Coolant Change

misterbond10

New member
Quick tip for you guys, I stock up on the prestone T-fitting back-flush kits on amazon, they are like 4 dollars each and allow you to splice into the heater hose and 'back-flush' the system with a garden hose. The (low!) pressure really helps to get crud out of the cooling system. Then refill with distilled and dump that.

Dont be an idiot and put cold water in a hot block. wait for everything to cool off
 
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jcolvin

New member
any particular reason you need a hose? what happens if you just open the cock and let it all run out, out the bottom of the van and down the drain?
 

sikwan

06 T1N Can
any particular reason you need a hose? what happens if you just open the cock and let it all run out, out the bottom of the van and down the drain?
The fluid will dribble all over and maybe lead to the passenger side of the van via the lip of the bumper fascia.

You can probably run a water hose in the area and see where the water lands as a test.
 

Mercfan

Member
Are there any tips on removing the coolant that's trapped in the ESPAR and some of its lines? Perhaps it makes a little difference in the end, but I suppose there is some amt of fluid left in there after the drain.
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
Think this issue of residual coolant (from lines, not draining engine block, etc.) is addressed by drain, refill, run engine, drain, refill. Any residual old coolant from whatever will get diluted.

Some posters suggest using distilled water fornthe throwaway first refill then drain.

Other posters suggest using the proper mixture of coolant to avoid any dilution issues (you're always using the proper concentration).

You could run the Espar heater during the throwaway refill and drain.

Another poster here just uses the red knob drain nipple and tubing. The amount of coolant left in system from not using engine drain is not much (based on how much used to refill) . That residual coolant is further diluted with the throwaway refill then drain.

Key points include getting rid of air during each refill which requires multiple engine warm/cooldown, and small top-offs, massaging/squeezing top radiator hose when top-filling with engine cold and running,
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
As noted above, engine needs to warm up/run to get coolant circulating, then engine needs to cool down to top-off and rid air pockets, then repeat and repeat and repeat.. May take several top-off cycles of engine running and cooling down before coolant stays at constant level.

Adding the extra throwaway refill and drain step means more time.

One highly regard poster here likes folks to hang around town for a few days after a coolant change in case any issues pop up from air pockets.

After refilling to MAX line, the coolant level immediately drops when engine is started as coolant circulates. While engine is running, by squeezing top radiator hose (caution--moving parts) the coolant level drops even more as air is being moved out so more coolant can be added. Learned this squeezing/massaging top radiator hose while topping off coolant from another poster here.

The different Sprinter owner manuals have different service intervals on the coolant--think I saw something even as long as 15 years/150,000 miles.
 

Sprinterzach

New member
Hi everyone im new here I was about to change the coolant in my 04 sprinter as I was doing research I came across this video where the guy flushes his radiator until water comes out the intake manifold. Is this OK to do because I don't see it anywhere here? Thanks
https://youtu.be/gbqfxoykjGI

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

sikwan

06 T1N Can
That will depend on the quality of your tap water and whether it contains a lot of minerals. I'd rather have some remnant coolant (that is if it was taken care of) from another change than running my garden hose water through the system. Of course I have hard water coming out of my hose so I would have to somehow purge all the hard water that is left in the crevices.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
What Seek said.

I might as well add this information. Distilled water may not be required IF the water quality is known.

Interesting. :thumbup:

Owning T1N's I have no problems as long as the NAPA Zerex G05 is available.

I assume that my Operator Manual is the official reference for coolant as it is with engine oil.
MB states that the original Operator Manual is the official document.

BeVo 223.2 said:
Notes:
In general, the binding engine oil specification (MB-sheet) is documented in the relevant operating manual of the vehicle.
...
Details are documented in the operating manual of the vehicle, the service information or maintenance instructions.
...
http://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/downloadf.php?filename=en/Spec_223_2.pdf

BeVo covers our Sprinters as to anti-freeze.

OM6XX covers all of the Sprinter diesel engines to date. 2014 is a break year on the coolant.

AntiFreeze.jpg

The chemistry between 325.0/326.0 and 325.6/326.6 is different.

326.0 325.0 - Si, B - X - Nitrite, amine, phosphate


326.6 325.6 - SI - X - nitrite, amine, phosphate, borat, 2-ethylhexanoic
acid

By the "X" I believe both are inorganic.

http://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/downloadf.php?filename=en/Spec_310_1.pdf

vic

Added:

It is interesting to note that MB doesn't require distilled mix water unless your drinking water is hard. That said, distilled water is always the safe choice.

