Radiator tablets redux
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Radiator tablets redux in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I understand why we are cautioned about putting Barsleak or GM tablets in the "overflow" tank and why we are ...
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    Jimbad is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Radiator tablets redux

    I understand why we are cautioned about putting Barsleak or GM tablets in the "overflow" tank and why we are urged to put the tablets into a radiator hose. However, the blister packs for both Barsleak and GM do say to place the tablets in the radiator. If one's car has a radiator cap would the radiator indeed, be an acceptable place for the tablets?
    (It seems as though the directions on the packs should be changed.)

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    Re: Radiator tablets redux

    In a normal system, where the radiator sees a high flow from the inlet hose, it is proper to put the Bars Leak into the radiator. However…. the Northstar does not have a "normal" system.

    The Surge Tank cap covers a low circulation reservoir and does not see enough circulation to properly break up the sealant and disperse it into the coolant. It usually will just stay there and may block the vent hose from the water pump, which can cause the water pump to cavitate if air bubbles can’t bleed off.

    -George

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    Jimbad is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Radiator tablets redux

    Thanks, George. I know that you write form a depth of knowledge.
    Jim

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    Re: Radiator tablets redux

    I suspect that the directions on the package were done before cars had cooling systems with pressurized surge tanks with the pressure cap on the surge tank instead of the radiator.

    The main thing, as George says, is to install the pellets in a part of the system that is the main flow path so that the supplement gets circulated thru the system. Pressurizes surge tanks, by design, are a quiet flow area for deaeration of the coolant in high flowrate systems so the supplement will not be distributed thru the system at best and, at worst, can cause a blockage of the feed hose to the water pump.

    In the 4.1/4.5/4.9 engines the coolant supplement is installed into the radiator itself as the pressure cap is on the radiator.

    On the Northstar engine it would be fine to put the supplement into the radiator...but there is no radiator cap....it is on the surge tank....so it is necessary to disconnect a hose to put the supplement in.

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    Re: Radiator tablets redux

    Thanks for the replies; it's a pleasure to "converse" with folks who know so much. I'm jealous!

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    ZSKI is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Radiator tablets redux

    This may be off the mark some what...but I need advice and this is by far the best place I have found to get it on-line. About the GM coolant supplement tablets. I have a 1998 Ford F-150 with 73k miles, 4.6 Triton engine. It is starting to show just a small coolant leak at one intake manifold gasket. Would these coolant tablets work on this Ford problem, does anyone know if there would be a problem putting these supplement tablets in a Ford truck? I can get the GM tablets readly at a near-by dealer...I can not find the Bars-Leak sold locally. Note: It Is my wife's truck and I do not want to screw it up!

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    Re: Radiator tablets redux

    Quote Originally Posted by ZSKI
    This may be off the mark some what...but I need advice and this is by far the best place I have found to get it on-line. About the GM coolant supplement tablets. I have a 1998 Ford F-150 with 73k miles, 4.6 Triton engine. It is starting to show just a small coolant leak at one intake manifold gasket. Would these coolant tablets work on this Ford problem, does anyone know if there would be a problem putting these supplement tablets in a Ford truck? I can get the GM tablets readly at a near-by dealer...I can not find the Bars-Leak sold locally. Note: It Is my wife's truck and I do not want to screw it up!

    The GM Coolant Supplement pellets will work fine in a Ford....LOL LOL

    The sealer is very effective in any automotive cooling system. It is the same product regardless. The material is just ground up ginger root. The ginger root particles shrink when wet and clot in a leak. When they are in a leak spot that exposes them to air on the one side they start to expand and seal the leak.

    The type of leak you describe is exactly what the stuff was developed to do. Just make sure you install it in a major flow path for the coolant so that it gets dispersed. Not sure of the Ford cooling system but if the cap is on the radiator itself then install it there. Otherwise, pop one of the main radiator hoses off and install the pellets there.

    6 pellets is the norm for a larger cooling system.

