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Technical What would you guys do?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by evintho, Dec 3, 2022.

  1. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 2,166


    Getting ready to fire up the 302 for the first time in my '54. So I primed the motor by attaching a 1/4" hex bit to my drill extension with 2 small set screws, chucked it in a drill and set it on the oil pump shaft. Spun the oil pump for 5 minutes and when I pulled the extension out one of the set screws was missing! Shined a flashlight in there and can't see it. Also fished around with a magnet and nothing. Tomorrow, I'll drain the oil and hope for the best. It's a little tiny thing about 3/16" square. How much damage can it do? It's too big to get between bearings and journals and can't get on top of the pistons so I'm hoping it just drops to the oil pan. Really don't wanna pull the engine and tear it all down. What would you guys do?
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. I'd bite the bullet and do what you have to do to find it. 3/16" is pretty big when it comes to oil passages.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  3. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,834

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

  4. I just thought of something. When you drain the oil, the set screw won't likely flow out if it is in the oilpan on the bottom. If by luck it is on the bottom you might try a good magnet and work it from the edges of the oilpan to the drain plug and see if you can coax it out. If not you have a decision to make. I don't envy you. Let's hope it comes out the bottom.

  5. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,754

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    Doesn't the pan have attachment fasteners that are removable ?

    tommyd, ottoman, 49ratfink and 7 others like this.
  6. tom brown
    Joined: Sep 3, 2008
    Posts: 91

    tom brown

    last resort before tear down-use a shop vac and with tape reduce hose to 1 inch by 12 or 16 inch length and fish for screw. this worked for me on a distributor slot key that feel in pan. Patience .
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  7. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 2,166


    The set screw would have to get past the pickup screen to get into the oil passages.

    At this stage it'd be just as difficult to pull the motor as it would to remove the pan.

    It's obvious, I just don't want to face the facts. I was hoping someone would say 'leave it alone, it'll be fine'. The reality is I'm probably gonna wind up pulling that pig!
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  8. lemondana
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 186

    from Lincoln NE

    Get a small telescoping magnet on a stick and go in thru the drain plug hole, might work?
  9. Every damned time I've ever told myself "meh, it'll probably be fine", it was NEVER fine.

    I know how much you don't wanna have to tear it back down, but sweat is a lot cheaper than engine parts.
  10. airsix
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 32


    I had the detent ball pop out of a bmw head-stud socket and pin-ball around and disappear. I used a cheap usb borescope camera (less than $15) to locate it, and a piece of small tubing attached to my shop-vac to retrieve it. Time invested was definitely worth it.
    ffr1222k, hfh, alanp561 and 1 other person like this.
  11. I am not familiar with a 302. Where else could the thing go BUT into the oil pan. As you said, it would then need to get by the pickup screen. If it can, the screen is out to lunch. If it DID get by the screen, the pump gears would crunch it I bet. Might crunch the gears, though.
    Drain the oil. If no joy, place a LARGE magnet on the bottom of the pan at the lowest spot.
    That is what I would do.

  12. Get some old speaker magnets and place them whole on the outside bottom of the pan and forget about it. 1 or 2 should do it. I have seen the craziest things in oil pans before with no harm to the engine. Usually casting flash, a head of a main cap bolt, things that SHOULD have been removed from a pan (indicating a broken part) but weren't. The last one I found was a 3/4" long piece of a broken 5/32" drill bit. You could also try flushing it out with some cheap thin oil or ATF.
    chryslerfan55 and hrm2k like this.
  13. Do what you have to do. Only way you will sleep at night.:(
  14. Kevin Ardinger
    Joined: Aug 31, 2019
    Posts: 573

    Kevin Ardinger

    Just my opinion but you can’t start that motor until you find it period! What if it’s in the cam gear. It will most likely end up somewhere you would least expect and cause a major problem. Drain the oil and run a flex magnet all around. Be patient and you will find it. I once dropped a valve keeper in a oil return hole on my sons 2.3l Ford motor. Took me several hours but I found it.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  15. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,357


    Turn the engine over by hand a couple times, just to make sure it will turn. It will probably not cause you a problem. The biggest problem is that you will always know it is there.
    If it gets sucked up in the pump somehow it will twist the rod to the distributor after the pump locks up. Lots of them do that when the fiber timing gear goes bad.
    dearjose and chryslerfan55 like this.
  16. grdra1
    Joined: May 20, 2013
    Posts: 474


    Take it out and let us know how you did it.
  17. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 52,803


    how is that set screw going to get past the pickup screen? It's too big.

    But if it's laying somewhere above the sump, it could get caught in something (think rods or timing chain) and cause mayhem.

