OT how to flush my radiator, change the antifreeze

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This is OT, but I asked in my Chrysler mailing list and no one in the usually busy list has answered in 18 hours, except one who tried, only wrt the last, unrelated line.
Well, I can't believe it but I've forgotten how to change the anti-freeze. This must be the start of Oldtimers Disease.
It was 70 degrees in Baltimore yesterday, and a good day to flush the cooling system. Lebaron, ''95, 3.0L V6.
I ran the engine until it was hot or at least warm.
The petcock opens with no tools -- that's nice.
I drained the coolant into one of those rectangular bottles that lie in their side; I removed the thermostat and flushed for 5 minutes with a garden hose in the radiator neck until the water ran clear. Let it drain, put back the petcock, put back the thermostat, filled the radiator with 50/50, but it took less than a gallon.
Ran the engine a minute or two until I realized that maybe I had only filled the radiator.
Went to see if I could add more coolant, but I couldn't. Usually I can keep adding and adding, even when it starts way above empty.
I added about 3 quarts, when the capacity is 8.
After sitting all night, today I could add a 3 or 4 ounces more.
Could it be I never drained the engine after all? How could that be when I removed the thermostat and the petcock and after flushing let it sit until nothing was coming out of the petcock hole.?
P.S. I also got a Felpro gasket for the thermostat and it has a brown plastic ring on the inside circumference on one side. But nothing on the card to say which side of the gasket goes up. Which does?
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You really know your Mitsubishi engines, don't you?
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Explain how not even coming close to an answer to the OP's question helps him. You might, for instance, be at least aware that a 95 LeBaron has a coolant recovery system before offering an update on what YOU normally do, to say nothing of the techniques for draining and then "burping" a 3.0L.
Twit
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On Sat, 19 Feb 2011 10:55:29 -0800, harry wrote:

It's not a bad idea to flush a cooling system occasionally. You can make your own hose fitting to reduce the hoses to 3/4 water hose with little trouble. Remove the thermostat and replace the housing. Flush into the housing and collect the coolant from thew bottom hose or valve on the bottom or side tank. I've done this on a 2003 GM to get rid of the Dex- Cool antifreeze known to destroy intake manifold gaskets, with standard green Prestone. You have to flush the Dex because if the two mix it forms solids that could clog coolant passages. That was 4 years ago and at 80K miles everything works perfect. Can't help with the gasket issue, call a parts store or service department and find out from them .
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you only drained the radiator, not the block. There may or may not be a block drain. It probably isn't a petcock but a pipe plug (although you can replace it with a petcock if you can find one the right size.)
When refilling, you should always use concentrated antifreeze, put 1/2 the printed capacity of your cooling system in there then fill with water. Reason being you never can drain the entire cooling system, and you want to make sure that you have the proper mixture in there. Right now, you probably don't - you probably have mostly water because you flushed it.
nate
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wrote:

3 or 4 years ago, I was going to get the long-life antifreeze, 5 years iirc, until I read the label and it said that there couldn't be any of the regular kind in the system for it to be long-life, that if there was some, the new stuff would only last 2 years.
AFAIK everyone diligent still changes their antifreeze every 2 or 5 years.

Old antifreeze is as good as new antifreeze about not freezing, but there are anti-corrosion and lubricating additives, and maybe others that they say deteriorate. I would think that the anti-corrosion additives combine with whatever causes corrosion and thus gets used up. Just came across a web page that claimed the increased number of aluminum parts required more continued anti-corrosion strength.

Me too. But I only added 3 quarts.

Yes, I've run it for a couple minutes with the cap off. Before, this was always enough for the level to go down so I could add more, and then more.

