Busted radiator drain plug, now what? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 06-28-2009
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Busted radiator drain plug, now what?

I did a radiator flush today, with the kit flushed it out with the hose and everything. filled and emptied 3 times to make sure its all clean. After the last rinse, I tightened the drain plug to fill up with antifreeze, the final step and I tightened it too tight and the end snapped right off. I had no idea it was plastic I thought it was metal. I did this at night with my outdoor lights (mounted on the house) and a flashlight.
So heres what came off



Its not leaking, I took it for a 10 mile drive and reved the **** out of the engine, its not leaking, I think I will be alright since the shaft of the bolt is in there. Right? I dont know how i would get it out if I had to, but I wont need another flush for another 100,000 miles. Do you think it will last till then?
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Old 06-28-2009
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Who knows, but if it comes down to it, take the radiator out, and drill the plug out as much as you can. Since its plastic, it should be rather easy to get out, but who knows. There are also some tools (cant think of what they are called) that would help you out. They have backwards threads, and as you screw them in, it actually turns the threads out.
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Old 06-28-2009
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I did the same thing to mine it been like that for a year or more.
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Old 06-29-2009
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If your concerned about it ask somebody who works in a garage, they should know or point you in the right direction.
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Old 06-29-2009
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if its not leaking its ok just leave it in there. its tight enough and wont ever come out. if you go to do a flush again just pull the lower rad hose off, works just as good and you wont break anything
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Old 06-29-2009
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x2

i did the same thing on my grand prix and thought i was EFFED

but it wasnt leaking. so it wasnt a problem. and it was much easier to pull the hose.

it seems all those drain plugs do is break.
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Old 06-29-2009
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The ~$5 drain bolt is designed to shear off when overtorqued to protect the plastic end tank on your $300 radiator. Just go to a Ford dealer and order a replacement. It's usually very easy to remove the remains of the original plug.
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Old 06-29-2009
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^^^^^x2

BTW, I only tighten that bolt with my fingers,never seen a single drip in many years.
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Old 06-29-2009
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alright awesome thanks for the info! I was worried it might pop out on my trip to OBX!
I dont see how it will be easy to remove but I will pick up that part and give it a try.

Also, just curious, the manual says refill capacity is 13L, I flushed it with the hose (and the kit), drained it, filled it with the radiator cleaner and water, ran it for a while, flushed it again, and refilled it but it only took the two 3.78L jugs of antifreeze, so about 7.6L and it was full, I didnt get to put any water in. Wtf?
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Old 06-30-2009
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Last year I changed the anti-freeze in my Lightning and that palstic part just broke right off when I was tightening it up - and it wasn't tight either. But I noticed on mine that the remaining part of the valve still in radiator had the shape of an allen wrench on the inside - and sure enough, I took the valve out with an allen wrench and replaced it with a new one.
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Old 07-01-2009
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Some people run straight antifreeze some mix 50/50, just don't run straight water,LOL Oh by the way if you don't have a warranty or whatever to get it fixed, you might be able to try and use a small drill bit and drill it out and then use a tape that makes threads to the left, and as you tighten it would bring out the plastic peice. I don't know though never tried it, but will if it ever happens. it was just a thought tho.
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Old 07-01-2009
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alright thanks guys i'll give it a try this weekend
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Old 07-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billet03 View Post
Some people run straight antifreeze some mix 50/50, just don't run straight water,LOL Oh by the way if you don't have a warranty or whatever to get it fixed, you might be able to try and use a small drill bit and drill it out and then use a tape that makes threads to the left, and as you tighten it would bring out the plastic peice. I don't know though never tried it, but will if it ever happens. it was just a thought tho.
Straight antifreeze is worse than straight water.
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Old 07-01-2009
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what haha, why would it be it has a higher heat temp rating and lower freez temp rating than water. jst wondering that's all I ever put in my toyota pickup never had any problems, but if you can give me a good enough answer I'll quit.
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Old 07-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert francis View Post
Last year I changed the anti-freeze in my Lightning and that palstic part just broke right off when I was tightening it up - and it wasn't tight either. But I noticed on mine that the remaining part of the valve still in radiator had the shape of an allen wrench on the inside - and sure enough, I took the valve out with an allen wrench and replaced it with a new one.
Yep my rangers rad drain has been snapped off for 6 years now. I just use an allen key when I open it up. No problems.
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