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Old 08-23-2011, 10:03 PM
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Coolant flush

So I got my truck about 3 weeks ago and put a coolant filter in first thing. I have about 500 miles and I already see red stuff trapped, so its either rust or sand and Im betting I have about 500 miles more and Ill have to take out the filter and clean it. So my question while doing my flush can I used deionized water instead of distilled? This water is from our well and it is filtered then reverse osmosised. Also I hear I can use Simple Green, do I use this instead of vc9 stuff? My plan is to drain the coolant in the radiator and maybe the drivers side block. Drive around a few days drain and refill. Do this about 2 or 3x then refill with coolant.

TIA
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:09 AM
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Properly Deionized water is actually better than distilled. Distilling water is just a method used to mostly deionize it, but if you have another method of deionization, by all means, that's perfectly acceptable.

I've heard of lots of people using simple green to flush, and apparently that was the method used by the shop I went to, to flush my truck.
I have not seen any problems from it, but I don't know it's effectiveness vs. vc9 or Restore and Restore plus.

I know that Restore is specifically formulated to break down the silicate gel that our trucks suffer from, and I've also heard that vc9 is not that effective for our trucks, as the silicate gel is problem #1, and it does little to nothing for that.

I'll put it another way. A Powerstroke Speciality shop in my area, that specializes in PSD problems, and is highly regarded as one of the best Powerstroke shops within a very large radius (people have their trucks brought there from out of state, over 500 miles away) uses Simple green as their primary method of flushing. That's good enough for me to believe that it works.

If you want to do the most through, overkill coolant flush available on the planet, where money and time is no object, I would do it in this order. Each step filling the coolant system, and running it up to temp for a decent amount of time, followed by a water flush until clear. Then do the same with the next step.

Simple Green
Restore
Restore Plus
Vc9

If you do all 4 of those, there is absolutely nothing that it shouldn't cover! =D
Simple Green and Restore should Knock out the gunk and Silicates
Then Restore Plus and VC9 to take care of scaling, rust, etc etc etc.

Then replace your oil cooler afterwards, and fill up with your non-Ford Gold Coolant of choice.

Last edited by Dicion; 08-24-2011 at 05:22 AM.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jocww View Post
So I got my truck about 3 weeks ago and put a coolant filter in first thing. I have about 500 miles and I already see red stuff trapped, so its either rust or sand and Im betting I have about 500 miles more and Ill have to take out the filter and clean it. So my question while doing my flush can I used deionized water instead of distilled? This water is from our well and it is filtered then reverse osmosised. Also I hear I can use Simple Green, do I use this instead of vc9 stuff? My plan is to drain the coolant in the radiator and maybe the drivers side block. Drive around a few days drain and refill. Do this about 2 or 3x then refill with coolant.

TIA
That red stuff is likely rust scale. Nobody can claim what substance is responsible for clogging most oil coolers. Some say silicate goo, some say rust scale, and some say it is a combination of the two. I am unaware of any testing to determine exactly what the substance is. If someone has had testing completed, please post up your findings and what lab tested it. That info would spread like wildfire throughout all the Ford diesel related forums.

NEVER EVER, under any circumstances, fill your cooling system with any type of water (or chemical) and "drive it for a few days." If you think you have rust scale now, you haven't seen nothing yet, as they say. There is a definite procedure you have to follow to clean the cooling system. Leaving the chemicals in too long or leaving the cooling system filled with any form of water will cause damage or a condition that you are trying to correct by doing this flush in the first place.
Look up a member of this forum by the screen name of PGreenSVT. He has a very good flushing procedure in his signature line that he wrote.
There is also a link in my signature line that outlines not only a flush, but a "how to" backflush your oil cooler. The document was written for those that, for one reason or another, did not flush their cooling system effectively enough and their new oil cooler has become plugged as well. The reverse flush will NOT work on an oil cooler that has become plugged over an extended period of time.

Your coolant choices are: (in NO particular order)
Ford Gold. If you go this route, testing the nitrite level frequently would be required. All the talk of "silicate goo" and "slime"???? That is all caused by lack of proper maintenance of the coolant. Had everybody been made aware of what maintenance this coolant requires, and followed it, there wouldn't be the huge issue that we see today. Test the nitrite level every 15,000 miles. The level should be 800ppm or slightly more. Below 800ppm, purchase the additive for this coolant at the dealership and add to the cooling system as needed. If the nitrite level is below 300ppm, you must flush the cooling system using the VC-9 product (or equivalent), then refill with the Ford Gold.

