Is it a bad idea to remove block drain plugs? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 08-23-2006, 04:47 PM
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Is it a bad idea to remove block drain plugs?

Like the title says is it a bad idea to remove them when flushing the coolant or draining the cooling system? I recomended this as a precaution to someone when removing the intake and or heads to prevent the coolant from getting into an engine. You would have thought by the reaction I got that the world would come to an end. "You cant get them restarted", "would leak", etc. I have done this so many times that I couldn't begin to count.

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Old 08-23-2006, 05:48 PM
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IMHO ... that's why they're there!
If you can't get them to thread back in, replace them.
If they leak, teflon-tape them.

Cripes ... as a broke stupid kid driving "old junk" ... there were plenty of occasions when a boil-over or an upper rad hose sliced by the fan blade (broken mount -- caused by doing brake stands ) meant adding straight water to the system.

When fall freeze-ups came along (thin ice at the top of a pail of water) it was fairly common practice to drain the rad overnight and re-fill it in the morning ... with more water.

When the overnight temps started to get to the point where that pail of water started freezing almost all the way to the bottom, a guy would either pull the block drains or go buy some darn antifreeze!

Don
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Old 08-23-2006, 05:51 PM
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I have been taking them out for years...never had a problem.
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Old 08-23-2006, 06:32 PM
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I just changed the knock sensor on a 1992 chev van,they screw into
the block drain hole, no coolant came out until I poked a screwdriver into
the hole! I guess its time to Flush the cooling system!!
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Old 08-23-2006, 08:14 PM
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Yep, Everything that the other guys said. I like to replace them with a brass pipe plug that has a 9/16" hex and teflon based pipe dope or thread sealer.
I don't like the pipe plugs with the 5/16" allen for those drain plugs.
Have fun,Smokey
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:07 AM
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You (we) older guys should remember when they put pitcock valves in those holes.
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Old 08-24-2006, 11:45 AM
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I put drain valves in them so when ya have to drain it down to change the manifold it won't get in the engine.
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Old 08-24-2006, 12:42 PM
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Thanks for the replies, I was shown this by a couple of old racers/rodders many years ago. In all of the times I had done it there was never an issue, I didn't think I was just being lucky.
Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2006, 01:47 PM
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ROFLMAO The same guys probably have trouble with spark plugs too....
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:59 AM
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Only thing that I would be afraid of is if they have never been out and the engine is in the vehicle. Snapping the plug off where I couldn't get to it to use an easy-out wouldn't be any fun. The ones in 1960's Pontiacs were steel and I always remove them during the rebuild and replace them with nice high quality brass ones so I can remove them easily later on when I flush out the system. While I have never broke an original plug, they have sometimes been very, very difficult to convince to turn after 40 years of never being removed. Pontiacs are also a rather small 1/8" pipe plug size that doesn't help anything.
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