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Old 03-12-2010, 08:41 AM   #1
Vyndictive
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Failing Oil Pump?

Hey all... forgive my newbness as always...

I've been notcing my stock oil pressure has been dropping through the winter. At first it was just when the engine was cold on cold mornings, now even with temps in the 60s and upon full operating temp, its barely on the "N" in normal.

I have searched and it appears I can add an analog oilpressure gauge for cheap. So I know my first step is going to be that.

But my questions is, how tough and expensive is the oil pump replacement? Is that going to solve the problem? Is this common, etc etc.

I have a '95 with 175k on the 5.8w. Never been rebuilt. I'm running catrol 10w30 high miles. Seafoam the engine about every other oil change. KN drop in filter is the only "mod".

I'm pretty much through the winter driving season and the truck is going to be worked on most of the summer, so I am wanting to know if this is something a not very skilled backyard mechanic can do or if I'm looking at selling the truck and getting something newer for my winter driving/towing/tailgating needs.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:32 AM   #2
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Being's how you're planning to buy a mechanical gauge, a good first step would be to remove your factory sender and rig your new gauge up so it's feed-line can screw into the (1/4 NPT) sender-hole. You'll find your factory sender just off to the left of the oil filter.
Once you get the new gauge rigged up so we can read actual pressure figures, start the engine and note the indicated oil pressure. Assuming that your factory sender is/was working proper, the "N" on your factory gauge SHOULD corespond to about 15 PSI on your new (mechanical) gauge. If the new gauge reads significantly higher, or if it indicates an increase of pressure with an increase of engine RPM (which you say your factory gauge doesn't) odds are that your factory sender is defective, or you there's a problem with it's connector.
In other words, there's always the chance that what you are experiencing is merely an electrical-related problem. Untill proven otherwise, we will hope that is the case.
If it aint, read on.

IMO, 175K on a 351W is a LOT of miles. By that I mean that because of the size of if it's crank journals, the 351W wears out bearings faster than a 289 or 302....AND Ford uses the crappiest oil pump that I know of...AND for some unknown reason, when Ford began putting the 351W into trucks, they downsized the diameter of the pick-up tube compared to the original diameter of the passenger car pick up, which means the pump aint drawing as hard as was originaly designed.
What I'm getting at here is that you may have more problems than merely a weak pump. So if you're going to pull the pan anyway, do yourself a favor and check a couple of bearings while you got it off.
I got a dollar that say's at 175K, your bearings are wore down to their copper underlay, and if that's the case, a new pump aint going to help your oil pressure much. Maybe I'm right about that, maybe not. Regardless though, if ya don't look, ya won't know.

Related stuff;

Pulling the oil pan while laying on your back at home is a perty-tuff job. It IS doable though....just know ahead of time that there's a lot of stuff that is either in the way or needs to come off so you can get the engine jacked-up high enough to allow the pan to come out of there. That, and it aint coming off no-way/no-how without first dropping the pump & screen into the pan.

If your crank journals are wore past their servicable limits, new bearings aint going to fix that. They will probably help with the low O/P thing, but don't expect them to last as long as the first set did.

If you change the pump, change the pick up too.

Some folks uses a high-volume pump in high-milage engines to mask other problems. That works real well as far as increasing O/P at a given RPM goes, but it has a couple of drawbacks....the most glaring of which is that if we still have excessive rod bearing clearance, a good bit of that extra oil is getting slung on the clylinder walls....so now we are asking a set of rings (which also have 175K on them) to keep all that extra oil out of the combustion chamber. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.
Aint saying that high-volume pumps are bad. Just saying that they make a poor crutch...if you get my drift.

Not trying to discourage you here, just saying to do some homework.

Hope this helps.

DGW
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyndictive View Post
Hey all... forgive my newbness as always...

I've been notcing my stock oil pressure has been dropping through the winter. At first it was just when the engine was cold on cold mornings, now even with temps in the 60s and upon full operating temp, its barely on the "N" in normal.

I have searched and it appears I can add an analog oilpressure gauge for cheap. So I know my first step is going to be that.

But my questions is, how tough and expensive is the oil pump replacement? Is that going to solve the problem? Is this common, etc etc.

I have a '95 with 175k on the 5.8w. Never been rebuilt. I'm running catrol 10w30 high miles. Seafoam the engine about every other oil change. KN drop in filter is the only "mod".

I'm pretty much through the winter driving season and the truck is going to be worked on most of the summer, so I am wanting to know if this is something a not very skilled backyard mechanic can do or if I'm looking at selling the truck and getting something newer for my winter driving/towing/tailgating needs.

Thanks everyone.

To answer some of your questions;

I just bought a NAPA oil pump and pickup for about 60dollars.

New oil pan from autozone was about $80. They had one more cheaper ( by 8-10 dollars).

Powercoated oilpan was about $45.00

Pump primer rod should be a bout $8.00 ( i'm using a older dizzy shaft that I had laying around for my primer)

FelPro oil pan gasket with the guides was $20.00 iirc

Before speculating it's the pump, place the gauge and go from that point. It could very well be your sender unit.

Also I have to disagree that 175K is alot of mileage on a engine.

If the vehicle was well taken, oil changed on schedule, and driven with respect, 175K miles is not a big concern unless your selling it. I've driven both domestic and foreign cars , why past 250K miles with no problems or signs of of any serious internal engine wear.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:50 AM   #4
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On his 95, the oil pressure sending unit is simply a switch, gives no real value other than oil pressure exists. Put a real mechanical gauge on it and get us some real numbers @ rpms before doing unnecessary work.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:18 PM   #5
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Excellent replies. Thank you all for your input.

