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I'm in the final stages of a full engine rebuild and re-sleeve. I wanted to make sure the oil pump was working properly before the engine went in, so I've rigged a bypass hose where the oil cooler lines would normally go, hooked up a battery and rolled it over on the starter. The pump primed easily enough but I see a lot of air being pumped along with the oil. I had hoped this would clear but it's actually gotten worse. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I shouldn't see any bubbles here, should I?

The oil pump gears were new a short time ago, maybe 500-1000 miles before this rebuild. There's plenty of oil in the sump.

I took the pump apart to make sure everything looked okay, and it did. The gears were intact and clearances were small, hardly measurable. We surfaced the oil pump cover to make sure it was flat. I fitted new screws to the cover with Allen key heads so I could get reliable torque readings on them. The oil pickup tube got a new O ring before I installed it.

What is going on here? When I fitted the oil pump cover, should I have used a sealer on it? I didn't originally have any, so I fitted it dry. Was that a mistake? The engine is on a stand, so it will be easy enough to the drain the oil, roll it over and remove the sump to check things over again, but removing the oil pump will be a time consuming PITA.

But you gotta do what you gotta do. So what do I gotta do?
 
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