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Coolant Flush: OLD hoses or New?


fixizin

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That is, when it's time for new coolant AND HOSES, are the various chemical flush agents hard on hoses? i.e. should you do the flush first, THEN install the new hoses? Or do the old hoses just keep decomposing, and you never get clean water coming out? What say ye RKIs?
 


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ericbphoto

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I would think that the flushing agents are made to be safe for the hoses. I would replace hoses based on age of truck or odometer reading or general appearance. Personally, and these are just guess numbers, i would replace hoses at or before 10 years or if high mileage (150k or more?). Also, if they show signs of cracking, leaking, clamps cutting into them, etc.

I haven’t looked lately. But there may be some guidelines in the maintenance section of the owner manual. Might be ultra conservative. But that wouldn’t be a bad idea to follow.
 

RobbieD

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I've caught up on cooling system maintenance on two of my old trucks this year, which included flushing both. They were in need of attention anyway; one needed a heater core, the other a water pump. As far as I know, the flushing agent does not harm the hoses. Here's some thoughts from doing mine.

Heater hose is relatively cheap, so I just replaced all of those (estimate your total and buy one long length- cut to fit). I evaluated the more expensive molded hoses, and as they were in very good shape I just cleaned the inside as good as I could and reused them. If they would have had any defects they would have gotten replaced, too. Questionable hose clamps got replaced.

I ran the flushing solution for a few days, then ran several refills of just plain water, each for a few days to a couple of weeks, to rinse out the flush solution and to remove as much remaining crud as I could get out.

One thing I do like to do is pop the lower radiator hose to drain the system. I don't think that the dribble out of the radiator petcock lets the crud flush out good, versus the way it really pukes out when you pop the lower hose. After running the truck and it's been at the normal operating temp, park it and let cool enough to not be pressurized, and not be scalding hot, but still good and warm.

I also use silicon gel inside my hose ends; that keeps the rubber from bonding to the inlets, outlets and metal nipples. That helps a lot, as you need to pull several hoses to get a good drain, and to get a good refill with the least amount of trapped air.

After several clean water refills, and it's gotten to where the water is draining clear with no sediment seen in the bottom of the drain pan afterward, only then does it get the 50/50 antifreeze and distilled water mix.

It does take some effort, and time, to do it this way, but I think that it's well worth the results. You're doing good to be thinking ahead on this.
 

DILLARD000

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Great tips\comments by EricB & RobbieD above.
I've generally replaced all Cooling components, excepting the HeaterCore, about every 75k~100kMiles, with good results.
That includes all hoses+clamps, the pump, the belt, & especially plastic items.
If you can, replace any plastic with stainless\aluminum components:
HoseTees, HeaterControlValve, the notorious PlasticThermoStatHousing & PlasticTankedRadiator,...
could very well save you a road side breakdown.
 


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