Oiling ProblemsOiling problems? thankfully the Nailhead's have very few, they have an excellent oiling system unlike later Buick's with an oil pump in the timing cover. Buick made 5 different oil pumps, the 53-54, the 55-56, the 57-58, the 59-61 and the 62-66. All the Buick oil pumps are very good except the 1957-58 where a vacuum pump was built into the bottom, it was used to replace the double auction fuel/vacuum pump used in the 1956 and earlier to help the vacuum wipers. In 1959 an electric wiper motor replaced the vacuum unit so the oil pump was changed back to only pumping oil again. We try and keep 1959-1961 rebuilt oil pumps on hand so 1957-1958 owners can upgrade. High volume oil pumps are NOT recommended unless your building a racing engine with added bearing clearances. ALL 1953-61 oil pump kits currently made are JUNK, do not use them, the 62-66 kits are good but only work on those later pumps.
1957-1958 oil pumps fix's
The problem with this pump is the troublesome vacuum pump that is attached to the bottom of the oil pump, sooner or later the vacuum pump portion will fail by wearing out or locking up and breaking. There is a drive key that goes into the oil pump idler gear and the vacuum pump rotor, NEVER install that, use the oil pump without it if idler gear shaft and idler gear are not wiped out too, rarely are the 57-58 oil pumps usable, we replace them with the excellent 1959-61 oil pumps. As with all 53-61 (62-66 ok) Buick oil pumps the current made rebuild kits are junk, DO NOT BUY THEM from anyone, reuse your old oil pump parts. Be sure you plug the threaded hole near the oil filter housing where the vacuum line attached to the block. You don't want the engine sucking oil out of your pump and making lots of smoke!Most oiling problems are created by the engine builder, leaving out oil galley plugs or replacing the cup plugs with screw in types that go in too deep blocking oil passages. We have the correct galley plugs, they are an odd size, not 5/8 we had them made. We have also seen the front cam bearing put in wrong so all the oil holes do not line up starving lifters and rockers on one side of the block. You can have over oiling problems to rockers too, if the rocker shafts are assembled upside down the oiling holes are up, this floods the top end causing smoke and oil consumption. Worn Rockers and shafts can also do the same thing. The 1962-66 oil pumps are a good pump and can be rebuilt if not worn too badly but we have seen many where the idler gear shaft has worked its way up and hitting the crank counter weight. To repair this we press the pin out, clean thoroughly and re-install with green loc-tite, peen around hole so the shaft stays down. Common oil leaks are caused by defective head gaskets, oil leaks out from the block to head passages. Another is the rear main seal, our rubber seals come with instructions but one of the most common problems is pitted seal surfaces, if you are having the crank shaft ground or polished make sure that seal surface is cleaned up or repaired so the seal has a nice smooth and true surface to seal against. If you must use a crank with a less than perfect surface then go with a rope seal.