So what were the results of the mechanical gauge you said you were going to run? I'm willing to bet your pressures are just fine. My 97 TJ used to do the same thing. The oil pressure sending unit and dash gauge are known to be terribly inaccurate.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle
When you installed the oil pump was the pickup tube securly installed in the pump body? Did you install a gasket between the pump and the block, and torque the attach bolts down? Was the oil pump flush with the block at its mount point when it was securely installed?
You also said "continue priming the oil and the drill wound up stopping when the pressure built up." What drill motor did you use? I used a 120 volt/7.0 amp drill motor and it didn't stop. It slowed down some when the pump started pumping but it didn't 'stop'.
You did install a standard flow oil pump didn't you?
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