I need to understand how to properly set the oil pickup tube height with the motor in the car. I am shooting for between 3/8" & 1/2" from the floor of the pan.
If I place a straight edge across the top of the pan and measure from there down to the floor to where the is. That measurement is about 7.5".
I can then measure from the machined block surface where the oil pan attach's and measure down and set the pickup at 7.5" from the machined surface. I would hope this would put the pickup on the floor of the pan. I can then raise the pickup 3/8" and with the 1/8" gasket thickness, this should put the pickup around 1/2" off the oil pan floor.
Tape a little 1/4" thick nut to the bottom of the Pickup. Put it on the Oil Pump kinda snug..put it to where it's kinda pointing down so it will make contact with the Pan. Put the Pan on the Engine without the Gasket and make it flush. Pull the Pan off and mark where the Pickup is at, and tack it there. With the Gasket that will be about 3/8".
1/2" is too much clearance from the bottom of the oil pan. 1/4" is the most often recommended clearance. See "Small Block Chevy Performance Volume Two: 1982 and Later", page 129 as just one reference.
There are several different ways to get that 1/4" clearance, including what's been posted already, the clay method, ruler, etc. No matter which method you use, it's important to factor in the thickness of the oil pan gasket. Gasket thicknesses DO differ.
I've used the shim (1/4" nut) method many times in the past and when I do, I always have the pan gasket installed, just to eliminate the torqued gasket thickness issue.
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