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Old 04-21-2013, 04:50 PM
AMG-SM AMG-SM is offline
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Arrow My experiences with Gooch's coolant flush procedure

So.... It's the day after a tech day at Fat Diesel's Mantown where I spend the better part of the day performing a coolant flush on my 190k Excursion. The water pump had already been replaced by the PO's mechanic. I read Gooch's tips and Stewart's write-up and had Stewart helping me most of the day. Figured I'd post up my experiences for the sake of sharing info.


First some tips.
0. Keep your dogs and cats away from the repair site. Antifreeze is poisonous and they will try and drink it.
1. The kiddie pool idea is brilliant. I should of taken that tip more seriously. I only had 2 5 gallon catch pans and made a big mess.
2. If you don't have a kiddie pool, try and have enough containers to catch and store the first two flushes of antifreeze for recycling. Those will have the most amount of poison in them. After that, the mix is pretty diluted.
3. Expect to get soaked. If you are not doing this in the privacy and comfort of you own home, pack a change of clothes - including underwear, socks and shoes.
4. If you are doing this over dirt, plan on moving the truck once or twice. Unless you like rolling around in mud. I didn't expect to make as big of a mess as I did so I started in dirt...
5. If you have a higher mileage motor, 20 gallons of distilled / 2-3 flushing cycles with distilled may not be enough. I needed 40 gallons and probably 6+ flushing cycles. So have a helper around to go get extra water (Thanks Reno!!) or budget time into your schedule to go get it yourself.
6. The rear-most bolt on the thermostat housing is difficult to reach and you may drop the bolt. I did. Twice. We couldn't find either bolt... Have a spare (or three) on hand. Consider replacing that housing with Riff Raff Diesel's 7.3 billet aluminum thermostat housing (no rust) - Riffraff Diesel: NLTD 7.3L Thermostat Housing


Now some comments on the process itself.

1. The back flush procedure
The back flush procedure using hose water didn't do much for me. We hooked up the flush kit and hooked up the hose and ran the truck through 2 flushes. I never really saw much of anything particularly dirty coming up through the degas bottle. This wound up being a huge surprise when I did the first flush using distilled. The water that got dumped from the radiator and block on the first flush with distilled was a dark doo-doo brown and pretty thick with sediment. I would have gotten a pic but see tip #3 and #4 above.

I think the reason why this happened is a potential fault with the back flush logic itself. The cooling system was designed to run in a certain path flow. In one end of the rad, out the other through the heater core and back to the rad. When you insert the T into the heater core hose, the direction of the water coming from the garden hose goes both ways - to the block and to the heater core. The flow from the heater core may not be counteracted by the pressure of the water coming our of the garden hose which may prevent all the crap from the heater core from actually making it past the garden hose and out to the radiator.

This explains why my first flush w/ distilled w/o the garden hose was dark brown.

2. Drain using the hoses not the radiator drain valve
My head of the radiator drain valve on my radiator had been broken off by the PO so I decided to pull the 2 lower radiator hoses on the passenger side of the radiator to drain fluids. It was a lot easier than trying to screw with the drain valve.

What I observed when draining using the radiator hoses was that the smaller diameter hose dumped out the nastiest looking water. I assume that hose had a more direct path back from heater core or whatever the dirtiest part of the engine block is. I consistently got dirtier water/coolant when draining from that hose compared to the lower radiator hose.

3. Idle time during the flush
I noticed that the best flushes that resulted in the dirtiest water dumps required that the engine idled for at least 4 minutes. I didn't go beyond 6 minutes of idle time on any of the flushes. If it idled less than 4 minutes, the water that was dumped out didn't look too bad. When I started watching how long the truck idled and monitoring the murkiness / dirtiness of the water returned to the degas bottle, I noticed a correlation between time spent idling and thoroughness of water circulating during the flush cycle and by extension the amount of crap getting dumped out of the engine and heater core back into the radiator.

4. Disconnect the batteries
One of the steps in the flush procedure is to remove the drain plugs on the block. The drain bolt on the passenger side is directly above the starter. The starter has a hot lead from the battery. Touch the starter with wet hands and metal tool and you'll be shocked. I made this mistake twice...

5. Step by step for draining
Building upon the above tip on disconnecting the battery, I found it helpful to have a repeatable process so I wouldn't shock myself again...

So the steps/process involved in draining will go something like this:
after engine has idled with distilled...
- turn off the engine
- disconnect the batteries
- remove the 2 lower radiator hoses, allowing to drain
- remove the block drain plugs, allowing to drain
- reconnect the hoses
- re-install the block drain plugs
- fill with ~7 gallons of distilled
- reconnect the batteries
- run engine for 4-6 minutes w/heater on high
rinse, repeat


That is all I can think of right now.

Finding ELC
The only other tip I can share is with regards to sourcing the ELC. I wasted a few hours trying to find any of the recommended ELC coolant in concentrated form. I live in metro area so no truck stops or International dealers around me. I couldn't find a dealer close enough that was open on weekends and couldn't find it available online that could ship it to me at a reasonable cost and still make the date.

By sheer dumb luck I found that a local O'Riely's auto parts had 2 gallons of Peak Final Charge. The Peak brand seems to be the only brand of ELC coolants that auto parts stores carry. Turns out that they can special order the stuff even though they don't normally have it on the shelves. Maybe some of you know this already but it was my first time trying to find this stuff and it was a big friggin' pita and cost me time.

