Anyone know where I can get a drain valve that is long like the original? I have new radiator but it has the little brass petcock (or whatever it's called) which makes it virtually impossible to drain.
They don't really have anything that has a seat for the plug - just thread-based plugs that either leak or have to be tightened very tight . I have a lathe here so I machined one out of 304 stainless and re-used the oem brass plug .
A machine shop could make one I'm sure , better off to find a local hobbyist with a lathe as it would be a lot cheaper . Be aware that the placement of the drain port on the Champion is a bit close to the radiator support frame hole - had to enlarge mine when I added the extended drain .
Interesting idea. Sarge, I am with you on going back to the stock unit. This has been a bigger pain than I had bargained for. This radiator was around $220 compared to $350 (ish) for a stock unit. I thought it was worth the difference, especially after reading how much cooler it will run with an aluminum unit. Why couldn't they made the drain hole on the radiator the same size as the stock unit? Seems like that would have been much simpler and could have just re-used the drain off the stock radiator. I even considered seeing if I could find a fitting or an adapter of some sort to make the stock drain fit into those threads. I thought maybe I could find something like that at a plumbing supply place. I know its an extra place for potential to leak, but if use Teflon tape or something similar and make sure its sealed up tight might be ok.
I had to combine parts of two different hoses to make an appropriate lower hose for my vortec install with a wider aluminum radiator. I needed a coupler for that and it just made sense to use one with a petcock, since the generic aluminum rad had no drain.
Pick one with an appropriate diameter and install it in the most appropriate spot in the lower hose. One nice thing is that you can position it so that it is easy to reach and easy to get a bucket under (unlike the original radiator drain, which irritated me on my 78 for three decades).
I had considered adding a drain like that to the lower hose at the stock splitter for the heater return line on my '77 - just tig a bung and tap it for a proper drain . My interest in making one for the radiator itself is so I could flush the tank yearly since mine has a lot of block corrosion from previous owner's lack of care . Even added a top radiator screen filter called a Gano to the top hose - it works great to trap material that would otherwise clog the core in the radiator .
Having both drains wouldn't be a bad idea , wish the one in the block was a bit bigger ....