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Old 12-30-2011, 09:03 AM
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Coolant Flush...10 things I learned

So, yesterday was the big day...after months of pouring over all the different write-ups here on the .org, I finally felt ready to tackle the coolant flush. Went to the Cummins service center and got the Restore and Restore+, Napa for some Zerex ELC and sent my wife to WalMart for 30gal of distilled water.

Just about the time I thought I had everything in order is when things started to come up...

Lesson #1 - No matter how many times you study the write-ups and go through the process in your head, there's something you've forgotten. For me, the first thing was that I didn't have the allen head socket I needed to remove the engine block plug. Luckily, I rummaged around in my drawer full of random allen wrenches and found one that fit perfectly. I'm pretty sure it was left over from some piece of Ikea furniture...

So, I set about draining the radiator through the Pet****...

Lesson #2 - Trying to drain the fluid through the pet**** is like Chinese water torture! Had I stuck with that plan, I'm pretty sure I'd still be out there. So, I drained by removing the lower rad hose...

Lesson #3 - You're going to get wet! And I did. Now, once you've done it a few times, you can figure out exactly how to hold the bucket and it's really not that bad. And it drains wicked fast. The first time, I used a screwdriver to loosen and tighten the hose clamp. That was a PITA, so I grabbed the sockets...

Lesson #4 - When you find the right socket (10mm), it WILL slip out of your hand and jump directly into the 5 gallon bucket full of nasty greenish-orangish coolant. The same nastiness that just douched you in the face. Which brings up...

Lesson #5 - Safety glasses are a must! Luckily, I had mine on already. But if you're too macho to wear safety glasses, wear some sunglasses or something otherwise you WILL be getting coolant in your eyes.

So, on to draining the engine block. Getting the plug out was easy enough. Now, I know all about the Fumoto valve, and I would have loved to have them with the nice drain tubes, but money's tight. The first time I took the plug out, I had no idea where the fluid was going. I had the bucket at the ready, but of course, it was in the wrong place. This is when I learned...

Lesson #6 - Coolant is slippery. When the deluge started flying out, I reached for the bucket. However, my coolant soaked hands only succeeded in pushing it farther away. I moved closer (into the shower) and tried again. this time the bucket tipped over. I scrambled after it, rolling under the truck and out the other side before I finally caught up with it. By the time I got ahold of the bucket and slid back underneath, I probably caught four ounces or so. The rest was all over my garage floor. My mother-in-law happened to be visiting and came out to find me covered from head to toe in coolant. How she kept from laughing, I have no idea.

Lesson #7 - If you put the cap back on the reservoir before removing the drain plug, you can control the flow once you get the plug out and bucket in position. This is definitely an art that takes perfecting. You're not going to catch all of it, but most of it. Again, take the advice of all the other write-ups and just get the Fumoto valves.

Once I got over these hurdles, the process itself was very easy, just time consuming. You'll go through the routine of filling, running and dumping fluid about a million times which is how I learned...

Lesson #8 - Sliding in and out form under your truck all day without a creeper will bruise the h#77 out of your hip and shoulder...get a creeper. They have them at Harbor Freight with a coupon for $9 or something.

When I started, I was worried that 30 gallons of water wasn't going to be enough and I live a long way from a store and my wife was at work all day. So, I did the initial flush with tap water, and it's a good thing I did. After it came out clear, I did the Restore mixed with distilled, then flushed with distilled until mostly clear then Restore+. That stuff is nasty and it comes out yellow and smells like acid vapor. At this point, I looked at my water supply and realized...

Lesson #9 - 30 gallons is not enough distilled water. In the end, I ended up using 42 gallons plus about 20 gallons of tap water (I hope I used enough distilled to get all the tap out)

Once I finished and topped off with coolant, I ran it for a while, but it was too late to take it for a drive. Just ran it for a while to get things circulating and mixed.

Today, I took it for a drive to Walmart to get yet another gallon of distilled to top it off when I learned the worst lesson of all...

