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Old 08-02-2011, 04:40 PM
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How to remove dowels from block (timing cover) chevy 350

I am building a 383 stroker for my 96 Chevy express van. The new block from Summit has dowel pins installed in the timing cover location. The Vortec style plastic timing cover has plastic dowels as part of the cover that fit in the block. How do I remove the dowels that are already in the block so that I can get the dowels on the timing cover to insert in their place? thanks for any help
Chuck

ps I already tried using vice grips on one of them and it didn't seem to budge!

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Old 08-02-2011, 05:30 PM
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Would it be easier to remove the plastic dowels from the cover, drill holes, and use the engine dowels? Either way the end result would be the same huh?
I've never seen a plastic timing cover but that is the first question that comes to mind.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:53 PM
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I would drill the cover if I was sure it would line up right but if I am off at all the I just wasted a cover! Removing the pins in the block would be best if I could do it but they are in there really good!
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucksrt
I would drill the cover if I was sure it would line up right but if I am off at all the I just wasted a cover! Removing the pins in the block would be best if I could do it but they are in there really good!
Either way, if they don't line up, yer screwed. Think about it. That's JMO. we'll see what others have to say.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:18 PM
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Apply a little heat around the dowel pin then try to pull them with the vise grip?

If that doesn't work find a way to attach a slide hammer.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:08 PM
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Below is a side-by-side shot of a plastic cover from a 1997 Vortec engine and to the right of it is a '80's non-roller steel timing cover for comparison.



Some differences are:
  • The plastic cover has more room around the crank gear. This cover was equipped with a crank sensor, so the additional room may be to make room for the crank position sensor rotor.
  • The steel cover is deeper, from inside the front to the sealing surface.
  • Generally, there seems to be more room around the inside of the steel cover, even though the photos don't look that way due to how the covers are shaped. This is except for the area around the crank gear.
  • The plastic cover has fewer bolt holes at the top- an older steel cover would have holes that are not used on the Vortec-type block. The Vortec-specific holes could be put into the older block as long as care was used to position them correctly using a transfer punch.
  • The plastic cover has male pins or dowels to locate the cover onto the face of the block; the steel cover has holes in the same position for the dowels that are used in the older blocks.
  • The plastic cover's bolts are shouldered to prevent over-tightening the cover.

As seen below, the older block used dowel pins (male pins in block, holes in tin cover), while the Vortec plastic cover has the male pins (larger diameter than older blocks dowel pins) in the same location.

This 880 block has all the holes present and tapped; the two top holes are not correct for the tin cover, though. The dowels are absent, instead there are holes.



The dowel holes in the 880 block (used as locator holes for the "pins" on the plastic timing chain cover) are >15/64" and <1/4" (right for a press-fit 1/4" dowel pin, I'd guess). I had thought these holes were a larger diameter, but it was the chamfer at the mouth of the holes that made them look a bit larger.

The hole in a tin timing cover is ~17/64- so there's ~0.015" "play" in there, anyway.

The p/n for plastic cover w/sensor hole is: p/n10244600.

The number for plastic w/o sensor hole is: p/n12552557.

Last edited by cobalt327; 08-02-2011 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Add photo.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:01 PM
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I was able to remove them! I bought a new pair of vise grips and the one I didn't touch came right out. The other dowel that gave me trouble sheered in half so I had to drill it out but it went smoothly! I put the new cover on. And am one step closer to finishing this thing up! Thanks for your replies and help!!! This is the best forum for hotrodders...period!!
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:04 AM
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Just fyfr you could have used the gasket placed on the outside of the timing cover to locate the pins on the backside, and drilled them out that way.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unix
Just fyfr you could have used the gasket placed on the outside of the timing cover to locate the pins on the backside, and drilled them out that way.
The gasket kit for a vortec engine does not include a timing cover gasket because it comes as part of the new cover. Even if I did have a gasket the plastic cover is not flat enough to rest a gasket on the out side and drill. I have run into so many little issues building this that I didn't know would be issues that I am really learning a lot!
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:04 PM
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timing cover

I got a block once that had one dowel broken off and the other one was almost worn off due to vise grips. I ground them both even with the block, then drilled them out and put in new pins. Hope this works for you.
Peace and Blessings,
Donna
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