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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
car is one year and want to change radiator fluid.

any tips/hints on doing this?
any link to tech page on how to do it?
should you always do a flush before replacing?
is it possible to do without lifting car?

thanks,
don
 

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As I recall, Dex-Cool does not have to be changed like conventional fluid. I think its like 3-5 years :-?

JC
 

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HI Don,
I do agree with JC here, as the DEx-cool is good for up to 5yrs/100k. The non silicate formula is very good as lubricating the waterpump bearings, and prohibiting deposits inside the cooling system.
Obviously, its all relative on how the driver uses his car, however, I recommend that after 3 years, have the Dexcool checked for deposits, freezin, and boiling temperature.
Also, critical in changing any antifreeze is the need for distilled water.
Besttoyou, c4c5:z:
 

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Great info, thanks C4C5.

I was thinking about changing mine also, but now I will wait awhile.

Have any of you used that Redline Watter Wetter? If so any results?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks C4C5,

I just past the one year mark and was thinking of things to do. Besides oil/filter, I've already changed the rear gear and tranny oil this year at the dealer and figured radiator and brake may not be bad if it wasnt too tough for myself but, with the info you gave, I can put it off for a little longer.

Rollin,
I've used Watter Wetter in my Ninja days and the stuff works. Water temp did decrease... about 10%. It's suppose to provide lubrication and knew people on the track that swore by it because they were not allowed to use coolant on racing bikes and the Watter Wetter helped with straight water. This was back in 94.

But I havent researched it to know if there are any quirks in using it with the Vette and the type of fluids they use for it. Lemme know what you find out.

Don
Rollin Black said:
Great info, thanks C4C5.

I was thinking about changing mine also, but now I will wait awhile.

Have any of you used that Redline Watter Wetter? If so any results?

Thanks
 

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Hi C4C5,
Why distilled water? I know distilled water has no minerals but still will have oxygen. Oxygen causes rust.
Thanks, Bob
 

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Its about the minerals. Use of regular water can cause calcification and deposits to occur........

Did you know that you can check the condition of the coolant with a voltmeter? Ok, so its not the most accurate method, but it works, kinda like fire from ice eh :)

JC
 

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The owners manual says to replace the coolant at I believe 5 years or 150,000 miles. Of course just like oil changes this is a one size fits all recomendation. Different operating conditions may require different change intervals to achieve the best protection for the engine.

Dex Cool made by Havoline for GM, adds organic acids to ethylene glycol as additives instead of using silicates & phosphates that are added to conventional green or blue antifreeze. The organic acids last much longer and almost eliminate hard water deposits from forming & there is much less abrasion to the waterpump seals.

DO NOT: Use tap water. Use Distilled water only. It has been reported that Dex Cool reacts with chlorinated tap water, creating corrosion problems & sludge plugging up the cooling system.

DO NOT: Mix Dex Cool & regular anti freeze. If in an emergency the two are mixed get the system flushed as soon as possible and refill with the correct coolant.

DO NOT: Start using Dex Cool in a vehicle that did not come with Dex Cool from the factory. The silicate deposits are already in place & will keep the organic acids from working.

With the longer change interval DO NOT forget about changing your coolant. There is a large gremlin lurking out there. It is electrolytic metal corrosion (EME). EME is the damage done to engine parts by coolant (orange or green) reacting with the high amount of aluminum in newer vehicles. The cooling system becomes a storage battery resulting in pitting and cratering of blocks heads timing covers radiators etc. This may be mistaken for bad castings or other causes but it is EME.

There is a simple test for EME. Take a multi meter & put it on the lowest DC voltage range. Stick the positive probe in the coolant at the radiator cap. On your corvette stick the positive probe in the coolant in the reservoir. Hint you may need to use a piece of bare wire or other metal extenton to reach the coolant. Then touch the negative probe to the engine. If EME is present the meter will read between 0.5 and 1.75 volts. If the reading is in this range change the coolant. This is not stray current from the electrical system. It will work even with no battery in the car.

This test is so easy to do I will be doing it occasionaly & if it starts getting near 0.5 volts I will be off to the store for some Dex Cool & distilled water! Even if you keep passing this test do not ignore the time or mileage change criteria. The organic acids deplete over time and need to be replaced. To be safe I won't be waiting 5 years to change mine. I checked my 2002 Z06 last nite. The car has 500 miles on it. I got a reading of 0.10 volts.

If anyone else wants to use additives (water wetter etc. help yourself. But remember you are altering the chemical makeup of the coolant and the results are unknown to the user. Make mine a Dex Cool & Distilled Water only thanks.

