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Coolant Change

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Hummerslawncare, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Hummerslawncare

    Hummerslawncare Member
    from Mass.
    Messages: 51

    This is a little off topic sorry but I am stupid :cry: and i need some help. :help: I was wondering how I flush/change my coolant. It's on a 1996 F-250, Thanks :help:
     
  2. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    Ok, here goes. Start with a thorough check of the cooling system for signs of wear and leakage. Coolant leaks are not always constant and intermittent leaks will evaporate and leave behind a white powdery residue. Hoses should be firm and free of oil and grease; which will deteriorate the rubber and cause leaks. Some auto parts stores will loan or rent cooling system pressure testers which are easy to use and great for catching small leaks. Screw it onto the radiator in place of the radiator cap, pump up the tester to the pressure indicated on the top of your radiator cap, then check for leaks.

    Check along the radiator and heater hoses. Check the water pump for stains around the base gasket, output shaft seal, and vent hole. The vent hole doubles as an early indicator of water pump failure as it indicates when the internal seal has failed. Check the radiator's cooling surface and reservoir tanks for stains and leaks. If the fins on the radiator are in bad shape or rotten, it will not cool well and probably should be replaced. Check the heater core inlet and outlet tubes in the engine compartment for signs of leakage. You probably won't be able to see the heater core, but check for damp carpeting under the dash which would be a BAD thing. Check the engine for leaks on the cylinder head gasket and thermostat housing.

    Since a cooling system flush should be performed as often as every two years, it's a great time to replace the thermostat. It's located where the upper radiator hose meets the engine and the housing is usually secured by two bolts. Remove the housing, scrape all the old gasket off with a razor knife, and install the new thermostat and gasket with the spring towards the engine. Reinstall the housing carefully! If you don't seat it right, cranking the bolts down may crack it, then you've got a new problem. :eek:

    Now drain the old coolant so it can be properly disposed of. It's next to impossible to drain the system completely as a considerable amount of coolant will stay in the engine, heater core, and hoses. At the bottom of one of the reservoir tanks of the radiator, on the side facing the engine, you'll see a small drain fitting; open it. Use a large drain pan to collect all the old coolant and don't leave any in puddles on your driveway as its' sweet taste will attract animals. Coolant can be fatal to animals and humans if ingested. If this is an issue for you, when you are shopping for new coolant, consider a safe variant such as Prestone Low-Tox. I pour the old fluid into empty plastic gallon milk jugs. Most towns have a place, like the dump, where you can bring it to be recycled or disposed of properly.

    Use a garden hose to flush the system. A typical home outdoor faucet will produce between 40 and 60 psi of water pressure (can you tell I'm a plumber?). Modern cooling systems are designed to operate at 22 psi or less (usually indicated on the top of your radiator cap). That said, you do NOT want to turn the faucet on full blast. A steady, constant stream of water will do the job without the need to over pressurize the system. Doing so may damage otherwise fine gaskets.

    Splice a flushing tee into the heater hose that runs from the fire wall to the top of the engine and connect a garden hose to it. The tee comes in a relatively inexpensive kit with a hose cap, and the hose clamps you need to install it. Remove the radiator cap, turn the faucet on, and flush until the water that pours from the radiator is clean. Disconnect the garden hose and install the cap. Drain the radiator again. Do not run the vehicle while flushing the system. Even though this would likely do a better job, the cold tap water running from your home may cause aluminum engine components to warp as the engine heats up. :nono:

    Fill the system with a 50/50 mixture of new antifreeze and water. In very cold climates, a higher ratio may be used. Some people use distilled water because it does not contain any minerals, which can leave deposits in the cooling system. I just use the garden hose. You don't have to mix in separate containers before adding to the system. Since you've used water to flush, there'll be a considerable amount of water remaining when you begin, so you'll need to add a higher proportion of antifreeze to reach the desired coolant mixture. Just wing it here. You can check the mixture later with an antifreeze tester after it has been given time to blend, and adjust accordingly by adding more 50/50 mix to your coolant reservoir tank.

    Fill the radiator and reservoir and start the engine. As the engine runs, coolant will begin to circulate and the level will fluctuate. Continue adding coolant to keep the radiator near full until the engine reaches operating temperature. Leave a little space in the filler neck, air, trapped inside the system, will work its way out and can splash the now-hot coolant out so be careful here. Turn the heater on. Shortly after the engine reaches operating temperature, the thermostat will open. When this happens, you'll notice a sudden drop in the level of coolant in the radiator as the system takes new coolant in. This will happen a few times, until the system is completely full and free of air pockets. It is sometimes difficult to remove all the air trapped in a system; it simply takes time. The engine will now be very hot, so be careful and use gloves to replace your radiator cap.

    You're done! No charge. Good luck. :waving:
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2004
  3. grotecguy

    grotecguy Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    If you want to flush it you're going to have to find a shop with a flush machine.
    If you just want to put fresh coolant in it, find the drain on the bottom of the radiator and let it drain out. Be sure to drain it into a bucket or something and not just all over the ground, there are places to take it to be recycled.
    After you drain it out close up the drain and refill. Use a 50/50 mix of new antifreeze and water. After you fill it let the truck run and warm up, be sure to watch the temp gauge. Air pockets in the system can cause overheating.
    Let it cool and recheck the antifreeze level in the radiator. Refill if needed.
    You may have to do this a few times to get the air bled from the system.

    Whatever you do, don't open the cap while the truck is hot!!!

    The coolant will be 200 degrese and may shoot out of the radiator cap like a guyser. It's not a pretty site, I have seen it happen. The blisters take a long time to heal up

    Be safe and good luck,
    Mark K
     
  4. Hummerslawncare

    Hummerslawncare Member
    from Mass.
    Messages: 51

    I just wanted to thank you guys for your through help I really appreciate it I am going to go out and try it now wish me luck. Once again Thank You! :nod:
     
  5. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I already did wish you luck! Just remember like we both said, BE CAREFUL while you're doing it, that stuff gets HOT and will burn you if it splashes you.
     
  6. Hummerslawncare

    Hummerslawncare Member
    from Mass.
    Messages: 51

    coolant help

    I'm still alive I successfully made the biggest mess of my life and successfuly changend the fluid thank you once again for all of your time and help!
     
  7. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    Your profile says you're 17. If that's the biggest mess you ever make for your life, you'll be way ahead of the game kid! You're welcome. :nod:
     
  8. grotecguy

    grotecguy Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Just be sure to keep tabs on the temp gauge for a couple days.
    I'd even check the coolant level in the radiator next time you drive the truck. Just to be sure it is full.

    Glad everything went well,
    Mark K