Bush Mechanics Part One

It’s about time that ‘rough and ready’ bush mechanics were given a fair go. Since about the nineties, real ‘Bush Mechanicals’ were relegated to ’emergency fixes’ with dire warnings of their temporary nature.
I bring this first of many parts that deal with cheap and nasty fixes that may keep your old (motorised) unit mobile for a little longer, without spending hundreds of dollars.

Welch Plugs

They are those round, usually brass or stainless steel cup shaped caps that are knocked into the casting holes on an engine head and/or block.
Welch plugs tend to corrode and leak vital cooling fluid (they are located on water channels) at the most innopportune times. Keep a few five and ten cent coins in your toolbox, plus some of that 2-part ‘liquid metal’ epoxy. You could also get some of that hi-temp 2-part putty that comes in a long ribbon of blue and white. It’s waterproof too.
Anyway, clean up the outside of the coroded welch plug as best you can. Try to get all the grease and rust and water off it. A $2 can of spray degreaser will help.
Once it’s clean, mix your paste or putty. Take one those coins that more or less match the inside diameter of the welch plug. Smear a generous bit of your ‘glue’ onto one side of the coin and place it glue side down (or in) the plug. Then slowly fill the plug with the putty or epoxy. The epoxy can be tricky for plugs that are on the vertical sides of the block or head you’re working on. It holds better in the long run than the putty. I have two plugs located under the injector lines and glow plug rail of my 2H Toyota diesel engine that I sealed in the above manner over 12 months ago as a temporary fix. They’re just real fiddly to get at. I’ll buy replacement plugs one day and do all four or six that are there. I dread the day the one at the back of the head goes. There is only about a one or two centimetre gap between it and the firewall. I will have to pull the motor out.
Oh, the total cost of the above quick fix?
5, 10 or 20 cents, depending on what size coin you use.
Liquid Metal 2 part epoxy $15
2 part ribbon putty $12
Can of degreaser $2
A rag $1
That’s $30 bucks to fix without touching a spanner. The bonus is you can do this anywhere if you have $30 worth of stuff in your toolbox.

OK. So that was Bush Mechanicals Part One. Next, I’ll tell you how I managed to beat a frozen front diff inspection plug that an FBH* and a cold chisel wouldn’t budge.

*FBH: F%$#ing Big Hammer.