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Oil pump shaft

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Well, I messed up. Putting heads and a cam on a 91' s10 with a small block in it. I was having a hard time getting the oil pump drive to align with the distributor. In a stroke of genius I put a magnet down in the hole to just be sure nothing accidentally fell down in there during assembly.

Yup, pulled the oil pump drive shaft right up and out of the engine LOL. Such a pain. I'm so used to the HV oil pumps and the steel collar on them that I just wasn't thinking. I was avoiding removing the oil pan because I don't think it's going to clear the cross member enough to get it out. I was able to squeeze the timing cover back in with just loosening the front oil pan bolts.

So, what are the odds I can install the oil pump drive shaft from the top of the engine?
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If it came out with the magnet, put it back in with the magnet. Then stick a screwdriver or whatever to hold it in place while you remove the magnet. Hope the collar is still on the oil pump shaft so it doesn't pop over to the side. Turn with huge screwdriver to make sure shaft is engaged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If it came out with the magnet, put it back in with the magnet. Then stick a screwdriver or whatever to hold it in place while you remove the magnet. Hope the collar is still on the oil pump shaft so it doesn't pop over to the side. Turn with huge screwdriver to make sure shaft is engaged.
Is the collar on the shaft just for alignment purposes or does it actually help hold the shaft in place while the engine is running?
 

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It’s an S15 std cab, short bed, 2 wheel drive. The engine has a factory oil pan with windage tray, pan rail scraper and rear baffle installed. The block has not been removed since originally installed though it’s been unbolted and jacked up a few times to modify the headers get space to loosen the pan to replace the timing case cover etc. and R&R the transmission. Installed the pan is a real tight clearance to the cross member I don’t think it more than finger thickness. The engine is set back, there isn’t space for a coil in cap type HEI distributor.

Bogie
 

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No collar needed. GM used plastic because it was cheap and assisted in assembly. Stick it back in the top with a magnet on a stick and carry on.
What he said ^^^, the factory plastic collar was just an assembly aid is all it was.
The shaft has the forked end up into the end of the distributor gear and the shaft length is contained by the hole through the block and rear main cap....it can't get out of there when everything is assembled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No collar needed. GM used plastic because it was cheap and assisted in assembly. Stick it back in the top with a magnet on a stick and carry on.
Once I got my fat head positioned well enough to see in the hole, the collar was still on it. I dropped the shaft in the hole, spun the oil pump with a priming tool and verified it worked. Luckily, distributor dropped right in place after too! Should be fire up time tomorrow.
 

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I once had a 86 chevy s10 and used a factory style oil pan and it was like a 4 quart pan and a two piece rear main seal with driver side dipstick block. It was used with a set of custom made welded mounts and it was a very tight fit. Finger space was about right on how Bogie said it was. My Father actually at a later date actually cut out a section of the crossmember towards the rear and then welded in some new metal and it had like a cliff and then lower ledge to it to keep it strong.

Trying to remove the pan without taking out the motor would almost be impossible as its just so tight with little room to move things. Hard enough just to get to the top transmission bell housing bolts and also had to move in the firewall some as well in many spots and that is with the engine sitting level and not jacked up. the 94 and up s10's are even worse. Glad to hear you got it back in and hope you never have any problems with it.
 
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