Block heater/freeze plug blues
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This is a discussion on Block heater/freeze plug blues within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Trying to install block heater. Removed undertray and exhaust mani heat shield. The freeze plug with the 14mm allen cutout ...

  1. #1
    1x2
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    Block heater/freeze plug blues

    Trying to install block heater. Removed undertray and exhaust mani heat shield. The freeze plug with the 14mm allen cutout stares down at me from above as I lay looking up at the motor. But I'm ready. I've purchased the only 14mm allen anything in town- it's a true allen wrench, a large bugger, much too large for any manufacturer to include in a set of allen wrenches. You'd look at it and say, 'who are you kidding, why would I buy a set of allen wrenches with that huge sucker in it?'. So I stick the long end into the freeze plug, I've got a 14mm allen socket and extension on the other end for leverage. So- not enough leverage, even though I torqued the motor around on its mounts and this allen wrench cost me $7.

    Hmmm- I think a 14mm 1/2" drive allen in a socket on a short extension, levered by a breaker bar is the only thing that's gonna free that freeze plug....

    There's not a whole lot on these cars that's just simple, is there?

    1x2
    Last edited by 1x2; 11-28-2004 at 07:46 PM.

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  3. #2
    Registered User ShotgunTC88's Avatar
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    Did ya spray it down with WD-40/Liquid Wrench,etc? (And wait 1/2 hour or so?)

    Also try to get the engine a LITTLE warm before you try and get it out, Don't let it get so hot you burn yourself, Just cruise around and get up to temp and then go home and let it set for a half hour or till you can hold your hand on the work area comfortably.

    Also if you can get it in there you can tap a hammer (good "tap" not to sissy and not like Arnold<g>) on the allen wrench and get somewhat of a breaker bar effect that is more effective to loosin it.

    ALSO,
    With the LONG end in the plug you have WAY more "flex" than if you could get it with the short end, You might want to try and return it and go to Sears and get the Socket type Allen to fit on one of you bigger Socket Wrenches

    (And then do the "Tap" thing with the hammer,

    Just start with small "taps" and work up to the point where you "feel" your gonna break somthin and bite the bullet and take it to a Mech. and let him worry about it if you can't get it out )

    Remember "Righty Tighty"/"Lefty Loosey"


    May do the trick


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    Shotgun
    Last edited by ShotgunTC88; 11-29-2004 at 12:15 AM.
    "Speed Kills......But so do Strokes,...Sign your donar card"

  4. #3
    1x2
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    Shotgun,

    Oh, no, didn't try WD-40, didn't even think of it, and I have a can- sorta dumb of me. I did warm it up first, by driving it out to pick up a gal of distilled water.

    I know what you mean about the flex, another worry is that the allen "cut" is not that deep, so you gotta be real careful to maintain a 90 degree angle with the "wrench". That's hard to do with the slow curve of the shaft of the allen wrench and precludes the hammer "snap" to loosen it- would be much easier with the allen socket and 1/2" breaker bar- I know, what if I used the right tool for the job!

    I'm gonna buy a 1/2" breaker bar and the socket next. Had a breaker bar years ago, must've had it buried in the trunk of a car that went bye-bye at some point, can't find it.

    All in all, though, it was a good trial run, and the upside is, the freeze plug faces the ground, so draining the block will be a snap. I was worried about getting antifreeze all over the ground...

    1x2

  5. #4
    Moderator GV27's Avatar
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    Try Breaker PB or SeaFoam DeepCreep instead of WD-40.

    Dunno if it is possible in your situation but a length of black pipe on the allen key might work.
    "Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it to me." -Jesus

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    1x2
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    Try Breaker PB or SeaFoam DeepCreep instead of WD-40
    I'll give a look for that, thanks!

    1x2

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    1x2
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    Thumbs up

    And, the answer is....

    A guy at work, graduate of automechanical technical school, no less, brought in a 9/16" allen socket, 1/2" drive. Said it would match right up. I think, no, this never works, 9/16" wrench almost never subs for a 14mm wrench, but he's the graduate, so who am I to argue? (I'm just the bozo doing the work.)

    So, back under the car, popped the undertray, removed the exhaust manifold heat shield, sprayed Gunk liquid wrench on the freeze plug (good thinkin'), tapped lightly, let it sit, hooked up the wrench, she no fit. Undismayed, since I knew this would happen, replaced the heat shroud and reattached the undertray.

    Next day, "here's your socket, thanks, it didn't work", hooked up on the web, then the phone, ordered a Hazet 14mm socket- $25 + $8 shipping (sweet, maybe I'll order a few more special tools and open a garage to recoup my investment).

    Armed with correct socket, jacked up the car, slid back under, popped the undertray, looked at the manifold shroud, spotted a kink in it, thought, oh, jeez, ok, so I left it on. It was in the way of attempting to make the original allen key work, but not so for a socket and extension, they hang down lower and easily clear the manifold. Turns out the kink in the shroud is for laying the socket extension up against, to maintain 90degree angle with the socket and achieve good leverage.

    Sprayed liquid wrench on the plug, thought, this has had liquid wrench on it since last week, so slide the socket into the freeze plug, it fits PERFECTLY, give it one crank on the ratchet, the plug loosens immediately, 3/4 hrs. later, I'm back on the street.

    Thanks to timely thread about flushing and refilling antifreeze, saved lots of time, I'm sure, had no air bubble issues in the system.

    Now I come out in the morning, unplug the block heater, start it up, it's blowing tepid air immediately, the temp needle is off the bottom and on its way up to operating temp within a minute. It's awsome, no more "cold" starts.

    Moral of this BS, use the right F'n tool!

    1x2

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