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Antique Gas Engine Discussion

Freeze plugs


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  #1  
Old 04-13-2005, 01:14:15 PM
Ken Adamson Ken Adamson is offline
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Default Freeze plugs

Last night, as part of my usual routine prior to going to bed, I go out to the shop to tell the new engines good night so that they don’t get some kind of an attitude or something. I rolled this one engine over on its side to rub its belly a little and found about a two inch hole in the belly. It appears to be a freeze plug hole or a soft plug. Is this common?
Just curious
Thanks
Ken
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Old 04-13-2005, 01:47:12 PM
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Mike in NC Mike in NC is offline
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Default Re: Freeze plugs

What make and model engine is it? Our IHC LB 1˝- 2˝ HP engine has a freeze plug under the cylinder.
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Old 04-13-2005, 01:51:55 PM
Dick Welty Dick Welty is offline
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Default Re: Freeze plugs

Ken,

A few engines have soft plugs. I have 2 fairbanks headless engines that have soft plugs. These holes served 2 purposes, one to help in the casting process and second to allow for expansion in a freezing condition.

If they go bad just pry them out with a screw driver and measure the hole. Go to Napa Auto Supply and buy either the brass plugs or one of the rubber expansion plugs.

The brass plug is concave like a lens. There are 2 kinds, one has a lip on it and the other is just a disk. Clean the hole and put the plug in with the bulge out toward you. Then use a piece of hard wood almost as big around as the plug to hammer in the bulge enough to lock it in place. You can use a Permatex type product to help seal it if necessary.

If the hole is deep enough to accept it you can use the expansion plug which gives you the ability to use the large soft plug hole to drain or flush out the engine later. They don't usually show anyway and while they aren't original so what. My father said that he used a nickle pounded with a ballpeen to make soft plugs for a Model-T Ford.

Dick
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Old 04-13-2005, 04:57:13 PM
Ken Adamson Ken Adamson is offline
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Default Re: Freeze plugs

Thank you all,
The engine is a 1916 FM Z 3HP ignitor with a gear driven mag.
I checked the rest of my engines, but found no place for a plug in any of them.
I just came back from the Iron Ranch up north of Vancouver Washington and was looking at an engine that is identical to mine and found (as you said Dick to help in the casting process) a flat spot there, but not machined for the freeze plug.
Thanks again
Ken
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Old 04-13-2005, 05:16:31 PM
BobRR BobRR is offline
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Default Re: Freeze plugs

Ken my 1916 6hp. Fairbanks has one. I put one of the rubber expansion plugs in it so I could clean out the hopper if need be.BobRR
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:01:48 AM
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Default Re: Freeze plugs

The early Z engines had these plugs. Apparantly they were phased out over the first two or three years of the Z's life. The foundrymen and pattern makers probably got together and figured out a better way to register the cores in the mold. Saved the price of three of those great big (freeze) plugs too. B T W they are core plugs not freeze plugs.
Dan
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:59:19 PM
Dick Welty Dick Welty is offline
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Default Re: Freeze plugs

Core Plugs or freeze plugs? The bottom line is that a lot of engines especially automobiel engines had the water in the block start to freeze and when water freezes it expands significantly causing pressure to build up in the block.

Many times the core plugs blew out allowing enough of the water to leak out to prevent the block from cracking.

I have heard that the manufacturers just used the freeze plug as an excuse for their cheep casting processes, but I think the end result is why many earley Ford engines are still around without cracked blocks. Most other auto manufacturers also used the core plugs with the same result.

Dick
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