There is an overflow hose and bottle, but I haven't run it with the cap on and haven't run it long enough to get hot and overflow, so whatever is there was there before.
It gave one bubble while I was watching, but the fluid level went down little if anything. When the engine is cold the thermostat is shut, so I figured the new fluid would enter through the bottom and the air would escape...somehow. But if the air could escape, the air could also enter when the engine was draining, and the engine would have drained when the radiator did. And it would take 8 quarts to fill it.
There's a big chuckhole in the road near here. Maybe I should go drive over that.
I found a lot of webpages about changing antifreeze, and all but one said nothing about the thermostat, not even to consider changing the thermostat when changing the antifreeze. Lots of webpages about flushing the engine and not a one about removing the thermostat to help this. Even though one page went into the fact that the thermostat closes when it's cold. -- They all seemed to talk about flushing the radiator and not about flushing the engine.
---And I couldn't have added more than 3 quarts. I only went outside with 7 quarts of 50/50 and I haven't opened the bottle that I had filled, so that leaves only 3 quarts or less that are in it now.
Someone gave me two part-filled bottles of 50/50, so I'm using them. Usually when it is empty, I put in a whole gallon of 100% antifreeze, then finish off with water, about a gallon.
Thanks.
MM
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a friend refused to fush his cooling system till one day his car overheated he was on a trip and had to be towed in to a garage.
his coolant had turned to mush, it was 15 years old and congealed to mush that wouldnt flow.
it clogged his radiator, he ended up with one day at the dealer.
new radiator, all new hoses, well they were 15 years old, new water pump, basically a cooling system rebuild....
normally he does all his own repairs, so the cost over 1500 bucks had him mad, but he was 90 miles from home and was too cheap to spend the extra for AAA plus 100 mile towing...
he now admits coolant should be changed every couple years, theres a flush and fill adapter that fits on the heater hose to make it easy.....
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You really are the village idiot. No one said antifreeze ceases to be antifreeze anymore than they said than engine oil ceases to be oil. Or tranny fluid ceases to be tranny fluid. Following your logic, you don't need to ever change your engine oil either.
It's a 15 year old car. IF it were mine and the antifreeze hadn't been changed in many years, I'd change it too. Why? Because, as others have pointed out to you, antifreeze has additives that help prevent corrosion and lubrication. Those additives interact with the metals and contaminants and don't last forever any more than additives in engine oil do.
I'd also like to see any basis for your claim that only antifreeze evaporates, and not water. It's a blend and the ratio of what evaporates will depend on the partial pressures of the liquids. You're always going to get a mix in vapor leaving the liquid. Even hillbilly's that run a still understand that concept. And I'd suspect that in the case of engine coolant, plenty of water would evaporate with the antifreeze component.
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On Sun, 20 Feb 2011 06:44:51 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"
.....

It's alcohol-based antifreeze which evaporates (more?), but they haven't used that for about 50 or 60 years. This stuff is called "permanent" because it evaporates little or not at all in a system with a pressure cap.

Just for the record, I usually change it every two years. But it's been a bad few years for me and this might be the third year, or even maybe the fourth, I can't remember. This is also the first car I've ever been able to keep past 14 years old, so that's another reason I got lax. It's the stop-leak that made it look like mud.

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On 2/20/2011 10:05 AM, mm wrote:

See my other post on this. Seems like I am lucky to keep antifreeze in my car for two years running. In my '88, opening up the engine, and draining the coolant, is not as infrequent as I would wish!
Jeff
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Antifreeze is bad when it goes acidic or is electricaly conductive, an easy test is how it conducts electricity [Google for it I dont have it written down] but I think .04v is bad, a lead in in the antifreeze and one on ground, or a Ohm test is possible. Use a tester to test percentage, dont go above 50% as you can overheat in summer and not cool the motor. Antifreeze does not transfer heat nearly as well as water. Redline, Water Wetter is a good booster. Your motor needs corosion inhibitors due to dissimiliar metals. You motor may need factory or spec stuf so be carefull. Antifreezes now last longer, but different motors may have different specs from different metals used. Google is the best help on this.
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On Sat, 19 Feb 2011 13:43:30 -0800 (PST), ransley

This is all good to know. Thanks.
In this case I wanted to flush the system because it looked like mud**.
So I want to flush the engine, not just the radiator. And especially the heater because I don't seem to get enough heat anymore, even though the thermometer says the engine is pretty hot.
I don't want the water to just ciculate. I want it do so quickly to wash away the mud that clings a bit to the walls, at least it does on the radiator cap and in the neck of the radiator. Any way short of finding a hole in the engine block to flush the engine too.
Who flushes only the radiator anyhow?
**The radiator was leaking some, long story omitted, so I put in some kind of stop leak. That didn't work so I put in another kind. The second and probably the first were Barr's Leak, but they make 4 kinds now iirc.
Well that stopped the leak, but a year later I notice it looks like mud.
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On 2/19/2011 5:15 PM, mm wrote:

You have clogged up the works, so to speak. Buy a can of radiator flush and run that through. Then disconnect the line running into your heater core and force water through that. You'll probably want to disconnect the lower radiator hose. You can also force water back through the upper radiator hose into the block.
I am not a mechanic. This is just what I would do.
Jeff

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wrote:

I'm afraid that will make the radiator start leaking again. What do you think about that?

