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Old 01-24-2020, 04:51 PM
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Expansion plugs

I am planning a 4.2L/1988 engine rebuild and I am wondering how many coolant/expansion plugs etc are required - since I have seen several kits online and others have 4 brass plugs, some have 6, etc. What is the correct quantity and size for a FULL set of coolant, oil, or any other type of plugs on the engine block?
Thanks in advance!

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Old 01-24-2020, 11:48 PM   #2
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I assume you don't have a motor yet. I'd start by acquiring a 4.2 motor and counting the freeze plugs to be certain. I have a 4.2 apart out in the shop but I'm in my pajamas and it's cold out.

See the attached pics. The left side of the motor appears to have 3 large and two small freeze plugs.
The back of the motor appears to have at least two large plugs.

The factory parts catalog states that there are (4) 2" plugs and (2) 1" plugs. It further states that there's a fifth plug on the rear of the motor. I don't know what size the fifth plug is.
I would assume that the three plugs on the left side of the motor and at least one of the plugs on the rear of the motor are two inch plugs.

In addition to the freeze plugs, the rear pic shows a oil gallery plug that I would assume to be reusable. The parts catalog states there are three of these.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:11 AM
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I have a motor, but still in the car. I can count them but its this elusive 5th plug that scares me. And the fact that plug sets online have different plugs so I can't be sure - am I missing something???
I appreciate your swift reply!
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:36 PM   #4
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I find that younger guys like to buy their stuff online. As an old buzzard, I'm used to buying at brick & mortar stores, so that's what I do.
I live half way between a small town and a larger town. The small town has two auto parts stores and the larger town has at least 4 auto parts stores. I can usually get whatever I need within a matter of a couple hours.
If I'm planning a project, I'll usually order online in the evening and pick up in store the following morning. That way I get a little discount, I can take my old part(s) with me to insure I'm getting the correct part and I save on shipping. Cost for gas cancels out any savings on shipping, so I go to the supermarket for milk & bread just to make myself think I'm saving money on shipping because I need milk & bread anyway.

I replaced one freeze plug in the motor in the pics. I simply took the old one with me to the parts store and handed it to the clerk. He came back with the exact replacement. I assume they had an assortment somewhere in the back. If you're worried, you can do the same thing.

I think you're well advised to plan ahead, but in my experience, no matter how well a person plans, some gremlin always pops up to throw a wrench in the works. You'll just have fewer gremlins causing problems.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:27 PM   #5
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I think you're worrying too much about a very small part of the project and under estimating the big picture...

Order a full rebuild kit from a well known supplier and start teardown... compare new and old parts while tearing down... then if you find any discrepancies you can source additional parts while you're waiting on machine work....

Here freeze plugs can be bought in any parts store in any size at any time... I that's not the case where you are then just order an assortment of extra freeze plugs just in case... $20 buys a bunch of em...
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:29 PM
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Luckymac: Not only wise, but a cool story teller. Respect!
I like your MO, and when I can I do the same, including the bread and milk part. Where I live you can find parts, but for newer cars and almost never when they are not metric. Inches seem to drive everybody (including me) crazy! Availability is not the only issue, but prices too. As an example, a windshield frame that costs about $150 in the US can be found here for the cool price of $380. I bought one from Germany and paid $250 including shipping.
So, what I am trying to do is collect most parts that I will need when restoration begins but its a different beast to the one I restored last (1976 Mini).
And it will be a shame to do a full engine rebuild and miss one damn plug...
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gottagofast View Post
I think you're worrying too much about a very small part of the project and under estimating the big picture...

Order a full rebuild kit from a well known supplier and start teardown... compare new and old parts while tearing down... then if you find any discrepancies you can source additional parts while you're waiting on machine work....

Here freeze plugs can be bought in any parts store in any size at any time... I that's not the case where you are then just order an assortment of extra freeze plugs just in case... $20 buys a bunch of em...
Here, you can find metric plugs, but for inches? Different story. I think I will - as you suggest - just buy a bunch...
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:16 PM   #8
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Take out the engine, count and measure the number and size needed then run down to your local parts store and buy the needed "Core plugs" or if you are sending the block to a machine shop for cleaning or work just let them provide and install they are not that expensive.
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:26 PM   #9
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Looking on google maps, his nearest autozone looks to be a 600 mile trip across several countries w 200 of that by boat...
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:49 PM
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Looking on google maps, his nearest autozone looks to be a 600 mile trip across several countries w 200 of that by boat...
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:52 PM   #11
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Being that OP is in Greece, I suggest overordering whatever he thinks he might need. If it costs $100.00 to ship a gasket set to Greece, I can't imagine throwing a few extra gaskets (pan gasket or RMS kit, valve cover gasket, timing cover gasket or a few freeze plugs would add significantly to the shipping costs. I'd rather have a few extra parts on the shelf that I may or may not need than face a $100.00 shipping charge for a valve cover gasket set.
I don't know if the VC grommets come with an overhaul kit, so you might consider ordering them at the same time.
Always ask for a discount and be sure the seller knows to consolidate all parts into one package for shipping. When I do buy online, sometimes the parts come shipped from various locations. I can't imagine what that would add to the shipping costs to Crete.

Good Luck, L.M.
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"Wrangler....It's not just a vehicle, It's a lifestyle".
.................................................. ........................
1987 YJ-4.2L-Standard Shift- Re-manufactured Carter Carb-2" body Lift-31X10.5X15 BFG KOs-190K Miles No back seat.
HEI distributor with computer and all related relays and wiring removed.
12K Badlands winch with dual batteries.
Warn front bumper. Matching imitation Warn bumper on the rear.
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Old 01-26-2020, 03:07 PM
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If it costs $100.00 to ship a gasket set to Greece, I can't imagine throwing a few extra gaskets (pan gasket or RMS kit, valve cover gasket, timing cover gasket or a few freeze plugs would add significantly to the shipping costs. I'd rather have a few extra parts on the shelf that I may or may not need than face a $100.00 shipping charge for a valve cover gasket set.

Good Luck, L.M.
That's exactly the case (add to shipping: import taxes!). It's the reason I am trying to get it right and order several parts at once. But, as mentioned, things will go wrong and parts will be missing...Murphy's law...
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Old 01-26-2020, 11:06 PM   #13
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I'd love to help but the engine on my stand was a 4.0 and now in the last few days is a 4.6 so they maybe deferent , I just wanted to say that I spent some time in Athens in 1973 a you live a great place.
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