My 2003 Rubicon is leaking coolant from the upper rear freeze plug on the back of the engine, close to the firewall. I have been trying all weekend to remove it, but there is just not enough clearance (only about 1") to get it out. I would also like to replace the lower one that is covered by the transmission also. My question is, if I drop the transmission, will that give me enough access to replace both of them? Or does the engine have to be pulled?
I have discussed it with friends, some think that removing the head would be best for the one against the firewall, and the one at the flywheel, if not leaking, I would wait for a clutch or a rear end seal issue to replace it.
If anyone has any other ideas I would like to hear it, I recently changed the right side rear plug in mine, it is only a matter of time until the rest will start to leak.
Oh mercy, that's a problem I hadn't read about before. Is this a common problem with the Jeeps? I have a 2001 6 cyl Sahara and didn't realize this will be something to address very soon. My 20 year old Honda hasn't had any leaks there yet, wonder why a 2003 Jeep would be rusting through already?
I believe is the crappy plugs chrysler uses... I never had a problem with my 14 year old civic... the head job could be done in a weekend by a capable mechanic, but I don't think removing the trans will give you the room to install the new freeze plug. Just my opinion, I would wait for more posts...
have you pressurized the system? I had the same idea, as the coolant was running off the bellhousing, found oil coming from the rear of the valve cover gasket, and it was the last left side plug that was leaking. When I get back home I will post some pics...
If your going through all the trouble of dropping the trans why don't you just get an engine hoist and pull the motor up the amount you need to do the frost plugs? Just undo the motor mounts clear away the electrical/hoses and lift it up.
I have replaced a few of them. My advise if ur going to do it urself is remove the trans and find a way to jack up on the crankshaft slightly just to get the engine to lean back a little to get more clearance. Go ahead and replace all ur freeze plugs, they have all been subjected to the same things. Next, b4 u put the intake/exhaust and trans back on, pressure test ur cooling system and verify none are leaking. It's a full one day job, but it really suxs to have to do it again. I learned that the hard way. They do make a special tool that assures they will install square into the block and heads, it's not necessary, but sure is nice to have. Also spend a few extra dollars and get stainless freeze plugs, they will last a lot longer even when neglected. Ur talking maybe $70 worth of parts max, but well worth to do them all and be done with it.
Just another place the auto manufacturers are crapping out on us. Considering a $25-$35,000 vehicle, why wouldn't they spend another few bucks and have used SS plugs in the first place? Especially for a cheap part that requires so much labor to replace it.
They put out junk and we just keep buying it. Kind of like the politicians, what they tell us doesn't really mean a thing.