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Old 11-15-2013, 17:34   #1 (permalink)
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How do I flush the radiator in a 1999 Grand Marquis?

I opened the radiator reservoir on a 1999 GM this afternoon to add some anti-freeze, and seen something that shocked me. It has what looks to be dark clay colored mud in the water/anti-freeze. The radiator reservoir's cap inside was corroded with a half an inch of some dirt/muck that is the same color. I had to scrape it off of the cap. There is some type of sediment floating on/in the water too. There is something wrong, what should be done to fix this? How do I flush this stuff out, is there any thing that needs to be done to make sure the radiator is open?
I've never seen this myself. I have a 2005 GM and I looked in my radiator reservoir and it's clear, with a green tint to it. My reservoir on the 2005 is white colored plastic, it was easier for light to pass through and made it easier to see. The 1999's reservoir is black colored plastic, so I cannot see inside at all, but what I can see, I don't like. Any help would be great, thanks for any insight.
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:42   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How do I flush the radiator in a 1999 Grand Marquis?

I would have a compression test done before spending a dime or my time. You might have some motor damage or are in need of a new gasket.
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Old 11-18-2013, 18:00   #3 (permalink)
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Re: How do I flush the radiator in a 1999 Grand Marquis?

That's common if the radiator and block are not flushed every 4-5 years.

It's probably time to also replace all hoses.

Remove the lower radiator hose to drain most of the coolant. Next, remove the thermostat housing and thermostat, but save the "O"ring. As dirty as the system is, you will need to use a radiator flush.

Reinstall the lower hose temporarily, pour the flush into the block and fill the block with tap water. Then temporarily install the thermostat housing using the old "O"ring. Start the engine and maintain the proper water level. Let the flush circulate per the instructions. Watch the engine temp in case you have air in the cooling system.

Now remove all hoses, including heater hoses and drain the block. I would also remove the expansion tank and clean it as well as possible.

Reinstall all hoses, but fill the block and tank with distilled water and coolant, or pre-mixed coolant, prior to installing the new thermostat and "O" ring. Carefully check the coolant level as the engine warms and the thermostat opens, and fill as necessary. Drive a short distance while monitoring the temp gauge, then recheck the coolant level.
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Old 05-10-2015, 15:35   #4 (permalink)
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Re: How do I flush the radiator in a 1999 Grand Marquis?

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Originally Posted by Bajarider View Post
That's common if the radiator and block are not flushed every 4-5 years.

It's probably time to also replace all hoses.

Remove the lower radiator hose to drain most of the coolant. Next, remove the thermostat housing and thermostat, but save the "O"ring. As dirty as the system is, you will need to use a radiator flush.

Reinstall the lower hose temporarily, pour the flush into the block and fill the block with tap water. Then temporarily install the thermostat housing using the old "O"ring. Start the engine and maintain the proper water level. Let the flush circulate per the instructions. Watch the engine temp in case you have air in the cooling system.

Now remove all hoses, including heater hoses and drain the block. I would also remove the expansion tank and clean it as well as possible.

Reinstall all hoses, but fill the block and tank with distilled water and coolant, or pre-mixed coolant, prior to installing the new thermostat and "O" ring. Carefully check the coolant level as the engine warms and the thermostat opens, and fill as necessary. Drive a short distance while monitoring the temp gauge, then recheck the coolant level.
We have a 1998 Marquis with 4.6L engine. This car has sat for 10 years. Initially the intake cracked and my wife (I didn't know her then) knew enough to shut it down when it began to overheat. Took it to a shop and they confirmed the intake was cracked. Fast-forward to 2009. My wife moved from Houston, Tx here to Missouri so we could start a life together. I found a retrofit-kit on Ebay for $200. We installed it and then it wouldn't get fuel. I found the pump wasn't activating at all so I replaced that sucker. Then I got hurt and couldn't do much on it so it sat. Yesterday, I had the fuel lines cleaned out and finally got it started and it runs a little rough, but no overheating but upon checking the coolant in the reservoir it has the same muddy clay-like residue. I'm thinking the whole thing needs to be flushed and replenished.

I bought a Prestone Flush N Fill kit only to find out that the radiator has no radiator cap, just the coolant bottle. So I pulled the coolant tank and washed it out really well. then I opened the petcock and ran water through just the hose to the radiator until it came out clean.

By the sounds of it here, I need to pull other lower hose and flush it again perhaps before I do anything else. Then remove the thermostat and use a coolant system cleaner through it. Can I just pour it in the coolant tank and same with adding the water for the flush?

Then what? Undo the lower hose again and the two heater hoses? I'm assuming this is so the block has the best chance of emptying without removing the soft plugs?

Then what? Do I need to hook the hoses up and re-flush with clear water?

The hoses themselves are pliable and seem to be free of cracks and not in bad condition.

Next thing is drain the oil and replace it and the filter.

Thanks folks! I thought it best to revive a thread rather than create a new one.
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Old 05-10-2015, 16:06   #5 (permalink)
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Re: How do I flush the radiator in a 1999 Grand Marquis?

Aside from installing T's for a flush kit, not really sure. Most parts stores carry the T's, but I think that's what you all ready have.
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Old 05-10-2015, 16:32   #6 (permalink)
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Re: How do I flush the radiator in a 1999 Grand Marquis?

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Aside from installing T's for a flush kit, not really sure. Most parts stores carry the T's, but I think that's what you all ready have.
From what I remember on other cars is you put the T in one of the heater hoses, and then there is a spout that goes where the radiator cap would go and that is where the water would flush out of. This radiator has no radiator cap. Just the coolant bottle. Correct?
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Old 05-13-2015, 18:00   #7 (permalink)
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Re: How do I flush the radiator in a 1999 Grand Marquis?

I believe so.
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Old 05-13-2015, 21:52   #8 (permalink)
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Re: How do I flush the radiator in a 1999 Grand Marquis?

I never recommend cutting the heater hoses as this just adds to more locations for leaks. What I usually do when I flush my cooling system is I remove the top and bottom radiator hoses and thermostat from the vehicle. I then place a hose in the thermostat housing and pack it tightly with clean rags then turn on the hose full blast, thus back flushing the block. Once done, I do the same for the radiator, by placing the hose in the bottom and letting it run out the top, again back flushing.

The reason I do not leave the bottom hose connected to the radiator and doing both at the same time is that I do not want to flush any debris that might from the engine into the radiator.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:40   #9 (permalink)
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Re: How do I flush the radiator in a 1999 Grand Marquis?

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Originally Posted by NFortin198 View Post
I never recommend cutting the heater hoses as this just adds to more locations for leaks. What I usually do when I flush my cooling system is I remove the top and bottom radiator hoses and thermostat from the vehicle. I then place a hose in the thermostat housing and pack it tightly with clean rags then turn on the hose full blast, thus back flushing the block. Once done, I do the same for the radiator, by placing the hose in the bottom and letting it run out the top, again back flushing.

The reason I do not leave the bottom hose connected to the radiator and doing both at the same time is that I do not want to flush any debris that might from the engine into the radiator.
Good points NFortin! Thanks!
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