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pre-lubing an Olds Rocket

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tubman, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,454

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have done a search, and found this question, but no answer.

    About 5 years ago, I came into possession of a '49 Olds 303 that was supposed to be completely rebuilt. I have pulled the valve cover, intake, and valley cover. It sure looks rebuilt; everything is clean as a whistle, and it has Gotha adjustable rockers (the engine was completely sealed when I got it and always stored inside). I would guess that it has never been started. I have no idea how long it was stored before I got it; it wasn't for a short time from what I can see.

    My question is, what do I need to do to start it? I have an engine test stand with all the accessories (gauges, radiator fuel tank, etc.) that I can mount it on. I would think that I could drain and change the oil, add a can of ZDDP additive, and dump some break in lube in the valley. Then I would like to pre-lube it. I have done this a few times on a SBC, but never on an Olds. Is there a special fixture needed like a small block? What is the procedure? If everything checked out, I would check the valve adjustment and then try to start it. I don't want to tear it completely down, but on the other hand, I'd hate to harm the engine.

    All ideas and comments (including clever smart-ass ones) are welcome.
     
  2. mr50s
    Joined: Jul 26, 2009
    Posts: 59

    mr50s
    Member

    Hey tubman and porknbeaner,

    Talk about the power of the H.A.M.B.! Your posts of 04-03-12 relate 100% to the problem I'm now trying to solve with my rebuilt 1953 Olds 303 long block: bought it rebuilt (with receipts) after long storage with my need to pre-lube the engine before firing it for the first time. Here's what I've learned so far.

    Best I can find out is that no after-market oil pump primer commonly available for purchase will fit the early Oldses, not even those designed for later model Oldses. That's because the early Olds oil pump (1958 and earlier?) is designed to accept only a distributor shaft shaped like the letter "D" on the pump end.

    goatroper2 here on the H.A.M.B. recently suggested I find a no-good early Olds distributor and strip it so I can use the old shaft for a primer tool, and I'm looking for one of those now to cannibalize.

    Further, he suggested combining the ZDDP additive with the motor oil, and then spinning the drill with attached primer counter-clockwise for a couple of minutes to distribute lubricant throughout the block. AND he suggested rotating the crank and priming the engine at least four times at approximately 90-degree intervals during the one crank revolution, so that every last lifter and lobe gets the juice.

    Lastly, he told me to use plain old WD-40 fogged onto the cylinder bores through the spark plug holes to finish prepping for first fire-up. Man, I can hardly wait to hit that key with this information in hand!!

    Big thank you from me to goatroper2, porknbeaner and tubman for "being there" for me by sharing problems, advice and knowledge. Early Rockets Rock!!

    mr50s
     
  3. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,454

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Beaner,

    Thanks for the link. It seems like a lot of work, and I'm old (69) and crippled (arthtitis), so I like to do things the easy way. I do think I'm going to at least pull the pan and one head. If everything looks like it should (no ridge, no rust in the bores, no debris in the engine), I might just put it back together and try it. Good to see ya' back.

    MR50s

    I think I might have a spare distributor. I'm in Florida now and won't be back to Minnesota until the end of the month. If you haven't found anything by then, maybe we can find a way to share something we're only going to use once.

    Tony is a wealth of information and parts; he's helped me out a couple of times.
     

  4. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,222

    F&J
    Member

    Both of my Olds, I just take the plugs out, spray some of that new PB light oil, or whatever, up towards the top sides of each piston so it can run down both sides of the piston top.


    Then spin it with the starter; they pump up real quick. Put a gauge in the sender port at the oil filter adapter...or just listen...you can hear the motor slow down a bit as it starts to make pressure :)

    There are no valve adjustments on a stock Olds.

    By the way, pre lubing with a spare dist shaft will not let oil up to the rocker shafts and rockers, because there are "timed holes" bored through the cam journals.
     
