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Discussion Starter #1
As an aside to my recent post discussing pumps and welding the pickup I am looking for some opinions on what would be the best pump I can get for my mild built 350.

I am looking at the standard volume SUMMIT model with the pickup tube already welded on. I have a stock pan so this may be a good idea for me. Just wondering if anyone is aware of the quality and/or has used this part. I assume summit has another company (maybe Melling) make it for them. My actual pan depth is about 7.25" so I will find the correct part but this is basically what I am looking at.....

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=SES%2D3%2D60%2D08%2D005&N=700+4294862249+4294908216+115&autoview=sku


my second option that I am looking at is the Melling performance pump, which basically seems to be an upgrade over the standard M55. I don't mind paying more for the upgraded model.

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=MEL%2D10553&N=700+4294863521+4294908395+4294908216+115&autoview=sku

thanks a lot.
 

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I would go with the summit ! the pump will be just fine for a mild engine ,heck i have used these pumps in 500+ hp engines . I would not get the WELDED pickup ! Buy the correct pickup and weld it after you adjust it yourself .
 

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I like the Moroso standard volume/standard pressure pump with their bolt-on pickup. They fit very snuggly so even if the bolts did come out, the pick-up won't fall off. I just bought one of the Jegs pumps, but I haven't used it yet.
 

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Melling makes a series of pumps now that have bolt on pickups. I can't remember what they call the series.....Elite or something like that. They cost about $70.00 with the pickup, but they are supossed to be better quality. The presure relief sping is held in with a thread plug rather than a pressed in one and the pickup bolts on with allen head screws with built-in locktight. The castings are pretty nice too. I bought one from Summit Racing I'd say they are about half way between a standard Melling pump and one of the pumps that Paul Wright blueprints. They sell them in standard, +10% and +25% volume models.
Ron
 

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Melling makes a series of pumps now that have bolt on pickups.
You mean the "Select" ones that the bolts fall out and let the pickup dangle in the wind? I have one on the garage floor if you want it!

See where the 2 bolts are for the pickup? If the bolts should ever get loose (mine were tiny metric screws, they look bigger now) the pickup comes off.


On the Moroso, the way the pickup is built, it can't come off easily even with no bolts.
 

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I can remember when small block Chevy pumps were a non-issue. Somewhere along the line, they got cheapened up and problems started. Now the manufacturers have the gall to sell higher priced premium "select" pumps with the cost reduced material put back in, which is essentially what they used to sell for $20.

I'm leaving Iraq at the end of the month. When I get back to Michigan, I might start up the pump service again (Steve's Nova Site members only). When I left I still had quite a few boxes of new pumps because of the minimum order with the manufacturer. Plus all the tooling and fixtures I made are still sitting.
Don't contact me just yet. I need to relax for a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I can remember when small block Chevy pumps were a non-issue. Somewhere along the line, they got cheapened up and problems started. Now the manufacturers have the gall to sell higher priced premium "select" pumps with the cost reduced material put back in, which is essentially what they used to sell for $20.

I'm leaving Iraq at the end of the month. When I get back to Michigan, I might start up the pump service again (Steve's Nova Site members only). When I left I still had quite a few boxes of new pumps because of the minimum order with the manufacturer. Plus all the tooling and fixtures I made are still sitting.
Don't contact me just yet. I need to relax for a bit.
Paul, do what you gotta do. Definitely need to relax and settle in. One of my best friends has been back and forth several times. Can't really discuss what he does. Everyone else around here thinks he's a plumber :) He's back a month now and just chillin. I'm gonna stay on course and continue with my research and what not. If I don't get this worked out before you are ready, I'd be thrilled to install the Wright pump. It's obvious you know what you are talking about. There is no way I'm putting a $19.95 pump in this engine. Project is 24 years in the making, not gonna be hasty, especially with crucial items like this. Please stay in touch with your schedule.

Currently I am leaning toward the Moroso with bolt on design as Bowtie suggests. Design of that setup looks good to me. Trying to find something like item 22147 but standard volume. Description says...Oil Pump and Pickup Package, SBC, stock 7-1/8" pan depth, High-Volume pump. (Replaces 22137). I have a mail into them to see what they mean by stock pan.....GM or Moroso??? My new stock GM pan that I got from the dealer (Made in Canada) is precisely 7 1/8" deep.



