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Oiling System Upgrades
Last Updated 11/29/2007
The oiling system used on the Buick V6 is one area that needs attention for High Performance applications. Below is a list of some of the more common upgrades. I suggest reading the sources listed at the bottom for more comprehensive information. If you have questions about anything listed, please use the MESSAGE BOARD. Information sources listed at bottom.
PRIME THAT PUMP ! - Before explaining different options for upgrading the lubrication system of the Buick V6, you should know something very important. Any time the oil pump cover is removed, the pump will loose it's prime. It needs to be packed completely with petroleum jelly (Vaseline) before reassembly, otherwise it will only gulp air and not pump oil! This is recommended in every Buick manual.
USING A LARGER PF-52 OIL FILTER - The Buick V6 uses the AC Delco PF-47 oil filter. This filter uses an anti-drain back valve to keep it full of oil when the engine is not running. The PF-52 can and should be substituted for the PF-47. It is a longer filter, with the anti-drain back valve, and does NOT require any adapter. The Buick's oiling system is poor and allows unfiltered oil to pass through a relief valve. This larger filter will pass more oil and therefore less unfiltered oil will flow through the relief valve. Also, change your filter at EVERY oil change (as Buick recommends). If you prefer to not make any changes to your engine's oiling system, I recommend this at a minimum. It costs nothing at your next oil change.
. HIGH PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE - Behind the large nut on the pump cover is a relief valve. The valve spring can be changed or shimmed to change the relief pressure. The nut can also be replaced with an adjustable regulator for "fine tuning" the relief pressure. NOTE: This will not help a pump with low pressure. It will not increase pump volume, only the relief pressure.
USING A LARGER PF-24 OIL FILTER - Some early Buick V6's and 350 V8's used a pump cover which accommodates the larger PF-24 oil filter. It will look identical to the current cover, but not say "METRIC" across the bottom. Not all will fit - make sure the filter's angle to the engine is the same so the filter can clear the frame. (I have told that oil pump cover kit GM # 12337254 will work and there are other numbers as well.)
BLOCK OFF PLATE - This device was developed by Jim Ruggles and has been recommend in several Buick manuals. It is a plate installed between the pump cover and body that reroutes the oil flow path. The plate can be installed with out removing the timing cover. It does require a cut or hole be made in the pump cover. Not as effective as the High Volume Spacer**, but easier to install. The High Volume Spacer and Block Off Plate can be used together**
HIGH VOLUME SPACER - Higher oil volume and pressure can be obtained by using a 1/4" thick spacer between the pump cover and housing. Along with the spacer, longer gears are installed. The spacer is align using pins and it is probably best to install with the cover removed from the engine. This may have been stock on some year Turbo V6's, but it is not clear from the parts catalogs. There are aftermarket timing covers that have deeper housing incorporated in to the casting that allow the use of the longer gears without the spacer. Sealed Power # 224-518V (TRW 51112) and Melling kits should be available at local parts stores. Kenne-Bell as has a kit, # KB18202, that uses an aluminum spacer (instead of cast iron) which they claim is more compatible with the aluminum housing and cover.
* Jim Ruggles' Buick Stage One V6 Performance Guide, Petersen Publishing Company
** Kenne-Bell Buick V6 Catalog
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