Help! Oil Pressure Sending Unit Hole

Old May 22nd, 2007, 04:58 PM
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Help! Oil Pressure Sending Unit Hole

Hey Olds friends!

I have a big problem that's keeping my '72 Olds Cutlass S off the road. I'm hoping someone can help me (and be my personal savior). The car has about 150,000 miles on it, and an Olds 350 engine (I think the original). I'm a newbie when it comes to working on engines, cars. I've done brakes, valve covers, replaced carburetors, alternators, nothing too complex, etc.

While trying to remove a seemingly defective electric oil sending unit, the unit snapped off at the bottom (the metal tube part), leaving the part that screws into the engine stuck in the block. So, if I start this thing, I'm in for an oil shower of epic proportions.

I have attached pictures of my situation. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get this piece of threaded metal out of the block so that I don't 1) strip the hole/threads of the hole or 2) get metal shavings into the engine?

I'm a long time reader (non contributor...I don't know enough yet to help out as well as you guys)...please help! Any suggestions would be super appreciated..THANKS!
Attached Images
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olds_oil_send.jpg (39.3 KB, 173 views)
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olds_block_big.jpg (66.1 KB, 159 views)
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olds_engine.jpg (92.4 KB, 149 views)
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olds_block.jpg (54.1 KB, 169 views)
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 05:35 PM
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Go to an auto parts store and get an eze-out. It's a hardened steel thing that looks like a lefthand drill bit/tap. You hammer it into the stump of the fitting and turn it counterclockwise with a wrench. The lefthand flutes on the eze-out will bite into the ID of the remains of the fitting and hopefully unscrew it.

Failing that, you can try to drill it out. The good news is that the fitting is soft brass and chips shouldn't be a big problem. The trick is to drill it with the tap drill for the 1/4" pipe threads so that you're left with a thin coil of brass still in the cast iron threads. Peel that out with a needlenose pliers. Also, load the drill bit with heavy grease to catch the chips.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 07:04 PM
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Ouch!

I was thinking the same as the guy above. After your done removing it, if your worried about the chips, just change the oil

Good luck
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 05:30 AM
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Or, remove the manifold and do it on the bench. Safest move I think.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Oldsguy View Post
Or, remove the manifold and do it on the bench. Safest move I think.
The hole isn't in the manifold, it's in the block.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 03:32 PM
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Ouch indeed! I was not happy.

Thanks so much, guys. I will give the eze out a try. I'll be sure to be super careful, and I'll let you know how it goes. I guess if worse comes to worst, I can have a shop close the hole, but I'm optimistic in getting this olds on the road again. I owe all of you a big tasty cookie or something.

Any of you guys ever had to replace the oil sending unit's 45 degree angle adapter before? Fusick and Year One both had them, so I ordered a new one, though they didn't seem to be in stock..but what the heck is that thing for anyway? Is it necessary to get an "accurate" (as accurate as electric can be) reading? Is it possible to just screw the sender directly into the block?

I'll be sure to add some interesting questions / contribute to discussions in the future. You guys rock.

-Russ \m/
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 04:39 PM
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^^ The oil sending unit basicly just turns on the light on the dash if it's not reading the correct pressure. I believe the pressure of the 395558 block is either 25 or 30 psi at idle. I should know this since my 395558 block is going in Saturday

You could "T" the unit or replace it with a oil pressure gauge. I bought an electrical gauge. I don't trust the mechnial, except for vacuum

Sorry I don't have a pic of the unit installed
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
Any of you guys ever had to replace the oil sending unit's 45 degree angle adapter before? Fusick and Year One both had them, so I ordered a new one, though they didn't seem to be in stock..but what the heck is that thing for anyway? Is it necessary to get an "accurate" (as accurate as electric can be) reading? Is it possible to just screw the sender directly into the block?
The sender for the idiot light is small and screws directly into the block. The larger one you have is for the gauge pack and there isn't enough clearance to screw it directly into the block. The 45 degree fitting is simply an extender to get it to fit. You can also use a piece of 1/4" NPT nipple and a coupler. The reason for the 45 deg fitting from the factory is to tilt that large sending unit away from the alternator bracket on A/C cars where the alternator is mounted on the driver's side.

