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Draining and flushing the Radiator


Paul64
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Class thicky of the forum here!

Out in the garage last night ready to drain and flush the rad. Couldn't find a plug anywhere. Would you expect to find one on a 1994 200tdi 110 CSW? I have heard some of the later models do not have a drain plug, but why? Surely just pulling off a hose, is going to cause a bit of uncontrolled paint stripper to splash about?

Thanks in advance. Paul.

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Class thicky of the forum here!

Out in the garage last night ready to drain and flush the rad. Couldn't find a plug anywhere. Would you expect to find one on a 1994 200tdi 110 CSW? I have heard some of the later models do not have a drain plug, but why? Surely just pulling off a hose, is going to cause a bit of uncontrolled paint stripper to splash about?

Thanks in advance. Paul.

I never knew of a bottom plug. I just take the bottom hose of one end and drain it out of there

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Class thicky of the forum here!

Out in the garage last night ready to drain and flush the rad. Couldn't find a plug anywhere. Would you expect to find one on a 1994 200tdi 110 CSW? I have heard some of the later models do not have a drain plug, but why? Surely just pulling off a hose, is going to cause a bit of uncontrolled paint stripper to splash about?

Thanks in advance. Paul.

From my experience I would say that brake fluid is the paint stripper (but nowhere near as fast/powerful as most paople think) and that antifreeze just causes a mess... I've certainly never noticed it taking off paint, (but then on most of my motors it would be hard to tell anyway ;) ) - but unless somebody knows for sure it would be best to be as careful as is practicable and rinse it off afterwards perhaps...

I think that most cars I have seen recently rely on popping a hose as a way of draining the coolant - for the sake of cost of manufacture I suppose...

Rog

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From my experience I would say that brake fluid is the paint stripper (but nowhere near as fast/powerful as most paople think) and that antifreeze just causes a mess... I've certainly never noticed it taking off paint, (but then on most of my motors it would be hard to tell anyway ;) ) - but unless somebody knows for sure it would be best to be as careful as is practicable and rinse it off afterwards perhaps...

I think that most cars I have seen recently rely on popping a hose as a way of draining the coolant - for the sake of cost of manufacture I suppose...

Rog

Thanks. It just seems unusual for there to be a plug on some older models, and then take it away on newer ones. Seems like a retrogade step to me. I will give it a go later.

Have to think about these things a bit more in Germany. There is an obsession with disposal of such fluids. We cannot even wash our cars with car shampoo in our driveways, as the drains are to be used for storm water only. If you want soap on your car you must attend a car wash where the soapy water is separated from the main drains. If you do not conform to these rules, and are seen breaking them the locals do not hesitate in reporting you. It is their country afterall, but it does take some discipline to follow all these rules.

Bins are a good example. Grey bin for general rubbish (2 weekly collection), brown bin for bio (weekly), blue bin for cardboard and paper (two weekly). Yellow bags for plastic and tins (two weekly), green bags for grass, leaves etc(two weekly). Bulk rubbish, furniture, fridges etc (monthly, although the Turks usually pick it up first from the front of the house with a white van). It is not unusual for an inspector to be seen rumaging through the bins to ensure compliance. He is on bike, and will perform random searches. If you are found to be non-compliant a hefty fine ensues!

Cheers, Paul

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Drain plugs seem to be a thing of the past, which is unfortunate, as draining the system would be a lot less messy. Les. :)

Modern Land Rovers such as L322 Range Rover, Discovery 3 and Range Rover Sport all have drain taps in the bottom of the rad to which a hose can be attached prior to draining = zero mess

Lewis

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Paul

200Tdi & 300Tdi radiator doesn't have a drain, just pull off the bottom hose, for the engine --- rear of the dipstick & on the horizontal rib just rear of the turbo oil to sump hose is the cooling system drain plug, don't know the spanner size, but defo bigger than 17mm, hth :i-m_so_happy:

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If you would like to drain the system down without making a mess, here is how. Carefully remove the plastic plug from the top of the radiator (a spark plug socket will fit). Feed a 2m length of plastic hose - such as windscreen washer hose - down through the hole and carefully all the way to the bottom of the radiator end tank - adding a nut to the outside for extra weight will help here. Suck on the free end of the hose until there is anti-freeze about half way betewwn you and the rad, then briskly remove the hose from your mouth to the bucket. In other words, start a syphon.

Chris

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If you would like to drain the system down without making a mess, here is how. Carefully remove the plastic plug from the top of the radiator (a spark plug socket will fit). Feed a 2m length of plastic hose - such as windscreen washer hose - down through the hole and carefully all the way to the bottom of the radiator end tank - adding a nut to the outside for extra weight will help here. Suck on the free end of the hose until there is anti-freeze about half way betewwn you and the rad, then briskly remove the hose from your mouth to the bucket. In other words, start a syphon.

