One of the conditions for this engine block being steel-shot blasted and clean tanked is that I take out the freeze plugs and oil check valves. No problem, I thought. This was incorrect and it was a big deal. These things were very, very well welded in there. I don't think they had ever been taken out.
I ended up trying to use a puller tool from OTC that I purchased but it did not work at all. I am going to end up sending that tool back I believe. After this I simple made a slit in the middle of each freeze plug and pried them out. This was much more effort than I expected to put into these and I am slightly worried these are now damaged. I'll get an opinion from the shop regardless.
Check out how absolutely nasty these things are. I'm not even sure if that lip is supposed to be in there or if it is just buildup from the plugs.
This mallet has been a great investment.