My experience with the Coolant Flush - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:25 AM
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My experience with the Coolant Flush

I performed the coolant flush this weekend including extensive back-flushing of all components. For those of you about to do it, this is my perspective.

Numbers 1 and 2 are the Most Important:

1) Have goggles on when you are draining hot fluids. If you are using chemicals such as Restore, understand that these are toward the opposite ends of the PH scale and probably have a lot of potential to damage your eyes. Wear goggles!


2) Get a good set of heavy rubber gauntlets so you don't have to worry about the hot liquids. I can't imagine doing this job without the long rubber gloves. I'm not talking about thin latex gloves but something heavy with a liner. Mine were about 7 bucks at Home Depot.

3) Don't skip the step about capturing your coolant and bringing it to a waste facility. Half of us are already modifying our emissions. To atone for our sins let's at least not force some salamander somewhere to gulp glycol.


3) In my opinion you should forget the distilled water until the very end. Just flush the hell out of it with good old tap water. You are still going to have plenty of stuff in your system when you are done so don't try to be perfect; you can't. I probably used 200 gallons if you consider all the tap water, maybe more. I bought 20 gallons of distilled water and used it at the end. Even after all the flushing and reverse flushing and Restore and Restore+ there was plenty of white residue in my upper radiator hose. Since there will still be a lot of stuff in your system when you are done, don't fool yourself thinking you are creating a USDA food grade fluid circuit; it is the engine coolant circuit of a diesel truck with 100,000 miles.

3) Remove the thermostat. I started by leaving it in thinking that I was directing more flow into the engine block (which is what the "official" flushing procedure for the 6.0 hints at). Coolant is going to flow through the cooling circuit, remove the thermostat so you don't have to wait forever for it to open every time. I removed it and was then good to go.

4) Before you read this one, understand that I have access to a commercial water supply with a LOT of flow; When I flushed out the Restore and Restore + I ran the truck with a hose into the degas bottle and with the block drain out and the radiator pet**** fully open. About every ten minutes I would turn her off, plug it up and run the closed system again for ten minutes, then I'd run it again with it open. I wouldn't have been comfortable with a mild flush of those things. I wanted all traces of those chemicals out of my system.

5) I had trouble keeping my truck at 190 for the Restore products to work. Towing my boat did the trick when I needed to do that for a couple of hours. Putting a piece of cardboard in front of the radiator didn't help much. It might have if I had gone out on the highway for a long drive at 75mph though.

6) I bought the RV filter recommended for reverse flushing in the 6.0 flushing procedure. It was probably a waste of money. I can't believe I buy into this stuff. Anyway, I reverse flushed the hell out of things with the filtered water and then for good measure I flushed the whole system out again with it.

7) I left the radiator pet**** half-way open at the end with the truck running and then poured in the distilled water to keep up with the exiting flow. I did this until I was down to my last few gallons of distilled water and then I closed the system for good.

8) My mechanic who seems to think the 6.0 is the best thing since sliced bread says this is all way overkill (he's actually a little more colorful when he describes it). He says that what is most important is to change your coolant every year; he also runs and recommends a coolant filter. That sounds pretty logical to me.

9) Have fun with this and don't try to get every little detail perfect

BTW, I mean no disrespect to the excellent authors of the 6.0 flushing procedure guide. It is a very useful document and I salute those who developed it and provide it free to the community.
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:39 AM
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Good post Anthropisces. I need to do this soon and was a little intimidated after reading some of the other posts.
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:56 AM
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Good perspective, I like the diversity of opinion, the downfall of this great site is the way it can lead to groupthink. Popular ideas become irrefutable the more times that they are repeated. The one fact about 6.0s is "happy oil cooler=healthy truck" there are many ways to get there. Trucks without problems usually do not inspire a lot of posts, so everybody thinks that 6.0s are all ticking bombs, it just is not so, especially for bone stock late 04+ trucks.
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:30 AM
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I was thinking the same thing about the RV filter & distilled water for all flushes... I have a filter on my well system, captures some small particles. Oh yeah, bone stock 06 was a ticking time bomb, blew the EGR cooler at 80K miles... But then again, still had the original 100,000 mile coolant in it for all these years.
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