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I just bought a 63k mile 2002 in pristine condition from the original owner. For preventative maintenance I decided to go ahead and flush the cooling system and install a new water pump, fan clutch, hoses, belt, etc then convert to ELC. I have done this job once before on a previous 7.3 I owned. Before I started replacing parts I wanted to flush it first, so I flushed it with the Motorcraft VC-1, then several rounds of distilled only. When I removed the water pump, I noticed this orange buildup inside. As far as I know the cooling system has never been touched, given the low mileage. I’m heading to my Ford dealer right now to pick up the VC-9 flush, which is acid based. Should that do the trick here? Is this just a product of the truck sitting for most of its life? You can see in one of the pictures where I scratched it off a little bit, it will come off if you try.
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Looks like some rust buildup to me. Id definitely flush it with something to eat that up and get rid of it, (maybe the VC-9 will do that? Im not sure) then flush 4 or 5 times with distilled and fill up with coolant again. I know some people don't believe in them, but I would put a coolant filter on there afterwards just incase something else becomes dislodged.
 

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Looks like some rust buildup to me. Id definitely flush it with something to eat that up and get rid of it, (maybe the VC-9 will do that? Im not sure) then flush 4 or 5 times with distilled and fill up with coolant again. I know some people don't believe in them, but I would put a coolant filter on there afterwards just incase something else becomes dislodged.
Yes sir, I already have an XDP coolant filtration system in the garage ready to go. This just kind of put everything on hold. I talked to the old man I bought the truck from, he said the coolant was never changed and he never had to add to it or top it off. I know vehicles that sit a lot come with their own set of challenges, and I guess this is a result of that. Should I install my new water pump and radiator before I flush with the VC-9, or should I flush with the old parts still on it? I can see the argument for both sides… With the new parts there will be less that needs to be flushed out, but on the other hand I’m gonna be flushing some of this crap into the new parts… So I’m not sure which is the best route.
 

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Looks like rust to me also
 

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Looks like rust to me also
I think so as well. I just picked up three bottles of the Motorcraft VC9, which is their acid-based coolant flush. According to everything I’ve read this should do the trick. I guess the only thing I need to figure out now is do I put the old water pump back on when I do the flush, or do I install the new water pump and radiator when I do the flush?
 

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Shouldn't hurt the new ones
 

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Shouldn't being the keyword!
 

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I'm with Doc on that one. Put it on and be done with it.

However, on the new radiator, if your old one isn't leaking I would change it after the flush and a filter change or two. Be a shame to stop up a new one. In my opinion anyway.

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Rust is normal, if your concerned you could buy some radiator flush and flush the system. otherwise pop the new one on and send her.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I had everything taken apart in preparation to install all of the new parts, including a new Mishimoto radiator. But I just installed the new water pump and left the original radiator in to do the VC9 flush. Partly because of the advice of Blue-Truck-Nut97, and party because Mishimoto just sent me my second damaged radiator that I refuse to install. Hopefully third time will be a charm on the radiator, so I guess I couldn’t even put that in if I wanted to. Going to head to the store and get some distilled then run it with the VC9. I will keep everyone posted. And thank you for the advice.
 

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Me thinks that orange tint Is a mix of rust, and the G-05 coolant that was in it.
 

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Mishimoto has had a history of radiators like you are talking about. But they're one of the very few that make an all aluminum for the 7.3.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK so after putting everything back together, filling the system with distilled water and 3 quarts of the VC9, this is what drained out.
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This is what the water looked like earlier today, this was from my last drain before I did the VC9.
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Needless to say it’s doing it’s job. Now the question is, should I flush the system out with distilled water to get all of this stuff out, or is it safe to use tapwater? I would think that with my cooling system basically raw inside tapwater might not be the best thing to put in it. But I have found conflicting accounts on the Internet.
 

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A lot of that depends on your tap water. If it has a history of gumming up your faucets I'd stay away from it. It's fine to use flushing stuff out, but flush it afterwards with distilled to get it all out.

I also treat my coolant with a product called NapaKool. Pt#4058. I'm running green low silicate, and tap water. It really helps with corrosion and rust.

Another thing to do, pull the heater hoses, and run water through the core both directions. I usually put one hose in a bucket and hook the other to the garden hose. When it runs clean, swap hoses, repeat until clean. Do that last before you refill with antifreeze. You'll be surprised what you get out.

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So here’s where I’m at with the process. I installed the new water pump without the thermostat, the old radiator, and hooked everything back up. Filled it with distilled water and 3 quarts of the VC9. Keep in mind at this point earlier in the week, I had already done a flush with the VC1 and about five subsequent distilled flushes after the VC1. The first drain, after the VC9 was run in the system for 90 minutes, was amazing how clean it got the system. I filled it back up with distilled water only, ran that for a little bit and drained it. It’s 1AM at this point and I just filled it back up with its second batch of distilled only post VC9. I’ve had enough for the day, I’ll have to finish this up tomorrow. But I am assuming it’s gonna take five or six flushes of distilled to get the system to the point were I am willing to put my ELC in. I found a very informative video on YouTube that outlines this flush procedure with the VC9 (But for a 6.0/6.4). It said only use tapwater after VC9 if you have your tapwater tested and it falls within parameters. I don’t have that ability right now, and I’m just gonna assume my tapwater is no good… So I’m gonna do this distilled the whole way. On the left is the first drain with the VC9 in it, on the right is the first drain afterwards with pure distilled.
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Thats quite incredible on how much came out of that thing! Good to hear
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah they say it wipes out everything in your cooling system, and leaves it pH balanced ready to accept your new coolant of choice, which is perfect when switching to ELC. I’d say unless you have religiously replaced your coolant every 30,000 miles in your truck, it should probably be a requirement in your flushing procedures. This process is a major pain...It’s extremely repetitive and you are wet for hours (pulling the block plugs many times). It’s also very time consuming, because in between each flush I’m running the engine for a few minutes, which means I have to let it cool off for at least an hour. So unless you start this early in the morning, this process could take you two days to complete. But in the end I know it will be done right. I know there are some cheaper options out there than the VC9, like the restore plus, but I’m a firm believer in you can’t beat what the manufacturer developed for your truck.
 

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Could be. I'm contemplating trying it on a Mercury I see regularly that has a habit of turning the coolant into orange pudding.


On another note, on my personal vehicles I'm running green low silicate, treated with NapaKool. I test the coolant with test strips every year or so, and adjust if needed. Most of my pickups have 10+ years on the coolant, my kw has at least 14. Systems still look good on the inside.

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Discussion Starter #20
Could be. I'm contemplating trying it on a Mercury I see regularly that has a habit of turning the coolant into orange pudding.


On another note, on my personal vehicles I'm running green low silicate, treated with NapaKool. I test the coolant with test strips every year or so, and adjust if needed. Most of my pickups have 10+ years on the coolant, my kw has at least 14. Systems still look good on the inside.

Sent from my E6810 using Tapatalk
Yeah as long as you keep up with the additives, I really don’t think there’s any negatives to the green or gold coolant for the 7.3. You just have to keep up with the additives. With the ELC you’re eliminating that and it becomes, for the most part, maintenance free. I read somewhere that the ELC is also easier on the water pump and seals. But if your system is clean and you have enough of the additive in the coolant, no harm in continuing to run the green or gold.
 
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