Broken radiator drain plug | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Broken radiator drain plug

Joseph Tilghman

Active Member
February 21, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Huntersville, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 sport trac 2w Drive
For those of us that get heavy handed and break off the drain plug, the old one can be removed with a 5/16 allen wrench. I just picked one up from the dealer. I wasn't sure about an after market piece 8.97 at the dealer.

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I'm surprised they had one. Must be a common breakage issue then. Sure beats a radiator replacement!

Surprised me too when I called the dealer. It must be a high brakage item, I watched him get the part he didn't have to go back in the corner it was right up front. lol

I had mine break a while back, got it out with an allen wrench, but I got my replacementfrom autozone for like 3 bucks, and its got a thumbscrew on it (looks kinda like a wing nut) unlike the old one.

I changed mine this weekend used a 5/16 allen socket maybe should have goten an aftermarket piece but didn't know if the thread size was the same.

Service manual says just pull it out.

I tried pulling it out and it wont come all the way out. I bought a new drain plug because my old one is leaking. Is there a special tool to use? Thanks!

I broke the factory plug on my 03 STR I backed it out with a 5/16 allen socket (allen wrench will work) and just pulled it out after the threads were completely out of the radiator.

Try squezing the tang that goes into the radiator.

I broke my 04 ford explorer drain plug. Is it 5/16? because the entire top portion of the plug came out. and the rest is stuck inside the drain plug. I'm just glad i was screwing it in when it broke, so no coolant is leaking.