Author Topic: Rebuilt engine - trying to circulate oil before starting  (Read 933 times)

Offline bakerlonglegs

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Hi,
I’m nearly finished - my long running A10 rebuild might actually start soon! However I’m stuck (again!) and seeking advice before doing expensive damage. Please can anyone help with this issue?

The engine has been completely rebuilt by an engine specialist. He said they had used assembly grease during the build and the engine turns over on the kick start. Before starting it I’m keen to circulate oil around the engine but despite turning it over many times on the kicker there is no evidence of oil leaving the oil tank. The rocker covers are off and there is no oil reaching the rocker spindles. I have taken the oil tank off and checked all the external pipes are clear. The oil pump is new (SRM).

Is it normal to be unable to circulate oil just with the kicker? If so, is there anything else I could do to prime the engine with oil before starting it for the first time?

If it’s not normal and I should be able to move oil around with the kicker, are there any suggestions as to what it could be?

Many thanks!

Online JulianS

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You can prime the return side of pump by putting 200-300cc of oil in the sump. But that does not show that the the feed side is pumping.

Could be an airlock between tank and oil pump. Happened to me a few times. First slacken the oil feed at the case until oil flows out, then tighten. If not sorted remove timing cover and slacken oil pump fixing and see oil come from the pump/crankcase joint, then retighten and that should sort it.

Some owners sort it by pushing the bike whilst in gear but that is hard work.

Online AdrianJ

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I’ve recently started my engine after a complete rebuild and putting an SRM pump on. SRM  advocate slackening the oil pressure relief valve assembly on the front right of the crankcase and kicking the engine over without plugs in until oil appears there. It took a good few kicks for me - somewhere over 50. When the engine finally started it was only 1 or 2 seconds (if that) before I could see a good strong oil return. When it starts running, a finger over the oil return in the tank should prime the flow to the rocker box.
Adrian
'53 Plunger Flash, Steib S500.


Offline Swarfcut

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  If the oiltank is still off, prime the feedpipe leading from the tank. Kicking the engine  over with the plugs out  should see the oil happily disappear into the pipe, as the primed pump draws it down.  With the PRV removed, oil should appear from the central hole in the crankcase as the engine is kicked over.  Feeding oil into this hole with a pressure oilcan will force oil into the oil gallery running around  the back of the timing bush, and then to the bush bearing surface and on into the crank and big ends.  The anti wet sump valve should prevent back flow to the pump.

 If the tank is back on and filled with oil, air pressure on the vent pipe, oil cap on, will pressure feed oil to the pump.  A little bit of kicking should see oil at the PRV cavity.

   Once the engine is running, it takes a few heart in mouth moments before oil will return to the tank, as this side of the system is effectively empty, but introducing oil into the return pipe before replacing the tank, or if the sump plate is off, pumping oil up the pick up pipe will give the return side of the new pump some initial lubrication. Julian's suggestion is another trick, easiest is via the rear rocker cover.... stick a good amount of oil down here anyway to bathe the camshaft and followers.

  Depending on how much oil is in the sump, the oil will either gulp into the tank to start with as air and oil are scavenged, or be a continuous stream. Once things settle the oil stream will vary between a continuous stream at high engine speeds, to a gentle gulp as the pump scavenges air and oil at tickover.  Oil to the rocker gear will appear late in the proceedings, being fed by the return from the pump.

 Avoid excessive periods at idle speed to start with, modern expensive oils have anti wear additives and  this can result in poor ring sealing. Cheap oil is fine for running in.

 Swarfy.

Offline bakerlonglegs

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Thank you very much for all the replies and advice, that gives me plenty to try out. Pleased I haven’t broken anything! I’ll report back....

Offline Steve.Carter

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I've just had this very problem after a complete rebuild. A blob of grease behind my SRM oil pump was the cause of my grief.

Steve

Online KiwiGF

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Thank you very much for all the replies and advice, that gives me plenty to try out. Pleased I haven’t broken anything! I’ll report back....

Kicking didnt do it for me, but taking the plugs out, putting it in gear, and pushing it around (maybe 50m at most?) got the oil returning pretty quickly.
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Online berger

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kiwigf me to with the push, then I gave up fired it up and boom 3 seconds later sorted.

Offline bikerboy

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I have kicked forever before now with and without the PRV out I find the best way is to make sure there is a fair bit of oil in the sump kick it a few times then fire it up for me its never taken more than 2 or 3 seconds for the oil to come spurting out of the return pipe.

Online Greybeard

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After I fitted a filter, the first start was scary as oil took ages to come through! I now fill the filter canister before screwing it up.

Online berger

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car type filters really soak it up when you fill one up as I do on cars and my van I walk away do something else and then go back and see it has vanished, then it is repeat the fill until its not running down your arm fitting it *sarcastic*

Online Rex

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There is a school of thought that says as long as the engine was lubed etc on assembly then all the kicking and walking is unnecessary, and the maths seems to bear it out.
Assuming stamina and a strong right leg, fifty consecutive kicks (and that's some going!) turns the engine maybe 100 times, but start the engine and 100 revolutions occurs after 4 seconds at 1500rpm.
No engine is going to seize after 4 seconds even if it was assembled dry.
Better to ensure lube on assembly, check oil is present and will freely flow from the feed pipe etc, the filter (if fitted) is full, and test run the engine all the time watching for the return.
It's worth bearing in mind that the oil will be sloshing all round the engine and doing it's stuff some time before the scavenge side visibly returns it to the tank.

Online RDfella

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Agree with Rex somewhat, but without an oil pressure gauge a first start is always a heart-in-mouth situation. Maybe it is pumping oil into the engine, but with a dry sump, it’s gonna be several seconds before there’s a return to tank. And so you sit there, engine running, counting 4, 6, 8 seconds …. should I stop it or is the oil about to appear from the return? Putting oil in the sump to start with proves nothing either – the return of that oil to the tank could give you a false sense of safety when, in fact, all it’s doing is returning what you put in, not what’s being delivered to the engine if the delivery side isn’t working.
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Online Black Sheep

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I think I have done the kicking bit once when I was young and fit. As long as the engine was put together reasonably oily, Starting it works for me.
With piston engine aircraft, the wisdom is that you don't hand turn the prop a few times as we used to do to confirm compression an all cylinders. It's reckoned that turning the engine over slowly with no oil pressure caused more wear than just starting it up. You need oil to be flung around the crankcase to get to the cylinders. Another thing is that with a new piston aero engine you don't run it at low power settings or the rings won't bed in.
2 twins, 2 singles, lots of sheep

Offline Swarfcut

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 I'm a great believer that after an expensive rebuild, anything you can do to ensure lubrication of plain bearings under light load has to be good. For car engines, pressure oilcan on the oil light gallery to prime the crank bearings, replace oil light switch then cranking with the plugs out until the oil light went out was the usual way. The exception was the Ford Pinto engine, where the oil pump could be driven directly with a hex socket on the distributor drive.

 Priming the A10 pump is easy, and although the engine builder says everything is oiled up and ready to go, I always think it's a similar phrase to "The cheque's  in the post" or worse "Yeah, sludge trap's clear"

 If it was mine, I would be making sure all was in order before loading up those big end bearings.

 Swarfy.