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Late-Model Engine Prelubing - Build A Budget Pressure Luber

Late-Model, Distributorless Engines Do Not Offer An Easy Way To Prelube, So We Decided To Build A Budget Pressure Luber

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Late-model engines such as the GM Gen III/IV, Ford Mod motors, and the late-model Mopar Hemi have become the new darlings of horsepower seekers. These engines have strong cylinder blocks, excellent heads, and durable valvetrains. They also are significantly different from the muscle car-era small- and big-block engines. None of these engines use a distributor, preferring instead to rely on the much more accurate distributorless ignition systems (DIS). These engines also now drive the oil pump directly off the crankshaft. While this improves pump efficiency and reduces load on the camshaft, it also eliminates the time-honored technique of using a dummy distributor drive to pressure-lube a new engine before it starts for the first time. Since pressure-lubing a new engine is such a good idea, we had to find a new way to accomplish this.

In our discussions with retired GM engineer Don Webb, he suggested building a sealed unit that could be quickly and inexpensively built and easily used as often as necessary. The idea employs a simple sealed plastic bucket to house an oil pump driven with a 1/2-inch electric drill motor connecting the pump outlet to the engine with a high-pressure AN line. For a return, we added a hose between the oil pan and the bucket. As a sealed unit, this tool can be used as many times as necessary and is also easy to store and reuse.

We found most of the pieces needed to construct this backyard pressure luber laying around the shop. The only items we had to purchase were a bucket, a lid, and a metric 12mm bolt from the local hardware store, along with a specific metric fitting from Orme Bros. to adapt the pressure line to the Gen III engine. This fitting can also be reused and should be kept with the tool. While this specific story is designed around a GM Gen III/IV engine, all it would take are specific fittings for a Ford Mod and Mopar Hemi to make this pressure luber a universal item for all late-model engines. We have about four hours into designing and building this tool, but you could probably build it in less time. There are also a couple of upgrades we would make based on what we've learned. The biggest thing we would change is to use a smaller, 2-gallon bucket rather than our 5-gallon prototype. The hardware store was out of 2-gallon buckets and we didn't want to wait. For about $50.00 worth of fittings and a little fab work, you could build one for yourself. So what are you waiting for?

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