    I just "helped" my neighbor seal up a similar type leak at a water pump mounting gasket interface on a Dodge Ram so it works on DC motors , too....LOL LOL

    It has also limped at least 5 snowmobiles out of the woods that I know of....because I was there. One blew a base gasket, the Sealant sealed it up for the next 800 miles. 2 put studs thru a heat exchanger and they ran the rest of the weekend with not more leaks. One blew a gasket out of a heat exchanger and the supplement sealed up a 1/16 inch by 1 inch long void for 500 miles of riding!!! Another sucked a base gasket and the sealant sealed it up enough to ride 250 miles until we could take the top end off and replace the gasket. Needless to say the Coolant Supplement pellets are a part of my emergency tool kit...!!!

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    ZSKI is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Radiator tablets redux

    Thanks bbob...and my wife thanks you. You guys have got a GREAT web-site here, really! Again THANKS!

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    Re: Radiator tablets redux

    Bbob,
    How many do you use in a snowmobile cooling system? Do you put them in the system or just carry them with and put them in when needed? I've got to drain and refill the system on mine this summer and I was considering using them but don't want to plug up the heat exchangers. I could have used them last week. My cap was leaking up in Eagle River Wisc. Tank was almost empty by the time we got back. Only one auto parts store in town had a 20 lb. cap but couldn't get it til the next morning. Had to go to the local snowmobile place and got robbed for $20. Auto parts store ordered them for us for $5 so we bought them to keep as spares.

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    Re: Radiator tablets redux

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    Bbob,
    How many do you use in a snowmobile cooling system? Do you put them in the system or just carry them with and put them in when needed? I've got to drain and refill the system on mine this summer and I was considering using them but don't want to plug up the heat exchangers. I could have used them last week. My cap was leaking up in Eagle River Wisc. Tank was almost empty by the time we got back. Only one auto parts store in town had a 20 lb. cap but couldn't get it til the next morning. Had to go to the local snowmobile place and got robbed for $20. Auto parts store ordered them for us for $5 so we bought them to keep as spares.

    I just carry them in my emergency tool kit and use when needed. The GM pellets will fit into a 35 mm plastic film can and will stay pretty intact if you put some cotton in the ends of the canister to keep them from rattling. I usually carry 6 or 8 pellets in my kit. I wouldn't just put them into the system normally but they shouldn't hurt anything, really. I just hate to cover up a leak....I'd rather see it and then react to it with my kit than cover up an impending failure. We have had to use them a lot on different trips so now all my riding buds carry them too!! Nothing like melting snow in a tin can in the woods to refill the cooling system full of dog turds to get to town!!!

    Actually, there was a 6th one that I forgot about. A guy had put an aftermarket head on his Polaris and the coolant fitting provided cracked at the threads. We dosed it with the sealer and made it into town that time , too.

    This is also where I came to distrust the BarsLeaks with the brown soluable oil as it foamed badly in the Skidoo that sucked the base gasket in. We could only go a few miles and it would foam so badly it would blow all the coolant out. We drained it out and kept refilling with fresh coolant and used the sealer pellets and it sealed up and didn't foam so I am pretty sure it was the soluable oil as that sled has a very high flow water pump in it.

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    Re: Radiator tablets redux

    Quote Originally Posted by bbob
    6 pellets is the norm for a larger cooling system.
    Just to be clear, this is 6 of the larger GM pellets, right? They sell a 6-pack of 10g tablets (P/N 3634621) and a 5-pack of 4g tablets (P/N 12378254).

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    Re: Radiator tablets redux

    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora40
    Just to be clear, this is 6 of the larger GM pellets, right? They sell a 6-pack of 10g tablets (P/N 3634621) and a 5-pack of 4g tablets (P/N 12378254).

    Yes, the larger pellets. 6 of the larger pellets for most any V8 cooling system.

    Two of the larger pellets will just fit into a 35mm film canister with a wad of cotton to keep them from rattling around.

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    Eldorado_RED is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Radiator tablets redux

    Hey Mr. bbob, I was wondering if there is a limit to how many times you can use the pellets. I have a small leak in the head gaskets and just installed a new radiator. Car seems to work fine but I have to keep adding coolant about every other day just so it wont overheat. Since im always adding coolant does that mean the properties of the pellets went out wit the old coolant? If so would it be safe to drop 6 pellets every 2 weeks or something of that time frame? Thanks in advance

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