First off, this is my first BBC as I have run 385 Fords until this boat. That said, I know the peculiarities that would make a 460 do this, but I'm lost on this 454. Sorry for it being so long winded.
The boat is a 1991 Canyon tunnel and the engine is a 454 4 bolt marine engine original to the boat. I checked the block casting number some time ago to determine that but don't have it available right now. Has 990 heads, older Edelbrock dual quad tunnel that was modified to run the 6109 Holleys sideways. It was run for a VERY short period of time and then parked (last registered in 1995). I have absolutely no history on the boat and what I will describe is just by observation.
I'm trying to bring it back to life slowly and cautiously. Had the tunnel ram off to polish it, check the cam (found roller of unknown specs), and put some oil in the valley to help lubricate it on start up. It has a remote dual oil filter with new filters (Wix, not Fram) which were filled before installing them. Pumped the old oil out and refilled with fresh for startup with nothing particularly nasty about it and not loaded with fuel. I bought a cheap oil pump primer to get some oil circulated before cranking and spun the pump with the valve covers off to verify circulation. While spinning the pump, it would build resistance as you'd expect when it builds pressure but after several minutes nothing to the rockers.
I wrote that off to a cheap tool as I've heard some of these offshore tools don't seal well and bleed off pressure before it can get to the top end. Today, I pulled the plugs, fogged the cylinders and spun the motor over with the starter. Distributor rotor spins, rockers move, no nasty noises, and still no oil to the rockers. My next move will be putting a mechanical oil pressure gauge on it and trying to prime it again.
Is there something common to the BBC that can bleed oil pressure before it gets to the top, or something obvious I may have overlooked? I know I haven't put a lot of detail into this, so if there's some questions that may help narrow down this issue, throw them at me.