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Thread: game plan for upcoming flush

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    game plan for upcoming flush

    Hello Everyone.

    I need to flush the cooling system on my ’87 2WD (271k miles). I want to do the flush as thoroughly as possible but without risk. I located as much info on this site as I could find, which was very helpful, but I need to clarify a few things before I proceed.

    If I am seeing it correctly in the photo of the T-fitting, the hose that has the T-fitting appears to be the heater core outlet hose (based on the arrows for direction of flow). I thought the inlet hose is the one that the T-fitting would go on, or does it really matter?

    As far as cleaning agents, I see that Prestone offers 2 main products, the ‘Flush+ Cleaner’ and the ‘Super Flush.’ Which of those two should I use, or is there another specific brand of cleaning agent that is more effective, yet still safe?

    I am compelled to switch from the traditional green antifreeze to the Toyota Red Long Life type. Can anyone think of a reason not to switch to the Toyota Red and/or is that antifreeze appropriate for my van?

    I’d like to hear others opinions about safety and/or advantages of using compressed air (or pressurized water) for a more forceful flushing of the heater core and/or radiator?

    Finally, related to this procedure is that the temperature control lever at the dash has gotten pretty stiff. I tried spraying WD-40 on the “hinge” of the linkage at the heater core shut-off valve underneath the front of the van, but that didn’t seem to make the lever move any easier. Is there a way to get that lever to move back and forth without so much resistance?

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    Re: game plan for upcoming flush

    I also need to know what metal(s) the radiator is made of. This part is very important. Does anyone know if the factory radiators were aluminum, or perhaps a copper/brass combo?

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    Re: game plan for upcoming flush

    PD - Any name brand product is going to work for your flushing.
    No idea what the difference is between the 2 Prestone's, marketing perhaps??

    I am not familiar with water hammer products, other than to have heard they can be very effective, I would be worried about them being too effective.
    Are you experiencing a problem that you are hoping to cure with a flush? or is this a maintenance issue?
    The answer may help to choose an appropriate product with the right level of aggressiveness.

    I switched to Toyota Red (long life, not super long life) without any issues.
    The only down side is that a stray puddle on the ground wont be immediately identifiable as coolant or power steering fluid, till you touch/smell it.

    Rads & heater core are brass (as far as I have seen)

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    Re: game plan for upcoming flush

    As for those sticky levers, try this thread:
    Thread: HVAC Climate Control Spider & Cable


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    Re: game plan for upcoming flush

    Thanks so much for your replies. I always search the forum first but sometimes don't think of the right keyword to locate what I need, and so I truly appreciate your sending me a direct link.

    This flush will be for maintenance only. Never have given it a proper flush and the coolant condition is telling me it's time to do so.

    Am I right about the T-fitting in the photo being on the outlet hose (based on the flow arrows)? And does it matter which hose I tap into for the flush?

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    Re: game plan for upcoming flush

    I just flushed my coolant yesterday. To get to the engine drain you need to use a long extension with a swivel and come in from the wheel well. Otherwise it will leave almost half the coolant in unless you remove the thermostat housing. You might be able to ninja in there, but its tight. directly behind the alternator. 14MM socket for the drain, or if its stuck 17mm for the bolt its attached to. SPRAY SOME LIQUID WRENCH FIRST!!!!

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    I had to jack the vehicle up slightly to get to the engine side but not the radiator side.

    Pull the expansion take hose off. Chances are the little barb at the top is clogged or corroding. Suction out the coolant from the expansion tank or remove it and empty it. Mine seems to be welded on.

    Book calls for quality ethylene glycol coolant. No need to add special coolant with additives for metals that were never used on the engine.

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    The flush I used was prestone. It says to do it 10 minutes, heaters on full blast, or drive 3-6 hours aggressively over a few days for heavy deposits.

    I flush by draining coolant from radiator and engine, fill up with distilled water and flush... drive with heaters on... this last time about 30 minutes, let cool, drain, fill with distilled water again, run till warm, cool, drain (repeat if liquid is really bad), fill with coolant.

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    Re: game plan for upcoming flush

    Also, CLR will work as a flush on really bad systems. It stripped the black coating off my 14mm socket (see above) instantly when i dropped it in the drainpan.

    My neighbor suggested it saying that it dissolves the rust instead of breaking chunks off. Heres what came out the second time i ran it in a van i picked up that sat in a field for 2 years.

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    Re: game plan for upcoming flush

    Phychotron, thank you. Mine is not terrible bad so I'll likely stick with a product made for cooling system flushes. I'll file away the CLR idea for future use if needed. Thanks for the tips.

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    Re: game plan for upcoming flush

    PD - if your referring to the article Gwen did on getting to know your coolant hoses, then yes, in that picture the tee is indeed on the heater output.
    It's also noted in the text that the Tee came with the van and was removed due to the potentials for (future) failure.

    Shops use Tee's because they are easy and quick, but they do fail and a lot sooner than you would think.
    Shops just call that "return for more work".

    Draining and refilling takes a little more time, but it is worth it in the long run.

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