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  #1  
Old 06-05-2015, 01:09 AM
garyscc garyscc is offline
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Default Question on replacing a freeze plug

Hi, i recently bought a '59 convertible and i'm hopeful i can get it running. it sat for many years I poured water in the coolant reservoir and it all cam out through the passenger side freeze plug that is located above the tubular cross brace.

I'd like to replace the freeze plug without removing the engine, if its possible is there a strategy or process to get adequate access and do this? i appreciate any help and suggestions.
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2015, 02:13 AM
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There are some freeze plugs that are easier to replace than others. None of them are easy to do without having the car on a lift. You need to have enough leverage get the old one out and tap the new one in. The problem is that usually if one is rusted to the point where it's leaking then the others aren't far behind. That usually indicates that you have a lot of rust in the cooling passages of your block.

John
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2015, 09:51 AM
Ford351c594 Ford351c594 is offline
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your local parts store, (one of the big boxes ), should rent a freeze plug installer. It is just a wackable rod with a flex head and different size cups that go inside the freeze plugs. Its not the greatest tool, but can help a ton in situations like you are facing. Also what jopizz said, seems like when one goes, they all start going.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:47 AM
Joe Johnston Joe Johnston is offline
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rubber expandable types are also available that expand by turning a hex nut. I WOULD NOT trust them for the long term, but would be OK temporarily while you are debugging things. Eventually you will need to replace them all, so consider doing it right the first time.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:43 PM
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Loosen the motor mount on the side you are working on, lift the engine slightly off the mount, REMOVE the mount.

If you are doing the passenger side, the starter motor needs to be removed as well. Simply knock the old core plug IN. They usually turn sideways but if it falls all the way in there is nowhere for the plug to go. Stick you finger in the hole, fish it toward the opening and use a pair of pliers to pull it all the way out.

You can see that this job is infinitely easier if the engine is out of the car.

Pull all the plugs out on that side. Get your garden hose ready with a sock wrapped around it, turn the water on full blast then go back and forth from hole to hole with lots of water flow. Any junk in there will come out. Sometimes I use a coat hanger to scrape along the bottoms of the cylinders where larger pieces live. Again, water flow will wash the junk out the holes.

I've never used a special tool to insert core plugs. I dry the hole, degrease the mating edges with lacquer thinner, spread a thin layer of Permatex Black on the casting edge and on the plug and simply tap the new BRASS core plug in with a hammer. If space is tight, turn the hammer sideways. - Dave
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Old 06-05-2015, 01:03 PM
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thanks for all the suggestions. I intend to have the engine rebuilt in a few months - but I have to prioritize things at the moment. It will be great if I can get the car so I can move it around the driveway for a few months.

I'll do as noted, remove starter and engine mount.

I must say, I've worked on many old fords but I don't recall ever having such great access to the bell housing. I imagine ford did it like this so the thunderbird could sit low? I wonder if there are other reasons why this was done? thanks again. i'll be posting photos of the car soon.
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  #7  
Old 06-05-2015, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post

I've never used a special tool to insert core plugs. I dry the hole, degrease the mating edges with lacquer thinner, spread a thin layer of Permatex Black on the casting edge and on the plug and simply tap the new BRASS core plug in with a hammer. If space is tight, turn the hammer sideways. -Dave
I go with what Dave says - but I have found a suitable sized socket fitted into the plug gives you something to tap on and helps keep the plug square-on to the hole. Probably slightly frowned upon by some this pounding on a socket thing but I use a random El-cheapo socket, not one of my good ones!
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:14 PM
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Since your getting the engine rebuilt in a few months, I would just go with the expandable rubber freeze plug. Should last long enough for what you need. One other option would be to use liquid N2 and put the new plug in by shrinking it. Never done that, but it should work.
Nyles
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Old 06-05-2015, 11:37 PM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scumdog View Post
I go with what Dave says - but I have found a suitable sized socket fitted into the plug gives you something to tap on and helps keep the plug square-on to the hole. Probably slightly frowned upon by some this pounding on a socket thing but I use a random El-cheapo socket, not one of my good ones!
I use sockets for press work all the time. They are tools, not jewelry!
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  #10  
Old 06-06-2015, 02:01 AM
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Yes, I like Scumdog's socket idea as well. The only problem with using any kind of tool is that it takes up real estate. All this work is done from the bottom and there is hardly enough room to swing a hammer.

Rubber plugs are a bad idea. One guy tried using one behind his starter motor. What a disaster... The center stuck out too far and it cocked his starter motor. He tightened the starter screws as best he could but the bendix gear kept 'sticking' in the flex plate teeth. He thought he was saving money.

There is a right and a wrong way to do this job. For the sake of a few months, just replace the leaky core plugs then do the rest when you pull the engine.
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