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Discussion Starter #1
Trying to insert dizzy and won't seat all the way in. Grabbed a flashlight and noticed oil pump shaft sitting off center. Tried positioning it with a long screwdriver but can't get it to sit in the center. Any thoughts? Fyi, no oil in yet if that makes any difference.
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Too Cheap to paint!
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Possibly just a slight rotation of the crank with a wrench. Problem is mis-alignment of oil pump drive shaft and bottom of dist shaft opening not aligned enough
 

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Has it ever had a distributor in?
Was the oil pump remounted, or is the engine new / just rebuilt?

Try using a socket taped tightly to an extension (you don't want it to come loose so you can't get it back out). On a fresh build or rebuild we always try to build up oil pressuring using this socket method with a strong drill just prior to starting it the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Has it ever had a distributor in?
Was the oil pump remounted, or is the engine new / just rebuilt?

Try using a socket taped tightly to an extension (you don't want it to come loose so you can't get it back out). On a fresh build or rebuild we always try to build up oil pressuring using this socket method with a strong drill just prior to starting it the first time.
Rebuild. Oil pump shaft is tipped to the side. Tried centering it with a screwdriver but keeps tipping to the side of the shaft. Can't get a socket on it because it's tipping. Planning on priming the oil before first start with a drill.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wondering now if oil pump shaft came out of its hole while turning the engine on the stand
 

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Official OLD GUY
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Two things: 1st, a small dab of grease filling the shaft guide (hole) will hold the shaft steady, wheel bearing grease works great.
2nd thing I noticed, and I might be seeing it wrong but, it looks like the shaft is installed up-side-down, flat side up instead of pointed side up - making it harder to get the dizzy to self-center the shaft as it is dropped in . . . every shaft I've worked with have had a flat end and a pointed end.

Doc
 

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Try fitting a straw over the end of the oil pump driveshaft to center it up and then adding the grease. I assume you do have the clip at the top end to prevent the shaft from pulling out when the distributor is pulled out. If you don't have the clip and are worried about pulling the shaft all the way out when using the straw, have a dowel that will fit down the straw to push the shaft down while pulling up on the straw to remove it. Be careful not to drop anything down there.

What are you going to drive the oil pump shaft with to get the oil pressure up?

What oil pump driveshaft do you have? Original stock or aftermarket?

George
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Doc, thanks for the tip on the grease. I want sure if that would potentially clog up any small oiling channels and passages. If the pump shaft is installed correctly, and it has a flair on it, I shouldn't be able to pull it out very far.

George, the engine was a rebuilt donor. I didn't tear apart the bottom half of the engine, so I don't know if the pump shaft is aftermarket or OEM. I'm planning on using one of the tools linked above to prime the oil. I also saw the trick about picking up the shaft with some sort of straw. I'll try that next to see if there is a flair/ collar on the shaft.
 

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Quote: " I also saw the trick about picking up the shaft with some sort of straw." From the picture supplied, it looks like you have the "flare washer" installed - I can see the inner teeth that grip the shaft. Looks like it might be pressing up on the bottom of the dizzy boss. That pretty much means that you will have to work at moving the shaft UP as that washer is designed [specifically] to NOT allow upward movement of the shaft during dizzy removal. It will prevent you from removing the shaft completely without losing the washer into your oil pan.

Old school trick was to find a copper (or any other hard tubing) pipe that would NOT grip the shaft but was small enough to not wedge itself in the lower dizzy shaft guide bore, the part of the block that you can see in your picture just above the pump shaft. Push the tubing down over the shaft and force the washer down just far enough (1/8") so that you can maneuver the pump shaft into the position you need.

Put a little wheel bearing grease down around the shaft to hold that position. Wheel bearing grease will dissolve during engine warmup and not clog anything up. IF you don't have wheel bearing grease handy, hand lotion or Vasoline will work . . . Install your distributor. That may take a little rotating of the engine to get everything lined up so the dizzy will "drop" into position.