I've also run a pipe nipple with a T fitting and used both the gauge sender and an idiot light. You can't always be watching the gauge while you drive, so the light provides a backup warning function.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 07:46 PM
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Thanks for the reply, Redog.

My Cutlass has an electric gauge for oil pressure (factory), not a dummy light. I should have been more specific before. The 45 degree angle adapter is apparently only for the gauge package, and the sending unit for the gauge package is unfortunately much more expensive than the non-gauge sending unit.

Good luck with the new engine!!!

Russ
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Old May 24th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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ahha. That explains it. Thanks Mr. Joe! A gauge with the dummy as a back up sounds like a great idea. Maybe once I get more familiar with my car, I'll give something like that a try.

Rock on.

Russ
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Old May 24th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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I just looked at the pictures and guess that ya tried to turn the sender and 45 out as a unit......that is a no-no.....an easy out is the first choice as already said.....make sure you get the right size and whatever you do.....DO NOT BREAK THE EASY OUT OFF IN THE HOLE!....I wish you luck.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by joe_padavano View Post
The hole isn't in the manifold, it's in the block.
And of course I knew that but saying it now makes no difference. Man! I type some stupid stuff sometimes .

Thanks for the correction Joe.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 10:58 AM
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Oldsmaniac--

Thanks for the advice..I'll be super careful to get the right size and not to lose the easy out.

This happened when I tried to unbolt the unit from the elbow with a wrench. Whoever tightened the unit must have over-tightened, and I put too much UMPFH into it at a bad angle....KA-SNAP.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 04:21 PM
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I got a chance to give it a try. The easy out doesn't seem to be working. The hollow bolt piece won't budge, and I'm afraid the easy out is going to break.

I'm considering drilling the remains of the bolt without messing up the threading. Does anyone have any suggestions/advice about drilling into the block (other than being careful)? Size of the hole/drill bit? 1/4 looked a little too small.

Does anyone have any suggestions/alternatives if the hole gets messed up? (a way to block the hole temporarily so I can possibly drive the car to a shop)

This sucks!! Thanks for the help though!

Russ
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Old May 28th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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I suspected that ya would trouble with this.....You may try drilling it some then get a bigger easyout that you can use more force with.....You cant drill it too much because then the easy out exerts outward pressure on the broken piece making it harder to remove. I believe you are working with 1/8 inch pipe....not much to get a bite on it with anything. The threads are pipe threads and if they get buggered up you may have to go with 1/4 inch pipe and a reducer bushing....If I were you I would call around to a machine shop and see if they will get the piece out for you....You can get a tapered metal punch or drift and just hammer it in the hole so you can drive the car to a shop.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 08:59 PM
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Thanks, OldsManiac!

I'll give the bigger easy out a shot. Then I'll take it to a machine shop...I've never really worked with metal before, and I'd hate to destroy this beautiful machine.

What exactly is a tapered punch or drift? Where would I get this? Sorry if I sound like a dummy...but I have no experience here.

Thanks!

PS - Anyone know any good machine shops around Hershey, PA??
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Old May 29th, 2007, 10:36 AM
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A drift punch can be bought at Sears, The Depot or most anywhere and is just a suggestion as to what will plug the hole. Sometimes too a broken fitting such as yours can be cut length wise almost all the way thru in 2 spots with a hacksaw blade ground down and a punch used to peel the piece in away from the threads. Once this piece is out the rest of it can be hammered with the punch in and away freeing the threads then removed with needle nose pliers. This is a method used for pipe that is broken off in a fitting. If you are not familiar with tools and mechanics it is better left to someone in the know.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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Thanks OldsManiac!

