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Know your Oil Pump

As our VWs get older it will eventually begin to lose oil pressure. And we may notice that our oil light comes on earlier near idle, and takes longer to go off as we accelerate.Some might think that this is the oil pump is going bad. This is rarely the case. As the engine wears, all of the oil clearances grow larger, and the oil flows through the bearings (etc.) with much less resistance, and the result is less oil pressure. Of course the ultimate or eventual solution is to rebuild the motor. Nonetheless our engine may be running fine, and still has some life left in it. Yet some are annoyed by that flickering oil light, so they decide to go with a larger oil pump for the present. Here is where we need a little education on oil pumps. While they may look about the same, and will fit into the case, there are differences that matter.

The oil pump is driven by engaging in a notch in the end of the camshaft.
This puts the oil pump body in very close proximity to the 3 rivets or bolts that hold the camgear to the shaft in the 40 HP 1200cc and 50HP 1500cc motors.
If you were to try to install the larger volume stock oil pump from the 1600 cc motor you would find that it hits the bolts.


In the 1600cc motor there are 4 rivets in the gear that have been moved outward and the gear is dished to allow room for the deeper pump body.

The 1200cc motor could benefit from the 20% larger pump from the 1500cc motor, but the 1500cc and 1600cc motors have to use heavy duty aftermarket pumps for more volume.
These are readily available. Another thing we need to be aware of is that the high performance camshafts all use the older style 3 bolt flat cam gear.
This means that even the stock pump will no longer work, and a heavy duty pump made for that application has to be used.
Keeping this little bit of information in mind could save you time and trouble if you are upgrading your oil pump. Just a note: Using a heavier straight weight oil could also bring that oil pressure up a little. We cover these pumps in detail in our Vol.3 video, hope this helps.

Rick Higgins and Crew
Bug Me Video, Inc

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