Posted to Tool & Equipment Forum on 1/24/2014
Budget build, $149 Coolant vacuum fill cart
Assuming you already have a vacuum fill tool and some
adapters, you can build this General overview for
Harbor Freight cart $40.00
2.5gal jugs of water ($3 each) $9.00
Stuff from hardware store $100
Okay, so if you don't have a vacuum fill tool or radiator
adapters, then add that cost to your build. I recommend a
quality vacuum fill tool because I tried a cheap one from
Astro Pneumatic and it did not work. However, the pressure
test kit from Astro Pneumatic is excellent for this project.
It has quick connect adapters that you can incorporate into
this build and the cost is pretty low for the amount of
adapters you get.
Here's the complete story as to why I built this in the
first place, and some pictures and details of the project
When I started this new job at European AutoHaus, I quickly
learned that there wasn't a coolant refill machine. All the
techs had there own vacuum fill tools, so I went ahead and
bought one for myself and a couple adapters. Unfortunately,
I bought them from the Snap-on truck and man was the cost
starting to add up!
Another problem I discovered was that these vacuum fill
tools are messy! Little coolant drips everywhere on the
floor, and when you roll the hoses up and put it away
coolant drips all over. No matter how much I tried to shake
all the coolant out of the hoses, there was still some left
over just waiting to drip all over.
I had enough! This is a ridiculous way to do this! I want my
coolant machine back!
I thought about buying my own coolant machine. The cheapest
one is about $750 and only does one coolant, so you would
have to change out the coolant every time you had to switch
to a different coolant type. Then, I found one that had
three separate coolant containers, but that one was like
Time to get creative. Here's a schematic of the basic way to
build this type of thing Coolant vacuum fill schematic
*BTW, the schematic is showing the part of the service where
coolant is going back into the radiator, in this case green
coolant. I'm not going to explain every single detail and
step of the operation, because pretty much everyone knows
how these tools work, and from there you can figure it out
just by looking at the schematic.
I didn't draw the valves of the vacuum fill tool or any
other details of the vacuum fill tool. If you've never used
one, then you'll have to buy one and read the directions or
Okay, now I'll just show the pictures which have some notes
and I think it is pretty much self explanatory. If you have
any questions, feel free to ask.
Steven from Washington
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