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Old 04-11-2012, 12:00 PM   #11
CitizenPete
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Thanks for the input! Status Update.

I found the plugs and ordered them through a parts department at a Ford dealership. They are called :

" 3/8" Pipe Cylinder Head Valley Plugs " Part number: ???

They come in twos for around $7 (dealer price nonsense). They will be in on Friday.

Good idea to get some PB Blaster -- I am familiar with that product. I will research the Permatex gasket tack / high temp sealer. At this point I'm focused on how to get the plug out.

Just found the plugs on Rock Auto ($.43) http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=3270435
DORMAN Part # 090028
3/8-18 NPT C.S. Hex Pipe Plug (2-Req); ZTS Model; ZX3 Model; LE Model


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Old 04-11-2012, 07:22 PM   #12
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Did you ever have the cooling system pressure tested? They can do this at Auto Zone too in a few minutes.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:43 PM   #13
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Um, if those are NPT (national pipe thread) 3/8" plugs, you can find those at home depot. You might even be able to find them in AL, although galvanized stainless is going to be more common. Look in the plumbing section for gas fittings, or the electrical section for rigid metallic conduit. The square drive is simply a 1/2". I have loads of these in different types, the other type- more common in plumbing- has a raised square instead of inverted.

That explains why it would be so difficult to remove something threaded- galvanic reaction. I'd start with the one that's most likely to be the leak, and forget the other one if it doesn't come out easily.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:27 AM   #14
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Um, if those are NPT (national pipe thread) 3/8" plugs, you can find those at home depot. [...]
That's why I paid the Ford Dealer premium for a set of two plugs. First for the correct metal material -- the Rock Auto part does look galvanized. The original does not look galvanized and is a torx screw instead of a square or hex.


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That explains why it would be so difficult to remove something threaded- galvanic reaction. I'd start with the one that's most likely to be the leak, and forget the other one if it doesn't come out easily.

I'm with you on that. I picked up the Permatex Indian Head Gasket Tack, and some other "elixirs" you recommended along with a left handed bit. I also have a very small butane kitchen torch for creme brulee that I will use to heat it up. Got PB Blaster doing it's magic on them currently.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:38 AM   #15
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Description tells the tale of what they are - Pipe Plugs! As in the things you get at the hdwe. store for iron pipe plumbing.....

SO - I'd actually recommend teflon tape from the hdwe. for the threads, assuming the head threads are still there. It's a lube & sealant that's better than 'pipe dope" in most applications. It was good enough for pipe joints when I worked at the Oil Refinery, so I use it when ever I screw pipe together....

Luck!
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:01 AM   #16
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Did you ever have the cooling system pressure tested? They can do this at Auto Zone too in a few minutes.
Autozone didn't have the adapter for the coolant tester to screw on to the overflow/fill reservoir. They only had the radiator cap type connector.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:09 AM   #17
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Description tells the tale of what they are - Pipe Plugs! As in the things you get at the hdwe. store for iron pipe plumbing.....

SO - I'd actually recommend teflon tape from the hdwe. for the threads, assuming the head threads are still there. It's a lube & sealant that's better than 'pipe dope" in most applications. It was good enough for pipe joints when I worked at the Oil Refinery, so I use it when ever I screw pipe together....

Luck!
I saw that on another forum from the UK (he used teflon tape). I was wondering if the tape would eventually melt away with the high head temps? I was going to go for the high temp gasket tack.

I asked the Ford dealership Technician -- no reply to date.

Options??? Which one is better?
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:09 PM   #18
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Stick with the stuff you bought already, it should do the job just fine.

Teflon tape is pretty high temp stuff - think of your fry pans....

But it acts mainly as a lubricant in screwing pipes together so the metal can actually make the final seal when it's screwed together well.

I've used "Pipe Dope" on gas fittings that WEREN'T in the best condition to make a better seal, it's a judgement call - I'd use the tape on good fittings & "Dope" on poor ones I needed to re-use (like your Head if the threads aren't the best any more).
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:50 PM   #19
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Take it from a pipefitter in the business for over 15yrs, t-tape is a lubricant. You use high temp thread sealant on steam lines( would work on your application) and teflon paste on low temp lines.
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:45 AM   #20
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Be aware that teflon tape will actually 'lube' threads enough that it becomes easier to crack thread bosses since the lubed plug does not seem to pull up to torque like a normal bolt. Seen it done in aluminum intakes more than once.

Permatex #2 works excellently on pipe plugs in motor work as well and commonly available or its' clone (Versachem, available at O'Reilly's).
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