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32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

I need to change out Rear Main seal, so as long as I'm going in I want to upgrade stock oil pump in it to a 60 lb. High pressure/volume set up in my '69 GTO WT 400.

Have built up #48 heads w/stainless valves & higher pressure springs & new cam w/Roller Rockers.

Looking for recommendation for brand & model to buy?

I see Standard volume/High Pressure pumps are generally available... ?

Is this the same, or does it need to be High Volume & High Pressure pump to match the original equipment set up w/RA III engines as originally built?

I have seen the posted recommendation for the Butler 60 Lb. pump at $160, but it sounds pretty spendy and I'm thinking they are probably not the only game for this?

Also been reading about hardened shaft... want to buy that too & I need make & model recommendation for that too?

And 3/4 pick up?

Have '69 Pontiac Service manual and says need to run Cadmium plated Distributor shaft gear too when running higher pressure oil pump?

Need a brand & model for that too?

What about a replacement oil pump spring?

? - Can my stock pump be modified to increase it's pressure to 60 Lb.?

I need to order up all the parts as I'm looking to pull the motor and do all the work ASAP, so was hoping to order the parts sooner than later.

I'm seeing some recommendations for better gaskets and RM seals and have the info from those posts, so I am good there.

Looking for this request to get all the info to process to make informed purchase to end up w/60 Lb. pump w/Hardened shaft, hopefully w/o spending $160 w/Butler.

If I have to I will, but have to be able to match the higher performance OEM pump set up?

Any info would be very much appreciated to help me with this info request.

You guys are great !!

Thanks so much for all the advice and recommendations so far.



827 Posts
LF; I put the high volume Butler pump in my 461 build. I think it was 65 lbs? anyway they can go higher, I did not want higher than that. I used one shim with the spring for that pressure whichever one they recommended. It is well made and a great pump. Keeps my pressure up there,..

I do highly recommend you get an ME Wagner Dual flow PCV valve, with the extra oil pressure it will keep the pressure out of the crankcase, a normal PCV will not with those higher pressures.

The ME Wagner valve costs too,....but nothing cheap is good and nothing good is cheap.....

649 Posts
The Melling M54DS is the most popular Pontiac pump. Comes with 60lb spring. I used these in lots of Pontiac engines. I always shim the spring just a tad, to up the pressure a little.

Here's the cheapest shipped price I could find. It's listed as a Mahle brand, but has the Melling M54D tag on the bottom.


Some say the bottom plate on these pumps are too thin. Some add a plate off an old pump, so they'll have 2 bottom plates.

Thick plates are sold, from several Pontiac shops. But, those will cost a few bucks more.




The Melling driveshaft is #IS-54A


I never broke a factory shaft. But, here's one that may(don't know for sure) be stronger than the Melling, if you want it.


Here's a hardened shaft with a sleeve.


There are Pontiac oil pump parts in several price ranges. Just depends on how much you decide to spend.


http://www.nitemareperformance.com/high_vol_std_pressure oilpump.html

Nowadays, you can usually save a few bucks by buying from a place that does not charge tax. Amazon Prime now charges tax. I think Summit & Jegs do, also. There are some Amazon & Ebay sellers that do not. And, as always, you must consider shipping charges. Sometimes items with free shipping are cheaper. But, sometimes they're not. Lately, most of the stuff i buy online is cheaper from either an Ebay or Amazon seller, that has free shipping & don't charge tax. I have bought items from Rock Auto that were cheaper, even with shipping charges added.

3,906 Posts
Do not weanie out cheap and shim or modify your present pump. With the pan off, it is a no brainer to simply replace it while the engine is out and pan off. You don't want to do this a second time.

The standard oil pump for the GTO was a 55-60 lb pressure pump. Why the mention the cadmium colored distributor gear in the manual has baffled me. My thinking is that the cadmium color identified the distributor as going into one of the GTO/high performance engines as they were set up with a different advance curve. I don't think Pontiac would have purchased 2 different gears - one for the mom & pop cars and one for high performance cars.

Butler pump is pricey, but it is a Mellings oil pump that has been disassembled, polished, anti-cavitation grooves added, check ball polished, and a thicker bottom plate to prevent ballooning (allowing oil past the gears and lose some pressure at higher RPM's). It is also tested and you get a flow chart with the pump. No guessing on anything. It does put out more volume and you want volume over pressure.

The Mellings 60 PSI pump is the Pontiac standard. These are good and I have used them with no problems. The 3/4" inch refers to the pipe size that connects the pick-up screen to the pump. This is what you want. As bigD has stated, it is a good dependable pump. You can get the thicker bottom plate with the anticavitation grooves and add this to the Mellings pump. The plate comes with the slightly longer bolts to compensate for the thicker plate. I got one before Butler had the blueprinted 60PSI oil pump, but then went with the Butler pump instead. https://www.tinindianperformance.com/product/sd-pontiac-oil-pump-plate/

Replace the stock oil pump shaft with an after market hardened shaft. Tin Indian Performance - Pontiac oil pump drive rods and oil pumps You can also get these at most any Pontiac builder that sells parts and even Summit.

3,906 Posts
PJ, do you think that Tin Indian HD shaft is anything more than a repackaged Melling IS-54A HD shaft ?

Indeed, it may be. I just pointed that out as an example. I believe I purchased the one I used on my last 400CI build off of Summit or Jegs. As long as it is a good hardened shaft, it'll work.

If you want to go crazy, and spend a little money, then Nitemare Performance has a great one. I got this one myself for my 455 build - maybe a little overkill, but with the money invested in most Pontiac builds, why take a chance? Not saying a good hardened oil pump shaft will fail, it's just that in my mind one less thing to go wrong (if ever) and/or worry about. Another reason why I bought the Butler oil pump - piece of mind.

If I were to run an 80PSI pump, I would not use anything less as this thing looks to be built like a Sherman tank. BearGFR used this and passed it along on one of his posts. Said it needed a little clearancing, as I recall, but no big deal. Standard sleeved & hardened oil pump driveshaft

Here is the Nitemare oil pump plate, another spin on the anti-cavitation grooves: Pro-oil Pump Plate
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