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Thread: Freeze plug

  1. #1
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    Angry Freeze plug

    Anyone know off hand the freeze plug diameter for a 289?
    I lost one today on a drive,
    I hope the engine wasn't damaged

  2. #2
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    You didn’t tell us the year of the engine. The diameter is 1-1/2”. But...an earlier engine, up to mid-1962 would use 1-1/2” disc plugs. A mid-1962 and later engine would use 1-1/2” shallow cup plugs.

  3. #3
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    It’s a 63 & has shallow brass cups
    just didn’t know the diameter
    thanks

  4. #4
    President Member bensherb's Avatar
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    I just swapped out all the plugs in my 289 ('64). I used this kit, they fit great, had a bunch of stuff left over for future projects too. Not bad for 11 bucks. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pioneer-PE-...xj-W:rk:2:pf:0

  5. #5
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    Yes, 1-1/2” cup soft plugs - maybe the only thing that fits both Studebaker 289” engines and Ford 289” engines.

  6. #6
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    It is equally important that the block has the casting lip inside the expansion hole for the plug to stop against so it can be set. If not a different design plug may be required such as a Dorman style expansion plug. On my 259 block the casting lip was rotted away and would not accept the standard plug.

  7. #7
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    Just a helpful Hint. Dave, the machinist that I use, said that he puts them in with red threadlocker. I've also found that Chinese freeze plugs do not fit snugly. This prompted me to adopt Dave's technique and abandon Permatex. I don't imagine those rubber expanding types would be good for much more than 10 yrs. but freeze plugs are super difficlt to install with the engine in the car

  8. #8
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by altair View Post
    It is equally important that the block has the casting lip inside the expansion hole for the plug to stop against so it can be set. If not a different design plug may be required such as a Dorman style expansion plug. On my 259 block the casting lip was rotted away and would not accept the standard plug.
    This is not an issue with a Late '62 to '64 Block like the OP's '63 has, because the Core Plugs are not Disc Type, they are Standard CUP Type as noted in Posts 3, 4, and 5.

    289 Ford Core plug Kit.jpg This is the Ford 221, 260, 289, 302 and 351 Kit with parts that are not needed on a Stude. included, but ARE the somewhat Hard to find 1 1/2" VERY Shallow Cup Type.

    Being very shallow, they will not hit on the portions of the Old early Block Ledge that some Late Blocks still have, too early before being seated,.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 11-03-2018 at 07:38 PM.
    StudeRich
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  9. #9
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    DSC09822.JPGDSC09823.JPGI was suggesting the Dorman expansion style not the rubber type, I can see now how the cup type would work as it is about .009 over 1 1/2" for a tight fit. It would be imperative that it would have to go in square. The Dorman style would be a little bit easier to install with the engine in the car

  10. #10
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    Well...............
    I tried the easy way out and got bit
    Couldn't swing a hammer to fit a metal plug so I went with the rubber expanding type.
    It worked great,,,,,,,,,,for about 100 miles and fell out again
    Guess I'll do it right the second time around

  11. #11
    President Member swvalcon's Avatar
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    Just go the the local auto parts store and tell them you want one for a late 70' early 80's Buick 3.8 v6.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chartrain View Post
    Well...............
    I tried the easy way out and got bit
    Couldn't swing a hammer to fit a metal plug so I went with the rubber expanding type.
    It worked great,,,,,,,,,,for about 100 miles and fell out again
    Guess I'll do it right the second time around
    A compromise is the two part metal expanding ones. You tighten the center bolt rather than drive it in. I have had good experiences with these in hard to get to places.

    EDIT: I see that it hasn't been noted, but these are core plugs. They are not designed to be freeze plugs even though they may come out with a freeze.
    Gary L.
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  13. #13
    President Member BRUCESTUDE's Avatar
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    FWIW; I lost a plug on a '52 Commander I had years ago, and when I rebuilt the engine a couple of years later my machinist found a crack in one of the heads (but had no overheating issues up til then). I'm sure the crack was related as I drove a few miles after the plug fell out (unknown to me until I stopped).
    AND replacing the dish type plugs with the engine in the car was a pain!

  14. #14
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    When using the 2 part metal plugs you will need a thinner than normal wrench to hold the plug body while you tighten the center nut. i found a tappet wrench handy! Luck Doofus

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    just a FYI....when I blew out the rearmost expansion plug in my 53' flathead, the high temps ruined the Bourbon tube inner gas.... no more temp gage. I doubt the later screw-in type can get damaged, or at least never heard of one going bad...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackb View Post
    just a FYI....when I blew out the rearmost expansion plug in my 53' flathead, the high temps ruined the Bourbon tube inner gas.... no more temp gage. I doubt the later screw-in type can get damaged, or at least never heard of one going bad...
    I got a laugh out of this one as I like bourbon. Perhaps you are thinking of a Bowden tube. A Bowden cable is like a hood release cable, so I am not sure that Bowden is the correct name for this tube ,but it is not bourbon. Perhaps bourdon tube. Now, that makes sense in that you just got a b instead of a d.
    Gary L.
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    Dave, my machinist says to use red threadlocker to install freeze plugs. Never use silicone sealer. I have also used #2 Permatex and not had one fall out (yet) And the diameters of the new Chinese (like most other stuff they make) isn't quite right. They are loose-ish so I've had to tweak them just a little to get them to fit halfway snug And a good application of red threadlocker!
    Last edited by Jeffry Cassel; 02-16-2019 at 02:59 PM.

  18. #18
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    One thing I learned back in the 70's is that you should install a new thermostat any time the engine has overheated. The wax pellet will almost always be damaged and will usually fail immediately or within days while you're driving down the road.

    I just spent 7 weeks in Arizona and a week in California visiting my girlfriend and her sister. Another reason for the trip was to buy a rust free Arizona car, and I bought a near mint 2000 Buick LeSabre. I noticed right away the car had a new radiator, so I suspect the engine overheated, and the owner blamed it on the radiator. Anyway on the 1800 mile drive home a few days ago the temp gauge never got above 109*, so the thermostat was either missing or stuck open. Even when I blocked the front of the radiator completely the temp only went up to 129*, and engines are designed to run most efficiently at about 195*.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by studegary View Post
    I got a laugh out of this one as I like bourbon. Perhaps you are thinking of a Bowden tube. A Bowden cable is like a hood release cable, so I am not sure that Bowden is the correct name for this tube ,but it is not bourbon. Perhaps bourdon tube. Now, that makes sense in that you just got a b instead of a d.
    Yes, it's a Bourdon tube. Unless you fill it with Coca-Cola. Then it's a Bubba Bourdon-and-coke.

  20. #20
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    I have both 1 1/2" and 38mm plugs installed on my Avanti that I got from NAPA. They ran out of 1 1/2" so substituted 38mm and we could not detect a difference. I also used red thread sealer. No problems in 4 years now... What I did see on my '63 Lark was the corrosion perforation happened below the level of where a line of crud (sand and oxidized metal) had built up in the plug hole. I tried to very thoroughly clean the block before replacing the plugs.

  21. #21
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    Decades ago as I was driving home from college, my temp gage pegged at a conviently located gas station. The nice man put a new thermostat in my 59 Hawk and I was on my way in 20 min at a cost of $3. Several months later the temp gage pegged again--in exactly the same place! Pulled into the station. The guy remembered me and replaced it for free saying 'It shouldn't have done that' Then he showed me his 61 Hawk 4spd he had out back. Strange but true

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