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Old 01-30-2011, 04:48 AM   #1
Aysle
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1999 SL2
Default Cooling System Flush

From the 98 FSM it says and is this really a good idea????? Gonna do this in a 2000 engine if it works and wont ruin it, otherwise what would be best to flush/clean the cooling system?

-----

The cooling system holds approximately two gallons of coolant.
Prepare a mixture of Calgon® automatic dishwasher detergent or equivalent, and water at the ratio of two ounces (dry measure) to 3.8 liters (1 gal) of water.
The vehicle has two drains: one located in the lower right hand side of the radiator and the other one located directly under the thermostat housing.
Remove the coolant surge tank cap and drain the cooling system.


Remove the engine thermostat to permit the Calgon® or equivalent and water mixture to circulate through the engine and the radiator.

Object Number: 872300 Size: SH
Click here for detailed picture of above image.
Fill the cooling system with the Calgon® or equivalent solution.
Run the engine for 5 minutes.
Drain the cooling system.
Repeat Steps 4-6. (Fill with Calgon solution run 5 mins drain)
Fill the cooling system with clean water.
Let the engine run 5 minutes.

Notice

If the cooling system has been contaminated by oil, replacement of the thermostat and water pump is required.

Drain the cooling system completely.
Install the new engine thermostat. Refer to Thermostat Replacement .
Install the new water pump. Refer to Water Pump Replacement .
Install the cylinder block drain plug.
Tighten

Tighten the cylinder block drain plugs to 35 N·m (26 lb ft).
Close the radiator drain plug.

Important

The vehicle must be level when filling with coolant.

Fill the system to the FULL COLD range with coolant. Use a 50/50 solution of DEX-COOL™ antifreeze and clean water.
Run the engine until the upper radiator hose is hot, then add additional coolant, if needed, to bring the level to the FULL COLD range.
Install the coolant surge tank cap and check for leaks.

...
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:00 AM   #2
radi
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

I did exactly that with my 96 on advice received here, including the dishwasher detergent. The car had some remnants of oil in the coolant from a previous cracked head. That procedure worked very well.
I'm not sure the detergent is necessary if you don't have the oil problem like I did, although it won't hurt anything. I normally do the periodic flushes with plain water.

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Old 01-30-2011, 05:07 AM   #3
Aysle
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Quote:
Originally Posted by radi View Post
I did exactly that with my 96 on advice received here, including the dishwasher detergent. The car had some remnants of oil in the coolant from a previous cracked head. That procedure worked very well.
I'm not sure the detergent is necessary if you don't have the oil problem like I did, although it won't hurt anything. I normally do the periodic flushes with plain water.
What detergent did you use? I cant find this Calogon stuff around me...

...
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Well couldnt wait any longer as I have a once a week window to "fix" the car. So I used cascade... I only used it for 1 cleaning. Used dawn 1st for the resivor. Did the 5 min run time x 4 (1x cascade + water, 3 x just water). Pulled thermostat covering and stuck the hose in the resivoir for 30 mins... I hope I got all the soap out but may not matter since my flywheel is open to the world anyways.

Oddly enough the car runs great right now.... Like it has never done before. I did a 2oz Seafoam soak down for 6hrs as well.

Also gotta say... removing the thermostat isnt as easy as richpin makes it look (realized after 2nd viewing of his vid its an engine not in a car he is doing it on.. I thought it would be cake walk after watching... was more of a cake marathon. still good info though I gotta say)... there just isnt any room to work a driver. I had to unbolt from above after removing the hose and pushing away... Took about 30 mins to get the housing off and got some nice cuts in the process.

...
99 SL2 with 2000 motor using 99 intake,exhaust manifolds & EGR valve
J&C Frankenstein Head Replacement
New Cloyes Timing, Upper Engine Mount, Water Pump, Idler Pulley, Fel-Pro Gaskets/Bolts

Last edited by Aysle; 01-30-2011 at 08:33 AM..

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Old 01-30-2011, 10:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Quote:
Originally Posted by aysle View Post
i thought it would be cake walk after watching... Was more of a cake marathon.
^^^^hilarious!!

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Old 01-30-2011, 11:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aysle View Post
Use a 50/50 solution of DEX-COOL™ antifreeze and clean water.
Procedure is OK up to here. Unless you remove the hoses at the heater core, about a quart of fluid remains back there.

If you refill with 50/50, your final mix is less than that (because of the remaining quart of water). General wisdom on this forum (mentioned by OldNuc frequently) is to fill with a full quart of 100% antifreeze, then top off with distilled water. This will give you 50/50 or a bit more.

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Old 01-30-2011, 11:32 AM   #7
Aysle
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
Procedure is OK up to here. Unless you remove the hoses at the heater core, about a quart of fluid remains back there.

If you refill with 50/50, your final mix is less than that (because of the remaining quart of water). General wisdom on this forum (mentioned by OldNuc frequently) is to fill with a full quart of 100% antifreeze, then top off with distilled water. This will give you 50/50 or a bit more.
Drained Radiator @ valve and removed thermostat housing to drain. Once "empty" filled with 1 gallon of dex-cool and about .5 gallons of filtered water.

