I have a 98 Safari with a 3126 Cat diesel . There is no fluid in the expansion tank when the engine is cold or hot .
Can I add any brand of 50/50 antifreeze , water mixture ? I don't know what brand is in the radiator . How full should the expansion tank be when the engine is cold ??
The heat gauge is in normal range when I am on the road and the engine is warmed up, so over heating is not an issue , I'm just wondering if more 50/50 mix should be added , as warmer weather is approaching .
tahnx to you all
whenever I had a empty expansion tank it had a small crack in the plastic and the fluid kept leaking out. Sometimes very hard to detect the small crack. I would check out the hose and that expansion tank before I filled it.
The correct coolant must be used. I use Fleet Charge, you must research what your system requires. Usually NOT regular automotive antifreeze/coolant but heavy duty diesel engine coolant that contains special addatives. I hope this helps, Bill
2003 41' Newmar Mountain Aire
Blue Ox Brake Buddy
I would use the same color of anti-freeze in the radiator and expansion tank. The Fleet Charge or similar products is just the 50/50 mixture that has already been mixed by the manufacturer. They supposedly use de-ionized water that removes sodium etc. I suppose if you were that concerned you could use distilled water and just mix your own. In all of my diesel farm equipment I try to use clean water i.e. bottled water. I won't use my well water, especially since it goes through a water softener first. I wouldn't get hyper about the issue I'm sure my diesel farm equipment gets a lot heavier use in the farm fields than you would get with a MH on super highways.
I just changed out the expansion tank on my swather. I filled it a couple of times and it was still empty every time I checked it. It had a very small crack and was leaking out at a slow rate. Once it leaks out it evaporates from heat in the engine compartment so it is hard to see the leak. I would also check to make sure the hose to the expansion is not clogged.
For city folks a swather is a 18 ft lawn mower with a diesel engine.
Check the link above and go down to my post with the link Coolant Change. That post is written by Brett Wolfe who is the guru fof CAT maint here. I put 155K on my 99 Safari and ran CAT ELC from very early on, CAT food and water for CAT engines is the way to go. You will find that ELC at your CAT dealer is very reasonably priced.
I will post the part number for your expansion tank later. It is a Ford truck part, even if yours is ok, write it down because they all go eventually.
Tank number is F6HZ8A080B the o's are zeroes. The number on your tank probably ends in A but you nor the Ford parts guy will ever find it because it was a production number. Safari/ SMC got them right from the Ford supplier. The replacement part number ends in B and will come up at a dealer. Google some places for price, it ranges from over $200 to around $125.
The part number research was compliments of a friend that worked at Freightliner in Gaffney, SC now retired. It took her a while to resolve that A/B thing when everywhere I turned said "no longer available.
I hope somebody is writing all this down so when all us old guys are gone you "kids" can keep 'em running.
* This post was
edited 02/22/12 08:33am by Twomed *
Yes, if everything is working correctly, level in the coolant overflow reservoir will go UP when the engine is warm and go down as it cools. Gas, diesel-- all of them. If it doesn't move, you have an air pocket in the cooling system that is absorbing the expansion/contraction caused by temperature change.
First question on your coolant is "how old is it". If regular "low silicate for diesel with added SCA" it should be changed every three years.
If an OAT-based coolant such as Caterpillar ELC, every six years.
Color is NOT a good indication of what coolant is in there, as there is not agreed upon scheme across the different manufacturers.
Do NOT mix different types of coolants.
If in doubt, change it-- it is a lot cheaper than a new radiator, water pump or engine.
For more information on your Caterpillar cooling system and step by step instructions for changing the coolant, go to the Cat RV Club Technical Website. Yes, you have to join, yes, it is free, no, you will not get SPAM from it.
Check for cracks in the expansion tank. I noticed ours running a bit warm when pulling hills, so I added water/af mixture. Turns out there was a crack in the tank where I couldn't see it, when engine got warm, fluid (under pressure) returned to the tank, and leaked out. Replaced tank, replaced lost fluid, and all is OK. The tank would retain enough to keep from emptying the radiator, just let it get low.
Noel and Betty Johnson 2005 GulfStream Ultra Supreme, 1 wife, 1 Poodle
Like my previous post stated. They use de-ionized water. Distilled works as well. However, if you contact any manufacturer and look at their spec books they will tell you to only use their parts. Every piece of equipment I have wants me to only use their parts. If their parts were the best there would only be one brand of vehicle on the road. Not everyone can be best. LOL