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Question re. Coolant

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  • Question re. Coolant

    A question from the new guy re. the proper coolant/anti-freeze to use - should it be phosphate free, with phosphate, the green stuff, blue stuff or? Also, any special tricks to draining the old coolant and adding the new? I plan to replace the thermostat at the same time so anything special to watch for in that department? TIA, Bill

    '79 Austin Mini 1000

  • #2
    Yea, You used to be able to go to the store and buy toothpaste, now it's gel this and whitening that... I'd use 50/50 good old Prestone, I'd call it yellow. 1275's may have cooling issues but your 998 shouldn't.
    Most of my cars have come with a drain cock in the bottom of the radiator, thank the radiator gods, but those that didn't soon had one installed by the local radiator shop. There's a flat spot on the lower radiator tank just asking for a spigot. No drain? Then loosen a hose and expect a mess.
    Pick up a thermostat and gasket at Autosport in Seattle, 206 621 1940, and get a spare water pump/alternator belt while you're there. You'll need it for the trip to Lake Tahoe this summer.



    • #3
      Thermostat covers tend to corrode on to the studs and can be very hard to remove. Try to remove the nuts without cleaning the nuts or studs, work them back and forth fairly gently. If you're lucky the entire stud will come out. Don't be too aggressive you could snap a stud. When this doesn't work put a good penetrant (PB Blaster, Kroil) on the nuts, once the nuts are removed put the penetrant on the studs. You may need to continue to apply the penetrant to the studs for several days to loosen the cover from the studs and even then it may not help.

      Good luck,

      If you can afford the car, you can afford the manual...


      • #4
        Thanks for your responses. There is no drain so it looks like I'll have to loosen the bottom hose. And, I find that there is precious little room under the front end to wiggle under to get at that hose. I do have 2 steel jack stands which would give me 4" - 6" more clearance so if I put the front of the car up on those stands would the upward tilt cause some of the old coolant to be trapped in the radiator? Actually, I just might take the car into my friendly neighborhood repair shop and have them put the car on their hoist and have them contend with all the old coolant gushing out when the bottom hose is loosened. Anybody have a better idea or approach? TIA, Bill


        • #5
          If you remove the grill, you will have better access to all of the coolant system innards. Removal of the radiator/hoses is then pretty easy. While the hoses are out, give them a good look and renew as necessary. Depending on it's condition, you might want to have the radiator pressure checked for leaks. Flush away.