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You put cold water into the radiator.

You then heated the water to 180 degrees or so.

It expanded. Being trapped behind the thermostat it built up pressure head.

The thermostat opened and you didn't have the cap on and it REALLY expanded (pressure head ---> velocity head).

You poured it all over the ground. Now it's all gone.

Fill it back up and run it till the first surge. Then put the cap on and see how it runs. If it builds up too much pressure it will bleed (depending on what radiator cap you have). Make sure the overflow tube is in place.

Good luck. Sounds fairly normal to me!

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