    Sweet dreams!
  18. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 809

    from Alabama

    A 3/16” chunk of steel is fairly heavy and may not come out with the flow of oil however heavy enough its probably in the bottom of oil pan. You might consider buying a endoscope/bore scope that can be purchased on Amazon from $25 to $50 that actually works pretty well. I bought one a couple of years ago for around $50 and it came with a like 20 feet of cable. I’ve used it to look down spark plug holes plus used it to to retrieve a loose piece of duct tape in the HVAC ducts of our motor home that rattled and flapped every time the AC cycled. If you locate the set screw you could use the magnet attachment that comes with scope to retrieve the set screw. Just a thought.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2022
    hfh, Chavezk21, mario711 and 5 others like this.
  19. A 2 B
    Joined: Dec 2, 2015
    Posts: 344

    A 2 B
    from SW Ontario

    You could place several rare earth magnets on the outside surface of the oil pan in a linear formation leading to the drain plug. Remove the magnets in order dragging towards the next until you reach the drain plug. Some high pressure air agitation introduced wherever possible in conjunction may help as well.
  20. '29 Gizmo
    Joined: Nov 6, 2022
    Posts: 153

    '29 Gizmo
    from UK

    The assumption seems to be that it has reached the pan. That may not be the case, there is the drive gear and 4 cam lobes in that area, all of which can be devastated by a screw that size. Pull the pan and if its there good, if not you have to go and find it.
    Algoma56 and chryslerfan55 like this.
  21. I’m not going to lie, I would likely turn it over a bunch by hand and if nothing showed up I would hit the key and go.

    But everyone told me I better not start the engine if I didn’t pull the pan and clean it on my ‘64 Chrysler when I got it. A few years and many thousands of miles later I still haven’t had the pan off.
  22. NoelC
    Joined: Mar 21, 2018
    Posts: 609


    Leave it alone, it'll be fine.
    I said it.

    Wasn't hard at all.

    As 57Fargo mentioned, spin it by hand and see if it jams anything up. Flood and drain the pan a few times if you want to wash it out. Do the scope, try a magnet in the drain.
    But really, if it's heavy it sinks to the bottom. Oil washes down to the pan bottom.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  23. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 17,027

    from oregon

    I got no pooch in this dog fight so I'd say go for it!

  24. THANK YOU.

    chryslerfan55 likes this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 9,257


    A cpl summer's ago I did one of the nastiest service jobs on my Duramax. Head gaskets. As I was winding down I dropped a valve cover dowel right down the cyl head oil drain. ¼" piece of stainless tube not quite ³/¹⁶ tall. I heard it dance all the way down, and freaked out anger doesn't begin to describe it. I fished, I tried a magnet (cheaper stainless), vacuum, nuthin. 2 motherfuckers and far to many fucks to count I ended up dropping the pan. Yeah, the big bitch is 4X4 too. There's a massive windage tray system in there, I figured ok it's on top of that. I never found it. Almost a full day digging, looking, yes bought a bore scope too. Nuthin! No, it didn't drain out with the oil, I screened it as it poured out. I've been to Hershey twice, Auburn, IN too many times to count, deep in da holla of WV, thousands of miles. It either did drain out with an oil change or it lays in a little cubby all wet and warm in a bath of 15W-40.

    My question to you, is there a grove in the dist/drive hole in the block? I'm not hip on what 302 you have there, don't remember which engines are hex drive. If it fell, is it just laying atop the oil pump? Drop the pan, get it out. I'd bet you can live with "Fuck I coulda left it alone!" way easier than "Fuck! I shoulda dropped the pan!" if it does wreak havoc a month from now.

    Every once in a while that fuckin tube dowel haunts me. Imagine a $3M Duesy in the trailer and the truck engine eats itself over a 2c chunk of shit. But, thousands of hard miles and...o_O
    safetythird and chryslerfan55 like this.
  26. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 2,166


  27. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 7,825

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Sounds too much like something I would do... Hopefully you can find it without yanking the motor.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  28. alphabet soup
    Joined: Jan 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,894

    alphabet soup

    I would get it out...if it has an orignal pick up, there is probably a 5/16" or so by-pass hole under the tin shield. Gene.
    egads and lothiandon1940 like this.
  29. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 8,530

    from Michigan

    I would probably swear twice as much as you did.

    Then I would consider the unlikely yet conceivable possibility that the set screw came out before it ever got to the engine. Check the threads in the hole for the set screw. Are they stripped and you didn't realize?

    After you got everything chucked up in the drill, of course you gave 'er a couple pulls on the trigger of the drill, right? Vroom vroom. Like we all do.

    And that little set screw came flying out and it's on the floor in the far corner of the shop.

    Like I said, unlikely but conceivable.
    clem, 427 sleeper, egads and 7 others like this.

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