300m 3.5L engine: How much coolant is left in engine after replacinghoses and pump?

Discussion in 'Chrysler 300' started by MoPar Man, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    If the water pump and upper/lower rad hoses are replaced on the 3.5L
    engine in a 300m, how much coolant would still be left in the engine?

    Would there be enough to warrant the extra cost of a "coolant flush"
    prior to putting new coolant in the engine?

    Also, do I need to make any special request when it comes to which type
    of new coolant to put in, or can I trust that the dealership will use
    the "correct" coolant type during the job?
    MoPar Man, Oct 23, 2009
  2. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    System holds 9.4 qts. If you drain it by removing the hoses, without
    removing block plugs (no-one does that - too difficult to reach - the
    manuals make it sound so easy - it never is) and blowing out what you
    can with air, you'll probably have about half that (4.7 qts.) left in it.

    It wounds like you are having the dealer do it, but if you were to do
    it, it would be advisable to leave the drain cock on the radiator alone
    and drain by simply removing the hoses (and possibly the thermostat if
    that's being replaced).
    I think so - especially if what's in there is not G-05 (keep reading).

    As a DIY'er, I always flush it by pouring a couple gallons of distilled
    water thru the system - that way, the remaining is close to being just
    water (actually I hook up a garden hose with an adjustable pressure
    regulator set to 18 psi and adapted to the hose size with a clamp on it
    to seal it, back flush it real good with that, then dilute the tap water
    by pouring thru a couple gallons of distilled water) - then put the
    hoses back on and put in 1/2 the system capacity of antifreeze - top off
    with distilled if needed (usually the 1/2 system capacity of antifreeze
    barely goes in - that's how I know only about half drains out) -
    guaranteed close to 50/50 mixture.
    Absolutely tell them what you want to go back into it! Tell them it
    must be G-05 (HOAT) - that's the Mopar 150k Mile Long Life. You
    shouldn't have to tell them that, but better safe than sorry. If
    your's was an earlier year model ('99 or '00), it may have the
    traditional green antifreeze in it from the factory. Tell them you want
    all that out of there and replaced with 50/50 mixture of G-05 (HOAT).
    If they argue with you and want to put green stuff in, tell them you
    want the G-05 anyway - it's a much better product and lasts longer -
    it's what's used in later year M's and the parts used in later years are
    the exact same ones. It's reddish color (unless they use the Zerex or
    Ford/Motorcraft G-05/HOAT, which would be bright yellow). Absolutely
    *NO* DexCool™/Prestone Extended Life™ (orange color). It's important to
    have all the green stuff out to switch over to G-05.

    Do you still have the original thermostat in there? If so, consider
    replacing that too. Test the new one in hot water on the stove with a
    thermometer - not unheard of for new ones to be bad right out of the
    box. Only use an OEM thermostat.

    Also - make sure they know the pellet end of the t-stat points towards
    the engine (as shown in the FSM - refer them to that if they want to
    argue) - even if the factory one is installed the opposite way (rumor
    has it that the factory ones are designed differently than the
    replacements and are pointed in the opposite direction. People do have
    problems with overheating if the replacement is installed pointing away
    from the engine.

    Bill Putney, Oct 23, 2009
  3. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    I'm going to have the water pump and rad hoses replaced, but probably
    not the thermostat. So I'm wondering how much of the existing coolant
    will leave the system once those components have been removed/replaced,
    and how much would remain in the engine and could only be removed with a

    Reason being that I would be charged $80 for a flush - not sure if that
    includes replacement with new coolant or not.
    The car is a '00 model that was purchased new in late october 1999. It
    has the original coolant in it, which I believe is green (I had a look
    just now in the reservior but I can't see much fluid in it, and what I
    can see looks like rusty water). The car has 90k miles on it.
    Hmmm. Do I really want to spend $80 on a flush?
    I think they wanted $200 (parts and labor) to replace the thermostat.
    I've done it enough on my old cars in the past, so I'd probably just
    keep the original in there and fix it myself if it fails in the future.
    They're supposed to fail in the open position - right?
    MoPar Man, Oct 23, 2009
  4. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    If they don't do something to displace the old remaining fluid, you
    could end up with about half of the old mix staying in - not good if
    you're changing over from green to G-05. If green is what's in it, you
    could choose to stay with that, but IMO it is inferior to the G-05.

    You could try carrying a couple gallons of distilled water into them and
    asking if they'd mind pouring them thru with the system open to at least
    dillute down some of the remaining fluid without calling it a flush and
    charging you extra - or offer to pay them $10 to do that.

    You can drain, fill with dilluted, close it up and run it to circulate
    the distilled water, drain and repeat, but if they're the ones doing
    that for you, you're back to a labor cost about the same or more than
    whatever it is they normally do that they call a flush.
    Yeah - I don't look forward to my later years where I can't DIY on this
    kind of stuff. But then again, maybe I won't be driving as much and
    stuff won't be needed very often.
    It sounds high, but on the other hand it is a PITA to do. Some people
    have been posting on the LH car forums that it can be easier to do from
    above by removing the alternator as the first step. I suspect the
    dealer techs know such tricks too, but it still would involve some labor
    time (doesn't take long to add up at $60 or $90/hr.).
    I think you're right, but I don't know that there's any guarantee of
    that. I probably read as many posts on the various LH forums of sudden
    bouts of overheating as I do of not enough heat - not sure that's all
    T-stat related though - worn out engine cooling fan motors can come into
    play on an overheating deal.

