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Old 06-08-2010, 10:15 PM
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RicardoJM RicardoJM is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Centennial, CO
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Default How long to get oil to the top?

How long should it take for oil to make its way from the pan up to the top of the engine? The new engine is in and we filled it with coolant. We poured some oil over the top of the rocker assembly and then re-installed the valve cover and filled it up.

Prior to firing the new engine up, I want to be sure the distributor and oil pump are doing their thing to get oil through the engine. To that end, we disconnected the fuel line at the filter and center wire from the coil to the distributor. We then cranked the engine over using the starter - the intent being to confirm we had oil pressure. We cranked for a few cycles of about 15 seconds each and did not see any reading on the stock oil pressure gauge. Next we removed the valve cover and did another couple of crank cycles, and we are not seeing any oil coming out the holes on the top.

It has been a fair amount of work to get this far and I am not ready to fire this engine up only to have it get blown because of no oil. If there is an issue, it is likely with the distributor or oil pump.

The distributor is a very tight fit when being stabbed in place. I really have to put some muscle into getting it seated. I've tried a couple of distributors and the results are the same. On my old engine, it was a snug but not tight fit. The oil pump looked ok when I dropped the oil pan to put in a new gasket - of course I wouldn't know what a bad oil pump would look like.

I know that using the starter to crank the engine will make the distributor go around and drive the oil pump. If all is well, there will be change in the oil pressure gauge and oil visible at the top of the engine. As this operation is new to me, I don't know how long it should crank for all of this to happen. Is it a 10 second thing or a 1 minute thing? I guess I'm wondering if it is possible that all is ok and I just didn't give the starter cranking enough time to do its thing. I could use some input from those with first hand experience.

Aside from making sure the oil is getting where it needs to be, the only other gotcha I have is my clutch adjustment. On the first check, at rest the TO bearing is about 1/4" to 1/2" away from the pressure plate and at full pedal (pressed to the floor) the TO bearing is just making contact with pressure plate. As I am using the diaphragm style clutch I swapped out push rods and this may be contributing to my adjustment issue.
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1999 LX 470, 1971 FJ-40
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