Veno, interesting link. The Milodon pump looks promising. thanks.

____________________________________

just in from Moroso.....

Jay,

The only pickups I sell for oil pumps that will fit in a shallow 7.125" pan are for circle track use and are offset to one side of the pan. This is not something I would recommend using for a regular street application. If you need a pickup made then we sell a kit to build your own tube and screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Talked to a fellow at Melling yesterday about how easily my piston chipped and product quality in general. He said "GM made them do it." Says there's nothing they can do to help me out. He also said I installed the screen incorrectly since I didn't use this tool and that I did it on the block.



Currently thinking the Milodon 18755 or Melling Select 10553 with press in screen will do the job. I like the extra features of the 10555 but thats a hi volume model. Next time, I'll pull the internals before tacking the screen, and hopefully do a better weld job.
 

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I once bought the Kent-Moore tool that's listed in the GM shop manual. It was like $200 and looked like the one in the picture. It was worthless for putting the screen on. The factory has a special press that installs the screens slicker than snot. I've seen it in operation but looks like it cost a small bundle.
I wound up making my own. I bolt the cover on the plate and it fits in my shop press. I have a roller guide for the pickup tube and it doubles as a welding fixture.

I agree with them that pounding on the tube with the pump bolted to the block is a sure way to fracture the pump and or damage the tube.
I don't agree with the excuse that GM forced them to cheapen the pump. If that were true then why aren't the "select" pumps cheapened?
The Melling brand version isn't the GM replacement version. I'll bet the real story is something they'd rather not reveal. I also willing to bet they field a lot of calls about quality.
 

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I don't agree with the excuse that GM forced them to cheapen the pump. If that were true then why aren't the "select" pumps cheapened?
The Melling brand version isn't the GM replacement version. I'll bet the real story is something they'd rather not reveal. I also willing to bet they field a lot of calls about quality.
As this did come up a long time ago. Do to my working in a bubble at GM I was not aware of real world problems. Problems that I argued to death with Paul, only to find out the hard way. He's findings were very true.

As with the statement " GM made us do it' there is truth to this. As talking with some people within the casting and purchasing dept. In 1990 gm started this weight reduction and cost material savings kick. They did require Melling and other suppliers of different parts to reduce cost, weight. With this In mind material reduction in blocks and head castings. If they reduce the amount of material used to make a block, they also save weight and money. So it was on.

With this said, I have to ask Melling! yea Gm said reduce the weight of the pump. Then why was the weight reduced on the M73? They have not been in production for GM sense 1967? What gives?
Melling is passing the blame, but if you ask any of the manufacture reps. Melling has reduce quality of all pumps and pushes it's high dollar pumps. And as Paul has stated, they still are not what the old casting once were.

It is coincidence that I have a 350/290hp crate I need to change to the front sump for Steve's members 65 Chevy II. For warranty to be in place, I needed to find a GM pump. So I did. Paid threw the nose for it. Only to open the box and what did I see?
A Melling M73 pump! And guess what? Cheep casting.
The 350/290 also has the thin casting M155 pump.

I took these pics just now.

the replacement M73


The 350/290hp pump, still on engine as it came from Assembly.


 

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Discussion Starter #14
Dumb of me to try to install the pickup with the pump already on the block. Lesson learned. Picked up a chevy engine book. In the "lubrication" chapter it refers to the engine oil as the life blood of the motor. That analogy makes the oil pump the engine's heart. Makes sense to me. Why would companies manufacture, let alone install, a cheap $20 oil pump? Summit brand goes for $16! A breather cap is one thing. But a critical internal component that is not easily accessible is another. Am I missing something here?
 

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If most people willingly paid for top quality, then there wouldn't be discount auto parts.
The fact is price does matter to a lot of people and the factories make what people are willing to buy. Back in the sixties $20 would buy an excellent pump. With inflation in labor and materials you can't build a good pump for that anymore. Trouble is everybody still expects to pay $20 for a pump.

