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Triumph Vitesse - Priming the pump

Has anyone have a good way of priming the oil pump?
I just fitted a new, rebuilt engine. Turning it over on the starter without spark plugs, to circulate oil got nowhere. No oil pressure, nothing. Even turning the pump with an electric drill (reversed) with the dizzie removed was unproductive.

Eventually, I remembered priming, but how to do it? I had filled the spin-on filter by hand, but that has a non-return valve, so the oil will not go back into the pump. Pouring the oil down the pump drive shaft only filled the drilling - the shaft is too close a fit.

I looked again at another block I have lying around in the garage. The only access I could find without pulling the engine and removing the sump, was via the oil pressure relief valve. If I got oil in there, it should trickle down into the vanes of the pump. It works!

The usual books do not mention this as a problem. My pump is(nearly)new, and the internal tolerances are very close - I checked before I fitted it. The sump is filled, but the body of the pump normally sits above the oil level, so unless I overfill, the oil won't get into the pump body that way. Filling on assembly just gets you oily hands, as the oil falls out into the sump if you are quick, or the floor.

I've read in a 'Classic Car' magazine to pack the pump with Vaseline on assembly, as Vasseline dissolves in engine oil more easily than grease. But sending all those pieces of vaseline into the oilways, like blood clots? No, thanks!

Any good ideas?

John Davies

I packed my oil pump with Vasoline, when replacing it, and have had no problems. I think when the oil gets up to temperature, the small amount of vasoline will melt and get dispersed so much that you don't have to worry about 'clots'.

This thread was discussed between 09/05/2000 and 03/10/2000

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