Oil pressure questions.... NEED HELP!

Squid4life

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2004
Okay, fired the new motor today... Oil pressure when priming with drill was about 50 lbs. Fired right up, started breaking in the cam, pressure started at ~65-70. Temp raised to about 190-200 during break-in oil pressure dropped to about 45-50. After breaking in cam, set the motor to regular idle, oil pressure dropped to 25, then about 10. No noises.

Book says idle at 2500 rpm should be at least 37psi, mine goes up to about 50. RPM oil pressure is good, idle pressure is low.

Oil is Castrol 10w30
New stock oil pump gears, melling booster plate. Stock front cover, oil mods done (1/2" holes, ported, etc) Yellow spring (60lbs) Regular small filter, plus custom oil saver/remote oil filter. -6 from brass adapter on front of block to remote filter, -4 to turbo, -10 drain to pan.


Questions:
1. If I change oil to 10w40 or 20w50, is this just band-aiding a problem?
2. Will the extra filter/lines lower the idle oil pressure?
3. When I made all the new oil lines, I could not find correct adapters to connect the AN lines to the stock brass block, so I found a similar one with the correct threads for the adapters. I asked when fabbing this stuff, and now I will ask again: Is there anything in the stock brass block that has an orifice as to limit oil pressure to turbo/ gauge sender? (directs 70% to motor, 30% to sender/turbo?)

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Squid
 
Squid4life said:
Okay, fired the new motor today... Oil pressure when priming with drill was about 50 lbs. Fired right up, started breaking in the cam, pressure started at ~65-70. Temp raised to about 190-200 during break-in oil pressure dropped to about 45-50. After breaking in cam, set the motor to regular idle, oil pressure dropped to 25, then about 10. No noises.

Book says idle at 2500 rpm should be at least 37psi, mine goes up to about 50. RPM oil pressure is good, idle pressure is low.
I am sure you set the clearance in the pump to 0.001 - 0.002?
Where are you getting the reading from?
Who makes the gauge and is it accurate down low?
(Asking these questions with much interest.)

Squid4life said:
........ Questions:
1. If I change oil to 10w40 or 20w50, is this just band-aiding a problem?
2. Will the extra filter/lines lower the idle oil pressure?
3. When I made all the new oil lines, I could not find correct adapters to connect the AN lines to the stock brass block, so I found a similar one with the correct threads for the adapters. I asked when fabbing this stuff, and now I will ask again: Is there anything in the stock brass block that has an orifice as to limit oil pressure to turbo/ gauge sender? (directs 70% to motor, 30% to sender/turbo?)
1. I would say "Yes"
2. Theoretically, yes for a second (expansion of the lines and filters) untill the pressure and RPM stabilize, but doubt you can read it on a standard gauge.
3. Not sure, probably not but a good question.
 
Thanks, Jerryl, for the reply. This has got me nervous and gun shy. :confused:

Forgot to mention, crank is STD, used .001 main bearings. Mains all had .0015 clearance, rods all had .0015 - .002 clearance.

I did set the oil pump clearance between .001 - .002.
I am getting my reading from 1. an electric autometer gauge with sender at the stock sender location (brass block). And 2nd location: I T'd into the oil feed at the turbo and am using a mechanical oil pressure gauge from OReilly's. It has marks for 5, 10, 15, 20, etc. It does not match the autometer readings at all. (POS) I will be getting a better mechanical gauge ASAP.

1. :frown:
2. :frown:
3. ????????????????????????

The oil pressure is fine from everything I have read at other than idle RPMs. Also, my auto meter goes from 0, to a line, to 25, so it does not read very easily at lower RPM. I guess I was hoping to see 20+ PSI at idle to give me a warm and fuzzy.
 
Squid4life said:
....... I did set the oil pump clearance between .001 - .002. I am getting my reading from 1. an electric autometer gauge with sender at the stock sender location (brass block)...........
The oil pressure is fine from everything I have read at other than idle RPMs. Also, my auto meter goes from 0, to a line, to 25, so it does not read very easily at lower RPM. I guess I was hoping to see 20+ PSI at idle to give me a warm and fuzzy.

How were the side walls in the pump cavity? (I am sure they were fine but just asking). Maybe a 1-2% 0-50 gauge at idle will provide less reading/pressure indication error for a better idea what the actual pressure is.
Did you open the oil passages in the block as well?
 
Here is a pic of the oil pump cavity, nothing major, nothing too great either. I am going to try some valvoline racing 40 weight today and see how it likes it. I am swaying towards a new front cover if no one thinks the oil saver/front brass block could be an issue. Or, this may all be the gauge. And no Jerryl, I didn't touch the block passages.

