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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm doing everything in ch1 of the Haynes book with my new ebay bronco. I drained the radiator when I replaced the hoses and thermostat and the water was really brown and opaque. I flushed it with a radiator flush then flushed it again with regular water 4 times.

1. The water looks just as bad on the 5th flush as it did when I first drained it. It looks a little like chocolate milk, only more orange. Each flush I waited for the thermostat to open and ran it for 10 mins after that. (found out I had a bad rad cap because the new upper hose flattened out as soon as the thermostat opened)

2. Each time I drained it through the petcock, I only collected 1 gallon of coolant. My Haynes says the cooling system holds 17 quarts. I can only put 4 quarts back into the radiator and 2 into the reservoir. I know there is some in the lower hose and some in the engine, but could it be 11 quarts?

Any ideas on this? I just filled it back up with 50/50, but I can drain it again if I'm doing something wrong.
 

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I could be wrong, but on the color, I think your radiator is rusted on the inside, and if thats the case I believe you need to replace it. But wait for a few other replys.
 

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I would do new radiator/hoses/tstat/heatercore since its all stuck in there. Maybe a new water pump if it has 150k+ miles on it... or if there is alot of buildup inside it.
 

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My Bronc sat for 3 years before I inherited it. The rad was NEW before it went into storage. I flushed it twice after discovering it was overheating. I bought one of those kits that you install into the heater core lines. That brought it down a little (lots of brown crap, then clear).

Gradually, the overheating problem got worse. Second time around, I looped the heater core hoses together, and flushed again. Replaced the heater core due to leak. Still more crap came out while flushing with engine revs. (15 - 20 mins of hose running through, revving and pulsing the hose). After it got clear again, filled with just water, went for a 5 mile run. Flushed one more time, all clear. Replaced thermostat too. Been fine since.

I was almost about to give up on mine, but the radiator I ordered was damaged, so I sent it back, flushed and put her back together. Good thing - saved me $160 bucks.

My gut says 5 times thorough flushing and still getting crap? New radiator time.
 

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Formerly vt89gtvert
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Your PO's have not flushed the system and allowed the block to rust. You can flush the system a million times and never get that rust out (I went all the way up to 10 flushes before giving up). It will get better but never perfect. I have never found anything that will take it back to perfect. One person suggested a baking soda soap with a battery charger. Place the negative lead on the block, and positive on a metal bar placed into the radiator. I actually saw them try this on Trucks this morning, and it seamed to work, but they did it on a control arm that wasn't attached to the truck.

Other then that I have no idea how to fix the problem.
 

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Your PO's have not flushed the system and allowed the block to rust...
Might be asking a dumb question here, and I did not search so I'm putting on my flamesuit and hardhat... IS there a procedure for flushing the system before it goes into storage to prevent engine block rust? What would that be?

Not that mine's going into storage again anytime soon. Just curious...
 

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I know there is some in the lower hose and some in the engine, but could it be 11 quarts?

Any ideas on this? I just filled it back up with 50/50, but I can drain it again if I'm doing something wrong.
After flushing mine with straight water (ours is pretty clean and mineral free) I just filled the rad with straight antifreeze. My understanding is the block holds quite a bit of water. I guess I need to test my ratio and see how close I am. Gotta go dig up the tester.
 

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Formerly vt89gtvert
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Just make sure to flush it period. My Mustang went about 8 years on the same coolant, so it was pretty bad. Just do it every winter or so and you should be fine.
 

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green ones make me horny
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just get that flush thing that goes on the heater hose. turn the water on leavet he pet cock open till the water comes out clear.
 

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Practicing Infidel
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the water was really brown and opaque.

Any ideas on this?
Is this Bronco fairly new to ya Josh ?

If it is then I'd suggest the P.O. dumped in some Barrs rad fix to band aid the leaking heater core until he got your check cashed.

That'll turn the coolant that colour.

Sixlitre
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've only had it a couple months. the previous owner only had it for a week. He bought it at auction from Jefferson Parish Streets Dept in Louisiana and put it on ebay. I figured a municipality would have a great preventive maintenance schedule. I realized that wasn't the case when i pulled out the original plugs and wires. The contacts inside the dist cap had actually been seared in half.

I don't have a cooling problem so I think I'll wait on replacing the radiator. I think you guys are right about the rusty block. I see a rebuild/347 stroker in my future.
 

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Satyr of the Midwest
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Is this Bronco fairly new to ya Josh ?

If it is then I'd suggest the P.O. dumped in some Barrs rad fix to band aid the leaking heater core until he got your check cashed.

That'll turn the coolant that colour.

Sixlitre
You've read my mind. I've had to work with systems where the PO had done just that, and man alive, that shit is the nastiest goo to ever exist!!! Good luck cleaning it out, and replace EVERYTHING you can possibly afford to, i.e. radiator, hoses, water pump, heater core, thermostat, etc. Take out the block's drain plugs and flush the block, as well. Otherwise it'll still be floating around in the system, and it's like a cancer if you don't get it out.
 

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You've read my mind. I've had to work with systems where the PO had done just that, and man alive, that shit is the nastiest goo to ever exist!!! Good luck cleaning it out, and replace EVERYTHING you can possibly afford to, i.e. radiator, hoses, water pump, heater core, thermostat, etc. Take out the block's drain plugs and flush the block, as well. Otherwise it'll still be floating around in the system, and it's like a cancer if you don't get it out.
I know because I just did it on my Lincoln :D

I know it's gooey but I'm just unwilling to change the core in that Town Car until next Summer. It worked :D

I've changed the core in the Bronco 5 (?) times and it needs it again *turning 5000 rpms roasting a Honda the other day:banghead

Sixlitre
 

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When you flush it just open the pet cock (love that word) & turn your heater on HOT & MAX Speed & put a garden hose in the radiator & start her up. Make sure you stand there to be able to watch so you can adjust the speed of the water so it doesn't flow over & hit the fan & spray everywhere, mostly in your face! Just run it till it's clear however long it takes. Remember when the thermostat opens you'll have to turn it on a little faster because the level will drop quickly then you will have to slow it down again when the level catches up. After that just keep it on strong enough to keep the level at the top above the top radiator hose line. Run it till it's clear! Easiest way I've found to flush mine. Then fill it per the graph on the back of the coolant container per your area depending on how cold it is in your region. Probably wouldn't hurt to put a coolant conditioner in with it to help neutralize what's left inside everything. Bars leak foams like crazy so if you took off your cap & saw that you would probably know it right away. Looks like bubble bath, Hey I have two kids! Good Luck...-Kevin-
 

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Even if you're not replacing the t-stat - you'd probably get a better flush if you removed it during the flush and put it back in when you're clear.
 

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I I figured a municipality would have a great preventive maintenance schedule.

I see a rebuild/347 stroker in my future.
:histerica:histerica

That's funny, typical municipalities have NO preventative maintenance. That's a BIG joke in public works departments. Fix it when it breaks.

When you flush it just open the pet cock (love that word) & turn your heater on HOT & MAX Speed & put a garden hose in the radiator & start her up.
You don't need to turn the heater on, you have flow through the heater core ALWAYS, unless someone put a vacuum driven bypass on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
:histerica:histerica

That's funny, typical municipalities have NO preventative maintenance. That's a BIG joke in public works departments. Fix it when it breaks.
The municipality that I work for spends millions on PM, and our schedules/costs are in line with what other Council of Government cities report. If something breaks you can't replace it until the next budget cycle, so you have to take care of it.

Thanks for the heater core tip, I'll keep flushing it out.
 
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