240Z, 260Z, 280Z Performance / Technical Discussions related to performance motor enhancements, upgrades.

Priming Oil Pump 101

Old 03-30-2013, 12:32 PM
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Priming Oil Pump 101

Hey..... I have read several posts about how to prime the oil pump in my 1971 motor but let me start with what I don't know, and then I will gratefully ask for advice. I owned a street rod with a Buick 215 and had to prime that each spring with the drill trick and I think I still have that set up (big screwdriver with the handle removed). This car I bought from a seller who had it in storage for 15 years. He drove it on the trailer. I found out the switch was bad, but replaced that and started it in the shop after checking everything out; no oil pressure on the gauge. Shut it down, and replaced the sending unit. Yesterday, I started it again, and it looks like the oil pressure needle moved ever so slightly but I am still not comfortable and started reading in my manual and on this forum. Today I crawled under, to look at the pump, and found a picture of one identical to it and attached it here. Can anyone tell me the purpose of the large bolt at the end of the pump? Would that be another way to prime this pump without jumping through the hoops? And, I may try to remove the plugs as I have read many times, and turn the motor over to see if I get any pressure at all. Is it absolutely mandatory to pull the pump and fill it with oil before doing this? Can the oil pump be removed without pulling the distributor? I am also going to hook up a manual gauge replacing the oil pressure sending unit, to make sure I don't have a faulty gauge in the dash. The previous owner tried to remove the glass from that gauge, and I assume it was to check to see if the gauge needle was frozen. So... there you have it. Lots and lots of variables and every single piece of advice would be appreciate.... I just hesitate to start this engine again (boy, did it run nice!) without a confirmation that it has good oil pressure. Getting back to the 215 Buick motor.... I pulled a valve cover on that, and used the drill method to spin it until I saw oil coming out onto the valve train... is that what I should do here too? or do I have to pull that pump and fill it with oil? One last question.... one post said you could just pull the distributor and pour some oil down that to prime the pump.... what do you think? Reasonable? Thanks
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:17 PM
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Pour in some oil. Cap it with a little vaseline to keep it from leaking out. Mount.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:36 PM
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Priming oil

I always pull the ignition wire at the coil and crank the starter. That makes the engine prime the oil pump at a low rpm.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:41 AM
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Googled it

I bet I have read for two hours on this subject and there are a lot of alternatives and ingenious cures for this. I think I am going to start by removing my new oil pressure sending unit, and installing a manual gauge first, to check to see if I even have a problem. The previous owner tampered with the dash gauge and I need to find out if there is or is not pressure... and I am not confident that the dash gauge works. If I determine that there is pressure, I can go from there... if not, then I am going to pull the coil wire, and also the plugs as most have suggested so the engine turns easier. I do believe some even removed the oil filter or loosened it a bit to determine if there is flow there.... If that still does not do it, I am going to NAPA... buy a fitting the same size as my oil pressure sending unit, and hook it up to a small weed sprayer and pump up the pressure... and then spin the starter again.... Make sense? Does anybody know off hand what size the threads are on the pressure sending unit? Has anybody tried to build the pressure this way? Thanks for all the advice so far... keep it coming... PS... reason for developing this system is because this car will go in storage every single winter, and I don't want to go through this every spring.... might as well come up with something easy that works.... thanks again....looking forward to hearing some answers....
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:30 AM
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That "big bolt" contains the pressure spring / valve. If you remove it, expect the spring to go BBBOOOOIIIINNNNNGGGG on you.

Proper L-Series oil priming is thus:
-Fill oil filter with oil, slowly spin at a 45* angle to allow oil to soak in. Add a bit more until it would start to spill out when turned on it's side. Install.
-Fill oil pump, cap w/ vasiline if desired. Install.
-Fill engine to proper oil level
-Remove spark plugs and crank for 5-10 seconds. Wait 30 sec & crank for 5-10 more seconds. Watch the oil pressure gauge. It should register pressure (and or red dummy light will turn off).

Do not attempt to use a drill like domestic V8's. The oil pump / distributor shaft is attached to the crank via worm gear.

You will need to remove the distributor for this process, because you will need to re-align everything back to TDC upon install.

If you want to install an aftermarket gauge, take the sending unit to the parts store, because most aftermarket oil pressure gauge threads are SAE, not metric. You will probably need a few conversion fittings.

Last edited by NismoPick; 04-01-2013 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:30 PM
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Couple more questions then

My friend was going to borrow a manual gauge from his mechanic to screw in to the oil pressure sending unit hole, because we are not sure that the dash gauge is even working.... and this will tell us... Next, I am probably going to buy a fitting anyway, and try the pressurization technique that I read in one of the posts... it was clever, and since I will be doing this every year, I think if it works, it will be well worth it.... So now for a question or two... Does the front sway bar get in the way when you try to remove the oil pump? And i guess I have read it almost everywhere, but why does the distributor have to be removed, to pull the oil pump? Will try some tricks first, and then pull the distributor after marking it, the oil pump, and pack the oil pump with vasoline.... Anything I should know about packing in the vasoline? Just shove in as much as I can? Thanks for the advice and answers too.... I am learning.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:48 AM
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The threads are so close to SAE you can use a 1/8 pipe thread fitting and prime through the oil galleries. The hose sprayer will get you 25 psi easy. This should fill the filter and the pump.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:22 AM
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Thanks and a question.....

