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Old 08-24-2015, 10:34 AM   #1
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Coolant flush

Please forgive me for the very rudimentary question. I am going to replace my water pump which is leaking for the infamous overflow hose TSB on the 3.7L cyclone. I'm out of warranty and no dealers will cover it, so I am swapping it myself. I'm actually feeling confident about the job, but it's the first step, draining and flushing the cooling system, that I'm a little confused about! I've been topping off with universal coolant while I've had this problem (it's a very small leak). But now that I'm fixing it, I want to get rid of everything - do a total flush and refill with Motorcraft Orange. Can someone please give me a walkthrough of the flush and fill procedure for the Cyclone? Where exactly is the drain plug on this car? Also, do you think I should flush before or after swapping the water pump? Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2015, 06:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakib View Post
Please forgive me for the very rudimentary question. I am going to replace my water pump which is leaking for the infamous overflow hose TSB on the 3.7L cyclone. I'm out of warranty and no dealers will cover it, so I am swapping it myself. I'm actually feeling confident about the job, but it's the first step, draining and flushing the cooling system, that I'm a little confused about! I've been topping off with universal coolant while I've had this problem (it's a very small leak). But now that I'm fixing it, I want to get rid of everything - do a total flush and refill with Motorcraft Orange. Can someone please give me a walkthrough of the flush and fill procedure for the Cyclone? Where exactly is the drain plug on this car? Also, do you think I should flush before or after swapping the water pump? Thanks!
So it sounds like things have changed since your post back in March.
Why isn't your water pump covered under the power train warranty?
Did you ever replace that hose that is suppose to have the check valve in it?
Thought you picked up some maintenance manual to help with working on your car.??
Chances are you may have to remove the plastic deflector shield, just to the rear of your bumper, to find the drain valve, which should be at the bottom of your radiator.
You must be aware of the numerous videos and guides on the web which include instructions on draining and flushing your coolant system. Although many are pretty bad as far as I am concerned.
One thing many neglect to mention is after you have run distilled water thru your system a couple or few times there is always a good amount in the engine block that should be considered when adding fresh antifreeze to the system.
Before I go thru the basic steps I will mention that you should at least drain the system before removing the water pump to avoid a mess.
Although there are many ways of flushing it, a fairly popular and safe way would be to...
1. Drain. (Measure the approximate amount that was drained. This is the theoretical amount that will have to be added to refill the system LATER.)
2. Close drain plug.
3. Fill with distilled water.
4. Run the engine with the heater control on High for about ten minutes.
Be sure to watch your vehicle’s temperature gauge carefully during this time to ensure it does not overheat.
5. Shut engine and let cool a few minutes.
6. Drain (distilled water) from system.
7. Repeat steps 3 thru 6 if you think water still looks pretty dirty. Otherwise go to next step.

8. Assuming you have the new water pump on, you are ready to refill the system with fresh antifreeze.
9. Now I would approximate the amount of clear distilled water still in the engine block(*) and then add an equal amount of full strength antifreeze. That should start you off with a mixture that is reasonably close to 50/50. Now you can just add premixed 50/50.

(*) Still in engine block = the amount(X) that was initially drained from the full capacity of the system deducted from the full capacity of the system. (Full capacity is 12.4 quarts. You should double check this for yourself)
In other words...12.4 qts - X = amount remaining in block.
I believe the amount that remained in the block should come out to be less than 6 qts. In other words when you first drain it, until it stops coming out the radiator, you should be getting at least 6.4+ qts.
Got the picture?

Suggestions, comments, criticism, etc, etc. welcomed.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:19 PM   #3
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Basically what I discovered since March is that I have a leak but it is very small. I didn't reset the trip meter since then and I've driven 6,000 miles, in that period I had to top off the coolant a couple times, about a gallon total. So I have the leak, but it's not gushing coolant like I've seen for some other people with this problem.

Like most people with this TSB, dealerships do not cover it because of a really stupid loophole: the "causal part" is the overflow hose that goes from the degas bottle to the thermostat. That hose is not classified as a part of the powertrain, and therefore not covered under the Extended Service Plan, but it is covered under bumper-to-bumper. So if you have <36K, you're fine, but if you have more than >36K, you are out of luck, even if you bought the ESP. Yes, it is a very, very bad policy, but unfortunately it is in black-and-white on the TSB and I am not the only one who has had this misfortune.

Yes I replaced the hose, but the damage was already done to the pump apparently.

I did buy the AllDataDIY for my car, which is excellent and I highly recommend it to anyone else who is on the beginner-to-intermediate skill of car repair/maintenance. It has great instructions and diagrams for the water pump assembly, and all the torque specs too. But it is not too detailed for the coolant flush, I guess that is too basic haha. So that's why I posted here, wanted to get some insider advice from people who have done it on cyclones.

Thank you for the very detailed instructions. This more-or-less matches what I had planned, though I would not have measured how much I drained out and done the calculation for what's left in the block. That's a good idea, thanks.

I will re-post here if I have any trouble. Hoping to get this done over the next couple days. I also hope to write up a detailed how-to for the water pump swap, to help out others who develop the leak after going out-of-warranty.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:32 PM   #4
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Well good luck. Shouldn't be bad at all.
I've never done it on my Mustang but I have done it on numerous cars over the past half century. LOL
The measuring thing was my Idea. Of course you should have a tester to test the strength of the solution and adjust as required.
I don't know why I said 50/50 solution as I don't know what the recommended ratio is down there in the tropics of Texas.
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