This is a perfect situation in which to learn so that I can be more in the know . I'm new to some of the tools (mostly the names), but I follow your logic completely. I'm going to give it one more shot...if not, the President of my local OCA chapter recommended a good machine shoppist close to me.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 04:22 PM
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HOORAY!! Success.

Light drilling + hammer and a pin punch + needle nose pliers = SUCCESS!!

I managed to get the bolt out...threads in the block look OK. The non-gauge dummy light oil sending unit that I have temporarily seems to screw in correctly.

ROCK!

Now I just have to wait for the new 45 degree angle adapter to get here and we're back on the road (after an oil change).

Thanks so much for the help, guys!

PS - from the oil sending unit hole in the block...does anyone know where possible metal shavings would go? Would it go to the filter or to crucial parts? Just curious.

Thanks again!
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Old May 30th, 2007, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
PS - from the oil sending unit hole in the block...does anyone know where possible metal shavings would go? Would it go to the filter or to crucial parts? Just curious.

Thanks again!
Congrats.

That hole is at the end of the main oil gallery that runs along the lifters. Since the chips would be at the end of the line, so to speak, they aren't readily going to flow around the block. They're also brass, which is softer than the bearings and journals and shouldn't do much damage. Having said that, you may want to temporarily screw a pipe nipple into the hole and attach a hose into a coffee can. Run the engine for a few seconds and oil will spurt out of the hose, flushing any chips with it. Just be sure to top off the oil when you're done.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 04:55 AM
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Brilliant! Thanks Joe. I'll try flushing out the chips like you suggested. Just gotta get the right size pipe nipple.

I was planning on changing the oil right after that, so I won't need to worry about topping off. Too bad brass isn't magnetic.

Thanks again to everyone that offered me advice. I'm sure I'll have more questions for other stuff heheh.

Russ
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Old January 20th, 2018, 01:49 PM
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i would try heating the area around the threads with a butane torch being careful not to starta fire. I had to do that with a water temp sender. it worked and didnt have to heat it that much
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Old January 20th, 2018, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by blufftonman View Post
i would try heating the area around the threads with a butane torch being careful not to starta fire. I had to do that with a water temp sender. it worked and didnt have to heat it that much
You do realize this thread is over a decade old, right?
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Old January 20th, 2018, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Redog View Post
I was thinking the same as the guy above.
And back in those days, Mr. P. was known simply as "the guy above."
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Old January 20th, 2018, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by TheRuss View Post
Now I just have to wait for the new 45 degree angle adapter to get here and we're back on the road (after an oil change).
When you go to install the new adapter I'd suggest that you put a pipe plug in it while tightening so as not to collapse the female end. Then when you install the sender use two wrenches so as not to transmit excess torque (actually a bending force) to the part in the engine. That's what broke the original. Also use something on the threads to assure a good seal.

Last edited by Ozzie; January 20th, 2018 at 07:13 PM. Reason: added information
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Old January 20th, 2018, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Ozzie View Post
When you go to install the new adapter I'd suggest that you put a pipe plug in it while tightening so as not to collapse the female end. Then when you install the sender use two wrenches so as not to transmit excess torque (actually a bending force) to the part in the engine. That's what broke the original. Also use something on the threads to assure a good seal.
You do realize the OP fixed his car in 2007, right?
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Old January 20th, 2018, 07:28 PM
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Well it was an interesting read for those of us who were not here 10 years ago
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Old January 21st, 2018, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by joe_padavano View Post
You do realize the OP fixed his car in 2007, right?
WOW! You're right Joe. With the recent comments, I thought that job was more current. I should learn to read those dates. I wish that he would have told us how the final product "worked out".
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Old January 21st, 2018, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Ozzie View Post
WOW! You're right Joe. With the recent comments, I thought that job was more current. I should learn to read those dates. I wish that he would have told us how the final product "worked out".
The last activity on the site by the OP was in June 2014.
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Old January 22nd, 2018, 11:42 PM
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Wonder what happened to him
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