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That "hidden" core plug in distributor hole in V8 block

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  • Engine: That "hidden" core plug in distributor hole in V8 block

    I've heard many times about Studebaker V8's being assembled and when they are started they have little or no oil pressure and that the frequent cause is failure to re-install a plug in the hole for the distributor. A friend and I seem to have encountered this problem. The machine work was done by a reputable shop (with little Studebaker experience, so I am suspicious). I didn't participate in assembly, but now the engine starts and idles beautifully, there IS oil flow (transparent oil line) to an under hood oil pressure gauge, but it shows no pressure (we have only run the engine for seconds at idle and there are no "funny noises"). I "think" I know where that famous "hidden" plug is supposed to go, so I took pictures of a couple other partially disassembled engines in the hope that someone could help us. We have no external oil leaks. PLEASE let me know if the small screw-in plug in the picture is the one in question (or is there another one someplace?).
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_3195.jpg Views:	0 Size:	88.8 KB ID:	1855334Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_3196.jpg Views:	0 Size:	93.3 KB ID:	1855335 Thanks VERY much! Howard
    Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
    '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
    '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
    '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

  • #2
    Here's a note:
    https://studebaker-info.org/Tech/Tex...leryplugs.html
    64 GT Hawk (K7)
    1970 Avanti (R3)

    Comment


    • #3
      We had to find the cause of low oil pressure on an engine another shop had built. They'd left out the spring behind the pressure relief piston.

      jack vines
      PackardV8

      Comment


      • #4
        Looking in to the distributor silo, is this the hole that needs plugged?

        Click image for larger version

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        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
        '33 Rockne 10,
        '51 Commander Starlight,
        '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
        '56 Sky Hawk

        Comment


        • #5
          NO, it is NOT the one shown in Post #1.

          There is only ONE 3/8 Pipe Plug behind a Core Plug, easily accessible from the back of the Engine BEFORE the Core Plug is installed.

          However with the engine complete and IN the Car, the only way to fix it is to follow Bob Johnstone's excellent info.

          https://studebaker-info.org/Tech/Tex...leryplugs.html

          YES on Post #4.
          Last edited by StudeRich; 09-09-2020, 01:18 PM.
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

          Comment


          • #6
            Why is this there? Seems to be a regular problem.
            Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

            40 Champion 4 door*
            50 Champion 2 door*
            53 Commander K Auto*
            53 Commander K overdrive*
            55 President Speedster
            62 GT 4Speed*
            63 Avanti R1*
            64 Champ 1/2 ton

            * Formerly owned

            Comment


            • #7
              It is never a problem if you understand the Engine you are working on. It is there because it HAS to Be.
              StudeRich
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

              Comment


              • #8
                Looks like there are two oil galleries, one on each side of the camshaft. The one on the right side is drilled from the back of the block but the one on the left is blocked by the offset distributor shaft so it is drilled from inside the distributor shaft cavity thus the need for the hidden plug.
                Roger W. List
                Proud Studebaker Owner

                Comment


                • #9
                  From personal experience: the hole in pic on post 4? From rockne10. That one is installable into an already assembled engine. Especially if tranny is already bolted up. What I did was

                  1) pull the Intake manifold off the motor (this will make it a lot easier trust me) shove red rags down the intake runners so nothing gets lost there

                  2) pull distributor and shove a red rag down that hole. (It would suck to drop something and have to pull the pan)

                  3) pipe tape a pipe plug 3/8” to insert in the hole and insert it. This plug needs to have an inverted hex hole on the outside so an Allen wrench will fit. You will need to know the size of this hex. This will be tricky and patience testing

                  4) once pipe plug is installed And in order to tighten you will need to find an Allen socket that fits and remove the Allen insert from the socket. You only need the hex part of the socket. Now since ALL Allen sockets this size have the same 1/4” “tool” end you will need a ratcheting box end 1/4” wrench. This is what you will use to tighten the plug in tight. You will only get one to maybe two clicks in a swing (small distributor hole)

                  you will not be able to see ANY of what you are doing. The only way to check your progress is to remove your hands and use a mirror. After this is tight you can go ice your hands and be grateful that you didn’t pull the engine. . . Again

                  I guess my answer is about the same thing bob Johnstone’s is but without torching any wrenches. Whatever you decide goodluck
                  Last edited by thehotrodder; 09-13-2020, 05:21 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, after looking more carefully (and with the advice here), we found the hole and the plug was missing. Installed the plug as described here and we now have oil pressure (a little low, but almost acceptable). Now we need to check to make sure the restrictor fitting on the input to the oil filter is there. Thanks for all the help!!
                    Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
                    '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
                    '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
                    '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                      It is never a problem if you understand the Engine you are working on. It is there because it HAS to Be.
                      Agree, Rich. Most shadetree CASOs and a few shops don't remove those two rear plugs because they're almost impossible to remove with hand tools. However, once learns to judiciously use the hot wrench, they will come out. With both plugs removed, it's possible to clean the oil galleries; and no, it's not possible to thoroughly clean the block with them in place. There will always be crud at the back that won't come out with the plugs in place.

                      Same with rocker shafts. No matter how clean they might look outside, the plugs must be removed, because there's always crud inside.

                      jack vines
                      PackardV8

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This what you are asking for.

                        Click image for larger version

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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by thehotrodder View Post
                          From personal experience: the hole in pic on post 4? From rockne10. That one is installable into an already assembled engine. Especially if tranny is already bolted up. What I did was

                          1) pull the Intake manifold off the motor (this will make it a lot easier trust me) shove red rags down the intake runners so nothing gets lost there

                          2) pull distributor and shove a red rag down that hole. (It would suck to drop something and have to pull the pan)

                          3) pipe tape a pipe plug 3/8” to insert in the hole and insert it. This plug needs to have an inverted hex hole on the outside so an Allen wrench will fit. You will need to know the size of this hex. This will be tricky and patience testing

                          4) once pipe plug is installed And in order to tighten you will need to find an Allen socket that fits and remove the Allen insert from the socket. You only need the hex part of the socket. Now since ALL Allen sockets this size have the same 1/4” “tool” end you will need a ratcheting box end 1/4” wrench. This is what you will use to tighten the plug in tight. You will only get one to maybe two clicks in a swing (small distributor hole)

                          you will not be able to see ANY of what you are doing. The only way to check your progress is to remove your hands and use a mirror. After this is tight you can go ice your hands and be grateful that you didn’t pull the engine. . . Again

                          I guess my answer is about the same thing bob Johnstone’s is but without torching any wrenches. Whatever you decide goodluck

                          In red above.
                          NEVER EVER...use teflon (pipe) tape.

                          I can't tell you how many times that I've helped people with fuel and oil pressure problems...only to find Teflon (pipe) tape in a passage or a filter.

                          There are MANY different "paste" sealants including teflon paste, that...should...be used if you feel that you must use a sealant.
                          I don't use anything but oil on pipe plugs. Funny, the factories don't use...ANYTHING...when they install pipe plugs !

                          Mike

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not really "Funny" Mike, just Standard procedure!
                            Don't you think that possibly PIPE Thread is slightly a interference fit, Plus Tapered so that the soft brass is forced into the receiving Female Fitting and is self sealing?
                            Sealing is not needed, unless it is a worn out, should be tossed Fitting.
                            StudeRich
                            Second Generation Stude Driver,
                            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                            Comment

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