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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of priming the engine (KB Olds, w/priority main oiling) before the initial start up, and am finding NO oil flow to the top end of the engine........getting 70 psi at the gauge, as well as a corresponding 70 psi at the oil accumulator.

I'm getting ready to pull the intake back off to do some troubleshooting, thought I'd make an inquiry here first.

I suspect either one of two things are possibly the issue, the first is obviously the lifters oiling ports/channels not aligning with the lifter oil galley(s). The second thing that caught my attention was the priming tool not having "O" rings top and bottom of where the tool passes thru the lifter oil galley. Not sure if this would bleed enough pressure to not allow oil to flow from the lifters up to the rockers, or not?
 

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You need a priming tool made from and old dist. The tool you have doesnt connect the oil passages to feed the top end.
 

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I agree, a lot of oil primer tools do just that. Spin the oil pump and thats about it. The old distributor trick mimics the engine as it would run the best.
 
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How long did you prime it for? On my old build (Dart SBF) it took a while on the initial prime for oil to show up at the rockers. The procedure I used is to prime and then turn engine 90 degrees, repeating this process for two complete revolutions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have primed it for probably 2-3 min., I figured once it caught a prime and had time to fill all the oil passages/lines/accumulator, etc. (which I believe it has) I would be seeing oil at the rockers.

I'm going to machine the lower bushing on the tool for "O" rings and try again, failing that remedying the issue, I'm going to try dropping the distributor back in and let the accumulator pressure up the system.............if that doesn't do it I'll be pulling the intake to have a look at the lifter/lifter oil galley orientation.

Thanks for the input
 

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I have primed it for probably 2-3 min., I figured once it caught a prime and had time to fill all the oil passages/lines/accumulator, etc. (which I believe it has) I would be seeing oil at the rockers.

I'm going to machine the lower bushing on the tool for "O" rings and try again, failing that remedying the issue, I'm going to try dropping the distributor back in and let the accumulator pressure up the system.............if that doesn't do it I'll be pulling the intake to have a look at the lifter/lifter oil galley orientation.

Thanks for the input
What type of priming tool are you using? If it a rod with nothing more than a spacer for the dist. it will never prime your engine top end.
 

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I have primed it for probably 2-3 min., I figured once it caught a prime and had time to fill all the oil passages/lines/accumulator, etc. (which I believe it has) I would be seeing oil at the rockers.

I'm going to machine the lower bushing on the tool for "O" rings and try again, failing that remedying the issue, I'm going to try dropping the distributor back in and let the accumulator pressure up the system.............if that doesn't do it I'll be pulling the intake to have a look at the lifter/lifter oil galley orientation.

Thanks for the input
Would you show us a pic of yer priming tool?
 

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It needs o rings to seal that oil galley, if not its just running down the back of the block. I had an issue a few years ago burning up pushrod tips in the center of engine. Tapped off the main oil galley and ran 2 lines to the center of the lifter galleys. Now the oil only needed to travel around 2 lifter bushings at the longest point. Jesel keyway w/ Jesel bushing. On a completely dry/rebuilt engine it takes us about 15-20 seconds to get oil out of the rockers, priming it up morning of a race about 4-5 seconds. 0-20 oil, @80-100 degrees, 1200 rpm drill
 

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If you really want to see where the oil is going, you can take an old cast iron intake manifold and cut it off so just the back 2 mounting holes and the distributor hole is left. Put the distributor/tool in the hole like usual. You may be surprised how much oil comes up around the distributor and lifters depending on the clearances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I tried using a drill with a bit more rpm, after another minute of driving the oil pump I started getting oil to the rockers. Also, I was able to see down into the valley of the block, and see the amount of oil bleeding off past the lower bushing of the priming tool. So obviously "O" ringing that lower bushing is going to seal the "leak", and increase oil flow to the top end.

All the priming tool that came up doing a quick search, none had "O" rings? Not sure why all these priming tools don't "O" ring that bushing....seems like a no brainer!
 

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O rings are not necessary. The part of the tool that seals off the passenger oil galley just needs to be the same diameter as an original distributor. Chinesium copies are not accurate on dimensions. That is why it is better to convert an old OEM distributor for priming. They work on engines, so they work on priming. The old cast iron Chevy distributors are what I use.


As far as O rings, Chevy blocks don't like them. The sharp edges of the block will cut or roll the O rings off the tool. Breaking the sharp edges is the recommended way to use the O rings like MSD sends with their brand distributors.

Some Dart blocks don't oil the lifters galley from the rear, so the drivers side may oil better than the passenger side if there is a leak around the tool or distributor. There is a fix online (Scott Foxwell) for this.
 
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