Writeup: The Clinton Gen 3 Heater Flush - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 141 (permalink) Old 11-25-2007, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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There's nothing like a Gen 3 heater to clog up by the time cold weather sets in. In the past, I have depended on others to get the heater flushed, but...

After 2 tries by Midas to clear my heater (with a cooling system flush) with LESS heat each time, I decided to try it on my own.

The easiest way to get at the heater fittings is to work with the hoses attached to the engine (water pump on passenger side, engine block on the driver side). You don't risk breaking off the fragile fittings on the firewall that go to the heater.

On the passenger side, it's easy if you take out the top bolt on the generator brace, loosen the other bolt on the brace and swing the brace back.

[attachmentid=22718]

Then with space to access the hose clamp, you now remove the hose from the heater to the water pump.

You then fit a Home Depot hose repair end (about $4) to the heater hose and connect it up to a garden hose leading to your outdoor faucet.

[attachmentid=22719]

On the other side, remove the corrugated rubber air intake (remove one electrical fitting and remove a small hose -- loosen the stainless clamps and move the air intake to the side).

[attachmentid=22720]

Now, with space to access the hose clamp on this side, remove the hose from the engine block.

You then fit another Home Depot hose repair end to the heater hose and connect it to a length of hose to a bucket... or to your driveway. It was freezing when I did mine, and I didn't want to turn my driveway into a skating rink.

Clamp the bypass hose. You lose points if your vise grips are so tight they cut the bypass hose...

[attachmentid=22721]

Turn water on and off at the faucet several times. This cycles the pressure inside the heater core and loosens up crud. If the engine hoses or heater core rupture from city water pressure, it was time to replace them anyway. Then let it run for a while (In my case, long enough to fill the 5-gallon bucket.) Plenty of crud should come out. Empty the bucket.

Repeat until the crud flow has pretty much stopped. At least a cup of particulate and flake crud came out of my heater.

The Clinton Add-on
And now, the Clinton touch, which I discovered purely by accident simply because I wanted to remove as much water from the heater system as possible. Didn't want to dilute the antifreeze, which was brand new from the Midas flushings...

I took the inlet hose off the garden hose and blew into it,

However, after I blew the heater clear of water, it was obvious that a bunch more crud had come loose as a result of the blow... er.. Clinton job. Hooked it back up to the garden hose and the water ran brown with lots of crud.

I repeated the Clinton job four more times - more brown water, more crud. Apparently blowing the heater clear agitates the water inside enough to really clean the pipes out. Purists should note that there was no blue dress or cigar involved in any of this.

After hooking it back up again, replacing the alternator brace, replacing the air intake and its electrical and air connections... so much heat I actually had to turn the heater down. Before this, I never turned my heater down in 2 years.


Forgot to include the overview photo:

[attachmentid=22722]
Attached Images
File Type: jpg R_Side_Remove.jpg (77.6 KB, 5321 views)
File Type: jpg W_Pump_Side.jpg (64.8 KB, 4786 views)
File Type: jpg L_Side_Remove.jpg (116.5 KB, 5134 views)
File Type: jpg bypass_clamp.jpg (76.7 KB, 9772 views)
File Type: jpg Setup.jpg (77.3 KB, 4419 views)

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post #2 of 141 (permalink) Old 11-25-2007, 04:20 PM
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This is definitely good information and should be stickied!

Good wright up. The Clinton thing was a bit random though.

Currently driving a 2009 Focus SE Sedan w/5-Speed!

Previous cars:
1997 Geo Prizm
1996 Ford Taurus G

Formerly "Mr. X"
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post #3 of 141 (permalink) Old 11-25-2007, 04:30 PM
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Yes a good write up and it's important to backflush the core like you did.

I've also in the past let some Iron Out or CLR to slowly dribble though the ore too. Put a funnel on one hose and clamp the other hose to restrict the draining. Just let it drip through.

