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  • Cool/Heat: 62 GT 289 Cooling System Flush

    Just sitting and dreaming of spring and getting the Hawk out of it's slumber.

    I want to do a flush of the cooling system this spring. Is it recommended to run any kind of product in the engine for a few miles before the drain and flush? What's the procedure for flushing the system? As I recall the rad has no drain cock so after removing the bottom hose is a back flush with a garden hose enough to clean the engine out?

    This engine runs nice and cool even on a hot day with the a/c cranked so I really want to keep it that way!

    Thanks!

  • #2
    The Drain Cock faces Forward at the Right side of the bottom Tank.
    However draining the Radiator will not do a thing for all the Casting Sand, Casting Wire, Rust, Iron chunks and Muck that is usually at the bottom of the Water Jackets on each side of the Block.

    There ARE Block Drain Plugs at the Rear on each side, but removing the 6 Core Plugs is still the Best way to clean it out thoroughly, just VERY Messy.
    Got your Scuba diving Suit handy?

    It can't hurt to give a Can of Cooling System Flush a try by following their Instructions, which usually say Run the engine around 15-30 Minutes with the Thermostat either Open or removed, then Flush with a Lot of water and Or Drive it.

    Depending on just how long it has been since this has been done or just HOW bad it is, will prove this to help or Not.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

    Comment


    • #3
      I personally don't believe that a garden hose will do anything as far as flushing. You may be fortunate that your block is not full of crud like most and a garden hose will not dislodge that stuff. If you are running cool I would leave well enough alone. You can test your radiator by removing the bottom hose and insert your garden hose at full volume in the top and it should take it with out backing up. The only assured way to remove any crud from the block is to open the plugs and with a coat hanger and garden hose evacuate the debris out the open holes, a very messy job with great results. Other than the abnormal things that can happen, I had a perfectly cool running engine when the thermostat stuck closed and this caused the engine to over heat and boil the block dry backwards. This dislodged the crud in the bottom of the block and deposited it in the radiator, To get buy I removed the thermostat however the overheating problem remained because now the radiator is plugged. Eventually I replaced the radiator and thermostat and all was well again. This all happened 1000 miles from home in the winter time. To be assured of getting home with out overheating I removed the thermostat and the engine ran too cool and ice was forming on the inside of the windows. I eventually found a makeshift thermostat shaped in the form of an empty beer box and put that in front of the radiator to gain a few therms This is not a recommended way to flush a block but it worked, ran cool for the rest of its life.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
        The Drain Cock faces Forward at the Right side of the bottom Tank.
        However draining the Radiator will not do a thing for all the Casting Sand, Casting Wire, Rust, Iron chunks and Muck that is usually at the bottom of the Water Jackets on each side of the Block.

        There ARE Block Drain Plugs at the Rear on each side, but removing the 6 Core Plugs is still the Best way to clean it out thoroughly, just VERY Messy.
        Got your Scuba diving Suit handy?

        It can't hurt to give a Can of Cooling System Flush a try by following their Instructions, which usually say Run the engine around 15-30 Minutes with the Thermostat either Open or removed, then Flush with a Lot of water and Or Drive it.

