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Keep blowing softplugs

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  • #16
    If your block is like my 62 Hawk, the machined area where the dish type freeze plug fits is very shallow, a rubber plug style would not have much area to grab on to. I used a 90 degree die grinder with a twisted wire style brush on it to clean out the cavity. Then placed some non hardening permatex in the machined cavity, then drove a dish style freeze plug. There are are two styles of freeze plugs dish[used on blocks up to late 62] and cup [ used on full flow blocks with the oil filter on the lower right side. Lou Cote [8D]


    • #17
      What concerned me about my block, was that the lip inside the freeze plug hole appeared ragged, and looked like it did not go all the way around. This made me worry about a couple of things. I though that maybe the dish type plug would not seal properly because the lip was not consistent, and I was worried that if I tried to drive a plug in there, it might further damage the lip area, or that it might seat crookedly, or it might just go right into the block. Since this is my original motor, I dont want to cause any irreversible damage to it.

      I'd welcome any comments from those that have experience with this issue.

      If this is the same freeze plug that went before, would it be possible for me to somehow tack or weld the plug in place since there are other freeze plugs present, and it seems they do not protect the engine much anyways? The car would never get driven in cold weather, and always contain the proper amount of antifreeze.


      • #18
        The very BEST way to permanently fix it would be EXPENSIVE!

        That would be to remove the engine and have some sort of portable "Mill" gadget machine all of the damaged core plug holes to accept the CUP type core plugs and solve any leak issues, probably not too affordable. But the other option would be more expensive: replacing the block with a re-numbered blank serial numbered one.

        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner


        • #19
          There was, and I think still is, a couple of companies,
          that make a "mechanical method" repair plug, that has
          a toggle bolt type plug. Maybe Champ Items, or someone
          of this nature. NAPA did handle them.

          Tex in Alabama


          • #20
            The ultimate core plug repair is to pipe tap them to whatever is appropriate, then screw a cast iron pipe plug into them, with the threads liberally smeared with pipe dope.

            Tom Bredehoft
            '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
            '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
            ....On the road, again....
            '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
            All Indiana built cars


            • #21
              Why wont the cup type plugs work? Are they the wrong size, too deep, etc?


              • #22
                quote:Originally posted by jeryst

                Why wont the cup type plugs work? Are they the wrong size, too deep, etc?
                Cup-type frost plugs are made to have a friction-fit in smooth-sided holes. There are deep and shallow styles, and the deep ones work best in those Studebaker blocks designed to accept them. They can be tricky to get started, as they tend tend to rock around when you try to hammer them in.

                Disc-type frost plugs go into a stepped hole. The outer part of the hole matches the nominal diameter of the plug, and the inner part is about 1/4" smaller, leaving a ledge of about 1/8" for the disc to rest against while it is flattened to expand it into place.

                The outer part of the stepped hole is too shallow for even the shallow-cup style of cup plug to seal reliably.

                If the block is corroded where the disc is supposed to seal, use a rubber expanding plug, or perhaps you could clean the damaged area VERY thoroughly, and use JB Weld to install a new disc plug.

                Do put a pressure tester on your cooling system, and make certain that compression pressure is not leaking into the water jacket, because if you get all the frost plugs securely anchored, the next weak link is the radiator.

                Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
                Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


                • #23
                  My '63 Hawk had a leaky frost plug near the starter motor last fall due to the plug rusting through. I purchased an expanding rubber plug for a quick fix but found after removing the rusted plug that the hole wasn't bored all the way through. It was bored about 1/4" (.250) deep with jagged cast iron around the edge of the circumference of the passage. For a rubber plug to work, it has to protrude clear through the entire hole thus allowing the plug to expand larger than the hole diameter. Being the hole wasn't bored all the way through, I couldn't use the rubber plug and therefor had to purchase a shallow steel frost plug. I didnt use any sealer, I tapped it in dry until the plug bottomed out and havent noticed any leaks since.

                  Autumn at Lake Barget
                  In the middle of Minnestudea
                  In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.