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Discussion Starter #1
There was a good thread on this a year or two ago that I can't find right now to refresh my memory.

Changing coolant is something I have never done. It gets done as part of another repair process like water pump replacement. And so not much thought is put into things at the time.

I have a QSX15 with 4200 hrs here that should probably be done. Tractor was bought used a few years back and dealer changed all fluids but have no idea if that included the cooling system. Also have a 1976 NTC 350 in truck that gets topped up now and then.

Both run green antifreeze and phoning around I can get Nemco or Turbo brand at heavy truck parts centers. I was looking at concentrate as I get 5 gallon bottles of RO water at those places that sell water cooler water. That water I use in cooling systems and topping up my in floor heat systems.

The thread I am thinking of had a lot of good info in it so is there anything a guy needs to know about doing a simple coolant change with green to green? Does brand really matter if it is labelled heavy duty diesel?
 

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Go and get the test strips and they’ll tell you if you need to change the fluid. Or you could just add the treatment according to the test strips and not change the fluid.
 

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Yes the test strips are good but no one had any last time I went looking.
If in doubt buy the antifreeze with the dca4 already in it.
Think Rocky Mountain has that stuff in bulk, fill your own jugs.
Then if you need a coolant filter get the plain filter or lowest units possible.
At least then you know you started at the proper level.
 

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I don't think any of the ag or off-road manufacturers are using extended-life coolant technology yet, from what I remember they are mostly still using conventional ethylene glycol antifreeze with various different additive packages for corrosion inhibitors. Whether you buy green concentrate, or purple pre-mixed, or John Deere-branded or CNH-branded coolant, chances are very good it's all the same technology, just different labels and possibly different colors. Your NTC and QSX should both have need-release filters installed, Fleetguard p/n WF2071 or WF4071 (one has two units of additive, the other has four). If you do a complete drain, flush, and re-fill with pre-charged conventional coolant, you should only have to spin on a WF2071, and use the strips once a year to maintain coolant pH and nitrite and/or borate levels (being the active corrosion inhibitors). I use an optical tester (refractometer) rather than squeeze bulb style tester for measuring freeze point, they aren't terribly expensive but they are infinitely more accurate.
 

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Someone smarter than me needs to comment, I've heard you really need to be careful to not mix OAT (I believe) antifreeze with regular antifreeze. I think if it has OAT in it it says so on the cap, apparently it is a disaster if the two are mixed.
 

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It's not a disaster to mix OAT and conventional coolant, but it's not recommended. Essentially you revert to the lowest common denominator, which is conventional, which requires regular testing and maintenance at a minimum, and replacement more often than ELC.
 

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I would be careful about using RO water to mix with antifreeze. If you talk to commercial plumbers they say that You can not use a steel tank for RO water. It is so pure that it will pull the molecules out of the steel and it will soon be leaking. I used it in a tractor after I put a new rad in it and 4 years later I had to put another new rad in so I think there may be something to the theory
 

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Who stocks the test strips??
Last time I went looking Rocky Mountain had none New Holland had none and neither did Parkland engine and
they are the Authorized Cummins Dealer.
Saw some online and they were expensive like $50 or something.
 

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I think I got some at Piston Ring, that was a few years ago though , 5???? Seems to me it was around 50 bucks but there was quite a few in the jar.
 

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I would be careful about using RO water to mix with antifreeze. If you talk to commercial plumbers they say that You can not use a steel tank for RO water. It is so pure that it will pull the molecules out of the steel and it will soon be leaking. I used it in a tractor after I put a new rad in it and 4 years later I had to put another new rad in so I think there may be something to the theory

I am going to totally disagree.
For many years the standard recommendation for mixing antifreeze has been distilled water.
It is the minerals in well water that kill cooling systems, in particular radiators.
 

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Reverse osmosis and distilled are two different things. Not sure about which would be better for cooling systems though.
 

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Just as long as it doesn't have minerals, any water is fine. Mixing with antifreeze so corrosion is not an issue. Changing it is more important then the water used.
 

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It's not a disaster to mix OAT and conventional coolant, but it's not recommended. Essentially you revert to the lowest common denominator, which is conventional, which requires regular testing and maintenance at a minimum, and replacement more often than ELC.
Thanks for that, I don't have any with it in, buddy was telling me about it, according to him mixing the two resulted in a cottage cheese effect, but we all know sometimes "the buddy" is an idiot.
 

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I use water out of the de-humidifier in the house, that stuff should be pretty pure?

Pretty sure I have 4 different types of coolant on the farm, sure wish they would standardize things and leave them alone...:rolleyes:
 

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I put in what the manufacture recommends. I have a few varieties around. In my older stuff I simply use "use in all" type coolant. Do make sure you use heavy duty diesel coolant in diesels. Change coolant filter as recommended also. I have install coolant filters on my diesel pickups. If you want to get 10,000 hours coolant is important to not neglect.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Haystack, that thread link was good. I believe there was another one where guys posted about doing complete drains and flushes to change from green to ELC and such so covered more ground. Regardless, things I never considered came to light in past posts.

I talked with a radiator shop last week and the recommendation was drain every 3 years. Seemed an unbiased source of info and we had talked about test strips. I wasn't really confident that simply changing every 3 years was an informed approach to maintenance so figured a good time to raise the topic here.

I will get some test strips and go that route. Napa lists them on line so should be able to track some down. I understand they have expiry dates so buying one pack of 50 is not necessarily the right way to go. I've changed the coolant filter once on the NTC 350 and is something I should do again so will test and then figure out how much DCA may be needed and choose the replacement filter accordingly. I will have to check on age of filter on the QSX and plan from there.

I can't see RO water being a problem. As mentioned already the issue to avoid is well water high in mineral content. The ultimate solution is distilled water. But 50 years ago RO water wasn't in people's homes. Distilled would be best but RO would be a close second in my view. I know my well water would not be a good choice. In my mind the premix route just saves a guy from having to think one more step through about which water source he goes to.
 
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