Oil Pump Pickups

Oil Pump Pickup - While at the wreckers, I picked up an oil pump pickup tube and screen ($1) from a small block chev and found out that there are two different styles also. The important difference is the diameter of the tube. The one I picked up had a 3/4" diameter and the new oil pump required 5/8". A quick check with the parts house indicated that there are two sizes and the 3/4" is a high performance pickup. A few phone calls around and one of the engine rebuilders had a few used ones in stock for $6.

oil pickup

5/8" diameter oil pickup tube on left and 3/4" oil pickup tube on right

Most high performance engine builders recommend brazing the pickup tube onto the oil pump. I tried tapping it in using an open end wrench but was unable to get it fitted tight to the oil pump. I'll give it a try later when I take the oil pan off to rework it for steering clearance. Maybe I'll make a tool or borrow one.

I had to knotch the oil pan to clear the rack and pinion unit. I rolled some sheet steel on an old steering column and then use it as a template to mark the oil pan knotch. I cut out the oil pan knotch and MIG welded the sheet steel in place. I then ground down the welds so it would look pretty but found that there were pinhole leaks and some pretty thin spots. So I rewelded all the seams and left the bead on. I'd rather have it strong and reliable than pretty and questionable.

knotched oil pan

Knotched oil pan upside down on engine stand

Naturally, the oil pickup screen interfered with the knotch and wouldn't allow the pan to sit flush against the block. So I found that a Milodon 18307 pickup screen would work with some minor modifications with a persuader (hammer). The Milodon pickup is made for a 7 1/2" deep sump which is just a little deeper than what mine is and has a shorter screen. It will work with both a standard oilpump or high volume pump.

oil pickup

Milodon 18307 pickup screen (red circle is stock pickup screen)

The screen comes with a mounting tab that is bolted onto the oilpump which is nice cause it helps secure the pickup. A lot of racers braze the pickup tube to the pump to stop it from falling out. I had to bend the mounting tab to get about 3/8" clearance so that the pan would sit flush. There is a clearance bracket on the screen to ensure that the screen is a minimum of 3/8" from the pan. I put a small dent in the clearance bracket - oops!

side view

Side view of Milodon pickup screen.

almost assembled

Here's the engine almost assembled

The heads have just been put on and I'm going to tape off the parts and paint the heads black to match the block. The waterpump is new and has a coating of a thick grease/oil on it so it hasn't been painted. The timing chain cover is painted white and the fuel pump installed (another new pump found at the wreckers!).

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Copyright May, 2011 Eugene Blanchard