Branson 3520h Coolant Change

   #1  

pockman

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Hi all,

I have my dunce cap at the ready - please know that I am a newbie. I have a Branson 3520h that was sitting a couple of seasons. The coolant level was low so I decided to do a full flush to get any grime out.

Popped radiator cap, removed drain plug. Didn't get as much fluid as I expected - capacity is 1.58 gallons. Replaced drain plug and added distilled water to radiator which took less than 1 gallon. I ran the engine for approximately 15 minutes. Confused, I hit tractorbynet and found a post that I may only be draining the radiator but NOT the engine block. Suggestion: Remove lower radiator hose.

Drained again and plenty of neon green coolant came out and again, less than ~1.58 gallons. I popped off the radiator hose and ... nothing. I have seen some posts that suggest a drain plug on the engine block itself but if there is one, it's not obvious (again - newbie). Given the < 1 gallon refill and neon green on the second drain, I am sure I am missing a drain and not getting everything (probably a little more than half).

Lastly - I don't know what I can mix and match for coolant. I know the coolant in there is/was green and I have a new bottle of Peak Fleet Charge SCA. Is it a matter of sticking a garden hose on and flushing through the radiator? Is there any issue flushing with well water vs. distilled? If I am going to flush with a hose - fine, but it seems like there should be a reasonable way to gravity drain most/all and then flush for the residue.

The manual is nearly completely unhelpful.


Picture showing right side of tractor, rad hose off, and drain plug off.

Thanks for reading.
pockman
 

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   #2  

K5lwq

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I think you are probably good. Most antifreeze today will say safe for all colors so just go with that and fill the system and don't worry.
 
  
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pockman

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Thanks for the response. My concern is how does one fully flush it? Assuming any and all coolants are compatible, it seems like there is value in flushing completely. And then adding your coolant. Getting rid of sludge, manually inspecting the quality of fluid coming out, etc., etc.

And then we can add in the idea that all coolants are not compatible.

pockman
 
   #4  

K5lwq

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This is from the service manual. It is not real clear but no mention of a block drain. I do not know of a location for a block drain on your tractor. If it looks clean you have done good enough. If the bottle of coolant says it is compatible with all then you will be ok. If you just really worried about it then keep going with distilled water until you drain just clean water back out. Personally I do not like tap at all in a cooling system even for flushing. Hope this helps.

1. If the tractor is equipped with a cabin, turn the heater control dial to the right end.

2. To release pressure, unscrew the radiator cap (1) slightly. Then, unscrew it completely.

3. To collect coolant, place a container under the drain hole.

4. Remove the radiator drain plug (2) completely.

5. After coolant is completely removed from the radiator, fit the plug and add clean water to the system.

6. Run the engine until its temperature reaches its operating temperature.

 never remove the cap when the coolant tem- perature is over the boiling point. To release pressure, unscrew the radiator cap (1) slight- ly. Then, unscrew it completely.

 never pour cold water or coolant onto the hot engine. always use warm liquid until the engine is sufficiently cooled down.

7. Stop the engine and add clean water to the system.

8. Run the engine until its temperature reaches its operating temperature. Then, stop the engine.

9. Then, add the specified anti-freeze to the system.

10. Add the anti-freeze to the "Max." limit mark.

11. Start the engine and run it for 15 minutes.

12.Stop the engine and add the anti-freeze up to the "Full" mark.

13. Tighten the radiator cap.

Note: For efficient cooling, the dust grill of the radiator should always be kept clean. Remove any dust or oil from it and spread any bent cooling fin straight.
 
  
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pockman

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Thanks again. I bought pink antifreeze (peak fleet charge sca). Now that I can't drain all coolant, is there any issue mixing pink with "some" amount of green? It sounds like it may be ok but am having a hard time finding something to give me confidence filling up.

I thought the precharged would be simpler than adding flush chemical and or additives after the fact, even more so now that I can't drain the block completely.
 
   #6  

RjCorazza

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From the manufacturer:

Q: Can I mix FLEET CHARGE with other coolants?
A: While the best results can be expected when used by itself. FLEET CHARGE is compatible with all coolants that meet ASTM D6210, TMC RP-329, automotive and heavy-duty engine manufacturers’ factory specifications.

The Peak www site lists different ASTM numbers for their standard green coolant, so if that's what's in your tractor now it would imply that the Fleet Charge SCA is not compatible.

It's just good practice to not mix different coolant types. I would thoroughly flush prior to switching. See if there is a coolant hose that comes off of the bottom of the engine, and remove it. Perhaps that will drain the block.
 
   #7  

LouNY

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The people that say mixing coolants is fine have been lucky.
I flushed and filled my UTV two years ago, when I did it I was sure I had gotten all the old coolant out of the system.
I switched it over to Rotella long life a fairly expensive coolant, long story short the coolants reacted to each other
and left a waxy deposit in the water pump, the plastic impeller broke all the vanes off and all of a sudden I was having over heating issues.
It took considerable flushing and disassembly to clean the system out and get it working again.

Most of the newer tractors will not have a block drain. On your tractor the heater type hose on the oil cooler/heater will drain more out of the block then the radiator hoses.
I run slightly more then a 50/50 mix, with your 1.58 gallon capacity system after flushing and to refill I would start out by adding a gallon of concentrate to the system and then topping off with the diluted 50/50. I tend to fill mine at a 60/40 ratio which is good for lower and higher temperatures then 50/50 and while it may not be necessary I am comfortable with my coolant systems being at the 60/40.
 
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K5lwq

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Then I would pick a different coolant that is compatible or keep flushing with distilled water till clear.

To speed things up some you could remove the thermostat and get a longer top hose to pump water out into a bucket. The key here is not letting it get to temperature but shorter runs with long cool down times.

It would probably flush it all out with one radiator full of distilled water that way.
 
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AndyMA

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Never mix different types of coolant

Unless you’re an expert on the exact chemical composition and reactions of the various types, keep it simple and stick with what the manufacturer recommends. Mixing the wrong types could cause radiator and cooling system damage (which could lead to engine/waterpump damage) and a repair bill that’ll make you pass out on the floor. Which could then lead to an expensive doctors bill. Check the owners manual.
 
  
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pockman

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All,

Thank you for all of the responses and advice. I flushed a few times with distilled, grabbed GREEN antifreeze and filled the radiator with concentrate, figuring it would give at least a 50/50 to avoid winter freeze issues. I was able to move on from this and hit more issues as is always the way. But that's another topic for another post.

Again - thank you for the wisdom and helping me to learn.


-pockman
 
 
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