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To prime or not to prime?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Mike87, Dec 10, 2001.

  1. Mike87

    Mike87 Registered Member

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    I am finishing the install of a new GM crate motor and am wondering if it is necessary to prime the oil system or not? I have heard many +/- and am confused. Other motors that I have built and installed I have just cranked the motor until I get oil pressure (without starting) then once oil pressure is good, I proceed to start the motor. Is this an acceptable way to do a GM 350 or do I need to use a primer?

    Thanks for the input,
    Mike
     
  2. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack 1/2 ton status

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    I'd prime it. Im sure they use assembly lube but it only takes a minutes and it gaurantees that oil is where it's s'posed to be. I'd hate to burn a bearing or a cam lobe!

    That jeep thing? Yah I understand it....... Like my Blazer? <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5>http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5</a>
    Jim
     
  3. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack 1/2 ton status

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    Going back and looking at your post....... I've seen people pull the plugs and crank a motor but it's still a "dry start".

    That jeep thing? Yah I understand it....... Like my Blazer? <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5>http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5</a>
    Jim
     
  4. 77JimmyMan

    77JimmyMan Registered Member

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    Dude you should prime it before you try to start, something you should do to if the truck/car has been sitting for a long while also. If you just crank it to prime your running the bearings dry for that split secound or so it takes to build oil pressure. It could cause some problems even with everything coated in assemble lube. So ya Id pime it to be safe, just think of how much time it takes to prime a motor versus trying to put in new rods and mains (bearings).
     
  5. SAVAGE1

    SAVAGE1 1/2 ton status

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    Rookie question: Can someone please explain the process of priming an engine? I'm getting ready to drop in my new crate and this info might help.

    Rod
    Alameda, CA
    85 K5 6"ProComp 35"Boggers 14Bolt/ Dana44 4.10's
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/K5Jungle>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/K5Jungle</a>
     
  6. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack 1/2 ton status

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    Your distributor shaft runs your oil pump. Basically you remove your dist. and use a special adapter and a drill. Stick it into the oil pump and prime the engine. I dunno what direction it turns tho'. As far as I know you can buy these at any parts store or even cut a flathead screw driver.

    That jeep thing? Yah I understand it....... Like my Blazer? <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5>http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5</a>
    Jim
     
  7. 502Burban

    502Burban 1/2 ton status

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    Definitely!! I have never heard of any negatives about priming an engine's oiling system prior to startup, but am always open to hearing/learning anything new.

    The adapters are not too expensive, but if you have an old junk distributor laying around, you can make your own by removing the shaft, cutting off the top of the shaft and housing, reinstalling the shaft in the housing and spinning it with a drill.

    When you do prime it, have a buddy slowly rotate the engine a few times while you spin the priming tool with your drill. This will allow all the oiling holes in the crankshaft to temporarily line up with the oiling holes in the bearings/connecting rods and really get a good coating of oil on all the friction surfaces. When you're done, reinstall your distributor and spark plugs and fire it up.

    All in all, much better than dry firing your new engine; at least IMO.[​IMG]

    Robb
    '73 GMC Suburban - 502DFI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/robbrj>community.webshots.com/user/robbrj</a>
     
  8. michaelm

    michaelm 1/2 ton status

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    remove the gear off of an old distributor
     
  9. 502Burban

    502Burban 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for catching that one for me, Michael. I forgot about removing the gear.[​IMG] That could be ugly![​IMG] Guess I better type a little slower and think a little faster next time.

    Robb
    '73 GMC Suburban - 502DFI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/robbrj>community.webshots.com/user/robbrj</a><P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by 502Burban on 12/10/01 06:28 PM.</FONT></P>
     
  10. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    WHAT!?! Your kidding right? Gotta prime it... I dunno who said it is bad or whatever but they are flat out wrong! In fact if you don't GM will void your warranty. You must break gm crate engines according to GM specfications or your warranty will be voided. The procedure should of came with the crate motor or I know you can get it off the Jim Pace web page.

    -Mikey
    1987 Chevy K5 Blazer- 350 TBI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch>http://coloradok5.com/gallery/captcrunch</a>
     
  11. lasvegas

    lasvegas 1/2 ton status

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    what direction do you turn the pump or does it matter when you are priming???
     
  12. Innerpiece

    Innerpiece 1/2 ton status

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    You must turn it the same direction as the distributor rotates.
     
  13. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    You turn it clockwise.
    The priming tool is only $10 or $15 and it will hook right up to your electric drill. Put the drill on forward and away you go.
    Yes, have a friend turn the engine over with a braker bar on the 5/8" bolt on the harmonic balancer while you prime it. I think I'd prime it a good 15 or 20 minutes just for safety.
    -- Mike

    <font color=blue> Married to a woman who understands the need for <font color=orange>Hugger Orange. [​IMG] <font color=blue>
     

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