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How do I do a Radiator Flush + Renew Coolant on my VT 3.8 Ltr Ecotech V6 1999

Discussion in 'VT - VX Holden Commodore (1997 - 2002)' started by Neo1, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. Neo1

    Neo1 New Member

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    Hey all :)

    Can somebody please help me and possibly others by posting the correct procedure on how to flush out and renew coolant on a VT V6 preferably with pictures/diagrams even just pictures off the net with some indications of what/where

    I have researched as much information as I can find and still it's unclear to me, I have looked on these forums with conflicting procedures or not the info im after. I really need to know (with visual) what to take off where to put the hose and how to clear the reservoir and engine block

    I would prefer not to take out the knock sensors but if absolutely necessary then I will need visuals on where they are etc.

    Can I just use tap water ? I know distilled water is required though it's easier/cheaper to use tap water

    Things i know: must be cool engine at least 3 hours no use
    The air bleed valve, turn 2-3 times (when filling or something)
    Have the heater on hot
    coolant must be handled with care and disposed of properly
    incompatible coolants create corrosion thus must flush thoroughly and try use a compatible coolant if possible
    Pour the coolant in then fill with water once flushed, takes a full 12 litre capacity.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  2. Brett_jjj

    Brett_jjj New Member

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    Face the front of the vehicle uphill before filling the radiator, this will help any air thats trapped in the engine move to the front of the engine and into the radiator where it can then escape. Ive seen people fill these radiators with their vehicle parked on the flat or facing downhill, and they always seem to have heaps of trouble with trapped air and have to stuff around bleeding them heaps..
    With distilled water being only 2 or 3 dollars for a 4 litre bottle at the supermarket, why would you not use it.. Theres just too many minerals in tap water. Lack of maintainance, cheap brand coolant and tap water are the 3 main reasons why why so many cooling systems end up in such a bad state to begin with.
    I wouldnt go to the trouble of removing the knock sensors, some people on here have posted up that theyve removed them, and then theyve have no coolant come out anyway. .Just flush the engine block out heaps with water before refilling with fresh coolant and distilled water...
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  3. Neo1

    Neo1 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply Brett_jjj

    Raising the front of the vehicle sounds like a good idea I will be doing that

    I will buy some distilled water for the fill because it will be cheaper in the long run
     
  4. wraith

    wraith Hand over the dog bikkies

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    Don't you mean down hill? Up hill would cause it to go to the back of the motor.
     
  5. Brett_jjj

    Brett_jjj New Member

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    The back of the motor will be lowest when the front of the vehicle is facing uphill. Facing it downhill will trap more air as the front would then be lower. The front of the vehicle faces uphill as I said, as air bubbles rise to the highest part (the front of the engine block when facing uphill)
     
  6. Pollushon

    Pollushon Boost gives me a bar....

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    Yeah, I do uphill and I use Tectaloy af/ab of which cutting out the bottom of the bottle, wrapping the neck in tape and shoving it in the radiator inlet makes short work of air.
     
  7. wraith

    wraith Hand over the dog bikkies

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    Of course it would. Dumb moment :p
     
  8. Brett_jjj

    Brett_jjj New Member

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    No worries, haha, I think we've all had one of those before at one time or another.

    I also find the nulon brand long life concentrate coolant works excellent and keeps the cooling system parts nice and clean etc. I run it at a mixture of 60 parts of coolant to 40 parts distilled water (60/40) in my VS and VY V6's..
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  9. Pollushon

    Pollushon Boost gives me a bar....

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    Yeah, I keep hearing good things about Nulon. She's due now, so what the heck.
     
  10. Neo1

    Neo1 New Member

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    Thank you to the people whom have submitted some helpful information

    Keep the information coming, I still need to know what hoses and plugs to remove, all the places to put the garden hose to flush it properly and how to clear the reservior..
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  11. z900collector

    z900collector New Member

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    What is the quality of the coolant sold by Super Cheap like???

