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Engine Guard Preluber Installation

Contributed By: Ray Drouillard

There has been lots of talk about cold starts. I usually try pumping it a couple of times, push the throttle down about a quarter, and crank it. If that doesn't work, I pump the kronk out of it and crank it. When it catches, it runs up to about 400 RPM. I used to grit my teeth when that happened (and try to avoid it), but not any more. Most of an engine's wear happens in the first few seconds after it is started because there is no oil in the engine. Revving the kronk out of it on startup makes the problem even worse. You can hear the pistons a knockin'.

Recently, I was reading that the mains in an AMC 360 wear faster because it takes too long for the oil to get to them. I solved that problem on my Jeep.

When I want to start my engine, I turn on the key. The engine guard fires up (it is noisy). I wait until my oil pressure gage reads about 30 pounds, give it a few more seconds to get the oil really circulated, and fire away. No more rattling on startup.

It's especially useful in the winter when starting the engine is such a pain. Even in the summer. it's a help. When you crank the engine, that metal-on-metal grinding sound is missing.

The engine guard is a hydraulic pump that can pump anything from air to 180 weight oil (according to tbe manufacture). Oil is pumped from the sump through a fitting in the oil drain plug and into the input side of the oil filter through a special adapter.

There is an electronic control unit that is very simple to hook up - just four wires. The pump can also be operated without the ECU. It's easy to add an on-off switch if that's desired.

The four wires are battery +, battery -, ignition, and pump (to the pump motor).

When you turn on the ignition, the pump fires up for about ten seconds. In the summer, that is long enough to get good oil pressure. When the ignition is turned back off, the pump is fired up for about twenty seconds (user settable) to keep oil circulating and to keep the oil from baking onto the hot parts. This is especially useful for turbocharged engines.

In the winter, I turn the ignition on and off. The pump fires up and I listen to it. When it starts to bog down, I know that the oil has reached it. I turn on the ignition and make sure that there has been pressure for about five seconds. Then, I fire up the engine.

Installation is straightforward. There are a couple of gotchas, but nothing serious. I'd rate it at two bananas.

Step 1: find a place to mount the pump and ECU. I mounted them on the shotgun-side fender well. I mounted the pump below the starter relay with nuts and bolts (rather than sheet-metal screws). The curved surface was a bit of a problem. I mounted the ECU above and more to the front, right next to the starter relay. You want to mount it as low and as close to the oil pan drain plug as possible.

There is an oil pan drain plug adapter. It didn't work for me because someone had put in an oversized drain plug. After much fabrication and cursing, I ended up stripping the drain hole even worse. I put in a rubber plug and let the shop solder or braze a plug into the hole - cost me about $20.00.

Run a hose from the oil pan to the input side of the pump. When you pull the protective plastic plug out of the pump, you'll find that it has been primed with new oil. Don't get any on ya. ha ha ha LOL

Gotcha: They give you a length of hose and some special barbed (no clamp!) connecters. Some of the connecters swivel and some don't. Make sure that you use a swiveling connecter on at least one end.

They give you a variety of connecters, elbows, adapters, etc. The input and output ports of the pump are different sizes. It goes more smoothly if you find the appropriate adapters beforehand. BTW, I used an elbow connecter on the input side.

The output side is more difficult. The directions say to cut the remaining hose in the middle and install the quick-disconnect connecter (it looks like the same kind that is used for air tools, but it isn't).

I hooked the female end of the quick disconnect to the hose, and hooked the other end of the hose to the output of the pump. I screwed the male side of the quick disconnect straight into the filter adapter.

Gotcha: Make sure that the quick disconnect is connected REAL well before starting the engine. I heard a "thunk" and immediately shut down the engine. I only lost about two quarts :)

The oil filter adapeter is a ring that fits under the oil filter and an extension for the pipe fitting that screws into the middle of the oil filter.

Gotcha: The generic filter that the oil change place put onto my Jeep was too long to install. A Fram filter was short enough to fit. If you have any real trouble, you might wanto to consider a remote oil filter.

My first thought was that I would put the adapter disk in place and screw the extension over the fitting that screws into the oil filter. The sizes were wrong. That might work for some engine/adapter combinations.

I ended up removing the pipe fitting, screwing in the extender, and screwing the stock fitting into the extender. The adapter ring isn't held in place until the filter is installed. This might cause some confusion to those trained monkeys (spastic monkeys?) that work at the oil change places.

No biggie... The quick disconnect is there to make oil changes easier. Just disconnect the quick disconnect, stick the end of the hose into a bucket, and turn on the pump. The contents of the oil pan is pumped into the container. If you want to purge all of your spent oil out of the system, reconnect the connecter, turn on the pump, and run some air through the system. Before the oil gets to the pump input, disconnect it again and pump the last few ounces into the container. After that, simply replace the filter, fill the oil pan, and fire up the pump to fill the filter and pre-lube the engine. In other words, start it like you normally do. It'll take longer to get the pressure up because you have to fill the filter. Imagine that - change the oil without crawling under the vehicle!

Ray Drouillard
'89 Grand Wagoneer with Edelbrock performer manifold and Engine Guard.

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