Engine coolant/anti-freeze change.
Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:34 PM
Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:02 PM
with the radiator cap off, i pulled the top radiator hose off at the radiator, started the car - with the heater on - and when the thermostat got to operating temp, the cruddy coolant flowed fast. once the radiator (not the entire system) was about empty, i'd fill with luke-warm water and repeat the process until clear. also monitored the coolant temp so it wouldn't go over 210...
filled with a radiator flush product and drove around 30 minutes. after cooling, repeated the above process. i got a total of 2 gallons of coolant in her - that includes after letting the system "burp" out air a couple of times.
during cool down periods, i also siphoned out the coolant "overflow tank". used hot water, a little bit of "flush" product and brushed with a stiff bottle brush to clean the crud out of the tank, then ran water thru the the tank until clear (took the hose off at the radiator cap to clean it out, too). siphoned most of the water out and filled with coolant.
hope this helps!
1951 Studebaker Champion Business Coupe - Blue/Tan&Gray . '05 Cadillac CTS - Black/Charcoal. 1989 Reatta - White/Blue - Sold 7/19/14. : (
Recently gone but not forgotten: '40 Studebaker, '99 Corvette, '63 Studebaker Avanti, '80 Corvette.
Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:29 PM
If you live in an area where you need to achieve a concentration other than 50/50, then you will have to make some adjustments. If you live in the frozen northlands and need a stronger solution, you may have to pull the lower radiator hose to the engine and turn the heater on as your draining the radiator to get most of the fluid in the system out. Then you would mix some coolant in the strength you need and use this only to refill the system. May take some time to get all the fluid needed into all the nooks and crannies in the engine block etc.
Once you accomplish the complete refill, then you should use a 50/50 blend solution (or your specific blend) to top the level off over its life.
Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:06 PM
1990 Reatta Convertible
Original Pace Car for the Great American Race
BCA # 33211
Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:53 AM
Posted 20 October 2012 - 01:50 PM
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Posted 21 October 2012 - 02:49 PM
First of all, I want to thank you all for posting here. Second, I already own a good hydrometer. I posted this question thinking that I didn't want to add 100% without some kind of reassurance. This was what led me to change the coolant. It was passable, but given that two years has elapsed since the last change, I decided to do a thorough job of it. Realize that we are in a mathematical progression here. The books stated that my engine, (I have a Riv so I was curious if they put it in the Reattas) the 3.8 liter, has a 13 Quart capacity. We'll assume that the radiator holds half of that. If you drain the radiator and then refill with water, run it, then go through the same process, you will never obtain a pure water solution. I've drained mine 4 times, I believe, and seen at least 13 quarts come out of it. The water drained hasn't ceased to look green, but the hydrometer gives me a zero reading. Now, here's the math, 13/2=6.5. However, I really saw only 5 or so quarts come out. to make it look simple you divided by 2 every time, but one should realize that isn't precise. I have 13-5 or 8 quarts of solution to start (erring on the side of caution). Then you dilute the solution once more by mixing it with pure. For matters of simplicity lets say you dilute by 1/2 each time. So assuming you have a 50/50 start, the second mix is 25/75, the third is 12.5% glycol, while the fourth is 6.75%. At this point I am going to add my new anti-freeze. If half of the solution is 100% and half is 6.75%, then the result will be under 70%. However, if you have a 25/75 mix added to a 100%, what will you have? Finally, and most importantly, one the Toyota 4-runner which I changed, ran a chemical flush, ran a water/baking soda mix and then drained and filled with 50/50, I'm seeing fluid leak plentifully through what I think is the water pump. I will change the pump, but I was wondering if the flush had anything to do with pushing it over the edge.
Your local auto supply store should have hydrometers specifically calibrated for testing your coolant mix. They don't cost that much and if you are worried enough to post this question it might give you peace of mind.
Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:40 PM
The Bar's Leaks will coat the freeze plugs and other parts to help prevent corrosion. It will also lubricate the water pump. I have been using the Barr's Leaks product for over 30 years in every vehicle I've owned and I have never had a freeze plug go bad. Water pumps are usually good for about 75,000 miles before they have a problem. I think Bar's Leaks is good insurance against cooling system problems.
1988 Red/Tan Coupe
BCA & Reatta Div. Member
Parts and accessories for the Buick Reatta
Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:32 PM
I'm seeing fluid leak plentifully through what I think is the water pump. I will change the pump, but I was wondering if the flush had anything to do with pushing it over the edge.
Probably. The build up of gunk and deposits at the site of the leak probably sealed it up preventing a leak. Flushing this stuff out opened up the area so that it now leaks freely. I'd certainly replace whatever is leaking as well as installing new thermostat, hoses, and radiator cap if any deemed questionable, before sealing the system and adding new coolant.
To answer the question of diluted mix from incomplete drainage and addition of
Going with your given capacities for system and radiator and believed end state of 6.75% solution after 4 flushes and refills:
After draining 5 qts from radiator, system has 8 qts at 6.75% or ~0.5 qt of coolant in it.
If you can get 5 qts of 100% coolant into the radiator, you will then have 13 qts of mixed coolant with 5.5 qts of 100% coolant in it which will result in a mix of 5.5/13 x 100 or ~ 42%
If that's not close enough for you, you will have to get more 100% coolant into the mix by ideally draining more than just the 5 qts in the radiator to start.
If you can get an additional qt out by pulling the lower hose, then you would have:
7 qts x 6.75% = 0.47 qt + 6 qts (100%) gives 13 qts with 6.47 qts (100% coolant) or a mix of 6.47/13 x 100 = 49.8 %
Won't contest Ronnie's results of additing of Bar's stop leak into the mix, but any good quality coolant you add will have corrosion preventives and pump lubricators in it already, so adding more is probably not necessary.
Edited by Mc_Reatta, 22 October 2012 - 12:50 PM.
Posted 22 October 2012 - 09:23 AM
Edited by SwiftBuicks, 22 October 2012 - 12:14 PM.
Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:13 PM
-1990 Buick Reatta Coupe. Red/Tan with body color molding.
-1980 Kawasaki KZ550C
-1991 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 5spd Daily Driver
-1984 Mazda Rx7 GS 12a Auto
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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:31 AM
If the outside temps are moderate, you can run your vehicle on plain water. I've been working on old cars for 40 years and used a chemical flush for the first time this time around. The directions specify running the engine for a short time with it in and then washing it out quickly. I did see a difference in the color of the waste water, but my engines seem rather clean. However, that gunk is not what you want in your system. Make sure you are careful when using a hose and a running engine. Wear a short sleeve shirt and keep a close eye on the fans. As to more on this drama of mine, man vs. machine Arnold style, I bought the Bar's No Leak/Lube stuff with the pellets. Has anyone else used this? I put a bottle in my toyota 4-runnner along with new glycol. Now I have to drive it to mix it all. As to worrying about Freeze Plugs, the '89 Riv lost one two years ago. It cost me $1,100. to replace the old with new. The engine had to be taken out of the car as this particular plug was inaccessible.
I have noticed a similar gunk in the coolant of my Reatta. I am, however, terrified to flush the fluid because I have heard horror stories about fluid flushes eating the headgaskets. I notice you all recommend flushing with plain water. Is this the best plan of action? Also, I almost bought a T the other day to hook up to a hose, pretty universal I assume?
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