Oil pump noise while priming engine

Shifter51

Member
Hello, I am new to Buick engine rebuild s and I’m almost done with the 455 I’m putting together . while priming the engine to pump the hydraulic lifters up the pump seems to have a good amount of noise and vibration that can be felt through the drill turning the pump, I have not noticed this noise and vibration priming Chevy engines which also have a spur gear type pumps , I might be making to much out of this but it is more noise than I expected. The front cover and pump are TA pieces that were running on this engine before I took the engine down for rebuild.

Thanks
 

LARRY70GS

Active Member
If you turn the pump by hand, do you feel any binding? There is no need to pump up the lifters, that will happen quickly once you start the engine. All you need to do is prime until you get oil pressure. Normally, as soon as it primes, it will noticeably load the drill down. Stop once you feel that and see pressure on the gauge (you have a gauge, right?). If you push down too much, you can force the gear to rub the pump cover surface. Doing that will wear the pump increasing clearances which will impact hot oil pressure.
 

Shifter51

Member
Thanks for the input, when I turn it by hand I feel the normal pules of the gear pump moving oil, but no binding. These pulses are a lot more pronounced than I expected and assume that is the noise I am hearing? I have had some bad luck with lifters on other engine builds so I like to pressure them up before the intake goes on to make sure there no issues after the engine has been turned over by hand, with this batch of lifters I have one that bleed all of the oil off after a revolution and removed all the preload, I’m currently waiting on another set of lifters but I may have saved myself an intake gasket ?
 

LARRY70GS

Active Member
I normally can't hear any noise over the drill I'm using to prime the pump, so if you are hearing something, it must be pretty loud. The quality of lifters is not always good, quality control is lacking. Some guys like to take them apart and clean them. They say they find a lot of dirt in them.
 

Shifter51

Member
Well, I suppose I better pull the pump apart and take a look , make sure it is not destroying itself. I did not have a gauge on when I primed it but probably ought to , to get an idea of what pressure it is making. I did have good oil flow up to rocker arms so I assumed the pump moving oil well but the noise is raising a bit of red flag.
 

Shifter51

Member
Probably a good idea. Read my thread on oil pump clearances over on V8buick.com

Great read! When pulled this engine down for rebuild it was because the front cam bearing was wiped out, after talking to TA performance they suggested that I put an orange spring in which I did , prior to the rebuild the engine held 18-20 psi at hot idle and 50-55 at cruise rpm(2800) they indicated this might be excessive and putting excess load on the front cam bearing so one thing lead to another and I ended up rebuilding the whole thing (engine , I did pull the gears out of the pump and the gears and housing were beautiful so replaced the spring and put it back together) and I’m getting close to having it fully assembled and getting back in the car.
 

LARRY70GS

Active Member
Yes, the oil pump can put a big load on the front cam bearing. This is aggravated if the HV/HP pump with longer gears is used, as well as thicker oil. It's really important to wait until the oil is up to temperature before wailing on the engine. That's good advice for any Buick engine. If you talked with TA, I am sure you are using their premium grooved cam bearing.
 

Shifter51

Member
Yes, the oil pump can put a big load on the front cam bearing. This is aggravated if the HV/HP pump with longer gears is used, as well as thicker oil. It's really important to wait until the oil is up to temperature before wailing on the engine. That's good advice for any Buick engine. If you talked with TA, I am sure you are using their premium grooved cam bearing.
I am using their cam bearing, there ones that came out of it were grooved and coated as well, this engine had some money and effort put into it some point but think the person I got the car from didn’t maintain it like they should have
 

Shifter51

Member
Update, the oil pressure with the drill is 70 psi, I took the pump apart , the gears and housing and booster plate still good (slight radial rubbing on the booster plate below the dive gear). The stick out of the gears is .0025ish and with a depth mic the gasket thickness measured.013. I put the pump back together and have very slight but detectable endplay. I primed the engine again the noise was still evident. At this point believing the end play is ok , having good oil pressure and no binding in the pump I decided to heat the front cover up to about 100 degrees with a heat gun and try it again with the drill, I ended up with about 65 psi and the noise was much less noticeable.
 
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