Hoping someone else can learn from my mistakes here.


In summary, this was hard work. My body hurts a lot today from all the up and down of the day. I probably spent 6-8 hours on this. The coolant was positively nasty and I know for a fact that there isn't a mechanic out there that I could have paid to do this job as thoroughly as we did. There is no performance gain out of this but I just ensured that my cooling system will be reliable and extended the life of the engine.


Special thanks to Andy, Stewart, Reno and David for all the help and support on this project.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:03 PM
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PS - It's definitely a good idea to invest in a coolant filter...
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:25 PM
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Good work Al! I bet you feel like your truck worked on you, not the other way around...
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:54 PM
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Thanks so much for posting this. I need to tackle this asap and really appreciate the trouble you went through providing the info.

Rep sent

Is the peak final challenge stuff OK? It seems like every thread I read recommended only 2 brands or so of coolant. Does it really matter the brand?

And where do you find ~60 gallons of distilled water? My local walmart and cvs probably have 15 gallons combined at any given time.

http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Ca...ED1_0079078160
This is the stuff my local napa has. It appears to have the right part#. Does anyone know if this is the right stuff for changing over to red?
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:21 PM
AMG-SM AMG-SM is offline
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^^Link to Gooch's procedure as written by Stewart:
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/96...ml#post8935201

From that thread:
Quote:
Popular brands include International's Fleetrite ELC, Shell Rotella ELC, CAT ELC, Chevron Delo ELC, Peak Final Charge, Prestone Heavy Duty ELC, Zerex Extreme Heavy Duty, etc.
You basically need to look for extended life coolant (ELC) that is compatible with CAT EC1. I don't think that Zerex is ELC. Some of the brand names and model references in the coolant list seem to have changed since the time of the original write-up...
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Diesel View Post
Good work Al! I bet you feel like your truck worked on you, not the other way around...
Man.... she totally did... I'm glad I'm a desk jockey and didn't have to work today.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:50 PM
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As far as the CAT ELC is concerned be aware that ther are two types. "Plain" ELC that still requires SCA treatment @ 15 K intervals - DEAC - and ELC that is EC-1 compliant and does not. I found out the expensive way and am waiting for some time to do this all over again. Just a note: the contaainers look almost identicle and in the EC-1 there is a 50/50 mix & the concentrate. Had to special order the concentrate from the CAT dealer. ( 1 day turmaround )
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:54 PM
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That's a lot of distilled water. Notice the Duckie-worthy darkness. With sound educated advice from Stewart, and beery moral support/heckling from Andy and myself lounging in lawn chairs, Al fought his way through. Kudos!

To add to Al's tips and tricks, we found all three holes in the water pump for the thermostat housing are thru holes, so the length of the replacement is not critical.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:46 PM
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Al, one addendum that should be made to the coolant flush procedure, with an Excursion, you have additional coolant lines and an additional heater core in the rear which leads to a longer flush procedure.

Also, with Excursions, it is imperative that both the front and rear heaters be turned on. The Excursion has a valve to disrupt coolant flow to the heater cores when the heater is not on.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMG-SM View Post
You basically need to look for extended life coolant (ELC) that is compatible with CAT EC1. I don't think that Zerex is ELC. Some of the brand names and model references in the coolant list seem to have changed since the time of the original write-up...

The container says right on it that it meets cat ec-1 but also not to add water. it has the same part # that I see mentioned in several threads. But these things can change. I still don't know if it's the right stuff. You never mentioned where you found all the distilled water. Thanks
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:10 PM
r-kid r-kid is offline
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Are you saying we don't need to do the back flush? I bought one from napa ,if its not necessary then I won't use it.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:24 PM
AMG-SM AMG-SM is offline
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First off, I have done this exactly once so I'm no expert. I read the write up and thankfully had Stewart helping and guiding me through the process. My mechanical skills are only average and my experience level with these trucks is nowhere near the level of Stewart, duck fan etc.

Disclaimer out of the way, In my opinion, having seen the results of the back flush on my truck, I could have easily skipped that step. Your results may vary. It didn't hurt to do it but it didn't seem to help to do it on my truck. Hopefully Stewart will chime in when he has time.


As for the question on where to buy 40 gallons of distilled water, pick your favorite retailer and go shopping. I got mine from Target, Walmart and the super market.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:50 PM
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Do u use any special chemicals during the flush procedure to help get things clean? I'm thinking of doing this procedure when I get home & have read about some guys using simple green, also read about some stuff u can buy directly from ford that they use when they flush.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:56 PM
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As for the question on where to buy 40 gallons of distilled water, pick your favorite retailer and go shopping. I got mine from Target, Walmart and the super market.
Wally World in my area ( NE Cal ) has it for $.88 / GAL
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigtruc View Post
Do u use any special chemicals during the flush procedure to help get things clean? I'm thinking of doing this procedure when I get home & have read about some guys using simple green, also read about some stuff u can buy directly from ford that they use when they flush.

Nope. Just flushed the fluid. Don't really see a need to resort to questionable 'cleaners'.

I tried that Prestone super cleaner a couple of years ago in my other car and it made zero difference. Flushed that one in fewer cycles than the Ex but it only held 2.5 gallons.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:38 PM
 
 
 
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