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47 Special oil pan cleaning...

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O.K. So I have the oil pan off the car for cleaning, almost a year after many of you kindly answered my posts on how to remove it. I followed your advise and the removal went smoothly... removed the plugs and was able turn the balancer by hand enabling the front two journals to clear the pan. I attached pictures of the inside of the oil pan and some of the engine with the pan removed. I cleaned out the oil pan and removed/cleaned the oil pump pick-up. Is there anything else I should clean or inspect before I put it back together?

I see a cover on the oil pump, held in place by round headed screws (see the pic attached). Can these screws be removed to clean the inside of the pump? or will removing leave a mess of parts to deal with?

Thanks, Frank






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Well, Frank, the block does not look too bad from the pics.I presume you removed the complete pick up float and cleaned well. I would not remove the plate you are asking about.

All you will see are the gears which are the guts of the pump.Clean the pan and pick up float, install and fill. I believe I would only run a short time before changing oil again.

Good luck.


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When I removed my oil pan from my "50 Buick I went ahead and checked the main and rod bearings since I was this close to them. At least 1 of each. Its easier to replace the pan with another person or you will be fighting the gst and oil pan and starting bolts all at once. With help its always easier.

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Thanks for responding. Yes I removed the complete unit. I found a lot of junk in the screen that I could not access without separating. I have good oil pressure, so I'll leave well enough alone and not take the pump apart.

I wish I knew how to check the bearings, suggestions? My only free time for this project is mid week after work and kids are in bed, so friends are few at 10 pm. To help guide the pan into position, I got 3 long pan bolts and cut the heads off, to use as dowels. I hope this works.

I attached some pics of my progress.







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As Aaron65 suggests, I'd leave the bearings go if you have good oil pressure.

If you absolutely wan't to check them, you can buy Plastigage (.001- .003) to check clearances. On your engine, rod bearing clearance should be .0008-.0018, and mains .0007-.0025, and rod end play .005-.010, main bearing end play .004-.008. Rod bolt torque 40-45 lbs. torque, and mains 90-100 lbs torque. I always rechecked clearances and torque about three times.

:) kaycee

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Both the main and rod bearings have shims for adjustment when needed. It is an easy process using plasitguage to find out the clearance and remove the un needed shims. In fact if the engine has close to 100 thousand miles or more it would probably be safe to simply remove all the shims and make sure the engine turns over after each set of shims are removed but plastiguage is the right way to do things. I remember as a high school kid back in the 50s pulling the shims out of a chevy's poured rod bearings like the 47 buick has. I would take out all the shims and bolt the rod cap back on. With a small hammer I would tap the rod sideways easy and if it moved back and forth the bearing wasn't to tight. Don't be afraid to try new things. get some plastiguage from your parts store. Keep in mind tho that you do the bearings one at a time as they are machined at the factory as a set and mixing parts is disasterous and yes, the caps have to be put back on the same way they came off, there is a backwards to them.

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