Engines: Engine Rebuilding: Engine disassembly
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Topic IntroductionHelp

Remove plugs

Summary
There are many types of engine plugs, including: oil gallery plugs, water jacket freeze plugs & drain plugs. The objective of this procedure is to show you how to remove all engine water jacket and oil gallery plugs and camshaft bearings.

Part 1. Preparation and safety

Objective

Engine block teardown

Personal safety

Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.

Safety check

Points to note


Part 2: Step-by-step instruction

  1. Take the block off the stand
    Lower the block onto the ground or a workbench and lay it in an inverted position. If you don't have an engine hoist available, you will need help to do this. Make sure that you bend your knees and lower the block without straining your backs.
  2. Remove the oil gallery plugs
    Remove the engine stand adapter so you can get to the oil gallery plugs at the rear of the block. If these are square type plugs, only use the proper hardened steel tool to remove them. Do not use the square part of a socket wrench.
    If they are stuck, do not force them to the point of stripping them. Use an oxyacetylene torch to heat up frozen plugs. Get them very hot, then let them cool, and they may be loose enough to undo. If not, or if they strip, a machining specialist may have to remove them for you.
    With the rear plugs out, you can pass a metal rod through the oil gallery and hammer out the front plugs from the rear, if they are the hammer-in type.
  3. Remove other plugs
    Each block has its own particular block plugs. Check the service manual to locate all of these. Go round the block taking notes as you remove any plug or adapter or fitting that would hinder the cleaning process.
  4. Remove water jacket freeze plugs
    The water jacket freeze plugs are not easily pulled out, but they can be pushed in. Use a punch and drive them into the water jacket area, then grip one side of them with a suitable type of pliers and lever them back out. If space is tight, hammer the plug to one side until there is enough to grip onto and pull.
  5. Extract stuck drain plug
    If you have a stuck water jacket drain plug, now is the time to remove it. Drill right through the plug, then heat it up and let it cool again to try to break some of the threads loose. Then insert an extractor tool into the open hole and use a wrench to break it free and unthread it.
  6. Remove camshaft bearings
    The last component to remove from the block is the camshaft bearings. If they do not need to be replaced, the block machining and cleaning process will leave a gritty residue which will embed itself in the softer metal of the bearings and render them useless. Removing these bearings without damaging them requires the use of a special camshaft bearing removal tool. If you have one, and know how to use it, then remove the bearings now. If this engine is to be machined at a specialist machine shop, you can leave the bearings in place to be removed there.