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  #1  
Old 02-06-2011
Bruce Bruce is offline
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Default 3208 Cat antifreeze problem

I am opening upthe rad on our 88 FC to do some minor maintenance and repairs. Everythiong went fine until I started draining the rad. The AF is brown in color. Still somewhat transluscent but the color of motor oil. When I purchsed the Bird I replaced the AF but I was a newby and did not know about all the Sporlan valves that were not working properly Thus much of the coolant was still in the heater system. Actually I dont know how one would get all the old AF out!! I dont remember the color of the original coolant but what I added was green. The SCA additive is pink and it does slightly color the AF but not that much. I drained 10 gallons but the heater system is closed. According to BB the system without the heaters holds 60 qts. and the rest is about 20 more??? The coolant is from WalMartand does meet the Cat spec. if you use the SCA. So, questions:

1. What would make the AF trun brown? Is that normal with a diesel?
2. How do you get the rest of the AF to drain?

I think Cat states that this AF is good for 3000 hours or one year! Mine is 4 years old and has maybe 10,000 miles. I dont want to put that AF back into the Bird if it will cause problems. I also dont want to put in new AF if there is something that will cause it to turn that color. There is no AF in the oil as it would be milky so I asume there is no oil in the coolant. I think oil would float on top and you would see it.

Any help/advice appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2011
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gcyeaw gcyeaw is offline
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Bruce,
There is now purple antifreeze as well that is compatable with the green stuff. You need to check when purchasing for comaptability. The color you have sounds like purple and green, I think? Since you did not drain the heater loop and you did not note the color of the original AF, it is possable that is the cause of your color. You might try testing it with a test strip and see if it comes up OK.

As far as purging the heater system, I believe you can disconnect the supply and return and then use a pump feed in fresh AF and drain the return into a big bucket till the fresh AF starts to run clean. You could flush the systen with water first to clear it out, but that may introduce unwanted minerals into the system.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2011
Bruce Bruce is offline
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Thanks Gardner: I thought about this since my post and I think it is rust in the system from the heater loop. I wonder if there is some way of using say 10 PSI compressed air to blow the old c--p out? If I were back in Canada I would just fill the system a fw times and drain but here in Mexico there is a lot of minerals in the water. I used distilled water when I changed the AF . BB's are so complex and I am not!!
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  #4  
Old 02-07-2011
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We use CAT extended life premixed AF (red).
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  #5  
Old 02-07-2011
Bruce Bruce is offline
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racin44b: My dilemna is not which AF to use! I read the Cat dociment on choosing coolant and do not see any adavantage iin using the Cat fluid. Although you do not have to change it as often the price is so high that one is better using a diesel AF and changing it every 3 years. Imagine how I would feel if I had to drain all that Cat ELC and throw it away! I am going to try flushing the system and doing a refill.
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2011
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Flush, refill, monitor for color change
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  #7  
Old 02-07-2011
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Christian Christian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crit Bliss View Post
Flush, refill, monitor for color change
When I did mine... I found the ball valves closed to the rear heat section.
I left them closed and drained the engine and radiator. Then closed everything and refilled system with distilled water started the motor and waited for everything to heat up. Then started draining the water to check the low coolant level alarm (it didn't work) and shut motor off. The rusty water was incredible! Button it up. Then one gallon fleet service concentrate and then a gallon of distilled water and continue till full. I will tackle the chassis heat another time..
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  #8  
Old 02-07-2011
Bruce Bruce is offline
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I mjust finsihed draining the system as best as possible. Still a lot of coolant in the coach lines. I filled it again with distilled water. Fired it up and opened the gate valves and ran the circulating pump. Drained it again. Was lighter in color. Ran out of water! Will get about 20 gallons this week and repat this twice. Hopefully by then it will run almost clear. Looking at the coolant in daylight I would say it is brown due to the old coolant that wa still in the heaters and maybe some rust. Christian: Are you saying you flushed the engine system and left the old coolant in the heaters? How will you flush them without mixing the old and new coolant?
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2011
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Bruce,

I was wondering the same thing about Christian's fluid change. Should have done it all at once, IMHO.
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  #10  
Old 02-07-2011
Bruce Bruce is offline
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Anti Freeze has become a complicated issue. You need a PHD in chemistry to understand all the different coolants. Cat does have a good explanation . It is in the Lubricant handbook that John has somewhere on this web site. One has to be very careful with mixing these fluids. You cannot change to Cat ELC without cleaning and flushing the entire system. Most extended life coolants will dislodge any rust in the system. If we all drove lots of miles the extended life stuff would be great. I certainly dont and will stick with ordinary coolant that meets the ASTM D4985 spec. This does require an SCA additive. In 3 or 4 years I will change it again ( If I live that long!) When I bought it 4 years ago it was around $8.00 a gallon. It is now $9.00. Distilled water is under 90 cents a gallon at Wally World.
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