Where is the radiator drain plug?
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Where is the radiator drain plug? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I removed the big plastic piece under the front of my '99 STS and I can't find the radiator drain ...
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    Lebowski's Avatar
    Lebowski is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Where is the radiator drain plug?

    I removed the big plastic piece under the front of my '99 STS and I can't find the radiator drain plug. I have a factory shop manual and there's a picture but it's not very helpful. Is it on the driver's side or passenger's side and is it towards the engine or towards the front of the car? There's a big piece of metal under it that doesn't appear to be removeable which makes the radiator very difficult to get to. These late model Cadillacs sure weren't designed to be worked on by the average joe....

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    creeker is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebowski View Post
    I removed the big plastic piece under the front of my '99 STS and I can't find the radiator drain plug. I have a factory shop manual and there's a picture but it's not very helpful. Is it on the driver's side or passenger's side and is it towards the engine or towards the front of the car? There's a big piece of metal under it that doesn't appear to be removeable which makes the radiator very difficult to get to. These late model Cadillacs sure weren't designed to be worked on by the average joe....
    I'm quite sure (if your in drivers seat)that it's the lower left of rad.,on the
    engine side,it's on the vertical surface, this has been discussed quite a bit so check "search". It is inset on the rad. Hope this helps.

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    ewill3rd is offline Cadillac Technician
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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    Even if you find it, I rarely advise using it.
    Why do you want to drain the coolant? I usually just pull a hose off with a catch pan underneath.
    The reason being, the older the car gets, the more likely the drain screw is to break on removal.

    It should be on the passenger side just above the lower mounting insulator on the vertical portion of the tank if you want to find it.

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    creeker is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    Quote Originally Posted by ewill3rd View Post
    Even if you find it, I rarely advise using it.
    Why do you want to drain the coolant? I usually just pull a hose off with a catch pan underneath.
    The reason being, the older the car gets, the more likely the drain screw is to break on removal.

    It should be on the passenger side just above the lower mounting insulator on the vertical portion of the tank if you want to find it.

    Ditto, I should have mentioned when I did my 97 sts,I drained the lower rad. hose.

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    Lebowski's Avatar
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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    I'm going to put in some K&W Block Seal to try to fix my alleged blown head gasket problem. See my other thread titled "It overheated again" for all the sordid details. Thanks for the info....

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    Lebowski's Avatar
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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    I spent half an hour looking for the damn drain plug and couldn't find it. Also, both radiator hoses appear to be coming out the top of the radiator. Which one is supposed to be the lower one-the one on the driver's side with the thermostat inside or the long one that runs across the front of the car?

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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    Quote Originally Posted by ewill3rd View Post
    Even if you find it, I rarely advise using it.
    Why do you want to drain the coolant? I usually just pull a hose off with a catch pan underneath.
    The reason being, the older the car gets, the more likely the drain screw is to break on removal.

    It should be on the passenger side just above the lower mounting insulator on the vertical portion of the tank if you want to find it.
    Are you sure Bill? My daughter had a '99 and I could have sworn it was on the drivers side.

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    Lower hose is the driver's side. Crossflow radiator with internal baffling, therefore the radiator and block remain 1/2 full when you pull the "lower" hose.

    Although it doesn't do US any good, the professional flush machines hook up to the system and literally displace all the existing coolant with fresh product. As DIY'ers we're sort of at a disadvantage........

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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    Driver's side. Crossflow radiator with internal baffling, therefore the radiator and block remain 1/2 full when you pull the "lower" hose.
    That's why I prefer to pull the plug. It's the lowest point and you stand to drain a little more than just pulling the hose. That said, breaking the plug would suck. I haven't yet.

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    Lebowski's Avatar
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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    So now it's on the driver's side?

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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    On my '99 Eldorado it is on the drivers side bottom corner of the radiator on the engine side. it is extremly hard to find and even harder to access with anything to turn it with. I got mine to drain there but it is almost impossible to access. it would be easier to remove the lower hose.

    I hope you have luck with your potion but I doubt it with the problem of the headbolts stretching/striping, not just HG prob but headbolt problem. I am in the process of pulling my engine apart. I have it out but I dont have alot of time to work on it. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll have it done. If it works....

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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    It's not the head bolts that stretch or strip. It's the female threads in the block.

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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    I found the drain plug on the driver's side and have filled and drained the cooling several times as per the instructions on the can of K&W Block Seal. By the way, the guy at the NAPA store where I bought it, who is the store manager, told me he sells a lot of this stuff and has never had any complaints about it. (I know you pessimists don't want to hear that.) Anyway, tomorrow I'll flush it a few more times to remove all the coolant and then put it in and wait 24 hours for it to set. That means that by Monday night the car should be ready for a trip to California and back....

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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    Ranger,
    Well I meant the threads striping not the bolts, its just too difficult to go over the details of this major design flaw that has plagued an otherwise bulletproof engine.

    Lebowski,
    As for being a pessimist, I may be, and I also know some NAPA guys that actually do know what they are talking about but I certainly trust experieced certified GM technicians, which there are many on this site, more than an auto parts store guy. I do still wish you good luck, from a do it your self guy to another we need all the help we can get. Thats why I love this forum so much. I dont wish any major repairs on you but the fact of the matter is there is more to the northstar headgasket problem then just the headgasket. That fix in a bottle stuff may work well on other cars but it probably wont work as well on a northstar as with other engines. And it is still just a bandaid even if it holds up for awhile the problem is still there, like bubble gum on a dripping pipe.

    I know what your up against too. My Eldorado has been sitting in my driveway for over a year while Ive been saving up enough money to have a shop do the job for $3500. Now that I have the money I still dont want to spend that so I dove in the repair myself with much help from this forum. I would not be able to do the job without the help from this forum.

    So again I will wish you good luck with many more miles on your Cadillac. There is nothing better.

  16. #15
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    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Where is the radiator drain plug?

    Lebowski, have at it and best of luck. All we ask is a report after your (99 STS) drive to the West Coast and back.

    Drive safe.

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