Coolant questions & 6.0 longevity?

Discussion in '6.0L Powerstroke Diesels' started by mohave_steve, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. mohave_steve

    mohave_steve Registered User

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    Hello Everyone,

    I have a 2005 E450 with the Powerstroke 6.0 and have cooling system questions.

    It is a "short bus" built by Thomas on a Ford E450 cutaway van.

    Either Thomas or the original owner removed the original coolant that Ford used and replaced it with a red colored antifreeze. I understand that one of the steps that folks take to help the 6.0 live longer is to flush the cooling system and switch to a different antifreeze than what Ford used.

    The rig has about 130k miles on it and has been a great rig until a recent mishap. I was on a 300 mile road trip and about 60 miles into the trip, in my mirror, I saw coolant spewing out of the back of the bus.
    Coolant temp looked ok but I was obviously loosing coolant.

    I pulled over and investigated. It turns out that a plastic 90 fitting in the coolant line that feeds the rear heater had snapped.

    I hiked to the nearest auto parts store and asked for "red antifreeze" compatible with my application. I took several gallons back to the bus and started adding. If I recall corectly, the guy at the parts counter said that my cooling system capacity was 14 gallons. I had to add 3.5 gallons to bring it back up to top.

    The antifreeze they sold me was NOT red. It was a light amber or gold tint. It is Zerex DexCool.

    I did also bypass the rear heater.

    I started down the road and all seemed ok. About 15-20 minutes later the temp started to rise. I pulled over and let it idle. The temp continued to climb for a few moments then dropped back to near normal. I let it cool for about 30 minutes and added another 3/4 gallon of antifreeze.

    It started and seemed to run fine for the rest of the trip. About 200 miles. The check engine light did come on. I later checked the code and it indicated that oil temp had exceeded a threshold.

    Questions:

    As the bus seemed to run fine for the final 200 miles is it likely that I avoided real damage?

    What is the red antifreeze that was originally in the bus? I want to change back.

    What kind of flushing proeedure do I need to follow when switching back?

    Thanks you.

    Stephen
     
  2. SebastIDIan

    SebastIDIan Full Access Member

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    Is it a cherry red or pink-ish kind of red? I suspect you've got fleet charge in it and iirc it is not silicate free which is the only coolant the ford gold junk should've been replaced with. Most recommend running only CAT EC-1 rated coolant only.

    I wouldn't flush it without also replacing the oil cooler and I wouldn't replace it unless the current one was plugged. So you need to find out what kind of shape your cooling system is and the only way to do it is to get a scanner that can read oil and water temps, a MUST with these engines.
    Good luck!
     
  3. mohave_steve

    mohave_steve Registered User

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    Thank you for the info.

    I have the TorquePro app and a bluetooth OBD2 dongle. It SHOULD read oil temp but I have not gotten it to play yet. I can read numerous other parameters but when I add an oil temp gauge it stays on zero. I am working to figure that one out.

    Regarding flushing, I am concerned that I have two different kinds of antifreeze in the cooling system and I have no idea how they may interact. Should I be concerned about this?

    Thanks

    Stephen
     
  4. mohave_steve

    mohave_steve Registered User

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    I just spoke with the prior owner and was told that they ran "Old World Final Charge" in this rig. I Googled it and found the following:

    The reason FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze does not meet the chemical requirements of TMC RP-329 is that FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze’s proprietary corrosion inhibitor system does not contain nitrite. With FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze, nitrites, and other conventional inhibitors like phosphate and silicate, are replaced with longer lasting organic corrosion inhibitors to provide total cooling system protection. At the end of the day, it’s about coolant performance, not specific chemistry.

    Further researching I found this:

    Q: Does FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze meet Cat EC-1 requirements?

    A: Fleet test in Caterpillar® 3176 & 3406 engines demonstrate that FINAL CHARGE GLOBAL Coolant/Antifreeze meets Cat EC-1 requirements. EC-1 is Caterpillar®’s specification for an extended service coolant.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  5. snicklas

    snicklas 6.0 and Loving It!! Staff Member

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    My recommendation would be to not drive the bus until you remove the DexCool/Final Charge mix

    DexCool when mixed with any other coolant than dex cool turns into mud/sludge. I would search on the procedure to flush and completely remove dexcool and change to another coolant in GM products. Honestly, at this point, the parts store would have better served you if they had given you a bucket of dirty mop water....... dexcool is horrible stuff.

