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Old 06-26-2017, 02:31 PM   #1
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Locate Engine Block Coolant drain Plugs on '97 Vulcan Engine 3.0L?

1997 Mercury Sable 3.0 OHV Vulcan engine

Had a used engine put in a year and a half ago, so I'm not exactly certain it is a 1997 Vulcan engine, but it did replace the 1997 Vulcan engine that came with the car. It's a Vulcan, not a Duratec. Fan belt slipped off a few days ago and the engine overheated. I pulled the car into a parking lot, replaced the fan belt and poured water into the coolant recovery tank enough to get home. Now, since it's been over a year since the coolant was replaced, I want to flush the coolant with hose water to get it nice and clear, then drain that and add distilled water plus pure coolant until a 50% mixture is achieved.

The problem is, I can't locate the engine drain plugs. I can see the radiator drain plug once I remove the plastic cowling, but I think it would take a lot of fills to get the water clear only draining the radiator. I plan to collect the old water/coolant mixture to dispose of properly, so I don't want to just run the hose into the overflow while gallons and gallons of water go all over the garage floor or driveway to my house.

The Haynes book says the oil drain plugs are located one to two inches above the oil pan rail and showed a pic which I can't quite relate to on the car.

Can anyone give directions as to where the block drain plugs are located in reference to, say, the oil drain plug or some other reference point? I assume the "oil pan rail" means the surface the top of the oil pan is bolted on, but I can't locate the coolant block drain plugs from that description.

A description would be great, a pic would be more than I could hope for. Any help would be appreciated.

As an added thought, would disconnecting the return hose to the radiator be a substitute for using the drain plugs to get the old coolant out?

PS: When working on this, would you recommend lifting the front of the car and setting on jackstands or using ramps? Sometimes access to certain parts differs with which method you use to lift the front.
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