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02/07/10 - Grounding & Oil Pump Priming

As I was about to make a grounding strap to connect my motor to my chassis, I was talking to some skyline people who said they had grounding issues when using the EMS.  So I decided to make the most reliable ground ever (carnut).  I ran a 1/0 GA cable forward from the battery terminal to a distribution block in the engine bay.  Then ran a 1/0 GA cable directly to the starter bolt. I will add a few more as well.  This is totally overkill, but also ensures that I will never have an issue with grounds.

The 1/0 black cable runs forward to the ground distribution.  The 4 GA cable runs to a body ground in the trunk.

This is a top view of the distribution block, mouinted to the frame rail.  You can see the 1/0 cable leading in from the back, the 1/0 cable that goes out of the right bolts directly to the starter. (I still need to grommet those power cables at the bottom of the pic)

And here's a bottom view of the grounding block: I will add a 4GA cable to the body up here as well.

I then bought fluids for the car...  250 dollars later:

That's 2 gallons of peak gold, 2 Liters of ATE Superblue, 5 Quarts of brad penn green break in oil, 5 quarts of 10w-40 for the second oil change, then 5 quarts of redline 15w-50 for normal use, 2 quarts of redline heavy shockproof LSD oil, and finally 4 quarts of redline MT90 trans oil.

I put the break in oil into the car and tried to prime the oil pump (no spark plugs, no ECU).  I cranked the car.  
I was cranking in 10 second intervals, with 15 seconds breaks...

I did this probably 50 times.  
*No oil pressure.

I removed the oil pressure sending unit and, using a vacuum tube and a plastic syringe, injected oil into the oil filter housing.
*No oil pressure.

I removed the filter, filled it with oil.  I also used my oil/vacuum tube to inject oil into the feed for the oil pump.
*No oil pressure.

I was at my wits end.  My starter was nearly on fire.  It started squeaking (i think I may have done permanent damage).  I still had no oil pressure, and now my battery was feeling worn out (11.4 volts according to my ebay meter)

The next day:

The next day the first thing I was go buy a battery charger...  Since I can never seem to buy the "average" anything, I wound up with this:

I had to think critically, the problem with the oil pump is that gear pumps do not work very well wth cavitation.  I needed to find a way to create a pressure differential that would want to force the oil into the pump.  There were two ways to do this.  Increase the pressure on the suction side of the pump (crank case), or decrease the pressure on the exit from the pump (oil filter housing).  I breifly considered pressureizing my crankcase with my air compressor (regulated down, obviously) but was still concerned about blowing out the main seals.  So I needed to determin a way to create a vacuum in the oil filter housing.  I removed the oil pressure gauge sending unit and replaced it with a 1/4" barb fitting.  Onto this, I clamped a length of clear tube.  Cranking the car showed no oil flowing into the tube, so there was certainly a problem.  I took my small shop vac, and, using my hand as a makeshift seal, inserted the free end of the clear hose into the vacuum.  We cranked the car will applying vacuum.  In 5 seconds, there was oil flowing, full stream into the tube.  That's all it took.  This is the setup:

And this is the result:
"If I say I'm an oil man, you will agree"

I was getting pretty nervous that there was a problem with my oil pump or I'd forgetten the oil pickup gasket or something, but it was simply a matter of too great a pressure differential for the oil pump to handle.  Lesson learned and a new trick up my sleeve.  Tomorrow we're painting the last of my bodywork.  Startup this week!

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