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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I started noticing an antifreeze leak a few months ago. I finally got around to taking it to the dealership to get it looked at since I haven't had the time to check it out myself.

I have been told that 5 out of the 6 freeze-out plugs are leaking and should be replaced. They said that the parts for all 6 plugs are only around $30, but it will end up costing about $500 and another $150 then to flush the coolant system when they are done, so $650 total. They said it will be so expensive because of where 1 or 2 of the plugs are located - the others should be done in less than an hour they said.

Has anyone ever had this done or done it yourself? Is it really all that hard to do and does it take long? ...do you think the $500 estimate is accurate?

Also, is it really necessary to flush out the whole system after replacing the plugs? The guy said it definitely is necessary because there would be 'crud' and stuff in there, especially after taking out the old plugs and putting in the new ones - I dont know if he's trying to help me or just trying to charge me an extra 150 bux that isn't necessary.

Any help/tips on this would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Greg
 

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Home Owner....
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yo can actually d othis yourself for less than $100.

get the plugs from NAPA, coolant from wally world....

in your driveway drill a small hole in each plug to install an extractor and pull it out. there are other ways to do this. one thing ya dont want to do is install a new one over the pld one. this will put a restriction on your water passages.

a day job, max. a couple may be challenging to get to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the info - I thought about doing it myself, but the guys at the dealership are talking about it like its a HUGE deal. They said that some of the plugs are hidden and you have to take other parts apart to get to them, so that is why it would take so long and would be even harder if only on ramps in my driveway compared to up on a lift at the dealership...
 

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the DOC can SUCK IT !!!
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the plugs on the passenger side are the easiest to do if i remember correctly, you'll have to drop the starter to change the ones in the back. the drivers side was a PITA, when i did them on my 99 5.2 4x4, there was a bracket or
mount that blocked some of the plugs.
 

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the starer should come out and maybe motor mounts not a hard jub just takes time ps don't do it on a hot engine. flush it out when the plugs are out. if I remember there are some on the rear of the block and you have pull the engine out. I would just pu in some kleen flow sealer and see if that helps
 

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2000 SLT+ 5.9L Platinum
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JB Weld 'em.

If you do have the stealer do it... demand the left over parts to verify that they changed ALL of them. Otherwise, your getting your leaky ones fixed and the 'good-for-now' ones will still be the originals, whether you paid for the replacement or not.

IndyDurango
 

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Hi. ImAnAsshole. Bye.
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Any stop leak or sealer works, but it's not good for the motor at all. There's a reason it stops leaks, it blocks everything. :jester:


I would either let it leak and fill with coolant or bite the bullet and have it fixed.


In the long run a sealer will ruin more than it will do good.


I had to re-do a whole top end of a motor because someone used Bar's Stop Leak in the radiator.
 

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I have a 99 Durango 4X4 5.2L. Two were leaking on the right side. The first one I could see, no problem. The second was under the motor bracket. I had to jack up the engine and front drive axle. I took all the bolts out of the drive axle except the upper big one one the left side. Then lowered the right side of axle couple of inches to get both bracket thingees out.
 

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No, it's not hard. However, it is a pain in the ass.

There are two behind the transmission (back of the block), one on the front and back of each head, and one under the starter and passenger motor mount - all of which are hard to get to.

The remainder...? Not bad at all.

If you are going to have them replaced, make sure that they are replaced with brass plugs. If you're doing it yourself - get the "deep" plugs...they are a bit more forgiving to install.

<--Replaced every single core plug on my 3.9...with the engine in the truck.
 

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Does anyone know the sizes of all the plugs.

I see no one makes an actual kit to replace all plugs.

I'm replacing all of mine while I've got the engine out.

I'll double check the FSM to see what is specified.
I would rather order all of them at once.
 

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I don't like the description, but Summit shows a kit (I'd certainly call since it says this is for a Buick, but goes here when asked for a 2000 5.9).

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SLP-381-8002/

As for the expense, it's about all the stuff that has to be removed to get to them. The system needs to be flushed, but you're half-way there once the plugs are removed. I'd be inclined to pull the engine for this job.
 

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emjohn4, the free plug located next to my oil filter went bad on me due to severe corrosion, and is now leaking. the rest, that i can visibly see, are fine. you mentioned you had changed all of yours out on your own WITHOUT taking the engine out. how long did that take you and how hard were some of them? the one thats leaking for me seems to be in a good spot as far as changing it out goes, luckily. im pretty sure theres 10 total from what ive read. how did you tackle the one by the oil filter? im gonna start by taking the wheel off, and then going from there.
 