If any one has waided through all of this I would like some tips. How can you drain/flush the cooling system at home. I have not been able to locate the block drains on my 2002 Z06. I do not want some one else working on my car so I want to be able to do it myself. HELP PLEASE :):guiness:
 

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To drain the coolant, remove the resevoir cap (to release the pressure) and then open the drain plug. The drain plug is located on the bottom of radiator, right side (white plug). Takes an Allen wrench to open it, can't remember the size. It does not come off, simply turns to open. Done it twice so far to change the TSAT, easy as can be.
 

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Thanks Z06 Addict. :) I knew where the radiator drain is but to do a good job of draining & flushing the system when changing the coolant you need to drain both sides of the block. Otherwise you leave most of the coolant in the block if you just drain the radiator.
:(
It looks to me like the block drain plugs (if they are there) are going to be a real bear to get to.:mad:
Is there a doctor in the house?:-?
 

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How to change/flush the coolant from the GM manual

I don't see where its tell you how to drain the block.


Draining and Filling Cooling System

Caution
With a pressurized cooling system, the coolant temperature in the radiator can be considerably higher than the boiling point of the solution at atmospheric pressure. Removal of the surge tank cap, while the cooling system is hot and under high pressure, causes the solution to boil instantaneously with explosive force. This will cause the solution to spew out over the engine, the fenders, and the person removing the cap. Serious bodily injury may result.



Important
If the procedure below is not followed a low or high coolant level condition and/or vehicle damage could result.


Park the vehicle on a level surface.
Remove the surge tank cap:
Slowly turn the cap counterclockwise 1/4 to 1/2 turn and stop. Do not press down.
Allow any residual pressure, indicated by a hissing sound, to be relieved.
After all residual pressure stops, continue turning the cap counterclockwise.
Raise and suitably support the vehicle. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in General Information.
Place a drain pan under the drain cock.
Open the radiator drain cock.
Allow the cooling system to drain completely.
Inspect the engine coolant for the following:
Discolored -- follow the flush procedure below.
Normal in appearance -- continue with the next step.

Notice
When adding coolant, use DEX-COOL® coolant. If silicated coolant is added to the system, premature engine, heater core or radiator corrosion may result. In addition, the engine coolant will require change sooner-at 50 000 km (30,000 mi) or 24 months.



Notice
DO NOT use cooling system seal tabs (or similar compounds) unless otherwise instructed. The use of cooling system seal tabs (or similar compounds) may restrict coolant flow through the passages of the cooling system or the engine components. Restricted coolant flow may cause engine overheating and/or damage to the cooling system or the engine components/assembly.



Notice
Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Replacement fasteners must be the correct part number for that application. Fasteners requiring replacement or fasteners requiring the use of thread locking compound or sealant are identified in the service procedure. Do not use paints, lubricants, or corrosion inhibitors on fasteners or fastener joint surfaces unless specified. These coatings affect fastener torque and joint clamping force and may damage the fastener. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.


Close the radiator drain cock. Tighten
Tighten the radiator drain cock to 2 N·m (18 lb in).

Fill the cooling system through the surge tank.
Fill half the capacity of the cooling system with 100 percent DEX-COOL® coolant.
Slowly add clean drinkable water to the cooling system until the level reaches to the base of the neck.
Start the engine.
Allow the engine to idle for 1 minute.
Install surge tank cap.
Cycle the engine RPMs from idle to 3000 in 30 second intervals until the coolant temperature reaches 99°C (210°F).
Shut off the engine.
Refer to step 2 above in order to remove the surge tank cap.
Start the engine.
Allow the engine to Idle for 1 minute. Fill the surge tank to 12.7 mm (0.5 in) above the COLD FULL mark on the surge tank.
Install the surge tank cap.
Cycle the engine RPMs from idle to 3000 in 30 second intervals until the coolant reaches 99°C (210°F).
Shut off the engine.
Refer to step 2 above in order to remove the surge tank cap.
Top off the coolant as necessary, 12.7 mm (0.5 in) above FULL COLD mark on the surge tank.
Rinse away any excess coolant from the engine and the engine compartment.
Inspect the concentration of the engine coolant.
Install the surge tank cap.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Flushing

Important
Do not use a chemical flush.
Store used coolant in the proper manner, such as in a used engine coolant holding tank. Do not pour used coolant down a drain. Ethylene glycol antifreeze is a very toxic chemical. Do not dispose of coolant into the sewer system or ground water. This is illegal and ecologically unsound.
Various methods and equipment can be used to flush the cooling system. If special equipment is used (such as a back flusher) follow the manufacturer's instruction. However, always remove the thermostat before back flushing the system.

