Exhaust Manifolds & Freeze Plugs

I have decided to get the exhaust manifolds ceramic coated to try and reduce the heat transfer in the engine bay.  Before I dropped off the manifolds for painting I decided to clean them up a little by removing the casting flash as well as make sure the ports were OK.  I cleaned up the flash with a carbide burr and then used a mounted point to clean up the ports of the manifolds.  Both of the outlets had a section which was not quite round, so I corrected it.  They now look like the manufacturer intended if they had time to make them pretty.

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After dropping in the manifolds, the next was to blow a bit of colour onto the sump as well as the breather cap.   This is only the first coat on the sump as the final coat will be applied when the engine is together.  I also put a coat of clear on the breather cap to finish it off.

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I also decided to install the freee plugs in the heads today.  This is the first time I have installed domed freeze plugs, so I was a little apprehensive.  I had to hit them hard enough to lock them in, but not so hard that they begin to shrink again.

The first attempt was as per what I read on a couple of forums where they said to use the ball side of a ball pein hammer and hit it with another hammer.

First step, and the most critical was to clean the recess and apply some Aviation Form-a-Gasket.  The plug was a very tight fit in the recess, so i used a punch to encourage the edges in till they bottomed out.

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When the plug was in the recess fully, I lined up the hammer and gave it a whack….a couple in fact.  Well, I didn’t really like what I saw.  The plug collapsed a little too much in the centre.  It still worked, but I really wanted to flatten them out a little more rather than create a reverse dome.

I turned the hammer around for the second attempt, and used the flat side.  The result was much better.

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This is what the plugs looked like when I removed them.  Great Success!


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