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Old 01-06-2012, 12:27   #16
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re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

The pink stuff is not really considered "permanent" anti-freeze if it mostly alcohol based. It is commonly called plumbers anti-freeze and is used to winterise water systems and meant to be flushed out. The green stuff or whatever other colour it comes in is permanent within reason. The alchohol in the plumbers anti freeze has been known to damage seals if used as an engine coolant.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:34   #17
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re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

Delo Extended Life Coolant/Antifreeze PG

"DeloŽ Extended Life Coolant/Antifreeze PG are single phase, propylene glycol type products based on Chevron's patented aliphatic carboxylate inhibitor system with nitrite and molybdate added. Delo Extended Life Coolants/Antifreeze PG do not require the addition of supplemental coolant additives to obtain a service life of 750,000 miles/8 years/ 12,000 hours with correct top-up practices. Delo Extended Life Coolants/Antifreeze PG meet the CAT$#174; EC-1 specification. "
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Old 01-06-2012, 13:35   #18
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re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

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Also interesting, going from 50% mix to 60% AF mix takes you from -28F protection to -60F protection! (for those of you considering the NW passage!)
As noted previously, beware using too much antifreeze in warm waters.
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Old 01-06-2012, 15:05   #19
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re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

We are talking about two pinks, one dexcool, 1995 and newer gm cars. two RV antifreeze to winterizing plumbing, motors and anythang you don't want to freeze over the winter. fwiw I find dexcool over time will get the brown crud in the system and after flushing i go back to the green. They were putting aluminum heads on cast iron blocks before pink came out. In my book pink is garbage. Sorry hope i didnt offend anyone
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Old 01-06-2012, 15:43   #20
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re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

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The anode should be for the SW part of the cooling system, right?

This does remind me that I'm due for a flush for both the engine and the generator.
In our engine the anode is on the heat exchanger.

I know at least two gensets where they are in the same place.

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Old 01-06-2012, 18:17   #21
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re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

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But I noticed that the coolant is opaque, brown, and sludgy, which cannot be good. I can only guess that someone -- I guess the engineer who did total service of engine and gen set when I bought the boat -- mixed pink coolant with the green stuff. Oh crap again . . .
Does all the coolant look like that? or just in the overflow tank after you serviced it? 3 years/300 hours without a zinc is a long time.

The fresh water cooling system heat exchanger may have broken down resulting in sea water mixing with your engine coolant. (Brown, opaque and sludgy)

The best way to check this is with a cooling system pressure tester:

Amazon.com: Stant 12270 30 Pound Cooling System And Pressure Cap Tester: Automotive


If your are in a shipyard one of the engineers/mechanics might be able to loan you one.



If you do not have/cant find a pressure tester, you might be able to find out if it is total shot by doing a quick check:
  1. First close the raw water intake thru hull for the gen set.
  2. Pull the zinc out of the heat exchanger and let it drain completely.
  3. Then remove the coolant cap and see if the coolant goes down. Give it a while and see if anything else comes out of the heat exchanger zinc hole. If the fresh water coolant level drops the the heat exchanger is most likely shot and the engine is full of salt water.
This is by no means a full check out of your cooling system, but it may point you in the right direction.

Hopefully its is just ugly coolant. Good Luck
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Old 01-06-2012, 19:38   #22
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re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

This don't sound good.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:38   #23
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Re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

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Originally Posted by Opie91 View Post
Does all the coolant look like that? or just in the overflow tank after you serviced it? 3 years/300 hours without a zinc is a long time.

The fresh water cooling system heat exchanger may have broken down resulting in sea water mixing with your engine coolant. (Brown, opaque and sludgy)

The best way to check this is with a cooling system pressure tester:

Amazon.com: Stant 12270 30 Pound Cooling System And Pressure Cap Tester: Automotive


If your are in a shipyard one of the engineers/mechanics might be able to loan you one.



If you do not have/cant find a pressure tester, you might be able to find out if it is total shot by doing a quick check:
  1. First close the raw water intake thru hull for the gen set.
  2. Pull the zinc out of the heat exchanger and let it drain completely.
  3. Then remove the coolant cap and see if the coolant goes down. Give it a while and see if anything else comes out of the heat exchanger zinc hole. If the fresh water coolant level drops the the heat exchanger is most likely shot and the engine is full of salt water.
This is by no means a full check out of your cooling system, but it may point you in the right direction.

Hopefully its is just ugly coolant. Good Luck
So, this little problem -- seaweed in the seawater intake -- has spiralled into a major generator breakdown, it seems.

