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Replace the Oil Pump  
I don't know what we were thinking on this one. When re-doing the engine, we were trying to keep expenses down, because it wasn't a total rebuild. We needed to replace 2 pistons that had cracked ring lands. But everything else on the engine seemed like new. No wear on the cylinders. Valve assembly seemed fresh. No wear on the crank bearings, so we decided not to do a total rebuild, but rather an overhaul. So it was decided to replace ALL bearings, the two bad pistons, of course all gaskets. All things like boring of the cylinders(which we found were already .40 over) were left alone as were the valves, and camshaft. None of these showed any signs of wear. It seemed to us, that the problem was that a fresh motor had sat too long, and the pistons cracked from a lack of proper lubrication. The car had smoked badly since I got it, so I didn't realize it was just the pistons till we broke it down. One of the things we SHOULD have done was to replace the oil pump. Plain and simple, the oil pump is the HEART of the engine. It pumps the life's blood through it. The thought of having everything apart, and taking the chance that a $45.00 part that is so important to the engine, is functioning properly, is a stupid one. Because of course when we got everything back together and fired it up, the pump seized. It destroyed the oil pump drive shaft, and could have easily destroyed the distributor. Look at the pictures to the right, of the twisted and sheared oil pump drive shaft. Imagine the amount of stress needed to twist and shear a steel rod like that. That stress was also applied to the bottom of the distributor. We were lucky the distributor shaft didn't break as well. We spent way more time and money having to undo the motor mounts, jack the motor up, pull the pan and REPLACE THE PUMP and the oil pump drive shaft, than if we had just changed it from the start!

Plain and simple.... if you pull the pan, replace the pump.

It is the best $45.00 investment you can make.

You can click on the photos for a larger image.

Another angle showing the Shearing of the shaft

Here's a close up shot of the driveshaft...OUCH!

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