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Old 05-23-2011, 08:07 PM
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Chevy 350 oil priming issue

I just overhauled a Chevy 350 and was trying to prime the oil pump and the block. I used a drill and the special tool, but I still cannot see any oil coming out of the rocker arm holes. I can feel that there is pressure because the drill kicks back when I start priming. I am getting oil to where the distributor would be too. Any ideas would be much appreciated.

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Old 05-23-2011, 08:39 PM
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How close is the oil pump pick up to the bottom of the pan?... should be "around" 3/8" off. Also while you're priming have a buddy turn the engine over with a long extension handle or even a torque wrench on the crank bolt.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:42 PM
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Does your special tool have the "O" rings installed on it? You must seal the gap where the distibuter goes in the block to get the oil to the rockers.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:49 AM
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Do you have an oil gauge hooked up? That will be helpful. I had an engine that I acquired that was getting "low" oil pressure. I tore into it put it back together and it was only priming at 35psi max which was not good enough. Turns out the bearings the guy put in were the wrong size so the clearance was too much.

That being said, on my current engine it primed at 50-55 psi and it took no more than ten seconds for it to build pressure. To get oil to every single lifter will take turning the engine probably two times or so. Make sure you properly set your preload and make sure your bearing clearances are good.

You might notice a couple lifters are gushers, don't worry eventually all the lifters will fill up, but you might have to adjust the rockers a little to stop the gushers and help the non gushers. I did all this with a dewalt cordless drill and definitely helps to have the proper tool.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:11 AM
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If the motor is overly tight, be careful on the crank bolt, you wouldn't be the first to strip it out.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:44 PM
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Here's what I believe the problem was. First, I was using 15w-40 because it was labeled on the oil fill cap and a oil priming tool from Autozone. Changed oil to 5w-30, still didn't work. I tried rotating the engine while spinning the oil pump with a drill and nothing. Finally, I got a used distributor for $45, cut the gears off of it and got a complete change in oil pressure. Spent 30 minutes spinning the modified distributor and rotating the engine, finally I got oil flow through all of the rocker arms. Thank you for everybody's input.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:57 PM
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