Keeping Coolant Where it Belongs In a High-Speed Cummins
Jason Sands –
Feb 1, 2012
Photo 1/9 | freeze Plug Fix mechanic Working Under A Truck | Dodge Ram Cummins Freeze Plug Fix
Photo 2/9 | freeze Plug Fix mechanic Working Under A Truck | Dodge Ram Cummins Freeze Plug Fix
Photo 3/9 | freeze Plug Fix rear Freeze Plug | With the transmission in place, the freeze plug is barely visible (arrow). If you’re really lucky, and it is loose, you might be able to pry it out. But ours was corroded, so our only hope was to drop the transmission.
Photo 4/9 | freeze Plug Fix transmission Removal | James Moring from The Diesel Shop had the labor-intensive job of removing the transmission. This meant removing the crossmember and converter bolts, pulling the driveshaft, and disconnecting the shift linkage, transmission cooler lines, speedometer gear, dipstick, and the actual transmission from the engine. It’s quite a bit of work and would have been a lot harder without a lift, so if you’re in the middle of an engine or transmission rebuild, it might be easier to address the rear freeze plug sooner rather than later.
Photo 5/9 | freeze Plug Fix old Rusty Freeze Plug | After a lot of pulling, poking, and prodding, our old rusty freeze plug was out.
Photo 6/9 | freeze Plug Fix billet Freeze Plug Block Off | So our rear freeze plug couldn’t come out even if we wanted it to, we got this cool freeze plug block-off that bolts to the back of the block from Keating Machine. It has an O-ring seal and is drilled and tapped in the middle in case a pressure bypass is required. Best of all, it was only about $50. Since it never gets below freezing in this part of California, we opted to just install a brass plug and let our other freeze plugs do the job.
Photo 7/9 | freeze Plug Fix freeze Plug Block Off Installed | Here’s the block-off plug and plate installed on the engine. Even with the transmission out, it’s still a tight fit.
Photo 8/9 | freeze Plug Fix pressure Testing The Coolant System | Matt Stranz, one of the head technicians at The Diesel Shop also pressure- and smoke-tested our coolant system before we hit the road. It’s this kind of attention to detail that we like to see in shops.
Photo 9/9 | freeze Plug Fix adding Anti Freeze To Radiator | After we were sure all the air was out of our coolant system, we filled the radiator to the brim with a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. If you’re doing this yourself, make a few short testdrives and keep refilling the radiator to make sure all the air is out of the coolant system. Often, just filling the radiator up will result in an overheating truck.