    Sid
     
  12. monkeys437

    monkeys437 New Member

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    Depends on the brand. As others have said, Nulon is good stuff. I find it last a long time and stays very clean inside my rad.....
    and I only use tap water :hiding:
     
  13. 2O4TS

    2O4TS New Member

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    I've always used Tectalloy. I just know someone's gonna come on here and pan it now but it's been great for me. My family had a big workshop growing up (those were the days, hoists, brake machines, dyno, you name it) and we always used Tectalloy when doing radiator flushes. We also had one of those flushing machines too which sent compressed air and water through the system in multiple directions and despite how clean the discharge was the moment you changed the flow direction it would turn brown again. Anyway the Tectalloy has worked a treat for me and I run it at about 30/70 Tectalloy to distilled water however I would run a stronger brew if I lived anywhere really cold.

    Also agree with Brett_jjj about having the front up when filling. I always do. Conversely, have it down when draining/flushing to get as much of the crap out as possible.

    Using the machine made it really simple but not having access to it anymore when I choose to flush the cooling system now I flush once, refill with tap water, go for a quick spin, flush again, fill with coolant and distilled water. Remove the bottom radiator hose to drain and shove your garden hose into the radiator hose to flush through. Also, if you flush this way you'll need to remove your thermostat (and replace after) as the cold water will cause the thermostat to close and you'll just be draining your radiator, not flushing the crap from inside the block.

    I would never use tap water other than to flush because alloy parts don't play well with tap water. Of course if you're selling it, who'd know? But that's what puts me off used cars. Who the hell ever knows what the previous owners have done!

    And I've just noticed this thread is nearly three weeks old so you've probably already done it, hey? :D
     
  14. Drewie

    Drewie Member

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    On the tap water vs distilled water, I think it depends on where you live, Melbourne tap water is very soft and a lot better than a lot of areas, I have only ever used tap water and in the 30 plus years I have serviced my cars I have never had a problem. All the dealers and workshops I know around here just use tap water. In the late model cars I have had I have always used the Holden factory coolant.
     
  15. inSight

    inSight New Member

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    Is this the Nulon Long Life Concentrate that everyone is talking about?

    Nulon Red Long Life Anti-Freeze/Anti-Boil Concentrate - 5 Litre - Supercheap Auto Australia

    Never seen a red coloured coolant before. I wonder if people confuse it with rust or oil or something when they see it in the radiator.

    Also, does the VX Series 1, manual transmission, also require 12L of coolant/distilled mix? I never received a car manual. Is it possible to grab one from the internet?

    Is it 50/50 mix (6L Coolant, 6L distilled water)?

    Also what is a good radiator flush? Will this do?

    Going to search for a tutorial on these forums but if I'm unable to find one anyone know the procedure?

    I have new rubber hoses, thermostat, radiator, water pump that I will be doing so will it be something like:

    1. Run radiator flush
    2. Drain Coolant
    3. Replace parts
    4. Have car facing uphill (to help with air pockets when filling)
    5. Turn air bleed valve 2-3 times as OP stated
    6. Have the heater on hot (why is this?)
    7. Use a 4L bottle and mix 2L coolant and 2L distilled water and mix well
    8. Repeat above until cooling system full

    Cheers
     
  16. 2O4TS

    2O4TS New Member

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    Heater on hot to flush heater core fully. With the heater valve off, as soon as you turned your heater on after the flush any crap in your heater core would flow straight in to your new clean coolant.
     
  17. 2O4TS

    2O4TS New Member

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    Well it all comes down to the minerals in the water and what chemical reactions they have with the alloy. In truth, I've run cars for extended periods on tap water, I just wouldn't recommend it and always use demineralised water after cleaning the system. Of course coolant will help retard the corrosion so you may well get away with it but there's no way I'd use it with alloy heads for example, other than in an emergency. Obviously not such an issue with an Ecotec.
     

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