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Drain 3.8 Engine Block Coolant 2004 SS NA

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Old 07-07-2019, 02:17 PM
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Default Drain 3.8 Engine Block Coolant 2004 SS NA

Could somebody please tell me where the engine block drain plugs are on a 2004 SS N/A with a 3.8 liter? There are a number of threads mentioning draining the radiator and installing a flush kit but in my case having original Dexcool with about 45K for miles and original intake manifold gaskets that still are not leaking I was told by a number of GM tech's to get rid of that orange Dex and put in good ol green as the Dex reacts with the original black intake gaskets! From what I can see it looks like there is a plug inconveniently located between the starter and the block. Where is the RH side located? Hopefully in a user friendly location?
 
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by hennmann View Post
but in my case having original Dexcool with about 45K for miles and original intake manifold gaskets that still are not leaking I was told by a number of GM tech's to get rid of that orange Dex and put in good ol green as the Dex reacts with the original black intake gaskets!
IMO I'd be less worried about type of coolant causing issues and more worried about the change interval. If you're still on original coolant, you're like 3X what GM suggests. Also keep in mind that green requires even more frequent changes than dexcool.
 
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bumpin96monte View Post
IMO I'd be less worried about type of coolant causing issues and more worried about the change interval. If you're still on original coolant, you're like 3X what GM suggests. Also keep in mind that green requires even more frequent changes than dexcool.
Given that how accessible are the engine block drain plugs? There are also alternatives to Dexcool as Prestone has long life compatible with all types. If the plugs aren't that difficult to remove I would change more often. As for flushing I tend to use soft or RO water due to the extreme hardness of my water in my location.
 
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:25 PM
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My point was more to not let the techs get in your head too much that dexcool is such a huge problem. Clearly it's not that bad if you've exceeded the change interval by such a huge margin and still dont have any issues. Not trying to dissuade you from changing it, plenty of the aftermarket stuff is proven good as well.

Can't really help with the block drains though, I've never switched from dexcool. Ive owned 10 GM cars (MY 96-09) with roughly a combined 1M miles and haven't had a reason to switch, so I just do the traditional flush through the radiator hose hookups.
 
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bumpin96monte View Post
IMO I'd be less worried about type of coolant causing issues and more worried about the change interval. If you're still on original coolant, you're like 3X what GM suggests. Also keep in mind that green requires even more frequent changes than dexcool.
At the end of the day I want to change the coolant because unknown to many Antifreeze/coolant becomes acid I as it ages and this is why in HD equipment applications we are always using test strips to test cool and and adding DCA or Diesel Coolant Additive. My water is extremely hard and have seen my share of scaled up radiators and cooling systems which is why I use RO water. Why wouldI want to go through the trouble and expense of changing using the crap water that runs out the tap? A gallon of AF is in the high teens now and this also applies to adding water to batteries because my other cars (50 Mercury&56 Continental) are 50's vintage with conventional batteries.

The front plug is most likely between the starter and block and I will search for the rear. It makes more sense to drain and save the coolant so it can be brought to somebody that has a recycling unit that removes scale, rust and contamination than dumping it on the ground or down the drain!
 
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:50 PM
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Do your own research about dex BEFORE you get on a band wagon. Just my thoughts, current Dex (from 2000+) fine. The issue with the intake gaskets is the same with Dex vs Ol' Green, they are plastic/nylon crappy gaskets, BAD design. I have dealt with cars that had these fail and NEVER ran a drop of Dex (not even from the factory). This is food for thought as you make a decision:
- Many people are against Dex and like to cite that GM lost a class action lawsuit.
- Many fail to note that as a result of that law suit, GM revised the formula (this is why I said Dex from 2000+ up) and GM is still using Dex. Not sure about you, but if I lost my shirt on a lawsuit for a bad product, I would go crazy fixing the problem before I would continue using it again.
- Look at cars with and without Dex coolant that had the same gasket failures.
- Notice that GM revised these gaskets a few times in the life of the gaskets.
- Notice aftermarket companies like Fel Pro sell metal core gaskets.
- Read the recommended schedule for flushing your coolant (I would always consider flushing earlier than later).
- The big claim to fame for why GM uses Dex I believe is a longer time between change/flush intervals (again, I still suggest earlier than later).

Just some food for thought.