    You need to flush everything, which may include chemical assistance, I've not dealt with DexCool, I've only owned 1 GM product and never had to deal with the coolant in it. The 6.0 is critically dependent on a correctly working cooling system. If the dexcool starts plugging up the oil cooler and EGR Cooler, you will have much bigger problems on your hands. I'm not trying to be an alarmist, but I've had a 6.0 for a long time, and I am beyond OCD with the maintenance on it...... once clean, I would refil it with your choice of HD coolant, Like Fleet Charge, or the previous Final Charge, or I like the Zerex G-05 Coolant......

    Here is why I am so concerned with the fact they gave you dexcool.....

     
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  6. mohave_steve

    mohave_steve Registered User

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    Thanks Scott!

    I am getting the idea that a thorough flush and replacement with Final Charge may be in order.
     
  7. bismic1

    bismic1 Full Access Member

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    Good plan IMO. Who knows how long it will take to sludge up w/ the Dexcool, but as Sniklas said, it would be wise to flush as soon as possible.

    Personally I would get the oil temp working ASAP also - if possible do it before the flushing. Verify the Torque programming for the EOT:

    Engine Oil Temperature
    Short Name: EOT
    PID: 221310
    Units: °F
    Max/Min: 250.0/0.0
    Equation: (((A*256)+B)/100)-40

    If the oil temps are ok (ie oil temp is less than 10 degrees above the coolant temp), then I would flush with only distilled water. If you have already begun to plug your oil cooler, then I would flush w/ RESTORE. I would avoid the RESTORE PLUS.
     
  8. mohave_steve

    mohave_steve Registered User

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    bismic,

    I was not clear on how to add the PID that you detailed. I did find the following advice:

    Go into settings and choose "Manage extra PIDs/settings". Then choose "add predefined list" from the drop down. Then, "Ford (incl Powerstroke)".

    Then choose items from there. You may have to exit and reenter Torque in there, too.


    I managed to add the Ford(incl.Powerstroke) package and am now reading EOT properly.

    Thank you for getting me pointed in the right direction.
     
  9. mohave_steve

    mohave_steve Registered User

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  10. SebastIDIan

    SebastIDIan Full Access Member

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    This is spot on.
    Restore plus will aggravate a plugged oil/EGR cooler situation. Garden hose is ok as long as you flush it at least twice with destilled water only before adding any coolant.
     
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  11. mohave_steve

    mohave_steve Registered User

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    If I understand properly I will be doing the following:

    1) Remove thermostat
    2) Garden hose flush
    3) Restore
    4) Garden hose flush
    5) Distilled water flush (twice)
    6) Fill with Final Charge & distilled water (50/50)
     
  12. hoodshauler

    hoodshauler Full Access Member

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    I remove the plugs on both sides of the motor also when flushing. That helps get All the crap out
     
  13. mohave_steve

    mohave_steve Registered User

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    Well.....

    I was a bit timid about doing this in my driveway and finally took it to a mechanic. I talked to him beforehand and he seemed to be quite familiar with the 6.0, oil cooler & flush procedure.

    I spec'd the Fleetguard Restore & EC-1 rated coolant.

    Picked it up today and first off I noticed a significant amount of grey smoke that tapered off as I came up to operating temp.

    I watched coolant and oil temp. Ambient was around 50F. I ran down the highway for a few miles and coolant temp came up to the high 170's and hit 180 a few times. Oil temp gradually climbed to 205 and seemed to settle there.

    I did not throw a code.
     
  14. hoodshauler

    hoodshauler Full Access Member

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    What speed were you running. Need to be at 65mph on flat ground for a few miles to know if you have a oil cooler problem


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. mohave_steve

    mohave_steve Registered User

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    Flat ground and 60mph (speed limit).
     

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