Question about Jeep CJ5

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I have a cj 5 jeep (F 134 engine) Sent it to a machine shop for rebuild. Put it back in and all 5 freeze plugs have popped out so far, had them replaced and now another one has popped out. 1st one popped out after 60 YDS, 2nd after 30 YDS. I now have maybe 2 miles total. What is happening? HELP

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You have the honor of being the first person ever to report that problem (I've been building engines for a really long time too!) Sounds like either somehow you have the wrong diameter plugs in there or there is a massive leak from one or more cylinder into the cooling system. if that's the case, I'm surprised the radiator did not explode when you put the cap on. My biggest concern is that there are plugs behind the engine that require engine removal to get to. If they are incorrect they need to come out.
To determine the source of the problem have a hydrocarbon test done on the cooling system or simply put a pressure gauge on the radiator and see if pressure is building up there. (shouldn't be more than the rating of the cap). If pressure is normal then the plugs are wrong. That's bad news but good it happened now rather than three months from now in the middle of nowhere!!
If the system checks out and you decide to replace the plugs yourself, they need to be installed dry. No sealers or grease. Best ones are copper made for marine engines as they don't rust out. Care must be taken though when installing them as copper can deform if they are not put in exactly right.

Posted on May 22, 2011

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Replace freeze plug


If you look on the side of an engine block you will see a line of circular depressions about an inch and a half in diameter and about a quarter of an inch deep. These are actually holes in the side of the engine block which are plugged with a dish shaped metal plug called a "freeze plug" or "expansion plug".

WHAT FREEZE PLUGS DO

As with many things on a car, there is an "official reason" and a "REAL" reason for freeze plugs. The official reason (and the source of the name) is this: If you run just water with no antifreeze in your car the water can freeze. When water freezes, it expands. If water freezes inside your engine block, it can expand and crack the block, destroying the motor. Freeze plugs (or expansion plugs) will "pop out" and supposedly prevent this. In reality this doesn't work all the time: I've seen MANY blocks destroyed by cracking without the freeze plugs popping out, or if they do pop out the block cracks anyway.

THE REAL PURPOSE OF FREEZE PLUGS

Engines are "sand cast". A special type of sand is poured into a pair of boxes. A "die" is pressed into the sand, making an impression of the engine block to be cast. The sections of the mold are then put together and molten iron is poured in, forming the engine. This is why engines have a rough texture on most areas: this is the texture of the sand used to cast them.

There have to be "cylinders" made of sand in the middle of this mold to create the cylinders of the engine block. These chunks of sand can't just "float" inside the mold: SOMETHING has to hold them in place. There are little columns of sand that connect the cylinder mold to the outer mold half. The mold for the cylinder "sits" on top of these. After the block is cast, these holes are machined smooth and a "freeze plug" is put in to plug the hole.

THE PROBLEM WITH FREEZE PLUGS

The problem with freeze plugs is that they are made of very thin metal, AND THEY RUST!!! From the factory they are made of galvanized steel, and if you always run a 50/50 mix of antifreeze you should never have a problem. Unfortunately many people don't do this, and the freeze plugs rust through, creating a coolant leak.

When I replace freeze plugs or rebuild an engine I always use brass plugs: they only cost a tiny bit more and will not rust through. The manufacturers, of course, will save a penny anywhere they can: pennies add up to millions of dollars!

SIGNS OF BAD FREEZE PLUGS

If you have a bad freeze plug your vehicle will leak coolant. Freeze plugs are in different places on different cars, but normally they will be down the side of the block (at least 3 of them) and in the back of the block, between the engine and the transmission. Some are fairly easy to get to, others require removing various parts off the engine, some even require removing the transmission or engine to replace! Some cylinder heads also have smaller plugs in them, often under the intake or exhaust manifold.

So if you have water leaking down the side of your engine, or water leaking from the hole in the bell housing between the engine and transmission, you probably have a bad freeze plug.

FREEZE PLUG REPAIR

If the leak is slow and small, a stop leak or block seal compound might work. I have had good luck with K&W Liquid Block Seal: it's good stuff! Of course, as with any "rig" of this sort, it might not work, might not last for long, and could clog up something else in your cooling system. The right way to fix it is to replace the freeze plug.

