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Doug160

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Reply with quote  #1 
I posted this in a Dodge forum and got no response. Hoping someone here can help.

I own a '98 Durango since new. At 195,000 miles the 5.2 Magnum engine failed. I installed a '99 5.2 Magnum engine with only 30,000 miles. It ran fine for 18 months then the oil pump went bad.


I decided to rebuild the motor. I had the crank ground, installed new main/rod bearings, new camshaft w/ new bearings, new lifters, new oil pump, and new seals/gaskets.


When I primed the oil pump there was no oil getting to the rocker arms so I removed the intake and it appears there is plenty of oil flowing through the galleys that run underneath the lifters. On the right side of the engine some oil is making its way through the lifters but not up the pushrods. There is NO oil coming through any of the lifters on the left side.


From what I know about the oiling system on this engine is the oil is pumped down the right side galley first where it gets dumped into the timing cover then makes its way back down the left side galley where it gets dumped into the oil pump driveshaft hole. There appears to be a good flow of oil making this loop.


All of the lifters were pre-soaked in oil and I double checked to make sure I installed them correctly in the bores.


Why is there only a little oil getting through the right side lifters and none through the left side lifters? Am I not driving the pump fast enough to get proper oil pressure/flow? If my cam bearings spun would that affect the oiling of the lifters?


Sorry for the lengthy post
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66gtoconv

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Reply with quote  #2 
I think I know the answer to your problem. I have rebuilt a lot of engines over the years from lawn mowers, snowmobiles as a child to being a 55yo ASE Master Auto & Med/ Heavy Truck Tech for more than 35 years now & have rebuilt everything from GM overhead cam 4 cyls, 3.1L, 3.8L v6s to Ford 289 Boss 302, 351 Windsor & Cleveland, 390, 427,428,429 & 460s  Dodge 225 slant 6, 318 (5.2) 340, 360, 383 & 440 Big block, Buick 350, 455, Olds 350, 425 & 455s Pontiac 326, 350, 389,Ram Air III 400, 421 & 455, & working as a GM Master technician at a Chevy Dealer for more than 20 years. I have done all Chevy inline 6 & V6 & small & big blocks from 265 to 502s. I may sound like I'm tooting my own horn & I guess I am but I have been lucky enough to not only see all the old engines through the years but rebuilt & worked with them for decades. Which thanks to my dad owning a small engine shop while I was growing up got me into it & tv shows like Gearz really keep me gearhead insane LOL.

Sorry I too am guilty of lengthy post. LOL  

Let me tell you what happened on the last Mopar engine I rebuilt. It was a 440 for a 69 Charger. A buddy of mine has a 70 Superbird that currently has a 426 Hemi in it. The 426 is not the original engine, the original engine was a 440 which was put into the 69 Charger & in order for my buddy to get it back so he can one day put it back in his Superbird, The Charger owner wanted a rebuilt 440 to swap back into it so he had me rebuild another 440 for the swap.

NOW  To answer your 5.2 oil problem. When I had finished fully rebuilding the 440 & still had it on the stand. I tried to prime the oiling system before installing it to check for leaks & such. But I ran into the exact same thing that you did. The left bank had no oil delivery to the rockers while trying to prime the system. I had not done one of these Mopars for years & had forgotten how Mopars valve trains are lubricated. I felt stupid ignorant when I actually pulled the left head back off & tore it down only to find there was absolutely Nothing Wrong with anything. I had done Everything totally correct. 
MOPARs 440s have the oil flow out from the pump through the #3(or was it#4?) main journal to the adjacent camshaft bearing. The oil continues through the camshaft to the lifter passages & up through the rocker shafts to the valve train. It needs to have the camshaft turning(rotating) to correctly line up with the oil holes in the cam journal to the bearing hole, in order for the oil to reach the valve train. 

In other words & I could have just said this to start with(again I'm sorry)
You need to rotate the engine over while your priming the oil system in order for oil pressure to reach the valve train through the rocker shafts.