CAT EC-1 rated ELC coolant: The most popular and is close to a maintenance free coolant. This coolant can be run for two years, no nitrite testing required. The manufacturers claim that this type of coolant is a "million mile" coolant. Unless you are a full time over-the-road trucker running your engine 18 hours a day, I wouldn't push my luck. Two years is good enough.

The propylene glycol "waterless" coolant: LINK
This coolant requires a conversion take place. Basically you need to find a way to get ALL the water out of your engine to use it. This is the biggest drawback, IMHO.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Dicion View Post
Properly Deionized water is actually better than distilled. Distilling water is just a method used to mostly deionize it, but if you have another method of deionization, by all means, that's perfectly acceptable.

I've heard of lots of people using simple green to flush, and apparently that was the method used by the shop I went to, to flush my truck.
I have not seen any problems from it, but I don't know it's effectiveness vs. vc9 or Restore and Restore plus.

I know that Restore is specifically formulated to break down the silicate gel that our trucks suffer from, and I've also heard that vc9 is not that effective for our trucks, as the silicate gel is problem #1, and it does little to nothing for that.

I'll put it another way. A Powerstroke Speciality shop in my area, that specializes in PSD problems, and is highly regarded as one of the best Powerstroke shops within a very large radius (people have their trucks brought there from out of state, over 500 miles away) uses Simple green as their primary method of flushing. That's good enough for me to believe that it works.

If you want to do the most through, overkill coolant flush available on the planet, where money and time is no object, I would do it in this order. Each step filling the coolant system, and running it up to temp for a decent amount of time, followed by a water flush until clear. Then do the same with the next step.

Simple Green
Restore
Restore Plus
Vc9


If you do all 4 of those, there is absolutely nothing that it shouldn't cover! =D
Simple Green and Restore should Knock out the gunk and Silicates
Then Restore Plus and VC9 to take care of scaling, rust, etc etc etc.

Then replace your oil cooler afterwards, and fill up with your non-Ford Gold Coolant of choice.
IMO doing all 4 of those is simply not necessary. Restore Plus and VC-9 are essentially the same product. Use one or the other, there is nothing to be gained by doing them both.

Usually Simple Green id used in the case of an oil cooler rupture where you have oil contamination of the cooling system. For most flushes this is just not necessary. It does not do anything about rust/scale/solder bloom that Restore Plus deals with nor is it effective on Silicate gel.

Use Restore to eliminate the Silicate gel and Restore Plus OR VC-9 for the rust etc. and you will have cleaned your system thoroughly.

Of the ELC coolants Delo ELC is the premium choice providing 600k miles or 5 years on the initial charge and with additive 1m miles and 8 years. I would never push the coolant that far myself but that is what Delo claims for their ELC. Any Cat EC-1 rated ELC will suffice for the job though and there is no real reason to favor one over another for our trucks.

It would appear that the absolute best protection for our engines at this time is the new formulation in Rotella's Ultra ELC. This new formulation provides far better corrosion and cavitation protection than anything else on the market that I am aware of in traditional coolants.

I have heard positives and negatives surrounding Evans coolants and with no direct experience am not comfortable making any comments or recommendations as to its use in our trucks.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:25 AM
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Ok thanks, What is the ratio that you guys are pouring into your system for the cleaners? What is the longest that I can go with just keeping the water in the system? A few hrs a day? The reason I ask is I would probably drain the coolant, add water. Do my chores with the truck and either drain it and refill when I get home or the following AM.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocww View Post
Ok thanks, What is the ratio that you guys are pouring into your system for the cleaners? What is the longest that I can go with just keeping the water in the system? A few hrs a day? The reason I ask is I would probably drain the coolant, add water. Do my chores with the truck and either drain it and refill when I get home or the following AM.
When you start your flush you must keep going if you leave water in it you will have all kinds of rust starting to grow. I started at 8AM and finished around 9PM long day but worth it 48 gallons of distilled water and a 1/4 tank of fuel.
2 stroker
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:21 PM
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wow 11 hrs and7 gallons of fuel. Thats a freaking long time. I didnt think that rust would start out that fast since theres no air.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:46 PM
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2stroker is old and slow.

It is an all day job though. If done right it only needs to be done every 3-5 years.
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