Good luck . . .

Doc
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Quote: " I also saw the trick about picking up the shaft with some sort of straw." From the picture supplied, it looks like you have the "flare washer" installed - I can see the inner teeth that grip the shaft. Looks like it might be pressing up on the bottom of the dizzy boss. That pretty much means that you will have to work at moving the shaft UP as that washer is designed [specifically] to NOT allow upward movement of the shaft during dizzy removal. It will prevent you from removing the shaft completely without losing the washer into your oil pan.

Old school trick was to find a copper (or any other hard tubing) pipe that would NOT grip the shaft but was small enough to not wedge itself in the lower dizzy shaft guide bore, the part of the block that you can see in your picture just above the pump shaft. Push the tubing down over the shaft and force the washer down just far enough (1/8") so that you can maneuver the pump shaft into the position you need.

Put a little wheel bearing grease down around the shaft to hold that position. Wheel bearing grease will dissolve during engine warmup and not clog anything up. IF you don't have wheel bearing grease handy, hand lotion or Vasoline will work . . . Install your distributor. That may take a little rotating of the engine to get everything lined up so the dizzy will "drop" into position.

Good luck . . .

Doc
Vaseline or hand lotion? I'll file that under the "don't try this at home, kids" category. Great tips doc. I'm sure I'll find something that works. Just glad that I won't have to remove my oil pan or the entire drivetrain.
 

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The oil pump shaft will align itself as you push in the dist. Turn the rotor back and forth as you slide it in. Most of the time it's the cam gear hanging up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The oil pump shaft will align itself as you push in the dist. Turn the rotor back and forth as you slide it in. Most of the time it's the cam gear hanging up.
the problem is that the pump shaft is tipped over to the side. when trying to stab the distributor in, the edge of the distributor shaft hits the top of the pump shaft. I'm trying to figure out how to center the pumpshaft in the opening. The problem (at least for now) isn't that the pumpshaft isn't turned correctly to fit into the dizzy. I can feel the bottom of the gear on the dizzy engage the cam gear, but just won't seat all the way down because of the pumpshaft issue.
 

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Crank the engine over while applying slight downward pressure on the distributor. If you can't move the shaft at all, then it's likely out of the pump and jammed at an angle.
 

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The pump shaft is only fixed at the pump. It kind of floats, so you should be able to move the shaft around with a skinny flat screw driver. If this isn't the case, then something is bound up. Or maybe the bottom end isn't in the oil pump.
 

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I'm not sure I understand the problem. There is no need to center the shaft in the lower guide hole. There is a significant chamfer on the distributor end that will center the shaft. Let's focus on possible problems.

I'm assuming this in an efi distributor.

If it is partially insert the distributor and turn the rotor. Forget about it's timing position for now. Do not engage the gear on the cam. Does the pump turn or is it jammed?

If you can't turn the pump it probably isn't in the pump end at all. Stick a magnet into the guide hole, can you lift the shaft right out of the motor entirely? If so no one put the retainer clip on when they rebuilt it.

The EFI distributor is much longer (~0.5") then a carb distributor. If you have an efi distributor and an aftermarket carb length oil pump shaft you will need to shorten the distributor shaft to get the distributor in the block. This may be an issue for future you but I don't think that is the issue you are having.

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm not sure I understand the problem. There is no need to center the shaft in the lower guide hole. There is a significant chamfer on the distributor end that will center the shaft. Let's focus on possible problems.

I'm assuming this in an efi distributor.

If it is partially insert the distributor and turn the rotor. Forget about it's timing position for now. Do not engage the gear on the cam. Does the pump turn or is it jammed?

If you can't turn the pump it probably isn't in the pump end at all. Stick a magnet into the guide hole, can you lift the shaft right out of the motor entirely? If so no one put the retainer clip on when they rebuilt it.

