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Is this block too rusty?

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  • #16
    Good machine shops can work wonders.
    Tom Senecal Not enough money or years to build all of the Studebakers that I think I can.

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    • #17
      This is a simple. yet critical area, and glad you are concerned up front. Some machinists will, "clean up" the surface by removing metal and, in doing so, make the hole slightly too large to properly hold the plug in place later. If the surface cleans up with a small, drill mounted wire wheel, then it is probably OK. Bit if the circumference must be enlarged, even slightly, either go to next size plug, or threaded plugs, as Jeff did. Ever once in awhile on here, some posts about those plugs blowing out while going down the road. They do not simple, "blow out" if fitted properly, and Permatex is not the answer, to hold them in place. (That is like a band aid on a sucking chest wound.)

      With the machinist's work, "trust but verify". Someone above pointed out the threads in the 3/8" pipe plug hole, and you want to take a similar approach with those as with the 1.5" plugs. I had a machinist once crack the block while removing that 3/8" plug. Not sure if he just did not notice it when he did it; at any rate, he never mentioned it to me, and I did not notice it till I had reassembled the motor and fired it up for initial run in. He and I exchanged a few words over that one, to put it mildly. I wound up replacing that block, with a spare, but he machined the 2nd block for free.

      Now is the time to be doing a thorough inspection, and making the tough choices early on, as the OP is. If it ain't right, either make it right, or code it out with a replacement. Before you invest in hot tanking, machining, etc..
      Last edited by JoeHall; 07-06-2017, 11:06 AM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
        ...and Permatex is not the answer, to hold them in place.

        That is correct, but as long as the freeze plug fits tightly in the hole yet, it is great for if there are a few pits. I would rather have a few pits then the holes 'cleaned up' by a machine shop.

        Also, I've seen people install freeze plugs without any permatex.....

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        • #19
          You can clean up the holes with a little emery cloth and use IndianHead Gasket Sealer on the outside of the freeze plugs when inserting. Tap them in and STOP before the outside edge is flush. The correct depth is to be outside about 1/16". (there's a thread on here somewhere about all this). The land behind the plug is NOT required, as the small block Chevrolets have a clean hole bored through with no land.

          Make sure you clean the thread on the drain plug and install a NEW steel plug. My block had MAJOR electrolysis going on with that plug to the point there were only two threads left on the plug. I had to re-tap the threads for a new plug to be installed.

          I removed about 1-1/2 QUARTS of casting sand, rust and dirt from the inside of the block on mine. Coat Hanger, garden hose, and pressure washer are the tools.
          Dis-Use on a Car is Worse Than Mis-Use...
          1959 Studebaker Lark VIII 2DHTP

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          • #20
            Originally posted by BILT4ME View Post
            You can clean up the holes with a little emery cloth and use IndianHead Gasket Sealer on the outside of the freeze plugs when inserting. Tap them in and STOP before the outside edge is flush. The correct depth is to be outside about 1/16". (there's a thread on here somewhere about all this). The land behind the plug is NOT required, as the small block Chevrolets have a clean hole bored through with no land.

            Make sure you clean the thread on the drain plug and install a NEW steel plug. My block had MAJOR electrolysis going on with that plug to the point there were only two threads left on the plug. I had to re-tap the threads for a new plug to be installed.

            I removed about 1-1/2 QUARTS of casting sand, rust and dirt from the inside of the block on mine. Coat Hanger, garden hose, and pressure washer are the tools.
            I prefer brass plugs; coat them with Permatex, then use a deep well socket that just fits inside the plug, and hammer the socket to drive the plug into the block, against the, "land" for max metal to metal contact. For those holes that do not have a land, I stop at about same point as the ones that do, which is near flush with the block. For the 3/8" pipe threaded plugs, I use brass, with hex heads, not the ones with hex recess for allen wrench.

            As mentioned in post #18, the Permatex is to seal tiny imperfections, NOT to hold the plug in place. Metal to metal contact is what is supposed to hold the plug in place. Never had to, but if in a pinch, I would not hesitate to use old school brass expandable plugs, with bolt in the center to swell the plug. I'd consider those a semi-permanent fix, good for at least 10 years.
            Last edited by JoeHall; 07-06-2017, 07:55 PM.

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