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Old 05-22-2018, 08:23 PM   #1
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Changing coolant

The coolant drain plug on my Westerbeke generator is accessible on the side of the engine. But how do you drain the coolant without getting coolant all over the nearby components, wiring, bilge, etc ? For my mains I attach a suitably sized hose to the drain cock and it drains into a bucket without a mess. The generator just has a plug screwed into the block and once it is removed I expect coolant will flow everywhere. What ideas do you have for changing the coolant without a big mess?
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:05 PM   #2
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Find out what thread size the plug is and buy a hose barb fitting that size. Put a hose on the barb fitting. Unscrew the plug and put your finger in the hole while you line up the barb fitting and then screw the barb fitting in. You will spill a bit but not too much. When you have it drained you can install a petcock for the next time, just secure the petcock so it won’t drain your coolant without your knowledge.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:12 PM   #3
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On the same subject, any advice during the coolant refill? I read a post from Ski that it is possible to lock the pumpmbecause of the air trapped. Any procedure or good advice to ensure a smooth refill? In my case I will change all the coolant hoses so will loose a lot even if it is not a total change.
L
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:36 PM   #4
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I like these for controlling drainage messes.


Form a Funnel


It's a flexible formable plastic gizmo. With a little creativity you can direct the flow where you want it to go. That and don't release the coolant tank cap until you've got the plug out, form a funnel and catch basing in place.



They are available from good auto supply stores in different sizes, but sometimes have to be ordered in.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:32 PM   #5
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Plastic soft drink, juice, milk bottle
Cut top off makes funnel
Free.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:39 PM   #6
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How do you know it needs changing? Check the additives with strips from CAT and you might dodge a bullet.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:44 PM   #7
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Changing coolant

There’s a few good ideas! Thanks
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:07 AM   #8
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"How do you know it needs changing?"

Both coolant mfg and engine assemblers want the coolant changed on time in the engine.

Checking SCA required for modern engines does not cancel the requirement for fresh coolant.


Like fresh lube oil , I have never heard of a failure due to new coolant.
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Old 05-23-2018, 07:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drb1025 View Post
The coolant drain plug on my Westerbeke generator is accessible on the side of the engine. But how do you drain the coolant without getting coolant all over the nearby components, wiring, bilge, etc ? For my mains I attach a suitably sized hose to the drain cock and it drains into a bucket without a mess. The generator just has a plug screwed into the block and once it is removed I expect coolant will flow everywhere. What ideas do you have for changing the coolant without a big mess?

I suspect that there is not much coolant in the system .... maybe a " wet " shop vac at the plug would do it .... fb
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:33 AM   #10
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Can you fit a brownie pan under there ? Loosen the plug...fill the pan..tighten the plug...dump the pan. Repeat as necessary
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
On the same subject, any advice during the coolant refill? I read a post from Ski that it is possible to lock the pumpmbecause of the air trapped. Any procedure or good advice to ensure a smooth refill? In my case I will change all the coolant hoses so will loose a lot even if it is not a total change.
L
Use what's called a air lift to refill the coolant system if you have access to compressed air. By means of a venturi it will create a vaccume in your coolant system and you shut that valve off and then open the second valve that has a hose into your coolant bottle and it sucks coolant into your system. Use it all the time in automotive applications.
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Old 05-24-2018, 05:14 AM   #12
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"maybe a " wet " shop vac at the plug would do it ...."

Shop vacs blow as well as suck , and are low enough pressure to not harm a cooling system.

Perhaps a good push after most old coolant has drained would get it all.

At under a buck a gallon a flush with distilled water might be worth the effort .
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:36 AM   #13
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I use a wet vac to drain coolant. I do this at the small brass plugs, I also do it on the hoses. Simply just about all the coolant will then go into the vacuum.
Hold vac nozzole close, while removing plug with fingers.

Any water type liquid you can suck with a wet vac. I ought to do that when I drain my HE, right now I let it go into the bilge, but it does splash on the motor.
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