: 81 Deville 4.1L V6 Oil Pump not Primed?

04-30-07, 08:49 PM

Another dilemma not adequately covered in the W/S manual.

Whilst replacing the timing chain I removed the oil pump for inspection etc.
I did minimal dismantling taking care to put back everything and pack the inside with petroleum jelly as prescibed, in order to induce suction on start up.
The oil pump looked and felt just fine with no noticable wear.
When I started the car there was no oil pressure.
Removal of the oil filter revealed it to be as clean and new as when it came out of the box yesterday.
No oil is flowing and the red "oil check stop engine" light is on.
Yes I did refill the oil.....

The engine started fine after a few cranks and ran smoothly.

There is mention of an oil priming tool in the W/S manual, but I did not get the impression this is an essential item to get the oil flowing.

Any assistance in this regard will be greatly appreciated.

The Ape Man
05-01-07, 07:14 PM
Either take everything back apart or get an oil pump primer tool. The tool fits into the hole left when you take the distributor out. It allows you to spin the oil pump with an electric drill. It should spin pretty fast so might regain prime. I dunno what the V6 has for an oil pump drive but a giant straight screwdriver blade works for the Cadillac manufacture engines. Be sure to spin in the direction that the distributor turns.

05-01-07, 08:42 PM
Thanks again for good input Ape Man.

The long screwdriver technique makes sense and it will work on our Deville as well.
This evening I removed the oil pump cover.
Since the oil filter had nothing in it I wanted to see what was going in inside.
I believe the pump shaft did about a half a turn and either sheered off the distributor tang which drives it, or the distributor shaft is bent.
The petroleum jelly packed inside has barely been disturbed.
The distributer turns fine as the engine idled well until I realized no oil was flowing and I instantly killed it.
The pump shaft looks fine but can be turned freely in place which I believe should not happen when it is preperly connected to the distributor.

Tomorrow evening I will remove the distributor and see what gives.
Hopefully it is bent and not sheered or I will have dismantle the whole timing cover again to recover the bits.
It may of course be so bent that I cannot slide it out the timing cover hole......

The sixty four dollar question is why did it happen?

The Ape Man
05-03-07, 09:41 PM
Dunno where pet jelly is supposed to be used for priming an automotive oil pump. I've always used white lube and not packed it solid. The idea is to have enough goob to make it initially start pulling oil through the pickup as you know. Chances are something broke when the pump tried to pump that thick stuff to the engine. Good news is the camshaft gears didn't strip. Good luck. Result will be interesting.

05-05-07, 07:47 AM

The sixty four thousand dollar question answered......and a lesson for the amateurs.

The distributor had not settled low enough to engage the oil pump shaft.

When I had inserted the distributor the new O ring on the shaft caused a very tight fit which I assumed was the "bottom".
The distributor was resting on top of the oil pump shaft as the pump and distributor shafts were not aligned to enable the slot to fall into the groove.
I was able to align the slot by turning the pump shaft from the bottom as I had reopened the pump.

The oil pump shaft slot does have a bevel to encourage engagement as one would expect.
One could probably turn the oil pump shaft by inserting a long screwdriver through the distributor hole, same as Ape Man described for oil pump priming.
The manual makes no mention of how to ensure the two shafts are properly engaged.

All the above became clearly apparent on removal of the distributor.

Now the car starts fine and the oil is pumping.

The petroleum jelly trick is specified in the W/S manual and worked well.

One problem to be aware of is that the gaskets for the oil filter extension housing are no longer available, even from GM.
I had to make my own gaskets using the rubber compound material.
This is not difficult but time consuming as one has to cut several of them exactly to size and shape.
Someone must have these gaskets somewhere.......

Thanks again for the good input.