Lotus Elan

Oil Gallery Plug Removal

PostPost by: AlfaLofa » Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:50 pm

As one of the rear oil gallery plugs already uses a core plug rather than a hex plug
RearOilGalleryPlug.jpg and

Is there any reason why the plugs at the front of the block (or at least one of them) shouldn't be replaced with a suitably sized core plug after drilling out some thread?
FrontOilGalleryPlugs.jpg and

I'm looking for a solution for a thread I've b******d up.

(Currently when I screw in a hex plug it now tightens when the head of the plug is below the surface of the block - and the rear of the plug is partially obstructing the oil feed to No1 main bearing).

Another possible solution is a 1/4 BSP helicoil - but it would have to be short to maintain the clearance to the oil feed to the front main bearing.

Another alternative might be an internally tapped interference sleeve.

Another alternative might be to scrap the block.
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PostPost by: ort » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:40 pm

just shorten the plug to clear the cross drilling without breaking through into hex. NPT and NPTF also have a shortened length just for this situation.
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PostPost by: ceejay » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:26 am

If the plug is tightening when the the plug is fully in, you could machine a relief clearance at the oil gallery end.
Or wind plenty of teflon tape around the threaded plug before screwing it in.
Use a high quality pipe sealant similar to what one would use on industrial steam pipes..
If the thread in the block is over size, then a new over size plug is required, which can be machined to suit on a lathe if a taper turning attachment is available, which could also be used to cut a new over size tapered thread. There are always solutions to problems, it depends on resources, skills and workshop equipment available.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:58 am

Old thread I know but one good way I have found to get these buggers out is to use a 1/2" drive torx socket (solid type, not the security type with hole in the middle) where the diameter of the torx bit is larger than the rounded off hex in the plug (rounded off because that's usually what happens when you first try a hex key). Hammer this into the plug to make it fit. The multiple spikes on the torx will firmly bite into the plug. Then just wind it out using a handle on the torx socket.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:07 am

2cams70 wrote:Old thread I know but one good way I have found to get these buggers out is to use a 1/2" drive torx socket (solid type, not the security type with hole in the middle) where the diameter of the torx bit is larger than the rounded off hex in the plug (rounded off because that's usually what happens when you first try a hex key). Hammer this into the plug to make it fit. The multiple spikes on the torx will firmly bite into the plug. Then just wind it out using a handle on the torx socket.


I do exactly this (but with the Torx socket in mole-grips) surprisingly often in the course of setting-up BRAND NEW industrial machines made in either Germany or Singapore. I don't know if these machines were made on Monday morning or Friday afternoon, but all too often I find hex-screws so over-torqued that the hexes strip with no hesitation. So much for German quality! :x
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PostPost by: ceejay » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:01 am

No need for agricultural approach, the intense heating of the gallery plug with Oxy Acet and then cooling of steel plug with rag saturated with cold water which cracks the thread bind, plus applying some WD 40 allows easy undoing with correct hex key, but if you have no other way, then a bit of brute force with torx tool will work for sure.
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:42 pm

Done this two ways, Torx hammered on one occasion and a nut welded to the plug on another.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:11 am

I use a T45 Torx socket. No heating of engine block required. It doesn't require much force to knock in as the plugs are made of a soft material which is why the hex rounds off in the first place. You need to replace the plugs with new of course but there is no risk of damage to block. Picture of removed plug and torx socket attached. You must use a solid Torx driver as the security ones with the hole in the middle are weak and likely to snap off.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:19 am

Only try this of course after you have tried the proper way with a hex tool. I find that by using a hex socket attachment rather than a hex key the risk of slippage is reduced somewhat.
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