Priming Oil in New Engine - No Pressure
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Old April 25th, 2011, 01:01 PM   #1
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Priming Oil in New Engine - No Pressure


I'm getting ready to startup a freshly built 4.6 L engine, and don't have oil pressure.

I removed the spark plugs and fuel pump fuse and cranked with the starter 10-15 seconds at a time, about 6 times. I have a mechanical oil pressure gauge connected where the small plug goes on the bottom of the filter housing, and it reads ZERO PSI - the needle doesn't even move while cranking.

I removed the gauge fitting and there's not even any oil in the filter housing! (I did pre-fill the filter) This tells me that the oil pump isn't circulating oil at all.

The engine sat for almost a year before I was able to get the rest of the car put together - pehaps the pump lost its prime? I've heard of others using a cheap garden sprayer connected to one of the oil filter housing ports to prime the modular engines. I plan to drain the oil and pump it back in using this method. Anyone have success building up pressure this way?
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Old April 25th, 2011, 07:10 PM   #2
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what pump and pick up are you using, did you put the O ring on the pick up base?
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Old April 26th, 2011, 09:12 AM   #3
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The pickup has the O-ring. It's a stock GT pump/pickup.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 09:26 AM   #4
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did you measure the depth etc for clearance? If the pick up is too close to the pan it wont suck up any oil too
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Old April 26th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BadStang23 View Post
I've heard of others using a cheap garden sprayer connected to one of the oil filter housing ports to prime the modular engines. I plan to drain the oil and pump it back in using this method. Anyone have success building up pressure this way?
These engines can be a pain to prime. My super-special homemade engine oil primer has always worked though.

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Old April 26th, 2011, 02:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 86er View Post
did you measure the depth etc for clearance? If the pick up is too close to the pan it wont suck up any oil too
I measured for clearance before putting the oil pan on, so hopefully it's ok. Sounds like it'd be a pain to recheck with the engine installed.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tang Stang View Post
These engines can be a pain to prime. My super-special homemade engine oil primer has always worked though.
Thanks for the pic! I'll see if I can build my own "super-special" primer.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 10:40 PM   #8
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i never had any issue at all prining these engines, but then again i have the primer set up for these things too. i dont recall ever having oil pressure during crank on fresh build. that is big reason why a good assembly lube is a must.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 10:49 PM   #9
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i never did any priming on new motors. i just sprayed the cylanders down with wd 40, made sure i used oem chain tensoners with the locks on them and pushed them out to make sure there was no slack in the chains. then when everything is all together i just keep the crank trigger senser unplugged and turn it over for about 10 sec, then start the car.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 10:50 PM   #10
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2v's not as big of a deal. ive never had had a 2v jump on me, or a 4v either. my machinist had almost all 3v's and some 4v's jump on him.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 10:58 AM   #11
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May be fine to just fire it up, but I'm a bit conservative/anal with my new build and wanted to make sure I had oil pressure immediately for a little peace of mind.

I assembled the homemade version (under $12) of the Ford Racing primer pump using a garden chemical sprayer (with the wand removed), a 1/4" female brass coupling to a 1/4" hose barb adapter to a piece of clear 1/4" hose and another adapter and screwed into the 1/4" port at the bottom of the oil filter housing.

I was able to build pressure and pump about 3 qts in this way, rotating the engine 90 degrees at a time, then the rest through the fill tube. I still had to crank a few times at 10 second bursts, but my mechanical oil pressure gauge finally jumped from zero all the way to a steady 50-60 PSI. I think that jacking up the rear axle and cracking the oil filter loose slightly also helped get the pump primed.

When I started the engine up, I had 75 PSI oil pressure almost instantly.

Next time, I would probably use this method to prime it on an engine stand before dropping the engine in.
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Last edited by BadStang23; April 27th, 2011 at 10:59 AM. Reason: .
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Old April 27th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #12
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