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cdcox
04-12-2008, 01:37 PM
I've been having problems with the cooling system on my '94 Ford F-150 straight 6.

A couple years ago I replaced everthing from the hoses, to the thermostat, to the pump. Did okay for a couple of years.

This fall I noticed the heater wasn't working, so I flushed the system, and replaced the thermostat. Within a week the heater quick working again. A couple weeks later I noticed the truck was running hot. So basically, I've been babying it ever since, only short trips to work and back and avoiding stop and go traffic.

The weather and the schedule finally co-operated so that I could look at it again today. I determined that the radiator is clogged in addition to the heater core. There are rusty deposits in the hoses.

My plan:

1. flush well with water.

2. replace the radiator.

3. replace the heater core later. (It is a royal pain to get to).

I'm concerned about clogging the new radiator. My questions are:

1. should I flush with something more agressive?

2. Do I need to replace the old hoses?

3. Is it okay to wait on the heater core? I could short circuit the heater system to isoate it from the rest of the cooling circuit.

4. Is my rust problem so bad that I'll never be able to recover from it?

5. Any other advice?

Baconeater
04-12-2008, 02:14 PM
I bypassed the heater core on a car once and didn't have any problems with it, and I doubt the main radiator hoses would be susceptible to clogging. That's all I got.

chiefforlife
04-12-2008, 02:16 PM
You should replace the Heater core and radiator at the same time. Fresh hoses and coolant, flush the system again in a few months. Depending on the amount of rust at the second flush, do it again.

Brock
04-12-2008, 02:18 PM
If the heater core isn't leaking, I wouldn't mess with it. Everything else you're preparing to do sounds good. Should go another 10 years. Also, if you're really concerned about deposits, use distilled water.

chiefforlife
04-12-2008, 02:21 PM
The heater core is clogged as you say, the crap in it could very well contaminate the system and end up clogging your new radiator. You will want heat in the winter as well as defrost. Do it right, do it all.

cdcox
04-12-2008, 02:39 PM
Thanks for the advice.

Heater core is definitely clogging bad. I'm going to by pass it for now.

I'm doing a Prestone Flush once I put the new radiator in. Then in a few weeks when I do the heater core, I'll do another flush and evaluate everything again then.

Only good thing about this is how easy the radiator came out. Two bolts and pull.

Brock
04-12-2008, 02:41 PM
Just curious, have you actually tried to run water through you heater core with a garden hose hooked up?

cdcox
04-12-2008, 05:17 PM
Just curious, have you actually tried to run water through you heater core with a garden hose hooked up?

Yes, at first I couldn't get anything through it. Then just a trickle. Finally, I got it to flow okay, but with a ton of back pressure. I saw the same behavior as last fall, and within a few days of flushing it the heater wasn't heating any more.

New radiator makes a huge difference from what I've seen so far. Still in the process of flushing before I fill it with.... well you know.

Boon
04-12-2008, 05:26 PM
Anti-freeze

cdcox
04-12-2008, 07:00 PM
I'm looking at the procedue for the heater core. It doesn't look nearly as bad as on the '76 Cutlass (the last time I replace a heater core). I'm going to do that tomorrow and be done with it.

blueballs
04-12-2008, 08:33 PM
global warming or it's a Ford
being a Ford

chiefforlife
04-12-2008, 10:12 PM
I'm looking at the procedue for the heater core. It doesn't look nearly as bad as on the '76 Cutlass (the last time I replace a heater core). I'm going to do that tomorrow and be done with it.

Well done. Done right.:clap:

Bwana
04-13-2008, 09:26 AM
I'm looking at the procedue for the heater core. It doesn't look nearly as bad as on the '76 Cutlass (the last time I replace a heater core). I'm going to do that tomorrow and be done with it.

Very wise move regarding taking care of the heater core. By doing everything you have done, you should take care of the problem.

cdcox
04-13-2008, 03:31 PM
Heater core only took a couple of hours, including the final fill with antifreeze. Not bad at all since I am a bad mechanic. Engine runs cool and the cab is hot, so I'm declaring success. If the coolant looks the least bit rusty in a couple of months I'll do another flush.

One minor battle along the way. I got 6 of the screws on the heater core cover off okay, but the 7th one was behind a wiring harness. After 5 minutes of pulling on it, I finally found the hidden secret button to get it to release. But I still couldn't get the core out because there was an electrical wire attached to the cover in two places and a mechanical control wire hooked to the cover in another place, which basically held the cover in place even without the screws. They designed it this way because they hate me. Of course the attachments were those irreversible plastic ones that auto manunfacturers are so fond of. I ended up getting one of them to pop off without breaking it (true miricle) and disconnected the control wire from the other end. After detaching those two it gave me enough slack to slide the old one out and the new one in and I was home free.

The magic connectors that the car industry uses and the contortions that you have to go through to reach stuff is the main reason I don't enjoy working on cars.

One last project with the truck: I'm up over 120K miles and still running on the original plugs, wires, and distributor cap. The ignition is getting a little sluggish, especially on rainy days. Once I fix that I should be good to go on major maintenance and repairs for quite a while.