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Head swapin in car.whats best way to drain block..?

June 12 2017 at 3:26 PM
Mark  (Login Marx427)

Hey Y'all, I'm changing a head gasket over the fender on a 65 Galaxie this week and I'd appreciate some advice on how to evacuate all or most of the water from the block.

Last time I did this on an FE, I got a bit of water into a couple of cylinders ....sent me scrambling for my girlfriends turkey baster and my can of WD-40....

Don't want to ruin another turkey baster, so what do you suggest to drain jackets at a lower level than bottom of head passages?

Thank, Mark.

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(Login johnsf)

Re: Head swapin in car.whats best way to drain block..?

June 12 2017, 3:57 PM 

Last time I did this I drained the radiator and then took off the theremostat housing and used my shop vac to suck out the rest of the water. If I remember right I also took out the lower bolt on the alt. bracket that goes to the head on the pass. side and that helped drain the head. You'll never get it all out but that will get most of it, also watch that you don't spill any of the antifreeze down the exhaust pipe like I did , it sure does make it smoke at start up.
Good luck,
1956 Ford F-100 460/C6
1964 Galaxie 500/390

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Tom P
(Login tomposthuma)

smoke at startup

June 12 2017, 6:36 PM 

On my stupid wagon i've beheaded it several times, each time managing to spill a bunch in the cylinders and down the pipes. I must have got a lot in the mufflers last time as it billowed white smoke for a long time. The antifreeze doesn't just evaporate like water. It took a half hour of embarrassing driving!

You can siphon it out after the intake is off by using a small clear tube down the rear head crossover passage and down through the head gasket hole in the deck.

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(Login RoyceP)

Lower water pump bolt, passenger side

June 12 2017, 4:58 PM 

Take that bolt out. It will drain the coolant below the level of the head gaskets on both sides.
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(Login pooreric)

X2 on the lower water pump bolt

June 13 2017, 7:49 AM 

that's how I do it too

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Don Ragan
(Login gdr45)

Re: head swappin'

June 12 2017, 5:33 PM 

Why not drain the block thru the petjcocks on either side of the block. I'm not a youngster but has worked on all sorts of engines.

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(Login Marx427)

Not zacktley a youngster myself.....but last block petcocks I saw was on a 37...

June 12 2017, 5:57 PM 

....not sure if you mean the screw in plugs.....but I aint touching those........

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(Login urchinhead)

'64 390 has one

June 12 2017, 6:05 PM 

Not sure who put it in, but came with the stock motor.

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Don Ragan
(Login gdr45)


June 12 2017, 8:33 PM 

My 64' has one on each side. I replaced them with brass marine drains.

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Troy T
(Login mudrunner)


June 13 2017, 6:14 AM 

I spent the money for the good brass marine style, they are awesome. Luckily the screw in plugs came out of that block.

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(Login Bad427stang)

Wet vac?

June 12 2017, 7:18 PM 

To be honest with you, just wiping it out with a rag won't hurt a thing.

However, bottom water pump bolt should get it low enough
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- 70 Fastback Mustang, 489 cid FE, Victor, SEFI, TKO-600 5 speed, 4.11 9 inch.
- 71 F100 shortbed 4x4, 445 cid FE, headers, RPM intake, 1000 HP series Holley, 4 speed

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(Login ectarecordholder)

Flatheads all had petcocks....

June 12 2017, 8:06 PM 

and I believe the Y-blocks I played with all had 'em too. Spilled a bit the first time I took the head off my '64 427. Don't believe I climbed under to check for a petcock. After that, I built engines on a stand/bench and put in whatever I found necessary.


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(Login 601HP)


June 13 2017, 6:31 AM 

I installed these to eliminate antifreeze running into my armpits.

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

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