Block the drive wheels.
Place the transmission in park (P) or neutral (N).
Engage the park brake.
Run the engine until the thermostat opens.
Stop the engine.
Follow the drain and fill procedure using only clean drinkable water. Repeat the procedure if necessary, until the fluid is nearly colorless. Refer to Draining and Filling Cooling System .
Fill the coolant reservoir to the FULL HOT mark.
Fill the cooling system. Refer to Draining and Filling Cooling System .
 

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terry schulze said:

There is a simple test for EME. Take a multi meter & put it on the lowest DC voltage range. Stick the positive probe in the coolant at the radiator cap. On your corvette stick the positive probe in the coolant in the reservoir. Hint you may need to use a piece of bare wire or other metal extenton to reach the coolant. Then touch the negative probe to the engine. If EME is present the meter will read between 0.5 and 1.75 volts. If the reading is in this range change the coolant. This is not stray current from the electrical system. It will work even with no battery in the car.

This test is so easy to do I will be doing it occasionaly & if it starts getting near 0.5 volts I will be off to the store for some Dex Cool & distilled water! Even if you keep passing this test do not ignore the time or mileage change criteria. The organic acids deplete over time and need to be replaced. To be safe I won't be waiting 5 years to change mine. I checked my 2002 Z06 last nite. The car has 500 miles on it. I got a reading of 0.10 volts.

I just did the test on my 01 with 28,500 miles. I got a reading of 0.20 volts.
 

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If you really want to help your cooling system:

1. Drain out enough to change the TStat and replace the TStat with 178 degree unit
2. Drop in 2 bottles of Red Line Water Wetter
3. Fill the balace with distilled water to reduce the Water/ DexCool ratio from 50/50 to as low as 70/30. If you are in the South (non freezing temps) or hot summer racing in the Northern Climes. Add Dex Cool when the temp cools down to 40 degrees OAT.
4. Consider a fan controller or reprogram the fans to come on at a lower temp.
5. When in stop and go traffic or sitting in the grid on a hot day run the A/C with the selector (right button) in the "ReCirc" ON mode. This will turn the fans on sooner and higher (both the A/C fan and the radiator fan).

If you are still not reaching the temps (cooler) you need replace the radiator with a 4 core from mallett or a Ron Davis with integral oil cooler fron Doug Rippie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Three years after posting this thread...

Three years after posting this thread...

I'm ready to change the radiator fluid. :yeadog:

I ended up not doing back then cause C4C5 and others gave me the impression that it could wait. Now the cars coming close to 4 years old and thought, "Now is it time to change it?" :crazy:

The fluid color still looks great and a tester showed A-OK ... I would think it should since the car has only got maybe 10k on the odometer.

Question on the instructions below....

1. Should the engine be warmed up at operating temp before draining the radiator fluid or ok to drain cold?

2. If I were to follow the flush procedure it says, "Run the engine until the thermostat opens."

How do I know when the thermostat opens?

Thanks,
Don

don527 said:
car is one year and want to change radiator
fluid.

any tips/hints on doing this?
any link to tech page on how to do it?
should you always do a flush before replacing?
is it possible to do without lifting car?

thanks,
don
 

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You'll know when the thermostat opens when the upper radiator hose gets warm. Likewise, in the Shop Manual it says to initially drain the coolant with the surge tank cap ON--this will allow the pressure in the system to also drain the surge tank. :yeadog:
 

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Don:
1. Draining cold is fine. Besides, draining hot is a pain. :eek: I know of no advantage to draining coolant when hot unless you want to burn yourself. :mad:

2. The problem with flushing at home is, unless you could get the block drain plugs out (there is a brass colored one on the drivers front of the block but I have not seen one for the passenger side as it may be under the motor mount or something else) you will leave an unknown amount of water in the system. This makes it a guessing game on how much dexcool & how much water to put in to get a correct 50-50 mixture. I think flushing is not really necessary unless you have a dirty cooling system.

You can get much of the coolant out by draining the radiator and pulling the thermostat. Having the back of the car higher than the front will help get more coolant out. If the old coolant tests 50-50 just refill with 50% dexcool and 50% distilled water. If it tests more or less than 50-50 add more or less than a 50-50 mix of new coolant & water to try to get to 50-50.

