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Engine Oil Priming Tool

building an oil pump priming tool Any time you start an engine which has been rebuilt or has been sitting for a prolonged lenth of time without proper maintenance, the oil galleries should be properly primed. To do this, you need a priming tool.

You can build an excellent priming tool out of an old distributor. Here we build one for a Buick straight eight. The major components are shown on the right. The piece of pipe is 1/2" id.

First we cut a piece of the pipe the same length as the distributor drive gear. Then run a 1/2" drill through it so that it will slide onto the distributor shaft. You can use a variety of fastening systems, but I weld mine, so I have drilled a 5/16" hole in the side of the pipe. I will be able to "plug weld" it when I am ready. Prime_tool_6.gif - 18018 Bytes

I like to make pretty tools, so I cut of the upper part of the distributor housing. I then remove all unnecessary parts from the distributor shaft. Again to make it pretty, I removed all evidence of the distributor weight mounting plate. I am now ready to assemble the priming tool.

  • slide the shaft into the housing
  • check that the shaft turns freely
  • fit the piece of pipe over the bottom
  • check adequate end play on the shaft
  • fill the hole in the pipe with weld
Prime_tool_7.gif - 28663 Bytes If you don't have welding equipment you might try loctite for the pipe. The pipe only serves to hold the distributor shaft in place on the oil pump shaft.

Now if you like nice tools, you can clean and paint your first class engine oil priming tool!

To use this tool, insert it into the distrubutor mount, and clamp a 1/2" drill onto it. The pump will take a good bit of power to turn.

  • check engine oil level
  • remove the rocker cover or covers
  • install the priming tool
  • spool up the tool and watch for oil comeing out on the rockers
  • start to turn the engine over by hand until all rockers are well oiled
  • remove the tool and install the distributor
Your engine is ready to run!
Prime_tool_10.gif - 20261 Bytes