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Old 01-05-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
lavid2002
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: southern NJ
Vehicle:
2005 PSM WRX
18.5lb. 93 oct, DP, UP

Default Oil pump won't prime :| Help?

Hey everyone. I have spent a good amount of time on this engine, let's get down to it.

I dropped an engine in, tested the oil pressure via the pressure switch port and got 80PSI cold cranking and 85 psi on a cold idle.
Swapped my pressure gauge for a pressure switch
-Got an oil light
-Double checked the oil pressure, same result. Replaces pressure switch and oil light went off.

Drove my brand new engine about 10 miles. Park it after first drive. A few hours later I go to start her up and I have an oil light It wasn't on at all during my drive. I'm certain.

Remove oil pressure switch...nothing in the galley
This is where my cluster **** starts
Remove the oil pump to find my plunger was stuck open. Engine builder sends another, this ones a brand new OEM subaru pump with a crank seal and a o-ring for the back of the pump. Prep it up and slap it on. I finish assembly, pour some oil down the oil galley via the pressure switch port and crank it. I see nothing on my pressure gauge :|

I drain the oil, visually inspect the pickup tube through the drain plug, I can see it is bolted to the block, and don't see the notorious pickup tube crack. I fill her with some fresh 5w30 and just for teh lolz I replaced the oil filter with a new one also. (10 mile oil change interval lol) Of course, filling the oil filter with oil before installing.

So I am almost stumped. This is a relatively simple system and I don't know what could be wrong! :O
Here's the game plan

-Remove oil filter and crank the car for a few seconds to see if the pump is shooting oil to the filter.
*If I see oil coming out I have no idea what could be wrong. A plugged galley? No way....

-If no oil, lift the engine and remove the oil pan and inspect pickup tube for cracks.
*Highly unlikely since I JUST had oil pressure. Could this tube crack after one drive? Not likely.

Here's the last thing that I think is happening. I didn't pack this new pump with vaseline. I have done it a couple times but I just stopped doing it. I talked to a few people and they said it was ridiculous and not needed, so I stopped.

The last thing I hear, is that some people just fire the engine, the increased speed of the engine makes the vacuum of the oil pump really suck up the oil and makes it catch. This sounds risky and I don't want to do it since I have been cranking for so long w/o oil pressure :/

Also, I tried forcing ~60 psi into the galley after topping it off with oil.

Ideas??

Thanks everyone.

_Dave
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:20 PM   #2
KillerBMotorsport
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Location: Virginia
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2005 WRX/STi
WRB of course

Default

Pull the plugs, remove the oil filter and crank. Once oil comes out install the oil filter and continue priming until you get oil out of the turbo oil supply, then start her up. Even without lubing the pump it should prime, usually before 45 seconds (done in intervals).

Don't fill the filter with oil. Counter to popular belief, it actuially slows the priming. In order for oil to fill the passages it must push the air out. Filling the filter makes it much more difficult for the air to pass through and the air will not push the oil in the filter. Pouring oil into the sensor port is almost as pointless as it traps air too.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:11 AM   #3
lavid2002
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: southern NJ
Vehicle:
2005 PSM WRX
18.5lb. 93 oct, DP, UP

Default

Thanks for the reply! Here's what I ended up doing.

Removed both allen plugs on the bottom of the oil pump.
*both had oil in them interestingly enough.
I made a tube that fit inside these holes. I cut it to apx 4 feet long and filled it with oil a bit. I then hose clamped one end to an air gun on my compressor. I shoved it up the oil pressure and let er rip. I sprayed oil all over the oil pump gears. This helped the pump prime and I was at 80 psi in no time!

Drive the car about 10 miles afterwords. Very happy when I saw that oil prime! Can you imagine dropping an oil pan for nothing!! Phew! Glad I didn't go that route.

Also, I realized shortly after, that I had essentially created an engine douche of sorts. Lol.

-Dave

Good luck to everyone priming oil pumps. I was ****ting bricks.

C/N
Pulled spark plugs, allen plugs on pump, + filter. Spray oil into pump + crank until it starts sucking up oil.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:26 AM   #4
Charlie-III
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1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper Wagon

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Geez.....I never had to do that in a Suby engine!! I would fill pan with oil, disconnect coilpack input wire, disconnect injector wires, crank engine until light went off.
Usually takes ~30 seconds total (15 seconds twice....to allow starter to cool a bit).
Hook everything up and start.

As to filling the oil filter, I do that for oil changes since there is usually still oil in galleys, etc. when starting, light goes off almost immediately.

Glad you got it resolved though.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:44 AM   #5
KillerBMotorsport
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WRB of course

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^ Doing a stright 10 minute oil change it probably doesn't matter much, but something to keep in mind... That oil pressure light goes off if there's pressure, regardless of if it's air pressure or oil pressure. Air will always push through the filter and ports easier than oil.

For priming you should never rely on the pressure light, or pressure gauge, if you are applying pressure (via air for example) it doesn't mean anything. You need to visually verify oil is coming out down stream. We use the turbo supply, since it is the farthest point in the lubrication loop, and last to get oil.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:41 PM   #6
Charlie-III
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: 07456, North NJ
Vehicle:
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper Wagon

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Not saying I disagree...I'm NA, thus not as much in the system (in terms of oiling circuit).

What I do has served me well, but FI is likely a bit different.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:05 PM   #7
KillerBMotorsport
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WRB of course

Default

^ The design of the system is exactly the same, minus the turbo supply, cooler and AVCS. Probably less than .2 quart difference, which is an insignificant difference.
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