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2017 Kona Blue ST1
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362 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Years ago I forced the company I was working for to change the way they serviced the ambulances in their fleet maintenance agreements. Main because I got sick and tired of listening to some jack ass two bays over free reving a 6.0 powerstroke for 2.5 hours trying to get all the air pockets out of the massive extended cooling systems.

I showed them a tool (at that time was well over $400) that would save them time and money. The owner wasn't going to pay for the tool because he was the cheapest SOB on planet earth, but changed when a younger tech popped a egr cooler and hydrolocked the engine. $$$$. We purchased 5 that same day.

Fast forward to modern day and the same tool can be for less than $70 (unless you're an idiot like me who buys tool off the snap on truck). It is hands down the easiest way to not only refill your cooling system but test it for leaks after a repair.

While some of you may be aware of this tool after searching here I can tell that a lot of you aren't.

The Coolant Vacuum Lift tool can test for leaks and refill your entire system in less than 7 minutes. It also ensures that there is absolutely no air trapped inside the system causing you spend precious drinkin..... errr... I mean studying time attempting to burp an entire heater core's worth of air out. No more waiting for the engine to come up to temperature. It has yet to fail me once whether is a 1.5 million dollar fire truck or my own ST.

Tool from Summit Racing
Tool from Amazon

The one I personally own - Amazon

You can find them online, Amazon, ebay or sometimes you may get lucky and the local auto parts stores might even have one to rent out. Yes it does require access to an air compressor but I can tell you from personal experience that my small pancake compressor works just as well as my big 80 gal two stage. It just takes an extra minute or two.

The tool uses air pressure from your compressor to create a vacuum through the venturi effect. The vacuum pulls the air from your system. It will freak you out when you see radiator hoses flatten themselves the first time but rest assured everything will be fine. I would pull mine as close to 29 inches on the provided gauge just to make sure the system is good.

After you have reached your desired vacuum level you close off the main air valve which seals the vacuum off inside the system. There you can take a minute or two and observe the gauge. It shouldn't move. You should hold vacuum for that time because if air can get into the system at this point that means water can escape once the system is full and up to operating pressures. See leak testing.

Now you attach a provide hose where you once had your vacuum attachment and place the other end of that new hose into your new coolant bottle. *make sure to leave the supplied filter screen on the end of the fill hose to prevent pulling things into your cooling system.

Open the valve up and the vacuum in then system will suck all of the new coolant into the system. Keep an eye on the bottle to prevent running it dry. If the bottle gets low just shut off the valve, change bottles and open the valve back up. Watch your reservoir tank and shut valve off near the appropriate cold fill line.

That's it you're finished refilling you entire cooling system.

I'm attaching a quick YouTube video that shows you first hand what the tool is and how to use it. If this information is already somewhere here please feel free to delete it.


Hope this helps.
Have a great weekend and Stay Safe!

J
 

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This is very helpful, I bet you timed this well, most ST owners are probably reaching that time to replace the coolant. I am probably thinking about it a little early with my 2015 at 44k miles but I tend to be safe then sorry. This would be my first coolant change so thanks very much for posting this advice. I am going by memory but I think owner manual recommends a change at 100k miles?

The one you own I see on amazon they mention it needs minimum 90 psi with 4.2 cfm capacity. I could be wrong but I think that is pretty high cfm rating, my garage compressor goes up to 150 psi but I think only 3-3.5 cfm, Id have to look it up. What is your experience with that? I am guessing most shops dont even consider these things & it works fine just use a starting psi way higher then 90 should be fine right?
 

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Premium Member
2017 Kona Blue ST1
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362 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I have used a my bostitch roll around and my pancake compressor for this before I was able to wire up my larger 80 gal 2 stage. Most will get the vacuum down below the 25" mark.

If you can get the radiator hoses to collapse then it's down far enough for a refill for scheduled maintenance reasons. If this was a repair and you really want to test everything I know guys that have rented a compressor locally from Home Depot or Sunbelt for the day. The ST's cooling system isn't as big as the one on a 6.7 powerstroke. You should be fine.

Glad this could help you.
J
 
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You hit the nail on the head. I own this one, makes life 1000 times quicker and easier. Just be careful you dont pull air from the jug youre feeding from.


Since i recently got air out to my garage (80 gallon Industrual Air unit) i decided to change coolant in my f150, since it was time. Made a quick job of it.

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