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Thread: Oil pump questions

  1. #1
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    Oil pump questions

    I am working on bringing another car back to life that has sat for ~28 years. I have put fresh oil in and have been cranking the engine with the valve covers off to make sure I am getting oil up to the cams. This worked just fine on my first car, not so much on this one. I'm not getting any oil on either head except for at the back of the cams where the distributor gear is (towards the front of the car).

    I'm wondering what could be the culprit. Clogged oil galleys, clogged pickup, or bad oil pump are my guesses.

    What's the best way to diagnose?

    I was planning to pull the pump and inspect, drain oil, then drop and clean the pan, also thought about brushing the oil galleys.

    this engine is quite a bit more dirty on the inside than my first car, so I'm thinking clogs could be the case, but wanted to see what you guys think.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Citizen's Avatar
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    You might drop some new oil on the uncovered heads and let gravity do its work, so as to not let metal grind against non-lubricated metal while you are cranking.

    I don't know, but maybe you could use compressed air to break through clogged oil passageways before dropping the pan. Then, inspect the findings in the pan for clogs that may have become dislodged.

    ...
    Last edited by Citizen; 05-03-2022 at 11:00 AM.
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    It can take quite a while to get oil everywhere by only cranking it over. Once it actually starts and you see good oil pressure it should get everywhere. if you are worried about it, let it idle a bit before revving it up. You could also add Marvel Mystery Oil to help loosen things up but change the oil after about 500 miles and see what kind of dirt comes out.
    David Teitelbaum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    You might drop some new oil on the uncovered heads and let gravity do its work, so as to not let metal grind against non-lubricated metal while you are cranking.

    I don't know, but maybe you could use compressed air to break through clogged oil passageways before dropping the pan. Then, inspect the findings in the pan for clogs that may have become dislodged.

    ...
    Thanks for the tips, when I filled the oil I did exactly that, so they have some lube for the cranking, just not seeing any new oil coming out of the rockers.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    It can take quite a while to get oil everywhere by only cranking it over. Once it actually starts and you see good oil pressure it should get everywhere. if you are worried about it, let it idle a bit before revving it up. You could also add Marvel Mystery Oil to help loosen things up but change the oil after about 500 miles and see what kind of dirt comes out.
    Thanks David, I've been cranking it a lot. like drained the battery. (not continuously, did for like ~30 - 40 seconds then let it rest a bit) First car got so much oil that I was limited in how long I could crank. guess that's why I'm worried, but I have just one experience to compare to.

    Am i right in assuming that to get to the pickup/strainer that I need to drop the pan? or can it be reached from the timing cover side? sounds kinda dumb asking that, but I've just put the timing cover on and haven't built up the belt drive yet. crankshaft pulley still off, so pulling the timing cover would be easier at the moment. would like to verify before I build up the motor to try for a start.

    -Andy

  6. #6
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    I'd take the spark plugs out and disconnect the coil. Then crank it over and see what happens with the oil. Without compression, it will spin faster and reduce the drain on the battery.
    -----Dan B.

  7. #7
    DMC Midwest - 815.459.6439 DMCMW Dave's Avatar
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    You are probably going to have to drop the pan. Typically, a short crank will bring oil up even on a dry engine. You'll probably find that the pickup is clogged.

    I had one like this where it was clogged with vegetation. From the mouse nest in the valley that went through the hole in the block. That's the only one I can think of.

    One last test, take the oil filter off and crank it over. If the pickup and pump are good, it will make a mess on the floor so be ready. If nothing comes out, drop the pan.
    Dave S
    DMC Midwest - retired but helping
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMCMW Dave View Post
    You are probably going to have to drop the pan. Typically, a short crank will bring oil up even on a dry engine. You'll probably find that the pickup is clogged.

    I had one like this where it was clogged with vegetation. From the mouse nest in the valley that went through the hole in the block. That's the only one I can think of.

    One last test, take the oil filter off and crank it over. If the pickup and pump are good, it will make a mess on the floor so be ready. If nothing comes out, drop the pan.
    Thank you Dave! Will give it a go.


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  9. #9
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    Thanks for the tips everyone, i took the filter off this morning and cranked it. Nothing came out. I then blew some shop air into the ports of the filter attachment point. Tried again and now have plenty of oil coming up right away.


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  10. #10
    Senior Member Citizen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyo View Post
    I then blew some shop air into the ports of the filter attachment point. Tried again and now have plenty of oil coming up right away.
    Unfortunately, even though you already put fresh oil in, you should change it again before running the engine. When you blew air into the filter ports, the foreign debris probably returned to the pan and will get lodged in the pickup filter (or already has), and will certainly cause you problems again, maybe while driving without you even being aware.

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