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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Freeze Plug Install ????\'s

Lastnight i was under my truck and noticed that the freeze plug behind the starter was leaking pretty good. It has always leaked since i put the motor in (December), but it was only a little bit and that was while the coolant system was under pressure. Now it is dripping enough while it is setting to seriouly concern me, so i crawl under. Since I am going to rebuild a 350 for the old girl this fall i just wanted to patch the rusted area on the freeze plug with a little bit of stiff epoxy.

Well while cleaning the area up (with some carb and choke cleaner and a screwdriver) I punctured the rusted area with the screwdriver, duh
. What a nice shower that gave me
. Let me just say for those that have never had the pleasure of tasting anitfreeze, it is sweet
.

On to the serious part, I have to put a new freeze plug in tonight and some guidence and advice would be appreciated. I plan to put a thin coat of black permatex on the outer edge of the plug then drive it home with a socket and hammer. Does this sound about right?
 

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Re: Freeze Plug Install ????\'s

That's the generally accepted technique to put new plugs in. If your plugs are rusted through I'd be a bit concerned about the state of the cooling system, it would be worth your time to flush the thing out and get some fresh water and coolant in it. A bottle of Redline Water Wetter will help more corrosion from occuring also.
 

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Re: Freeze Plug Install ????\'s

Yep, I put permatex on the sides and the back side that the coolant touches, this will keep it from rusting through. Then get it lined up, get a socket that just barely fits in it so your right against the edges and drive it in. Just a little under flush with the outside of the block. Don't use a small socket because you can cause the center to dent in which will pull the sides torwards the middle and give less clamping force. Use brass plugs if possible.

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Re: Freeze Plug Install ????\'s

I use permetex but the indian head stuff. it comes in a bottle with a brush and its kinda gooey. And with brass you dont have to wory about rust through
A socket will work fine......they make driver though whit a funky bent handle for puting them in in a vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Freeze Plug Install ????\'s

Well, i havent bought them yet so i can get brass ones. This engine runs good but is a tried one. It has like 150,000 miles on it so its not like it is going to be in there for another 10 or 15 years. I did notice a good deal of rust chuncks inside the block. I rinsed them out as best as i could with a hose. Is there any better way to get them to come out.
 
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Re: Freeze Plug Install ????\'s

The rust aint really a big deal.....the stuff will just kinda float around.....if you break it up it might be able to migrat and get into your water pump or block a passage. Rinsing a bit or hottanking it are about your only options(I know you aint going to hot tank it) People used to just drive the freeze plug into the motor and put a new one in back in the day so a bit of obstruction aint the end of the world. Slap her together and hope she lives long enough till you swap mills
 

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Re: Freeze Plug Install ????\'s

I've never known anyone to put anything on a steel freeze plug prior to putting it in. Just clean the hole good (use some emory cloth if need be) and put a new one in. Just tap it in gently with a hammer around the outside and let it go. To get them out I usually use a screwdriver to mangle it good and then finish beating it in the block and then yank it out.

You can get brass ones for about $12/set while you can get steel ones for around $5/set. I figure the steel ones are going to last as long as the motor anyway.

Oh yeah, JB Weld or Metal Mender (if they still sell it) works pretty good at stopping just about any kind of leak.
 

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Re: Freeze Plug Install ????\'s

I was told that by a guy that has been rebuilding engines for 36 years and owns the best machine shop in town. He only puts brass plugs in, but he said if you use steel, you can coat them with permatex to keep the rust from starting. And if they last as long as the engine why are they always rusting through and leaking on peoples driveways?

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Re: Freeze Plug Install ????\'s

The local place where I'm from says to go either way. They say that brass is a the best way to go for a motor that you don't plan on having out in a long time. I, myself, have used both. It seems like the brass ones don't "hold" in there as well. I'd be afraid of them falling out (which appears to be a false fear).

Chances are the body around the vehicle has rusted out long before the freeze plugs. A lot of people are too dense to replace all the freeze plugs when they rebuild the motor. Even more people only replace the big ones, not all the little itsy bitsy ones.

Since a brass set costs less than $12, there is no reason not to go with brass other than I've had good luck with steel. Perhaps someday when they start making the steel ones out of 30 gauge pot metal then I'll switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Freeze Plug is IN!!

I got the freeze plug in this evening with not too much trouble. I bought three of them just in case I messed up putting them in. I live 15 minutes from the closest autoparts store, so it is easier and cheaper to get a few just to cover my a$$ in case i mess up.

The plug went in ok (on the first try no less
), but i had a hard time trying to hit it since there is so much in the way. I think that i put it in a bit too far, its recessed like 3/16", but it doesnt leak so im not going to mess with it. If it does start to leak, no big deal i have 2 more to try
.

Since i had a hard time finding room to tap it, it got started crooked (of course
), so it was pretty tough going in until it centered its self. I think that is why i drove it in a bit too far, the last hit or two it was centered and went in easier.

I coated the edges in permatex and used steel for the plug. It is much cheaper, and i figured that the new steel one wouldnt rust out in the next 3 months that it is in the truck
.
 
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