  5. GOATROPER02
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,059

    GOATROPER02
    Member
    from OHIO

    By the way, pre lubing with a spare dist shaft will not let oil up to the rocker shafts and rockers, because there are "timed holes" bored through the cam journals.[/QUOTE]

    Why won't it ? As a rule I prime every brand of engine until I have oil to every rocker arm..... Be it a sbc or an Olds or what ever.This assures you have oil everywhere before startup

    It's good practice to turn(crankshaft) any brand of engine a quarter turn at a time until you have oil topside

    Even with timed oiling engines you will still manage to "time" the oil passages at some point.

    Tony
     
  6. George/Maine
    Joined: Jan 6, 2011
    Posts: 949

    George/Maine
    Member

    If it turns over by hand take the spark plugs out,oil the cylinders,and crank under power and see if you have oil pressure.
    If you do try and start it need good points and new condenser,and run out of gallon can of freash gas.
     
  7. This would be my recommendation also. Just remove the plugs and spin over with the starter, it will lube up everything with the engine under almost no load.
     
  8. WEell ya got me by a couple of years but we could probably compete in the crippled dept.

    You shouldn't need to pull it all the way down but it is a good idea to pull the pan at the very least. It could save you some heartach later.

    One of the fellas posted last year about his rebuilt rocket that only made a couple of passes. It was one like yours and mine. I guess there was rust in the bottoms of the cylinders that took out his skirts. Something I had never thought about before.
     
  9. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,222

    F&J
    Member

    ]



    Tony[/QUOTE]

    Tony, most average guys that may not know "Olds" would not know about the timed holes, and would just spin the pump, not the crankshaft. That's a fact :)
     
  10. GOATROPER02
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,059

    GOATROPER02
    Member
    from OHIO

    Tony, most average guys that may not know "Olds" would not know about the timed holes, and would just spin the pump, not the crankshaft. That's a fact :)[/QUOTE]


    I'll argue with you on this one FJ,
    because priming any engine properly(I don't care what the valve cover has printed on it ...I build a wide range of engines)
    Should ALWAYS be done in the manner I describe above.

    Uninformed or lack of knowledge is no excuse......and burned up parts don't care how smart you are or aren't.... And that is a fact FJ
     
  11. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,222

    F&J
    Member

    [QUOTE F&J]Tony, most average guys that may not know "Olds" would not know about the timed holes, and would just spin the pump, not the crankshaft. That's a fact :)[/QUOTE]



    Tony, You are misunderstanding what I wrote...I think :)

    I've not seen many "people" bother to turn a crankshaft while drill-priming an engine. What pro builders do, especially ones like yourself, that also specialize in Early Olds, is not what I was talking about.


    ...and besides, I'd love to see a 2 hour youtube of some average guy turning an Olds crank in vain, trying to see if he can find the spot where oil will finally show at the rockers. (and I am not talking about a "new" motor from your shop, rather, a typical, old, "used"-"ran when parked" motor, with no oiling mods)
     
  12. mr50s
    Joined: Jul 26, 2009
    Posts: 59

    mr50s
    Member

    Hey goatroper02 and F&J,

    Thanks very much for debating the best way(s) to oil-prime the early Olds engines we all love.

    Speaking only as an amateur, sounds to me like the "takeaway" from this discussion is for me to scribe perhaps eight equi-distant points on the front crank pulley, and then do the oil-priming ritual at each of the eight points in the one crank rotation. This way, don't I stand an even better chance of getting all the oil and additive to all vital parts in the valve train? Won't I have a much greater chance of finding any "timed" oiling points if I do this?

    I don't mind investing the extra labor if it helps my rebuilt engine live. By the way, my rebuilt engine was done locally (Portland, OR), so you gentlemen's years of combined experience were not involved in my build. Wish they were.

    So I really appreciate your dialogue on this subject. It's how I learn, even at age 70.

    mr50s
     
  13. ZZ-IRON
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,964

    ZZ-IRON
    Member
    from Minnesota

    learned more about the Olds today reading this thread good info

    Thanks for the heads up mr50s
     

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