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Thanks everyone for your suggestions.....
I'm not a fan of the plastic / nylon tubing - - have to state that right up front.

While your waiting on the new oil pressure gauge to show up, check the tubing to see that neither of the two ferrules have collapsed the tubing and is preventing pressurized oil from acting on the gauge. Also, if you can, try blowing air through the tubing - just to ensure it's free of any debris.

As you've indicated, you can clearly feel the drill rotating in the opposite direction in your hand as you prime the oil circuit so it's definitely building oil pressure. If all the necessary pipe plugs and welch plugs have been installed, then you should have oil pressure.

As for oil filters, if your Fram filter is the HP series, you should be fine. Stay away from the PH series. Wix makes good filters.
 

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What exact tool are you using to drive the oil pump? Not the drill, the tool sticking down thru the intake with the shaft to the pump. Even if it has the aluminum piece that makes up the lower part of the oil galley passage, it may be leaking off quite a bit of oil back to the pan. The fit on the cheap ones are way too loose. I have a cut off intake manifold that is just the last 2 bolts on each side and locates the primer properly. With it you can see ant abnormal bleed off around lifters, distributor, oil galley, or cam bearings
 

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Good gosh! take the cheapo nylon line off of the gauge and point it into the motor and spin the drill. If Oil shoots out walk outside and throw the POS gauge as far as you can. If no oil comes out get another line.
 

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Lifters new to this build? Possibly enough oil pump volume to feed rockers (and load drill) but enough loss at lifters to limit pressure?
 

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Had the same thing happen on a 396, turned out to be a plugged gauge. To prime engines now I always use a cut off at the top of an old GM points distributor, the newest one I welded a 3/8" shorty extension on the end of the shaft ,the Moroso thin shaft deal to me was a waste of time and money and it does not get any oil to the top of the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I'm not a fan of the plastic / nylon tubing - - have to state that right up front.

While your waiting on the new oil pressure gauge to show up, check the tubing to see that neither of the two ferrules have collapsed the tubing and is preventing pressurized oil from acting on the gauge. Also, if you can, try blowing air through the tubing - just to ensure it's free of any debris.

As you've indicated, you can clearly feel the drill rotating in the opposite direction in your hand as you prime the oil circuit so it's definitely building oil pressure. If all the necessary pipe plugs and welch plugs have been installed, then you should have oil pressure.

As for oil filters, if your Fram filter is the HP series, you should be fine. Stay away from the PH series. Wix makes good filters.
Line is clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
OK guys. I'm not new to building big blocks. Built motors for my drag boats and street cars for the last 40 years. Just NEVER came across this problem. Every motor I've built
in the past started up immediately with 70-80 lbs of oil pressure using the same type of oil pump (Mellings HV77). I don't normally use the plastic oil line on anything. I just needed
another oil pressure gauge to verify the electric one was not working correctly. I had an old one there so I hooked it up just to see if oil was coming up the clear plastic line. I NEVER use
plastic lines on anything I build. My motor is on an engine startup stand, not in the car. I've used the 'old distributor type' oil primer and the one from Summit, which I prefer because it's easier to use for me.
The priming tool is not the problem as I am getting oil to the rockers. It runs off the rockers and down on the springs. The line in the cheap gauge is clean. I've contacted Mellings and they just
said it was probably the relief valve in the pump. Its opening up as soon as the pressure builds and bleeding off the pressure. Now I don't know if this is the answer or not, but I think my next step
will be to remove the pan, pull the pump and check the relief valve. When I got this pump new it arrived in a crushed box and the pump was half in and half out of the package. I thought it was
probably ok since there isn't anything hanging off to break, but maybe the relief valve got damaged. I'm using Morel 91161 hydraulic roller lifters with Harland Sharp rockers. I did a lot of research before I bought these lifters. There seemed to be more positive comments about them than others. Installed new valve springs and shorter pushrods (yes I checked rocker arm geometry before buying new ones). I've got a ton of money invested in this bastard, and its GOING to run!
Anyway, I really appreciate all the comments and suggestions. Thanks
 

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Thanks for the update. Hope that's the issue.
 

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Nothing
 

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Hopefully he got it squared away, this was a interesting thread would be nice to hear from the OP what he found out.

Steve
 

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Agree
 

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I did remove the gauge and fittings from the block. There was oil in hole. I could see the oil running up the plastic line to the gauge while priming. I ordered another mechanical gauge should be here today. The other gauge was just one I had lying around so it might be bad. I just don't understand why there would be oil on the rockers and no oil pressure on 2 gauges. I'm changing the filter to another brand since a lot of people don't like Fram, but I doubt that's the problem.
I don’t know what the problem is, but get rid of that Fram filter.
 
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