IF??   If this Does Not work for you? Then I would say you either have a wrong head gasket installed & therefore blocking the oil passage or may have a misaligned or incorrect cam bearing. The cam bearing that delivers oil to the valve train has 2 offset holes in it that Must line up exactly with the oil passages in the block. This is how the 440 was & I'm pretty sure the 318s are the same. You may want to verify what I'm saying at a Mopar website but I think your problem may be as simple as rotating the engine while priming it.
Yes I do carry on a lot but I hope this helps. LOL
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Doug160

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Reply with quote  #3 
WOW that was a lot of typing but I appreciate the reply and, at least, I have a place to start diagnosing this issue. Thanks.
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66gtoconv

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yes I have been trying to speed my typing skills & with everything in life the more you do things the better you become. Even if it does make for lengthy post. Lol I hope that it was helpful. When I was installing the cam bearings in the 440, the replacement bearings had a slightly different oil passage hole offset location than the original factory one had & it was tricky installing it correctly. You may have one of the holes aligned correct but not the other feeding the left side. Let us know what you find. 
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jamesmcclain340

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Reply with quote  #5 
magnum motors oil thru the pushrods and lifters unlike the LA series motor that oiled off the mains to the rocker shafts. check oiling at the lifters and follow up to the rockers.[thumb]
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66gtoconv

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hi again, You never said what your oil pressure was so after thinking about it.  I went back & took a look at the oiling system for your engine because I wasn't sure if the 5.2s are the same as that last 440 I built. So I did a little research & they are not(sorry).
 Here is a diagram of the oiling system layout for 1998 5.2L courtesy of Chrysler. I hope this helps to clear up any confusion I may have caused. As you can see the oil goes from the pump to the filter then up a passage to the right lifter bank as it passes along to the front of the engine it supplies oil down to each of the main bearings & at each main goes up through another passage to lube each cam bearing & returns to the sump. The 2nd diagram shows how the right side lifters & the cam bearings are lubed but as you stated your problem is the left side. The left is supplied after the right side & cam bearings are so here is a check you should make.  

There is a oil line plug located in the vertical passage in the rear of the block between the oil-to-filter & oil-from-filter passages. If this plug is missing or improperly installed, it can cause erratic, low or no oil pressure. You can check it fairly easy by removing the oil sending unit & insert a wire down the passage. The plug should be 7.50 to 7.68 inches down from the machined surface of the block. if it is to high up you can drive it down with a proper size dowel. But if its to low then you have to pull the rear main cap off & drive it up from the bottom.  The plug should be 2.12 to 2.31 (2 &1/4) inches from the bottom of the block. 

The left side oiling problem may be that your oil pressure is too low because of this plug not being properly aligned & causing only slight oil pressure on the right side & no oil pressure on the left.

Sorry for any confusion, I hope this helps you  to find a solution to the problem with your 5.2 Bob20170501_130803.jpg  20170501_123918.jpg      

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Doug160

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Reply with quote  #7 
The gauge in the dash shows 40 psi which is normal for this engine. I don't have a gauge to connect directly to the engine.

With the intake off and running the oil pump with a drill I can see oil coming up through the lifters on the right side but not up the pushrods. I can also see a good flow of oil returning down the left side galley and dumping back into the oil pump driveshaft area but it doesn't come up through the left side lifters. Not sure if the drill is driving the oil pump fast enough or if the lifters need to be pumping to get oil up the pushrods. All the lifter are new and were soaked in oil for a week before putting them in. maybe the oil drained back out. Still doesn't explain why the oil comes up on the right side but not the left.

Also, I took the spider plate bolts off (that holds the lifters in place) and can look down the bolt holes and see 3 of the 5 cam bearings. 2 of 3 that I can see have spun out of place. Not sure if this is contributing to my problem or not. I know there is no groove cut into the cam bearing but I don't know if there is a groove cut in the block so it looks like I'm going to be pulling the cam and bearings out.

This is probably going to be a winter project because it's taking up too much of my time and I'm not getting anything else done around the house. I greatly appreciate all of the input I'm getting. Thank you.
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66gtoconv

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Reply with quote  #8 
I haven't been on here in awhile. I think you may have figured out your problem when you said the cam bearings have spun. This will affect oil going to the top end. The only way that a cam bearing will spin in the block is of the bearing had run dry & the cam journal seized on to the bearing causing it to spin. If that is the case with your engine then you will not only need to replace the camshaft & bearings, but the cam tunnel in the block will need to be enlarged to accept an oversize cam bearing if they are even available for the 5.2? There may be a needle type roller bearing in the aftermarket? However the cost to have those installed in a basic street engine would exceed the cost of buying a used block & starting fresh rebuild. But otherwise the block is pretty much trashed at that point. Keep your fingers crossed hopefully that's not the case with yours.
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