? I put in the sealer too...
  6. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    agreed X's 2
  7. Reliable Snow and Ice

    Reliable Snow and Ice Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    no drain the system and get rid of that sealer crap that will plug up the fluts in the radiator and cause it to not flow....
  8. dj89

    dj89 Senior Member
    from wny
    Messages: 112

    Ok ill drain it out in the am. Will Tsc have propalene gylcol ? Or do i have to go to the dealer? How many gallons will i need?
  9. Reliable Snow and Ice

    Reliable Snow and Ice Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    50/50 mix of coolant/distilled or demineralized water.
    Use only a ethylene glycol-based coolant, preferably low-silicate.

    and for your truck year 5 gallons
  10. Reliable Snow and Ice

    Reliable Snow and Ice Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    or just call a dealer ship and ask a mechanic on what type to use... but your truck is 5 gallons total

    just dont buy that new environmentally safe crap or you will have to change it in 25k
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  11. Reliable Snow and Ice

    Reliable Snow and Ice Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    The mid-summer heat is intense across the country – which means the biggest concern for your diesel truck, van or SUV is your cooling system. There are several options for coolants on the market today, and not all of them are good for your engine. This article addresses the differences between conventional and extended life coolants, why your diesel engine’s well-being depends on proper coolant maintenance, and how to maintain your Power Stroke® Diesel engine so it can perform at its best all summer long.

    Types of Coolant
    There are three basic types of coolant: Ethylene Glycol (EG), or conventional coolant, is typically green; Long Life, or Extended Life, Ethylene Glycol is typically yellow; and
    Propylene Glycol (PG) is typically red and sometimes referred to as “non-toxic” coolant.

    The term non-toxic can be confusing – all coolants are toxic, and should not be ingested. “Non-toxic” is associated with PG-based coolant because the United States Food and Drug Administration has classified Propylene Glycol as Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) in its pure form. The coolant manufacturer adds toxic chemicals to the PG base. Because of its toxicity, keep all coolants away from children and pets and dispose of all waste coolant properly.

    PG coolant is not recommended for Power Stroke Diesel engines. Because of its chemical makeup, PG coolants can cause damage to aluminum parts, gasket materials and certain kinds of hoses. It also has a lower boiling point than EG coolant, usually 10 F to 15 F lower. While it may not sound like much, in a modern cooling system with a high output engine a few degrees may make all the difference in the world. Coolants that are methyl alcohol or methoxy proponol-based should also never be used.

    Extended Life Coolant
    Extended life coolants are available for newer model diesel engines (2002 model year). Extended life coolants provide a longer service interval under normal conditions, because they don’t require the addition of supplemental coolant additives (SCA). These new coolants use advanced organic acid technology, which depletes much more slowly than traditional coolant additives, to protect the engine.

    Ford Motor Company has determined that either conventional Ethylene Glycol (green colored) or Extended Life Ethylene Glycol (yellow colored) coolant, such as Motorcraft Premium Gold Engine Coolant, will meet the needs of the cooling system and will perform well in extreme conditions as long as the vehicle is operated correctly. PG-coolants such as Motorcraft Specialty Orange are not recommended for the Power Stroke Diesel engine.

    Extended Life EG coolants used with the 2002 model year F-Series pickups and Excursions will allow for intervals of 100,000 miles or five years, which ever occurs first, and will not need SCAs if they are maintained properly. All 2001 model year and prior Power Stroke Diesel engines are not compatible with extended life coolant. These models had the proper amount of SCA added at the engine plant before they were shipped, but will need to be maintained as described in the “cavitation protection” section of this article.

    If you have a 2002 model year engine, do not mix the Extended Life Ethylene Glycol (yellow) with the conventional Ethylene Glycol (green) under any circumstance. If you accidentally mix extended life coolant with conventional coolant and the mixture exceeds 10 percent, the coolant must be maintained as a conventional system using SCAs, or should be drained and flushed, then refilled with new extended life coolant.

    Conventional EG Coolant
    The proper mix of coolant is important when using conventional green coolants. If the coolant concentration is too high in a vehicle’s cooling system, then silicates will separate and drop out of the coolant. These silicates can form a paste that plugs heater cores, radiator tubes and may lead to water pump failure if a large amount of the silicate paste lodges between the seal lip and the seal’s riding surface. Silicate paste can also plug small passages in the engine, leading to damaging hot spots. Too low of a coolant concentration, on the other hand, may lead to freezing, which can also cause engine damage.

    A proper coolant concentration is also needed to protect against corrosion in the cooling system. If the concentration is too low, rust and corrosion can take place inside the cooling system and lead to water pump failure. Scale build up can lead to hot spots on cylinder walls that can cause pistons to scuff or score. Rust and corrosion can also cause erosion damage to the aluminum parts of the engine and may result in expensive repairs.

