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Old 10-20-2009, 05:24 PM   #1
wetodd
 
Drives: 1997 Z28
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Unhappy Oil pressure drops bad

Just bought a 1997 Z28 drove home fine, but at one stop light oil pressure dropped to almost zero and check engine light came on. I put in in neutral and revived it a bit and pressure came back up. The car is new to me so I am not sure what oil pressure should be at idle, but i do know that 10 seems very low, as this is where it usually is at idle. I stopped for about 20 mins checked the oil level and it was fine. Drove on home and it ranges to 40-50 under load. What issues should I look at besides the oil pump? I think I might have gotten screwed. Any help, and thanks in advance.
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:38 PM   #2
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It should have more oil pressure at idle, first check the oil pressure sending uint to make sure it is working correctly. It sounds like it has excessive bearing clearance in the rods/mains.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:19 PM   #3
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oh, crap that does not sound good. I hope for the lesser of the evils.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:17 PM   #4
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take out the light oil, and put in some 20w50 if weather permits.
maybe 30 weight if the motor is miled out. if its colder, try 10w40, or 15w40

if you can turn up the idle 100 or so, that will help too.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:24 PM   #5
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thats not very odd for a worn motor. how many miles does it have on engine
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:54 PM   #6
wetodd
 
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the carfax check out awesome, 67000 miles one owner, standard service records, brakes, emission test, nothing but routine maintenance. Of coarse I don't know if they beat on it for years. It runs strong, no smoke. Drove again to the store and back, oil 10-20 at idle, 40 under load.
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:41 AM   #7
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Is there any test I can run, or does it have to go to the dealer?
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:47 AM   #8
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Min use to run ~10 at idle and it was fine. Drove that way for years. Now 0 at idle is not good. However the sending unit is notorius for being bad on the LT1's.
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:51 PM   #9
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Location of sending unit???
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Old 10-21-2009, 03:35 PM   #10
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I my self wouldnt rev it up if its low on oil....
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Old 10-21-2009, 03:56 PM   #11
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update: Installed new sending unit, all was fine when engine was cold, steady 40psi, and 20 at idle if we want to call that fine? once warmed up 10-15 psi at idle, 39 under load, 40 when it hard enough to engage passing gear. back home idle 10-15psi seems to very, rev to 4500 to get to 39-40 psi. then on occasion gauge pegs past 80 for a flash then returns to normal. kind of stumped my dodge ram is always steady, gauge is always dead center, my old fairlane with a 302 5 speed idle was always 20 - 30 idle and 60 - 70 under load. oil level is fine in the z28.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:57 PM   #12
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You need 10psi for every 1k rpm for an engine to survive. The gauge could be bad. If you have 0 oil pressure it would not run long. If the bearings are worn or damaged it could give you a low oil pressure. If this is the case thicker oil is not going to help.
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:49 PM   #13
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Its back at the dealer I bought it from. Their mechanic is supposed to be looking at it. I know its not the sending unit, because the new one did the same thing as the old one mentioned above. I told them if it were me I would hook up a manual oil pressure gauge the don't lie. I hate that its probably a worn out block as I really like the car. Strange that it still runs strong, no smoke, no unusual noises. Cross my fingers, wishful thinking, but if they gave me half or so of my money back and I kept the car, hello new crate motor!!!!
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:02 PM   #14
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any update??
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