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Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Hotrodding Basics> What Is The 'Right Way' To Install Freeze Plugs ?
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-16-2011 09:44 AM
T-bucket23 If you do remove freeze plugs it is a great time to flush the block. You will get the crap out of the bottom of the water jacket that wont come out otherwise.
01-16-2011 09:15 AM
bentwings I worked on a diesel engine assembly line and a large stationary engine assembly line. Both used the gooiest dark blue Loc-Tite sealer I've ever seen. Don't get it on your hands...it will be there forever.

The diesel 'freeze ' plugs were installed automatically...except the ones that the machine missed. The big engines were installed by hand with special drivers.

Heat resistant sealer and square to the hole are criteria.
01-15-2011 11:45 AM
cobalt327 Core plugs, frost plugs, freeze plugs, soft plugs, welch plugs, expansion plugs, those danged rusted out leaking plugs- it's all good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by latech
One thing to remember is that Freeze plugs as they are more commonly referred to here are actually called "welch plugs". as they are the spot in the sand mold that supports the sand while the block is being cast in the foundry. After it cools the sand is removed it leaves a void in the casting or a "welch" where there is not material as the sand was used in that region for supporting the mold.It is then machined concentrically to accept a "welch plug". Just thought you might like to know.( not you cobalt)
Yeah- me too! I never knew the void left from the sand being removed was known as a "welch". So that's cool!
01-15-2011 09:55 AM
LATECH [QUOTE=cobalt327]The methods and sealers are pretty well covered in this thread, as well as other threads here and on the interweb.



I like to use a K-D seal/bushing installation tool to drive the plugs in, but a socket sized just smaller (like 3/16" less) than the plug's inner diameter so the driver isn't captured by the plug as it's driven into place, works as well.

I use either the brush-on Permatex or Permatex #2 from the tube as a sealant.

I agree, I have used sockets in a pinch and they work.One problem is that the socket can deform the plug and shrink the diameter if the center is caved a little from beating on it. I am guilty of doing that I openly admit, in my younger days. Any of the sealers mentioned here work well,red loctite is and anerobic type medium that hardens in the abscence of air so it will "cure" after being installed. It is what I use.It will also tend to grab the plug and basically Glue it to the bore so it wont pop out.
One thing to remember is that Freeze plugs as they are more commonly referred to here are actually called "welch plugs". as they are the spot in the sand mold that supports the sand while the block is being cast in the foundry. After it cools the sand is removed it leaves a void in the casting or a "welch" where there is not material as the sand was used in that region for supporting the mold.It is then machined concentrically to accept a "welch plug". Just thought you might like to know.( not you cobalt)
01-15-2011 09:49 AM
eloc431962
Quote:
Originally Posted by redsdad
If some is good, more is better, and too much is just enough.
Screw in freeze plugs thats a good set-up. IMHO


Cole
01-15-2011 09:48 AM
1971BB427 I've always had the machine shop install the new plugs when they finished the machine work. My shop always uses brass plugs, and some sort of black sealer I see around the plug. Never saw a reason to do them at home, as the cost of having them done at the shop was so minor.
01-15-2011 08:58 AM
redsdad If some is good, more is better, and too much is just enough.
01-14-2011 09:43 PM
spinn Clean surface with die grinder. Tap it in with a socket of same size. Paint over with engine paint. Sealed. Brass does not matter. RTV or goo sealant not needed.

Knock it out tapping one side. The plug will turnstyle and then you can pull out.

Depends on how much room there is to work. A guy used a 90 deg electric hammer thing from craftsman to knock his head freeze plug in behind the firewall.
01-14-2011 08:18 PM
cobalt327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan Inmany
Hi, My name is Morgan.
How to install Freeze plugs to the 1996 Toyota Tacoma 4X4. This plug was located on the right side of engine passenger side.

Thank you,
The methods and sealers are pretty well covered in this thread, as well as other threads here and on the interweb.

X2 on replacing them all if at all possible- if one went the rest are soon to follow in most cases.

I like to use a K-D seal/bushing installation tool to drive the plugs in, but a socket sized just smaller (like 3/16" less) than the plug's inner diameter so the driver isn't captured by the plug as it's driven into place, works as well.

I use either the brush-on Permatex or Permatex #2 from the tube as a sealant.

Getting the old plug out:

Much depends on how much elbow room you have to work with. This holds true on replacing the plug, too. Sometimes all that can be done is to use a rubber expansion plug.

Inside most engine compartments, there's precious little room to use for levering the soft plugs out from their holes.

A seal puller can be used if a hole or notch is made to hook the end into- but the tool is like a foot or more long.

You can in some cases, knock the plug into the water jacket (partially or completely), then grab an edge w/a channel lock and lever them out.

The rubber expansion plugs (use NO sealant, BTW) are tightened w/a wrench or socket on the nut/washer that causes the plug to expand, so if you can get the bad one out, you can use that to replace it- it will last a couple years- but if one has gone, the rest are not far behind, so get to them all ASAP...
01-14-2011 07:59 PM
nofearengineer I have always heard to swedge them once they're in. I haven't heard anyone here say that, so is that frowned upon?
01-14-2011 07:49 PM
pepi If one goes the others will soon follow, need to do em all.
01-14-2011 04:56 PM
Morgan Inmany Hi, My name is Morgan.
How to install Freeze plugs to the 1996 Toyota Tacoma 4X4. This plug was located on the right side of engine passenger side.

Thank you,
08-20-2010 08:54 PM
Duane lxiv 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.
08-18-2010 11:31 AM
Nonewcar Dog
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.
12-17-2006 07:21 AM
pmeisel
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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