2002 7.3 coolant/additive recommendations - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-07-2019, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
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2002 7.3 coolant/additive recommendations

I've flushed it with distilled water and ready to refill. It had green so I was planning to go with normal Prestone and two bottles of the Ford VC8 additive. Is there anything else I should be using? My manual specifies an FW16 additive, but it seems that's no longer available.

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post #2 of 18 Old 09-07-2019, 09:47 AM
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I suggest staying with green. The two bottles of Ford VC8 will be adequate. << I did exactly this when I changed my coolant in my 99 about 5 years ago. I'm very comfortable with my green + VC8 strategy.

I also suggest obtaining coolant test strips from a local auto parts store like NAPA or possibly a heavy truck parts supplier. Check the coolant when warmish at at least 12 month intervals. I check mine at every oil change (which is about 12 months). If the SCA gets below 600 on the strips, add a bottle of VC8 and check it again after a few days of driving.

There may be some suggestions here to go with Cat ELC (red). I have experience with ELC in the big engines in the yachts. I don't like the stuff mostly because it STAINS anything it gets on. If you blow a hose and have a white truck, you will have a pink tailgate. And if towing, the trailer will get stained too. ELC is intended for engines that rack up lots of time and miles quickly in revenue service. Most 7.3 trucks in private use don't need the qualities of ELC. Green is fine. And easier and cheaper to use than ELC. With no risk of paint damage if a severe leak occurs.
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-07-2019, 09:57 AM
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I haven't flushed mine but I have drained it a couple of times and use the green coolant with the additive.
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-09-2019, 07:14 AM
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Since I rebuilt most of mine I switched to the Shell ELC red. But - I pulled *everything* and flushed for hours (days?)
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-09-2019, 08:39 AM
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I prefer the red ELC stuff. I don't have to test it, buy bottles of wixcool or the ford additive EVER... In an emergency I can use a few bottles of regular green and just drain and refill when I get home. Also I have gotten the coolant on stuff and it hasn't stained anything on my truck or my clothes. it does get sticky if you don't wash it off right away but no staining I've seen at least. I just washed it right off. The elc is very tolerant to mixing too. I beleice the cat ELC even says something to the effect up to 10% of the total system can be the old coolant before needing to worry.

You can run ELC without an additive and in an emergency you generally never loose all your coolant so you can mix without worrying about the cavitation issue of green by itself. Its more expensive then the green but not when you add the cost of test strips that expire soon, and the SCA bottles usually need 1-2 every year. I can find ELC at 4 stores locally and its carried at almost every gas station/truck stop too.

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post #6 of 18 Old 09-19-2019, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all for the input. Since the truck is not used much and since it had green, I'll probably go with green again. I've had straight water in it since I changed the water pump a while back (yeah, probably too long), so it's past time to replace it with something.

Does it take 2 bottles of the VC8? That's how many of the FW-16's my manual calls for.
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-20-2019, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanSR View Post
Thanks to all for the input. Since the truck is not used much and since it had green, I'll probably go with green again. I've had straight water in it since I changed the water pump a while back (yeah, probably too long), so it's past time to replace it with something.

Does it take 2 bottles of the VC8? That's how many of the FW-16's my manual calls for.
You need the test strips to see if you got the mix right. I thought it was close to 3ish the first time and usually a bottle every 1-1/5 yrs added etc. But the test strips are at most big rig shops and napa auto parts, adavanced auto etc.

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post #8 of 18 Old 09-20-2019, 07:33 AM
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Some items I use ONLY Ford parts and coolant is one of them, I use the Green coolant with the SCA from Ford, I've read that with the older are trucks get and making a switch to a ECL may cause the seals to fail. But when it comes to somethings it's Ford parts, CPS, Coolant, fuel filters, oil filters, and any sensor that fails I don't mess around with auto parts store parts that much when it comes down to needing a quality part.
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-20-2019, 10:14 AM
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I use the motorcraft coolant from ford that is recommended
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-20-2019, 10:19 AM
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Not sure why you have green in your truck, 2002's and up came with Gold coolant. It's also more tolerant and doesn't need as much vc8 throughout it's life. I would flush it and put the gold back in it.
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