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Old 11-21-2012, 09:58 PM   #15
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you do need to get a good grip on the plug after you heat it to remove it
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:20 PM   #16
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Well, I won't be able to try heat to remove the set screw until next week. I ran out of oxygen while cutting apart the 345 and the only store in town where I can exchange the bottle is closed until Monday

Brad
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:58 AM   #17
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Brad,
If you have a few minutes this weekend, take a look at this video.

How to Remove a Broken Bolt - Exhuast Manifold Stud Removal - YouTube

The situation in the video is that an exhaust manifold stud has broken flush with the exhaust pipe flange and someone has tried to use an easy out that also is broken flush with the flange. The guy uses a TIG technique to weld an extension on the stud to remove it.

I think that you have a better situation in many respects in that your oil galley plug is not stuck due to rust and hasn't been in place for a number of years. I think that if you can just weld something onto the plug that you can grab with vice grips, the heat of the welding will likely break loose the thread locking compound...at least that's what I'm hoping. Then you'll be back in business. There's also an oil pressure sensor at the center back of the valley (behind the valve lifters) where oil pressure gages are hooked up.



Take a look at this thread Oil pressure - The 1947 - Present Chevrolet & GMC Truck Message Board Network. Keep us posted on your progress.

All my best,

Steve
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:52 PM   #18
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Steve,

Thanks for the info. I've actually used the weld-it method before on a broken manifold stud. I used a Mig welder to attach a nut. By welding on the inside of the nut it keeps you from welding the stud to the block

What really intrigues me is the fact that most Chevy's seem to use that port in the back of the block by the distributor. I wonder why Airstream/Chevy used the front lower left tap for the P30 chassis? As dznf0g mentioned previously I would rather know what my oil pressure is at the end of the line rather than the beginning or middle. The thread you listed has some good information.

Like I mentioned previously I'm not at all excited about welding or heating that plug. It is at the very corner of the cast iron block and my concern is if the plug expands more than the cast iron (or faster) then I can easily see the cast iron cracking in that area. If this was a plug in the middle of a big chunk of cast iron I wouldn't be nearly as concerned.

I think since most Chevy's seem to use the port by the distributor I'm going to forgo trying to remove the plug and take the easy way out by using the more commonly used port

At the end of the day I just want to make sure I have an oil pressure reading so feel free to call me a chicken or a coward

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:45 PM   #19
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Brad,
You're welcome. I personally think that I'd tap the rear valley area and just forget the other plug myself. The port at the rear of the valley will be sensing the pressure that is being fed to the cam journals, which is a good place to take the oil pressure too!

Steve
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:24 PM   #20
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Well it was fun while it lasted

I just got back from the shop where I checked out the rear of the block looking for the oil pressure port. I checked both the Argosy block which is actually from an 1981 Chevy pickup and the 1986 345 block. Nothing, nada, zip

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Not sure why but Chevy seems to have discontinued providing that oil port.

I guess it's back to trying to remove that stripped plug.

Brad
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:49 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Well it was fun while it lasted

I just got back from the shop where I checked out the rear of the block looking for the oil pressure port. I checked both the Argosy block which is actually from an 1981 Chevy pickup and the 1986 345 block. Nothing, nada, zip

Not sure why but Chevy seems to have discontinued providing that oil port.

I guess it's back to trying to remove that stripped plug.

Brad
If you check the shape of the back of the block where that oil port is in the photo, you can see that it isn't the same shape as a big block Chevy, it's a small block (sort of "S" curved back there).

The post that refers to it in the Chevy truck forum identifies it as a small block: The 1947 - Present Chevrolet & GMC Truck Message Board Network - View Single Post - Oil pressure

I remember the oil pressure line coming off by the distributor on the 265 in my 1956 Chevy 2-door (my first car). Honestly, though, I don't remember where the sender was on my 1973 GMC with a 454. I spent more time under the hood of the '56. My guess is that the difference is a big block vs small block thing.

I think your plan to get a tank of O2 and then heating the plug with your smallest torch is the way to go. It will be more precise than trying to heat it up with a propane torch.

One thing we used to do in the shop where I worked was to heat the offending plug or fastener and then spray it with WD40 to quick cool it. The WD would also be sucked in during the cooling. Sometimes a few repeats would be necessary, but it worked most of the time.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:52 AM   #22
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Interesting...