Hi... thanks Ramz... that was the answer I was looking for but I may not need it... a mechanic friend of mine (retired and older than hell like me) stopped and he works part time at a dealership and has been following the problem.. He was going to bring over a manual pressure unit to screw in because we still suspect the gauge is bad. He asked if I would pull the new unit so he could make sure he had the right adapter and I did... He then said that if I pulled the coil wire, and turned the key, oil should come out that oil pressure sending unit hole.... so I thought, why not? and he watched while I turned the motor over on a five second burst... nothing... and then another five second burst and oil came shooting out the hole... good sign??? and can I assume since it is pushing oil here, that the pump is apparently working? Ideas please and thanks again...
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:30 AM
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You got it! It might be good to put a Tee there so you can have a small gauge there and a plug for priming in the Spring. You will need to crank it some more with that plugged so you can get oil to the top end.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:27 AM
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Made my day....

Hey... thanks so much... I will sleep better tonight for sure. I am new to 240Z's and this is my last build ever and will become my daily driver. I am figuring out the problems (and solutions) as I go. It is ironic that my mechanic friend suggested the same thing, with the manual gauge and a tee... but I might put in a three way with a cap on one to use with a hand sprayer idea... Just out of curiosity, is there an amount of time the car has to sit before it loses its prime? I will store it from November to April every year... Is this going to happen each and every year? (PS.. my Buick 215 engine did have to be primed each spring)

Thanks again.... Off to ebay to find a gauge....
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:13 PM
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Depends on how much moisture you get during those months. You might consider pulling the plugs and shooting WD40 in each hole and reinstalling them. Fog the intakes and cover the holes with plastic wrap. Avoid trapping moisture anywhere. Add winterizer to the fuel and run it until you got it in the carbs.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:29 PM
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The next step....

Hey.... So here we go.... After determining that oil would come out of the oil pressure sending unit hole, we were confident that the oil pump was working but still, paranoid, for lack of a better word. Today we stopped at a local mechanic friend's shop and borrowed his mechanical gauge, screwed it in, and turned the key with the coil wire pulled.... nothing, and then again with a five second burst on the key... nothing.... so my mechanic friend said to put in the wire and let's fire it up. It worked... 55 psi with full choke (fast idle) and 45 psi when we got to idle without the choke. But... that will make me sleep better tonight but I still have a problem... the gauge is still not working. So I did what I always do; read and research and I have for the last hour until I got to one of those "doh" moments... I heard everything, including the possibility that my new sending unit was bad.... hmmm Then it got around to someone asking the guy writing in if he would have happened to use "teflon tape" on the threads of his sending unit... he had, and removed it, and surprise.... so, I will admit that I am a believer in anti-seize and also teflon tape.... and yes, I used it initially, and after replacing the mechanical gauge today, guess what I did again? Teflon tape... so tomorrow, the first thing on the agenda? you guess it.... and I hope this ends it... Otherwise, is there a link to how the gauge is removed from the dash? I am hoping that process starts with "this is really quite a simple process to do" but I have worked on too many dashes to know that is going to happen... Let's hope removing the several layers of teflon tape is the answer... suggestions on what to use instead of teflon tape? Advice appreciated.... Thanks Dennis
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:04 PM
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:32 AM
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1. Remove oil filter
2. Stick vinyl hose into the oil passage that runs towards the front of the motor
3. Push the hose deep into the passage
4. Use a transfer pump or gravity and a funnel to feed oil into the hose
5. Place oil filter back on and crank for a while.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:56 AM
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tee

I stopped at my local farm store, but before I went there, I pulled my new sending unit off the motor and YES I did remove the teflon tape!!! and will use a different sealant.... But, I asked the guy if he had ever heard of British pipe thread and he said yes, but that they would have nothing like it... and he was right... so I pulled out the sending unit.... and he looked at it, took it over to a display that had a gauge unit to find out what the threads were and it fit in the eighth inch National Pipe Thread perfectly.... Now, I don't know what it is officially, but this works, and I am no longer concerned about damaging the threads in my block... so I told him about all this and he also suggested the tee.... so I got the short double sided nipple, the tee, and a plug for one end of the tee for now... The plan? Install the nipple into the original block and add the tee.... plug one end of the tee with the cap and install the sending unit on the other end of the tee; for now... I still don't know... the car has NOT been run long enough for me to check out the gauge to see if it works... I mean, in real life, oil pressure should build really fast... but this car was in storage for 15 years... and yes, it has new oil in it... So... when I find a decent/cheap METAL and hopefully oil filled manual gauge, the plug stays in the other end of the tee.... I don't want a cheaper plastic Equus gauge installed.... yes, I'm paranoid about that breaking... and the result.... Thanks for all your help... PS... next year, I will use the tee to hook up a pressure pump system that I think is the easiest way to do this.... Thanks!
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