About Coolant Filters

"See about the Photo” Below
Setting the stage: Over the Road Trucks = ORT = the “Semi’s” that we see everyday. ORT’s are all equipped with coolant filters and some have two. Navistar, who builds the Ford Powerstroke, equips their trucks (Internationals that use the same engine) with a coolant filter. Ford does not order the coolant filter when they order engines from Navistar.
SCA = Supplemental Coolant Additive = Sacrificial chemicals that attach to the walls of a diesel engine block and stay suspended in the coolant. As the term sacrificial implies, when a hot spot occurs in the engine block the SCA protects the metal in the block from eroding away. The SCA’s while in solution can not be filtered out. Of course the SCA can’t last forever and will eventually flake off and is immediately replaced by SCA’s that are suspended in the coolant. The spent SCA is a baked, hard & sharp little flake that will now travel around through the cooling system until it gets trapped somewhere.
Core sand is a sand mixture that is used to create the voids in the engine block such as coolant passages. The molten iron is poured around and through the core sand and when the iron cools the cleaning begins. Even the outside of the engine block is formed by the core sand and is easily cleaned away. All the passages are packed with sand and can be difficult to clean. A percentage of the sand is never removed and will now travel through the cooling system. Some of the core sand will be released into the coolant throughout the life of the engine.
Summary: Core sand and spend SCA’s travel through the coolant passage wearing on:
• Hoses • Water pump & Water pump seals •Thermostat • Freeze plugs • Heater core They will also collect in low flow areas and actually create hot spots. The filter above was installed on a 1996 Powerstroke that had 70,000 miles on it and the filter was removed after only 1,500 miles and sawn open. You can see that the filter was stressed and notice the pile of core sand and SCA’s were filtered out of the coolant. Installation: This kit is for the 1994 – 1997 Ford F Series with the Powerstroke Diesel. If you feel comfortable changing a thermostat for example you would not have a problem installing this kit. It is easy to install taking about 1 to 2 hours. The coolant is intercepted right at the water pump by removing the threaded pipe plug and installing a fitting. The coolant is returned to the system at the hose that goes to the coolant reservoir using a tee. The spin on filter used has a by-pass so that if the filter is plugged coolant will continue to flow. Remember that the circuit started by removing a plug so even if the circuit were to be completely plugged it would not damage anything, of course filtration would be stopped. Service life: You should not go longer then 3,000 miles on the first filter. The second filter can go 6,000 miles, the third and those thereafter can be in service for 12,000 miles or one year. If you need to use a stop-leak product shut both of the valves off so that the stop-leak fibers don’t get filtered out before the leak is fixed. You could leave the valves off for a week of every day driving, or the equivalent length of time, to let the stop-leak do its job. Remember to turn them back on though. Included: • Powder coated mount bracket • Billet aluminum filter base • Filter (non SCA) a Napa Gold 4070 fits and is available nation wide for about $12.00 • 9 Ft. 3/8” heater hose • Fittings and clamps • Bolts and instructions • 2 shut off valves to simplify changing the filter and minimize coolant loss. About the photo of the filter: The photo was not doctored or edited in any way. The filter was sawn open by holding it in a vise and using a hack saw. The filter was red (a Baldwin B5134 which also fits) and any debris containing red flakes was discarded and not included in the photo. Of course the filter was right off a vehicle so it was a soggy mess to saw open and much more debris was discarded than is shown in the photo. I would estimate the amount in the photo is a heaping tablespoon of core sand, rust and scale.