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Whit

No Oil Pressure in 1953 Jeep CJ3B 134 Four

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Please advise how to prime the oil pump (through the galleys) on my 53 cj3b. I installed a new pump, but it has been sitting for 2 years and I get no pressure.

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Welcome to the forum, Whit...Good idea to prime the oiling system, regardless!  I always do this on fresh engines.  On a Jeep 134, the oil pump drive gear is on the oil pump, not the distributor.  For that reason, you cannot rotate the installed oil pump drive.  The pump's gear is engaged with the camshaft.  Attempts to rotate the pump drive with the camshaft static will destroy the gear or camshaft drive teeth.

 

I'm guessing that you have access to a pressure vessel/tank for engine oil?  With the oil pump installed already, one time-honored method is to remove the oil pressure gauge tube or sender (depending upon whether the gauge is electric or mechanical).  Using the correct fittings for a leakproof seal, install fittings in the oil gauge port on the engine.  Feed clean, pressurized oil into the oil pressure gauge port. 

 

Removal of the valve cover enables watching the rocker shaft for oil flow.  When oil is clearly filling the system under pressure, you're primed.  Allow enough oil flow into the engine to backfill and prime the oil pump.  (Otherwise, remove the oil pump and fill it with oil by turning the drive by hand with the pump soaking in clean motor oil.  Reinstall the primed pump.)  After priming the engine, remove the oil filter canister lid to make sure the can is full. 

 

Secure the valve cover, oil filter canister lid and the oil sender or gauge tube before cranking and starting the engine.  Make sure the oil pressure gauge shows oil pressure promptly.

 

Moses

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Ok, I followed your advice, and used a hand suction pump (in reverse) to put pressure as you described. But I get no oil on the rocker shaft. I also tried using a compressor, but was afraid to go above 10 psi. Should I use more pressure ? I don't want to cause another problem. BTW, when I replaced the oil pump, I primed it with vaseline (I think, it was some time ago). Thanks for your thoughts.

 

Kind regards,

Whit

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Whit...Petroleum jelly works at the pump gears and is a mandatory on the later Buick 225 V-6 Dauntless oil pump.  The Buick V-6/V-8 and AMC V-8s with external oil pumps all required petroleum jelly packing to pick up oil the first time.  Many other engine designs struggle here, too.

 

The relatively small oil pressure sender or tube port is not the greatest for oil priming, some engines do not respond well to this point for priming.  You can try disconnecting the coil wire, remove spark plugs and turn the crankshaft by hand (actually with a socket and ratchet) while priming the engine over the span of the crank rotation.  Oil will flow more readily through the crankshaft passageways if you do this.  Other areas of the engine would also benefit.  Do not use the starter motor.  You are simply trying to expose the rod and main crankshaft journals to oil flow at hand rotating speed.

 

AgKit's oil priming tank calls for 50-100 PSI.  (40-50 PSI would certainly not hurt anything, I would remove the oil filter cartridge to be safe during priming.  Install the canister lid to prevent oil leakage!  Make sure the tank or your pump and all fittings are clean, and use clean, fresh oil.)  Rotating the crankshaft, camshaft and oil pump gears could make a difference here.  I would start off with enough oil in the pan/crankcase to submerge the oil pump pickup screen while priming.  You may be able to hear the oil pushing backward from the pump and out the screen.

 

Note:  You need to boost the priming oil pressure to around 45-50 PSI range.  Do not use compressed air, as this will blow oil off the bearing surfaces.  Do not introduce air into the oiling system passageways, or you will create air gaps in the oiling system!  Maintain a steady application of oil during the process.

 

I have the early design Goodson PL-40 priming tank, the instruction sheet is below in PDF form.  This is similar to the Melling design or AgKit's HET40...To get an idea of an oiling/priming tank design, see these links, comments and reviews:

 

http://www.agkits.com/Engine-Pre-Lubricator-Pre-Lube-Engine-Oiler.aspx#.Vc1SeF6FOM8

 

http://www.melling.com/Aftermarket/High-Performance/Pre-Lube-Tank

 

http://www.amazon.com/Melling-MPL101-Priming-Tool/dp/B00B5QIIXY

 

Goodson PL-40 Engine Oil Priming Tank.pdf

 

Trust this will get oil to the rocker shaft assembly...Let us know how this all works out.

 

Moses

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Hi Moses,

I followed your advice and got a priming tank. I primed in the two spots shown in the photo (at the oil pressure sender port om the block, and also at the head in the crankshaft to head oil line). I could only get a flow of oil in one place as shown in the picture. Even so, I was hopeful, but I am still getting no oil pressure on the gauge. The oil pump is brand new, so I doubt that is the problem. Should I drop the oil pan and check the pick up screen ? (I did clean it once already). Or maybe prime through one of the galley plugs in the block ?

