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Freeze Plug

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by edjolly, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. edjolly

    edjolly Registered Member

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    Crawling under the truck, I notice antifreeze on the starter bolts. Hmmm. I don't do anything for a while, and the leak is getting worse; now I leave small puddles.
    I'm almost certain it's the back freeze plug above the starter. I have no moisture on the head or around the gasket, and the heater hoses are fine.

    So, how to change a freeze plug? I'm sure I'll have to pull the starter to get to it, but I shouldn't have to pull the exhaust manifold, should I?
    How do I get the old plug out? How do I get the new one in? Is there a specific tool for this job? Do I use permatex on the new plug?

    Anyone?
    Thanks.
    Ed

    Oops. Sorry, 350 targetmaster. '76 K5.
    Ed
     
  2. DPI

    DPI 1/2 ton status

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    Your in luck! I just did this. You do have to pull the starter. Remove your postive battery cable from the battery, then pull the two bolts holding the starter on the block. You can use a clothes hanger to hold your starter up out of the way. This will let you get by from having to remove all your wire from the starter.

    The easiest way I found to remove the freeze plug was to drive a big screw driver thru it and pry it out. Be carefull though, the cylinder wall is only 3/4" directly behind the plug. After you have the old plug out, clean the block good and make sure its dry, scuff the hole up with some 400 grit sand paper.

    You want to use a new brass freeze plug. I think NAPA sells them. I got one from a local mechanic(friend). It was like $2 with his discount.

    Scuff the freeze up with sand paper and use some permatex sealant around the sealing edges.

    Next find you a socket the fits loosely inside the freeze plug. You do not want one that fits tightly in the plug due to when it is driven into the block it will wedge into the hole.

    Drive in the new plug evenly. Do not hit the edge of the plug and smash the ends. This will make it harder to drive in. Only drive the plug in about where the outer most part of the plug is 1/16"-1/8" inset into the block. Remember the cylinder wall is right there...

    Good luck and be patient.

    btw, the number one reason why those plugs start leaking is the antifreeze had turned acidic and corroded the plug. This is usually due to the lack of changing the antifreeze. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  3. mastercraftkpk

    mastercraftkpk 1/2 ton status

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    Daniel, that may be the best reply to a question that I have ever seen. Straight, to-the-point, and detailed.

    Thank You!
     
  4. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    yeah just punch old one out, use needle nose pliers to fish it out if necessary and get new plug and use a socket to tap it into place evenly, no biggie really cept you may have cramped quarters, ive doen a few of these suicessfully myself in the past, its not bad at all, just clean up the hole good
     
  5. edjolly

    edjolly Registered Member

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    thanks for the great responses guys. Sounds like an easy fix.

    Ed
     
  6. 4xrick

    4xrick 1/2 ton status

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    hey I guess im not the only one I just did the freeze plug behing my starter today and the one on the drivers side right behind the motor mount /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
     
  7. kris4real

    kris4real Registered Member

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    Plug behind the motor mount

    Any suggestions how to access the plug on the driver's side under the motor mount?

    76 K5 350 with a leaky plug.

    thanks.

    kris n Steve
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Personally I think if you have one rotted freeze plug now, you're likely to have the rest do the same in short order. The last car I had with rotted freeze plugs I just pulled the motor and changed them all. Made clean up easier as well as the job itself and I knew I wouldn't have another leaky freeze plug anytime soon.

    Rene
     
  9. low 84

    low 84 Registered Member

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    another trick is to coat the whole back side of the plug with a coat of permatex as well as the edges. this way the antifreeze won't make actual contact with the plug (it won't rust out again)
     
  10. towdriver80

    towdriver80 Registered Member

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    There are so many places it could leak from that would look like that, you should pull the starter and get a pressurized cooling system tester. With your engine fan moving the leaking coolant around, it can travel really far. My heater core hose was leaking at the radiator connection, and the anti-freeze ended up right where yours is. If I hadn`t used the pressure tester, I was guessing freeze plug too.
     

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