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Author Topic:   NO OIL TO TOP - NEW ENGINE
posted July 22, 2004 02:08 PM
Just put this motor together (350),never seen this problem. I was spinning the oil
pump with a dummy distributor and drill, no
intake, so I could get the valves adjusted
perfect before I start it for the first time. Spun it for a long time, even turned the crank a few times, no oil whatsoever
coming out any of the rocker arms. Took
out the plug where the gage line goes and
it shot oil all over the place. Going to
shop now, going to pull out 1 lifter to
see if oil is even making it to that passage.Any other suggestions? Had me going
crazy last night...
Thanks, John

posted July 22, 2004 04:46 PM
I had the exact same thing happen to me last year. I replaced the lifters and fixed it. Mine were good quality mechanical lifters to begin with, In fact i replaced them a set of the same brand. I suspected that i caused it by using some gooey assembly lube that i bought. I've always used lubriplate, and still do. No more of that gooey red stuff.
The rep at the company told me to check the clearance between the lifter and bore, he explained that it was possible to get so much clearance that it would leak the oil past the lifter. Mine was ok, but there is not much difference between too tight and too loose with a lifter.
Did you build the engine yourself? Some builders believe in resticting oil to the top of the engine. Others add tubes to spray oil directly onto the valve springs.

rico 08
posted July 22, 2004 05:53 PM
That's normal,some will lube all the way to the rocker arms..some won't.

posted July 22, 2004 06:13 PM
I built it myself, it does not have the
restrictors. It finally started lubing one
of the rockers on #8. Swapped that lifter
to #1, it lubed there also. If you pull a
lifter and stick your finger in the hole,
there is very little oil coming out the
supply hole. I put a gage on it, it is 35psi
with the drill. Put same gage, same primer/
drill on an old engine with old oil, it put
out 60 psi. Both engines have have M55HV pumps in them. I have 20/50 oil in the new
engine. Is it possible that is too thick when cold to make it to the top? I'm thinking either (1) something wrong with the
pump like a stuck relief valve (2) an internal leak allowing the oil to go elsewhere, or (3) too thick of oil. Engine
is still on the stand, so I can do whatever
I need to fairly easily. Suggestions??????
Thanks, John

posted July 22, 2004 06:14 PM
marshalr- what was the clearance supposed to be for that. Last year we kept breaking rockers right where the fulcrum ball goes and they looked like they were getting too hot. Thought the problem went away for this year but broke one last week and looks like the rest of them weren't going to be that far behind. Anybody else got ideas, and yes the geometry is correct.

posted July 22, 2004 06:21 PM
Do you have long slot rockers?

posted July 22, 2004 06:43 PM
Sounds like the cam bearings were not correctly installed and the oil holes are not lined up.

posted July 22, 2004 07:17 PM
Cleaned the block thoroughly with brushes
before installing the plugs. I just went and
looked at a bare block, there is a groove in
the block around each cam bearing, so how
would it matter how it's installed?
Thanks, John

posted July 22, 2004 08:00 PM
It appears as though the lifter galleys are
fed off the center (main) galley via the
groove that goes around the rear cam bearing. Tomorrow is another day...

posted July 22, 2004 08:58 PM
Yup 1.5 longslots w/groved balls sorry for jumping in on your post lol.

posted July 23, 2004 06:19 AM
JB, your lifters are supplied with oil coming from the outer (2) of the (3) passages from the back of the block. They are fed from the center passage, which is fed coming from the oil pump/filter. The center passage is feeding your cam/mains/rods, while your outers are feeding the valve train. There is a diagnol hole between the center passage and the outer (2). The right passage goes around your distributor, and if your clearance between the block and your distibutor is to big, then you'll loose pressure on that side. Also, make sure you have no debree stuck in the hole between the center passage and the outer (2). Take the plugs out of the back and use something to check the holes with. Good luck. Oh, BTW, there is a proper location for placing the cam bearing holes so you won't bleed off crank pressure when the engine gets hot.

posted July 23, 2004 08:34 AM
I wrote that clearance down somwehere...?
i got the number from the guy at Crane's Tech line. They are very helpful.

posted July 23, 2004 11:30 AM
Couple thoughts...

- If the same priming tool in another block builds pressure fine, probably not clearance aroud it to the block.

- 35 PSI with 20w50? Big leak somewhere.... Should be at least 50 PSI with a typical 600rpm 1/2" drill.

- Doubt it's the cam bearings... the rear one is the only one that supplies oil to the lifters. For it not to line up it would either be sticking through the rear plug or almost hitting the distributor in the front. Worth a look though.

- Every rocker should eventually get oil. If it doesn't it may never get any and break something. I've primed/witnessed about 200-250 engines (worked in a shop for 3 years) and we never let one leave unless every rocker had oil flow.

My recommendation? Take the pressure gauge off the back of the block (the galley beside the dist. pointing straight up) and run a pipe cleaner down. You should hit a plug about 6"-8" down. If it's not there, it'll go like 12"-14" down (just guesstimates on the distance. maybe someone can actually measure them) until it hits the rear cap. If the shop cleaned the block properly, this plug should have been knocked out. Many many people miss this plug both in teardown or reassmbly. If it's open, all your oil's going straight back into the pan. The lifter on #8 was the only one to get enough pressure since it was in the back.

Good luck.

posted July 23, 2004 11:54 AM
Thanks everyone for your thought and replys.
Raz, I just found out about that plug last
night messing with my spare block. That plug
was not installed and it took me a while to
figure out the flow, poking tie straps through all the passages. Finally found that
plug in a Chevy service manual.Going to check race engine tonite.
Thanks again,

posted July 23, 2004 03:57 PM
Also - what about the hex plugs in front of the block behind the timing chain - they would allow oil to flow right out the front of the galley...

posted July 23, 2004 08:19 PM
Checked for that plug in the vertical passage in the back of the block, it is
installed. Put another new M55HV pump in
it, still 35 psi. Checked the fitting at the
front of the block coming off the main oil
gallery, again 35 psi. Removed one of the
lifter gallery plugs from the back of the
block, bumped the primer, lots of oil comes
out. Put the gage on it, only about 7 psi!!
So we took the pan back off, turned the
engine right side up, put the pickup in a
bowl of oil. Spun the primer, there was a
BUNCH of oil just gushing out from above
the rear main somewhere. I suspect there is something wrong with the cam bearing, because I'm using a distributor for a primer
so I don't think it's coming from where the
distributor passes through the right lifter
gallery. I should have mentioned earlier
that when we first started, I had forgotten to put in the cam plug, and oil dumped out
everywhere as soon as I spun it. Didn't think anything of it, put the plug in. Now
I'm wondering if somehow there is way too
much clearance around that rear bearing,
allowing all the oil to dump to the pan
instead of pressurizing the lifter gallerys.
Cam and bearings are new. Any more ideas
along these lines?
Thanks again,

posted July 23, 2004 09:03 PM
sound like you need to do one of 3 things pull the motor back down....or crank it up.....or study it somemore...wishing it was fixed...aint gonna correct the problem

R.F.Rielly Motorsports
Blood Sweat and Beers

posted July 24, 2004 05:15 AM
rfrielly- THANK YOU!!! you are very helpful.

posted July 24, 2004 08:24 PM
What about the little soft plug at the rear main?

posted July 25, 2004 06:47 PM
Fixed it, it was the rear cam bearing was
about 1/16" too far forward, exposing the
groove in the block on the back side of
the bearing. This allowed a big internal
oil leak and prevented the lifter gallerys
from getting pressurized. Thanks to all who
made constructive suggestions, that's what
makes this forum great!!

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