Oil in bearings


How do I get oil into the mains & rod bearings of a 3.4 liter 1954 120M engine that hasn’t run in 20 years. Thanks. 54 FHC

(Rob Reilly) #2

Making the assumption that it isn’t full of gunk like one that hasn’t run in 50 years…
Give it a new filter, pull the spark plugs out, and crank it for awhile.
Here is a recent thread on the XK forum about the same thing.

(Paul Wigton) #3

What Rob said…that is perfectly adequate.

(David Jauch) #4

And maybe squirt a little oil down the bores. Crank until it shows pressure, or crank until oil appears at the cams I guess?

(Mike Spoelker) #5

If you are asking how do you pre-oil the rotating assembly before you hit the starter, there is a row of bolts along the lower edge of the carburetor side of the block, in line with the oil filter mount, that lead to the main oil galley. They are large head, straight thread with a copper washer. I think the thread is 1/2"-20. You could make an adapter bolt with a grease fitting in it then use a grease gun to pump oil up to whatever pressure the clearances allow.

(Rob Reilly) #6

Just adding a little to Mike’s idea, those 6 brass head screws all connect to an oil gallery in the block, so you would only remove one to do the pumping, leaving the other 5 in. The oil will go everywhere oil goes, crankshaft, camshafts, oil pressure gauge hose, filter, and back flow to the sump.

Unfortunately either way you try it, you don’t really know whether at your crank it is flowing or full of crud. Maybe you want to make that guess judging by the condition in the areas you can see, like the oil fill cap and the filter housing, i.e. how gunky was the filter.


Thanks mike and rob! We also came up with the idea of entering the main oil gallery through one of the brass bolts on the carb side of the engine. Grease gun is a natural choice with a Swagelock-type adapter. Thx everyone for the great and timely response.

Best regards

mart (54 fhc)

(Lee140FHC) #8

If you use the rear one, oil will be pushed forward along the crank and upward to the cams…sort of a mid-way point of the oiling system…might just prevent any crud from the crank getting up to the cams…just a thought.

(Mike Spoelker) #9

Only to the extent that there is some clearance between the gears in the oil pump. It will be tiny. You won’t be able to make the oil pump gears turn.

(Mike Spoelker) #10

You’ve been around!!!

(Christopher Potempa) #11

I was faced with your decision. I opted for a full tear down instead of taking my chances. Just got everything back from the machinists (Lonnie Jensen out of San Francisco) and though the pistons and all bearings still looked good on their original standard sizes, the guy who cleaned up and polished the crank said it was so full of dried/ congealed oil the consistency of old window putty that he would have been amazed if the engine would have registered any oil pressure down there. The moral being everything else can look good but until you remove the crank plugs it’s a crap shoot as to whether it’s still clear for oil to flow. This, from a '120 that sat baking in a vacant lot under a hot California central valley sun since '82.