I drove this morning and though the engine temp went a little higher than before, with the new thermostat, the heater air the same, just somewhat warm.

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wrote:

P&M
Yes, except for the chemicals (and maybe I can even use that if I end up bypassing the radiator) that seems like the right idea.
I started an in-depth search tonight for my shop manual and found it in 10 seconds, because the 2" wide yellow spine was showing, with Lebaron written on it. Had to be sitting down to see it.
It turns out the reason the engine didn't drain is that both input and output are at or near the top, unlike most engines. The input and output are in the well between the two halves of the V-6. (It's not going to siphon either, if it ever would, because I had the thermostat housing off.)
It turns out the heater hoses are nowhere near the thermostat, like they've been on my previous cars that weren't lebarons. They're at the other end of the side-mounted engine.
It's got 6 pages for diagnosis, that I've never read before, never looked at afaicr.
It says a plug has to be removed to drain the engine, ugh, but I"m more concerned with the heater core. I haven't read the engine section, but I"m not removing any engine plugs. A friend says they are stuck in anyhow.
It recommends reverse flushing for dirty systems and partial plugging, which is me, I think. Using air pressure, which I have very little of (the smallest size compressor that's bigger than a mere electric tire inflation pump), and a device attached to the themostat housing hose, when it, the upper hose, has been disconnected from the radiator. The themostat has to be removed for reverse flushing, it says, but... in the daylight, like you say I'm going to look for a way to disconnect the heater return hose, which in the sketch seems to be held on by a hose claim, and reverse flush with a garden hose, exiting throgh the petcock hole, or even the radiator neck. I may even get some of the engine, all of it if I flush long enough.
I have a device I bought 40 years ago that connects a garden hose to a metal petcock hole -- never used it so far -- and the narrow end may fit into that heater hose and then be tighened with the same hose clamp.
There is almost always more than one way to skin a cat.
First it recommends flushing, then reverse flushing, then using chemicals. Not that you should do all three, but expecting you to use the first ones if they will be enough.
In 1994, it recommends 50/50 for -38F, and 56 glycol/44 for -50F. -10 is about the coldest I've seen, in Chicago.
Hey, it even says what to do about the noise coming sometimes from my AC belt!!!

Sounds good. Thanks.

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Your reading of .04V...wouldn't that be "producing" rather than "conducting". It's not leaking the voltage. A conductor allows the current to flow in the circuit...it doesn't generate it.
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Considering all the risks and disposal problems, you can get the job done better at a good auto service shop. They now use recycling rigs with the right kind of additives and have some decent test methods as well. Check around for prices and then decide if your really want to fritter away your time on something that you can't do as well.
Joe
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Thanks for replying. I know about disposal problems, but what risks?

I wish I knew a good one near here.

What additives do they have that they don't sell at the autoparts store?

What can they test better than I?

It's not frittering. It's repair, and that's what I like to do, home repair, car repair, appliance repair, piano repair, radio and tv repair, etc. I like all of it. If things didn't break I'd have nothing to repair.
Plus I know what's been done. The trouble is I'll have to wait until they get to my car and hope they'll let me watch, because I have no idea if they'll do all the things you say if I'm not watching. I've had too many bad experiences at places, including auto shops.
My main goal was to flush the heater core of the mud. We'll see what it's like next time I need the heater.
But not to use chemicals, which I'm afraid will dissolve the Bars Leak and cause the radiator to start leaking again.
Now my second goal is to understand how everything works, whether I drained the block or not, and if not, why not?
Thanks.

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Fill the radiator with the Tstat and housing removed until you see anti-freeze in the block. Put the tstat and housing on and finish filling the radiator. Take a drive and check again. Works for my Nissan, Jeep and Chevy trucks
Jimmie
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On Sat, 19 Feb 2011 18:29:42 -0800 (PST), JIMMIE

That sounds like a very good idea. And it's not too late to take off the housing and see what the level is in the chamber below it. It was empty of fluid when I put the housing back on**. And what the level in the radiator is as best I can tell, before and after.
The worst can happen is that I lose what is in the hose, and the radiator above the bottom of the hose. That's not much.
**Evidence that I had drained the engine, at least somewhat, and if somewhat, why not all the way? So why did it only take 3 quarts.
It's supposed to be 47 tomorrow. Not my first choice, but warm enough.

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