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Oil pressure light staying on longer after 1,000 mile rally


sczapiga
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Hello again, 

I just finished the Fault line rally and added total mileage up to 1,048 miles over 3 days with one night stage. We ran the car pretty darn hard up and down mountain passes and dirt roads etc... I noticed on the last day after stopping for some coffee and doughnuts on a mountain top, when I started the car up about 30 mins later the oil pressure light stayed on for about a minute until I shut down, checked oil level, checked sender connection then re-started. The light went out and everything was fine the rest of the 200 mile day. About 3 days after parking it at home I noticed the light stayed on throughout warmup and about a minute down the road. I also noticed a bit more valve train noise ( I was watching it like a hawk) After it went out there was no problem with the light coming on at startup. 

I ran it pretty hard but didn't do anything I think was out of line, no over revs or anything like that, just hard driving for 1000+ miles with a 200lb passenger. I was thinking a worn out oil pump thats getting ready to go but the engine has around 30,000 miles on it. I read Toby's response to a similar question regarding seals on the tube that supplies the oil pump I believe? 

Thanks and I did fix the vapor lock issue with insulating my fuel line and getting it off the head ( a previous post I made) So thanks to all that weighed in:)

Stephen E67BBA04-0BAA-435D-8E39-85785DB722F8.heic

 

Edited by sczapiga
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You did check your oil level...and you're running 20w-50 oil...

 

Keep in mind that your stock oil pressure warning light illuminates at 7 psi (1/2 atmos); that ain't very much.  And the sender is a long way away from the oil pump, up there at the top of the cylinder head.

 

To make sure you don't have a defective sender, were it my car I'd either temporarily connect a mechanical gauge to see what's going on, or if you're gonna do more hard driving, spring for a permanently mounted gauge that reads out in psi as well as incorporating a warning light.  VDO (among others) makes such a gauge.  Much cheaper than engines...

 

mike 

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Thanks Mike, 

I immediately checked oil level and it was good. I’m running 20w/50 high zinc standard oil and it was fresh for the rally. 
 

I’ll take your advice and fit a proper oil pressure gauge with warning light because it would be nice to know what’s going on inside the engine. I drive hard but also don’t want to trash my engine. 
 

I hear you on sender placement but I tough it was odd that I never had an issue like this until the third day of the rally. I also forgot to mention that as soon as the light went off the valve train noise stopped! Almost like the pump decided to work? Like a switch was turned on. I forgot to mention that but that’s what scared me…

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On 9/24/2022 at 10:05 PM, stephers said:

Check the small hollow bolt that holds the oil spray bar down. These come loose and oil always goes the easiest route.     You may be losing some oil on start up through there   Also double check your rocker shaft plugs at the frt of the engine

 

Thanks, Rick

Thanks Rick,

I checked the bolt on the spray bar today, it wasn’t too loose but I was able to snug it a half turn.  As far as the plugs go, I looked and it seems the plugs have the hex head on the inside? In other words, the only way to adjust would be to pull the rocker arm shaft? Am I missing something or is that correct? they didn’t seem to be traveling out towards the cam gear. 
Thanks
 

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Sounds like that is all good      There is only a couple of things that can cause this, either o ring at the frt top of the block ( the overflow pipe ) or where the pipe meets the oil pump, the piston in the oil pump is slightly sticking or the bearings are on the loose side of spec ( which isn't always a bad thing, engine will rev up quicker)         Not a lot of any other places where you can lose pressure 

 

Thanks, Rick

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So… after taking the advice to tighten the oil rail bolt, I started the car today and the light only flashed on start then went out immediately! No valvetrain noise and the car ran awesome. After a couple more successful starts the oil pressure seemed to be fixed! So I took my son and we drove 75 all the way to Sears Point to watch some vintage racing with no issues:) 

 

I have to say that all of you on this forum and all the resources available here make owning and driving my 2002 so much more fun. Thank you for all your help and time. 
 

Shred on! 
Stephen

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  • 1 month later...

Well... I thought it was fixed. I started it up after sitting a couple weeks (replacing front end bushings) and the light stayed on and didn't turn off. I gave it a little gas to bring the revs up just a little and nothing. I also could hear the familiar sound that to me sounds like no oil pressure and metallic parts spinning. It wasn't terrible but present enough to shut it down and say shit.

Ive read someone used a Accusump to remedy this without pulling the front of the engine apart. While this would probably do it, I'd rather fix it and save $600+. I haven't been able to find any write ups on the oil tube o-ring repair and was wondering if anyone knows of any? Also, can this be done in the car or do I need to pull the engine?

Thanks

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update… 

I purchased a new oil pump, chain and sprocket, seals, windage tray, oil pressure gauge and some other bits. 
 

I went ahead and dropped the subframe since I had some suspension work left to do and it gave me the chance to weld up my cracked engine tan and plate the crossmember. I am also going to add some steel to the back of the crossmember to make the control arms double shear and give me a solid rear mount for my 1/4” thick skid plate.
 

I pulled the pan and found a pump chain with at least 1 1/4” slack. I’m guessing that is even worse at operating temp and enough to jump teeth. So I installed the new pump from IE with my old pickup tube and shimmed it up real nice so I get less than 10mm play in the chain. I went ahead and drilled the sprocket nut and safety wired it for extra security. 
 

The two o rings on the oil tube didn’t look too bad so… I dunno 🤷🏻‍♀️ I replaced them and almost got the timing covers all back on until I realized I only bought the lower engine seals and that doesn’t include the upper timing cover seals. So now I’m waiting on those and installing the pressure gauge and finishing up the suspension stuff. 
 

I’ll report back as I get it running. 

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