Any suggestions on how to prime the engine with oil? I can see the top of the oil pump gear when looking down through where the distributor sits, however it doesn't have a slot in it like a chevy does. I had it torn down and replaced everything with the exception of the pistons and rings. The engine is still out of the car at this point. I have tried a couple of different sixed sockets, but noting seems to grip onto the oil pump gear shaft. What method have you used?

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I used an old distributor that has the cam gear teeth shaved off.  A shaft for a drill is welded onto the top.

I used a cordless drill, long 3/8" extension, and 12 mm socket. Make sure the socket snaps on the end of the extension firmly so that it locks in place and you can pull back out without dropping the socket in the engine. Here is a video of me priming my engine after rebuild:

Can you pull the coil wire and crank the starter a number of times ( resting between) to have the oil circulate thru the engine
Would that work for any reason on the Cadillac 390 and 429 engines ?
Would the dist need to be installed in the engine for the oil to circulate as it might normaly as in when you go to start the engine on a normal day ?

Tony, That defeats the purpose of priming the engine. You want the engine top and bottom end saturated with oil before you crank it from a fresh rebuild. If you just turn the engine over dry, the only lube will be a bit of assembly lube. If you manually prime the pump gear and pump until it starts bubbling out of the top oil pressure sending hole as I did, you are assured the engine is saturated with oil when you go to crank  for the first time.

So just a small thought. As my car is in the garage 6 months for winter storage, would this procedure be of any use before starting in the spring?

Probably would not hurt, however, not critical as it is with a freshly rebuilt engine where you have that initial "breaking in" and seating of the rings in the cylinder walls, etc.

Just to add, when I rebuilt my engine in 2012 I followed the Engine Break-In procedures almost verbatim per the instructions on our Engine Break In Help Page post at this link:

Thank you

I ended up using an E18 socket. It worked great! (I didn't have any luck with the 12mm socket)



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