Radiator drain plug sticking question

JHZR2

Staff member
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44,850
Location
New Jersey
Hello, Out to replace the dexcool in my radiator in my 98 Chevy S-10 ZR2 pickup. I tried to turn the stopcock, and couldnt for the life of me. The thing is set up so you turn it maybe a quarter, then it slides out. I gently used a pliers to turn the thing, but then couldn't pull it out. I had to use a screwdriver to gently pry it out to the point where the coolant would start flowing, and then it was still really hard to get out. I eventually got it out all the way, and am finding the o-ring a bit hard. Should I use some sort of grease to make it easier to use the stopcock, or is it best after 10+ years to just replace? THanks!
 
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2,097
Location
kansastan
A replacement plug costs about $6. Or you could match up the o-ring... but that's a lot of trouble at most parts stores these days.
 
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19,479
Location
Chicago Area
The plastic of the petcock and radiator have probably warped a bit. And the O ring is not good anymore. Clean out the hole, and get a new piece with an O ring, if you can.
 
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4,622
Location
Western Washington
A new O ring should be less than $2 or so, I'd replace it for sure. A little lube on it going back in wouldn't hurt either. Dude, you've got the cleanest hands I've ever seen on a mechanic!! And your life line says that you're going to come to a fork in the road soon lol
 
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8,373
Location
Texas
I would not of pulled the plug anyway - just the lower hose. Drains much quicker and with more force. The less plastic you mess with the better. But since a did, I'd grease it and plug it back in with a new o-ring - if needed. Easy to match up.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
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44,850
Location
New Jersey
krytox grease on the o-ring made putting it in, and working it multiple times a breeze. Worked like it was brand new... Ill be doing a few drains of the coolant, so one of the goes, Ill put a new plug in, krytoxed up. Removing the plug makes a good forced flow drain out too... from a lower point. Plus it is easier than the potential issues of damaging a hose or hurting the radiator neck.
 
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2,431
Location
Toronto, Canada
I prefer to use the drain plug when I can since it avoids potential leaks from a hose that has been freshly reconnected. Once a hose has been in place for years, the rubber tends to bond to the metal neck and form a nice leakproof joint. Unfortunately, my Sierra does not have a drain for the rad.
 
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21,662
Location
Apple Valley, California
We never use the drain plug at my shop. To much of a chance that it will leak, break of etc. Messing with them is taking to much of a chance that something will go wrong then I'll have to pull the rasdiator to fix it or eat a radiator. 90% of the time I use a small hose and siphon the coolant out. If I cant do that I pull the lower hose off.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
44,850
Location
New Jersey
I have used the siphon method too... I like that method a lot! I guess I wasnt sure if it was a smart way to get out the heavy junk...
 
Messages
8,373
Location
Texas
 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
krytox grease on the o-ring made putting it in, and working it multiple times a breeze. Worked like it was brand new... Ill be doing a few drains of the coolant, so one of the goes, Ill put a new plug in, krytoxed up. Removing the plug makes a good forced flow drain out too... from a lower point. Plus it is easier than the potential issues of damaging a hose or hurting the radiator neck.
Good points, I was thinking you were changing the hoses too.
 
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