Need some advice for coolant flush - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:32 AM
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Need some advice for coolant flush

So i know there are a few of these already but i wanted to put my questions in to get it direct.

Is it very difficult to do?
-I understand it is easy to do but do i read somewhere some guys were driving around for an hour with the distilled water then flush and do this 4 or 5 times, is this necessary?

What are the additives that you use?
-VC-9? I think thats what its called and Restore? What do these do and why do we use them, and also where can you buy these and once again are these necessary?

How long does the entire process take?

Also i think im going to buy the sinister filter kit, are these any good? once again are these necessary?

I just bought the truck and im just a little nervous and dont want to mess anything up; thanks guys
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07Diesel View Post
So i know there are a few of these already but i wanted to put my questions in to get it direct.

Is it very difficult to do?
-I understand it is easy to do but do i read somewhere some guys were driving around for an hour with the distilled water then flush and do this 4 or 5 times, is this necessary?

Yes it is necessary. The proper flush involves cleaning the cooling system with both Restore (to remove silicate residue) and Restore Plus or VC-9 (to remove scale, rust, solder bloom etc.). Each of those products recommend 60-90 minutes run time in the cooling system and it takes repeated flushings to get all of the results out and get clear water back in the cooling system after each. Tap water with the cleaners and flushes until clear then distilled flushes to displace the tap water. 15-20 flushes total and 24-30 gallons of distilled water are typical.


What are the additives that you use?
-VC-9? I think thats what its called and Restore? What do these do and why do we use them, and also where can you buy these and once again are these necessary?

See answer above for info about the cleaners (not additives). Yes they are usually necessary. The Restore and Restore Plus are Cummins products. You can find them at a Cummins Parts Distributor (not a Dodge Dealer) or often a shop that deals with big diesel rigs. VC-9 is the same as Restore Plus and is available from your Ford Dealer. Restore Plus is cheaper.

How long does the entire process take?

Figure on spending the better part of a day to do it right.


Also i think im going to buy the sinister filter kit, are these any good? once again are these necessary?

Which Sinister kit?

I just bought the truck and im just a little nervous and dont want to mess anything up; thanks guys
.

Here is the procedure I use that a bunch of folks use as well.

Flushing and cleaning the 6.0

Restore is for cleaning out any silicate goo. VC-9 is for cleaning out iron and scale. Restore Plus is the same as VC-9 and cheaper.

To flush drain the coolant by removing the lower radiator hose from the radiator, and removing the drain plug from the driver side of the block. There is a drain plug on the passenger side also but you have to remove the starter to get to it. I don't bother with that one. You can skip the block drains if you want except for the final drain before adding fresh coolant. You will just have to flush a few more times to get the block clear.

I also highly recommend you pull the thermostat out on your first drain and put the housing back without the thermostat. It only takes about 10 minutes and will save you 2.5 hrs or so in doing this whole procedure.

Ok now put the lower hose back on and the drain plug back in the block if you removed it. This is the procedure you will use each time to drain the system, except you will not touch the thermostat again until you're finished the whole procedure. Make sure that you set your heater to high while doing this to flush out the heater core as well.

Fill the cooling system with tap water, start the truck and let the water circulate for 5 minutes. (if you did not remove the thermostat you must run the truck until the thermostat opens + 5 minutes to circulate. This takes 15 to 20 minutes each cycle and is why you should just remove the thermostat) Stop the engine. Drain the system and repeat the flush.

Now add at least 1/2 gallon of Restore and fill with water. Drive truck or run on high idle for 60-90 minutes. Drain and flush 3 or 4 times.

Add 2qts VC-9 or 1/2gal of Restore Plus, top with water, and drive the truck or run on high idle for 60-90 minutes. Now drain and flush until flush water comes out clear and clean. When you get clean flush water, flush 3 more times using distilled water if you are draining the block or 5 times if not. This is to replace any tap water in the cooling system with distilled water and very important.

