N/A questions/ tuning help?


Active Member
Aug 21, 2002
I picked up an 85 Cutlass with a 3.8. It seems to not have the power (can I call it that?:) that it should. It does have the gauge package so I will tell you what some of the readings are.

It starts out with around 30psi while idling and after, but the longer it runs the lower it gets especially after driving where it drops to 5 or less at idle. If you bring the RPMs up around 1100 the oil pressure comes back up but only to about 15-20 psi. Also when idling it is fine but if you bring the idle up to about 1500 rpm there is a faint sound almost like a ticking. It sounds like it may be coming from the# 1 cylinder. I know what a rod knock sounds like and this isn't or at least isn't yet. The engine runs smooth other than the light noise and even gets up though not as fast as it should but the oil pressure bothers me. I am thinking it's the bearings or maybe a bad oil pump? What do you guys think?
Until I noticed the oil pressure I thought maybe the timing was off.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the help,
How many miles on the engine?
A bad oil pump will make a ticking noise that comes and goes.
odometer says 99000+
I posted in the gen. tech section also.
I agree with Nick that it may be the bearings. I am converting my 442 clone to an lc2 so I have a nice good running 3.8 from it to put in the car. If I have to pull it that is what I am going to do.
Pretty much why I picked up the car, just to tinker with and put the motor in so I could sell it and get a little extra from it.
The fact that it actually runs well enough to drive down the street and drives nice is a nice bonus, less to fix.
I know what a pain it is to sell a plain 3.8 and what little you would get. This gives me an extra project for a little fun and low $.

Oh, to replace the oil pump wouldn't I have to pull the engine?
"Oh, to replace the oil pump wouldn't I have to pull the engine?"

No unless the oil pump housing is worn.
Try alittle heavier oil grade. you should get 10psi for every 1000 rpms. you should also get another 10 psi by going from a 30w to a 40w.