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50 Champion freeze plug

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  • 50 Champion freeze plug

    I removed my starter off my 50 Champion flathead 6 last week and noticed that the freeze plug was weeping water and rusted pretty bad. When i went to inspect it closer it needed to be replaced. Upon removing the freeze plug there was a thick layer of black sediment blocking the water from gushing out. I slowly pushed a screwdriver through this and the water was able to break through and flushed all of the sediment out of this freezeplug area. My concern now is what does the rest of the cooling system look like. I wanted to know what is the best way to completely flush the cooling system without disassemblying the engine. The last thing i want to do is get the car running and have it overheat on me.

    Any suggestions?

    As for the freeze plug should the local part stores carry these?

    Crazyred

  • #2
    quote:Originally posted by crazyred

    I removed my starter off my 50 Champion flathead 6 last week and noticed that the freeze plug was weeping water and rusted pretty bad. When i went to inspect it closer it needed to be replaced. Upon removing the freeze plug there was a thick layer of black sediment blocking the water from gushing out. I slowly pushed a screwdriver through this and the water was able to break through and flushed all of the sediment out of this freezeplug area. My concern now is what does the rest of the cooling system look like. I wanted to know what is the best way to completely flush the cooling system without disassemblying the engine. The last thing i want to do is get the car running and have it overheat on me.

    Any suggestions?

    As for the freeze plug should the local part stores carry these?

    Crazyred
    The rest of the cooling system most likely looks similar to what you found under the freeze plug. The years of sediment, rust, etc. in cooling systems is the main cause of over heating in vintage engines.

    The best (only?) way to clean the cooling system without removing, disassemblying, and hot tanking the engine is to remove all the "freeze plugs", dig out the sediment with screwdrivers, coat hangers, or anything else you can get into the cooling passages while you flush the cooling system with water. Do it on a hot day with your bathing suit on because you will get wet and filthy.

    Your local FLAPS or any number of Studebaker parts vendors should carry the freeze plugs.



    Dick Steinkamp
    Bellingham, WA

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    • #3
      I'm with Dick on this. Besides, if one freeze plug was leaking, the other's are in rough shape too!
      Take 'em all out (have new replacements in hand already, of course. I like the copper kind that has a dome nut sticking out. you insert the plug and then tighten the nut securely. Beats the heck outta beatin' the original style into place!)and take out the thermostat as well. Then - with a hose running into the thermostat housing - probe and dig around thru the freeze plug holes until the flowing water runs pretty clear.[:I] It IS a messy job. So be prepared! And don't forget to remove the block drain plug and dit thru it's hole as well.
      EXCESSIVE grunge buildup like this can cause hot spots in an engine and contribute to wear and frustrating overheating problems.[xx(]

      Miscreant at large.

      1957 Transtar 1/2ton
      1960 Larkvertible V8
      1958 Provincial wagon
      1953 Commander coupe
      1957 President 2-dr
      1955 President State
      1951 Champion Biz cpe
      1963 Daytona project FS
      No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.

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      • #4
        Engines were never totally cleaned when they were new. When I rebuilt my 51 I dug through every orifice and pulled out quantities of casting sand and sprue wires. Now I cant get the heat gage to climb above 1/3 but the heater puts out like a...Well, the heater works great. [:0]
        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
        sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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        • #5
          I did exactley like the fellows above. Found abandoned casting wire also. Hot day with a bathing suit. I also chucked a short length of wire rope with frayed ends, about 6", in a cordless drill and that did a good job of knocking stuff loose.

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          • #6
            quote:Originally posted by 4austin
            I also chucked a short length of wire rope with frayed ends, about 6", in a cordless drill and that did a good job of knocking stuff loose.
            Great idea!!

            Dick Steinkamp
            Bellingham, WA

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            • #7
              Save your old speedo cable cores and chuck a length in your cordless drill.

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