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  #1  
Old 10-24-2010, 04:07 PM
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Orange/Dex-Cool Coolant

So I need to change the coolant in my F150, which is still on the factory fill, 11 years and 98,000 miles later (Dad wasn't much of a car guy...just turn the key and go).

That is about as far as I made it before I became extremely confused. The owner's manual (which is the original that came with the truck, complete with yellowing pages) states that if the truck came with orange coolant, I should use Ford Extended Life Engine Coolant (Ford specification WSS-M97B44-D or Dex-Cool equivalent).

However, while surfing the boards (seeing what others used/recommend), it seems like orange coolant/Dex-Cool is berated for causing water pump failures, clogging heater cores, being more expensive, and so on and so fourth. Suffice to say, my F150 has had zero cooling-related issues in the 11 years and 98,000 miles we've had it.

What I also found interesting is that the supposed orange coolant was only used in the '99-02 Cougar, but my '99 F150 has the orange stuff as a factory fill. Truck has nothing special on it, except for a 6300# GVWR package (according to the window sticker) which includes a 9.75" axle. No towing package, no HD anything, nothing.

That said, is it suggested that I use Extended Life/Dex-Cool coolant (like Prestone Extended Life), or should I change over to the green stuff (Ford Premium Engine Coolant, spec ESE-M97B44-A)?

I mean, if the owner's manual suggests that I use the orange stuff and my truck came with it, then why is it berated for being sub-par and furthermore, why did Ford supposedly change coolants? I'm just trying to figure out why some of the info I'm reading is contradicting.
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2010, 04:22 PM
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I've always used the Preston in the 98, - never had orange in it, - green when new. I've NEVER had a coolant issue as well. 272,000 same everything. The only PITA is getting the air totally purged.

Ford has this to say if that problem occurs -

Click the image to open in full size.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2010, 04:23 PM
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hahaha I just run the Green Preston coolant or whatever cheapest.
You can run what you want.
all I've heard is if you switch from the orange to the green. Be sure to flush out the old stuff good.

Phil
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2010, 06:54 PM
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Ford has a PDF chart showing the correct coolant for each year & model since the early 90s. Click this link, then Quick Reference Charts, then the one for Service Coolant types. For more, read this article.
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2010, 07:27 PM
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Ford uses a gold coolant form 2002+ trucks and 2003+ cars. It is their long life fluid and is shared with Chrysler. You can get it from the dealer or NAPA. If you go to NAPA and they don't have it, they can order it. Zerex is the brand (made by Valvoline) and the part number is zxg051. You'll want to completely flush the cooling system first to get rid of all of the green coolant.

The gold is good for 150,000 miles according to Zerex.

http://www.valvoline.com/products/br.../antifreeze/42
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2010, 08:13 PM
glc glc is offline
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Note that Dexcool is also gold/orange, and you should NEVER use it in a Ford. It's nasty stuff.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2010, 08:23 PM
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dexacool is gasket eating garbage. do not use it.
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2010, 08:25 PM
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That's interesting. According to that chart, it says that my truck should be filled with either green or yellow, but the manual says that it's either filled with green or orange.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

And unless my eyes are deceiving me, the coolant in the truck is definitely not green and not yellow.
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2010, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glc View Post
Note that Dexcool is also gold/orange, and you should NEVER use it in a Ford. It's nasty stuff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotts2BMe View Post
dexacool is gasket eating garbage. do not use it.
But if Dex-Cool isn't good for Fords, then why does the manual suggest that I use Dex-Cool equivalent coolant?
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  #10  
Old 10-24-2010, 09:37 PM
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Ford offered it, but it was not used at the factory. Once they had a good extended lift formula of their own to use, they did. The yellow/gold didn't exist back then.
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  #11  
Old 10-24-2010, 10:05 PM
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Well, apparently not only did they offer it, but they filled my truck with it and it's printed in the manual that they filled the truck with it. So now that leaves me at a cross-roads as to what the "proper" coolant is since different documents suggest different coolants.
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2010, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBrakeForNobody View Post
Well, apparently not only did they offer it, but they filled my truck with it and it's printed in the manual that they filled the truck with it. So now that leaves me at a cross-roads as to what the "proper" coolant is since different documents suggest different coolants.
Well, the 99 shows "Green" from service -

Click the image to open in full size.
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  #13  
Old 10-24-2010, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve83 View Post
Ford has a PDF chart showing the correct coolant for each year & model since the early 90s. Click this link, then Quick Reference Charts, then the one for Service Coolant types. For more, read this article.
Nice

This should be all the info you need on the subject!

