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FLUSHING THE COOLANT SYSTEM  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 08-12-2005 06:27 am
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nvandal
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Can anyone tell me the correct and thorough method for flushing the coolant system? My car sat for a long time and I want to flush it clean. Your help would be appreciated. Thanks, Norm Vandal

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 Posted: 08-12-2005 05:03 pm
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Mark Rosenbaum
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As far as I know, there's no specific procedure that needs to be followed.  Probably it would be necessary to open one of the lines going to the heater core.  About the only thing that's non-obvious is the block drain on the exhaust side of the engine.  This is shown as a valve in the parts drawings, but in the engines I've seen, all the later type, it's actually a rather large screw-in plug.  The plug in the attached photo has a hex that's 0.640" across flats, and the sealant appears to be some sort of silicone rubber.

Anti-freeze is extremely toxic to most small animals, even in tiny amounts.  Over the years I've lost several valued pets due to neighbors' carelessness with the stuff, so please do be very cautious and dispose of the drained coolant properly.

Attachment: Block drain.jpg (Downloaded 156 times)

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 Posted: 08-12-2005 06:16 pm
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nvandal
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Thanks, especially for the photo. it was a big help.

norm Vandal

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 Posted: 08-13-2005 08:10 pm
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Ricardo
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I've been using one method of flushing cooling systems that have work for me for the thirty three years that I have been a mechanic and I've been using it with good results on engines from four cylinder MGs to twenty cylinder EMD's and Alco's

 First as our friend very judiciously adviced you, drain your cooling system and properly dispose of the used stuff.

 Open all the valves, etc going to the heater; Remove thermostat and discard. Add a box of granulated dishwasher detergent (any brand) to the radiator and fill system with tap water.

 Star engine with radiator cap off, as the air trapped in the engine exits, keep adding water to keep it full. When bubbles stop, fill to neck of radiator, install old radiator cap and run engine for as long as you can (I shoot for two hours or so) keeping an eye on the Temp Gauge.

 Let engine cool a little bit, draining coolant from an engine that's at operating temp or hotter will raise block temp to very dangerous level (for the engine) Drain and dispose of water/detergent/rust/corrossion mix as you did with the old coolant, fill system with fresh tap water and run the engine for fifteen minutes or so, drain and repeat once more. Drain the system totally.

   Install new thermostat, making sure it's the correct type and temp for the car and outside ambient temp; discard old radiator cap and get new one.

   Fill system with correct mixture of Antifreeze/ destilled water and start engine. As air trapped in system exits, keep filling with coolant mix . This time you'll have to wait till thermostat opens for system to bleed itself completly.  Be careful, coolant will be hot enough to cause severe burns. Once totally filled, install new radiator cap, fill Coolant recovery Unit tank with coolant mix to the "hot" or "max" level and you're done.

  Check level AT THE COOLANT RECOVERY UNIT TANK frecuently and add coolant mix to bring it up to the "HOT" or "max" line, DO NOT under regular conditions open the radiator cap to add coolant, do so at the CRU tank and make sure it never runs dry, if that happens your engine cooling system will suck air and corrossion will result.

 One word of caution; this method will work only in cooling systems that are in good working condition; If your radiator or other components are rusted out or worn out the slightly abrasive performance of this cleaning will must probably result in leaks as the corrosion and slag is scrapped off.

        Like I said, this method works for me , is only a sugestion.

                                    Good luck.

                                     Ricardo

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