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post #4 of 141 (permalink) Old 11-25-2007, 09:13 PM
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good write up, ive been needing to do this before the really cold weather gets here


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post #5 of 141 (permalink) Old 11-25-2007, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
good write up, ive been needing to do this before the really cold weather gets here
[/b]
psh...You don't have really cold weather You can have some of ours when it gets here

The only thing I've done differently is to put a towel in between the bypass hose and the vise grips, just for some extra protection so the hose isn't damaged. Backflushing FTW! Good writeup

Jim S. - Pittsburgh, PA


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post #6 of 141 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 04:16 PM
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This should work on a Gen IV is that right? I believe all the hoses are in the same spot (or rather close to the pics above)

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post #7 of 141 (permalink) Old 11-26-2007, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
<div class='quotemain'>
good write up, ive been needing to do this before the really cold weather gets here
[/b]
psh...You don't have really cold weather You can have some of ours when it gets here

The only thing I've done differently is to put a towel in between the bypass hose and the vise grips, just for some extra protection so the hose isn't damaged. Backflushing FTW! Good writeup
[/b][/quote]

yeah i know, it rarely snows here anymore ... i wish i could have some cold weather b/c it seems like im one of the few people down here that like the cold weather

how long did it take you to flush everything out?


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post #8 of 141 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
yeah i know, it rarely snows here anymore ... i wish i could have some cold weather b/c it seems like im one of the few people down here that like the cold weather

how long did it take you to flush everything out?
[/b]
Weather: since I did this, it has strangely warmed up in the NE (right now, it's 64 F, with today's predicted high set at 52 F ) But it will cool down... but nothing like our old stand, Michigan, though. No -10, -20 because we're moderated by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream.

Timing: remembering that I used a 5 gallon bucket, which slowed it way down as I kept hauling it to various points in our lawn that needed water, from first wrench to last, about 2 hours.

I also used the bucket to see how much crud was coming out. It was far more than I expected.

Ford_ses's recommendation of a shop towel between vise grips and bypass hose is a good one.

Dave

(Ricer333 - Gen 4? I've had a 1, 2 and 3. I'm not due for a Gen 4 for at least 3 more years... maybe someone who knows something will chime in).

1986 MT-4 4-cylinder (R.I.P. circa 1990, rust, clutch)
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1991 Station Wagon (R.I.P. 1/2007, but the Benz that pulled out in front was bent much worse)
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2004 Taurus SE w/Vulcan & AX4N | dark shadow gray metallic | gray cloth interior | still strong at 192K+
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post #9 of 141 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
This should work on a Gen IV is that right? I believe all the hoses are in the same spot (or rather close to the pics above)
[/b]
Yep, it'll work exactly the same.

I've never moved any brackets or anything to get to the hose clamps on mine...you may not have to depending on which type of clamps are on your car and which way they're pointing.

Jim S. - Pittsburgh, PA


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post #10 of 141 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
I've never moved any brackets or anything to get to the hose clamps on mine...you may not have to depending on which type of clamps are on your car and which way they're pointing.
[/b]
Ah, youth. I'm 65 and unwilling to twist my body around for any length of time... after 3 tries with 3 different types of pliers to get the original water pump squeeze-the-ears clamp to cooperate, I decided to invest the 3 minutes needed to move the bracket. Couldn't easily see under the air intake (same please-no-body-twist as above applies), so I invested another 3 minutes losing the air intake.

For those with eyes for details, I took what purports to be the initial, 'move the bracket' photo above after the heater was clear and the hose was back on the pump, sealed with a new stainless / worm gear clamp. That also explains all the wet coolant patches.

1986 MT-4 4-cylinder (R.I.P. circa 1990, rust, clutch)
1994 Station Wagon (R.I.P. circa 9/2005)
1991 Station Wagon (R.I.P. 1/2007, but the Benz that pulled out in front was bent much worse)
1998 SE Station Wagon (R.I.P. 2/28/09 at ~186k)
2004 Taurus SE w/Vulcan & AX4N | dark shadow gray metallic | gray cloth interior | still strong at 192K+
2000 Taurus SE wagon w/Vulcan & AX4S / tropic green metallic | gray cloth interior | purchased 6/12 at 51k miles
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