To answer your question, I am not sure where the drain on the block is. I have always released the drain on the radiator. But I understand trying to get as much old gunk out as possible (especially if it has not been addressed on a regular basis).

I hope the info I provided helps.
 
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:49 PM
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I guess I may as well get it "flushed" for $235 because having easy accessible drain plugs doesn't seem to be an option. This will be done when the recall repairs are done such as the front valve cover fiasco!! IF it is fixed properly I see absolutely NO GOOD REASON why the engine cover or shroud need be removed and discarded!! My 2005 Buick with the 3.8 series 3 has one so this sounds totally lame with the black plastic intake staring me in the face. The cover will be removed along with the filler/retainer extension and placed in the trunk. Anybody who ventures in there to remove will be dealt with as it and the compartment look like new. I'm tending to agree with Trump when they started shutting down GM plants. "If you built a vehicle that lasts, people would purchase them and you wouldn't have to shut down plants!"
 
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:26 AM
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If you're looking for drain on back side of engine pull the knock sensor out to drain the back side of the block . Good luck
 
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:58 AM
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As much as I want a vehicle that lasts, I am not sure I totally agree with the statement
If you built a vehicle that lasts, people would purchase them and you wouldn't have to shut down plants!
. In theory, primary reasons people replace vehicles: problems (rust, maintenance, wearing out), bored with it, lacks features of newer vehicles. In theory, if you make vehicles that last forever, you greatly reduce a large reason to replace a car, which does actually mean less need for factories. This is not just the auto-industry, it's everything. But neither here nor there.

Before having the recall service done, keep your engine cover. some of these recalls are also knee jerk PR things. Such as the valve cover gasket is aging, it's normal. It's the same gasket and valve cover that has been used since at LEAST 1993. So it's a silly recall in my book. Plus, I don't even have the plastic valve covers anymore (I have aluminum ones from a 3800 Camaro), yet they cannot cancel the recall claim unless they pull the cover and install that black plastic one from the recall. Stupid.

As for flushing the car yourself, a lot of time I open the drain on the radiator. I then use a flush T on the heater hose, attach the garden hose and flush water though the system. If needed, I will run a flush solution in the car prior to draining the radiator. Usually doing this, you end with 50% tap water in the system, I then top off with non-diluted/non-premixed anti-freeze. Once done, I am close enough to 50/50 water and anti-freeze. No if you are not a fan of tap water from the garden hose, you do need to drain the block then.

Just some food for thought.
 
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:12 PM
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I took it off and placed it and the filler cap extension in my trunk. The valve cover is black now and not silver as the original and I checked the cap and the extension to see if the opening and cap are different and they are NOT! Absolutely NO LOGICAL REASON why it should be discarded other than removing it PRIOR to recall repairs to reduce the fuel for fire IF one should occurr. Like I told them if the recall mods are done properly the shroud need not be removed and discarded!! As Charlton Heston said about taking away his guns " they will have to pry them from my cold dead fingers" and this applies to my filler extension and shroud. They are reinstalled and I never had any oil leaks either. My engine compartment looks like brand new as well due to only driving it during only two winters so there is no salt damage. I gave up and had them flush the cooling system with them indicating they use compressed air to remove the coolant from the block prior to replacing with probably recycled coolant which is pretty much what most garages use now. Years ago I saw what is done which is draining the coolant into a reservoir and adding a special chemical to the solution that causes all of the impurities to turn into globs of snot that settle out and allow a filter to capture. When that cycle is completed necessary vitamins and chemicals are added to eliminate the acidity of the coolant and to replace anti corrosion chemicals as well. Most HD and agriculture equipment has a spin on coolant filter with or without a lump of chemical in the filter to filter out impurities and replace the chemicals. The ones without are for when the coolant tests indicate no additional chemicals need adding at the time of filter replacement. We used test strips on regular intervals to determine this. As a result running through a filter all the time leaves crystal clear coolant and I would always save this coolant in clean pails when a customer wanted the coolant changed and put it in my 1950's vehicles with no aluminum components even though the modern diesels have aluminum in the cooling system and now use aluminum compatible. I would always test and throw in DCA or Diesel Coolant Additive in as well. Never had rust or scale either doing this and if I do use new coolant I use RO water. With the filter system in use the coolant looks clearer than if you dump in new coolant and water 😂 and if it tests good and is clean I used it!
 

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