I worked for a 1/4 century in the auto engineering business working with the Big 3 in Detroit. Ford has a Design Aid studio where they dismantle competitor vehicles to the last nut and bolt. They weigh and mount these parts on rolling boards for engineers to look at and study. The weight is in grams on a label next to the part. This comparison is called 'Benchmarking'.
They literally try to design a lighter and cheaper part so their cars have better fuel economy and cost less than the competition. People vote with their dollars so they have to do this.

One job title I had once was a power train components buyer. I'd take engineering blueprints and find a shop that could produce the part on time and under budget. To make cost targets you would have to "beat up" on the vendors to get incremental cost reductions. I hated that part of the job.
I've been on the other end of that as well.
For example Ford would ask, no tell, vendors they needed a 5% cost reduction. They didn't care if the suppliers profit margin was already only 5%.
Since the shop can't supply parts for free, they'd have no choice but to cheapen the product and/or hire lower paid (less skilled) workers.
This creates a downward death spiral in quality. The Suppliers suffer, Employees suffer, Customers suffer, Sales go down. Repeat cost reduction demands to try an improve sales.

I doubt GM stipulated weight reductions for a part that isn't used in a production vehicle anymore. I'm guessing it was cost reduction demands from a large chain store Auto parts buyer who orders enough pumps to have that kind of clout.

When I get back, I may pay a visit to Melling. They are only about 50 miles from my house. I'll see if I can get to the truth.
 

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I buy the summit high volume pumps. They come in a plain white box. When you open it, its in the casting, M155HV. Which tells me its a melling pump in a summit box ad a reduced price, so if your getting the same product and saving some money why not? I also bought a summit double roller chain set, it came in a white box. I can't tell the difference between it and the cloyes set i already had.
 

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I buy the summit high volume pumps. They come in a plain white box. When you open it, its in the casting, M155HV. Which tells me its a melling pump in a summit box ad a reduced price, so if your getting the same product and saving some money why not? I also bought a summit double roller chain set, it came in a white box. I can't tell the difference between it and the cloyes set i already had.
FWIW My Summit rear disc kit had SSBC calipers in it, and when I compared instructions and kit contents they were the same.
 

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You mean the "Select" ones that the bolts fall out and let the pickup dangle in the wind? I have one on the garage floor if you want it!

See where the 2 bolts are for the pickup? If the bolts should ever get loose (mine were tiny metric screws, they look bigger now) the pickup comes off.


On the Moroso, the way the pickup is built, it can't come off easily even with no bolts.
Just as an update. The two cap screws used to secure the pick up are the same size and thread as the 4 cap screws used to hold the bottom pump cover on. So, they are no more likely to come loose than the pump cover screws. These two cap screws came with star lock washers and also they have a blue dot of some kind of "lock tight" type product pre-applied to the threads. If you properly tighten them, they are not going to come out. I am not sure when they made these two changes, but I am convinced that this pump is now a good quality part. But then again, it was not $20 either. To me, skimping on an oil pump is a really bad decision.
Ron
 

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After all the dust has settled...for 35 to 40 bucks.. the Milodon pump, with its higher density, better casting method, and excellent fit and finish..... I see no reason to consider any other pump.....for street/strip, mild to moderate race use....
 

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I see no reason to consider any other pump.....for street/strip, mild to moderate race use....
"Exclusive full flow directional lubrication of idler shaft and gear driven shaft.
Anti-aeration bleed off of oil supply.
High strength iron alloy casting that uses a casting technique that eliminates 80% of all porosity (70,000 PSI). Most other pumps use a more porous 35,000 PSI design.
Strengthened mounting area. Mounting bolt neck to housing is 150 grams heavier than most typical pumps - The strongest in the industry! Will not crack, or even worse, fall off due to vibration and other engine stresses like most of the other cast oil pumps that are available.
Precision machined for tighter tolerances - this means less pressure loss!
No more bleed off problems at idle. Exact mesh gear set to housing bore yields the highest idle PSI.
Drilled cap screw for easy cleaning and oil pressure spring change. No more retainer pins to try and knock in and out to change the oil pressure spring.
Correct Pre-Position 50/55 PSI Relief Valve
Two extra long bolts attaching the base plate accommodate aftermarket performance bolt-on screen assemblies.
Uses standard 5/8'' pick-up tube.

This is Jegs $29.99 pump--the quick change adjustable pressure street/strip version is $5.00 more.
 
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