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V-8 oil level


WCraigH
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A fellow Packard owner in Sweden, Mano Forsman (1956 Clipper), sent me an email describing his 10-year experience with the PI-modified oil pump. He states that about 1 year after a full restoration of the 352 in his Clipper, he started experiencing noisy lifters, etc. Upon investigation, he measured about 0.5-1.0 inch lower oil level in the pan immediately after shut off. Meaning that there was that much oil up in the engine slowly draining back into the pan. So, he scribed a new "HIGH" mark on the dipstick about 1.0 inch above the stock "HIGH" mark and added oil to match this mark. He claims that this fixed the lifter clatter, etc.

This makes some sense to me. Consider that:

(1) The Packard V-8 oil pump gear section is at least 1.0 inch higher than almost any other design due to the vacuum pump on the bottom.

(2) Extra oil is apparently being retained in the upper engine galleries and/or tardily draining back into the pan.

(3) Other known deficiencies with the Packard oil pump previously chatted about in this forum.

Then maybe just adding an extra quart or so provides the needed margin.

Anyone have any direct confirming or denying experience?

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pending verification of records at the shop, the stock hi mark on the dipstick is 1/4 to 3/8 inch max from the lowest point that the crankshaft/rod assembly can achieve. Meaning that, if the extra oil causes the oil level to rise higher than that then the crank will dip in the oil. Not a good idea. HOWEVER, the drawdown whilest the engine is running also seems to be about 1/4-3/8 inch. I will double check the measurements tonite and report back. There is also a certain amount of windage conditions that exist. I have never tried to overfill the crankcase to experiment because nearly all of my driving is high-speed 50-80+ mph.

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consequently, i think his 1.0 inch re-mark is TOO hi. Probably 1/2 inch would be ok. raising the hi mark 1/2 inch would allow for the pressure relief valve port to be covered with oil. At the STOCK hi-mark the oil level is dead even with the BOTTOM of port opening +/- 1/16 inch.

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An alternate, but more $$$ solution would be to custom build a spacer between the pump and the block, to machine a correspondingly longer oil pump driveshaft and to rework the pickup tube correspondingly upward.

We did this kind of thing back in the 1970s on Pontiac drag motors which had deepened oil pans. The "conventional" fix was to use a dropped pickup, of course. However, this then requires the oil pump having to pull oil "up hill", to say nothing of allowing air into the pump if the top part is uncovered.

On Pontiac V-8s, the extended oil pump spacer was very tricky to make because the oil pump housing was angled. Hence, using a "straight down" spacer would offset the drive connection...not acceptable. Since my racing partner owned a Tool & Die machine shop, fabricating a compensating angle spacer was readily accomplished, but not trivial.

Is there any such angle on the Packard oil pump housing?

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Brian: thanks for your well crafted thoughts on the matter of the Packard V-8 oiling system.

For those chatters and lurkers who are not so familiar with the internals of the Packard V-8 (and other engines for that matter), here's a couple of crude scans I made of:

Packard V-8 oil pump

Pontiac V-8 oil pump

Initially, it looks like the Pontiac pump is much longer (lower in the pan) than the Packard, BUT the Pontiac pump attaches to the block directly (@ the crank centerline), whereas the Packard pump attaches to the top of the rear main, making up much of the apparent difference. However, the difference in pump gear height due to the vacuum pump on the bottom of the Packard pump is obvious. Note that there isn't a pickup and tube attached to the Pontiac pump in my scan, but there would be in service and it would be "straight", i.e., level with the bottom of the pump and barely off the bottom of the oil pan.

As an anecdotal point of reference, in my many years dealing with high performance Pontiac V-8s, not ONCE did I encounter a bearing or failure due to the oil pump pumping air under "relatively" normal conditions like our Packards experience. Yes, one could experience oiling problems with Trans Am Firebirds which could corner at almost 1.0G. Yes, one could experience problems with drag cars which would initially accelerate at 2+ G. But sanely driven street Pontiacs? No such problem.

There was obviously a problem with the Packard V-8 oil pump. There are least three different versions of that oil pump, although the parts manual only lists ONE replacement number (maybe late 1956 version?). Also, PI felt compelled to "solve" the oil pump problem, although reviews are mixed according to what I have heard.

More thought and discussion is definitely warrented on this topic, IMHO.

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I've read with great interest all of the various discussions of the V-8 oil problems. I found a very interesting article about a '56 Studebaker Hawk owner who bought his Hawk with a silent running engine. He had it rebuilt, and it came back with the Packard v-8 valve clacking. He went so far as to have the engine overhauled again with no cure to the noise. The end result was he discovered the mechanic had replaced the oil pump in the engine with an appropriate Packard pump. Then he discovered that the only difference between the Packard and studebaker use of the engine was that oil pump. The studebaker, having electric wipers, did not have the vacuum assembly. He obtained the correct pump, and no more noise.

My question is this: should I go ahead and pull the pump and have the PI redo done? I've already ordered (and received) the electric wiper motor that Craig used, so eliminating the vacuum pump is no big deal. I have the noticable clacking, and have no desire to do anything to jeopardize the engine. I thank god for you guys on this board, 'cause I never would have known about this problem without reading these discussions. I was planning on pulling the oil pump soon (like this weekend) to send it and get the redo done. So my question is should I go ahead with the PI fix. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif" alt="" />

This would be one of the few times I lament having chosen the "flashy" '56 over a nice, sensible '54...but then I go out and look at it, and say "nah...." <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif" alt="" />

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First, Craig (and others) are right - there are two different oil pumps. I am currently running a late one (spring and relief valve secured via bolt rather than cotter pin). You can find both listed in the parts manual although only the early one is pictured. I am searching for another late one to give to machinist. Current one was modified by Terrill Machine.

