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smyllie

Do I need to remove the engine to access front oil gallery plug

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Final stages now of a complete restoration of my barn find US 63 TR4.

 

When I first fired the rebuilt engine there was an oil leak from the rear and front of the engine. The rear was pressing so I removed the gearbox and discovered the that the engine builder had left the rear plug (a slot type) loose and with no thread sealant. They supplied me with a new plug and advice and all is well. I had been putting off the leak at the front and focused on other areas of the project.

 

So today I got under the car, fired up the engine and watched the source of the oil leak from the front of the engine. It is seeping out from between the block and the engine plate. Almost certainly the front oil galley plug.

 

So my question is:-

 

Is it possible to remove the engine plate and gain access to the front oil galley plug without removing the engine. My car is in pristine condition and has fresh paint, if I can avoid removing the engine then I would like to explore this. It looks like it is possible but I would really appreciate some expert opinion before I take any action.

 

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I've replaced the front plate with the engine in situ but the body wasn't on at the time. You'll want to remove the radiator and grille at the very minimum and bonnet off would be a good idea too. As the plate incorporates the front engine mounts you'll need to support the sump. And the front suspension cross brace needs to be out of the way.

Edited by peejay4A

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" the engine builder had left the rear plug (a slot type) loose and with no thread sealant. " ... Charming.

 

I'd be tempted to ask the engine builder to sort out the oil leak with engine in car but given the above failure how could you depend on his work ?

 

As Pete says access can be achieved but it will be restricted and fiddly.

 

Mick Richards

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I changed the front engine plate on my 3a with the engine still in the car. Of course, being a 3a I could take the entire front apron off, which helped a lot, even then it was a struggle.

 

I unbolted the plate from the engine mounts, which I realized was a mistake when I went to put it all back together. If you do it that way you end up trying to lower the engine onto the threads of the mounts, which are at an angle, pointing in from the holes in the engine plate.

 

If you keep the plate bolted to the mounts and remove the bolts from the mounts to the chassis it will be easier to reinstall.

 

I think it would be possible with the 4. If you end up having to remove the entire engine at least you won’t have wasted too much time as most of the bits you have undone would need to have been undone anyway.

 

Charlie.

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I changed the front engine plate on my 3a with the engine still in the car. Of course, being a 3a I could take the entire front apron off, which helped a lot, even then it was a struggle.

 

I unbolted the plate from the engine mounts, which I realized was a mistake when I went to put it all back together. If you do it that way you end up trying to lower the engine onto the threads of the mounts, which are at an angle, pointing in from the holes in the engine plate.

 

If you keep the plate bolted to the mounts and remove the bolts from the mounts to the chassis it will be easier to reinstall.

 

I think it would be possible with the 4. If you end up having to remove the entire engine at least you won’t have wasted too much time as most of the bits you have undone would need to have been undone anyway.

 

Charlie.

 

 

" the engine builder had left the rear plug (a slot type) loose and with no thread sealant. " ... Charming.

 

I'd be tempted to ask the engine builder to sort out the oil leak with engine in car but given the above failure how could you depend on his work ?

 

As Pete says access can be achieved but it will be restricted and fiddly.

 

Mick Richards

 

 

I've replaced the front plate with the engine in situ but the body wasn't on at the time. You'll want to remove the radiator and grille at the very minimum and bonnet off would be a good idea too. As the plate incorporates the front engine mounts you'll need to support the sump. And the front suspension cross brace needs to be out of the way.

 

Gents thank you for the advice and tips, looks like this is worth having a go at. Just ordering new gaskets and will have a crack next weekend. I will update you with my progress.

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I had exactly this on 4A rebuild a couple of years ago.

Out of annoyance I removed the engine.

I’m sure it is not too onerous in situ.

 

Are you replacing with correct Ali screw plugs that come on a stick?

 

Roger

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Hi Roger, yes that's the plan. I read your post but was not sure if you removed the engine because it was the only way to access it. So it sounds like I am about to remove the front engine ancillaries - in we go!! Any tips gratefully received.

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