10lbs of oil pressure
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10lbs of oil pressure

  1. #1
    Loose Nut on the Wheel michaellone's Avatar
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    Question 10lbs of oil pressure

    Just finished putting everything together for the Fineline, 598 BBC with a Merlin tall deck block. Plumbed, wired, and filled the block with 10 quarts of 15-40 Rotella T. Put an 18V cordless electric drill on the Medlin M77HV pump... and no oil pressure. Kick the drill up to high range and... 10 lbs of oil pressure. This is a fresh rebuild with all new bearings, seals, and gaskets.

    Started making some phone calls. Come to find out that this used block had a history of low oil pressure.

    I know that it needs to be stripped back down to bare block. Is there anything I can do to check to see what is causing the low oil pressure? Can oil passages be drilled and sleeved? Is this something that could cost me more than just finding a new block?

    Looking for some direction here, not pointing fingers at anyone involved (please let's not stir that pot).


    Mike

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    Senior Member VAMI's Avatar
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    Is there any damage from a prior blow up?I have seen them crack along the cam tunnel area from rods letting go.That should have the main oil feed running along the cam tunnel.I would junk it.I bet you have a lot of money in the rest of the parts to use that block.Be safe and get a new one.Pull the pan and put the pickup tube in a small bucket and prime it see if you can see a leak.

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    Make sure the primer your using fits down in the block right, that will cause low oil psi and make it hard to get oil up to all the push rods and rockers.

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    Default Priming

    When you primed it did you use something that looked ilke a round rod/extension that goes into the slot on the oil pump? Or did you use something that resembles a modified distributor housing that fills the hole and blocks off the lifter oil galleys?

    When I had my engine on the dyno I used the steel rod type of primer and had low oil pressure. The dyno operator said that it was because unless you use the type of primer that blocks off the lifter oil galley holes you end up with a huge internal oil leak.

    Once we fired it up it had good oil pressure. Of course on your deal if the block had a history of low oil pressure that would have been nice to know while you had it apart or even before you started your machine work. I'm not quite sure why a block would have anything to do with oil pressure unless it had an internal leak or casting flaw, but i'm sure someone with more knowledge will chime in and help out.

    Good Luck

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    Senior Member fireboat607's Avatar
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    Not to be a Smart aleck.......but........ as far as I know the primer shaft will either tie into the pump or it will not, you cannot do a maybe or almost. Shaft cannot slip on drill motor unless you have a home made primer that has a rounded shank.
    Anyone can pedal a bicycle, can you pedal a flat?????

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    "Need For Speed" Gearhead's Avatar
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    As has been mentioned, look at the alignment of your priming tool with the groove in the block just above the camshaft. More than likely your tool is not sealing this groove and that creates a massive internal oil leak. I have experienced that several times with customer engines on the dyno. Same thing when you drop in the distributor. Make sure to have an adjustable unit and measure down from the distributor base on the intake to the groove and set it in correctly.

    Also no ORANGE filers on HP engines and when assembling always make sure your oil pump is clean and that the pressure relief piston moves freely other than the spring pressure and the pump has at least 3/8" clearance from the pickup to the pan.

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    Senior Member fireboat607's Avatar
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    When I had my engine on the dyno I used the steel rod type of primer and had low oil pressure. The dyno operator said that it was because unless you use the type of primer that blocks off the lifter oil galley holes you end up with a huge internal oil leak.



    Now that could be it, a friend of mine had a "home made primer" (that had the rounded shank) that only sent oil to one side of the block, and not very much at that, it did not have that block off plug on the shaft that prevents that "huge oil leak", what kind of primer was used?
    Anyone can pedal a bicycle, can you pedal a flat?????

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    "Need For Speed" Gearhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireboat607 View Post
    Not to be a Smart aleck.......but........ as far as I know the primer shaft will either tie into the pump or it will not, you cannot do a maybe or almost. Shaft cannot slip on drill motor unless you have a home made primer that has a rounded shank.
    Yes.... a "stock" primer, especially on a tall deck Merlin, more than likely will NOT align with the oil pressure radiused channel just above the cam in the block. It is not the engagement in the pump, but a misalignment on the oil channel. You can see this easily if you drop the oil pan, place an bucket of oil under the oil pump and then attempt to prime. Viewing from the bottom with a flashlight you can readily view the mismatch and massive leak.
    Last edited by Gearhead; 07-08-2013 at 08:23 AM.

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    Some guy obnoxious001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaellone View Post
    Just finished putting everything together for the Fineline, 598 BBC with a Merlin tall deck block. Plumbed, wired, and filled the block with 10 quarts of 15-40 Rotella T. Put an 18V cordless electric drill on the Medlin M77HV pump... and no oil pressure. Kick the drill up to high range and... 10 lbs of oil pressure. This is a fresh rebuild with all new bearings, seals, and gaskets.

    Started making some phone calls. Come to find out that this used block had a history of low oil pressure.

    I know that it needs to be stripped back down to bare block. Is there anything I can do to check to see what is causing the low oil pressure? Can oil passages be drilled and sleeved? Is this something that could cost me more than just finding a new block?

    Looking for some direction here, not pointing fingers at anyone involved (please let's not stir that pot).


    Mike
    Is that Merlin II block?

    There were a bunch of them that had internal oil leaks due to the way the oil passages were machined. Lots of horror stories about them, I worked on some myself years ago. It's possible to bore the passages and install brass tubing to line the passage.

    I would do some more trouble shooting before I tore it all down.
    Last edited by obnoxious001; 07-08-2013 at 08:48 AM.

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    gn7
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    I am having a hard time understanding how the primer tool can cause the problem.
    If a stock priming tool won't work, how does a stock distributor work.

    Why would it matter if it was a tall deck or not. The distance from the oil pump to the lifter cross over remains the same.



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    Loose Nut on the Wheel michaellone's Avatar
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    The primer rod that we used was made from an old distributor. I will see if I can get a pic posted of the tool.

    Oil filter is a Wix Racing filter with the check valve. As far as the block, I will check to see if it is a Merlin II block. Where would I look?

    Mike

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    Loose Nut on the Wheel michaellone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMI View Post
    Is there any damage from a prior blow up?I have seen them crack along the cam tunnel area from rods letting go.That should have the main oil feed running along the cam tunnel.I would junk it.I bet you have a lot of money in the rest of the parts to use that block.Be safe and get a new one.Pull the pan and put the pickup tube in a small bucket and prime it see if you can see a leak.
    No known damage. I know what you are saying about the all the money in parts. That is why I am asking if there is a good way to check if it is junk or salvageable.

    Mike

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    gn7
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaellone View Post
    The primer rod that we used was made from an old distributor. I will see if I can get a pic posted of the tool.

    Oil filter is a Wix Racing filter with the check valve. As far as the block, I will check to see if it is a Merlin II block. Where would I look?

    Mike
    Is the dummie distributor for a tall deck or is the manifold cut low deck distributor? If not, then like Gearhead posted, the cross over area on the distributor isn't lining up with the gallery in the block. A low deck distributor will reach the oil pump and spin it, but it won't seal off the cross over correctly.



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    Default Primer

    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    I am having a hard time understanding how the primer tool can cause the problem.
    If a stock priming tool won't work, how does a stock distributor work.

    Why would it matter if it was a tall deck or not. The distance from the oil pump to the lifter cross over remains the same.
    I used one of these because it was a tall deck block and the nice primer the shop used did not have a slip collar and would not reach down to the oil pump. This one creates a huge oil leak.

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