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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

what does it take to replace the engine block heater "freeze plug?" I noticed a huge pool of coolant under my truck today. Up until now, it hasn't leaked anything in the few thousand miles I've owned the truck. Anyway, I'm looking to see if this is something I want to do myself, or if I'm going to pay someone to do it.

I don't know if this is an OEM block heater or not becuase I can't see it well enough. It's behind the passenger engine mount and a bit hard to see. I've never installed a block heater before--how to they attach to the block? Do they have to be hammered in like a regular freeze plug, or are they using any kind of clamping method (e.g. put something in the hole, thread the bolt through that, and bolt in the new plug)?

It's definitely the block heater plug that's leaking. I looked under there real good after I noticed the leak. I would normally do this job myself, but I am so SiCK of repairing things lately (luckily nothing on the Tundra until now) that if this isn't going to cost much, I will pay someone else to do it! This will be the first time I've paid someone to work on one of my vehicles in about 3 years.... At least I have a couple gallons of Toyota red coolant from another project I was going to do on another vehicle....

Any tips would be appreciated! It would be GREAT if I don't have to pull that engine mount!
 

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It is "clamped" in rather than pressed. If it's leaking, you could probably just replace the o-ring. You'll have to drain the coolant to fix it either way. I don't know if you can do it with the motor mount installed or not. I do know the mounts are very easy to get on and off. I removed mine to install headers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks--clamping was the word I should have used in my desription above! For now, I was able to get a racheting wrench in there and I tightened the nut up. It was not super tight. With any luck, it will hold well enough for now. Since it's clamped in, I won't need to be worried about it falling out like a freeze plug would. But I will need to keep a close eye on it until I can change the gasket. Thanks!
 

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It DOES NOT screw into the block so you didn't tighten anything. There are a set of jaws that open up inside with a set screw. Turn that.
I just replaced mine and took pictures as I did. I just haven't had time to write up a DIY yet.
You have nothing to worry about. Not real easy to get at but the whole job took less than an hour. Most of the time was spent letting the antifreeze drain out of the plug slowly before I completely removed it.
Briefly, above the electrical plug-in is basically a set screw. Flat blade or 4mm allen key turns a clamp on the inside of the plug.
1 - loosen the screw and drain fluid, about 6L/ or 1 1/2 gallons will come out.
2 - when drained down, loosen screw more and remove plug. It comes out with some gentle wiggling.
3 - lube washer with supplied lube and insert new plug. Tighten set screw
4 - refill rad and start truck. Circulate fluid and continue to add until full
5 - remove old cord and run new supplied one, secure it with supplied zip ties.
Use the proper fluid, long life vs super long life. I found it easier to lift the truck on stands and get back in behind the engine. I could reach in through the wheel well from the right and straight in with my left hand.
Block heater was $40Can and SLL fluid was $20 per jug (3.7L)
I will try to get the pictures up tomorrow.
Let me know if you have any questions.
 

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Thanks--clamping was the word I should have used in my desription above! For now, I was able to get a racheting wrench in there and I tightened the nut up. It was not super tight. With any luck, it will hold well enough for now. Since it's clamped in, I won't need to be worried about it falling out like a freeze plug would. But I will need to keep a close eye on it until I can change the gasket. Thanks!
It DOES NOT screw into the block so you didn't tighten anything. There are a set of jaws that open up inside with a set screw. Turn that.QUOTE]

Did you read his post? Noone said it screws into the block. He put a wrench on the screw and turned it. The turning of the screw caused the butterfly bar on the heater to spread out. As a result of the aforementioned steps, the heater was tightened in the block. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Correct--no screws on this plug. It was about a 13mm nut that threaded on to a shaft sticking out of the plug. There were no flat or Allen key screw either.

I wanted to verify if this plug was pressed in or clamped in before I tried tightening the nut. I didn't want to dump all the coolant onto myself and the driveway had this been pressed in and the plug falls out while messing with the nut.
 

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Hey guys, my block heater is leaking a bit also. 2004 4.7L. Does anyone know the o-ring size that is required? I tried finding some already, but they are all to fat. Right dia, wrong thickness. Any help would be great. Buying a new block heater just for the o-ring is a waste in my option.
 

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Is the block heater a Toyota part or aftermarket? Any recommendations for or against any particular brands?
 

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I did one 2 years ago. There were only 2 available - Katz and Toyota. Tried the Katz first and found there is no way to get it installed correctly. The heating element wouldn't go in all the way. I ended up spending 3 times as much to get the Toyota one. Look up both of them on Google images and you'll see the difference.

Sent from my DROID X2 using AutoGuide App
 

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I am dealing with a toyota part. When buying a block heater I would stick with factory brand. The money you save on installing it your self pays for the OEM part. Its logical in my mind anyway. haha Exhaust, well thats a different matter......
 
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