View Full Version : TR2/3/3A TR3 head core plug (freeze plug)

11-06-2008, 03:49 PM
Hello all
My 59 TR3 is leaking water at the head freeze plug. How can I remove the plug and is a new one just inserted with a BFH or does it need to be pressed in. The leak is much greater than just a seep, it drips and runs down through the bell housing. Is there anything I could "smear" on it (like JB Weld), really would prefer not to remove the head to get at it.

Andrew Mace
11-06-2008, 03:54 PM
Old plugs can be chiseled or similarly dug out. New ones can be done with a hammer, but I suspect it's better to use something like a socket of similar size to the plug and hammer on that. A bit of traditional gasket sealant around the edge of the plug before installation can help assure a good seal.

11-06-2008, 04:10 PM
Normaly the freeze plug faces are conical shaped. Remove the old one by prying it out, this may require punching a hole in it large enough to get a suitable pry bar of sorts behind it in order to apply enough pressure to remove it.
Clean the freeze plug hole in the head thoroughly eg. wire wheel on a drill, wire brush or whatever. The hole needs to be free of rust, grease, oil, or other debris. Coat the hole with a suitable sealer eg. Permatex, or something similar NOTE: I like to coat the side of the new freeze plug that faces the inside of the block with something that will in the future prevent it from rusting again.
Place the new freeze plug conical side outward {facing you} in the hole, hit it directly in the center with a hammer. This expands the freeze plug causing it to seal.
NOTE: be sure to hit it as square as possible.
I wouldnt recommend liquid metal for a repair unless it be rather temproary {an emergency situation}

Others here may have better easier solutions

11-06-2008, 04:17 PM
I've found that it's better to drive it in using a socket that will fit well inside/around the ID of the cup, to displace the blow evenly, rather than having a hammer dent the center. On some of the conical/dish types, you may have no other choice but the hammer, depending on the angle that you will be working at.

11-06-2008, 04:29 PM
There's not much room to work back there on the TR3. If you want to replace with an original type plug, you will most likely have to remove the head. That said, A buddy of mine had the same problem on an engine with about 500 miles on it. He did NOT want to remove the head. He managed to pry out the old plug, and replaced it with one of those expanding rubber plugs that he got at his FLAPS. That plug has been working fine for over a year.

Edit: Rubber expansion freeze plug (https://www.automedia.com/Article/images/ccr/ccr20070401fp/ccr20070401fp_s05.jpg)

11-06-2008, 04:48 PM
Might be worth a shot with JB Weld. Have to drain the coolant, then clean the area thoroughly. Perhaps something like a brass detail brush (aka brass toothbrush) soaked in acetone would be small enough to get in there. Wait for the acetone to dry. Then use something like a butter knife (from the thrift store, don't raid your wife's good silverware) to 'butter' the area with JB Weld. Use the slow-curing variant and let it harden overnight before doing anything else. Slapping a piece of fiberglass cloth (FLAPS) over the area will help reinforce the JB Weld, and also hopefully keep it from slumping as it cures.

11-06-2008, 08:09 PM
Thanx to all