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Old 04-03-2010
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rad flush question

2002 2.3L manual, I disconnected the lower rad hose and drained all the fluid and reconnected, then I siphoned all the fluid out of the resevoir and refilled that and started the truck with the heater on, but no fluid was drawn into the engine after about a minute. so I shut it off fearing I might be damaging the water pump. Do I need to let it run longer? and will running the engine while it is not sucking any fluid down damage the water pump? Did I do something wrong or what? thanks for the advice I tried calling a few shops to no avail. thanks again p.s. I don't see a radiator cap on this thing
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Old 04-04-2010
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really?running an engine with no coolant.really?

*honestly i wouldn't know, just doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
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Old 04-05-2010
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I doubt you damaged anything. Whenever you fill the cooling system you do that by removing the radiator cap. Once the radiator is full, start the engine, and take the cap off as you rev the engine, you'll see the level drop and then refill. you may have to do this a few times. Put the cap back on and then take it out and "drive it like you stole it" for a few minutes. Then let it cool so you can take the radiator cap off and you may have to add a little more.
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Old 04-05-2010
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thanks ronco, I ran the engine for like 5 minutes today and the resevoir level never moved, the upper hose got hot but not the bottom. Did I just not run it long enough? the temp gauge barely moved off cold.
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Old 04-05-2010
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Wait so did you only fill the reservoir or did u also fill up the rad.?
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Old 04-05-2010
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I siphoned out the res and refilled that, I tried filling fluid thru the upper rad hose but It wouldnt take any so im guessing the rad is full, of course thats assuming the rad doesnt drain when the lower rad hose was removed??? so im guessing the rad is full, i even tried filling the rad thru the little breather tube that run to the top of the res.
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Old 04-05-2010
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So really you didnt completley flush the rad. and it still had antifreze in it and wouldn't have caused any problems.. also there should be a actual plug on the radiator so you didnt have to remove the bottom hose and i usually cycle it thout with a garden hose..
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Old 04-05-2010
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I tried pouring fluid into the upper rad hose but it didnt want to take any. question could the rad be full even after i removed the lower rad hose and let it drain completely?
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Old 04-05-2010
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Sounds like you havent flushed it, when i do a flush i replace the thermostat also, so i just shoot water from a hose through the top hose and let it run its cycle through the engine. In class they used dishwashing detergent like liquid cascade.
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Old 04-05-2010
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yeah i wasnt wanting to do a entire flush cause i didnt know how, I figured i drain as much as would come out by removing the lower hose. NOW I cant get any fluid to drain into the engine , the resevoir or the radiator. and not sure how to safely proceed without risking overheating the engine.
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Old 04-06-2010
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Some basics please, was everything ok before you flushed the system? If yes, the solution is resonably simple. If no, what was wrong?
Next, the only way to fill the system is through the radiator cap. Whereas what you tried to do seems logical, it just will not work. Therefore, you must remove the cap and fill the radiator, once it's full, wait a minute or so and it will probably take some more. That's because the coolant is slowly flowing through the radiator tubes and into the enine. Once the levels are full, put the radiator cap back on loosely. Start the engine, let it idle, turn on the heat full blast, with the temp set to hottest point. While engine is running, feel the hoses (upper & lower and heater hoses). They will get warm and get hotter the longer the truck runs. Rev the engine a few times, and carefully remove the radiator cap. (BE CAREFUL, the coolant can spray out and it is hot!) If the coolant level went down top it off, and put the radiator cap on tight. If temp gauge is reading normal temp range, and you have hot air coming out take the truck for a short ride. Drive it hard and and when you retun, you want to check the coolant level one more time. You can wait 5-10 min. or if you need to rush, carefully remove the radiator cap (it will definitely have pressure under it, and the coolant is hot now so be careful. If the level is within an inch or 2 from the top, you're done. If you need to add more coolant, do so.
Do watch your temp gauge. Overheating happens quickly and you can do some severe (expensive) damage.
Good luck
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Old 04-06-2010
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*sorry my reading comprehension sucks. I now understand you tried to put fluid in.


The reason you can NOT fill the radiator through the reservoir is it works on a negative pressure. This happens after you shut down the motor and it starts to COOL. When you start the engine the radiator heats up causing fluid (if any in there, lol) and/or air to flow into the reservoir because everything expands. After, when it starts to cool it sucks fluid back into the radiator cause the fluid is contracting. This keeps the coolant level good.

So the main question is...Did you find the radiator cap?? If so then just follow Ronco's advice.
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Old 04-06-2010
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there is no cap on a 2002 2wd 2.3L, just a degass (overflow) bottle. And Ronco no the trucks system is perfect no problems. A ford tech on the phone told me to try filling thru a heater core line. keep the tips comin
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Old 04-06-2010
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OK now I understand. But as old as I am, (62) I never heard of any vehicle without a radiator cap.
So here's what I'd do:
If there's an upper radiator hose at the top of the radiator, I'd disconnect it. Then using a funnel I'd fill the radiator and engine block (though the hose). Remember it will be slow because the coolant has to trickle through the small radiator tubes and small ports throuout the engine. When you think its all full reconnect the hose to the radiator. Obviously this will be messy! Then start engine, feel all hoses to make sure hot water is being pumped all around. Heater should be set for high temp and full blast. if all hoses get warm equally you should be good to go. As "Inspector" mentioned the resevoir fill process is very slow. If this works, I'd guess 75-85% of coolant should be in the system. Then drive the vehicle hard (but don't get on a road you can't get off quickly) and watch temp gauge and keep heat on. As long as heats coming out and temp gauge is within limits you are ok. If heat stops coming out and temp gauge shows ok, you're overheating anf the temp gauge will climb quickly. Then you're in deep doo doo. So stay close to home.

