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Old 11-19-2012, 09:14 AM   #1
garymunson
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No oil pressure

Here's something to keep in mind on older Ford trucks (since we are talking FSB's means all of us). When I bought my FSB, on the 60 mile ride home, it ran great until, about 5 miles from home I went around a sharp turn and oil pressure went to 0. I immediately shut it down and got it towed home. The problem was a clogged screen on the oil pump pickup tube. The material plugging it was hard, black plastic like material. Since then, I spoke with a F-250 owner who lost his 5.8 on the highway when "the oil pump drive shaft broke". As we discuss this, we realized his problem was the same as mine but since he was going 75 miles an hour, the suddenly dry oil pump seized up and wrung the shaft off. He didn't see the oil pressure go to 0 since this probably all happened in less than 30 seconds at highway speed. It also took out his rod bearings. A little research on my part has shown that clogged oil screens are not uncommon on older small block Fords. It will probably happen to every one eventually. What I have found is that the material that's blocking the screen comes from the valve stem seals which are made like little umbrellas. The "skirts" from these umbrellas begin to crack and fall off after 10-15 years and they find their way into the oil pan where they clog the screen. The interesting thing about the seals is the skirts don't appear to be necessary to control oil burning as even after the seals are reduced to just a ring around the valve stem, the engines still don't smoke at start-up. I remember in the 60's Chevy had a similar seal but quit those for just an o-ring style just under the valve retaining clips. A word to the wise might be to plan on replacing your pickup tube/screen and wiping out the oil pan when you feel the need to get dirty. At this point in time, there probably isn't much of the seal skirts left on any FSB out there so just replacing the screen and a wiping out of the pan would be a one-time thing. I didn't have any luck getting my pan completely off but was able to drop it enough to reach inside and do the needed work. I put in a new oil pump but examining the old one afterwards made it clear I could have reused it as it was not damaged. An oil pump is such a simple thing that if you currently have good oil pressure, replacing it with new is a waste. The price of a pan gasket (get the new one-piece) and a pickup tube (you can't clean them) is less than $50 and may well save your engine. Small block Fords will go 300k plus easily if you take care of them.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:32 AM   #2
BigWheelz
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The umbrella style valve seals are not factory on a '93. Your heads likely had a valve job sometime in the last 20 years.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:41 PM   #3
JKossarides
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For higher mileage engines the use of Sea Foam has been recommended here numerous time, directly into the crankcase right before each oil/filter change running it for a 100 miles then dump to insure cleaning the internal oil pump, tube and screen, it's also good right in the gas tank and directly into the intake manifold to clean the valves and pistons, it will smoke quite a bit for 10-15 minutes but inceases performance ......though the price has gone up to $9.99 a can it's still worth it IMO.

I hope you primed the new oil pump by hand before installing it so it's lubricated, ideally you can pull out the distributor and using a special "primer tool" in a drill place it on the intermediate oil pump shaft and run it for 5 minutes to circulate oil in the galley though you'd probably need to remove the FI plenum to spread the oil over the galley and lifter/pushrod area if possible .....PITA I'm sure but cheaper then a new engine.....


Good Luck ~
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:54 PM   #4
garymunson
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Big Wheelz..When did they stop using the umbrella seals? I've seen the remains of them on quite a few Windsor heads... As for SeaFoam..good stuff but won't help the pieces of solid junk that ends up in the bottom of the pan waiting to find it's way into the screen. Might even loosen them up from being stuck to the bottom and make things worse. Mechanically cleaning the pan and replacing the pickup tube/screen is about the only way to prevent the problem. BTW, a good 'redneck' trick to prime an oil pump you forgot to lubricate (sometimes even pulling the dist and spinning it with a drill doesn't help) is to buy a few gallons of the cheapest oil you can find and dump it in the crankcase. The idea is to submerge the oil pump so it will catch a prime. Crank the engine over with the starter. Just disable the ignition so the engine won't start while you are doing this. Once the oil light goes out/gauge shows pressure, drain the oil and refill normally. Can save a LOT of rework.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:40 PM   #5
JKossarides
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Using the "special primer tool" running a drill on the intermediate oil pump shaft is really more for new engines after you prime the oil galley, lifter and push rod areas so there's no dry start, definately works everytime but in a case like this you do what you got to do....

Regular use of Sea Foam in the crank case would probably limit the amount of solid junks forming otherwise if the engine is developing solid junks the oil isn't being changed enough or it's time to replace the internal oil pump etc. OR rebuild the engine.

Good Luck ~
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