Make darn sure you get the air purged from the system or you can overheat the engine. Pulling the top coolant hose away from the nipple at the throttle body and keep the hose higher than the nipple will let the air out while you slowly refill the coolant tank. Have the heater on and on hot before and after drain & refill. will allow Keep a very close eye on the temp guage. If it starts getting hot shut it off and let it cool. Then pull the hose slightly away from the nipple while the engine is running and see if you cannot get the air to purge. Refill the coolant tank as necessary.

Antifreeze is poision and can kill animals who drink a small amount, so don't let them get near it. Dispose of the old coolant properly. Some sewer districts will allow you to put it down your house sewer line.
:z:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
did it but it didn't turn out as smoothly as i hoped...

thanks for all the responses.

it didn't turn out as smoothly as i hoped and hope i can get some suggestions...

i ended up following the instructions posted here by others which is basically taken verbatim from the shop manuals.

once i got the right allen wrench, draining (cold) was easy. again, i used the basic instructions so didnt look for drain plugs on the block even though it sounds more thorough.

the car doesnt really have that many miles so the the coolant looked as good as the stuff i was putting in.

i used prestones premixed dexcool fluid... has 50% distilled water premixed in so that i wouldnt have to be concerned about ratio.

I filled the reservoir with coolant as instructed up to the "base of the neck." I emptied a whole jug and had to start on a second jug of coolant to get to the base... and went a tad over the base.

i figured no big deal... start the engine, idle for a minute then cap it and cycled my revs until 99 degrees C (210 F).

now the interesting part... i take the tank cap off again and the instructions say to let it idle for one minute and then to fill the tank to 1/2 inch above cold full.

I restart (coolant temp showing 91 degrees celcius) but after the minute, it's still filled up to the base of the neck. From the instructions, I'm expecting it the fluid level to be dropping/lower while idling and in need of more coolant and am confused :-?

Without having to add, i thought I'd leave it uncapped and let it idle another minute or two... maybe it's got to circulate more and rid air bubbles?

anyways, i thought that was the case cause i thought i saw a few bubbles during the next minute but all of a sudden coolant is overflowing out of the reservoir and onto my garage floor! :jawdrop:

i shut off the engine. the coolant level is about 3/4 inch above the cold full mark near the top of the reservoir. I cap the reservoir and start up the car again and run it at idle until it reaches about 102 degrees celcius and shutdown (actually I was also prepping for the hurricane by backing up the car into the driveway and then back into the garage making space for the other car never going past idle-1000 rpms).

After I shut down, the coolant level is about 1/4 inch above cold full and I haven't been back to the car since cause I had to deal with prepping for the hurricane.

After all that... I have questions....

Should I be concerned with air trapped in the coolant passages because things didn't go according to plan?

If the reservoir is overfilled... do I need to be concerned about causing damage or is there a overflow tube that any extra coolant can escape thru?

should i try to redrain/refill again?

I forget... what coolant temp range should i look for to make sure that it's running correctly?

Thanks,
Don
 

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Don,
I read this whole thread today and didn't realize it was three years old until near the end. How funny.

I wouldn't worry. I have changed my radiator fluid numerous times now due to various problems and had similar experiences as you with no problems.

First time I followed the shop manual procedure and had the exact same experience as you. Essentially no extra fluid was needed. I believe the system vents itself very well as it fills. Now I just pour fluid in, run it a minute or so and top it off, then watch level from that point on. I have not yet had to add coolant after the initial fill, so no extra bubbles are coming out and my car is running under 210 hot on the track in 100 ambient temps in a 40 minute SCCA race (but with Ron Davis aluminum radiator and AMSOIL oil and external oil cooler). But, as a note, I check my radiator coolant level prior to every track session, which is obvious very often as I have it on my pre-track session checklist.

I also believe the level rose because of expansion of the fluid as it got hot. The excess fluid will come out of the reservoir fill cap (that is the pressure relief point). I'd keep an eye on reservoir level for awhile.

As for temps, keep an eye on them to for awhile. Thermostat opens around 190F and slow speed fans come on around 230F or so, so normal temp should stay within those bounds. If you had bubble trapped in the block, which I highly doubt you do, oil temp might rise to abnormal levels, so I'd watch that as well. Before my T1 prep, my oil temps were normally around 200-245 on the street, cooler on the freeway, hotter in stop and go traffic.

Good luck with the hurricane. Looks like it is weakening. Hopefully it won't regain much strength before it hits FL.
:cheers:

P.S. I use Redline water wetter in my car with no apparent ill effects. However, I haven't noted much improvement with it either.
 
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