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View Full Version : Replace freeze/core plugs, engine in car


Tony C
05-16-2011, 06:07 PM
My '57 Skyliner, 312 Y-Block has a leaking freeze/core plug - RH side, rear, right above the starter. Can this one be replaced with the engine in the car?

Is it best to replace all 4 plugs, but still with the engine in the car? As you can tell, I've never done this before.

Thanks in advance,

simplyconnected
05-16-2011, 06:59 PM
You may need to take the starter motor out, but that's only three bolts. I encourage you to use brass freeze plugs.

http://home.comcast.net/~simplyconnected/59Ford/EngineParts/Block/BlockAssembly/DSCN4896.JPG
Notice how far from the motor mounts the rear freeze plug sits. You should have plenty of room. Use an old wide screwdriver and a small hammer to pound the inside edge of the 'cup' into the block. The freeze plug should turn in its hole, half in and half out. If the plug happens to go all the way in, just reach in and grab it with needle nose pliers. It really can't go anywhere and it won't get lost.

You should remove all four at once, go around each cylinder with a coat hanger to dislodge the rusty scale, and use a garden hose to wash the whole thing out. BTW, you're going to get wet.

Clean and dry each casting hole and apply a THIN coat of RTV. While the RTV is still wet, install the new brass plugs. - Dave

Yellowbird
05-17-2011, 02:19 PM
I would follow Dave's advice and go with brass plugs. I just changed some of mine in my FE block. One suggestion is to put the plugs in the freezer for a few hours before installation. It helps them to go in easier.

Leonard

Tony C
05-18-2011, 04:29 PM
Thanks Dave & Leonard! Maybe I can do this. I greatly appreciate your suggestions. This is my first "reply" - hope I did it correctly.

Tony, a newbie in New Braunfels with a leaky freeze plug

You may need to take the starter motor out, but that's only three bolts. I encourage you to use brass freeze plugs.


Notice how far from the motor mounts the rear freeze plug sits. You should have plenty of room. Use an old wide screwdriver and a small hammer to pound the inside edge of the 'cup' into the block. The freeze plug should turn in its hole, half in and half out. If the plug happens to go all the way in, just reach in and grab it with needle nose pliers. It really can't go anywhere and it won't get lost.

You should remove all four at once, go around each cylinder with a coat hanger to dislodge the rusty scale, and use a garden hose to wash the whole thing out. BTW, you're going to get wet.

Clean and dry each casting hole and apply a THIN coat of RTV. While the RTV is still wet, install the new brass plugs. - Dave

simplyconnected
05-18-2011, 07:50 PM
BTW, you need (4) 1-3/4" brass freeze plugs. Y-Block and FE engines use the same size. Y-Blocks use four and FE's use six. They are available in a host of places (including eBay and marine engine builders). Your local auto parts store may have them.

FYI BigBlockChevy and MoPar use this size, too.
Hope this helps. - Dave

Yellowbird
05-18-2011, 11:08 PM
You can do this Tony. Be patient. Dave's has been a great help to me and others on this site when it comes to these projects. He knows his stuff. I got my brass plugs from O'Reilly.
If you get stuck, maybe I'll drive down and help you for a free ride to Schiltterbaun lol!

Leonard

simplyconnected
05-19-2011, 05:56 AM
Wow, Leonard... that's mighty generous of you. What's in Schiltterbaun (Galveston)?

Leonard, how much did you pay for your brass freeze plugs?

Rock Auto has them in packs of 10:
565036 (http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=1261327)
So does Dorman Products
565-036 (http://www.dormanproducts.com/p-11848-565-036.aspx)

You can probably find them here, too:

O'Reilly Auto Parts (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)
(830) 627-7820
457 BUSINESS LOOP 35
NEW BRAUNFELS, TX 78130-4790

Auto Zone (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)
(830) 608-1820
809 LOOP 337
NEW BRAUNFELS, TX 78130

Auto Zone (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)
(830) 629-7711
602 S. WALNUT AVE
NEW BRAUNFELS, TX 78130


Advance Auto Parts (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)
(830) 626-6712
1093 WEST SAN ANTONIO STREET
NEW BRAUNFELS, TX 78130


CARQUEST Auto Parts (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)
1413 W San Antonio Street
New Braunfels, TX 78130

Yellowbird
05-19-2011, 08:44 AM
The original Schiltterbaun is in New Braunfels. It is the top waterpark in the USA. Fantastic place for families.