FREEZE PLUG REPLACEMENT

To remove a freeze plug, first hammer it into the block with a big screwdriver or a large punch. It won't go far into a modern engine: there isn't much room behind the plug. When it "pops through" you can easily pry it back out of the hole sideways with a pair of pliers or a screwdriver. Be careful not to scratch the surface of the hole where the plug sits, or it could leak around the circumference of the new plug.
After the plug is removed, clean the hole in the block with sandpaper to remove the corrosion and old sealant. Once again, if you don't do this the new one might leak.

Normal freeze plugs are hammered in with some sealant around them. I use aviation grade Permatex sealer. If you can't get to them to do this, you have to take off whatever parts are in the way to access the plug. If access is limited, they make replacement freeze plugs made of copper and also ones made of rubber with a nut on them which expands the plug against the block when tightened. I have had bad luck with the rubber type: they blow back out quite often. I have had good results with the copper type (made by Dorman).
I have not had good results with either type on Ford products: Ford for some reason makes their freeze plugs in "odd" dimensions, like 1 and 51/64 of an inch. You can get the copper type plug in 1/8 th increments, but it won't expand enough to fit the Ford size. The rubber type will SEEM to expand enough, but it will stay in for a week or so then blow out, dumping all your coolant out in a matter of seconds!!!

So on all Fords I just do whatever it takes to pound a regular style brass plug into the block.

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Depends on your engine.

1980 JEEP CJ-7 2.5L 4-cyl Engine Code [B]
CAPACITIES
Engine, GM without filter..........2.4 quarts[1]
Wix Filter ........ 51040
Cooling System, Initial Fill..........8.0 quarts
Automatic Transmission, A904, 30RH Initial Fill..........4.0 quarts[2]
Automatic Transmission, A999, 32RH Initial Fill..........4.0 quarts[2]
Automatic Transmission, Total Fill
3 speed A999, 32RH..........8.4 quarts
3 speed A904, 30RH..........7.0 quarts
Manual Transmission, 4-SPD, SR-4..........3.0 pints
Manual Transmission, 4-SPD, T176..........3.6 pints
Differential, Front..........2.5 pints[3]
Differential, Rear..........4.9 pints
Transfer Case,..........4.0 pints

1. Add extra oil when replacing filter. After refill check oil level.
2. With engine automatic transmission operating temperature, shift through all gears.
Check fluid level in NEUTRAL and add fluid as needed.
3. 1984-1992 Models with command-Track, add 5 oz of 75W-90 GL-5 to shift motor housing opening.

TORQUES
Oil Drain Plug.....25 ft-lbs
Manual Transmission T176
Fill Plug.....15 ft-lbs
Drain Plug.....15 ft-lbs
Manual Transmission SR4
Fill Plug.....20 ft-lbs

1980 JEEP CJ-7 4.2L 6-cyl Engine Code [C]
CAPACITIES
Engine, without filter..........5.0 quarts[1]
Wix Filter..... 51522
Cooling System, Initial Fill..........11.0 quarts
Automatic Transmission, A904, 30RH Initial Fill..........4.0 quarts[2]
Automatic Transmission, A999, 32RH Initial Fill..........4.0 quarts[2]
Automatic Transmission, Total Fill
3 speed A999, 32RH..........8.4 quarts
3 speed A904, 30RH..........7.0 quarts
Manual Transmission, 4-SPD, SR-4..........3.0 pints
Manual Transmission, 4-SPD, T176..........3.6 pints
Differential, Front..........2.5 pints[3]
Differential, Rear..........4.9 pints
Transfer Case,..........4.0 pints

1. Add extra oil when replacing filter. After refill check oil level.
2. With engine automatic transmission operating temperature, shift through all gears.
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3. 1984-1992 Models with command-Track, add 5 oz of 75W-90 GL-5 to shift motor housing opening.

TORQUES
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1980 JEEP CJ-7 5.0L 8-cyl Engine Code [H]
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Engine, without filter..........4.0 quarts[1]
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Oilman

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