My steps for now:
1. 40 wt oil
2. New gauge
3. Bypass turbo saver
4. New front cover

Here is a pic of the oil pump cavity, as well as the new Stewart Warner oil pressure gauge. 0 to 100 in 2 psi increments! And it comes in 2 1/16th.

Squid
 

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UPDATE>>>

:mad: So I change the oil and filters, put back on WIX filters and 40 wt Valvoline racing oil. Unplug the ECM wire and crank to build a little pressure before firing... Nothing. On either my electric autometer in the car, or my temporary cheap one at the turbo.

I crack the line off at the turbo feed, crank... Nothing. Why does it seem my oil pump is not pumping?
 
Squid4life said:
....... I crack the line off at the turbo feed, crank... Nothing. Why does it seem my oil pump is not pumping?
Strange. One of the reasons may be a leaking gasket at the oil pick-up tube sucking air, but, it was priming before correct? You just had lower than desired pressure at idle correct(?) The pump cavity looked a bit scored and could be an issue at lower RPM's.

PS:
Is the pump cover "flat" for sure and not concaved?
 
Yes, it was priming, just had low idle oil pressure. Pump cover was "wetsanded" on glass until smooth. It has been suggested to remove my DIY turbosaver and try the stock brass block and hard feed line. That sounds good id I only had the low oil pressure, but now I have none. Looking like front cover/oil filter housing.
 
Another update. Just for S&G's I decided to pull the WIX filter, throw on a AC Delco. Put the new filter on, unplugged the ECM wire, cranked for 10 seconds, pulled filter. Filter was NOT full of oil. The only oil that was in it was what I dribbled on/into it to lube the seal. WTF???
 
my engine

`runs at 10-12 psi at idle, and about 25 at a 2500 rpm or higher. everything about the oiling system is stock, I heard that the high volume plates etc. bring up the psi, but not the volume of oil delivery. try priming it again while pouring oil down the oil cooler line, that's what I did to get mine started.
 
So I guess the normal theme is the low oil pressure. Many people have said 10 at idle is fine, and to leave the 10w30, no worries. But, to honest 10 at idle bothers me. All it takes is a hot day, something not quite right, it drops to 5 and I am out again. (crank, bearings, gaskets, time to pull the motor, etc)

If the pump did lose its prime and all it needs is to reprime, that would mean every time I shut it off and/or change the oil, it'll lose it's prime and I will have to pull the cam sensor, prime it, find 25 ATDC, drop in the sensor, set it, etc.

I am guessing it is either pickup gasket, or the oil pump housing/front cover/gasket. I doubt it is the pickup tube, as it was torqued to spec, with gasket, with loctite to make sure it didn't come out.

Dubya Tee Eff, guys??? :confused:
 
Look very closely between the cover and the block on the lower passenger side. Make sure the gasket stayed in place and did not slip to one side or the other during the installation.

I did this and ended up with decent pressure at higher RPM but very slow to prime and very low to no pressure at idle. May be easier to see from below the car.
 
At first I was thinking 10 at idle, well it could be ok. But something else is up if it lost prime. Something wrong on the inlet tract to the pump.

Oh yeah, I would stop cranking and yank the cam sensor and go back to prelubing. But you probably already did that.
 
Squid4life said:
...... But, to honest 10 at idle bothers me. All it takes is a hot day, something not quite right, it drops to 5 and I am out again.
Agree whole heartedly!
How was the cam bearing installed?

Squid4life said:
........ If the pump did lose its prime and all it needs is to reprime, that would mean every time I shut it off and/or change the oil, it'll lose it's prime .........
Yes, it sounds strange. The pump should not loose its prime.

Squid4life said:
.... I am guessing it is either pickup gasket, or the oil pump housing/front cover/gasket. I doubt it is the pickup tube, as it was torqued to spec, with gasket, with loctite to make sure it didn't come out.
Sounds reasonable that the gasket is not a contributor but you are correct about the "priming". If there are no internal oil leaks (like between the timing cover and the block) and you surfaced the pump cover, then the cavity wear could be an issue.

Just an interesing observation.
I started wet sanding on a piece of glas and 400 grit sandpaper (in a figure 8 pattern) to resurface the pump cover. I got tired of hand sanding and decided to throw it on a lapping machine. It was *very* interesting to see the unevenness of the pump cover surface while on the lapping machine and I was surprised. The cover was in fact convex from hand sanding! Guess if you don't have the patience, use a machine as too much applied force resulting from a lack of patience will give you my results. :redface:
 
I am going to check the gasket, pull the cam sensor and check the oil pump gear "feel" and check for damage. Then I will most likely pull the oil filter adapter.

