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Old 09-11-2015, 01:05 AM   #1
methaddict
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Default Anyone ever use a Radiator Coolant Vacuum Refill Kit?

I bought a http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00804HWOU?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00 off Amazon to fill the system to avoid air pockets when filling the cooling system.

I tried using it today. Instructions are pretty straight forward. Place the rubber cone into the radiator neck, both valves are in the off position, then you connect a compressor hose to the top quick disconnect, then the other line submersed in your coolant mix. The bottom barb connects to an air exhaust hose . When the gauge needle reaches 20" of vacuum within the yellow range of the gauge, then you turn the yellow valve to the off position and turn the coolant inlet valve on. I'm only getting 5" of vacuum. I tested the kit by plugging up the rubber cone orifice and it immediately jumps to the yellow range of the gauge. I checked all the lines for leaks, tightened all the banjo bolts on the turbo and on the block, checked the throttle body coolant hose which I bypassed going through the throttle body, The Samco radiator hoses collapse from the vacuum. Maybe any of you have had experience with this type of kit can tell me if you ever reach 20" of vacuum and if it's normal for Subies. I have a brand new Koyo aluminum radiator installed, new Samco radiator hoses top and bottom, a Tigwerks turbo coolant reservoir, push lock lines running through my BW8374.
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Last edited by methaddict; 09-11-2015 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 09-11-2015, 02:29 AM   #2
Murphdog
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I use a kit like that at work all the time and I usually hit 15-20. Make sure you are doing it with the coolant level very low. If it sucks coolant up into it it won't make vacuum well at all. If you close the valve will it hold the 5 or does it loose it
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Old 09-11-2015, 02:43 AM   #3
methaddict
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Default Anyone ever use a Radiator Coolant Vacuum Refill Kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphdog View Post
I use a kit like that at work all the time and I usually hit 15-20. Make sure you are doing it with the coolant level very low. If it sucks coolant up into it it won't make vacuum well at all. If you close the valve will it hold the 5 or does it loose it
The cooling system is completely empty. If I close the valve it just pegs back all the way to the right. I visually followed the coolant route to inspect all the clamps are seated on the hoses. From the turbo coolant reservoir to the hard pipe that goes under the manifold then to another hose routed towards under the timing belt cover, to the radiator hoses, through the turbo and coolant inlet pipe located on the back of the block. I have tightened the banjo bolts and that they have the copper seat rings on the top and bottom on the BW turbo and the that the AN push lock hose ends on the coolant reservoir are tightened and all Parker Jiffy push lock hoses are properly seated. I may have to remove each hose individually to inspect for cuts or tears. Maybe I can pressurize the system and spray some soapy water on the hose ends to check for air leaks. Of course something so simple would turn into something I'd have to be a pita to trouble shoot.

Last edited by methaddict; 09-11-2015 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:04 PM   #4
cowboy_Rob
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If your only pulling 5 vacuum it definitely has a leak. Get a pressure tester and either fill it with water/coolant pump it up and watch where it sprays out.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:06 PM   #5
cowboy_Rob
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Default Anyone ever use a Radiator Coolant Vacuum Refill Kit?

Also possible that your kit isn't any good or you aren't getting a good seal to the radiator. Try vacuuming a Gatorade bottle or something and see if the tool will pull full vacuum and hold it when you close the shutoff. I've used a few different vacuum assist cooling system tools and they all pulled 25 inches vac generally



Edit one more thing. What year car? Do you have a cap on the radiator or just the one on the top reservoir. If you have one on the radiator too you need to block off the small hose or it will suck the coolant out of the overflow bottle and then suck in air
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:06 AM   #6
EASYRYDERDANGER
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I have used a vacuum style like that at work multiple times. Typically if it won't hold pressure there is a leak. Sometimes I will forget to block/pinch off the over flow hose from sucking air. Not sure what vehicle you are using this on but I know my sti has the radiator cap and high mount reservoir cap above intake. Could be possible that one of those is loosing pressure...? My 2 cents hope u figure it out, can be a useful tool for inserting coolant but not a trusted device for bleeding out air pockets.
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:20 AM   #7
methaddict
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It ended up being a hose from the turbo reservoir tank to a nipple on the Koyo Radiator that needed to be plugged up. After that I got 20" of vacuum and was able to fill it up using the fill kit.


Last edited by methaddict; 09-29-2015 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:36 PM   #8
dmath
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I hope it's ok to resurrect on old thread -- didn't want to start a new one when this is so on topic.

On Tuesday we are picking up a 2009 WRX. I'm going to change all fluids immediately to make sure I know what is in the various systems and that I have a fresh starting point for maintenance intervals.

I have a coolant vacuum tool and have used it on other makes but not on a Subaru. When using it on a Subaru with a top reservoir, should I attach it at the radiator cap or the top reservoir cap?

Thanks.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:32 AM   #9
JarHarms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmath View Post
...When using it on a Subaru with a top reservoir, should I attach it at the radiator cap or the top reservoir cap? Thanks.
Connect the vac-fill kit to the upper coolant tank, consider that as your primary radiator cap. Ignore the cap mounted on the radiator. Depending on how the vac-fill kit seals to the upper tank, you will need to clamp off some of the system bleed hoses as noted on the prior posts.
You might not need to use it but it does speed up the process a bit. I have always used the fill funnel/burp method on Subarus. Only a rare case of needing the vac-fill kit on a stubborn car or two.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:56 AM   #10
Jedi03
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yup only from the upper tank...those tools are great to help keep air bubbles out!
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:39 PM   #11
dmath
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Thank you both for the replies.

I know that I need to block the hose from the radiator to the plastic reservoir. Any tips on which others? Is there one between the top tank and the radiator?
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:50 PM   #12
dmath
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Did this today. Only blocked the line from radiator to plastic overflow tank. Was able to pull vacuum. Also used a spill-proof funnel at the end to make sure everything was bled properly.
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