What to do about possible leak from engine freeze plug? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-22-2019, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
Joncure
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What to do about possible leak from engine freeze plug?

Ok, I'm back again! I'll probably have more posts because I just got my CJ back from recent engine rebuild and swap.

So, this post is about a possible leak from the freeze plug closest to the rear of the block. Since getting the jeep back I always look over the engine for a while after driving it looking for leaks or anything else. This evening I noticed what looks like a little coolant leaking out from the freeze plug. Should I be concerned about this? If so, should I contact the guy who did the rebuild about it? I was told he was a reliable and came highly recommended. He is know for his work on race car engines.

I figured I'd start here asking you all first. There is an immeasurable amount of knowledge, expertise and experience here for free!

Here is a picture of the leak and plug....

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post #2 of 20 Old 09-22-2019, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
Joncure
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P.S. the picture may appear to be upside down.
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-22-2019, 07:19 PM
Fourtrail
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Yes it needs to be fixed sooner than later. a reputable engine guy will have no problem popping out the plug and putting a new one in.

80 CJ-5, 74 CJ-6, 56 CJ-5
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-22-2019, 07:33 PM
Spieg8
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Yes, I'd try to get that fixed with a new plug. It's an easy DIY but since it's freshly rebuilt, I'd contact the builder..

Just be glad it's not one on the rear of engine as that is a PITA to replace.

When I was younger, I thought I was Don Quixote... turns out I'm just another donkey-hootie.
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-22-2019, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
Joncure
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Yeah, I just researched (YouTube) how to replace one and the one that's leaking is fairly accessible. I may do it myself since the engine builder is almost an hour away. I just wonder why it began to leak? Maybe it just wasn't installed properly? I may try putting a large enough socket against the plug and tap it a bit, maybe it wasn't seated all the way in to the hole.
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-22-2019, 07:53 PM
Hoover7
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Although you are probably well aware, you should use sealant when installing core plugs to ensure they don't leak. I've read where a thin film of permatex form-a-gasket (or similar) should be used to ensure it's leak free. Regardless, it warrants investigation before going forward.

Hoov

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post #7 of 20 Old 09-22-2019, 08:05 PM
StoneTower
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It may seal its self if it is given a little time.
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-22-2019, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
Joncure
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Thanks guys.
Hoov, I've seen recommendations so far for using a sealant and for not using a sealant when installing a new plug. Not sure which method is best, but if I had only to go on my instincts I would assume using a sealant to keep out liquid would be a good idea. Just a light bead of Permatex around the side of the plug wall.
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-22-2019, 08:38 PM
RiverandSand
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From the pic, the freeze plug appears not to be seated fully. A couple of taps with right sized socket and a BFH should do the trick. If not replace it with a brass plug and sealant (I usually use 3m yellow sealant). Not sure why brass plugs weren't used in first place, steel will eventually rust out.
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-22-2019, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
Joncure
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Good point about the brass vs steel. Not sure why either.
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post #11 of 20 Old 09-23-2019, 04:20 AM
John Strenk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joncure View Post
P.S. the picture may appear to be upside down.
Fixed it for ya...

I see a mark in it looks like a socket or pipe was used to install it.
Looks like the installer could of used a little bit bigger socket to install it.
I would be worried about distorting it.


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post #12 of 20 Old 09-23-2019, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
Joncure
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Wow John, you worked some magic there, thanks! I see that too. If I can find something bigger than what he used, I'll try tapping it some more-that may help. If not, I'll just replace it. When replacing I would need to drain the coolant, right? And does everyone here agree that I should use some kind of sealant on the new plug to help keep it leak free?
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-23-2019, 07:48 AM
Fourtrail
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Need to drain the coolant down to atleast below that freeze plug. Yes on a bit of sealant, smear it around the edges of the freeze plug then tap it in. Don't use a ton as it will either squeeze out or end up in the water jacket and you don't want it in the water jacket.

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post #14 of 20 Old 09-23-2019, 11:45 AM
Spieg8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joncure View Post
I just wonder why it began to leak? Maybe it just wasn't installed properly?
Probably just an install problem, but it could be rusted a little in that area which makes it more challenging to get a good seal. As other's have said, a little sealant should help.

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post #15 of 20 Old 09-23-2019, 12:09 PM
RedNeckCorvette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverandSand View Post
From the pic, the freeze plug appears not to be seated fully. A couple of taps with right sized socket and a BFH should do the trick. If not replace it with a brass plug and sealant (I usually use 3m yellow sealant). Not sure why brass plugs weren't used in first place, steel will eventually rust out.
Joncure I would use a bigger socket, something close to tight and smack it once or twice just to change the seat. It may get better or it may get worse but it is worth a try if you will be changing it anyway.

RiverandSand - Joncure I think the answer as to why not brass? Is steel is a compatible metal, Brass is not, electrolysis will occur probably X2 due to water circulating in the block.
RN
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