How to replace radiator drain petcock?? - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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How to replace radiator drain petcock??

Hi!

The (stock) radiator drain petcock on my '95 Caprice has been leaking a bit lately, so I decided to get a new one. It would be nice to just pop the old one out and new one in, letting as little coolant out and as little air in as possible.

So the question is, how is the petcock removed and installed? Does it come right out if I twist it to some specific position? Or, do I have to twist it to some specific position and then somehow drive the pin out, or something like that?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by andy caprice View Post
Hi!

The (stock) radiator drain petcock on my '95 Caprice has been leaking a bit lately, so I decided to get a new one. It would be nice to just pop the old one out and new one in, letting as little coolant out and as little air in as possible.

So the question is, how is the petcock removed and installed? Does it come right out if I twist it to some specific position? Or, do I have to twist it to some specific position and then somehow drive the pin out, or something like that?

Thanks!
Honestly, I think you are going to have a hard time doing this without loosing a lot of coolant anyway and getting covered with coolant (assuming you do this from underneath) at the same time. I think they do offer a replacement petcock for the rad and pretty sure they just pull out after the valve is opened. Keep in mind that an original could really be STUCK in there and fighting it while coolant is pouring out....not Fun. Contact one of the many part vendors and see what is available....assuming the rad is still original. If not, a aftermarket rad may use a different type of petcock valve.

But if I was doing it and it had been some time since the coolant system was flushed, now would be a good time to just drain the entire system, Flush it out and clean all the components like the reservoir, Flush the rad, Pull the Knock Sensors to drain/flush the block and also flush/reverse flush the Heater core.

If you do all of this then also a good idea to replace the t-Stat and pressure cap along with the Plastic tee and flow restrictor while the system is down. I know this all sounds like a lot of work when just looking to replace the Petcock, but its really a good idea to do all of this anyway.

EDIT - This appears to be the Dorman replacement for a 95 Caprice but not sure if they just pull out as it does look like it has a little pin to it.

http://www.autozone.com/cooling-heat...?checkfit=true

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Last edited by 4DoorSS; 01-26-2016 at 08:02 AM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 12:05 PM
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most just turn 90 degrees counter clockwise then pull straight out. Line up the new one so pin is in the groove the old one was, push in and then turn clockwise 90 degrees to close

....sometimes the radiator plastic is so aged the valve gets stuck on and force turning it can crack the radiator itself

there is a O ring on the end which often tears when aged and someone turns petcock to drain...and then it won't seal when closed.

I have had most leak when using the plastic petcocks to drain radiator which is why I just pull the lower hose for radiator flushes and don't use the petcock.

Now that I have a AL radiator with a real brass petcock....it is not a problem to use that one

\'96 BBB 383/T-56
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 01:58 PM
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20 year old original radiator?

Replace it - those tanks have been heated and cooled, expanded and contracted, been pressurized and depressurized............................ do the math...............1000's of times. Their time will soon be up, and maybe at the worst time in the worst place.

http://www.amazon.com/Spectra-Premium-CU1517-Complete-Chevrolet/dp/B000C7RZPO/ref=au_as_r?_encoding=UTF8&Make=Buick%7C45&Model=Roadmaster%7C395&Year=1994%7C1994&ie=UTF8&n=15684181&s=automotive&vehicleId=1&vehicleType=automotive

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Unread 03-13-2019, 08:53 PM
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Just posting this for others future search reference.

The petcock on my radiator snapped when tightening and the following type fit in the non factory but stock style replacement radiator. Its 2 pieces, a part that clips into the radiator tank that has threads and the valve itself that then threads into it.

NAPA #NOE 6051291
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Unread 03-14-2019, 08:34 AM
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I recently replaced a leaking one in my Cady (torn o-ring). I got it at AZ, and it rotates outward with that pin in a groove out about 90 degrees to drain. But here's the trick - after 10 tries at full travel and no-go, I rotated CCW only half its total travel where another groove permits pulling straight out. I already had the new one's o-ring lubed up (with some di-electric grease mind you lol) and the new one slipped right in and turn closed. After you've ever replaced your first one, then the extraction-reinsertion process can be done losing only a thimble-full of AF.



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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Unread 03-27-2019, 06:55 PM
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Black, thanks for the tip! My drain plug seeps now and then and I am looking to replace it. If there's an O-ring involved, well, that explains a lot. My RF is already all drained out because of my other work, so no worries!

VM
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Unread 03-29-2019, 10:38 AM
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I'm with Grandpa's Wagon--if you have an original radiator/cooling system, give serious consideration to throwing it all away and starting fresh.
"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt."
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Unread 03-29-2019, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by MWP View Post
I'm with Grandpa's Wagon--if you have an original radiator/cooling system, give serious consideration to throwing it all away and starting fresh.
"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt."
Yes, I would like to do that. We will see how she does come summer. Have wanted to replace the radiator for some time, but so far, so good. I also worry about waiting too long and not being able to get one. I'm treating this car with kid gloves because of her high miles...

Veronica M
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