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White Diamond 2001 STS
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys (and gals):

I'm changing my water pump on my '97 Seville (with Northstar engine) this weekend and went out tonight to drain the coolant... How do you get to the dang drain plug??? I can't get to it from underneath -- there's a metal support down there that's integral to the frame, blocking all access. I also can't really get to it from above, even after removing the entire intake system. From the service manual, it appears to be located on a vertical surface on the driver side tank. I wish the drain was on the BOTTOM of the tank -- but it doesn't look like that's the case.

What's the trick? I figured I could just remove the lower radiator hose and let everything gush out, but the ABS box is right there, along with an O2 sensor, etc. I'd like to keep everything as dry and clean as I can.

Can anyone give me a hint?

Thanks in advance.
 

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1994 STS - pearl white
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It's possible to get at it from above... but a royal pain in the arse.

It may help to unbolt the driver side cooling fan and position it to the side to gain a bit more working space. When I drained the rad I think I used a pair of slip-joint pliers to turn the drain cock (I know I used some tool, but can't exactly recall which one). At least GM provided a drain hole through the sheet metal under the valve.

I would recommend you stock up on two items before you start:
1) a good stock of bandages & antiseptic to deal with the myriad scrapes on your hands and arms when you're done.
2) a healthy vocabulary of curse words that will make your neighbors stay indoors (OK, it won't help with the job, but it might make you feel better about it).

Good luck.
 

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White Diamond 2001 STS
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Eric. Over on caddyinfo.com, they recommended the same thing. I'm quite unimpressed with the factory service manual in this case. Instructions it lists for draining the coolant? "Open the radiator drain at the bottom of the radiator." Uh, yeah.... HOW? I guess taking out the cooling fan is the trick. Thanks much.
 

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1994 STS - pearl white
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I know what you mean about the service manuals. My personal favorites are stuff like "1. Remove the powertrain" or "1. Remove the engine".:confused:

Makes it sound so easy, huh?
 

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1994 STS - pearl white
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It also helps to be able to hold a flashlight in your mouth whilst doing a headstand on the engine.

You do have three elbows in each arm and 2 thumbs per hand, don't you? :p No, I don't, either.
 

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It is fairly easy to remove the engine/power train from these cars! But you need a well equiped shop! Which is who the factory service manuals were written for!
 

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when i did mine... to drain the coolant i couldnt get to the drain so i pulled the upper radiator hose... then once that was off i could get to the lower one, so i pulled that too... and then all the coolant went everywhere. so i used up alot of paper towels.

lol. on my thunderbird the water pump blew on it while i was at school 2 years ago so i had to change it while at my dorm building. I did the etire change while parked over a storm drain in the parking lot :D It made clean up very easy.
 

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OMG! I'l pretend I didn't hear you say that. You know how many critters you killed doing that? The anti-freeze is bad enough, but the heavy metals in used coolant are real tough on nature.
 

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2005 CTS-V, 1994 Infiniti Q45
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Even if it spills, you shouldnt throw the towels you used to clean it up in the trash. Anything anti-freeze, or engine fluid related, should be taken to an autoparts store for disposal!

One cup of antifreeze can kill someone!!!!!
 

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Katshot said:
OMG! I'l pretend I didn't hear you say that. You know how many critters you killed doing that? The anti-freeze is bad enough, but the heavy metals in used coolant are real tough on nature.
Maybe I shouldnt even tell you.....But , What the hell! Back in the '70s I used to take my Frieghtliner down to the corner of my street and drain the oil in the storm drain. 11 gallons of oil! Once a month....Just doing my part to replenish the oil in mother earth!LOL!! They passed a law after that.....So I stopped doing it.:D
 

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YOU ARE THE REASON WE HAVE THE EPA AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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White Diamond 2001 STS
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Discussion Starter #12
Oddly enough, they tell you to drain the coolant into the sanitary sewer. Our local parts store doesn't take coolants, only motor oils. If you bring in coolant, they'll dump it down the wash basin in the back. I guess the filtration system at the treatment plants can accomodate it and break it down? Note, I said sanitary sewer, not storm sewer. That's a whole nother thing... (never dump it down a storm sewer).

I got the water pump replaced today... Even after removal of the fan, I couldn't get to the drain. I just loosened the two bolts at the lower hose inlet (thermostat cover) and let it drain out there. After that, the job was a cinch. Remove the 4 bolts for the WP cover, unclock the old pump, clock in the new pump, bolt the covers back up and refill!

Interestingly enough, the car runs cooler now. ?? I put in a new AC-Delco thermostat while I was there... And the car runs dead on 190*F now (where it used to run average 199*F). If I coast down a hill on the Interstate, it'll drop to 185*F. If I run up a long hill, it'll climb to 196*F. But that's it. We drove it in to Roanoke today (about 40 mins via Interstate) and on the road or in town...never saw 200 degrees. I wonder if they adjusted the temperature of the thermostats since 1997 and now? I certainly didn't ask for a low-temp one. I'm not going to switch this out or anything, but just surprised at the difference. The old one must have been on the hot side of the tolerance and this new one on the cool side.
 

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So like you are supposed to dump it down the sink or toilet??
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yep. This is what's on the back of the Prestone bottle of 5/150 antifreeze that I bought:

Collect used antifreeze and dispose according to local laws and regulations. Where permitted, we recommend disposal in sanitary sewer systems. Do not drain onto ground or into storm drainage systems

So yeah. "Where permitted", dump it down the sink. Just don't let your wife catch you. :)
 

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1994 STS - pearl white
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I heard a few years ago that the bacteria found in the digesters at the typical sewage treatment plant quite readily eat up ethylene glycol. In jurisdictions where it is allowed, you can dump it in the toilet. However, every place I have lived has taken used coolant at the local waste management facility, so I have never flushed it nor had to look into it further.

Chemically, ethylene glycol is almost the same as propylene glycol, which is used as a sweetener in foods. Both taste sweet, which is why the furry critters are attracted to it. Propylene glycol makes stuff taste better. Ethylene glycol kills. What a difference a few atoms can make!
 

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My fiance knows about it being in FOODS and many shampoos. Basically, it is what hydraulic brake fluid is made off. It is very toxic. I urge you all to check your shampoo bottles for the ingrediants, I bet KC never did that.......LOL. My dad and I got the coolant out by using a gas syphon hose for a ski-doo.
 

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Did you just syphon it out from the radiator cap.
 

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Yea just from the rad cap, it was tricky getting the syphon hose all the way down in the rad because of the ribs on the hose. I guess it makes sense also to just take off the lower rad hose, but thats more messy. I cannot remember where the engine drain plug was but I think we got that as well,..........maybe.
 

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Hey, you are not a GOOD DIYer if you dont get messy. Its all part of the fun!!
 
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