[ROVERNET - UK] P6B oil pump troubles

Kent Kinard kkinard at wcc.net
Tue May 16 14:58:11 BST 2006

On Tue, 16 May 2006 09:12:02 -0300
  "Brooks" <restore at nbnet.nb.ca> wrote:
> Question.....
> by using the drill method are you not turning the engine 
>over as well ?? do 
> you need to remove the plugs to alow the engine to turn 
>easier ?
> What is needed to remove the front of the oil pump...is 
>it much of a job to 
> do ?
> Thanks for your advice..
> Regards
> Dennis
Hi Dennis,
No, you aren't turning the engine over.  With the 
distributor removed there is no longer a connection 
between the oil pump and the rest of the engine.  KD made 
a tool to do what Glen has described forty-five years ago 
(I still have mine) and it has been standard practice to 
prime the system this way on all the Buick/Rover V8 and V6 
up until the change in oil pump drive configuration on the 
SD1 in 1976 and the 3.8 Buick in 1988 (or thereabouts). 
  You can make your priming tools from old distributor 
bodies...one from a pre-'76 Rover or Buick, the other from 
a '76-'95 Rover (with wobble connection)but it is a good 
bit of work (more than Glen's screwdriver and rubber hose, 
since the later arrangement requires that you turn down 
the distributor drive gear in a lathe ).  In a pinch I 
have used a long 1/4 " drive extension with the proper 
socket (I forget the size) to engage the blade on the 
later oil pumps, but you do run the risk of losing the 
socket down in the front cover if it comes adrift!!!  I 
have never had a pump fail to prime unless the pressure 
relief valve was stuck.

Failure to prime can be a symptom of major engine 
problems.  If there is enough goop around the pickup 
strainer to block the screen, then the lifters and valley 
area are probably also a mess.  This problem is inevitable 
on engines that have not had their head gaskets replaced 
and the head bolts torqued to post-'95 specs (and omiting 
the outside row of bolts).  It's worth pulling the intake 
and valley gasket to get a look at the top end of the 
engine.  Check the lobe lift on the camshaft.  If its worn 
at all, then it's time for a camshaft /lifter/timing chain 
change at the least.  If you go this far, pay careful 
attention to the front cover and oil pump condition, 
replacing the gears at least and if the pump body is 
scored, try to find one in better condition.  TA 
Performance sells an assortment of mylar gaskets that will 
allow the pump to be blueprinted precisely.  New front 
covers that will function correctly are available for 
Buicks (215, 300, 340, 350 and RWD V6's to '87) but 
sometimes require some fiddling to get the brackets and 
timing pointer right.  These covers use the P5B/P6B size 
oil pump gears and distributor drive.  The cost of a new 
front cover is around US$400, so it's worth looking for a 
good used one.  If you start looking for a good used one, 
let me know as I may have a few.  Also try Dermont Harvey 
or James Dean.

Kent K.

More information about the rovernet mailing list