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How To Change Antifreeze 2002 Explorer

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by cden, July 10, 2009.

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    1. cden

      cden New Member

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      I have a 2002 Ford Explorer and I need to change the antifreeze. I do the oil changes myself but never changed the antifreeze. How hard is it? Can anyone give a step by step break down? Thanks for your help.
       
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    3. zerodevil

      zerodevil Well-Known Member

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      Ignore/delete me!!!
       
    4. zerodevil

      zerodevil Well-Known Member

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      very...very...very easy...just uncap the overflow tank on the firewall. then under and behind the radiator on the passenger side, there is a white plastic "nut" just turn that untill the anti-freeze starts to flow out. it will take around 10-15 minutes for the system to completely drain. If your going to flush the system, remove the thermostat(follow the hose coming from the top of the radiator to the engine). and put regular water in the engine, run it up to opperating temps, then drain it again make sure you let cool first. Mix up your new coolent (should be around 2-3 gallons) and add it to the propper level, check the level over the next few days as it will go down a little as air pockets leave the system..and dont forget to close that nut on the bottom of the radiator between the steps.
       
    5. jrford

      jrford Well-Known Member

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      the above is very good way of doing it.
      For a quicker method,
      do it when the engine is stone cold,

      Pull the top hose first as you want to be sure you can fill it before you drain it.

      Then i just pull one of the bottom radiator hoses, get ready for a big bath so have something ready to catch it. Once its drained put the hose back on.

      Since this is a remote tank the only way i can figure out how to put it back is by filling it through the top hose. Once the coolant hits the thermostat its full. . .put the hose back on, fill the reservoir and run it to temp, look for leaks.
       
    6. EasyRhino

      EasyRhino Well-Known Member

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      :thumbsup:FWIW, my cooling system has never been apart in 100K miles/seven years. I have never done a flush and my system looks brand new.

      My process is to open the radiator drain cock annually (cold) and let it drain out slowly overnight (leaving the overflow tank cap off as well). I usually do this after changing the oil.

      Then refill equivalent to the drained amount (I measure it) the next morning, using fresh coolant/water mixture. My cooling system looks brand new, as I never let the coolant and additives deplete, nor do I chemically shock it by using a harsh flush chemical (typically hydrazine - N2H4 - think about it), or by having a huge delta between the old and the new coolant solutions.

      This is based on my experience with 'other' coolant chemistry, and it has served me well for several cars over the last two decades. I have never had a cooling system failure since going to this method, plus it is easy and cheap.

      Just my .02
       
    7. borland

      borland New Member

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      Because the engine block has no drains, you can only do a partial drain. Poor coolant chemistry only shows up months later as corrosion and loss of cooling efficiency.

      Since you can't drain all the coolant, doing a chemical flush very difficult without destroying the coolant chemistry. You will never know how much flush chemicals are still left in the system. If you do ample water flushes to remove the chemical flush, you still don't know how much coolant to add to get a proper mix.

      What I did on my 2002 XLT, was to drain and refill several times without a flush. I pre-mix 50/50 with distilled water in a plastic measuring jar prior to filling. That drain and refill does waste coolant, but perserves the coolant chemistry.

      If you know the total coolant capacity, you can do the math to see how many drain and refills are needed to replace 95%.

      So far my coolant system has never leaked or had a pump, thermostat failure.
       
    8. EasyRhino

      EasyRhino Well-Known Member

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      Agreed. You can never get all of any chemical solution out (think contaminant). If I was maintaining a '37 Bugatti, I would go after the scientific method (hinted at in your post). Instead, I am going with a modified "it will eventually fail, but extend it and minimize avoidable maintenace" method. I am going to guess that my cooling system will require replacement when the radiator/heater matrix fail (corrosive salt air here), at which point I will loose all chemistry control and start over.

      Since my '02 Ex has rear heat/AC, I also have those lines and water traps to consider:thumbdwn:.
       
    9. trucku

      trucku Well-Known Member

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      Buy the Prestone flush kit and you run your engine while a garden hose is connected. This will circulate your fresh water throughout your vehicles cooling system cleaning out all the debris. I would remove the thermostat( so you have constant high velocity of flow through your system. Your engine will be cold and a thermostat would remain closed, defeating the purpose of trying to flush it out.) before starting this procedure. If you have a drain plug on your radiator open it fully and try to adjust your water hoses flow to match the drain flow. let the truck idle with the heat set to maximum hot and you will clean everything out. If you don't have a drain plug, just open your reservoir cap and let the water out that way. You may use a chemical flush if you want the best cleaning method, but you first must drain the system, remove thermostat and fill with flush chemical and water. You will then idle/drive the vehicle for 30 minutes. You can then start your flush procedure as I mentioned above. The use of the Prestone flush kit will remove all traces of a chemical cleaner out of your system.. refill with 50/50 and your good. If you have to top off the system use 50/50 or distilled water.
      [​IMG]
       
    10. devlpr

      devlpr New Member

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      Trucku...I have this kit but am not sure where all the pieces go...would you please snap some pics and post. Also, how do you remove the thermostat?
       
    11. trucku

      trucku Well-Known Member

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      You want to install the right size tee into the heating core "in" line. That line goes into the vehicle and the other house will be the "out". Your top radiator hose goes into the thermostat housing.

      If you have a maintenance manual, everything will be a lot easier for you.

      Do a little searching the forum and you will be good to go.
       

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