RE: Freeze plug replacement
Got the job done.
Just wanted to share my experience for others in the future:
1st, I drained the coolant by removing the lower radiator hose from the engine block. Couldn't find the drain **** behind the foglight...
After this, I thought I was going to have to remove the exhaust manifold. This proved impossible from underneath the car, I ended up leaving it attached. I just replaced my valve cover gasket a few hundred miles ago, and I didn't want to risk breaking an exhaust manifoldbolt off. More over, I didn't have a breaker bar.
Anyway, I got back under the car,disconnected what I think was the oil pressure sending unit, and the crank position sensor, and removed the heat shield covering those two sensors (3 15mm bolts).
This gave me enough room to get a screw driver and hammer in between the block and firewall. I started hammering away. Wouldn't you know, the middle of the freeze plug started tearing away from the "lip". I got the pliers and started pulling - to no avail. I ended up having to grind the entire middle smooth (dremel), andIleftthe circular cuff of the old freeze plug in there.
Iwas hoping to replace it with abrass plug, but doubting my skills, I headed to autozone and picked up a rubber one (1.25" initial, expands to1.375"). I had to shave off a little bit of rubber on thefirst half of the plugto get it togo in all the way. ThenI JB welded the metal washer on the outside to the engine block - to lock it the plug in place while I turned the nut, and to provide an extra seal, incase it ever started leaking past the rubber.
After I let the JB weld cure for 15 hours, I turned the nut on the rubber plug until I was afraid of stripping the bolt.
No leaks yet! Hopefullyit's the lastleaking freeze plug I ever have to change. It tookme all of1.5 days to finish...something so simple tookall of my persistence and strength.
Becuase of the rust inside the coolant gallery, I decided to put jb weld on the other freeze plug near the drivers side of the engine. The plug on the front looked okay, and I couldn't get to it without taking off the intake manifold (big job)...so I left it alone.
A totally thankless job....my car doesn'trun any better...
One last note: This was also my first time draining and refilling coolant. No body mentions this... I guess it's obvious, but I almost overheated my car: you have to refill coolant through the radiator pressure cap first, thenfill the resevoir as required while the car is warming up.