Lesson #10 - I plugged the ever-living sh*t out of my oil cooler I knew this could happen, which is why I've been waiting to do my EGR delete and oil cooler until after the flush. Before the flush, it was hard to figure out what my deltas were because it is nearly impossible to find a stretch of flat road in Utah unless I go to the salt flats, but I had never seen more than 11 degrees difference under any circumstances. Now, it's a solid 20 degrees and I've seen as high as 40 after a steep climb and heading down the other side the ECT drops but the EOT doesn't move very quickly...I guess I need to start studying for my EGR Delete/Oil cooler...I was hoping to have a little more time in between, but looks like sooner than later.

In the end, it's not hard at all, just time consuming (10 hours for me). Make sure you have a full day to do it and you don't have to take a break to evict your tenants that are running a pot-selling business out of your rental unit. Even though I now have a clogged oil cooler, it is nice to know I'm on my way to getting the big issues resolved!
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:17 AM
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I don't know if I should laugh or cry reading this, I'm happy you got it done to bad about the oil cooler. preparing myself for this and I'm sure that I can turn it into a comedy of errors. keep me posted on the oil cooler,,
thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:23 AM
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You are a talented writer! I could just picture you covered in coolant, yelling and cursing! But seriously, Thanks for the comical, yet very informative write up.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:53 AM
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Mine was going to be today...but now waiting till tomorrow or Monday so thanks for the tips! I did get a Fumoto and it sounds like it is good that I did. I also plan to do a oil cooler back flush after the Restore step and I am not doing the Restore+ as I feel that is a major culprit in clogging these coolers even more. I too am seeing a 9-11* delta and hoping to get a couple more months before I do the oil cooler/egr delete. I just decided last night that I am doing it myself...and I am pretty excited about it!! Good news is I just checked last night and Tousley has oil coolers back in stock for $213!
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Face Down View Post
Mine was going to be today...but now waiting till tomorrow or Monday so thanks for the tips! I did get a Fumoto and it sounds like it is good that I did. I also plan to do a oil cooler back flush after the Restore step and I am not doing the Restore+ as I feel that is a major culprit in clogging these coolers even more. I too am seeing a 9-11* delta and hoping to get a couple more months before I do the oil cooler/egr delete. I just decided last night that I am doing it myself...and I am pretty excited about it!! Good news is I just checked last night and Tousley has oil coolers back in stock for $213!
not to thread jack but i just looked on tousley and oil coolers are like 300+??

Edit disregard that... found them
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:32 PM
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Great read!! One thing is for certain here..... I think I'd rather be covered in coolant than trapped in the house with my Mother In-Law!!
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:47 PM
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after you change your oilcooler,
please let us know how the job went
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:00 PM
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The water coming out of the block is HOT!!!! I used tap water for all the flushes except the final flushes after the restore plus. I used 25 gallons of distilled for the final flush. Also I took out the t-stat before the i used the restore. I just couldn't get it hot enough even after driving it on the highway for an hour. I hope the restore worked because the instructions said it should get to 185 degrees. After the restore I put the new t-stat in and continued with the restore plus flush. It got hot with the new t-stat in. I hope I did it correctly.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:29 PM
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when i did my flushing i bought one of them big flat storage totes, pretty much covers the area under the pick up. also i did it in the summer with my shirt off. pull lower hose then go and hose my arm off, lol.

its fun stuff.

i can literally swap out a thermostat on 6.0 in like 45 mins and know exactly what wrenches tools are needed, lol.

now u get to enjoy the chest/knee/back/finger pain of the oil cooler and egr delete. tip for ya, buy a top side creeper and one of those large hood lights that mechanics use. trust me the 350 bones spent on a top side creeper and hood light will pay for itself in lost bolts and pain pills, lol

enjoy
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:47 PM
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Great write up, I had some similar experiences. I have lost the block drain plug a few times, it's a pain to find on the ground. The Fumoto valve would have been great. I would recommend about 50 gallons of distiller water.

Sucks that you now have problems trying o make your truck better. Good luck!
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