After your final distilled water drain it is time to put the thermostat back in. I recommend you install a new thermostat at this point. They are only $20 or so and it is good maintenance procedure to do so. Fill with 3.5 or 4 gals of ELC concentrated coolant and top off with distilled water. Drive the truck or let run for a while topping off with distilled water. Check the truck over the next few days and top up as required while any air left in the system works its way out.

Keep some 50/50 ELC on hand to use to top off the cooling system from here out and you are good to go.

Hope this helps.

Mitch
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:07 AM
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07, Mitch is right and has it down to a science. The only thing I have to add is make sure you spend alot of time reading through the info on this site. Theres alot of BS to sift through but all the info you need is here. Good luck!
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:24 AM
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Super easy! Just takes time. That is the crappy part! I would rather something that was really hard but only took 30 minutes. This is as easy as it comes but takes hours!
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:25 PM
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Okay...

I have a question along these lines as I'm about to switch from gold to ELC and go with a filter kit as well...

Where do you catch all the drainage? I only have a 15qt pan and this is going to put out many gallons of drainage... Need I invest in a 25gal drum?

-Ed
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:42 PM
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I have about 8 five gallon pails with lids that I use for jobs like this. They are old foam concentrate containers from a fire department and have 2" caps on the lid I can pour from. I use them for oil and coolant. It allows me the room I need to dump...yet makes them easy to transport to the recycle location for disposal. If you use a larger container...you'll not be able to lift it or pour it well. It'll take a fork lift to get it outta your garage.

My main question about this flush on 6.0L's is simple but very important:

Does the flush process remove/dissolve any solid or goo that is the cause of oil coolers plugging? Or is it true that once the cooler is blocked up...NOTHING will help it? The Ford dealership here says that once its clogged....its over.

Anybody ever inspected an oil cooler suspected to be clogged (temp diff) and then looked at it after a flush? Ford had some that were so clogged...hooking up a garden hose to them would barely flow anything thru it...while a new one passed the water fully. They demonstrated it to me in person. I mentioned this flush process and they said they knew of it...but when I mentioned the chemicals and steps involved...the conversation kinda went quiet.

Last edited by neil; 04-29-2011 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:47 PM
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If my coolers are good (new, shop didn't flush like I asked them to so now its up to me) should you still use restore and restore plus? Would that not be asking for trouble by breaking that goo and other stuff loose for it to be sent into oil cooler?
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:38 PM
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Not to hijack but I have one question that I can't find an answer for. When you refill with water between flushes are you putting cold water in a hot engine or letting the truck cool for a while? Thanks.
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by harlo View Post
Not to hijack but I have one question that I can't find an answer for. When you refill with water between flushes are you putting cold water in a hot engine or letting the truck cool for a while? Thanks.
When I did mine last weekend, I actually used hot water for the initial flushes (my garage has hot and cold water taps) until I got to using distilled water....and then I usually let the truck cool down some (not much) in between the flushes with distilled. But then again at that point in the flush process, I wasn't running/driving the truck much. It was more like fill with 4 gallons of distilled, run the truck at 1500 RPMs for 5 minutes to circulate well, shut off, pull the lower hose to dump, remove the plug from the block, wait 5 minutes for it to drain well and do it again 6 more times.

By the 6th dump of distilled water, the engine was getting toasty....to the point that pulling the rear block plug caused some pretty hot water to dump down my hand/arm. Thank goodness for a creeper with wheels that allowed for some quick rolling! And by the 6th dump, the water was crystal clear.
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brute650i View Post
If my coolers are good (new, shop didn't flush like I asked them to so now its up to me) should you still use restore and restore plus? Would that not be asking for trouble by breaking that goo and other stuff loose for it to be sent into oil cooler?
That is a possibility....just depends how crudded up your system is/was.

Last summer, Ford replaced my EGR and Oil coolers (to the tune of $1800) and I put on about 3k miles between then and when I did my flush and ELC change over. Fortunately, my system looked good from a rust/scale perspective to start with so although I did both Restore and Restore Plus, most of the emphasis was on the Restore side to remove the silicates. But, I've been also using a coolant filter for a few years too.
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