...
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
General wisdom on this forum (mentioned by OldNuc frequently) is to fill with a full quart of 100% antifreeze, then top off with distilled water. This will give you 50/50 or a bit more.
Uh... that would be a full gallon (one four quart bottle). The system holds 7 quarts. To do it right, you should actually use 3.5 quarts (save about 1/8 of the bottle) of coolant, and fill the rest with at least semi-clean water (distilled is best, but not really necessary). If you live in Alaska or somewhere it gets particularly cold, you can add a bit more (a full 4 quarts give you a stronger than 50/50 mix and should be sufficient for even Alaska). Too much antifreeze is not a good thing unless you live somewhere very cold (Alaska or comparable--not in the continental US). Antifreeze does not transfer heat as well as water does, so you're actually reducing your cooling system's performance by adding too much (in Alaska, that doesn't matter... in Texas, going up a hill, in traffic, with the a/c on, it does).

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Old 01-30-2011, 05:13 PM   #9
Aysle
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Well this sucks... nice and cleaned out but now the water pump gives a nice shower via the belt....

Another day, another part... tomorrow. Atleast I found out its gone when I wasnt making a long drive or something.

...
99 SL2 with 2000 motor using 99 intake,exhaust manifolds & EGR valve
J&C Frankenstein Head Replacement
New Cloyes Timing, Upper Engine Mount, Water Pump, Idler Pulley, Fel-Pro Gaskets/Bolts

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Old 01-31-2011, 01:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasticCarsRock View Post
Uh... that would be a full gallon (one four quart bottle).
D'Oh! Typing in haste as SF servers were busy a lot and wasn't sure if anything I typed would be lost

Quote:
To do it right, you should actually use 3.5 quarts (save about 1/8 of the bottle)
Depends, IMO.

If your goal is to end up at 50/50 and there was just a drain of the old antifreeze and a refill of the new, this would be the procedure.

Since the procedure in the first post includes Calgon followed by a clean water flush (or two), most of the antifreeze in the heater core area is diluted out. You'd want the whole gallon to hit about 50/50.

...
...Wait, what, I actually won that eBay auction? Guess I now (12/2008) own a 1998 SL2, silver, 5 spd :p 102k @ purchase, now 169k
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Water pump replaced. Now I have a slow drip from the radiator drain plug. It looks like the drain plug can be replaced, is that true if so does anyone know the part number? Im thinking the seal is prob. bad on it since I bet the first time it ever got opened was by me.

...
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
D'Oh! Typing in haste as SF servers were busy a lot and wasn't sure if anything I typed would be lost

Depends, IMO.

If your goal is to end up at 50/50 and there was just a drain of the old antifreeze and a refill of the new, this would be the procedure.

Since the procedure in the first post includes Calgon followed by a clean water flush (or two), most of the antifreeze in the heater core area is diluted out. You'd want the whole gallon to hit about 50/50.
That would be true if it holds two gallons, total, but it only holds 7 quarts, right? 3.5 quarts of antifreeze plus 3.5 quarts of water=7 quarts, 50/50.

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Old 01-31-2011, 03:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasticCarsRock View Post
That would be true if it holds two gallons, total, but it only holds 7 quarts, right? 3.5 quarts of antifreeze plus 3.5 quarts of water=7 quarts, 50/50.
8 quarts total capacity - when draining only, about 7 quarts drains out, with about a quart left in the heater core and hoses.

If the heater core and hoses are untouched, it will take about 7 qts to refill. If the system has been flushed with water, that quart left in the heater core and hoses could be nearly straight water at that point, so you want at least a full gallon of straight antifreeze.

Two gallons to refill if the system is entirely dry.

...
...Wait, what, I actually won that eBay auction? Guess I now (12/2008) own a 1998 SL2, silver, 5 spd :p 102k @ purchase, now 169k
And now (7/2010), a Craigslist 1997 SC2, white, 5 spd

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Old 02-01-2011, 08:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aysle View Post
Water pump replaced. Now I have a slow drip from the radiator drain plug. It looks like the drain plug can be replaced, is that true if so does anyone know the part number? Im thinking the seal is prob. bad on it since I bet the first time it ever got opened was by me.
Usually just an O-ring. The type of plug varies, but most will come out.

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Old 02-01-2011, 09:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

There are a couple of different types of drain valve. If you have the type that you turn and pull out on at the same time it may not be fully closed. Look in the spiral track that he plug pin rides in and see if it is all the way to the end of the slot. If it is then you can replace the o-ring but you have to take the plug out of the body to put on a new o-ring and you will have to drain down the radiator to do this. It is a generic hardware store o-ring, just match the diameter and thickness and replace it. Some of the valves will unscrew out of the radiator as an assembly and can be replaced by a 1/8" pipe plug. Just depends on which radiator you are dealing with.

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Old 02-02-2011, 12:42 AM   #16
Aysle
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

Its the drain type with the pin. Ive double checked the pin is at the end of the track.

Gonna pull it and fill a bucket as I dont want to have to buy a 3rd bottle of new coolant this week.

...
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:08 PM   #17
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Default Re: Cooling System Flush

That one uses an o-ring and the outlet tends to cut it which makes for the leak. Easy to fix after the radiator is out of the car and warmed up so the plastic does not break.

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