Can you back flush an oil cooler? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-01-2010, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Can you back flush an oil cooler?

I was going to try to clean my system before jumping into installing a new cooler. I was wondering if you thought back flushing with a power flusher would clean it out.
Maybe some vc9 or Simple Green to break the crud up and then back-flush.

I have had allot of success with this tool on heater cores in the past, I usually poor Simple Green into the core with a funnel and a hose clamped to the core and let it sit for about 20 min and then back-flush. I will say that I only do this in extreme cases where there is little or no flow, and a core replacement is the next step...... I am starting to think this is the case with my oil cooler.
What do you think.

Tom Buck
1999 7.3 CC /DRW/4x4/Six-Speed:Sold
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-01-2010, 09:45 PM
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Ok, this has been in my mind.

First, it is a 2 fluid cooler, so the coolant side could be flushed, but oil side will not be.
With that, I haven't heard of the "oil side" plugging, but doesn't mean it doesn't.

Now, how the heck do you just flush the coolant side?

The only way I can see right now, is to hook up a hose to the "outlet" of the oil cooler only. Where the blue ( or orange ) EGR hose is. I don't think you can be sure the coolant would actually back flush the cooler by back flushing the whole system (see picture)

http://www.backglass.org/duncan/ps60...l/ps60_017.jpg

So, from what I see, you could back flush through "Coolant outlet" and then would go into pump and out lower radiator hose, or most would, I think.


Well, that's my take. Haven't tried it, but am thinking about it.
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Yea, i see what you mean.. If it was disconnected at the egr, maybe it could be flushed strait to the oil cooler. I am seeing about a 21-23deg difference at the highest point...... I even have thought about running a Royal Purple oil to reduce the oil temps but it still would be clogged up.

Tom Buck
1999 7.3 CC /DRW/4x4/Six-Speed:Sold
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Last edited by tbisme; 06-02-2010 at 04:43 AM.
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 05:36 AM
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I'm no specialist, but seems that fluid would be fluid when it comes to heat. So, if you look at the next picture, it kinda shows the plugging could, and that's a big could, mainly start plugging at the beginning of the cooler.:

Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums - amdriven2liv's Album: Misc. pictures - Picture

So, back flushing "might" get it out. I wish I could get my hands on one that has been replaced to see if it can be done. (the above picture was from a member who had replaced his, janton1 I believe his handle was on a different forum)
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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That looks about right, the ones I see at my dealer look real bad also, like sludge, but I think they keep the worst to show people.
I wonder how many miles were on that cooler.

Tom Buck
1999 7.3 CC /DRW/4x4/Six-Speed:Sold
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 06:16 AM
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I would hate to go through all that effort to remove and replace it and then have it still be plugged up.

Shawn Carlson
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Eye View Post
I would hate to go through all that effort to remove and replace it and then have it still be plugged up.
I know your point, I was thinking of just removing the "blue" EGR hose and back flushing from there. Hose removal and plug in hose, then flush.

My other thought on this is "How much pressure can the oil cooler handle?" Could a person actually "cause" a leak to the oil side?

So many thoughts, so little time!
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amdriven2liv View Post
I know your point, I was thinking of just removing the "blue" EGR hose and back flushing from there. Hose removal and plug in hose, then flush.

My other thought on this is "How much pressure can the oil cooler handle?" Could a person actually "cause" a leak to the oil side?

So many thoughts, so little time!
I am thinking the same thing, about rupturing something... although I was thinking to clamp a hose to the oil cooler, i would put a funnel on the hose and poor some cleaner in the cooler and let it eat for a bit before flushing.
I have even used my pressure washer before on cores, not much pressure with no tip in it. You get a very short burst at first then only like 5.5gpm. As long as it is not completely clogged it wont build pressure and if it is... it wont be for long and pressure will decrease rapidly, it should not hurt the oil cooler, it handles at least 80psi maybe like 100+..... IDK
My water hose has like 60psi and like 12gpm, so scene I have the power flusher I don't use the pressure washer anymore, but the flusher has air also, and a regulator that i set at 20psi for most cars/trucks.
It is scary for sure, I guess when i have to replace it it wont matter if I screw it up.

Tom Buck
1999 7.3 CC /DRW/4x4/Six-Speed:Sold
2005 6.0L CC/DRW/FX4/Lariat

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post #9 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 12:00 PM
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General consensus/ and ford say it is not able to be flushed. On the oil side there is a filter just below the cooler. Stock one in production trucks leaves a lot to be desired. The updated ford screen is better. My concern is this. If there is crap in there.. The cooler is plugged. You flush the system with vc9 would it not be likely to plug the new oil cooler?

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post #10 of 15 Old 06-02-2010, 01:18 PM
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I have a 2006 6.0 with 26,000 original miles on it; yesterday I had my local Ford dealership flush the cooling system and install new Ford gold coolant. I asked the diesel tech who did the job if the EGR cooler and oil cooler was back flushed. He stated they use a special back flush system that indeed back flushes both the EGR cooler, oil cooler, heater core, radiator and block. Parts and labor was around $177.00.

I just received a Diesel Site coolant filter system, am going to install later this week.
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