    You might never have a problem with the original t-stat, but of course
    it's a risk - just hope that if it overheats, whoever is driving is
    paying attention and doesn't toast the engine, eh? I guess if it was
    me, yeah - $200 is a lot of money to change a t-stat, but it might be
    worth stretching the budget a little to get that done - but again, I'd
    be sure to test the new one before it goes in.
    Bill Putney, Oct 23, 2009
  5. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    This is what I'm looking at:

    - replace timing belt
    - replace timing belt pulley
    - replace front main oil seal
    - replace water pump
    - replace upper and lower rad hoses
    - change transmission oil and filter
    - change differential oil
    - change power steering fluid
    - change engine coolant (but not doing "flush")

    The bill for that is coming in at $1,700. The timing belt is $220, the
    pulley is $120, water pump is a little over $100, and labor is $300 -
    $400. Changing the oils/fluids for the differential, PS and trans is
    about $170 *each*. The rad hoses are probably pushing $100 each. With
    tax, this is going to be pushing $2k.

    That's why I'm not too keen on a flush and t-stat for an extra $300.

    The serpentine belt and it's pulley was changed 3 years ago, and the
    differential amd PS fluid has been changed only once so far. I'm not
    sure if the tranny fluid has ever been changed. Coolant is still

    If you add all that up, including the spark plugs (which I changed a
    couple years ago), it comes to about $2,500-$2,700 for 10 years worth of
    ownership and use. Include the brake / rotor service I've done myself,
    the front sway bar bushings and end-links, and I'm probably looking at
    $3k total maintainence cost.
    MoPar Man, Oct 23, 2009
  6. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    Your pricing sounded real high to me until I realized you're from
    Canada, right?

    Anyway - just for comparison, I looked up pricing on a discount U.S.
    dealer site for some of the parts you listed:

    (prices are $list/$their price)
    T-belt $163/$110
    T-belt pulley and bracket $73/$49
    Alternative kit - t-belt plus pulley $255/$171
    Water pump $120/$81
    Upper hose $21/$14
    Lower hose $28/$19

    BTW - I like the idea of your replacing the front main seal.

    A thought: Any chance of getting the parts from a dealer that has good
    pricing and taking them to an independent mechanic for some labor
    savings? You lose the parts warranty that way, but the savings in parts
    and labor may make make the risk worth it.
    Bill Putney, Oct 23, 2009
  7. MoPar Man

    Steve Guest

    HOLY cats. I should quit may day job and open a garage. The last time I
    did about that much work on our old 3.5 Vision TSi, I think the parts
    cost me well under $350 (water pump, belts, hoses, tensioner, coolant,
    filters, fluid) I didn't to the front crank seal, which certainly adds a
    few hours of labor but its a $15 part. Of course it took me a weekend to
    do it, but tinkering on cars is a hobby anyway.
    Steve, Oct 26, 2009
  8. MoPar Man

    MoPar Man Guest

    There is no way, not even in US-Bux, that you're going to buy a timing
    belt, water pump, hoses, t-belt tensioner, coolant, tranny filter +
    fluid, and differential fluid for under $350.

    You'll be lucky to get a timing belt and water pump for less than $250.

    The tensioner and hoses will set you back another $150 - $200.
    MoPar Man, Oct 27, 2009
  9. MoPar Man

    Steve Guest

    Well, prices have gone WAY up in the last couple of years I suppose but
    that's about what it used to cost. For that car, Water pump was around
    $80 US, timing belt around $90, hoses around $70, tensioner pulley
    around $50, and 2 gallons of ATF+4 about $40, 2 gallons of G-05 is about
    $30 (and my 3.5 actually used conventional antifreeze, so 2 gallons was
    under $10), gear oil around $8, trans filter around $15. With taxes and
    everything, it probably came to a bit over $350, doubtfully as much as $400.

    Of course I always used non-dealer parts in the 260k miles I owned that
    car, except for the water pump itself. That was the only part that was
    as good or better OEM than aftermarket. The aftermarket T-belt tensioner
    was a work of art compared to stock and never had to be replaced once I
    put it on- steel pulley and beefy bearing instead of OEM plastic pulley
    and tiny bearing. I replaced the timing belt two more times and never
    changed the tensioner after the first T-belt change.
    Steve, Oct 29, 2009
  10. MoPar Man

    Bill Putney Guest

    That was exactly my experience when I supplied the parts for that job to
    be done on my 3.2 (same engine as 3.5 except bore) about 4 years ago.
    Prices have gone up - and quality has gone down (see below).
    I'm reading a *bunch* of 1st hand posts by *very* knowledgeable and
    unimpeachable LH car people on the various LH car forums that say that
    the true OEM water pumps on these engines are, as of 2 to 4 months ago,
    no longer available from the dealers. Used to be you had a choice of
    the true factory pumps and the cheaper line boxed as Mopar brand
    (similar to the Valu-Line) - all that you can get now are essentially
    the same pumps from who-knows-where that you find in the aftermarket
    world. Some of these are Gates, but they are a lower quality level of
    Gates, or lowest bidder crap boxed as Gates.

    If the reports are anywhere near true, the days of getting a
    long-lasting factory-equivalent water pump for your LH car are over.
    What's available are generally crap - from dealer or otherwise.
    Bill Putney, Nov 2, 2009
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