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Old 04-06-2017, 10:58 PM   #1
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Vacuum Coolant thingee

going to be doing a new water pump in a few weeks. I am a bit confused, is the Harbor Freight radiator test kit the same thing ?? does it work ??? Is there something better (than Harbor Freight....LOL) I will probably use it 3 or 4 times in my life

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Old 04-07-2017, 04:03 AM   #2
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U-View. You will need a compressor. They make a couple of versions. Basic around $75, it worked great for me. It will also tell you before you refill if your system is leaking or not.
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Old 04-07-2017, 04:54 AM   #3
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Is there something better (than Harbor Freight....LOL)
There is always something better than Harbor Fright!!!

If you patient and can get the back of the car up a bit so that air will migrate easier to the tank, I don't think it's needed. The system will purge itself of air, it just takes time.
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:47 AM   #4
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I will probably use it 3 or 4 times in my life

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GREAT point. I have one sitting in my garage I used once when I replaced (OK, my brother did it) my water pump. I am more than happy to loan it to you. I am out of town right now.... but I bet I could ship it to you and you ship it back for $25. So... is it worth $25 to borrow it? Or, better to buy it for $100 and put it on the shelf??
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pdwight View Post
going to be doing a new water pump in a few weeks. I am a bit confused, is the Harbor Freight radiator test kit the same thing ?? does it work ??? Is there something better (than Harbor Freight....LOL) I will probably use it 3 or 4 times in my life

Thanks

Dwight
Can't say that I agree; more and more OEM's are recommending using vacuum fill systems for their cooling service. We use ours on everything from liquid cooled motorcycle engine's to a recent service of a customer's John Deere tractor. This system makes any coolant change a quick and painless process.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:20 AM   #6
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I have a Schwaben brand tool from ************************************ (I tried to link it here, but apparently this site is pretty good about rejecting competing sites so the link won't work. Understood. Maybe Pelican has one too? If so, I couldn't find it...). I have too many cars and actually have used it quite a bit. LOTS of places sell similar tools.

If you check ebay for this type of thing you can find them for $43 on up.

The funny thing is that when I did the water pump in my Boxster, I didn't use the vacuum tool. I had the back end up in the air and ran it with the purge valve open until it had fulliy "burped".
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:59 AM   #7
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The problem for some who use these systems is getting a compressor with sufficient flow volume and pressure to produce the specified inches of vacuum. The AirLift video linked below muddles vacuum and pressure. It specifies "25 psi".
We have discussed this previously and it seems the Airlift(& clones) work well enough at 15 "psi" - no need for the "25 PSI" specified in the Instructions. What it doesn't make clear is how to allow a marginal compressor to recover but avoid loosing the vacuum in the cooling system. Depending on how much coolant is in the system when the vacuum drops too far - you may have to drain and start over. Same for running out of coolant in the refill bucket.
I found that 15 is sufficient to collapse the large hoses from the water pump .That seems more than sufficient IF you keep the refill bucket full and don't fall below 8-10.YEMV.
It is a very noisy job unless you have a remote Compressor.
Rear-End-Up-Burping seems to work eventually as Mr.Q. says.
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:44 PM   #8
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43 bucks

It's worth that for one use

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