Oil pump priming problems

#1
So I volunteered to get my friend's 1963 Impala SS running and driving after a 22+ years nap so he can sell it. It has a QC 409 with a 3-speed on the tree. I pulled the plugs and oiled the cylinders, waited several days, then turned the crankshaft two complete revolutions from the flywheel side. Pulling the valve covers revealed virtually no sludge inside the 59,000 mile motor with open breathers. Knowing that it was not seized, I changed the oil (which, considering it's age, wasn't too bad) and filter. I removed the distributor and am trying to prime the engine with oil to avoid a dry start. I am using a Proform #66896 oil pump primer, but can't get any oil through the pushrods to the rockers on either side. I am not familiar with the W motors, but I am turning the primer clockwise as I do on SBCs and BBCs. Any tricks that I am missing to get oil to the top of the engine?
 

Skip FIx

Well Known Member
#5
Be cool if you could shove an intake tube down the dipstick tube to pump then tap into a plug on top and prime them with the distributor in!
 

427John

Well Known Member
#8
I think he's talking about using an external pump with a suction thru the dipstick and discharging into something like the oil pressure sending unit to pressurize the oil passages.Thats where a marine type oil pan with a suck out oil change setup would be handy.
 

tenxal

Well Known Member
#9
Like how you prime an LS series engine. I've seen a setup for non-LS engines that uses a 110v pump that T's into the factory 1/8 npt oil pressure sending port...basically just makes sure all the oil passages were full.

If you're priming a W with a SBC/SBC primer and you're getting oil pressure but just no oil out the push rods, I'd put oil on the rocker tip/valve stems, squirt some oil into the push rods from the top and fire it up. :)
 
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Skip FIx

Well Known Member
#10
"I think he's talking about using an external pump with a suction thru the dipstick and discharging into something like the oil pressure sending unit to pressurize the oil passages.Thats where a marine type oil pan with a suck out oil change setup would be handy. "

Yep something like that. Or I guess hooking a mini Accusump up but it would be overfull until it builds enough pressure to fill the tank back up.
 

Carmine

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 9
#11
If the proform primer you are using is for a sbc/bbc that is the problem.
Exactly. When I put my 348/434 back together, I couldn't get oil to the rockers either, no matter how hard I tried. Seemed like oil was slipping by the round piece (not sure what it's called) that is on the priming rod. It wasn't sealing properly I guess. Went to the machine shop with the tool and told him of the problem. Nice guy that he is, he machined a new round piece (maybe it's called a spacer???) which was just a smidgen bigger. Went home and tried it. Had oil to the top within very few minutes. I really don't think that the distributor shaft on the sbc, bbc and "W" engines are any different. Moreso, it's crappy tool manufacturing/lack of quality control. If you're still not successful after more attempts, PM me and I'll send you my priming tool to use. Of course I'll need a $1,000.00 deposit up front :laugh2:laugh2:laugh2. Only kidding of course, Carmine.
 

427John

Well Known Member
#14
I think the problem is that the oil passage intersects the locating bore of the distributor,if you look at the bottom boss of the distributor housing there is an area that is relieved in the middle that allows oil to flow by and above and below that is full diameter so that it more or less seals the top and bottom of the locating bore in the block allowing pressure to build in the passage.The sbc/bbc distributors are significantly smaller in diameter in those areas allowing a much larger gap so the oil can just squirt out of there back down into the pan.I took calipers to a w dist. and sbc/bbc dist and measured there and was surprised at how much difference there was but can't remember what it was.
 

Gofish

Well Known Member
#18
You need a tool designed for the W engine. When I tried the SBC/BBC priming tool I got oil to the rockers on the drivers side, but not the other side. The tools are different. When I bought and used a tool for the W engines my 348 had oil to both sides in a few minutes. Show Cars has the correct part. You can see the difference in the photo.
 

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boxerdog

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 5
#19
Since the engine was running before, how could the cam bearing now be an issue?
I missed that part. Just saying that it never fails to amaze me how many posts there have been about incorrectly installed cam bearings. But I won't start one if it won't oil up top. I've also seen (recently) several batches of solid lifters (2 different brands) that had loose or poor-fitting "pushrod buttons" and pushed out significant quantities of oil out into the valley as opposed to going up the pushrod. So I always do it prior to installing the intake and wait until I get oil at all of the rockers.
 
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