The oiling system on a small block Chevy engine is generally considered to be very good. It is simple and reliable. Still, there are improvements that can be made.
For this engine, I decided to use a high volume oil pump. Most HV pumps are simply big block pumps adapted for small block use, but there are pumps available which are in between the two in terms of flow and pressure.
One such pump is the Melling 10552. It is rated at being 10% over stock, instead of up to 25% for true HV small block pumps. Using this pump requires buying the correct pump pickup, in this case, Melling part number XXX. This pump uses a bolt-on pickup with a gasket. I greased the gasket to improve the sealing.
Given the fact that I will likely be running this engine very hard on the street, and that the acceleration and cornering ability will have significantly improved, I fitted a larger than stock oil pan. Another motivator for using a new pan was that the original pan was badly dented, corroded, and dirty.
Oil pans can become expensive quite quickly. Some come with trap doors, baffling and other systems to carefully control the oil flow. If I was racing, I would likely have sprung for such a pan, but in the interest of saving some money, I went with a generic stamped unit from Summit Racing Equipment, with an increased capacity. The pan come in Chevy Orange which I have never been fond of, so I stripped it down to bare metal and painted it black to better match the engine block.
Pickup to Pan Clearance
The clearance between the bottom of the pump pickup and the oil pan is critical. If the pickup is too high, the pickup could starve during hard cornering, acceleration, or braking. If it is too close to the pan, it may not be able to pump an adequate volume of oil.
An acceptable oil pump pick to pan clearance on a small block is 3/8" to 1/2". To determine the clearance, I used a method not unlike the method I used to determine piston to valve clearance. It took a few tries, but the correct clearance was eventually established.
|Previous: Cylinder Heads||Next: Flat-Tappet Camshaft Installation|