Question about 2002 Chevrolet Silverado

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I want to use a Prestone flushing tee to flush my radiator on a 2002 Silverado pickup truck. There are two heater hoses side by side on the water pump, one closer to the front and one in back of it. Which hose should I put the flushing tee in?

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  • Larry Sep 18, 2010

    Here is what I found and what I did to flush my radiator. Unless your antifreeze is so bad that it is rusty and you need to use cleaning agents this should work for you too. The 5.3 V-8 with automatic transmission holds 14.9 qts of coolant in the cooling system.

    Contrary to opinion, this engine doesn't have a heater hose to the top of the engine. The water pump has a "loop" system. There are two hoses on the passenger side of the water pump. The hose to put a Prestone flushing tee in is the forward hose. This is the hose that has a "Y" way down near the waterpump. The "Y" goes to the heater core inlet and a branch to the pressurized surge tank. This is a very expensive hose ($100 or so) and if you ever replace it you will need a special tool (J43181 from Kent Moore tool) to remove the hose from the firewall connection.

    I decided to just replace all the dex-cool antifreeze without cutting the hose or installing the Prestone tee. I removed the pressurized surge tank cap and opened the radiator drain at the bottom of the radiator on the driver side and collected about 6 quarts of coolant for disposal. After it drained, I placed a garden hose into the surge tank turned it on with moderate flow letting the water flush through the system. Then I started the engine and let it run for 5 minutes with the heater on high and water flowing from the garden hose in the surge tank through the system and out the radiator drain. Then I closed the radiator drain and filled the radiator and then drained it again for good measure. The water was clear coming out . I removed the garden hose and left the radiator drain open and began filling the system with pure full strength dex-cool into the surge tank. I placed an empty two liter clear soda bottle under the radiator drain hose. I poured in one gallon of full strength dex-cool and checked the color coming out the drain--it was still clear. I poured in a second gallon of pure full strength dex-cool and the color of fluid coming out the drain hose just started to show orange. I closed the radiator drain and secured the drain hose up alongside the radiator. I took the truck for a ride. I heard some gurggling noises but the temp gauge never exceeded about 195*. I returned home and topped off with dex-cool and distilled water. I figure I have about a 55% mixture of antifreeze. All the coolant is new and I didn't have to cut or remove any hoses. I will monitor it for a few weeks and check the acual protection range with a hydrometer.

  • Larry Sep 18, 2010

    Here is what I found and what I did to flush my radiator. Unless your antifreeze is so bad that it is rusty and you need to use cleaning agents this should work for you too. The 5.3 V-8 with automatic transmission holds 14.9 qts of coolant in the cooling system.

    Contrary to opinion, this engine doesn't have a heater hose to the top of the engine. The water pump has a "loop" system. There are two hoses on the passenger side of the water pump. The hose to put a Prestone flushing tee in is the forward hose. This is the hose that has a "Y" way down near the waterpump. The "Y" goes to the heater core inlet and a branch to the pressurized surge tank. This is a very expensive hose ($100 or so) and if you ever replace it you will need a special tool (J43181 from Kent Moore tool) to remove the hose from the firewall connection.

    I decided to just replace all the dex-cool antifreeze without cutting the hose or installing the Prestone tee. I removed the pressurized surge tank cap and opened the radiator drain at the bottom of the radiator on the driver side and collected about 6 quarts of coolant for disposal. After it drained, I placed a garden hose into the surge tank turned it on with moderate flow letting the water flush through the system. Then I started the engine and let it run for 5 minutes with the heater on high and water flowing from the garden hose in the surge tank through the system and out the radiator drain. Then I closed the radiator drain and filled the radiator and then drained it again for good measure. The water was clear coming out . I removed the garden hose and left the radiator drain open and began filling the system with pure full strength dex-cool into the surge tank. I placed an empty two liter clear soda bottle under the radiator drain hose. I poured in one gallon of full strength dex-cool and checked the color coming out the drain--it was still clear. I poured in a second gallon of pure full strength dex-cool and the color of fluid coming out the drain hose just started to show orange. I closed the radiator drain and secured the drain hose up alongside the radiator. I took the truck for a ride. I heard some gurggling noises but the temp gauge never exceeded about 195*. I returned home and topped off with dex-cool and distilled water. I figure I have about a 55% mixture of antifreeze. All the coolant is new and I didn't have to cut or remove any hoses. I will monitor it for a few weeks and check the acual protection range with a hydrometer.

  • Larry Sep 18, 2010

    Here is what I found and what I did to flush my radiator. Unless your antifreeze is so bad that it is rusty and you need to use cleaning agents this should work for you too. The 5.3 V-8 with automatic transmission holds 14.9 qts of coolant in the cooling system.

    Contrary to opinion, this engine doesn't have a heater hose to the top of the engine. The water pump has a "loop" system. There are two hoses on the passenger side of the water pump. The hose to put a Prestone flushing tee in is the forward hose. This is the hose that has a "Y" way down near the waterpump. The "Y" goes to the heater core inlet and a branch to the pressurized surge tank. This is a very expensive hose ($100 or so) and if you ever replace it you will need a special tool (J43181 from Kent Moore tool) to remove the hose from the firewall connection.

    I decided to just replace all the dex-cool antifreeze without cutting the hose or installing the Prestone tee. I removed the pressurized surge tank cap and opened the radiator drain at the bottom of the radiator on the driver side and collected about 6 quarts of coolant for disposal. After it drained, I placed a garden hose into the surge tank turned it on with moderate flow letting the water flush through the system. Then I started the engine and let it run for 5 minutes with the heater on high and water flowing from the garden hose in the surge tank through the system and out the radiator drain. Then I closed the radiator drain and filled the radiator and then drained it again for good measure. The water was clear coming out . I removed the garden hose and left the radiator drain open and began filling the system with pure full strength dex-cool into the surge tank. I placed an empty two liter clear soda bottle under the radiator drain hose. I poured in one gallon of full strength dex-cool and checked the color coming out the drain--it was still clear. I poured in a second gallon of pure full strength dex-cool and the color of fluid coming out the drain hose just started to show orange. I closed the radiator drain and secured the drain hose up alongside the radiator. I took the truck for a ride. I heard some gurggling noises but the temp gauge never exceeded about 195*. I returned home and topped off with dex-cool and distilled water. I figure I have about a 55% mixture of antifreeze. All the coolant is new and I didn't have to cut or remove any hoses. I will monitor it for a few weeks and check the acual protection range with a hydrometer.

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The top hose

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