        Depending on just how long it has been since this has been done or just HOW bad it is, will prove this to help or Not.
        Well, I estimate there is under 10,000 miles on this 289 since rebuild (previous owner) and it runs nice and cool. Perhaps it was properly cleaned out when rebuilt and I should leave well enough alone! Thanks for the advice!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by altair View Post
          I personally don't believe that a garden hose will do anything as far as flushing. You may be fortunate that your block is not full of crud like most and a garden hose will not dislodge that stuff. If you are running cool I would leave well enough alone. You can test your radiator by removing the bottom hose and insert your garden hose at full volume in the top and it should take it with out backing up. The only assured way to remove any crud from the block is to open the plugs and with a coat hanger and garden hose evacuate the debris out the open holes, a very messy job with great results. Other than the abnormal things that can happen, I had a perfectly cool running engine when the thermostat stuck closed and this caused the engine to over heat and boil the block dry backwards. This dislodged the crud in the bottom of the block and deposited it in the radiator, To get buy I removed the thermostat however the overheating problem remained because now the radiator is plugged. Eventually I replaced the radiator and thermostat and all was well again. This all happened 1000 miles from home in the winter time. To be assured of getting home with out overheating I removed the thermostat and the engine ran too cool and ice was forming on the inside of the windows. I eventually found a makeshift thermostat shaped in the form of an empty beer box and put that in front of the radiator to gain a few therms This is not a recommended way to flush a block but it worked, ran cool for the rest of its life.
          I'm thinking you are right that I should just leave it alone. It runs cool with a/c on full on the hottest days. Maybe I should replace the thermostat so I don't end up in the same situation you did! Thanks for the advice!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by altair View Post
            I personally don't believe that a garden hose will do anything as far as flushing. You may be fortunate that your block is not full of crud like most and a garden hose will not dislodge that stuff. If you are running cool I would leave well enough alone. You can test your radiator by removing the bottom hose and insert your garden hose at full volume in the top and it should take it with out backing up. The only assured way to remove any crud from the block is to open the plugs and with a coat hanger and garden hose evacuate the debris out the open holes, a very messy job with great results. Other than the abnormal things that can happen, I had a perfectly cool running engine when the thermostat stuck closed and this caused the engine to over heat and boil the block dry backwards. This dislodged the crud in the bottom of the block and deposited it in the radiator, To get buy I removed the thermostat however the overheating problem remained because now the radiator is plugged. Eventually I replaced the radiator and thermostat and all was well again. This all happened 1000 miles from home in the winter time. To be assured of getting home with out overheating I removed the thermostat and the engine ran too cool and ice was forming on the inside of the windows. I eventually found a makeshift thermostat shaped in the form of an empty beer box and put that in front of the radiator to gain a few therms This is not a recommended way to flush a block but it worked, ran cool for the rest of its life.
            I had not thought about it before but your post made me think. My thermostat failed and would not open. It was new and installed imediatly after cleaning and rodding out the water jackets, as well as replacing the radiator. It worked for about two weeks. When it failed the car ran at 243F-245F, (digital gauge) and with 50/50 coolant did not overheat. Both before it failed and after replacing the thermostat, the car ran/runs between 195F and 215F. I've been thinking that's a bit high; but, if it will run at only 245F with NO water flow through the radiator, 215F aint too bad. Ambient temps here run from 80F to 110 about 8 months of the year. I don't drive it much the other four months, the rainy season. I'm not even sure the wipers work.

            Comment


            • #7
              I put the failed thermostat in boiling water and it remained closed at a full boil, with a slight touch with a screwdriver in the boiling water it immediately popped open, there wasn't much holding it closed but just enough. On my 259 I have installed a 160* thermostat, as called for in the manual and that is exactly where it runs even on the hottest days.

              Comment


              • #8
                The old 2 part Oxalic acid & neutralizer was a great product but it has been off the market for many years. (It was marketed in Studebaker labels as well as others) I suspect it has something to do with all of the aluminum components in today's cooling systems It did a great job on sludge & rust, solder bloom & the like.
                For anyone looking at this thread in the future, this acid is very safe & widely available, just make sure that the user mixes well with "common" sense!
                '64 R2 back on da road again

                Comment


                • GrumpyOne
                  GrumpyOne commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Indeed that stuff is a great product. I have several cans squirreled away for future cooling system flushes.

                  I am also a strong believer in brass freeze plugs!

              • #9
                Originally posted by bensherb View Post

                I had not thought about it before but your post made me think. My thermostat failed and would not open. It was new and installed immediately after cleaning and rod-ing out the water jackets, as well as replacing the radiator. It worked for about two weeks. When it failed the car ran at 243F-245F, (digital gauge) and with 50/50 coolant did not overheat. Both before it failed and after replacing the thermostat, the car ran/runs between 195F and 215F. I've been thinking that's a bit high; but, if it will run at only 245F with NO water flow through the radiator, 215F ain't too bad. Ambient temps here run from 80F to 110 about 8 months of the year. I don't drive it much the other four months, the rainy season. I'm not even sure the wipers work.
                This doesn't mean much Rick, without knowing if you are running a 160 or 180 Degree or ??? Thermostat.

                If it is a "Modern Car" 195 or 205 Stat. that would explain it.
                Last edited by StudeRich; 01-15-2022, 02:55 PM.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                Comment


                • #10
                  The thermostat that failed was a 160, I had installed to replace a 180. I replaced the failed 160 with a new 180 I had. It really doesn't matter. Once the coolant gets beyond the open temp of the thermostat it no longer has any effect on running temperature regardless of the temp value of the thermostat. The lower temp thermostat simply opens sooner slowing the time the coolant takes to get to it's eventual peak running temp. I've found I can do the same by bypassing the theromstatic switch for my fans an turning them on early. Neither changes the eventual peak running temp. The only things that can change that would be a cooler running engine, IE a smaller bore, lower compression, etc ; or a more efficient cooling system, RE larger radiator. My 289 is an over bored R1.

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