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Oil Pump Priming

New 4/6/05

Editor's Note: When one rebuilds an engine it is preferable if not essential to "charge" the oil system before the first engine startup. This minimizes bearing wear and Lord forbid wiping a bearing.  Special assembly lub is used but a SHO V8 can not be pressurized like a traditional V8 by removing the distributor and spinning the oil pump using a drill with an extension and adaptor because the V8SHO does not have a distributor and the oil pump runs off of the crankshaft. Hence this very relevant & important  question from Paul.

I've got the new rod bearings in and tomorrow will button the bottom of the motor up. Any thoughts on pre-filling the oil pick up tube?


In a message dated 4/5/2005 2:32:04 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, fredle@srv.net writes: Paul, assuming you oil/greased those bearings during installation, I would suggest that you use the starter to spin the engine over with the plugs removed. The oil light will clear in a matter of seconds and there are no firing pressures seen while waiting. Lucien

This is what I do, just be sure you use a starter button and not the key.

If you use the key, the light will stay on all the time the starter is engaged. The instrument cluster is wired with a bulb test feature that lights up certain lights with the key in the start position. Using the starter button bypasses this feature.

Doug Lewis
Ford Performance Specialists Inc.

Ummm. Do you guys know HOW our little 3.4 oil pump works? Spin WHAT Distributor? Paul would have to pull off the front cover and timing chain to remove the oil pump to prime it. Our pump is Crankshaft driven.

Eric Lehmann

True enough.

The oil pumps in pushrod motors are actually driven by the distributor, but at half engine speed. So our oil pumps are driven at crank speed and come up to pressure much faster. They still have a hell-of-a job to do. There's a lot to supplying oil to this engine. GPM per 1000rpm requirements of this engine is about double that of most pushrod engines.

Doug Lewis
Ford Performance Specialists Inc.

Here is what I did.

Cleaned the pickup tube with degreaser and applied some duct tape to the pickup opening yesterday.

Got everything ready to go today including having the pan siliconed. Filled the tube with oil and tightened it down at the pickup gasket and rear support points. Pulled the duct tape off and put the pan on. I remembered when I cracked the pick up tube gasket loose I got a face full of oil that was held up in the tube by vacuum.

Put a couple of bolts on to hold the pan tight. Filled with oil and tightened down the rest of the bolts. Then gave the engine about 10 revolutions with a socket wrench on the crank pulley.


The proper way to prime the entire system including the filter, pump and all galleries is to use a pressurized tank that is connected to the engine by removing the oil pressure sending unit at the filter adapter and screwing in a 1/8" NPT fitting which will accept a flexible line which is connected to a pressure vessel which is able to be filled with the oil of your choice. A Schrader valve allows you to pressurize the tank which forces the oil to all of the bearings. You can put all six quarts in this way if you wish. Remove the fitting & replace the sender. Fire it up, you will have instant pressure!

 97 TR

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