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Thread: Gelatinous Chunks in Antifreeze/Coolant Change

  1. #16
    Principal Partner footrope's Avatar
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    The rest of the story

    Believe it or not you can blow out close to a gallon of the water with your lungs. But not all of it. You could also adapt a dinghy inflator or any kind of low pressure air pump, or suck some out with a wet/dry shop vac. Now that I think about it, to get the last quart out before I put coolant in mine, I used a basketball pump and duct tape for a reasonable seal.

    When you fill, pour the coolant and/or water into the thermostat housing also. That will help prime the water pump and will speed up the fill. If you just fill the cooling jacket you not may get much water into the block. This is especially true if the water heater is connected to the water jacket.


    My cooling system capacity is about 2 gallons, or maybe slightly more with the water heater. I get a fresh bucket and blow out about a gallon and call it good. I just use tap water rather than distilled water. I use undiluted coolant, obviously, to achieve the 1:1 ratio. I should buy a coolant checker but around here in the Pacific NW we don't get so cold that I worry about getting it to exactly 1:1. I'm usually a little more water than coolant. There is a spec for the Universal engines that lists the cooling system capacity. Let me know if you need it.

    Air bubbles are going to get in there with this method and I run the engine for a while to leak check, and refill as needed. I also check the coolant for the next couple hours of running time and have coolant available to top it up. I haven't tried any other method to burp the air out. I took pictures of an M-40 I was thinking about buying and on that engine there is a Schrader valve on top of the thermostat housing. That is pretty close to the high point of the engine cooling loop and is probably a help. But I suspect that bubbles collect in other places.

    For draining purposes, there is a Schrader valve on the side of the engine block near the front on most of these Universals. Mine is in a bad spot under the forward part of the intake manifold and I never use it. I never found it until I had the head off the engine last summer. You could disconnect a hose at a low point but you'll usually have a lower point internally. As I mentioned above, I use undiluted coolant to achieve the 1:1 mix since water is left in the engine.

    It's always an adventure.
    Last edited by footrope; 03-29-2017 at 10:36 AM.
    Craig Davis & Ellen Le Vita

    1980 E38 "Pilot Project"
    Hull #20, Universal Diesel 5432
    Gig Harbor, WA


    In Puget Sound there are only two directions to go - North and South. That applies to the boat and the wind.

  2. #17
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    My M25xp has a drain plug in the coolant reservoir and one on the bottom of the HX. There is probably one in the water jacket as well (at least there was in my old A4).
    Engine schematics can be found here. Takes a bit of sifting thru.
    http://shop.toadmarinesupply.com/mar...tname=catalogs
    1987 34-2
    Tortuga
    Universal M25XP

  3. #18
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by JSM View Post
    My M25xp has a drain plug in the coolant reservoir and one on the bottom of the HX. There is probably one in the water jacket as well (at least there was in my old A4).
    Engine schematics can be found here. Takes a bit of sifting thru.
    http://shop.toadmarinesupply.com/mar...tname=catalogs
    That "plug" on the bottom of your heat exchanger should be the end of the plug that holds a short threaded-in zinc. I have that on our M25XP.
    Darned... difficult to reach.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  4. #19
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    Thanks, will be replacing that guy as well!
    1987 34-2
    Tortuga
    Universal M25XP

  5. #20
    Contributing Member II
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    Coolant flush

    Hi JSM,

    This is an older post, but we have recently purchased an 30+ with a universal M18. When we opened the thermostat casing we had a similar gelatinous material. When you did the coolant flush, did you use a cleanser for the flush? Any lasting issues?

    Thanks in advance.

  6. #21
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    Congrats on the new boat ! I used an oil change suction pump to get all of the coolant out of the reservoir. I also removed the heat ex changer and opened it up to inspect the inside (found a small impeller fragment) the inside of the HX was in surprisingly good shape with just a light coating of minerals due to the fact that the boat has been in fresh water all of its life. Gave the HX an overnight soak in lime away and replaced the gaskets on the ends.
    I also replaced all of the hoses on the engine. By the time I was done I felt that there really wasn't much left to flush and just refilled the system with fresh antifreeze. Everything has been fine since then.
    1987 34-2
    Tortuga
    Universal M25XP

  7. #22
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    Thanks JSM. There is always a fear as you go through the process that you may be missing something. We had the HX tested as a precaution and it failed, so we have one on order. In the meantime, we will take your advice and make sure we have drained it completely and look at the hoses.

  8. #23
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    Old Boats are Great Teachers.

    Funny how taking stuff apart and putting it back together (sometimes several times) takes the mystery out of things. I was in your shoes three years ago and don't know where I'd be without the folks on this forum. Keep twisting wrenches and asking questions. Before you know it you will be one with your boat !
    1987 34-2
    Tortuga
    Universal M25XP

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