1999 Ford Escort won't drain all the way thru petcock

Tiny
FONTANA
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD ESCORT
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 128,000 MILES
Most say that the coolant can be drained through the radiator petcock, and to do a little better job a block drain plug can be opened if available. According to some manuals my car is suppose to have a block drain on the exhaust side but it sure isn't there- I checked and rechecked. Anyway, I tried draining thru the petcock but only about a quart came out. I replaced the quart with an extended life antifreeze which the manufacture said would replace all colors of antifreeze. Now I would like to flush the engine and replace the antifreeze. Since only a gallon came out of the petcock last time i'm figuring the radiator is a little blocked up near the petcock. Must I remove the radiator and clean it, or is there an easier way such as taking off the bottom hose and draining the engine, and then run water thru the radiator with the bottom hose disconnected - might that suffice to clean the radiator? Or could something else be the problem? Should I refill with extended life, and are there reasons why the extended life might not be as good as the original green?

also the cooling system is supposed to have a float/seat de-gas system to aid in filling. What is this?
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Sunday, July 18th, 2010 AT 9:41 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If it isn't draining, try removing the petcock the entire way. They has to be something blocking it. If you can't get it all out that way, remove the lower radiator hose and it will all drain. At that point, I would remove the upper hose, remove the thermostat, and flush the block out too. Also, get a quality radiator flush for the radiator and follow the manufacturer's recommendations. If that still doesn't help, then remove the radiator and have it rodded out.
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Monday, July 19th, 2010 AT 12:16 AM
Tiny
FONTANA
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Ok thanks.

Is the extended life coolant a good option?
What about the float/seat degas system? Does this mean that it will fill with thermostat closed, or just that I won't have to worry so much about air in system?
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Monday, July 19th, 2010 AT 1:20 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Yes, if the coolant is a universal type, it is good. As far as your other question, are you refering to the bleeder near the thermostat?
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Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 AT 1:00 AM
Tiny
FONTANA
  • MEMBER
Thanks. Didn't get your last post until now-thought I would get email notification, so I hope you will still answer.

I don't know if there is a bleeder near thermostat, but the ford manual mentioned that "the thermostat housing has a float/seat degas system that improves coolant fill when radiator is closed". It didn't mention anymore about it or give anymore instructions. No mention of it in other manual.
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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 AT 3:53 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
That is a system that is designed to allow coolant enter the engine faster without removing the thermostat. It isn't anything you can adjust.
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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 AT 11:44 PM
Tiny
FONTANA
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Thanks for your help
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Friday, July 23rd, 2010 AT 12:34 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Let me know if you have other questions.
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Saturday, July 24th, 2010 AT 12:59 AM

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