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Replacing Champion engine drain plug

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  • Replacing Champion engine drain plug

    The drain plug (soft plug, freeze plug, expansion plug, whatever you want to call it) on my 1950 Champion has leaked a little bit since I bought it. It finally became a priority to fix a couple days ago, so... out come the distributor, the oil dipstick and the starter. It turns out the freeze plug was rotten! Nothing but rust and several layers of Bars Leak was holding it together!



    It was a pain to get to, so the previous owner did the same thing that I did-kept pouring Bars Leak or whatever into the radiator. There was so much of that stuff that it had blocked the drain passage.
    Now I have it all cleaned out, flushed out and cleaned up and I'm ready top put the new plug in. The problem now is that the steering column and shifter are directly in line with it and close enough that I can't hit the plug with any force[xx(]



    Surely I'm not the first person thats been in this predicament? Would a piece of pipe work as an extension? If I did that, I would have to cut it at an angle, and I'm not sure how to match that angle.

    1950 Champion 4 Dr.
    Holdrege NE
    John
    1950 Champion
    W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
    Holdrege NE

  • #2
    There are plugs made that expand when tightened with a wrench. Take the old piece to a good auto parts store for one of those. If that doesn't suit you someone else may have another tip. BTW if one is bad they probably all need changing.


    1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona.Searcy,Arkansas
    "I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

    Comment


    • #3
      If you are going to use the cup style, which I recommend, then use a wood dowl rod. If you can get to it from more than one angle, you can cut the rod to whatever length you need, then whack it from different angles till its seated properly. Just a little at a time so it does not go in cock-eyed. The other option is to use one of the rubber or copper screw in types. They work well though they will not pass your judges inspection at the car show.

      sals54
      sals54

      Comment


      • #4
        Perhaps adding to sals post, you can put the wood dowl into the freeze plug, then, cut a length of wood to go against the dowl & use a 2x4 vertically against the frame to pry the plug into position. I would also coat the new brass plug with some RTV to make sure its a good seal.

        I perfer to use the brass plugs, although as sal said, the bolt in expantion type are alot easier to use.

        60 Lark convertible
        61 Champ
        62 Daytona convertible
        63 G.T. R-2,4 speed
        63 Avanti (2)
        66 Daytona Sport Sedan
        59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
        60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
        61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
        62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
        62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
        62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
        63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
        63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
        64 Zip Van
        66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
        66 Cruiser V-8 auto

        Comment


        • #5
          I have both a steel and a brass plug in hand, so I will try to go the route of whacking it with a dowel. A couple mechanics originlly told me to use a big socket as a driver, but I just don't have enough room for the socket and a hammer. Here's a better picture.



          From what you guys are telling me, I don't have to worry about hitting it in the center, at least initially, as long as I work around it evenly to get it seated? By the way, how many re-dos do I get? I have tried both plugs already. I used Permatex. The pluggs aren't tweaked or dimpled, but the outside edges are a little scratched up. The Permatex ought to seal it inspite of that, right? Should I lightly sand the rims of the plugs?

          1950 Champion 4 Dr.
          Holdrege NE
          John
          1950 Champion
          W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
          Holdrege NE

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd take the opportunity to do a good flush before putting the new plugs in...

            nate

            --
            55 Commander Starlight
            http://members.cox.net/njnagel
            --
            55 Commander Starlight
            http://members.cox.net/njnagel

            Comment


            • #7
              N8N
              Good call, but I already did that. I dug around inside the drain hole as well, digging out all the crud and Bars Leak, even some casting wire.

              1950 Champion 4 Dr.
              Holdrege NE
              John
              1950 Champion
              W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
              Holdrege NE

              Comment


              • #8
                http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ms=freeze,plug

                http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ms=freeze,plug

                HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                Jeff


                Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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                • #9
                  They do make a tool for that.

                  GARY H 2DR.SEDAN 48 STUDEBAKER CHAMPION NORTHEAST MD.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the help. I wish I had searched a little and found those threads earlier. I got my plug in, and it seems to be sealed, having filled the system with anti-freeze, but I haven't run the car yet. Problem now is that the plug looks like its in too far! Does it matter, as long as it seals, or should I tear it out and start over with those nifty looking Dorman expandable plugs shown in another thread?



                    1950 Champion 4 Dr.
                    Holdrege NE
                    John
                    1950 Champion
                    W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
                    Holdrege NE

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I answered my own question. The plug leaked just slightly overnight. So, I punched it in and pulled it out. My preferred FLAPS (which has Dorman plugs) is closed for the holiday weekend, so I went around to the other two parts stores (I live in a small town, waaay out here on the High Plains), even both the implement dealers, but nobody has a screw-in expandable disc-type, or even a rubber plug type expansion plug in 1 7/8" size. One guy told me he didn't even think that they are made that big. I will cruise the interweb and see what I can find, but, if anybody knows a Dorman or Balkamp part # for a 1 7/8" disc type expansion plug, I would appreciate that info.

