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Old 12-15-2010, 08:29 AM   #1
Prerunner1982
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Freeze plug removal

What is the easiest way to remove a freeze plug? It is rusted and leaking and will be replaced with the engine still in the vehicle. I have never replaced one....it is on an early 90s GM V8 in a fullsize van...

Thank you.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:46 AM   #2
geezer#99
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Re: Freeze plug removal

There is no easy way. Use a big screwdriver to punch a hole in it and pry it out. Might need some needle nose pliers or channel locks to grip it with. And there's always more coolant in there too no matter how well you think it's drained.
While you have it out why not put a block heater back in. Easier to put it in than try to put a freeze plug back in. The plug's fun to install even when the motor is on an engine stand.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:57 AM   #3
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Re: Freeze plug removal

Thanks Geezer.... this is not my vehicle so it is not really up to me as far as the block heater goes. When a freeze plug is only $0.99-$1.99 the owner doesn't want (or need) to spend more money than necessary on this. Also we really don't need them around here.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:26 AM   #4
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Re: Freeze plug removal

use a large self tapping screw (bolt).. screw it into the plug, then, pry on it until it bends the sheetmetal plug and comes out.
this is easier in the car then hitting/prying it with a screwdriver, because you can pry from the sides...
outside the car, just punch a large screwdriver off center into it and pry it out.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:33 AM   #5
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Re: Freeze plug removal

I always place a punch or 3/8 extension on one side and tap with a hammer... this will cause the plug to rotate outward on the opposite side.
Then pull out with a pair of channel locks.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:46 AM   #6
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Re: Freeze plug removal

If you have room the self tapping with a slide hammer is slick.
To reinstall them can almost be as much fun.
Use a socket and extention the same ID as the edge of the cup - so you are just inside the lip - any smaller and you can crush the plug
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:06 AM   #7
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Re: Freeze plug removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by allengator View Post
I always place a punch or 3/8 extension on one side and tap with a hammer... this will cause the plug to rotate outward on the opposite side.
Then pull out with a pair of channel locks.
This is how I do it - but it's always a PITA

I'll have to try some of the other approaches here; they look interesting

Learn something new every day...
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:07 PM   #8
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Re: Freeze plug removal

sad part is, if one went, the rest are soon to follow.

as far as redneck,backwoods,cheap.. jb weld..
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:25 PM   #9
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Re: Freeze plug removal

Thanks again guys....
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:22 AM   #10
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Re: Freeze plug removal

Father in law found a rubber plug made to go in there and he was able to get it replaced last night. He said the old plug was pretty weak and came our fairly easy..
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:04 AM   #11
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Re: Freeze plug removal

Quote:
Originally Posted by allengator View Post
I always place a punch or 3/8 extension on one side and tap with a hammer... this will cause the plug to rotate outward on the opposite side.
Then pull out with a pair of channel locks.
Bam....this is the way. I was amazed at how easy it is. The trick is to get the correct size channel locks that will allow you to leverage on the block and pry them out. At least on BBC I even knocked a few into the block and it was really easy to fish them back out. They don't go far and you can still get the locks on them and rotate them out. I would not waste your time trying any other way!!!
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:22 PM   #12
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Re: Freeze plug removal

I replaced all the external freeze plugs on a 454 in my late Father-inlaw's '79 C10, many years ago. Never again. I did them all with the same reasoning. If one is bad, the rest aren't far behind. Getting them out was the easy part. Trying to drive in the new ones was next to impossible......there's just not enough room to swing a BFH. IMO you would be better off to just pull the engine and change them on a engine stand. The time may be the same, but with much less agrivation.
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