BeVo 310.1 said:
4. Water quality

Clean and the softest possible water should be used for
processing the coolant. Drinking water often satisfies the
requirements. Information concerning the water quality of
drinking water is available from the local water-plant
authorities or the official water utilities on request.
If there is no available information regarding the water
quality or if no suitable water is available, then distilled or
deionized water should be used to prepare the coolant.
Sea water, brackish water, brine and industrial waters are
not suitable. Salts may promote corrosion or form
disruptive deposits.
The analysis values of the water for mixing coolants must
be within the limits of table 5.
vic
 

danpaul000

A man, a van, no plan
I am planning to do a coolant flush on my 05 T1N in the next couple weeks, along with a new water pump and viscous fan clutch replacement. The current coolant is a bright green and of unknown age and origin. I got a couple gallons of Zerex G05 to replace.

Consensus seems mixed on whether or not it is okay to mix different coolants, so I am going to try and ere on the side of caution and flush the system with distilled water a couple times first before mixing with the Zerex blend.

Without a professional coolant vacuum pump system, there will always be some residual old coolant of a different blend than what I will be adding new. Is this any cause for concern? How many times is it worth a water-only flush to thoroughly dilute the existing coolant?

Given that it's summer now (80's, 90's daytime temps for the next few months), is there any harm in running the van around town with 100% distilled water in the cooling system for a little while until I do the final drain and fill with 50/50?

Thanks,
Dan
 

sikwan

06 T1N Can
Without a professional coolant vacuum pump system, there will always be some residual old coolant of a different blend than what I will be adding new. Is this any cause for concern? How many times is it worth a water-only flush to thoroughly dilute the existing coolant?
I wouldn't worry too much with the residual old stuff. As long as it's not clogged already, you should be fine.

Given that it's summer now (80's, 90's daytime temps for the next few months), is there any harm in running the van around town with 100% distilled water in the cooling system for a little while until I do the final drain and fill with 50/50?
I'm probably missing something, but I can only think of 3 things for anti-freeze; anti-freeze, lubrication (changing your pump anyways), and anti-corrosion.

Depending on what you mean by "a little while" I would not be concerned with just distilled water. I would just run it through with distilled water once, and then put in 50/50 or 60/40 (distilled water/anti-freeze). I prefer the latter due to the climate that I live in.
 

cousi

New member
If you haven't already done the work, replace the thermostat, pulleys, tensioner and belt.
I replaced the radiator, hoses and clamps too because the reservoir was cracked.
Clean the radiator.
 

danpaul000

A man, a van, no plan
If you haven't already done the work, replace the thermostat, pulleys, tensioner and belt.
I replaced the radiator, hoses and clamps too because the reservoir was cracked.
Clean the radiator.
Thanks Cousi. I haven't actually gotten around to doing this work yet. I have a new thermostat I am going to put in, and I replaced the belt a few months ago.

The tensioner and pulleys feel fine to me. The tensioner is smooth when I torque the star nut to remove the belt and its pulley and the 2 idler pulleys felt pretty smooth when I turned them by hand after removing the belt. Is there a better test for wear in these pulleys? Obviously I can't really get a feel for them when the belt is taut and spinning, but I don't hear any sort of bearing squeal when I'm driving.

A failure of any of these pulleys is a huge PITA if it happens on the road, so I am all for preventative maintenance, but I don't want to do unnecessary work. If the pulley turn smoothly by hand, is it still advised to replace them? My van just rolled over 200k miles, but I do not know if the pulleys/tensioner have ever been replaced.

The consensus seems to be that while the radiator and fan are out of the way, that these are all worth doing even if they are in apparent good shape, so they will run well for another 200k.

Does anyone disagree with that?

Thanks,
Dan
 

sikwan

06 T1N Can
The tensioner is smooth when I torque the star nut to remove the belt and its pulley and the 2 idler pulleys felt pretty smooth when I turned them by hand after removing the belt.
In this case, and if there's no excessive run out/wobble, or squealing, I think you're ok. Bearings will often tell you when they're bad (before catastrophic failure).

but I do not know if the pulleys/tensioner have ever been replaced.
Excessive bounce or squealing when a load is introduce would tell you whether to replace your tensioner. This could also be an incorrect belt length, too.

Inspect the tensioner by going through the motion to feel for smoothness and spring tension.


All-in-all, it's your call. You have to weigh the costs vs down time. A lot of these guys that replace everything, they're couriers (always on the road) or major travelers that can't afford to be down on the road.

