Oil Pump Help


May 23, 2003
I just installed my oil pump in the front cover and had a question. The oil pump cover was slightly scored so i trued it up a little with some fine emery cloth on a block. I did the same to the face of the front cover where the gears are, not much but just to clean up the surface.

My question is, once I installed the gears and the oil pump cover and tightened things down using the supplied gasket, it is pretty hard to turn the pump gears by hand. Is this normal? Did I maybe take too much off of the face of the oil pump on the front cover? I think I know the safe answer is to pull the pump cover and measure the gear clearance to the oil pump cover. What clearance should I be looking for? If I did take too much off, how do I gain extra clearance...with an extra gasket?

If it were me

And you think that it is rubbing (gears to cover) I would do the same to the end of gears. TA performance sells a gaket set of different thickness just for this. I like .001 clearance--some say .002. But .001 has always worked for me. Best of luck.
Well that makes me feel better. With .001-.002 that is a pretty darn snug fit and should be pretty tough to turn. I think I will still dissassemble it to confirm my clearance. Should I just place a straightedge on the surface and get a feeler gauge between the gear and the straightedge? How should I measure this, I don't think I have a feeler gauge that small??


You should have a total clearance with the gasket enough that the pump will easily spin. With the new gears; you probably have some rough scores at the top of the pump that are pushing the new gears down onto the plate a little farther. This is what causes the bind.

You shouldn’t “clean” or polish the inside of the case; as this actually opens up the clearance between the pump case and the gears. I don’t remember what the clearance between the gear and the plate should be; but in the olden days; the kits came with extra gaskets of different thicknesses. You just plastiguaged the gear to the plate, and picked the right gasket.

If you’ve only got one gasket; and it’s too tight (make sure there’s nothing else binding in the pump or on a gear), you can sand a little off the gears to reduce the clearance. Get a piece of glass and some 400 grit wet-or-dry sand paper. Wet the glass and stick the paper to it so it’s flat, then oil or wet the paper, and then rub the bottom of the gear (both gears, just one at a time) till you have the right clearance. This will be pretty slow unless you have a micrometer and know what value you’re looking for.

Good luck,

I use....

a dial indicator to check shaft end play after I torque the oil pump cover down, ( going thru cam sensor hole)
I try for .002 to allow for expansion, ( steel gears, alum housing)
TA sells diff gaskets thickness's to set up exact end play.
it's all part of owning a turbo buick.:rolleyes:
good luck