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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm doing some work to my car, a 2002 GT w/auto. As part of that work, here's the current situation:

1. Radiator and electric fan are removed from car (installing new, 2-row Cold Case brand radiator, and new Motorcraft electric fan).
2. Both radiator hoses (upper/lower) are removed (replacing with new silicone hoses).
3. Water pump is removed (replacing with new Edelbrock water pump).
4. Will be pulling dash soon to replace heater core (with new Motorcraft unit - also replacing both heater core hoses with new Motorcraft hoses).
5. Thermostat is removed (replacing with either a Stant or Motorcraft part, at stock temp of 195°, I believe it is).

I need to know how to drain the maximum amount of coolant/completely drain my cooling system, so I can replace it with new coolant & be sure I'm not mixing coolant types (different colors). My old coolant, when I drained the radiator, was dark gold or tan color (dark, because it appeared to be really dirty). I bought this car in 2015 (it had 81,000 miles at that time; it's now at 102,000). I'm wanting to put the gold-colored coolant in it, and I heard bad things can happen if you mix different colored coolants (gelling). Info I saw from Ford states that a Mustang manufactured before July, 2002 should use green-colored coolant (mine was made in February, 2002), but I bought a new radiator sight shield/cover from Tasca Ford (inputting my VIN number), and it's got a sticker on it indicating no orange coolant/gold OK.

I haven't installed my new water pump yet only because I need to buy new coolant, so I can lubricate the O-ring/seal on the water pump, prior to installation (I realize the water pump doesn't need to be removed to flush/drain the cooling system).

Can I just stick a hose into the thermostat housing/opening, and run it until clear water comes out of the lower radiator hose opening? Is there some kind of drain plug on the block that can be easily removed?

I'm not replacing any of these parts because I was having problems with them; I'm simply upgrading/doing preventative maintenance (especially because these parts are removed - I had to replace that wire harness, sometimes referred to as the headlight harness, which the power distribution box is a part of). In the case of my heater core, I installed NOS Ford OEM carpeting in my car (which I was able to find at Vintage Parts in WI), and I don't want my 17 year old heater core leaking all over my brand-new $375 carpeting!

Any advice/instructions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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I usually fill up the cooling system with distilled water, run the engine until it warms up enough for the thermostat to open, then remove the lower radiator hose and let the system drain. Repeat until the water comes out clean. Then fill the system with the proper ratio of distilled water and coolant.

I only use distilled water because there is no minerals in it. Tap water, or, especially, well water, can be very high in mineral content, which can cause corrosion of the aluminum radiator and engine parts through electrolysis.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I usually fill up the cooling system with distilled water, run the engine until it warms up enough for the thermostat to open, then remove the lower radiator hose and let the system drain. Repeat until the water comes out clean. Then fill the system with the proper ratio of distilled water and coolant.

I only use distilled water because there is no minerals in it. Tap water, or, especially, well water, can be very high in mineral content, which can cause corrosion of the aluminum radiator and engine parts through electrolysis.
OK; thanks. I'll give that a try.

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