I'd also suggest openning a new thread asking how others dealt with this matter. Be very explicit with details of make, model, options etc. Someone must have dealt with this before.
Good luck
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Old 04-06-2010
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My 2003 2.3L had a coolant leak. After I fixed it I just filled it up through the degas (overflow) bottle. Ran it then kept topping it off over the next few days.

However the thing I have noticed about this system is that it seems the lower hose never gets warm. I was thinking my thermostat was bad, but I have read where others have said they have replaced the water pump and thermostat and the lower hose still doesn't get warm. I have driven mine on 4 hour trips towing at max capacity and had no problems. So I know the thermostat must be working or it would over heat. But the gauge never goes above the middle.
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Old 04-06-2010
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thanks to all, I found a rad shop that will vacuum in my missing two gallons for $25, funny how this whole thing started cause I wanted to save money by doing it myself. thanks again
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Old 04-07-2010
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I realize my truck is 10 years older then you 2 guys. But I'll share my experience. My heat never worked good enough. So when I flushed it (I have a cap and I'm cheap, so I try to do most things myself) I noticed the drain plug only trickled out water, even when I pulled the pet-**** completely out. Now my radiator is the type where the "tubes are horizontal" versus vertical. I got so frustrated with trying to flush it that I pulled the radiator and was able to put the garden hose directly into the lower hose hole and force the "junk" down at the bottom to dislodge and I got alot of the crap out. The heat improved a little but it wasn't great. I fought this situation through this winter and never was I satisfied that the flushing I did cleaned all of the crap lodged in the lower tubes. So maybe, if your radiators are of similar designs, (horizontal tubes versus vertical) that's a problem for you too. This winter I "blew" the engine and had a used one put in. While I was at it I was going to have the radiator "boiled out" and they said I was better off putting in a new radiator which I did. The heat is great now (like a new car) even in 30 degree weather I have heat within 3-4 minutes. I don't believe in changing parts just for no reason, but I'd suggest that if you're having issues you may want to consider having your radiator boiled out. Here in the tax capital of the world (NY) I think the price was about $75. New radiators off the internet about double.
Good luck
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Old 04-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalifornia View Post
there is no cap on a 2002 2wd 2.3L, just a degass (overflow) bottle. And Ronco no the trucks system is perfect no problems. A ford tech on the phone told me to try filling thru a heater core line. keep the tips comin
Whoa, what?? No rad cap? Come on now. There should be a rad cap on that rad. Just makes no sence.....unless you or whoever installed a new rad put it in upside down....LMAO

Do yourself a favor and get a coolant flust kit found at any auto parts store. Follow the instructions on the package, or just search in here for the directions. It's been covered a million times, and I've even added some step-by-steps in some of them.

While you're at the parts store, pick up a Haynes manual for your truck too.
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Old 04-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolldogg View Post
Whoa, what?? No rad cap? Come on now. There should be a rad cap on that rad. Just makes no sence.....unless you or whoever installed a new rad put it in upside down....LMAO

Do yourself a favor and get a coolant flust kit found at any auto parts store. Follow the instructions on the package, or just search in here for the directions. It's been covered a million times, and I've even added some step-by-steps in some of them.

While you're at the parts store, pick up a Haynes manual for your truck too.
nope mine doesnt have a cap either just the surge tank
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Old 04-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolldogg View Post
Whoa, what?? No rad cap? Come on now. There should be a rad cap on that rad. Just makes no sence.....unless you or whoever installed a new rad put it in upside down....LMAO

Do yourself a favor and get a coolant flust kit found at any auto parts store. Follow the instructions on the package, or just search in here for the directions. It's been covered a million times, and I've even added some step-by-steps in some of them.

While you're at the parts store, pick up a Haynes manual for your truck too.
2003 Ford Ranger 2.3L does not have a cap on the radiator. Just on the remote Degas bottle. My girl has a 2005 Suzuki Forenza and it is the same thing.
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  #21  
Old 04-08-2010
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I frickin bit the bullet and went to a rad shop, they have a vacuum valve (cost $90) they cover the degass bottle and vacuum, once vacuum is achieved open another valve which is submerged in coolant. pisses me off. charged me 44 dollars. thanks guys
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  #22  
Old 09-23-2013
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Yes my 2.3L doesn't have a rad cap either, the rad cap is on the coolant reservoir bottle, so i am too wondering how one fully flushes and fills the system.. about to do this over the weekend.

Thanks,
-Nigel
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