    The recommended coolant concentration is a 50/50 mix of coolant with distilled water. The maximum acceptable coolant system concentration is 60 percent in extreme conditions. In these conditions, follow the chart on coolant container for the recommended water to coolant ratio. The minimum concentration should not go below 40 percent.

    Cavitation Protection and SCAs
    SCAs provide cavitation protection for conventional green coolant. Cavitation is erosion that occurs on the outside diameter of the cylinder wall, and can happen if vapor bubbles form in the cooling system and attach to the wall.

    Every time the pistons move up and down, they rock in the bore, causing the cylinder wall to vibrate. Vapor bubbles can form on the outside of the cylinder wall as it moves inward, or away from the coolant, creating a low-pressure area. When the cylinder wall moves outward, or into the coolant, the pressure increases on the vapor bubbles. After many cycles, vapor bubbles continue to form and the pressure on the bubbles increases until, finally, a vapor bubble collapses. When this happens, it creates a localized stress area of more than 50,000 psi. The high pressure and heat created by the implosion removes a small amount of cylinder wall material where the vapor bubble was attached. Over time, the cylinder wall can continue to erode, and eventually may form a pinhole in the wall that allows coolant to enter the combustion chamber, leading to possible engine failure.

    Unlike diesel engines, gas engines do not need cavitation protection. This is because diesel engines are more likely to be used in heavy-duty applications and operate under higher loads for longer periods of time. By nature, diesel engines often have cylinder pressures greater than twice the cylinder pressure of a gasoline engine. This combination of high load and high combustion pressures creates the violent cylinder wall vibrations that lead to cavitation. Most gasoline engines will not experience enough of this kind of operation in its life to cause a failure. Although rare, there have been occurrences where a gasoline engine did fail from cavitation erosion.

    You can protect your diesel engine from cavitation by adding the proper amount of SCA to an EG cooling system. When used properly, SCAs help neutralize acids and provide anti-foam protection as well as prevent cavitation, scale and general corrosion. SCAs work to prevent cavitation by forming a protective coating on the cooling system surfaces. This coating will provide a barrier between the cylinder wall and the vapor bubbles. The vapor bubble implosions erode the SCA protective coating instead of the cylinder wall.

    If your cooling system was originally equipped with green coolant, you will periodically need to maintain your coolant’s additive package. The higher the loads and the more miles, the more the SCA is depleted from the system. Under normal service conditions, you will need to add 8 to 10 ounces of SCA every 15,000 miles, as identified in your Scheduled Maintenance Guide. Under severe service (e.g. towing a trailer) add 16 ounces. We recommend MotorcraftÒ Heavy Duty Cooling System Additive, part #FW-16 or equivalent. The equivalent will be referred to as DCA4 and meets material specification ESN-M99B169-A. At service intervals where the coolant is replaced, two 16-ounce bottles of SCA should be added.

    Too much SCA in your cooling system can cause water pump seal failures. In most cases, if you follow the guidelines listed above, your Power Stroke Diesel cooling system will be in good shape. If there is a question about the level of SCA protection in the system, you can use test strips to check the level of SCA in the cooling system. A FleetguardÒ test strip kit (DCA4 Test Strip Kit CC2602) can be found at International® truck dealerships. The $40.00 kit comes with 50 strips and expires in one year, so this may not be practical for the individual user. Most medium and heavy-duty truck shops will test your cooling system for a fee.

    The test strip bottle has a scale that tells what level of protection the system has by matching the colors that are on the test strip. The strip has three pads that will turn color to indicate the amount of SCA in the system as units per gallon, and should read between 2 to 3 units for the Power Stroke Diesel. One pad indicates the freeze point level, and the other two indicate the SCA protection level by checking for nitrite and Molybdate. After you add SCA, wait to retest the system until it has been completely mixed, or driven for 30 continuous miles.

    Maintenance Guidelines
    To prevent unnecessary engine damage and keep your engine running in top condition, coolant system testing should be performed at least two times per year, preferably in the spring and fall. A Refractometer ($80 to $200) is the most accurate method for checking coolant temperature protection level. Refractometers work by magnifying the light properties of the coolant and displaying the results on a temperature scale.

    A hydrometer is another common method for testing the cooling system. It works by checking specific gravity of the coolant. Hydrometers check the PH levels of the coolant and turn the strip to a varying shade of green. This color indicator is matched to a scale, indicating the level of temperature protection. If you use a hydrometer, be sure that it is made for Ethylene Glycol coolant.