Chris

the alternative method as above but... case suck until antifreeze reaches mouth, place hose in bucket, spit out mouthful of antifreeze and rinse thoroughly with liquid of choice. taste antifreeze for the next hour

Not recommended but this is how my attempts to use a siphon usually goes, have now invested in a proper siphon from an aquatics shop to avoid any bad effects. it has a little concertina hand pump in the tubing so you don't need to do the sucking/spitting bit

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Should have read your posts first!

Everything rusty and couldn't get anything off. Stood back and thought about it, then went in for the kill!

Ended up taking the hose off from the bottom of the expansion tank (had to snap off the the clips), then pushed it down through to below the engine. Drained it all out, but got it everywhere including my feet.

Stuck my hosepipe through the top of rad and gave it a good flush out. Put new antifreeze in mixed with water, and ran the engine with heater on hot full blast. Was told I should do this, ??why.

Went for a spin and all seems well. Not sure if I am imagining it, but the heat guage needle seems lower as well. Looking at the rust on all the clips, I think this was the 1st rad flush for a long time.

Neighbour came round to watch and advise, and has stayed round to finish off my supply of Warsteiner. Very enjoyable evening, but has really put me behind with my posts on here.

Cheers for all your help. Paul.

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heater on hot as some cars cut the waterflow to the heater when you select cold, running it on hot flushes the heater too. im not sure on defenders but i know a disco heater is full flow all of the time & the levers just redirect the air.

as for the syphon, to save the sucking just push ALL of the tube into the radiator making sure if fills with water as you go. then when you have just enough to hold left, put your thumb over the end, move the end of the pipe to the bucket & remove thumb.

thats from a fishkeeper who can never get those pumpy ones to work more than twice.

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If you would like to drain the system down without making a mess, here is how. Carefully remove the plastic plug from the top of the radiator (a spark plug socket will fit). Feed a 2m length of plastic hose - such as windscreen washer hose - down through the hole and carefully all the way to the bottom of the radiator end tank - adding a nut to the outside for extra weight will help here. Suck on the free end of the hose until there is anti-freeze about half way betewwn you and the rad, then briskly remove the hose from your mouth to the bucket. In other words, start a syphon.

Chris

Hmm - I always get a mouthful... :excl:

Please ENSURE that you spit not swallow! ;)

Rog

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I forgot to mention, my mate who drank all my Warsteiner, brought the antifreeze round with him. Nice big container of bright blue -36oC stuff. Unfortunately when I started filling up there was only 2.5 litres of the stuff left. When I topped up with water, I only had to add 5 litres. According to Haynes the 200Tdi cooling system takes 11.10 litres leaving a discrepency of 3.6 litres.

So I obviously didn't drain the whole system as I didn't drain the block. (Should have waited for Ralph's post, or read Haynes properly). So my antifreeze strength is only 22.5%, and according to Haynes, the minimum strength should be 25%. So basically I have wasted my time!

According to Haynes, you shouldn't mix the types of antifreeze, and as this stuff is from the UK, I am better off starting again?

Cheers,

Paul.

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You could go by rule of thumb and just drain some out and add neat anti-freeze to get it nearer to the 25% (is that minimum?)

It might be worth pointing out that anti-freeze is highly toxic. Ingestion can cause blindness, destruction of digestive system, and even death.

You can't mix different types either (not brands) There are three types of anti-freeze available nowadays - mixing one with another causes a heavy sludge to form, which clogs the cooling system (apparently).

Les.

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You could go by rule of thumb and just drain some out and add neat anti-freeze to get it nearer to the 25% (is that minimum?)

It might be worth pointing out that anti-freeze is highly toxic. Ingestion can cause blindness, destruction of digestive system, and even death.

You can't mix different types either (not brands) There are three types of anti-freeze available nowadays - mixing one with another causes a heavy sludge to form, which clogs the cooling system (apparently).

Les.

Thanks Les,

I have just ordered antifreeze off Difflock. When it arrives I am going to do it again, properly this time. Don't like the idea of the syphon option especially after your health warning. However, how anyone can get to the lower radiator pipe clip is beyond me? The lower clip is totally rusty, and access is poor. Are you supposed to remove something to get to it?

Cheers, Paul

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Hi Paul,

I'm guessing that Muenster gets some pretty low temps in winter - right? I think that in the UK I probably would leave it as it is (being what our American cousins would call a 'tight-wad' ;) ), but over there I would probably start again...

As for the concetrations - you should (IMHO) rely more on what it says on the anti-freeze container than Haynes, as brands often differ - in fact some modern 'anti-freeze and Summer collant' types are pre-diluted and should only be used 'neat'!

I would think that for minus 36oC, that blue stuff you used would need to be stronger than 25% mix anyway...

