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Old 09-27-2006, 11:04 AM
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What Is The 'Right Way' To Install Freeze Plugs ?

Hi Guys

Tell me please just 'WHAT IS THE CORRECT WAY TO INSTALL FREEZE PLUGS?

Either I hear DON'T USE SEALANT or YES, USE SEALANT.

Just what do you guys say about ' INSTALLING THE FREEZE PLUGS THE CORRECT WAY SO THE PLUGS DON'T
L E A K

Let the games begin !

Seriously guys, whatever suggestions on the correct and proper way to install these little devils including: EITHER BRASS PLUGS OR STEEL will be GREATLY APPRECIATED.

GOD BLESS ALL YOU GUYS

Schooner

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Old 09-27-2006, 11:50 AM
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plugs

I have installed them about any way you could ever dream up and never had issues with them leaking...As long as there are no burr's in the hole and there is a small chamfer to start them... Some of the aftermarket blocks ( dart,world) etc do not have chamfers on them....


My process that i settled on and the way i do it now.

Make sure the hole is clean and free of defects

Coat the outside of the freeze plug with hi-tac ( from pematex) and install them...

keith
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:31 PM
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Brass is used in boats, for the corrosion resistance, but works well in cars too. Either way, coat the outer surface with the brush-on Permatex, then drive it in straight with the largest socket that will fit. Install it so the outer edge is flush with the block.
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:08 PM
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I can't count how many steel plugs I've seen that have rusted to the point of leaking. And I've had to replace a few on my own cars too. Brass plugs are pretty rare so saying I've never seen them leak doesn't mean a whole lot. Brass doesn't corrode like steel though and I've never heard of them failing due to corrosion. I use brass plugs unless they just aren't available.
I use Permatex "aircraft" sealer on mine. Just in case there is a small pit or something that might cause a tiny leak. If you have the engine out on the stand or something, freeze plugs are duck soup to replace. Once the engine is back in, if one plug is a problem it will ALWAYS the godawfulest worst possible one. The one behind the motor mount/exhaust/starter that you have to darn near pull the engine back out to work on. Never fails.
And you can't realistically "test" your freeze plug installs. You put them in, put the engine in, fill it with coolant and cross your fingers.
99% of the time you probably don't need any sealant. That last 1% is plenty enough reason for me. You can probably tell this particular dog has bitten me a time or two.
Whether just replacing a bad plug or replacing them as part of a engine rebuild, I only want to replace them once. I believe using brass plugs when possible and a bit of sealer increases my chances of not having to redo them.
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:36 PM
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Thanks For You Expert Imput Guys

HI GUYS

Here's what I finally did.
I bought the BRASS FREEZE PLUS and used this sealant called;
" THE RIGHT STUFF "
Bought it at: AUTOZONE, its expensive $13.00 bucks! But its worth it. I don't want ANY LEAKS

I cleaned the freeze plug holes in the engine block with brake cleaner and coated the hole with just the right amount with my finger.

Then I did the same just around the edge of the BRASS PLUG. With a large enough socket I tap-taped the brass plug into place. It stayed even all the way around into the engine block.

THANKS FOR ALL YOU IMPUTE GUYS.
GOD BLESS

Schooner
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:02 AM
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I don't personally care a lot for the "Right Stuff" but my brother in law works on a whole lot more cars than I do and he absolutely swears by it.
So what you did sounds perfectly fine.
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:09 AM
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freeze plugs

The machine shop near me that has been building race engines since the 1950's uses Brass freeze plugs and they use some sort of a shellac to seal them in. Kind of looks like that Indian Head stuff by permatex. Whatever it is, I know they use the same stuff around their cam bearings when they install the cam bearings.

My father had a brass freeze plug fail on him... in fact two at the same time on his 1948 ford coupe with a sbc 307. He couldn't really tell me what happened until he noticed the temp was going through the roof and looked behind himself at the coolant trail. He didn't build the motor and isn't much of a mechanic. So, I suspect it was due to an over heating issue, coupled with pressure. Blew both of them clean out of the block.

I took a look at the block when I was in town after that. I did notice some corrosion around the holes on the block. May have been possibly due to a bad sealing surface.

Make sure you clean the holes up before installing the plugs. Sand them smooth or wire brush them or whatever, then get the grease, oil, and other junk out of it before using any sort of sealant and driving them home.
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Old 10-20-2006, 08:15 AM
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locktight

coat them with red locktight and drive them using the biggest socket that will fit
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Old 10-20-2006, 01:24 PM
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freeze plugs

Yah, lets here it for red lock tight in a clean hole. STU
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:24 AM
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i have never used any sealant but always clean hole until it shines only had 1 to come out.
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:17 PM
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Hey guys are there any alternatives to a leaking freeze plug that is hard to get to? I found a leaky one but it seems to be leaking from the outside of the plug where it meets the block (or the sealing surface). I really do not feel like pulling the engine out. Thanks.
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Old 12-17-2006, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSport
Hey guys are there any alternatives to a leaking freeze plug that is hard to get to? I found a leaky one but it seems to be leaking from the outside of the plug where it meets the block (or the sealing surface). I really do not feel like pulling the engine out. Thanks.
You could try some block sealer....but anything you do other than replacing the freeze plug is just temporary.
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Old 12-17-2006, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSport
Hey guys are there any alternatives to a leaking freeze plug that is hard to get to? I found a leaky one but it seems to be leaking from the outside of the plug where it meets the block (or the sealing surface). I really do not feel like pulling the engine out. Thanks.
The "right way" is to pull it and reinstall. But if you want to try a kluge fix first, green permatex penetrating threadlocker may work, it is designed to wick into the threads after installation. I don't think they do anymore, but in the 80s GM used to use this as a factory repair for a slow leaker.
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsyR
I can't count how many steel plugs I've seen that have rusted to the point of leaking. And I've had to replace a few on my own cars too. Brass plugs are pretty rare so saying I've never seen them leak doesn't mean a whole lot. Brass doesn't corrode like steel though and I've never heard of them failing due to corrosion. I use brass plugs unless they just aren't available.
I use Permatex "aircraft" sealer on mine. Just in case there is a small pit or something that might cause a tiny leak. If you have the engine out on the stand or something, freeze plugs are duck soup to replace. Once the engine is back in, if one plug is a problem it will ALWAYS the godawfulest worst possible one. The one behind the motor mount/exhaust/starter that you have to darn near pull the engine back out to work on. Never fails.
And you can't realistically "test" your freeze plug installs. You put them in, put the engine in, fill it with coolant and cross your fingers.
99% of the time you probably don't need any sealant. That last 1% is plenty enough reason for me. You can probably tell this particular dog has bitten me a time or two.
Whether just replacing a bad plug or replacing them as part of a engine rebuild, I only want to replace them once. I believe using brass plugs when possible and a bit of sealer increases my chances of not having to redo them.
I have a 97 Ford Explorer 4.0L I need to change all the freeze plugs. Can I change them without removing the motor. Any advice.

Thanks Nonewcar Dog.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:54 PM
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I've used the rubber expanding freeze plugs for a temporary fix with good results.
As for brass and steel, I've used both, never used any sealant, never had one leak.
But, after reading this I will probably use a sealer next time I do install any.
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