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
 
Also I don't think you have to worry about the turbo oil plumbing. If turbo's needed oil restrictors, I am sure we would know about it.
 
With clearences like that you should have better idle psi. Stock cam bearings? I use the TA bearing,they have slightly smaller holes and that send more oil downstairs plus helps idle psi. At this point,I'd be pulling the front cover and replacing it with a new one.
 
I installed the cam bearings, they are the TA good grooved ones. They are lined up correctly, plus they are dual grooved so oil will make its way to the hole regardless.

Looked at the gasket between block and front cover, looked good to go.

Pulled cam sensor, it looked fine, all gears looked good, no damage. Put the primer tool onto the shaft and spun it BY HAND (father-in-law borrowed my drill. Of all nights to borrow my drill... :mad: ) and it felt odd. I don't what it should feel like, because this car has been a permanent garage fixture since buying it two years ago. It does still have 40wt oil in there, but while turning it, you can almost feel either the gears mesh, or something has a tiny rub. Should it be super smooth as you turn the gears?


I am starting to thing you might be correct Jerryl. Maybe when I resurfaced the oil filter housing I put too much pressure on it and it started to get a tiny bit "U" shaped. This could lead to sucking air, losing prime, etc. Couldn't it?

I am considering biting the big one and ordering a HV front cover ALREADY ASSEMBLED from Aggressive Auto ($249). I figured if I am getting a new front cover, I don't like 10 PSI at idle so maybe a HV would be better($149). I definately want a new oil filter adapter ($30-$40?), so I figure for another $60 I might as well let a pro set it up for me. I am just tired of taking chances. This is my first attempt at a car with this type of oil pump. I am used to my Fords.

Any other ideas, suggestions, input on the issue(s), fix, idea of buying HV/new parts?


I will keep you posted, take pics of the oil filter adapter once I get it off.

Thanks a ton for your help!!!
 
Squid4life said:
......... It does still have 40wt oil in there, but while turning it, you can almost feel either the gears mesh, or something has a tiny rub. Should it be super smooth as you turn the gears?
When turning it it should be smooth and "even" ...... You should not feel any interference "spikes".

Squid4life said:
......... I am starting to thing you might be correct Jerryl. Maybe when I resurfaced the oil filter housing I put too much pressure on it and it started to get a tiny bit "U" shaped. This could lead to sucking air, losing prime, etc. Couldn't it?
If you take the cover off, you may may see some rubbing/wear on the "high spot" in the pump. This should be the indication of a convex cover. If you did not see any external oil leak, it probably does not suck air from this area and should not have affected the prime.

Squid4life said:
....... I am considering biting the big one and ordering a HV front cover ALREADY ASSEMBLED from Aggressive Auto ($249). I figured if I am getting a new front cover, I don't like 10 PSI at idle so maybe a HV would be better($149). I am just tired of taking chances. This is my first attempt at a car with this type of oil pump. Any other ideas, suggestions, input on the issue(s), fix, idea of buying HV/new parts? .....
It has been stated that the weakness in these motors lies in the oiling system. It is therefore not an area you may want to take any chances in.
There will be lots of documentation on premature #1 cam bearing wear/failure with a HV pump, OEM pump working fine, booster plates ..... yadi yada. All good points.

Maybe a known flat pump cover will fix your issue. IMHO, After looking at your pictures of the cavity, and after 15 months of blood sweat and tears (and some serious cussing ;) ) I would replace the timing cover and the make sure the pump cover is flat.
 
""When turning it it should be smooth and "even" ...... You should not feel any interference "spikes".""

But it has been said that you will feel the gears "mesh" with oil present, right? It doesn't feel like a catch at a certain point of the rotation, but like each time the gears mesh.

""If you take the cover off, you may may see some rubbing/wear on the "high spot" in the pump. This should be the indication of a convex cover. If you did not see any external oil leak, it probably does not suck air from this area and should not have affected the prime.""

I will be pulling the oil pump cover off as soon as I get a chance and looking closely at it. The oil pump did have a tiny leak when you revved the motor, around the thin crappy paper gasket. Maybe this is due to the convex cover, leaking a bit of oil, but also sucking air, in turn losing prime.

I am with you, Jerryl, on replacing the front cover and oil pump cover. I am getting scared that if it is not set up correctly or is convex/concave that the gears will grind the aluminum, which will end up in the bearings, and I will be back to square one.

Where do you guys buy your front covers/oil pump covers???
 
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