For reference, here is a great pic of the valley of my 87 suburban 454... no oil port either...
Note that aside from the bent pushrods, the cam is open to oil dropthru..


And here is a pic of the rear of the 360ci Mopar motor in the Dodge Van...
Circled is the stock oil pressure sender position which was leaking badly from the body...
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:07 PM   #23
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Brad,
Sorry to have lead you astray! I've never worked on a big block Chevy and I didn't read the thread that I linked to closely enough! I believe that the small torch will work fine. You probably won't have to heat the plug much to remove the plug. Take a look at this Locktite video.

How to Disassemble LoctiteŽ Red High Strength Threadlocker - YouTube
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:20 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vswingfield View Post
If you check the shape of the back of the block where that oil port is in the photo, you can see that it isn't the same shape as a big block Chevy, it's a small block (sort of "S" curved back there).

The post that refers to it in the Chevy truck forum identifies it as a small block: The 1947 - Present Chevrolet & GMC Truck Message Board Network - View Single Post - Oil pressure

I remember the oil pressure line coming off by the distributor on the 265 in my 1956 Chevy 2-door (my first car). Honestly, though, I don't remember where the sender was on my 1973 GMC with a 454. I spent more time under the hood of the '56. My guess is that the difference is a big block vs small block thing.
I guess I just missed the small block comment in the article. This is the first time I've worked on a chevy v8 so it's all new to me.

Quote:
I think your plan to get a tank of O2 and then heating the plug with your smallest torch is the way to go. It will be more precise than trying to heat it up with a propane torch.

One thing we used to do in the shop where I worked was to heat the offending plug or fastener and then spray it with WD40 to quick cool it. The WD would also be sucked in during the cooling. Sometimes a few repeats would be necessary, but it worked most of the time.
I've heard of using WD40 for fast cooling. I'll keep that in mind if it doesn't come out after heating the first time.

Brad
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:26 PM   #25
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I guess I just missed the small block comment in the article. This is the first time I've worked on a chevy v8 so it's all new to me.



I've heard of using WD40 for fast cooling. I'll keep that in mind if it doesn't come out after heating the first time.

Brad
I remembered that this was your first Chevy V8. Both the small and big block are excellent engines and have robust oil systems.

The gin pole truck in the shop where I worked had a 350 small block throw a rod completely off the crank leaving the oil passage for that rod open and uncovered. It still had 45 psi at idle. Didn't sound very good and had a hole in the side of the block, but still had great oil pressure.

Before anyone interprets the failure as an engine problem, which it usually is, I insisted that we install a tach for the next engine. With the gearing in the truck, it was turning 5500rpm at 70mph. The operators were regularly driving it 95mph for long distances and often well above that. (Texas Panhandle)
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:17 PM   #26
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Quick update on the oil galley plug problem. After much consideration and thinking about it I decided to try and drill through the plug and bore it to 7/16" which is the correct diameter for 1/4" NPT pipe threads.

I thought I had a 1/4" NPT pipe tap but I couldn't find it so tomorrow I'll pick one up at the local Fastenal store and hopefully finish the job tomorrow night.

I guess the potential of applying to much heat on the corner of the block via a welder or torch just didn't sit right with me. Using heat I would also probably have needed to replace the oil pan gasket.

I'll know soon enough whether I made the right decision

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Brad
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:41 PM   #27
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Keep us posted. We wish you the best on this, Brad!

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:35 PM   #28
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Success!

Got the tap at lunch today and started working on it as soon as I got home. Using a small pin punch I was able to collapse the leading edge of the drilled out plug which gave me just enough lead in for the tap to bite on and start following the original threads.

After the tap was in about four turns it started to force the remains back into the oil galley. I was able to reach in from the end hole with needle nose pliers and pull the piece out. After that it the tap went in smoothly. As near as I can tell there is no damage to the original threads. Using a small powerful pencil magnet, vacuum cleaner, compressed air (from the other end of the galley) and cotton swabs it appears I got all of the metal chips and debris out of the galley.

Needless to say I'm relieved that this ordeal is finally over

Thanks for all the tips, advice and support!

Brad

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