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Ecklers AutoMotive
Username Post: Pre-oiling a 265        (Topic#355554)
Posts: 3

Reg: 10-09-18
03-10-19 06:25 AM - Post#2761705    

Hi guys,

Couldn't find what I need in the archives, so thought I'd ask.

About to fire my '56 265 for the first time. I only have the simple priming tool - not many old distributers in the UK - and I'm getting 40+lb at the gauge but only getting oil to the top of one pushrod, which is no3 exhaust. I've read that it's best to use an old dizzy to pre-oil these, but does the fact that I'm getting oil to one valve mean that all will be good when running? I'm more than happy to manually lube for the initial fire-up.

Apparently a mild cam has been fitted and the oil groove machined in to it at the rear. I don't know yet about the bearings as I'm waiting for the rebuilder to get back to me. But again, there's oil to one pushrod so is it safe to assume the oil is getting through?

Appreciate your wisdom, fellas.

Ecklers AutoMotive
Dedicated Member
Posts: 5664
Age: 68
Loc: Everett, Wa.
Reg: 02-26-08
03-10-19 01:32 PM - Post#2761751    
    In response to Arti

I'd say 2 person job. One running the electric drill powering the oil pump, and the other turning the engine over by hand, 1/4 turn each time, while watching for pushrod oiling. I'd run the drill for a minute between engine turns. Now, I can be rather OCD when it come to some things, like filling an oil filter full with oil before installing it; it just insures there's really no delay in getting oil to the bearings after an oil change at restart. If you don't start seeing oil after several complete engine rotations, then you're going to have to look deeper into why. The 55-56 distributor collar is't "grooved" all the way around, and that groove serves as an oil feed passage; I would't think the modern primer oilers would't work however. Report back with what you come up with.
I am Butch/56sedandelivery.

Andy J 
Posts: 25

Age: 67
Loc: east central Mississippi
Reg: 10-29-15
03-17-19 07:17 PM - Post#2762329    
    In response to Arti

Arti,does the engine have solid or hydraulic lifters?From my experience,solid lifters may take several minutes for oil to get to the rocker arms,even after the engine has been started.I poured oil onto the rocker rams to keep them lubricated.
Hydraulic lifters usually oil up while priming the engine by spinning the oil pump with the drill motor.
Like I stated earlier,This is from my experience,YMMV.

Posts: 18
Age: 71
Loc: New Freedom, PA
Reg: 08-15-16
03-18-19 01:30 PM - Post#2762396    
    In response to Arti

If all the rockers are getting oil but the one, I would oil that rocker and pushrod best I could and start the engine. This is the fastest way and it is messy as the rockers will flip oil over the exhaust and possibly squirt on inner fenders. At least this will increase the volume and pressure so keep an eye on that one rocker. If after a couple minutes there is no oil, shut down and inspect the rocker and pushrod. If no issues, then look deeper which will require removing the intake to get to the lifters.

The early small block Chevy cams had a flat on the rear journal which metered the amount of oil that went to the rocker arms. If this is "out of position", then you may not be able to build enough pressure by priming to get oil to that one rocker arm. You could try -with the ignition OFF- turning the engine 1/4 revolution at a time and repriming at each interval, even go as far as backing off that rocker and re-priming or removing it completely and inspect the pushrod that it is not filled with sludge.

I hope you know the procedure to adjust rocker arm clearance. Chevy hydraulic lifters only need 1/4 turn to seat the pushrod after zero clearance is acheived. A pushrod can be spun with the fingers until clearance is eliminated while the lifter is on the heel of the camshaft. When you can no longer turn the pushrod, this is the point that you turn an extra 1/4 turn. This can be performed while the engine is running. Mechanical lifters require a feeler gauge and specific clearances whether OEM or aftermarket and adjustment is done with the engine off.

Edited by shoeboxpaul on 03-18-19 02:09 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

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