    Recommendations and Tips

    Depending on the type of coolant your cooling system originally contained, you should use either Ford Premium EG (green) coolant (P/N E2FZ-19549-AA Ford reference number VC-4-A), an equivalent that meets specification ESE-M97B44-A, or Motorcraft Premium Gold Coolant meeting specification WSS-M97B44-D
    Maintain a 50/50 mix using distilled water. Water that has minerals in it (or hard water) should not be used. The minerals will lower the boiling point and can increase corrosion in the system.
    Under normal driving conditions, the green EG coolant should be changed at 48 months or 50,000 miles for the first time, then every 36 months or 30,000 miles every time after. SCAs must be added and maintained with this coolant.
    If your cooling system is equipped with Motorcraft Premium Gold Engine Coolant (reference number VC-7-A), your coolant should be changed every 100,000 miles or 5 years, and no SCA added. Coolant may need to be changed more frequently if vehicle is under harsh driving conditions such as towing, heavy loads or operating in extreme temperatures.
  12. dj89

    dj89 Senior Member
    from wny
    Messages: 112

    Ok I read that, but still confused. It says that the green stuff is ok?.... But it also says i should use the red. What do i need to use?
  13. dj89

    dj89 Senior Member
    from wny
    Messages: 112

    Im gonna see if i can find this Zerex G-05
  14. timberjack

    timberjack Member
    Messages: 96

    I don't think you should go mixing and matching. FWIW - I'd drain the red stuff if you can't confirm how long it's been there, or if it's the proper coolant for your truck.

    I use a "low silicate" meant for diesel engines. Green, bought at the local Peterbilt dealer (best price in town). Mixed in a 50-50 ratio with deionized water. Add the proper amount of SCA.

    The gold motorcraft coolant is meant for later Powerstroke engines, my '07 uses it, costly too. The local ford dealer charged me $24 for a gallon, compared to $8 per gallon of the "Pete" green stuff.

    I was told not to use the gold in my 96 by a Ford service tech i know. As i recall, he said "just use green coolant meant for diesels, and you'll be fine for the long haul." My 96 has 118k miles on it now, not much for 15 years, but never had cooling system troubles, Have drained and flushed twice, just on a per year basis, not miles. Still on original waterpump, and only one thermostat change so far.

    A-ha - This sentence in the 7th paragraph of Reliable Snow and Ice's post says it all.
    "All 2001 model year and prior Power Stroke Diesel engines are not compatible with extended life coolant. " Go with the green coolant, not the gold.
  15. dj89

    dj89 Senior Member
    from wny
    Messages: 112

    I put the prestone green stuff in. I need to take it out and get stuff for diesels.... right
  16. Deere444H

    Deere444H Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    No green coolant is what Should be in that truck. there is no special diesel coolant. just additives. Green was used in the 7.3 untill late 02 to early 03. Motorcraft GOLD, is not compatible with green. It makes a nasty brown sludge. You do how ever want to add an anti-cavitation additive. I know you can get it at the ford dealer, and international dealer. The green coolant dose not have it in it. The gold dose. BUT...... the two cannot be mixxed so, just add to it. My personal truck has CAT. Pink in it............. The person that owned it before me used it after doing the oil pan, all i have done is added the anticavitation additive. no problems yet.
  17. dj89

    dj89 Senior Member
    from wny
    Messages: 112

    I put Prestone® Extended Life Antifreeze/Coolant and Prestone® Cooling System Antifreeze Treatment is that ok? or do i need to drain it?
  18. Deere444H

    Deere444H Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    that should be ok. I would check the bottle and see if it speaks of anti-cavitation? Im personaly not famillar with the prestone additive. but the coolant is fine, green is green. and prestone is not a bottom shelf brand, so i wouldent be concerned with that.
  19. timberjack

    timberjack Member
    Messages: 96

    Not necessarily. If you still have one of the jugs around, you should check the label to confirm it's "Low Silicate" coolant. Some green doesn't have that designation, but i've been hard pressed to see it lately, probably due to the big use of long life coolants in cars.

    If you find that description on it, you're good to go. Only concern will be if there is any red stuff left in there that might cause trouble down the line.

    Here's a product description for the texaco stuff.
  20. Reliable Snow and Ice

    Reliable Snow and Ice Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    ok here's what you do drain out the old stuff fill it with water run the truck until it get's hot enough to open the thermostat let is flow for a few mins. then drain it again.

    then fill the radiator with green at a 50 50 mix use the additives then run the truck again until hot let it run a few mins to flow threw the block.

    shut it down then top off the radiator. then you will be fine.

    my 6.9 is the mother engine of the 7.3's and mine has 438k and running strong i have owned it since 1996 and it's an 1986 and have always used the green with the additives.