I believe I paid around 2.00 each if my memory is right. O'reilly ordered them for me and had them the next day.

Tony C
05-26-2011, 05:58 PM
BTW, you need (4) 1-3/4" brass freeze plugs. Y-Block and FE engines use the same size. Y-Blocks use four and FE's use six. They are available in a host of places (including eBay and marine engine builders). Your local auto parts store may have them.

FYI BigBlockChevy and MoPar use this size, too.
Hope this helps. - Dave

Thanks Dave. This is for a 1957 312 engine. I'm also looking at replacing the one in the rear of the RH head, size 59/64". But I've learned there is a 6th one at the rear of the engine for the camshaft, size 2 1/16". Does the engine have to be out to replace this freeze plug for the camshaft?

I can't find any information on that lil' bugger.

Thanks!

simplyconnected
05-26-2011, 08:17 PM
Tony, The cam plug rarely ever goes bad because engine oil is on the inside, not water. It never corrodes, so we usually keep that plug, steel.

I wouldn't bother the one in the head unless you are pulling the heads because I have never heard of that plug leaking. You can replace that plug if you want, but the issue isn't as pressing as your core plugs.

Here's a picture of that plug. It sits opposite the temp sending unit on the RH head:
http://home.comcast.net/~simplyconnected/59Ford/EngineParts/Heads/DSCN3556.JPG

How are your rocker shafts??? Are they pressurized, or stock? When was the last time you pulled the rocker arms off and cleared the two holes in each arm? You have to know, our Y-Blocks were notorious for being starved for oil in two areas; rocker shafts and timing chain. Another problem was with the rocker arms not being centered over the oil hole on the bottom.

These issues caused premature wear on the rocker shafts and timing chain set.

Hope this helps. - Dave

Tony C
05-27-2011, 09:06 AM
Thanks Dave! OK, I won't bother with the cam plug - 1 less worry. The one in the head has easy access so I might do that. My rocker shafts (& all the engine) is stock in my '56 & '57. In the '56 T-Bird I removed & thoroughly cleaned the rocker arms, installed new push rods from Mummert, & installed new valve seals about 1,000 miles ago So I think I'm good there. I do need to check all the above in my '57 Skyliner though - thanks for the reminder. My Skyliner has the leaking freeze plug.

I greatly appreciate your taking the time to help me. Thanks again!!!!!!

Tony, The cam plug rarely ever goes bad because engine oil is on the inside, not water. It never corrodes, so we usually keep that plug, steel.

I wouldn't bother the one in the head unless you are pulling the heads because I have never heard of that plug leaking. You can replace that plug if you want, but the issue isn't as pressing as your core plugs.

How are your rocker shafts??? Are they pressurized, or stock? When was the last time you pulled the rocker arms off and cleared the two holes in each arm? You have to know, our Y-Blocks were notorious for being starved for oil in two areas; rocker shafts and timing chain. Another problem was with the rocker arms not being centered over the oil hole on the bottom.

These issues caused premature wear on the rocker shafts and timing chain set. Hope this helps. - Dave

simplyconnected
05-27-2011, 09:29 PM
Tony, it sounds like your Y-Blocks are in very good hands. Keep up the good work. If I can be of any help, let me know. - Dave

Tony C
05-28-2011, 05:38 AM
Tony, it sounds like your Y-Blocks are in very good hands. Keep up the good work. If I can be of any help, let me know. - Dave

I don't know about the "good hands" thing. :o I do need a 3rd hand though in replacing the starter in my '80 Chevy. That sucker is heavy. Really, ... I learn as I go and you have already helped me lots. Thanks again. :)