Obviously the place to start is the mechanical oil pressure gauge, I'll carve out some time to get that done in the next few weeks (As I stated, about to start driving the mazda as my daily driver)

Sounds like i'll have my fingers crossed that its the sending unit. Oil level is perfect and I'm having no other associated oil starvation issues. Ticks or temp spikes, or terrible bearing noises.
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:16 PM   #6
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lowering oil pressure is also caused by the pick up tube being clogged,the screen is about 2in and the actual hole is about 3/4in to fix is to cut a bigger hole but you may as well put a new pump in
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:33 PM   #7
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The screen is in place to prevent debris from entering the pump and damaging the pump. I would reccommend you fix the problem versus using a bandaid fix.

Nothing wrong with the pickup tube as-is.
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:51 PM   #8
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I didnt say any thing about just opening the inlet to the screen and leave it or removing the screen.i guess i should have been more clear on my post.i will take a pic tomorow and show what i am talking about,i am doing my pump tomorrow
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:34 PM   #9
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With a 175K miles on the engine, lose the 10W-30 and use a 20W-50, it will help increase "compression" much better...AND before you install the new oil guage etc. run some Sea Foam in the crankcase for 100 miles to help try and clean the pump and tube/screen, then change oil/filter......


Good Luck ~
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20 SMOKE View Post
I didnt say any thing about just opening the inlet to the screen and leave it or removing the screen.i guess i should have been more clear on my post.i will take a pic tomorow and show what i am talking about,i am doing my pump tomorrow
Thanks... pics would be helpful.

Has anyone ever run a bit of ATF fluid directly into each cylinder to reseat the rings? That was another cheap/easy possible solution I was looking into... seems very risky though.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:04 PM   #11
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my friend owns a tranny shop and every oil change he puts one quart in the gas tank,i scratched my head on that one but have never tried it.i know a few that have done the cylinder to knock the carbon of the piston
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:50 PM   #12
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Bump Dupe!
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:56 PM   #13
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Using tranny fluid mixed in with oil was an old hot rodders trick to free up sticky or quiet noisey lifters and IIRC it will smoke a bit until it burns off....I don't think it will harm anything...

As for adding it to the gas tank I can't imagine what benefit it would have, think about the effect it would have on your gas tank sending unit, electric/ fuel pumps, fuel lines not to mention fuel filters or intake manifolds etc.etc....I've never heard of that before...

Good Luck ~
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:08 PM   #14
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I read somewhere that in the 50's Chevrolet let a bunch of engines go out that had too high of a polish on the cylinders, The fix was to bring them into the dealership and pour Borax into the carb while the engines were running to rough up the bores and re-seat the rings and it worked{in a chevy kind of way} My uncle {a 39 year mechanic at ford} confirmed the story fwiw- I wouldn't try it with the cats on an engine.
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Old 03-13-2010, 04:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKossarides View Post
Using tranny fluid mixed in with oil was an old hot rodders trick to free up sticky or quiet noisey lifters and IIRC it will smoke a bit until it burns off....I don't think it will harm anything...

As for adding it to the gas tank I can't imagine what benefit it would have, think about the effect it would have on your gas tank sending unit, electric/ fuel pumps, fuel lines not to mention fuel filters or intake manifolds etc.etc....I've never heard of that before...

Good Luck ~
thats why i scratched my head and have never tried it,
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:59 AM   #16
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Actually,running tranny fluid in the tank of fuel injected vehicles has been around for a long time.The cleaning properties of atf are said to be a very effective injector cleaner as well as keeping fuel lines from rotting from the inside out.FWIW I have used it in my 99 Tahoe since I bought it new and have never had to replace the fuel pump or sending unit for the gauge and it has just under 250,000 on the odo.I also don't have the typical fuel pump whine associated with most fuel injected American vehicles.
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:48 PM   #17
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i would look into a reman or new crank kit. i have been in the exact same situation with my rollback, but it was a 460 with only 80k miles.
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyndictive View Post
Thanks... pics would be helpful.

Has anyone ever run a bit of ATF fluid directly into each cylinder to reseat the rings? That was another cheap/easy possible solution I was looking into... seems very risky though.
i finally got to do my oil pump and what a bitch it was off your back but here are the pics. i did clean up the cut after the pic



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Old 03-21-2010, 08:34 PM   #19
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i finally got to do my oil pump and what a bitch it was off your back but here are the pics. i did clean up the cut after the pic

That's one of the stupidest mods I've seen. That hole is made the factory size for a reason. I would never recommend anyone doing that for any reason.

Take a straw and split the end that sits in the liquid. Drink through it until you can't get no more liquid through. Chances are, you won't get all the liquid out of the cup. But if you had a straw that's not "modified", you'll empty the cup. That's what's going on in the bottom of the pan. When your oil is throughout the motor, little is in the pan. You want the pump to suck liquid, not air. By opening that hole up, your taking the suction point and raising it above the screen. You want the suction point to be at the lowest point possible. Thus, smaller hole.
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Last edited by sackman9975; 03-21-2010 at 10:22 PM. Reason: added thoughts
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:28 PM   #20
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Hi you all. I'm a noob around here from Sweden so I'm sorry for my english. Anyhow a problem occured today with my F150.
I recently changed the oil/filter in the engine/transmission and the oilpressure seems to be very low when looking at the gauge.
The gauge has never worked properly I think, always been between ''red and M''. The needle stops long before red while on ignition and moves directly at start.

But today it was on red all time, and when I got home from work and let the engine cool down it showed a bit over red and then again it turned almost to red.
The engine seems to be fine, no bad sound, but the owner before ran the engine without oil some times (in and out from the garage).

So what can be the problem ? I'm thinking of the gauge but where do I messure the oilpressure with something else?

Thanks in advance / Andreas
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