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Thread: Oil Pressure Problems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    16

    Thumbs down Oil Pressure Problems

    My beloved '93 SC 5-speed Bird has 167,000 miles on the original short block and I am aware I am living on borrowed time. I drive this car everyday for work, sometimes as much as 250 miles round-trip and wouldn't trade it for the world, even though my wife points out regularly the "car is well past used up."

    For the past four years, the oil pressure gauge has always shown pressure at the top of the normal range. But in the last couple of weeks it seems the oil pressure stays at that level until the car gets fully warmed up and then drops off to the "N" level of "Norm" on the gauge. I am planning to check this tomorrow with a test gauge borrowed from a mechanic buddy and will know more in the next couple of days.

    The question is, if this turns out to be an oil pressure problem and not a sender problem, do I pull the engine and go through it or drop the pan and install a new oil pump and see how long she holds together. Anyone ever been in this predicament with an SC? What did you do, and how did it work out? How difficult is it to get the pan off with the engine still in the mounts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Posts
    1,006

    Re: Oil pressure problems

    The oil pressure sender is nothing more than a switch designed to close its contacts around 7 PSI. The gauge does not indicate actual oil pressure, just whether or not you have more or less than 7 PSI.

    Most of the time the connector at the sender gets loose and causes the gauge to fluctuate, or the sender contacts inside go bad. Try tightening the connector first.

    P.S. Mine always sits right at the "N" after it's fully warmed up, but on a cold day will climb to the "R" when first started. This is NOT an indication of actual oil pressure though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    26
    Same thing happened to me. I replaced sending unit and put a new connector on the wire, but it still fluctuates today (that was last summer). Don't worry, if the gauge is up out of the red then you have pressure. Try tapping on the plastic where the oil pressure gauge is and see if it will go up. Works for me.

    -J

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Nor Cal
    Posts
    356
    I am going through oil pressure nightmares myself right now. My motor only has 260 miles on it and the stock gauge was going all over the place. I put in an autometer gauge and just about had a heart attack because it only has about 5psi at idle. When it is under a load it goes up and down, up and down. I think my problem might be the oil pressure valve in the timing cover. Just a thought before you tear the whole motor apart.

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