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Old 10-10-2008, 01:40 PM
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Freeze came early

Hey to everybody. I have been reading this site for years for guidance on my project. I want to say thanks to everyone that helps out the other guy. This is a great place! I have been building a V8 Ranger for some time. I built the 302 roller engine last winter and did the swap over the summer. I did drive it down the street and back once. That day, I pulled the cab off the frame so i could clean and paint everything. I work in a slightly larger than 1 car garage so i pushed the chassis with engine outside and built a base for the cab roll around on. So yesterday the temp fell to 29. I have been meaning to pull the engine and trans and store inside for the winter. When I woke and saw the temp, I went outside to check the engine before work. All the freeze plugs had pushed out about 1\8 of an inch and you could see where a little water had leaked down the side. After work I pulled the engine and trans and put them in the garage. I dont see any cracks, but there is water leaking slightly from the plugs. Would you recommend doing a compression check on the engine to see if something cracked? How would I check the cooling passages that I can't see for cracks? I really hope that this dumb mistake is going to cost me my newly machined block.

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Old 10-10-2008, 02:18 PM
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OUCH!!!!

Chances are you just got a mild freeze on it.

BUT! the only way I know to check for a coolant leak is to pressure test it. Complete coolant system.

And as cold as I imagine it gets up there I would start her up & circulate a proper amount of Ain't no Freeze juice so that while it is sitting it has the juice in the block for the winter.

I also would remove & install new freeze plugs they are a lot easier to do on a stand than in the vehicle.

Better safe than sorry.




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Old 10-10-2008, 02:36 PM
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I am hoping that since it was recently built, the freeze plugs were not rusted in (brass) so they actually did what they were supposed to do. Since the engine is out, could I fix something up pressure test the block? A filler cap between the hoses maybe? I will seperat the engine and trans tonight and check the plugs in the back.
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmanak
I am hoping that since it was recently built, the freeze plugs were not rusted in (brass) so they actually did what they were supposed to do. Since the engine is out, could I fix something up pressure test the block? A filler cap between the hoses maybe? I will seperat the engine and trans tonight and check the plugs in the back.
The core plugs are not intended to pop out when the coolant/water freezes. They are in the block to aid in the removal of the sand from the casting process.
You will need to pressurize the cooling system as mentioned to verify if the block or a head cracked.
Good luck!
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:53 PM
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Just Hook up the Radiator & use a heater hose to by pass the heater core.

Pressure test just like its in the car.

Someone told me never to use the Brass plugs because they can leak the steel ones will rust a little & create a seal .

I made sure to clean the snot out of the block then after they were in & made sure there was a ton of paint on that area.

Also I used the old fashioned permatex brown goo.



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Old 10-10-2008, 07:55 PM
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wow thats crazy , i find it hard to believe that the engine froze that much at 29 degrees ............i would think it would have had to been colder and for a longer period of time to freeze a block......
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Old 10-11-2008, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildthing
wow thats crazy , i find it hard to believe that the engine froze that much at 29 degrees ............i would think it would have had to been colder and for a longer period of time to freeze a block......
I agree, overnight should not be a problem, 24 hours below freezing
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Old 10-11-2008, 07:58 AM
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You can check for cracks with out it running, by putting a rad cap fitting in the hose - butt some times they don't leak till they are hot and under pressure. That said, I don't think you have any damage yet.
It is a good lesson folks-- get antifreeze in your junk!
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:29 AM
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some great weather we have had latly eh? i think it will be fine i have heard worse
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:40 AM
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Sbc Freeze

My son bought a 63 Impala that had been settin in an orchard for a few years. It started and ran ok but when it got warm it started leaking, He sold it as is and the kit thaat bought it said the cracks were in the lifter area...I don't know where to check on small block fords...If it has been running without antifreeze the aluminum timing covers usually corrode and will leak water into the oil pan
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:17 PM
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I went into the garage this morning and saw something laying on the floor under engine. Walked over, it was a brass freeze plug. The one above the starter just fell out. I did a closer inspection and did not see any cracks. I am going to pressure check it just to make sure. Thanks for all the replies!
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Old 10-11-2008, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmanak
the freeze plugs were not rusted in (brass) so they actually did what they were supposed to do.

As has already been pointed out that is not the purpose of "freeze" plugs and the factory makes absolutely no provisions for letting an engine freeze, the holes are there only to remove casting sand and the plugs are simply a quick easy way to plug the hole. If there was enough ice formed to push the plugs out there there is a good chance there was damage done but the only way to know for sure is to pressure check it. One engine I saw this happen to, also a 5.0, there were no cracks but when the engine was torn down for rebuild after the freezing incident it was found that the cylinder walls were slightly distorted so it had to be re-bored.
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Old 10-11-2008, 04:47 PM
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this was a good reminder for me.. figured I'd go out and put the tester to the fleet.. my Rambler had very little coolant.. so I flushed it out, and mixed up some new coolant.
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