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I have a 1120 cubic inch radiator on my F250 460 Ford. The block should hold approximately 3 gallons, the radiator, about 4., however, when I open the petcock, take the cap off, and take the lower hose lose, I only have approximately 3 gallons of water/coolant drain off... How do I insure that I am getting most/ all the fluid out, because, according to my calculations, I am only draining about 1/2 of the total fluid out!?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I'd suggest you aren't getting all of the coolant which resides in the block. I'd also go back and ensure you're looking at the correct "total". 7 gallons total for the system seems like a large amount of coolant, even for a 460. What is the year of your F250? Is this an aftermarket radiator? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 3 '18 at 9:04
  • Don't forget that the heater matrix holds a volume of coolant. – Steve Matthews Jan 3 '18 at 10:04
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How did you calculate the radiator volume - if you took the outside dimensions you massively oversized the answer.

Radiators use small tubes : approx 1/8” diameter to maximise the water tube in contact with air and improve heat transfer so the water volume in the radiator is some 10 to 15% of the space it occupies.

10 to 15% is a guess but you get the idea.

Another example is a solar thermal panel : 2m long, 1m wide and the channels are so fine it only holds 0.5 litres of water - basically a pint - does depend on the manufacturer though...

  • Possibly wrong on the calculation, did indeed take outside measure, however, I believe the radiator came out of a Ford LTD with a towing package. Thank you for your response anyway! – Alan Jay Babcock Jan 3 '18 at 9:07
  • Will check back . More work to accomplish. On the Ford . Thanks y'all. – Alan Jay Babcock Jan 3 '18 at 9:16

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