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Welcome back for another Tech Tip Tuesday!
Motion Raceworks Billet Frost Plug Brackets... Widely discussed, unorthodox, but absolutely necessary when using a factory cylinder head in a high horsepower application. We released a solution to hold these freeze/casting/frost plugs in last year after noticing a need for such a piece of hardware for years. This came with criticism. However, throughout last season we received many apologies and calls from people who subsequently pushed them out not having our billet holders that we realized this is a much bigger issue than initially understood.
In a FACTORY LS1 series cylinder head (read any LS head produced by GM) there are these casting plugs or frost plugs or freeze plugs (all are commonly referred to). Aftermarket heads do not have these. When an engine is tortured with higher heat and power levels than normal the heads will flex, expand, and create conditions that allow these disimilar metals to change and allow the steel plugs to leave the premises.
From the best tuners to the worst, I have seen this issue across the board happen with no disparity or prejudice. It is not a predictable or absolute that it will happen. But it CAN happen to everyone.
Another question we get is if it doesn't happen will other components fail in the system. The answer is no or not necessarily. Outside of plastic end tanks on a radiator (which should never be used on boost as all boosted cooling systems experience added pressure over factory and that is all a plastic end tank is designed to hold), the radiator cap will relieve the pressure which will protect a radiator barring extreme changes and issues. In that event the gloves are off.
One of the issues with the freeze plugs is they are in close proximity to the dynamic changes and focal point of pressure. Additionally their relative size backed with pressure puts an enormous amount of pounds per square inch into effecting them. There are not other areas that are "press fit" in the cooling system that experience this force or possible force that have no positive clamping or securing.
Whether you use our device to remedy this possible issue or you weld plugs in yourself, or drill and tap plugs. We highly suggest for your own safety that you take some sort of precaution. As the old saying goes "It's better to have and not need than to need and not have".
Shop these billet freeze plug brackets by clicking the link below for your LS1 LS2 LS3 LS6 LS7 LSA LS9