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 Post subject: how do I replace a freeze plug
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:10 am 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:43 am
Posts: 5
Hello all...first post

I have 2 Astros, my '03 AWD has nearly 300K miles and runs great
my '01 RWD has about 225K miles, it has the issue

been losing coolant slowly, I could smell it, saw the drip under the motor, I assumed it was one of the heater hoses, pulled the dog house, got the whole water pump stuff out of the way but pump is still on, I can pour water into the upper radiator hose and it just seems to pour out from behind the big huge chunk of metal holding the AC unit and power steering unit, I am assuming, from what I am told, there is a freeze plug back behind there but I can't seem to figure out how to move the big bracket out of the way, I got the AC unit on top loose with the 3 bolts, I also removed 2 long bolts and one nut, I have the Haynes manual but it doesn't cover freeze plugs at all, I read about manifold leaks but I am sure it is a freeze plug leak

I have to have two cars so we can both work so I am desperate for help

Some kind of parts diagram or anything would be very helpful...thanks in advance to all!


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 Post subject: Re: how do I replace a freeze plug
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:31 pm 
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I plan to be buried in my van
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Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:24 pm
Posts: 2021
Location: Evergreen, Al. 96 mile marker, where life is slow and there are no rules.
If it is a freeze plug, just get a screwdriver or punch and tap one edge of the plug so it will pop out or around to allow you to get a pair of pliers on it to pull out. Clean contact area for new plug. Get a socket that will fit inside new freeze plug and tap in with a hammer.. that's it. Be sure,,,when you tap edge of old plug to spin it around so to speak,,that you place the screwdriver on the inside edge of plug and not try to tap the small edge facing you or the edge that is the thickness of the plug. Also,,don't hit to hard replacing with new plug,,,you don't want it to pop all the way through to your waterjacket.
Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: how do I replace a freeze plug
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:00 pm 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:43 am
Posts: 5
thanks for the info...I know about the freeze plug and how to do that

problem is trying to get at the one behind the AC/power steering pump bracket

I can't find any documentation anywhere that even shows how the bracket is mounted to the motor, I removed 2 long bolts and 1 bolt cap plus unbolted the 4 bolts on top holding the AC unit, the AC unit is loose but the bracket will move slightly but won't come off, I am thinking there has to be some thing down by the steering pump area that is still connected, I can see what looks like a bracket to the pump but if I could find an exploded view or parts diagram or something I would be happy, as I said, the water is pouring out from behind that bracket so I am assuming it is coming from a freeze plug

thanks for the info though, I will try to post a pic of the bracket


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 Post subject: Re: how do I replace a freeze plug
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:17 pm 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:43 am
Posts: 5
here is the bracket

Image


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 Post subject: Re: how do I replace a freeze plug
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:43 pm 
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I plan to be buried in my van
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Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:24 pm
Posts: 2021
Location: Evergreen, Al. 96 mile marker, where life is slow and there are no rules.
I don' thave the same bracket as you. This is the better set up than the steel unit. If the bolt pattern is the same and if I remember correctly,,there is a bolt on the back side of the steering pump that is hidden from view. Check that and if not maybe someone with this bracket will chime in with the answer.

_________________
89 Astro, 350 V-8, Shaved doors, Filled Slider, Corvette IRS, 94 Mustang GT Rack & Pinion(Thanks to Skip),

Image





If you drive illegally, they take your driver's license. If you're here illegally, they want to give you one :)












Image





If guns kill people, do pencils misspell words


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 Post subject: Re: how do I replace a freeze plug
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:42 am 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:43 am
Posts: 5
well, got the bracket off only to find there isn't a freeze plug behind the bracket

I did find that there was a loose bolt, it was the very front bolt that holds down the manifold on the driver's side on the head, it was only snug, it should have been tight so I gave it a few turns..is this the source of the manifold leak I have seen elsewhere on the forum?

I put on another new water pump anyway, maybe the flange outlet was leaking or something or the gasket failed...I don't know...water was pouring out before and I just didn't find a real source for the leak...maybe the loose manifold bolt was causing the problem, the corner of the head is right behind the bracket. I have to finish putting the front end back on...power steering pulley, fan, all that...will update this then in case somebody else has the same problem

thanks for the input Rebel...

...and if anybody has any comments about the loose manifold please chime in...I did buy an online manual from Tradebits.com so that helped out...the Haynes manual is just lousy


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 Post subject: Re: how do I replace a freeze plug
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:35 pm
Posts: 4376
Location: New Haven, NY
If the manifold was loose, I would think the coolant would leak out. Might be time for a new gasket though if the gasket was damaged by the coolant leaking out.

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Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
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Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy


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 Post subject: Re: how do I replace a freeze plug
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:54 pm 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:43 am
Posts: 5
sucks to get bad news...it appears to be coming out of the front driver side corner of the head on top where the manifold attached to the head...seems it is going to be a lot more work now...I have a decent selection of tools and have worked on my cars and motorcycles for almost 30 years so I think I can handle this...just have to juggle the family, her job, my job with only one vehicle which is tough as I am traveling service tech

I looked around for here and all I found was an incomplete post on a '95 model

As i said earlier, I did get a downloaded PDF of the dealer manual from Tradebits.com but it doesn't come with an index, just a load of PDFs...better than nothing

Is this a fairly doable job for the average mechanic or do I need to take it somewhere? I feel confidant to do this...just gonna depend on the time and weather to get completed.

Anybody have an special inputs for "do's or don't do's" or special tools I will need would be greatly appreciated!


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