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Studebaker V-8 engine oil gallery plug

Discussions from the Internet

Jan 2006

Rebuilt engine / forgotten oil gallery plug in rear of engine

    Don't forget - you have to remove the distributor to see where the plug may have been left out. The plug in question is in the front of the distributor "silo" into which the the distributor is lowered. The plug screws in to the oil gallery with a 3/8"-square drive ratchet and extensions.BP
Bob, well my worst fears are confirmed. The plug is out. Got the engine started. 25 lbs cold, 10 to 15 lbs warm. Took a valve cover off, almost dry. Took the distributor out, used a better drill and a solid stream of oil came out the plug hole about four inches into the dist. silo, at the front of the engine, Used baling wire to probe the hole, no plug. Stupid machine shop, stupid me for not checking. Engine is installed. Is there any way to get the plug in through the dist. hole? What size and threads are the plug? Any suggestions besides Hari Kari?


Kelly J. Marion


There's no need to be upset; engines operated like that are rarely damaged because they DID HAVE oil pressure, just not enough. I'm sure you didn't go out and drive it at high speed or anything, so most likely NO damage has been done.
That's the good news.

The bad news is that I don't know any way of wiggling a plug into that hole and being able to screw it in place without removing the bellhousing from the engine so you have a "straight shot" into the plug hole. The plug itself is a standard pipe thread, but I'm not sure of the dimensions. Probably 1/2" pipe, maybe bigger.

Once you have removed the bellhousing, you will see a corresponding pipe plug on the rear of the engine block on the OTHER side of the engine. You can easily remove that pipe plug to get the right dimension for the one that's missing...or go back to the machine shop and ask if them if they "have any parts left over." Ha! Like they would admit it. Finally, on the BACKside of the distributor silo, there will be what looks like a simple freeze plug in place that must be pried out to access the distributor silo so you can insert the plug through the silo, so to speak. That "freeze plug" just serves to keep dirt and water from inside the distributor silo when the bellhousning is bolted back on the engine. Be sure to replace that freeze plug (really an access plug) after you've installed the missing oil gallery plug.

Cheers. Bob.

Thanks Bob. I'm sick about this. It looks to be a 3/8ths plug, I'm checking the chassis manual tonight to see if there is a listing. I can see the hole, that is what is frustrating. I guess dropping the tranny, removing the flywheel and stuff and then removing the welch plug (freeze type plug) must be the only logical way of doing this short of pulling the engine. I have all sorts of junker engines. I'll pull one of those plugs. Again, Thanks for all the help you always selflessly offer. Surgeons do much more complicated things in a smaller space, but hey, I'm not a surgeon (I feel more like a butcher right now).

A small 90 degree angled square drive, driver is available. It's driven by a female drive on the long end. Any 1/4" drive socket will fit on it. The allen part of the socket will need to be shortened. Just put the pipe plug on the allen socket and insert it into the distr. well. Turn by hand and finish with a 1/4" drive ratchet.

Feb 2006

Installing a forgotten oil gallery plug in distributor hole after engine in car

-------------------- Bought a wrench from J.C. Whitney called the side winder in 1/4".
Bought a small, round mirror that would go down the distributor hole.
Had a powerful flashlight. Bought 4 5/16ths, long handled hex wrenches. Heated the hex wrenches and bent the short end of the 90 degree angle, so I changed the position of the hex by about 10 to 15 degrees, then 15 to 20 degrees, then 20 to 25, then about 30 degrees roatation from the original position.
Put the mirror into the hole, positioned the light to reflect some from the mirror onto the hole in the front of the distributor hole about 4 1/2" deep.
Put a drop of superglue onto the square hex of the wrench and put the square into the hex hole, not enough fore and aft room for the wrench plus a hex socket.
The square into hex is a tight fit.
Stuffed a rag into the hole effectively stopping anything from dropping in below the level of the galley hole.
Started the hex in the hole with some red lock tight.
To much to try to turn the sidewinder from the handle after it started to tighten.
Broke it free from the hex plug and used the bent hex wrenches to get a few degrees of turn.
Then the next bent hex, then the next until good and tight.
Removed the rag, voila! 60 lbs oil pressure cold, 40 hot and at idle.

click for larger image

(Image- courtesy of "Alan", SDF Forum, Feb 2009

"Looking at the back of the engine, it is on the left side of the cam about 1 1/2" inches behind the 1.25" freeze plug. Looking down the dist. hole it is on the drivers side. It is a 1/4" taper pipe plug."