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Old 01-04-2011, 03:50 PM   #1
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ISL DCA4 Coolant additive

Last summer I checked the coolant with the Fleetguard 3-way test strips and found the Molybdate and Nitrite both low so I bought 3 pints of DCA4 additive. The Cummins parts guy told me to pour the additive into the coolant recovery (overflow) tank and wait for about 1,000 miles for it to be mixed then test again.

I just tested again today and got the same readings as before. I was wondering if the additive I poured into the top of the recovery tank really got mixed with the coolant in the block, radiator, etc.

Both times I took my sample from the petcock at the bottom of the radiator.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:13 PM   #2
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Are you sure you have the antifreeze that requires the additives? I have an ISL in my 2007 and I have the OAT type antifreeze which doesn't require the additives, just an extender. I just don't know what year they changed over to the OAT antifreeze. If you call Cummins they can tell you what you have.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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It probably didn't mix. Do what I did. Dump it out and use Shell extended and forget all them test strips.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:20 PM   #4
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I was told be the Cummins rep that in the 2006 ISL-400 in order to be competitive with the price of Cat engines Cummins deleted the coolant filter which was the way the additive level was controlled in the ISC and earlier ISL engines.

He, and engine related information I have, says the additive is needed to prevent pitting of the cylinder walls and that we needed to use the test strips to determine whether the coolant has sufficient DCA.

How does Shell Extended prevent the pitting? Here is a link explaining the DCA4.

http://www.fleetguard.com/html/en/pr.../supp_add.html
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:18 PM   #5
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All - Cummins (if again you read the manual) recommends "Fleetguard Complete" Coolant, which has the proper amount of DCA4 contained in it, additionally it properly mixed at the 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water. I carry two gallons of it with me; it is also used in the genset. I asked Cummins when I should have my coolant changed and he told me the 5 year point, which is this year. They will drain it out, flush the system, and refill it with the complete product. It's well worth the money to pay them to do it since I don't have a clue where to put all that coolant, and it isn’t down the sewer drain either. Now, I don't know about a CAT engine, since we have Cummins engines in our rigs, I would go with what the manufacturer says, since they spent the engineering time to develop it, test it, and build it. Simple when you think about it!
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
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I understand that coolant "mix" can be purchased with the proper DCA additives but it is my understanding that the DCA gets used up with time and either more DCA has to be added or the coolant drained and replaced - thereby replacing the DCA.

I am not yet at the coolant replacement miles or time so I was trying to keep the engine properly protected by adding more DCA.

So any thoughts, E.M. or others, on whether additive placed in the reservoir should have mixed with the coolant in the system.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:04 PM   #7
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I think that the dca should have mixed with the rest of the coolant if you drove for a 1000 miles. Try checking the coolant at the recovery tank. If still no reading maybe you don't have enough in there or your coolant does not use dca. Do you know what coolant is in your system?
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:52 AM   #8
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Cummmins will check it annually when they do my oil change. It's easier for them to do it, and they have the stuff to make it right.
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:08 AM   #9
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I tried the test strips for the coolant shortly after I bought the coach with less than 10k miles, indicated poor, screwed around for two days draining and replacing with Complete from Cummins and the test strips showed the same. Seems like a lot of voodoo to me. Something else to worry about.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLMunsil View Post
I think that the dca should have mixed with the rest of the coolant if you drove for a 1000 miles. Try checking the coolant at the recovery tank. If still no reading maybe you don't have enough in there or your coolant does not use dca. Do you know what coolant is in your system?

I don't know the brand of coolant but it is green. I will try testing the coolant in the tank.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:54 PM   #11
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The anti-cavitation capacity of coolant is important to diesel engine longevity. Diesel percussion (the hammering to cylinder walls from ignition of the compressed fuel mix) is many times the level of the hammering a gas engine delivers to cylinder walls. If there isn't sufficient cavitation capacity, then ignition produces
1) expansion of cylinder as the fuel load explodes
2) rapid spring-back of the cylinder wall
3) cyl wall pulls back away from coolant so fast, coolant is left behind & a small vacuum w/out cylinder wall protection opens up
4) a corrosion pit can start in this vacuum area of the cyl wall
5) once started the pit can advance w/remarkable rapidity, holing the cylinder wall & making a real mess of the engine (steam in the cyl, blow out the rings...)

Properly formulated coolant w/the appropriate level of anti-cavitation ingredient resists the vacuum formation & therefore keeps the cylinder wall wetted which resists pitting formation.

If you have differential DCA levels in the petcock sample vs. the surge tank then I'd conclude the surge tank additive isn't mixing. If you have no difference in the two but low DCA indicated, you may have out of date or damaged test strips, or the DCA added may have weakened. Just hafta test further to isolate the facts.

The surge tank has two 1/8" NPT fittings w/hoses from the intake manifold & from a fitting next to the thermostat housing; I believe these are return fittings. If coolant was low and engine temp not high, you may not get any return in these lines and maybe minimal mixing from the surge tank. We've seen cases where owners have driven around for a long time w/low coolant because they mistook a meniscus of coolant in the sight glass for the coolant level; I don't know of anyone who wrecked an engine doing this, but don't recommend trying this at home. That condition would add credence to a lack of mixing theory. Probably a better way to add DCA would be to remove one of the uppermost lines from the back of the surge tank, and inject the DCA into it so it enters the block; I'd suggest the line going to the manifold. Do this w/engine cold and it should result in direct mixing w/the coolant in the block.

FWIW the surge tank per WRV drawings has inside dimensions giving ~2.2 gallons of capacit to the center of the sight glass, ~3.0 to the lip of the filler neck. However I think per inch of height, the real capacity includes corresponding engine/radiator volume, so if you are down half a tank, you will need more than 1.5 gallons.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:18 PM   #12
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EM - I know for sure I have not ever tested my engine, I let cummins do it, but knowing the proper way to do it would be nice to know, and what the test strips should read/look. So if you are inclined, could you show us at the alpine rally where to take the sample, which hoses you are talking about, etc. Would it be wise to drain the surge tank, then run the eingine for a bit to get something splashed/flowing into it, then put the DCA back into the surge tank and then fill it back up to the proper level? Taking lose one hose might entail spilling the stuff on the ground which might be a bad thing. What do you think?
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:39 AM   #13
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FWIW, I added a recovery tank above the level of the surge tank. I add my DCA4 additive there. I draw my sample from the Radiator petcock. I adjusted my DCA/SCA level last October. I checked it just prior to leaving Branson. SAC/DCA was 1.2 I added the appropriate amount of DCA4. When I got to Brownsville. I checked the DCA/SCA again it was at 2.8.

I buy my test strips from Ryder Fleet products in 1 strip packs for $1.33 each #V52 CC2602B . I only order enough for 1 year so I know I have good strips.

My surge tank is full and when hot, excess fluid is pushed into the recovery tank. It doe not take long for the recovery tank to drain back after the engine is shut down. I would say no longer than 30 minutes.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:56 AM   #14
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Could you possibly have a batch of bad test strips? I have heard of that before.
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