The antifreeze that I use in the car (which I think is fairly normal stuff) says the following:

33% mix: -18oC

50% mix: -34oC

But maybe they sell stronger stuff in Germany?

As for mixing anti-freezes, apparently that is not a good idea - although I have done it for 30 years with no apparent problems, I wouldn't do it on anything I care about.... (e.g. The stuff I use for the Honda CBR600 goes in neat and cost nearly £5 per litre and gets replaced every year :o )

Overall, I would suggest: Start again and use concentration as per the label, But you have to make your own path in life eh? ;)

Regards

Rog

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...

The lower clip is totally rusty, and access is poor. Are you supposed to remove something to get to it?

...

When I get a rusted hose clip problem, I usually call on the services of my best friend Sparky... (who is a 4" grinder, by the way). Although I have been known to cut the hose through, remove the rad and then sort out the clip - especially with resticted access. A bit drastic, but often if the clips are that far gone, then the hose needs looking at too...

Rog

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Hi Paul,

I'm guessing that Muenster gets some pretty low temps in winter - right? I think that in the UK I probably would leave it as it is (being what our American cousins would call a 'tight-wad' ;) ), but over there I would probably start again...

As for the concetrations - you should (IMHO) rely more on what it says on the anti-freeze container than Haynes, as brands often differ - in fact some modern 'anti-freeze and Summer collant' types are pre-diluted and should only be used 'neat'!

I would think that for minus 36oC, that blue stuff you used would need to be stronger than 25% mix anyway...

The antifreeze that I use in the car (which I think is fairly normal stuff) says the following:

33% mix: -18oC

50% mix: -34oC

But maybe they sell stronger stuff in Germany?

As for mixing anti-freezes, apparently that is not a good idea - although I have done it for 30 years with no apparent problems, I wouldn't do it on anything I care about.... (e.g. The stuff I use for the Honda CBR600 goes in neat and cost nearly £5 per litre and gets replaced every year :o )

Overall, I would suggest: Start again and use concentration as per the label, But you have to make your own path in life eh? ;)

Regards

Rog

Thanks Rog,

Yes, you're right, it does tend to get colder here in the winter. Not as cold as Bavaria, but -5 to -10 is not uncommon. I will start again as soon as new antifreeze arrives.

Cheers, Paul.

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Thanks Rog,

I think I am having to start a clip and bolt replacement programme, due to the rust. Bothers me a bit, as maintenance must have been minimal for them to get like that. Or do they tend to rust quite quickly? I bought a few hose clips from a local DIY store, but they don't look half as robust as the ones I took off.

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Took LR into REME workshop today as they offered to check my antifreeze freezing point. Nice gadget the mechanic used. Took a drop of fluid from the expansion tank, dropped it in this handheld gadget, then looked through eye piece. Freezing point -3 oC. He said start again and fast! He said 3 years ago we had a spell of cold weather at -25 oC, much colder than usual for Muenster. He said if that happened again, it would be a big problemo.

So emptied and started again 50-50 this time, as I should have done in the 1st place.

Cheers, Paul.

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You can get stainless steel jubilee clips, and they are an acceptable bling addition to any truck.

Seized/rusty clips are such a bluddy pain.

On a 300TDi engine I would recommend disconnecting the header tank pipe and lowering it down (it wraps under the fan cowling). I would imagine by doing this you would remove the majority of the coolant.

Les. :)

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You can get stainless steel jubilee clips, and they are an acceptable bling addition to any truck.

Seized/rusty clips are such a bluddy pain.

On a 300TDi engine I would recommend disconnecting the header tank pipe and lowering it down (it wraps under the fan cowling). I would imagine by doing this you would remove the majority of the coolant.

Les. :)

Thanks Les,

Sorry to be a bit thick. Is header tank and expansion tank the same thing? If it is, then that is how I did it. I disconnected the two pipes then lowered them down between the fan cowling and engine block.

I will have a look around for the steel jubilee clips. The one holding the bottom rad pipe looks particularly bad, but I couldn't reach it with a screwdriver anyway.

Cheers, Paul.

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Yes, header tank and expansion tank are the same.

In order to reach the jubilee clip on the bottom radiator hose, I use extension bars, with a screwdriver bit attached. You would have to do the same or buy one of those long reach screwdrivers.

Les. :)

Thanks Les, I will get some extension bars and give is a go. I would rather change the jubilee clip now, instead of it giving when the rust makes its way through what is left of the metal.

Cheers, Paul

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Got my tester through the post today. Not as flash as the REME's, however, it did the job. It reads in oF not oC. Reading for freezing point was -6oF which I think is equivelant to -21oC. I thought it would be lower than that with 50-50 dilution. Oh well, I'm not doing it a 3rd time.

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