For me I'm just part time. I can afford to do the twice a year inspection before we travel. Mileage and known-to-fail parts are reasons for me to replace parts for peace of mind.
 

danpaul000

A man, a van, no plan
In this case, and if there's no excessive run out/wobble, or squealing, I think you're ok. Bearings will often tell you when they're bad (before catastrophic failure).
Thanks Sikwan. I am hitting the road next year in the year for 6-12 months, and 10-20k miles so am just checking all the boxes now. Any non-catastrophic failure issues I ought to be able to address on the road, as we aren't on a tight timeline, but I'd rather reduce the chances of any of this happening in the first place.

Dan
 

danpaul000

A man, a van, no plan
Drained the coolant in my 05 this weekend in prep for the flush and water pump/viscous clutch replace.

What a mess! I had a rubber hose pressed on to the radiator drain when I opened the valve, and the coolant just flowed out the hole where the valve finger screw is! Guess I opened it too far too fast. Just shoved my drain pan under the body to catch all the random little trickles of coolant falling onto my driveway, oops! :idunno:

Then opened the engine drain plug, not sure how you are expected to get a hose there to catch anything at all. I could barely reach the drain plug with my long ratchet with an extension, let alone get close enough to shove a hose in/around it, when the drain plug falls out the coolant just dumps. Is there some magic to that that I missed?

I am going to be re-filling with 100% distilled for a couple heat/cool cycles, then drain again and refill with 50/50 distilled/G05. Any better way to get less of a mess next time around? Will the residual coolant that spilled on the body under the Espar cause any issue? Worth spraying it off with a garden hose?

FWIW, after gravity had drained all that it was going to I gripped the Espar coolant lines with both hands and gave it a few dozen good rhythmic squeezes until my forearms got tired. Doing so repeatedly got a reasonable (though pretty small) flow back to the radiator and out of the vehicle.

The rear-most radiator (the one for the engine coolant I believe) was replaced in 2014 by a previous owner. This part of the stack is in good shape, but it looks like the wrench who did it broke a lot of the clips and connection points at the top of the stack to hold the layers together and lost some bolts. It hasn't caused my any apparent issues, but it was just annoying to see such shoddy R&R work done by "professionals".

Broken clips/holes, no bolts anyway.
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=89584&stc=1&d=1504641654
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=89586&stc=1&d=1504641654

Screw heads pulled through the forward part of the stack, not actually holding anything in place!
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=89585&stc=1&d=1504641654
 

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danpaul000

A man, a van, no plan
Hello ! Could anyone post a real picture of engine block drain plug location , does it suppose to have a nipple to attach a hose ( like a radiator ) ?
Better late than never. Sorry for the poor lighting/focus. Photo of the engine coolant drain plug:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=89587&stc=1&d=1504642856

Photo is taken from the back/right side of the oil filter looking towards the back of the engine block on the driver's side.

It is a 17mm Hex bolt. There is no nipple/host attachment to my knowledge. As soon as I got a couple complete turns, the coolant started flowing out pretty quickly and the drain plug fell out. Fortunately, it didn't roll away and got trapped between the engine block and some structural brace where I could pick it up after it was finished draining.

I used a deep socket with a 10" extension so I could work the ratchet with a little more room.

Hope this helps,
Dan
 

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aspen

Member
I see most people just drain, refill with water, drain again and fill with new coolant.
Anyone uses a chemical to clean the cooling system?
I got a small (1pint?) bottle of cleaner by Zerex.
 
Thanks everyone for the write up and advice it truly makes working on the T1N much easier. :thumbup:

With temps already at 100F here in April and an unknown maintenance history from PO this is the next step...

*If you want to avoid having to wrestle with the difficult to access engine block drain bolt then here is an alternative I hope you'll find useful.

Drain system by removing the lower radiator hose (not from radiator but from easier to access spot about 6" away), remove the small hose clamped hose that is next to fill neck, remove radiator cap.

Then with a blower fitting on air compressor, insert into small hose mentioned above to evacuate the coolant from block.

Then get a funnel that will fit into small hose and a gallon of distilled water.

1/2 gallon goes in via funnel into small hose to flush engine block and other goes into radiator. *Can also use the air hose on tiny overflow line to capped radiator to add some pressure to flush the radiator.

Can use another gallon if you wish and repeat but on mine it was coming out clear after 1 gallon.

I'm one to take extra precautions and will fill system with distilled water, drive, flush repeat above, add approved premixed coolant (NAPA online still has best price on Zerex G-05) and call it good for 80 to 100K. (MB recommends 100k)

*Please take used fluids to auto parts store and keep away from animals. :cheers:
 

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