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Old 03-02-2010, 05:13 PM
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sbc dowel pin removal

Hi guys,

I'm about to get a Vortec block I've been stripping-down tested and machined. However, before I take it down to the machine shop, I want to remove the dowel pins in the block decks. I've hosed them down with WD-40 and tried pulling them out with vise-grips, but they won't budge. I did a search on here and found mention of driving them into the water jacket? I don't own a slide hammer... can I use just a regular punch and a hammer?

PS. One thing that worries my slightly is banging on stuff around the block... is there anyway that hammering on the block (when driving out the dowel pins, for example!) could crack the casting?

Thanks!

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Old 03-02-2010, 05:30 PM
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A trick I learned from my father is that metal will move around considerably with heat and cold. Take a small piece of dry ice and hold it against the top of the dowel for several minutes. Then, use a propane torch and play the flame around lightly on the block deck all around the dowel just to warm the deck up real well. Use a very large ChannelLock pliers (14" / 16") and I'll bet the dowel will come right out. I have never encountered one that wouldn't come out.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:25 PM
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Just drive them through to the water jackets and then roll the block to dump them out. As long as the punch is smaller than the hole you will be fine. It might take a fairly sharp hit to get it moving, but once it starts it will push through with fairly easy hits.

If the shop is going to deck the block, why not just let them do it as they are more familiar with it??

No need to save the old ones, put new in, it is just a common dowel pin.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:19 AM
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Dang tech gettin a little fancy to take out some dowels?...LOL...drive em in with a hammer
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:22 AM
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Thanks for the info guys... I'll try the freezing and pulling method first. If that doesn't work, I'll drive them into the water jacket.

Does hammering on the dowel pins risk any damage to the block? I just get nervous about the vibration and shock stress that hammer blows might cause to cast iron.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v8hed
Thanks for the info guys... I'll try the freezing and pulling method first. If that doesn't work, I'll drive them into the water jacket.

Does hammering on the dowel pins risk any damage to the block? I just get nervous about the vibration and shock stress that hammer blows might cause to cast iron.
Compared to the vibration and shock stress of a single event of detonation, your well-placed hammer blows will do absolutely NOTHING damaging to the block.

My machinist here in town drives them in and retrieves them back out w/a telescoping magnet.

Use a punch that has nearly the same OD as the dowel, so as to not mushroom it. Grind one to fit, if need be.

AND...

Just don't miss!

I've never tried the fire and ice deal, so can't say. But obviously- protect the deck if you lever against it as you work the dowel out.

Last edited by cobalt327; 03-03-2010 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBCMudbogger
Dang tech gettin a little fancy to take out some dowels?...LOL...drive em in with a hammer
Yep, works great until you're working on something other than a SBC and it has a blind hole. Then you're gonna be beatin' on it until you mushroom it so that it'll never come out. I try to cover all the bases when I answer a question and I'm certain there are fellows out there who may never find out about the heat/cold fix unless I (or someone else) addresses it for them.
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:45 AM
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Here's a good guide to pulling them out:

http://motohommia.blogspot.com/2011/...owel-pins.html

P.S. Contrary to some of the posters' comments above, aren't they blind holes in a Small Block Chevy? At least in my 1985 and 1986 blocks I could almost swear the holes were blind!
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:08 AM
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You might be thinking of BBC blocks- they use a hollow dowel. Bow Tie and aftermarket blocks have blind holes as well, but most if not all production Gen 1 SBC engines are open to the coolant, at least at the front. I only have three blocks that I can check (have the freeze plugs out): 2, 350's ('92 and '97) and a '70 400, their dowels are wet.

To be sure either way, a probe could be used to feel around for the the hole that the dowel fits in, the installed dowel itself doesn't protrude.

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Old 06-27-2011, 06:40 AM
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Pounding on a stuck dowel can mushroom the top making it even harder to remove. Then it leads to drilling and breaking off a drill ...which leads to me to remove. I charge once to remove the stuck part and again for carelesness.... haha the heat/ cold trick is one of my favorites, carefully locate the center using a drill bushing and center punch using a nice hard pointed punch then a carbide drill. Don't break that off or I charge 3-4 times as much.

Dowels are case hardened so grinding just .020 off the top will get them down to the sofer inside which is easier to drill.

Be carefull pounding on the corner of the block....they can break off or crack.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:30 AM
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heating it with a torch and a few shots of penetrating oil before using vice grips has always worked for me. Real penetrating oil is MUCH better than WD-40.

WD40 works okay for some cleaning tasks and as a very temporary rust preventative (as in a week or less) but it is NOT the miracle oil that so may people think it is.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:03 AM
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Checked my block, that's a blind hole ---> not advisable to start banging straight away!

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Old 06-27-2011, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dryden
Checked my block, that's a blind hole ---> not advisable to start banging straight away!
Something looks odd about that hole, or else its an optical illusion, but the deck looks to be like 1/8" thick right there. Or like the dowel is still in the hole, just knocked down below the deck or something. Weird

Check your front hole and see if it's blind too. I couldn't get to the rear ones on my blocks- they're all sitting *** end down.

What is the casting number? Mine are 10054727, 10243880 Vortec, and a 3951509 SBC 400cid 2-bolt.

Last edited by cobalt327; 06-27-2011 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 07-02-2011, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Check your front hole and see if it's blind too.
The front holes are the same!

Quote:
What is the casting number?
14088548, that's a 1986-1994 350cid block. This one is from a boat.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:26 PM
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Head pin removal

I had a similar problem, however one of my pins was so low in the block that I could barely get a vice-grip on it. So I came up with this to get it out and it worked fantastically. I made a slam hammer like the type used to pull dents in sheet metal from 1/4 in steel rod. I ground the free end down to a point and tack welded it to the remains of the pin. I masked the block with a thin piece of copper plate to prevent any arc from getting to the block. Also remember to attach the ground to the 1/4 rod to prevent the current from going through the block. I just used 3 small tacks between the rod and pin. Then give the pin a couple whacks with the slide hammer and out it comes. All four pins took about 10 minutes.
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