Yesterday I struggled with the salt water side of the cooling system -- couldn't solve a problem with the seawater pump heating up. There is a separate thread on it here: Baffling, Maddening Impeller Problem

This morning I got up to find that the fresh water side of the cooling system is dry. So -- it means the fresh water cooling system is breached somewhere.

It was so upsetting when it seemed that I just needed a flush and new coolant, and couldn't get the genset working again. Now after a good night's sleep I'm just resigned to having another project -- so one foot after the other, work it out and solve it. An unexpected and unwelcome project, but what the h*ll -- it's cruising, ain't it?

I guess the exhaust manifold is cracked because I did observe a little bit of fizzing in the coolant fill neck.

On the other hand, I have this bizarre raw water side problem, with the seawater pump heating up (Baffling, Maddening Impeller Problem). So MAYBE -- it's the heat exchanger, which is the one place where salt and fresh come together -- maybe it's collapsed and obstructing the flow of seawater, and at the same time causing the breach of the fresh water wide. What do y'all think?

I'm at anchor off Yarmouth; I'm going to head into Poole and tie up to a dock and pull out the heat exchanger -- which I need to do in any case according to the principle of "eliminate the simpler things first". The heat exchanger is relatively easy to get to, being separate from the engine block (unlike on my main engine). It is like a pipe with end caps which come off, so I should be able to take it apart and check it out.

If the heat exchanger seems to be o.k., then I'll clean it out, get a proper impeller, and try it again (with little hope, but need to check).

That must solve my sea water side problem at least, unless someone has some other idea about it.

If I continue to loose coolant from the fresh water side, then I'll pull off the exhaust manifold and blow through it. If I don't find a crack like that, then I guess I'll have to have it magnafluxed.

Do you all agree with my proposed diagnostic sequence here?

I have high hopes that the worst that it could be is the exhaust manifold, and that we cannot be talking about a cracked head or block here. That's because there is no oil in the coolant, no coolant in the oil, and the engine starts and runs perfectly.

So of course the whole story is a big disappointment -- I had a long list of other things I wanted to fix on the boat before my big trip a month from now -- and the Kohler generator was the last thing in the world I expected to give me major trouble. But s**t happens, doesn't it. Not the end of the world. I guess it won't bankrupt me to buy a new heat exchanger and/or exhaust manifold for it.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:07   #24
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Re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

Take the heat exchanger to an 'old school' radiator repair shop,they will be able to clean it out well and pressure test it, good luck, Bruce.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:57   #25
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Re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

If you can pressure test the fresh water system before you remove the heat exchanger. I do not know about the UK but a lot of auto part supply stores here in the US will loan out tools(with a deposit).

If you do find a pressure tester, this is how I would test the system:

- Fill the system with plain water(no sense waisting coolant)
- Remove the zinc and drain the heat exchanger completely
- Look at the coolant cap from you generator. See how many psi the cap is, it will be written on the cap.
- Pressurize the system with the pressure tester to a 1-2 psi less than what was written on the cap.
- See if the pressure drops, if it does look at the zinc hole. If water is coming out the zinc hole the exchanger it is no good.

Good luck!
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:47   #26
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Re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

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If you can pressure test the fresh water system before you remove the heat exchanger. I do not know about the UK but a lot of auto part supply stores here in the US will loan out tools(with a deposit). out the zinc hole the exchanger it is no good. Good luck!
Except the UK is about to shut down for the longest bank holiday this century

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Old 03-06-2012, 04:20   #27
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Re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

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Except the UK is about to shut down for the longest bank holiday this century

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Indeed! Quite a pageant here in Poole. Glad I just bought a new extra-large Red Ensign. I've never seen so many flags in my life, I think. I'm about to break out the signal flags in order for the yacht not to appear so disgracefully underdressed.

For those in other parts of the world -- it's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this weekend. I didn't realize what a big deal it is.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:50   #28
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Re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

Extra points to those who can read our signal.

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Old 03-06-2012, 09:03   #29
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Re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
But I noticed that the coolant is opaque, brown, and sludgy, which cannot be good. I can only guess that someone -- I guess the engineer who did total service of engine and genset when I bought the boat -- mixed pink coolant with the green stuff. Oh crap again . . .
Could be a cracked head. Oil will do this to the coolant.

Check the oil, does it look strange?
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:57   #30
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Re: Major Generator Problems (Formerly Pink vs. Green Coolant for Kohler Genset?)

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Indeed! Quite a pageant here in Poole. Glad I just bought a new extra-large Red Ensign. I've never seen so many flags in my life, I think. I'm about to break out the signal flags in order for the yacht not to appear so disgracefully underdressed.

For those in other parts of the world -- it's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this weekend. I didn't realize what a big deal it is.
Dont you elect a new one every few years?
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