The EFI distributor is much longer (~0.5") then a carb distributor. If you have an efi distributor and an aftermarket carb length oil pump shaft you will need to shorten the distributor shaft to get the distributor in the block. This may be an issue for future you but I don't think that is the issue you are having.

Phil
If you look at the original pic carefully, you'll see the oil pump shaft is tipped to the side of the shaft. You'll also see the retaining ring below it, so removing from above is not an option. The issue I'm running into is that the dizzy won't fully sit down because the top of the pump shaft is hitting the edge of the dizzy and not going into the recess in the dizzy shaft. I haven't tried yet, but plan on using some grease to hold the pump shaft centered to assembly to get it lined up with the dizzy.
 

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If you look at the original pic carefully, you'll see the oil pump shaft is tipped to the side of the shaft. You'll also see the retaining ring below it, so removing from above is not an option. The issue I'm running into is that the dizzy won't fully sit down because the top of the pump shaft is hitting the edge of the dizzy and not going into the recess in the dizzy shaft. I haven't tried yet, but plan on using some grease to hold the pump shaft centered to assembly to get it lined up with the dizzy.

The shafts should be just flopping around in the lower support boss. Let's try something else..

Put a deep socket over driver shaft and push down. Can the retaining clip move down or is it bottomed out? If the retaining clip is bottomed out in that position you show in your picture the oil pump drive shafts is upsidedown.

If that's the case the oil pump is clamping the shaft against the retaining ring. Even if you could get the distributor lined up it would never seat fully in the block.
 

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For the posters that are suggesting that the pump drive shaft is up-side-down, you are correct. The "pointed end" needs to be up and the "blunt end" seated in the oil pump. This shaft, IF a stock 289 shaft, is NOT tapered to be larger in the middle as some high performance pump shafts are. This shaft is one diameter its full length . . . The flare washer can be pushed all the way down to the end of the pump shaft but it will be "sacrificed" into the pan or on top of the pickup if it's just under the pump in a front sump pan. No biggie, that's what magnets are for, retrieving stuff.

Way back in the 5th post, you were concerned about the pump shaft falling out of the pump when you rotated the engine. IF the retainer washer was on the shaft, the shaft would have been unable to move up (engine up-side-down, down) far enough to fall out of the pump. IF the retainer was far enough down to allow that much travel, you could very well have an issue where the shaft fell out of the pump and is now [actually] sitting on the top of the pump. Any "wiggling" of the pump drive shaft would eventually dislodge it causing it to fall into the pan

Chewy, buy a bore scope, they're $10-$15, hook to your cell phone or laptop . . . lets see what is really happening here.

Doc
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm currently not inclined to worry about pulling the oil pan to reverse the pump shaft, if in fact it is installed upside down. I understand I could push the retaining clip all the way off the shaft, retrieve the shaft with a magnet from above, try to fish out the retaining clip with a magnet from the drain plug, and reinstall the shaft with the tapered side up from above without the clip. If indeed the pump shaft can be run upside down, meaning with the tapered side in the pump, then I'm going to try to center the shaft (with grease, vaseline, etc) and get the dizzy to fit on top while it's supported. I am able to get a oil priming tool onto the top of the shaft, but it has a thinner wall than the actual dizzy, and I'm also able to approach it from a slight angle to get the pumpshaft into the tool, which i'm of course not able to do with the actual dizzy itself. I'm personally not sweating it too much unless I absolutely cannot get the dizzy to sit on the pump shaft because it keeps tipping over. By that point, I'd have filled the engine w/ oil and will need to drain 8 qt of break in oil, drop the pan, and then figure out what's happening from underneath.
 

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My comment earlier about Vaseline or hand lotion works . . . they are both petroleum based products and will dissolve in your break-in oil with no effects on its viscosity or adding any contamination. Old school trick for bearing installation was to rub a thin layer of Lanolin on the back side of the bearing during install, it acted like a glue to keep bearings from spinning during break-in.

Your pump drive shaft will work in either position . . .

Doc
 
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