'99 Windstar Coolant Flush

My '99 Windstar just hit 45K miles and the service guide calls for a coolant 'flush and fill'. My local repair shop (Pep boys) wants $80 for the service.
I decided to do it myself, but I have 2 questions,
1. Where is the radiator drain valve? I haven't been able to locate it.
2. Prestone sells backflush kits. You install a hose T into the heater hose and you flush out the old coolant and other gook that may be in your cooling system. Anyone know if these are any good?
Thanks in advance,
Bob
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I have no idea what the 'xperts are going to suggest. All I know fer sure is that I backflushed once. Read that as one time only. It loosened up all kinds of things in the block and those loose particles then starting plugging up coolant ports as well as the radiator itself. The end result was a costly rebuild of the engine and a recoring of the radiator. Perhaps a professional would have had different and acceptable results. I was an amatuer and it was an expensive learning lesson.
Anymore, I install only DISTILLED water and anti-freeze into auto cooling systems. I have had near zero engine cooling problems in the subsequent thirty years.
Bobby B. wrote:

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Thanks for your advice, but I think engine systems have evolved quite a bit in the last 30 years.
Now if anyone can answer whether a 99 Windstar radiator has a drain cock or not would be appreciated.
Bob
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I have one of those T's on my 1981 Fairmont and have back flushed forever and in fact will be back flushing in the next few days.
I have this vehicle about 20 years 218000 miles same engine, never touched except once to replace the valve cover gaskets.
How did the engine last so long .......oil change and filter every 3000 miles and regular maintenance.
First time I ever heard back flushing can damage your engine to be quite honest I don't understand what you mean.
Denny B

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Denny B opined in

If you are that diligent in your maintenance, I dont see why you have to backflush AT ALL!
I'm lackadaisical about maintenance on most cars, but I changed Coolant on my SVO Mustang every 2 - 3 years..
The first time I changed Water Pump I was astonished to see Gray Iron.. no rust at all. Second time I pulled the pump, same thing.
'Course the SVO is a magical car.
When there has been neglect, there's a lot of sediment lying in the system, I can SURE understand why backflushing would be a bad idea, then.
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