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Oil Pressure...YES!

To: MG mailing list <>
Subject: Oil Pressure...YES!
From: John Van Valkenburgh <>
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 1996 01:21:08 -0500 (EST)
Hello all,

   I posted a note last Tuesday mentioning that I was starting a newly 
rebuilt engine for the first time, but it would not develop oil 
pressure.  I got *several* good responses.

   I primed the pump by disconnecting the small oil line running to the 
sender and hooking up my little hand operated vacuum pump in reverse.  I 
filled the little bottle that is normally used to catch brake fluid with 
engine oil and pumped about a cup full into the engine.  Alas, still no 
oil pressure.

   I let the engine turn over another 20 seconds or so just to make sure, 
and then I pulled the oil pan.   BTW, I was able to pull the pan without 
having to jack up the engine.  I used a 7/16 box end wrench with a slight 
offset, and came in from under the radiator.  If I'm *really* good, I'll 
be able to put those 3 bolts back in again without having to jack up the 
engine.  I think it helps if the pistons stop half way in the cylinder.  
That way the crank stays out of the way.

   I pulled the new pump and checked the gasket.  It was not blocking any 
holes, however, the oil pump has an opening on top which runs straight 
down to the pickup sump.  This opening needs to be blocked off by the 
gasket or the pump will draw air and cavitate.  The gasket I had did not 
cover this opening.  I did put #2 Permatex gasket compound around the 
edge of the pump to seal it, but apparently that was not enough.
   I made up a new gasket and reinstalled the pump.  I then cut an old 
milk jug around the middle and made a small sump.  I filled the sump and 
put it on top of some boards such that it covered the pickup screen.  I 
then put a piece of tape on the side of the sump to mark the oil level 
and cranked the engine (without spark plugs).  

   The net result is that I was able to build up approx. 25 lbs of 
pressure using the starter alone.  Did I care that oil was running out 
over the garage floor?  Not me!  I was just happy to have oil pressure 

   Many many thanks for all the helpfull advice!  I got something like 7 
email responses within the first 6 hours alone after posting the note.  
It gives me a warm feeling to have so many people "around".  You're a 
good bunch.

   We are getting some snow here in Raleigh which is a rare event for us, 
so tonight I'm acting as transportation for my Girlfriend who works at the 
hospital.  Its rare that I get to play "cowboy" with my 4x4 S10 Blazer, 
and I quite enjoy pulling out stuck vehicles.  The only trouble is that 
there are so many other people out cruzing around with 4x4s that I don't 
often get the chance to help somebody out...

   Tomorrow afternoon I should be able to put the oil pan back in place 
and get on with seeing why the back two cylinders don't want to run.  Its 
most likely the rear carb, as its leaking gas out the vent pipe.  Carbs I 
can deal with, just as long as I've got oil pressure!

Thanks again!

PS, if anybody wants me to mail them a diagram of what the gasket should 
look like just let me know.

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