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Old 08-26-2008, 02:58 PM
v8hed's Avatar
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SBC oil priming/pressure question

Filled my 350 SBC with oil tonight (after having just re-assembled following new heads, cam, timing set, new damper and complete new valvetrain). I've got a priming tool (the type that seals the valley area) and a 14.4V cordless drill. After about 10 seconds of initial drilling, I felt torque on the drill and the oil pressure gauge rapidly rose to 60 PSI. Continued drilling for about 60 seconds and again for an additional 30 seconds before the battery on the drill went flat. My objective was to see if I've got any leaks that I need to remediate prior to start-up. Did I drill long enough to make an accurate determination? To my (very pleasant) surprise, I can't find any leaks! I thought the pan-to-timing cover interface was almost certain to leak (given that I didn't drop the pan completely and it's using cork gaskets that are swelling out a little). However, I did use a fairly generous amount of non-hardening gasket sealer on both sides (and ends) of the rubber end seal.

Am I home dry in terms of initial oil leaks?

I've read that 3-4 mins constant drilling is required for oil to make its way up to all the rockers. Is that true? If so, I'll need to borrow my buddie's DeWalt cordless drill.

Thanks.

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Old 08-26-2008, 03:13 PM
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I like to prime mine for as long as it takes to get oil to the rockers as well as cycle the engine a few times. I no longer use cork gaskets, but when I did, I coated them in vaseline. Vaseline makes them hold moisture so they don`t dry out, as when they dry out they get brittle and leak.
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:18 PM
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What Double vision said. I use a corded drill to prime mine with...that way I do not have to worry about the batteries. I also prime mine with the valve covers off so I can see and be sure that each rocker oils.
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Highrise
What Double vision said. I use a corded drill to prime mine with...that way I do not have to worry about the batteries. I also prime mine with the valve covers off so I can see and be sure that each rocker oils.
Unfortunately, a corded dill isn't an option as my garage doesn't have power. Hopefully, the DeWalt drill will have enough juice to crank the oil pump for a good 3-5 minutes before its batteries go flat.

Re. valve covers, yea, that thought occurred to me... I'll take them off tomorrow night and try again.

What about leaks? After my 60 seconds + 30 seconds worth of priming at 60 PSI tonight, with no leaks evident, am I good on that front?
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:38 PM
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I always try to turn the engine over while the oil pump primer is pumping.

As for the leaks ... hot oil always seems to leak more than cooler oil. The viscosity changes ...
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce
I always try to turn the engine over while the oil pump primer is pumping.

As for the leaks ... hot oil always seems to leak more than cooler oil. The viscosity changes ...
Yes, I've heard that you should rotate the engine at least 2 rotations by hand during priming. However, I've already rotated the engine at least 2 full rotations since the cam was installed (to adjust the rockers). After that, I could see the moly lube was getting significantly thin on the lobes of the cam, so I'm hesitant to turn the engine any further prior to start-up. What do you think? It seems the moly gets wiped-off pretty easy, even though I was heavy-handed putting it on and put a liberal blob of moly on the foot of each lifter.
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