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Old 04-17-2009, 07:31 PM   #1
ifried85
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Default Stuck radiator drain plug

I am trying to drain my coolant to replace my engine coolant thermostat but I can not seem to open the radiator pet cock. Is there any tool I can use that will not break the petcock or should I just take off the lower radiator hose?
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Stuck radiator drain plug

Give it a good squirt of your favorite penetrating oil. Let it sit for a few minutes and try it.
Also seeing as your are replacing the t-stat remove the block drain bolt under the t-stat (block side) and let the coolant drain that way.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Stuck radiator drain plug

will removing the block drain bolt remove all of the coolant or just some of it?
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Stuck radiator drain plug

You do know its not like a regular petcock but a 1/4-1/2 turn counter clockwise and pull towards the rear right?

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Old 04-17-2009, 09:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Stuck radiator drain plug

The block drain does not drain much unles your thermostat is closing properly. Just take off the lower radiator hose and catch it all in a big pan. Hog pan works very well. The radiator drain is prone to break and then its new radiator time. The instructions above are critical to getting it open.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Stuck radiator drain plug

use needle nose pliers and press and twist to open the radiator drain plug. and you need to remove the drain plug on the engine under the thermostat. both need to be removed to drain all the coolant.
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Stuck radiator drain plug

I was also unsuccessful at removing the petcock when I was replacing my water pump, but I later learned from reading on this site that you can use a ratcheting box wrench. I forgot the exact size, but it's on the order of 20mm. Also, if you are facing the front of the car, you would twist clockwise from your perspective to make the petcock rotate counter-clockwise from the perspective of directly facing the petcock.
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Old 04-18-2009, 06:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: Stuck radiator drain plug

The plastic petcock only has to move about 1/4 of a turn from closed to open, and comes out about 1/2". You have to pull out at the same time as you turn.
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Stuck radiator drain plug

Lower radiator hose is easier IMO
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: Stuck radiator drain plug

The block drain bolt and the radiator drain plug may be left alone if just changing the thermostat. Just remove the lower radiator hose. If the block does not drain because the thermostat is actually closed, remove the thermostat housing.

Once the lower hose is removed pouring hot water over the radiator drain valve helps.
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