 

Thanks,

Whit

 

 

post-678-0-74103800-1442096472_thumb.jpg

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Hi, Whit...Sounds like you've made all the right moves.  The block (lower) prime point is the oil galley at the base of the block, right?  That should prime both the crank and camshaft bearings.  Did you rotate the crankshaft slowly during this priming effort?  That makes it easier for oil passageways to align.

 

That lower galley should back fill the oil pump.  Did you have oil in the pan?  Could you hear oil pushing into the oil pan?

 

When you look for "gauge" pressure, are you cranking the engine over?  It takes a while for oil to reach the dash gauge if you have a tube/mechanical gauge.  You should see gauge pressure build during the priming operation, though, especially if oil is filling all arteries in the engine.  Are you getting oil to the oil filter canister when you prime?  Is oil flowing back to the timing cover?  Let's discuss where you know the oil is reaching.  We know this is a gear drive camshaft.  (All F-head engines are gear drive.)  The distributor and oil pump must be counter-clockwise rotation.  I bring this up, because an early L-head engine with chain drive camshaft has a "reverse" oil pump and a distributor that rotates the rotor clockwise.  Drive gears are cut differently between these pumps. 

 

Is there a square headed 1/8" pipe plug on the external oil pump that could serve as a priming point?  If not, as a last ditch, you could remove the pressure regulator plunger and spring from the pump, make an adapter fitting (pump straight thread size to a pipe thread for the priming tank hose) and prime the oil pump directly at this port.  Or you could remove the oil pump (it's external and easier to handle than the oil pan) and try priming the block's oil entry port directly.  This would require a rubber stopper end or other means to contain pressure and direct oil into the block oil port.  You could drop the tank pressure to make this easier.

 

Moses 

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Hi Moses,

First of all, thanks for all of your help on this frustrating issue.

 

Answers to your questions above :

 

The lower prime point I used is the oil pressure sending port on the block. I did rotate the crankshaft by hand, and got oil at the rocker closest to the firewall only. Also, got oil flow into the oil filter canister. 

I could hear the oil pushing into the oil pan, and about 3 quarts flowed in quite quickly. 

I also connected the priming tank to the oil pressure gauge, to be sure the gauge (new) is not faulty and the connections are tight. I got a reading of 40 psi, which is what I put in the tank.

There is no plug on the oil pump to serve as a priming point, and I haven't yet tried priming it through the pressure regulator. By virtue of the fact that the oil filter canister had flow, the pump must be working.

Having seen the flow at the oil filter, I reassembled everything and checked the gauge again.....no oil pressure turning over by hand, or with motor running (briefly) 

I will try priming through the square headed plug in the block tomorrow.

 

Whit 

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Whit, you have oil primed the engine. You pressurized the flow through the system with the oil tank. 

 

Is there something amiss with the oil pump itself?  You've even primed the pump if you hear oil pushing into the pan.  Oil is everywhere but not pressure.  This could be either the oil pump not spinning or the oil pressure regulator stuck in the bypass (open) position and returning oil to the pan instead of routing pressurized oil into the engine block.  Are you confident that the oil pump is rotating?  The only other thing at this point is a leak in either the oil pickup tube or the junction between the pickup tube and the block or the oil pump.  In that case, the pump would not pick up prime from the oil pickup screen in the pan.

 

Make sure the pump spins properly (remove the pump cover if necessary, it's accessible).  Check the pump pressure relief valve to make sure it's not stuck open.  If that seems okay, make sure the floating oil pump pickup screen moves freely and rests just above the floor of the pan, submerged in oil and able to flow oil.  Make sure there are no leaks in the pickup tube or the tube junction with the block.  (Is the oil pump pickup tube flange gasket missing at the block junction? This would prevent a good vacuum seal for oil pickup through the tube.)  Make sure the passage from the block to oil pump is not bleeding off.  There must be a good "vacuum" seal between the oil pump pickup screen in the pan and the oil pump.

 

Is the oil flow into the filter canister simply the pressurized oil from the oil tank?  Did you flow oil at the canister with the engine running?

 

Moses

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Good news !! I dropped the oil pan, and unbolted the oil pick up screen. The gasket was there, but the hole was blocked. I must have made the gasket way back when, and forgot to cut out the center hole. I felt mega stupid, but it all went away when I turned the key and the gauge read 30+ psi. 

 

Thanks again for all of your advice.

 

Best ,

Whit

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Thought the tube was worth checking...Any loss of vacuum from the pick up point to pump can bleed off volume. A blocked orifice is even more convincing...Whit, I'm very pleased that you found the trouble! Now you can enjoy that painstaking engine build.

If the firewall is any hint, I bet that 3B is great looking, too. I've never been bashful when stating that the CJ3B is my favorite flatfender Jeep! Post some photos at the Garage/Photo Gallery...You've got the whole fall season to have fun with the CJ3B!

Moses

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