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Old 06-08-2016, 09:20 AM   #21
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City: Baytown, Texas
Vessel Name: Islander
Vessel Model: Prairie 36
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I changed the coolant in my engines (Perkins 4-236s) shortly after buying the boat last year. I had overheating issues in my starb. engine even after replacing the impeller. So I began digging into the heat exchanger, thermostat, head tank etc. What I found was some crystalline/gelatinous substance blocking the entrance to the exchanger. I have talked to several other mechanics and found that mixing long life coolant with regular green coolant can cause a reaction causing this. After speaking to the previous owner he said he thinks he did use some long life coolant in it and added it to whatever was in there before. My recommendation is to use one or the other and do not mix them. My Perkins has aluminum head tank, bronze cooler and cast iron block, head and exhaust. I'm going to use regular green and watch for any loss of aluminum in head tank. If I find any, I will most likely switch to long life coolant after a good flushing of the engine. I don't expect to find any though.


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Old 06-08-2016, 01:02 PM   #22
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City: Pender Harbour, BC
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Buy the long term diesel stuff and use test strips to check it. At the average Boater's usage and using the test strips, you might not need to change it ever again, certainly not while you are the owner

Don't believe everything that you think.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:15 PM   #23
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City: Kiln,MS
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Originally Posted by Hawgwash View Post
OP is asking about his Perkins t6.3544m.
I'm not sure what that engine crosses over to on the cat side but i can tell you all the Perkins built cat stuff uses cat elc with no issues. If you use green make sure it'sthe hd green thats for diesel engines. Cat deac is also a good std coolant. One thing to remember is if the engine never came with an extended life coolant do not use it. Extended life coolants have been known to attach orings that are not compatible.
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Old 06-08-2016, 04:25 PM   #24
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City: Adelaide
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Coolants can be divided into 3 types.
  • 1. Conventional
    2. OAT (Organic Acid Technology)
    3. Hybrid (also called HOAT)

OAT & Hybrid are long life coolants.
Conventional and OAT cannot be mixed.
Hybrid can be mixed with either of the others.

The color is determined by what dye the manufacturer uses. It will not tell you what type of coolant it is. I use a Hybrid coolant which is green. Conventional coolant is sometimes green, sometimes yellow. OAT coolant can be any color.

In regard to cavitation issues with some diesels, check to see if the coolant is manufactured to ASTM D6210-10. This standard (which was developed by John Deere engines) ensures the coolant has the cavitation protection required.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:31 AM   #25
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City: Punta Gorda, fl
Vessel Name: Escapade
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37 2002
Join Date: Jan 2015
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There are two types of antifreeze. Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol. Do not interchange. Stay with the one you started with. Also there are "Heavy Duty" and "Extended Life" additive mixes. You should consult you diesel manufacture before using these types.
For example: Northern Lights strongly advises against using extended life mixes. They recommend the cheap green stuff. (Prestone). They have found that the extended life eats seals and "O" rings.
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:17 AM   #26
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City: New England and Canada to Florida
Vessel Name: Tadhana
Vessel Model: Helmsman 38 Pilothouse
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 596
Lots of good input here. I have been a marine engine dealer, and since the modern engines are likely to have a wider variety of metals in the cooling system, they do require more corrosion protection from the coolant, compared to the older engines. For current production engines, I would absolutely follow the owner's manual recommendation on brand and service cycle. For older engines Brian at American Diesel, or Trans Atlantic Diesel in Virginia are two very excellent resources.

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