Q&A / Tech

Mailbag: How to Set up an Oil Pump for High Performance Applications

You’ve got questions. We’ve got the answers—the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we’re talking oil pumps.

 

Q: I want to put a high volume oil pump in my 1970 Ford Galaxie 500 with a 351W engine. What type should I run: Sealed Power or Melling? Is there a difference in oil pressure and volume between the two? Do I need to set up the pump in any special way?

A: Both Sealed Power and Melling make high-quality pumps with comparable performance. Either one will work well on your 351W. While you don’t have to do any special work to set up an oil pump for ordinary street use, there is a procedure to set one up for high performance use.

  1. Completely disassemble the pump.
  2. Deburr the top and bottom edges of both gears. Use a fine file first, then go over the edges with 400-grit sandpaper.
  3. Check the pump cavity for sharp edges. Use the procedure in Step 2 to remove any burrs.
  4. Clean the pump and gears in solvent, then blow-dry.
  5. Install the gears in the pump, then check the clearance between the gears and the surface of the pump body with a depth micrometer or Plastigage.
  6. The clearance should be between .0015-inch and .002-inch. If needed, sand the pump body to reduce the clearance, or sand the gears to increase clearance.
  7. Once the clearance is set, clean the pump in solvent, blow-dry, lubricate with clean engine oil, and install. Be sure to prime the pump before starting the engine.
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One Comment

  1. William Ottney says:

    I recently built a 355 SBC with a vintage NOS TRW high volume pump [TRW M55HV 92156]. I installed the pump with the high pressure spring. My only concern- the TRW pump is noisier that the stock pump. I am assuming that this is a normal condition.

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