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emjohn4, the free plug located next to my oil filter went bad on me due to severe corrosion, and is now leaking. the rest, that i can visibly see, are fine. you mentioned you had changed all of yours out on your own WITHOUT taking the engine out. how long did that take you and how hard were some of them? the one thats leaking for me seems to be in a good spot as far as changing it out goes, luckily. im pretty sure theres 10 total from what ive read. how did you tackle the one by the oil filter? im gonna start by taking the wheel off, and then going from there.
It took about two days of effort...

The hardest ones were the ones on the back of the heads - which I replaced with Doorman expandtite copper plugs - here's a pic:



The remainder weren't too bad, but I did one side at a time, and had to remove the motor mount on the side I was working on to get clearance and room to work.

The ones on the front are the easiest - a good place to practice and see if you want to tackle the remainder of them.

I didn't replace the ones on the back of the block (behind the flywheel/flexplate) until I did my clutch. You'll have to pull the transmission to get to those, and if they ain't leaking - pulling the transmission ain't no fun.

Now that I think about it, I think there may be 14 total plugs (for the 3.9). Four in the heads, two on the back of the block, six on the side of the block, and two in the front of the block.

It's not a job for the faint of heart - but not because it is hard, but because it is dirty work that is a pain in the rear.
 

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The Anti-RUB
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in your driveway drill a small hole in each plug to install an extractor and pull it out.
Since no-one corrected this bad advise last year when this post started, I’ll do it now. Do not drill into the old freeze plugs. That will create metal shavings inside the coolant passage that you do not want floating around your cooling system when your done. You’ll never be able to get them all out even if you tried. Just take a punch & hammer and hit the old plug in order to spin it like a valve. Then get a set of pliers and pull the plug out. Clean up the whole with a little emory cloth, install the new plug and your done.

As for the difficulty, it its not difficult to replace a plug in and of itself. The difficulty is getting to them all. Some are covered by the tranny bell housing and others are covered/blocked by other components.

One thing to keep in mind, if one is rusted out and leaking then the others are not far behind. So if your going to replace one you might as well replace the others as well otherwise you’ll be back in there not too far down the road.

Good luck...
 

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It took about two days of effort...

The hardest ones were the ones on the back of the heads - which I replaced with Doorman expandtite copper plugs - here's a pic:



The remainder weren't too bad, but I did one side at a time, and had to remove the motor mount on the side I was working on to get clearance and room to work.

The ones on the front are the easiest - a good place to practice and see if you want to tackle the remainder of them.

I didn't replace the ones on the back of the block (behind the flywheel/flexplate) until I did my clutch. You'll have to pull the transmission to get to those, and if they ain't leaking - pulling the transmission ain't no fun.

Now that I think about it, I think there may be 14 total plugs (for the 3.9). Four in the heads, two on the back of the block, six on the side of the block, and two in the front of the block.

It's not a job for the faint of heart - but not because it is hard, but because it is dirty work that is a pain in the rear.
oh gotcha. whats the difference between that plug and regular plugs? im mainly concerned with the one thats bad for right now. even though i should change them all out, i just want to get it running again, and then go from there. oh, you didnt replace the core plugs in the back? thats why i asked, since you said you replaced all of them with the motor still in the truck.
 

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p.s. im not worried about how many hours it takes to do whatever or getting greasy/dirty. i absolutely refuse to pay 75/hr for someone to do something that i can do. not justifiable at all. btw, when i looked at plugs at autozone, they came in a pack of 10, so thats why i think there are 10 on my motor. i would love to change them all, and will try to change as many as i can once i change the completely bad plug. if im not mistaken, theres 2 in the front, 2 in the back, and 3 on each side. i might be wrong though.
 

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oh gotcha. whats the difference between that plug and regular plugs? im mainly concerned with the one thats bad for right now. even though i should change them all out, i just want to get it running again, and then go from there. oh, you didnt replace the core plugs in the back? thats why i asked, since you said you replaced all of them with the motor still in the truck.
Regular core plugs are a press fit - they need to be pounded in with a hammer and a socket/pin of the correct size to fit inside the cup.

All of the core plugs were replaced on my truck, with the engine in the truck...just not all at the same time!

I did replace the ones on the back of the block - just not at the same time as the rest of them. I replaced the ones in the head, front of block, and sizes of the block at one time, then when I replaced my clutch (a few k miles later), I replaced the ones on the back of the block. Didn't see a lot of interest in pulling the transmission until I needed to, since the rear plugs were not leaking yet
 
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