10. Other than collision, the most common cause for coolant leaks & blockages is corrosion. Corrosion is a natural effect of pure metals & alloys being exposed to water, which naturally absorbs oxygen. It is also caused by dissimilar metals (iron, steel, aluminum, etc.) being in contact with an electrolyte (water with ions), called "Galvanic action". Both of these act continually in varying degrees to eat away at most metal components exposed to the coolant. Pump impeller blades, radiator cores, heater cores, steel pipe nipples, & thermostat housings are susceptible. The results of unchecked corrosion are leaks in the affected parts (usually the thin steel & soft aluminum ones go first) & sedimentation in the radiator, blocking the lower tubes. To combat their effects, various compounds are blended with the coolant. But they don't last forever, especially when the vehicle is NOT operated (stored/abandoned). So regardless of mileage, COOLANT MUST BE CHANGED REGULARLY. And despite its intentionally-misleading name, long-life coolant must be changed on the SAME schedule, if not sooner. The "long-life" terminology only applies to its antifreeze/antiboil characteristics; its corrosion-inhibitors are consumed even faster than standard coolant, making it "short-life" coolant. Another marketing ploy is "ready-mix" coolant, which has gained much popularity over the typical concentrated (half-&-half) coolant previously available. A quick comparison of price (often higher for a gallon of ready-mix than for concentrate) shows that a vehicle requiring 2 gallons of coolant will cost more than twice as much to fill using ready-mix as with concentrate + distilled water.
There's a sucker born every minute - don't be one. Buy only normal-life concentrated coolant, and mix it yourself with distilled water.
11. If you have a leak, don't waste time or contaminate your cooling system with any "trick fixes" like cracking a raw egg or dumping pepper into the radiator. They don't usually work for long (if at all), and they cause problems later after the leaking part is replaced. Just START by replacing the leaky part, and you'll save money, time, & sweat. If you absolutely have to use a temporary fix, use Bar's Stop-Leak, which is a neutralized sawdust tablet.

12. COLOR When GM introduced its ill-fated (like so many other GM innovations) Dex-Cool coolant, it chose to distinguish its product (thankfully) by using an orange dye, instead of the common green. Both colors are intended to be detectable by UV light for tracing leaks, but Dex-Cool's formula failed for 2 reasons: 1) it contains a compound that is apparently very nutritious for certain bacteria, & 2) the tap water used at many GM factories for coolant mixing contained those bacteria. The resulting slime from the flourishing bacteria created an effective glue, which blocked up the coolant passages in the radiators & heater cores, causing mass overheating for several years. The problem has since been eliminated, but the color remained, causing more confusion. Ford went to a yellow dye (also UV-detectable) to distinguish its bittering agent (& a few other chemical changes), and now some aftermarket coolants contain other colors in an attempt to indicate compatibility with certain OE coolants. The typical result is simply MORE confusion, and the only remedy is to carefully read the labelling, since no standard has yet emerged. Ford offers a quick-reference chart for Service Coolant Usage on this page, along with several other useful PDFs. Many European brands require O.A.T. (organic acid technology) which is a red coolant. Some BMWs (including some Land Rovers) use a blue type. In most cases, common green coolant is the best, and will do everything that needs to be done in any engine, with no side-effects.
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Built Lightning block.
Stage 3 Ported heads. high performance Cams
2.3 Kenne Bell L upgrade blower 16 PSI
Kooks long tube headers
BTS race built 4R100 tranny
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best 1/4 to date.
60' 1.68
11.76 @ 116.17

Last edited by phil6608; 10-24-2010 at 11:02 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-24-2010, 11:03 PM
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More info -

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  #15  
Old 10-24-2010, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IBrakeForNobody View Post
Well, apparently not only did they offer it, but they filled my truck with it and it's printed in the manual that they filled the truck with it. So now that leaves me at a cross-roads as to what the "proper" coolant is since different documents suggest different coolants.
Your coolant is orange/brown from rust, not dex-cool. That's what happens when you go 11 years on coolant originally designed for 3 years.
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:34 PM


 
 
 
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