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Discussion Starter #1
In the earlier stages of my cam swap.... I have consulted the Helm's manual and is it true there is only a coolant drain on the passenger side of the block? That seems to me that it would not drain the driver's side. I have seen reference to a engine block coolant heater on the driver's side. I doubted my car would have this, and indeed I do not believe that it does. It seems to have a plug with a allen-head (hex) so big I am having trouble comprehending it. It must be like 15+ mm..... Where do they come up with this esoteric crap??? Anyway, can anyone confirm my findings - and how the hell do you get that plug out. I think it's in a bad spot for access....
 

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I looked at the drawings and agree with you, and of course it looks like they are both easy to get too. But that's an exploded view. In reality, there probably both surrounded with a bunch of things in the way preventing easy access to either one. I would think that both sides are interconnected to each other with a pass thru hole in the block somewhere. But if in doubt, you may have no choice other than removing both sides.
If those cars *with* that block heater, heats up the water within the block efficiently, then there may very well be a water transfer channel from side to side. Then only the easiest plug would need to be removed to drain the block.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
There definitely is one behind the starter that is reasonable. Like maybe 8 mm Allen. But I don't think it drained the driver's side of the block. When I pulled the water pump off I still got some coolant spill, and it *looks* like there is coolant on that side....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
driver's side

Okay, I was able to stick a bolt head in the driver's side - what I'm pretty sure will be a drain. It is where the manual shows a block coolant heater. It would require a 17 mm allen head! It is just rearward of the alternator. I have not tried to get it off, would need to fab up a tool to get in there. I did drain the passenger side of my block that head came off nice and dry. The driver's head did not. Leaked coolant and spilled some into the cylinders, which I love. I do have a metric class 10.9 bolt I could weld the nut onto if I'm motivated to do so. If I do will post results here.
 

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I put a wet vac on the water pump and pull as much out as i can, does a pretty good job before taking off heads.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Craftsman makes a 17 mm allen

One of my buddies who has a 3/4 ton GM pickup had left in my garage a Craftsman 4 pack of large allen heads 1/2" drive. So this morning I decided to check them out and see if there was anything close to 17 mm that I could use. I was pleasantly surprised to discover 2 of them were metric, and one was 17mm! So I was able to pull the plug. The best thing I discovered was a long 1/2" extension straight out. (I have pulled the wheel well housings which has made some things easier, certainly easier to see some stuff low.... It is on there pretty good, I had to tug pretty hard on my breaker bar.

This drained the driver's side of my block.
 
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