Coolant flush/refill

Tiny
KELBAR
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 FORD THUNDERBIRD
  • 3.9L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 107,000 MILES
I drained the old coolant and in process of refilling to clean the system; put distilled water in reservoir and thru radiator cap (which is right where thermostat is). I put in one gallon, the water is at top of both areas. Specs say it holds about twelve quarts. Is there something I should be doing to get the water levels to lower so I can fill it completely?
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Thursday, September 21st, 2017 AT 11:58 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHER1
  • MEMBER
You could add an equal amount of undiluted coolant to cancel it out.
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Thursday, September 21st, 2017 AT 6:19 PM
Tiny
KELBAR
  • MEMBER
What I am trying to find out is why the system will not take more than one gallon. The reservoir is still full and where radiator cap is, it is up to top as well. Attempts to add more, just overflows. I am concerned that trying to run engine to circulate through system will potentially cause damage if not enough water is in there. All I am trying to do at this point is continue the flush, re-drain then fill completely with 50-50 to complete the process.
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Friday, September 22nd, 2017 AT 6:39 AM
Tiny
WRENCHER1
  • MEMBER
Okay, so go ahead and drain it. I do not see what the problem is. When you fill it you may have to run it temporarily to get the thermostat to open for it to fill all the way.
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Friday, September 22nd, 2017 AT 6:43 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
The system capacity when simply drained is about a gallon and a half. The twelve quarts refers to when the system is completely empty block and everything which only happens during a rebuild or when it was being assembled.

Here is a guide that will help you get the job done:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/coolant-flush-and-refill-all-cars

Has a video at the bottom.

Please let us know what happens.

Cheers, Ken
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Friday, September 22nd, 2017 AT 5:00 PM
Tiny
KELBAR
  • MEMBER
Okay, I understand about letting car run so thermostat opens. Do I then just keep adding to reservoir? When I tried to add to radiator through cap area, it started squirting out some.
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Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 AT 8:33 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Yes it can do that as it is heating up. The trick is to allow the engine to warm up completely, the thermostat will open then finish filling it.
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Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 AT 1:36 PM

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