1988 Ford Mustang Back Flush Radiator

The coolant system is vital to keeping the engine in your 1988 Ford Mustang functioning properly. One of the most important parts of the cooling system is the radiator. Over time, the inside of the radiator builds up a layer of sludge. From time to time, you must flush the radiator to ensure it cools the radiator fluid properly. This is not a difficult job but can be a messy one. With the use of drain pans and storage containers, you can limit this issue.

Tools Used: Wheel ramps, Wheel chuck, Drain pan, Pliers, Large storage container, Garden hose

Back Flush the Radiator

Drive the Mustang onto a set of front-end wheel ramps, and secure the emergency brake. Place a wheel chuck behind the rear tire for added security.

Open the engine hood and prop it open with the hood prop. Allow the engine to cool off before moving on. When the engine is hot, the cooling system is under pressure. Once the engine is cool, remove the radiator cap.

Locate the drain plug on the bottom of the radiator, and place a drainage pan under the plug. Remove the plug and drain the fluid into the pan. A pair of pliers is helpful if the drain does not open easily with your fingers.

Remove the lower radiator hose from the radiator by squeezing the tabs of the radiator clamp together. Pliers are necessary for this step. With the tabs squeezed together, pull the hose off the radiator. Drain any excess fluid from the hose into the drainage pan.

Empty the drainage pan into a larger storage container, and place the pan back under the radiator.

Spray the inside of the radiator with a garden hose that is equipped with a nozzle. Spray from the filler spout on the top of the radiator, not through the radiator hose outlet on the bottom of the radiator. Continue to spray until the fluid draining from the radiator is clear.

Tips & Warnings

It will take several gallons of water to drain the radiator. Empty the drainage pan as necessary.

Do not use a pressure washer to clean the radiator. This can damage the inside lining of the radiator.

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