When it comes to pulling freeze plugs from your vehicle’s engine the old-school shade-tree guys will tell you to just knock ’em in with a hammer and pull ’em out however you can manage.
That’s a bit on the risky side as far as we’re concerned as the plug could get stuck in an area it really shouldn’t be in, such as the interior of your block. And what if you need to re-install the plug? (Ok, sure, you should probably install a new one. But what if you have to re-install it?)
As far as installation is concerned, the shade-tree knowledgebase is also specific: hammer in a circular pattern to try and get an even seat on the plug. Or, we’re told, you can just wuss out and take it to a shop and let them do it — assuming, of course, that you can easily move the vehicle, and that the people you take it to aren’t of the “knock ‘em in” persuasion.
We thought that there must be a better way, and as it turns out, there is: a freeze plug puller/installer kit. The set we found comes with a puller tool that consists of a threaded screw on a bracket that can be turned using a socket to pull the plug, 7 different sizes of installer caps that fit into the plug on one end, and a large metal shaft (on the other end). The shaft allows you to position the plug at the correct angle to seat the plug properly even from above when the engine’s still in the bay, and a striking surface at the end of the shaft lets you lay on the pressure with a hammer.
So, if you find yourself needing to do a few plugs in the future, you could save yourself a few hundred bucks at the repair shop with a kit like this one. They’re a bit tricky to locate, but some hunting about the web will generate a few leads with a list price of around $60.