                      1950 Champion 4 Dr.
                      Holdrege NE
                      John
                      1950 Champion
                      W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
                      Holdrege NE

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Looks like you used a shallow cup freeze plug.Freeze plugs are available in at least 3 different widths Look at the width of the original, (the part the seals to the block). The champion blocks have a wide sealing surface. The wider the better. The drive it in only far enough so that its flush or just past the block surface.
                        If you go to the type that have the center nut that get tightened, make sure you preload it, in other words tighten it up prior to installing it. Tighten it just enought so that it expands enought that you still have to drive it in. If you don't you'll never get the outer portion to hold still while you tighten the center nut. At least this is the only way I have been able to make them work. I personally don't like the looks of them, but I have used them with great results on v-8s.
                        Russ
                        quote:Originally posted by Lothar

                        I answered my own question. The plug leaked just slightly overnight. So, I punched it in and pulled it out. My preferred FLAPS (which has Dorman plugs) is closed for the holiday weekend, so I went around to the other two parts stores (I live in a small town, waaay out here on the High Plains), even both the implement dealers, but nobody has a screw-in expandable disc-type, or even a rubber plug type expansion plug in 1 7/8" size. One guy told me he didn't even think that they are made that big. I will cruise the interweb and see what I can find, but, if anybody knows a Dorman or Balkamp part # for a 1 7/8" disc type expansion plug, I would appreciate that info.

                        1950 Champion 4 Dr.
                        Holdrege NE
                        Russ Shop Foreman "Rusty Nut Garage"
                        57 SH (project)
                        60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

                        Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
                        53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
                        57 SH (project)
                        60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Your point about the depth of the cup is a good one, Russ. The plug that I used was supposedly the right one from SI, but it isn't as deep as the others in the block. Because of the difficulty of working around the steering column, and my reluctance to pull either the engine or the column to work on this #@$% plug, I think I will go with the screw-in type. I really liked the looks of the all-brass ones that were shown in an earlier post (see link above). Is that what you're talking about, or are you referring to the rubber plug type?

                          1950 Champion 4 Dr.
                          Holdrege NE
                          John
                          1950 Champion
                          W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
                          Holdrege NE

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes the all brass one is the one I was refering to. If you look at the outer hex, its very narrow and somewhat rounded. Its very hard to get a grip and hold while the center nut is being tightened. Thats why the need to pretighten it prior to install. Get a couple of them and play with the 1st one you'll see what I mean.
                            Also someone in an early post made mention that its likely that all the freeze plugs will be bad and that is a valid statment. The one behind the oil filler tube is a tough one. Getting the oil filler tube out from above is wicked tough. Maybe someone will come up with and idea to get it out. I've driven them out from below, but that obviously requires the removal of the oil pan
                            Isn't this a great hobby
                            Russ
                            quote:Originally posted by Lothar

                            Your point about the depth of the cup is a good one, Russ. The plug that I used was supposedly the right one from SI, but it isn't as deep as the others in the block. Because of the difficulty of working around the steering column, and my reluctance to pull either the engine or the column to work on this #@$% plug, I think I will go with the screw-in type. I really liked the looks of the all-brass ones that were shown in an earlier post (see link above). Is that what you're talking about, or are you referring to the rubber plug type?

                            1950 Champion 4 Dr.
                            Holdrege NE
                            Russ Shop Foreman "Rusty Nut Garage"
                            57 SH (project)
                            60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

                            Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
                            53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
                            57 SH (project)
                            60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Just to wrap up this topic:
                              1. The "copper" expansion plugs with an acorn nut in the middle ARE NOT available in 1 7/8" size, at least not from Dorman Products. You can get smaller AND larger sizes, but not 1 7/8". If anyone knows of another vendor that makes them, I'd like to hear about it.
                              2. Even if I could find the right size plug, I'm not sure whether there is sufficient clearance between the acorn nut (if it protudes from the block) and the starter. Maybe, maybe not.
                              3. As someone pointed out in this thread, there is a driver that has a pivoting head that allows you to whack on freeze plugs from an angle. A mechanic friend let me borrow his, but I haven't tried it yet. Hopefully, that is the right way to fix this thing, so I can move on to being frustrated by other problems.

                              1950 Champion 4 Dr.
                              Holdrege NE
                              John
                              1950 Champion
                              W-3 4 Dr. Sedan
                              Holdrege NE

                              Comment

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