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Old 09-24-2020, 01:41 PM   #1
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Coolant Questions

I have a 2000 International with a DT466e. I took out both the heaters which drained the coolant. I have looped the hoses. Now it's time to add new coolant. The coolant that came out was green.

1. Can I just use Prestone antifreeze?

2. Do I need a coolant system treatment?

3. How do I find out if my engine has a coolant filter? I don't have any paper work with prior history of the bus.



Thank you for any help.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningOwl View Post
I have a 2000 International with a DT466e. I took out both the heaters which drained the coolant. I have looped the hoses. Now it's time to add new coolant. The coolant that came out was green.

1. Can I just use Prestone antifreeze?

2. Do I need a coolant system treatment?

3. How do I find out if my engine has a coolant filter? I don't have any paper work with prior history of the bus.

Thank you for any help.
2000 could very well be Extended Life Coolant, and green doesn't necessarily mean ethylene glycol (typical green), because some Extended Life compatible antifreeze is also green. Mixing ethylene glycol with Extended Life can cause serious cooling system problems and engine damage, so verify what your system calls for. A dealer should be able to tell you from the VIN.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:06 PM   #3
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Duh... I never even thought of that. Thank you Cheese Wagon. I will look into that.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:46 PM   #4
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Your coolant reservoir should (might) have a sticker on it that says "Silicates" if it requires the special coolant.

Quote:
International AFC# G-03908. Applies to DT466e engines built between August 1, 2000 and January 22, 2004.
Silicate Additive Kit # 8000845R91
As a 2000 model, there's a good chance your engine was manufactured before August 1, 2000, in which case the green coolant is correct and OK. I think your VIN tag will say the date of engine manufacture.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:48 PM   #5
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Also, your engine does have a coolant filter. You'll find it below the reservoir, facing backwards (it's a white cylinder).
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:04 PM   #6
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Thank you musigenesis. I called a local big rig shop and found out that it takes regular green antifreeze and it does have a filter. They have one in stock for $11 that has "conditioner" in it (what ever that is). So I'll pick that up on Monday.
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:16 PM   #7
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Conditioner is most likely a reference to the supplemental coolant additives(SCA) that are needed in the coolant for the engine. The sca's consist of different chemicals such as borates, silicates, phosphates and nitrates that protect the cooling system from internal corrosion, scale, cavitation, and other issues.

Your filter having those additives present means that it will release the additives into the coolant when it's needed. You still have to check from time to time, but the level should automatically be maintained as long as the filter is replaced on schedule.
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:25 PM   #8
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The SCA's are mainly for regular green antifreeze. Some coolants, like some of the extended life coolants(ELC) use organic acid technology(OAT) instead of SCA's. Those coolants would then require a filter without the conditioner in them. Some other ELC's use what's called hybrid organic acid technology(HOAT) which uses a combination of organic acids and regular SCA's for protection. Those typically will have a lesser amount of sca's in them then regular green, but they won't be completely void of sca's like your OAT coolants will be.

Whatever coolant you use, you should check the protection level of it with it's respective method, most likely a specific test strip. If the coolant being tested fails, you then follow the manufacturers recommendation for the next steps. Some have additives you add, others have maintenance doses, and some require a flush and refill.

Regardless of what some might tell you, no coolant, that I'm aware of, is completely maintenance free. They all require periodic testing, even if they're supposed to be good for several years/hundreds of thousands of miles.
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Old 09-25-2020, 02:51 PM   #9
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Thanks Booyah for explaining this to me.
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Old 09-25-2020, 04:59 PM   #10
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Yeah, I probably should have mentioned that as well. Just because it's called extended life, doesn't really mean it lasts as long as they say it does. It's improved a bit over the years, but a lot of it turned to acid within 2 to 3 years in the beginning.
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Old 09-26-2020, 01:36 AM   #11
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CAT ELC Coolant

The CAT ELC coolant is good for 300,000 miles or 600,000 miles after the addition of a boost at 300,000 miles. No other maintenance needed.


CAT Extended Life Coolant.pdf


There are other manufacturers as well. I am using the Detroit Power Cool Plus ELC product in our bus.


DDC-SVC-BRO-0002_2020.pdf


I hope these brochures will be helpful.
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Old 09-26-2020, 05:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
The CAT ELC coolant is good for 300,000 miles or 600,000 miles after the addition of a boost at 300,000 miles. No other maintenance needed.
First, Native, I mean no offense here. I have no issues with you, so don't take this as coming in guns a' blazin'. Simply pointing out a few things I am privvy to.

Something that should be taken into consideration with OAT ELC (or any ELC, for that matter) is that it is designed for an entirely different set of parameters pertaining to operation and run cycles than what a skoolie conversion will be subject to.

This stuff is designed for heavy-duty diesel engines that generally idle a lot and have fewer start-stop and cool-down cycles than what a skoolie conversion subjects its coolant to. This is vital to activating the Organic Acid Technology that 'extends' the life of the coolant, which greatly changes the scenario in a vehicle not operated accordingly. It would appear that OAT requires a narrower window of temperature in order to work as advertised.

These engines also accumulate far more mileage far more quickly. When I was driving over-the-road, I averaged 550-625 miles per DAY, running solo. I've been known to make 700 miles on a perfect day ( didn't get caught though... ) A truck driven by a team (two drivers running night and day) could easily run 1000-1300 miles per day.

Putting this into perspective, 300,000 miles goes by very quickly under those circumstances, far faster than it would with a skoolie or a local truck.

A team truck would require changing the coolant at roughly 225-250 days.
A solo truck would require changing the coolant at roughly 480-550 days.

Even for full-timers that travel 1000 miles per week, that translates to 300 weeks, or 2100 days. 2100 days is nearly 6 years. The rest of us might put 150 miles a month on our rigs. This translates to 2000 months, or 166 years...


Also consider that the coolant largely not remaining at a suitable temperature to keep the Organic Acid Technology active, will cut the service life of the coolant quite a bit. If I had to venture a guess as to the difference, I would say 2-3 years.

Remember when GM had all their issues with Dex-Cool? That was, essentially, Extended Life Coolant, though I am not sure if it contained Organic Acid Technology.

Customers were told 5 years or 100,000 miles. So people believed them. And after 2-4 years, intake gaskets were blowing, plastic intakes were corroding, and engines were being ruined because this stuff was turning to acid after 2-3 years. I strongly suspect the difference in operation was at least partially to blame, if not entirely. I know the formulations have changed since then, but I still don't think I would trust the claimed service interval for a vehicle that isn't run or driven much.

Hence, I say that the 200,000-300,000 claims for OAT ELC for a skoolie with an engine requiring this coolant be taken with a grain of salt. Just my $0.02, but I do have experience in commercial trucking and have spoken with several diesel mechanics about a great many things, this being one of them.
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Old 09-26-2020, 04:36 PM   #13
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No offence taken. We all need to be vigilent to maintain our knowledge base. It is too bad the manufacturers do not consider a wide range of use cases. Even school buses in service do not run like an over the road vehicle, or even a local delivery vehicle. It would be interesting to see research on these three use cases and their effect on coolant quality and life.



Side note: When we run our bus, it is to take a load of our household goods from Texas to Florida and return back empty. We drive 500-700 miles a day for two days. Then the bus sits for a few months before being pressed back into service. Thus, ours is currently a rather unique use case which no manufacturer would desire to spend time on to research.
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