I read somewhere (don't remember exactly) that running 1/2 quart over full would alleviate the oil aeration problem. I always run 1/2 quart over (it's like chicken soup - couldn't hurt).

Don't know if PI is still doing oilpump mods but I received the following from a friendly Packard owner:

[color:"red"] give Bob Aller a call 816 781 0029. He did a nice job on mine and kept the vac pump too. [color:"black"]

I have a car club friend who is a good machinist and is going to machine a thicker plate for the bottom of the pump, add a bronze bushing corresponding to the driving shaft to ride in, machine a slightly longer driving shaft to ride in this bushing, add a bronze bushing where the driving shaft enters the pump body and machine a longer hex drive on the driven gear which will allow me to keep the vacuum pump.

[color:"red"] I will STILL run a 1/2 quart over full! [color:"black"]

If you have ever had a problem with oil draining back into the pan on a Packard V8, you are using cruddy oil. Packard does not have an enclosed valley as in most V8s, but it is an open web design - you can see the camshaft and the piston skirts as they leave the bottom of the bore. I have run my engine with valve pan covers removed and it does not overflow the edge of the head. Not at all like the Chevy "fireboat" effect where you can oil the roof of the car in the next stall. Early 55's are different - different rockers!

I really enjoy this forum, and ALL its points of view (with one exception) and that exception is NOT Packard53 or PackardV8. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif" alt="" />

YFAM, Randy Berger <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif" alt="" />

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According to recent documentation received from one of our regular posters the HUDSON oil pump did NOT have a vacuum pump and DID have a thicker lower plate WITH A BUSHING making it a much more heavy duty oilpump than the standard Packard oil pump.

According to telephone conversations i had the PI about 1 year ago, PI does NOT rebuild the pump. Pi installs the lower bushing and eleminates the VAC pump.

Mr Aller REBUILDS the pump to factory specs AND the VAC pump.

NOONE plugs (nor is willing to plug) the relief valve port.

My suggestion is to first send it to Aller and let him rebuild it. THEN send it to PI for the HD modification.

OR, try to obtain a Hudson pump.

ONLY rebuilding the pump alone will solve the problem for ONLY as many miles as it was KNOWINGLY good for originaly.

ONLY making it heavy duty without rebuilding it is somewhat of a moot point IF it needs rebuilding.

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a yet to be perfected alternative to the Packard pump is needed and probably more economical and just plain better.

If we can find a modern HI OUTPUT oil pump that will retro fit to the Packard block using an adapter manifold and modified drive shaft we will then have a pump for which replacement parts r readily available. Finding rebuild parts for the Packard pump is difficult at best.

I have a spare engine that will eventualy be placed on an engine stand and a pump mocked up for this purpose. We just need to determine WHAT pump is the closest fit. The retro pump must also turn Opposite clockwise.

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When the counterweight and/or rod cap is at its LOWEST position in the oil pan then it is 3.75 inches below the pan to block mating surface. This is according to notes i have from about a year ago when i modified the pump in my 56 executive.

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i measured the clearence between the vac pump and bottom of oil pan about a years ago but i cannot find the sheet of paper (yet) that i wrote it down on. From memmory, the clearence was not over 3/8 inch at the max. But there was at least 1/8 inch. i think we r safe in saying 1/4 inch.

I would prefer to retain the vacuum wipers too but i really dont think it is worth the vac pump at least NOT appeneded to the oil pump. I believe that the premature shaft wear is due to many different and disjoint design conditions ONE of which is the extra load (and possible poor factory fitting) of the Vacuum pump.

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the mounting flange surface of the oil pump sets 2.375 inches BELOW the pan to block mating surface of the block. (i remeber seeing that in the notes i found last nite). I can also measure the depth of a pan i have handy tomorrow nite. NOW if we know the full height of a fully assembled pump and vac pump assembly we can determine (verify) the 3/8 inch pan clearence between the assembly and the bottom of the pan that i stated above.

- PackardV8

.

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Last year I replaced the oil pump in my 1955 Custom Clipper Constellation with a rebuilt unit from Max Merritt. This replacement has the drive shaft bushed. However, if the oil level is down a quart I do experience lifter noise with one lifter at higher engine speeds. If the oil level is at the full mark this does not happen at all. I've also found that by keeping the oil level slightly higher than full that the inherrant engine noise when starting also disappears.

I've had discussions with several people on this. The common consensus was the vacuum pump was the culprit allowing air to get sucked into the oil pump. I'm not so sure about that. One thing I did find out from people who have owned 1955-56 Nash and Hudson cars equipped with the Packard V-8 is that they had problems with the lifters clacking and they don't have a vacuum pump on their oil pumps. So much for the vacuum pump.

One other thing that I've found that helps is the use of a good 20-50 motor oil. When I bought the Packard in '96 she had a clacking lifter. I changed out the oil and filter and put in 20-50 oil, the lifter clack went away and the oil pressure was better.

The reason I changed out the oil pump was that after I did the valve job in February of '01 I had problems with the lifters and was advised by a pannel of automotive vocational instructors to run an engine flush in the oil to clear out the lifters. The engine was clean to start with so I went ahead and did it. That was amistake because it washed out not only the lifters but the oil pump as well. The oil pressure went into the tank at idle (10 P.S.I.)though the lifters did not clack as the oil level was at the full mark. The rebuilt pump restored the oil pressure to normal.

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