97 Escort coolant change

Discussion in '3rd Gen 1997-2002 2.0L SOHC' started by keyul, Feb 3, 2013.


  1. keyul

    keyul FEOA Member

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    Hello All, recently bought a 97 escort with only 28k miles on it. It needs a coolant change, I see where the drain is on the radiator, I want to flush the entire system though. I gotta drain the reservoir as well, and I'd like to do the block, everything. Looks like my escort has some plastic piece bolted to the bottom front side of the subframe, probably for aerodynamics. Thinking this needs to come off to allow easy access to everything. Any tips for changing the entire system?

    Keyul
  2. millball

    millball FEOA Donator

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    I flush mine by removing the radiator cap on a cold engine and unhooking both heater hoses at the firewall.
    Then I use a garden hose running at moderate speed to flush both ways thru both of the heater hoses and both ways thru the heater core as well as thru the radiator fill neck, until the discharge from all points is clean and clear, then I flush a little more.
    I refill with 50/50 antifreeze and distilled water.

    If the overflow reservoir is nasty, I just put the hose into it and let it overflow until it runs clean, then siphon out the excess water and fill to correct level with new 50/50 coolant.
  3. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Depending on how dry a climate you live in, you may find the splash shields wont come off easily, due to the little bolts being rusted. There once were four sections of splash shield on my 2nd gen Escorts. They seem to get removed and not put back, as 3 of the Escorts dont have any of the bottom most splash shields.
    I never saw any difference in how the cars behave with or without those things - but then I live in non-wet and non-snowy places.
  4. keyul

    keyul FEOA Member

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    Thanks for the help guys. I ended up draining the radiator thought the draincock, and then unhooked the lower radiator hose. I also unbolted the overflow tank and took it out and cleaned it. Then hooked the hose nozzle right into the radiator fill cap and flushed it out. There was a lot of rust looking stuff in the overflow tank, and the coolant that was drained out from the radiator was pretty brown as well. I flushed the radiator til the water an out clear & clean.

    I'm pretty sure the previous owner never changed the coolant, seeing as the car only had 28k miles on it. Oh well, all changed now! Also did the spark plugs (also assuming they had never been changed before judging by condition) an the air filter.
  5. keyul

    keyul FEOA Member

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    Double post
  6. RedSE

    RedSE FEOA Member

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    I'll probably have to do this when it warms up.
  7. millball

    millball FEOA Donator

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    keyul: Your method of flushing is better than none, but did little to clean either the block or the heater core. I expect that your new coolant is somewhat discolored already.
  8. keyul

    keyul FEOA Member

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    Popping off the lower radiator hose should drain most out of the block. I understand what you're saying about flushing it though, but I only have the side of a busy road to work on my car with, that and I live in Hawaii and I'm not just gonna flush that stuff into the street! Coolant was still nice and green today, but I'll keep an eye on it.
  9. TripleLude

    TripleLude FEOA Member

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    If you change the coolant that way every 2 years, it should be fine. Just don't mix different coolants together or you will get crud build-up and negate the anti-corrosive effect of antifreeze. Even when antifreeze says it is compatible with other types, always assume it is not compatible unless it has the same color.
  10. keyul

    keyul FEOA Member

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    Tried the heat today (not like I need it) got no hot air coming out of the vents. So I clamped off the lines going into the heater core, took them off, then flushed the heater core, more nasty brown coolant. Shoulda done that earlier but oh well. Also had to rip out the aftermarket alarm system in the car today, after removing the battery, alarm system wouldnt allow me to start the car no matter what I did.

    I am still not getting heat outta the vents, any suggestions?
  11. keyul

    keyul FEOA Member

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    double post
  12. millball

    millball FEOA Donator

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    3rd gen Escorts are designed so that hot coolant flows thru the heater core 100% of the time. There is no hot coolant throttling valve like many cars used in earlier times.
    The amount of heat that enters the cabin is determined by the position of heater and defroster doors and hot/cold air blend doors under the dash.
    These doors are controlled by a combination of mechanical cables and vacuum servo controls.
    If your heater core is not plugged, your problem likely lies with these controls.
    I think there are some threads on this forum pertaining to your problem.
    Consultation of a service manual might be in order as well.
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I bet you've got an air pocket in the system somewhere. When I recently had to change the radiator in my daughter's, it had no heat at first but after driving it a few miles, the bubble worked its way out and it was fine again.

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