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Old 10-12-2013, 07:48 PM
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if you can`t figure anything out , call Butler Performance , they can probably help you out .

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Old 10-14-2013, 11:16 AM
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So I wrenched on this thing this weekend. Endplay on both the cam and the distributor check out fine, but I *do* have a high volume, standard pressure oil pump. I thought it was just a standard volume and pressure oil pump.

What should my next steps be? What type of distributor gear do I need exactly? Do you guys think I should tear the motor down and inspect for any possible damage from the other gear?
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainCaveman View Post
Endplay on both the cam and the distributor check out fine, but I *do* have a high volume, standard pressure oil pump. I thought it was just a standard volume and pressure oil pump.
What type of distributor gear do I need exactly? Do you guys think I should tear the motor down and inspect for any possible damage from the other gear?
As far as I know, there were only three oil pumps offered by Pontiac. The standard 40 lb, the Ram Air IV 60 lb, and the Super Duty 80 lb. There were no high volume pumps. The RA IV and the SD pumps had the same housing but different relief springs and a larger pick-up than the standard.
The gear that is needed depends on what material the cam is made of. A cast iron cam can use a steel gear and a steel or billet cam needs a softer gear like bronze or composite. If your 455 has a factory cam, it is almost certain that it is cast iron unless it is one of the early McKeller solids.
Whether or not you tear down the engine for inspection is a decission that only you can make. Cut open the oil filter or have it cut open to see if there is any metal. If there is, I would tear down and look at the bearings.

Bill
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:24 PM
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All Pontiac oil pumps today are rated at the same volume and all use a 3/4" pick up tube. A high pressure Pontiac oil pump is available that is equipped with a longer pressure relief spring that is housed in an extended relief spring retainer. It was originally introduced by pontiac in 1973 for the 1973-74 455 Pontiac Super Duty engines.

The regulator spring on the 455 SD oil pump opens the by-pass at 60-70 PSI at 4,000 RPM. The two oil pumps are:
Melling M-54-F, with 60-70 PSI spring (must buy the 3/4" pick up screen separately).
Melling M-54D-S, with 40-50 PSI spring (includes 3/4" pick up screen).
Pressure rating is with standard bearing clearances. Maximum of .0015" rods and .0025" mains.

If you use the Melling M-54-F high pressure pump, you may have excessive distributor gear wear but the wear would not be evident in less than 20,000 miles. Pontiac introduced a special coated distributor gear for the 1968 -1970 Ram Air 3 and Ram Air 4 engines and indtroduced the 3/4" pick up screen. Prior to tghe 1968 Ram Air engines , all Pontiac oil pumps had a 5/8" pick up screen. . That special plated distributor gear was only installed on the assembly line and was never made available over the counter or as a service replacement. The special coated gear never had a part number. I installed a slightly used Ram Air 4 distributor in my 1969 Firebird 400 and the gear appeared to be cadmium plated.

Pontiac provided a special oil gallery NPT plug for the 1973-1974 455 SD engines that had a .030" hole drilled in the center of it for distributor gear oiling with the high pressure 455 SD oil pump. The 1973-74 455 SD engines used the M-54-F oil pumps for additional oil pressure for the large main bearings up to 6,000 RPM. The 455 SD engine blocks were designed for dry-sump oiling for 7,000 - 8,000 RPM. That oil gallery plug was discontinued by Pontiac in 1980. I purchased five of those plugs in the 1970s and used every one of them with the Melling M-54-F oil pumps. I tried to drill a hole in a regular "square drive" NPT hardened iron plug and it burned up all the .030" drill bits.

If you want to use a Melling M-54-F high pressure oil pump that is rated at 60-70 PSI at 4,000 RPM, , you will need to drill a .030" hole in the passenger side rear oil gallery plug using a EDM. Without a lube hole in that plug, the distributor gear will wear faster because of marginal lubrication. However, after 20,000 miles, that little .030" oil hole would probably be filled with sludge no matter how often you change your oil. The solution to the gear wear problem is to use the stock Melling M-54D-S oil pump that is rated at 40-50 PSI at 4,000 RPM.

Last edited by MouseFink; 10-14-2013 at 02:33 PM.
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