Q: Oil Pressure is Low
I just rebuilt my engine and installed a new mechanical oil pressure gauge. It shows I am running with very low oil pressure. Can I still drive it to break it in and hopefully solve the oil pressure problem on its own?
A: First off… this is your motor and your money so you need to do what’s best. Running a motor with low or no oil pressure is VERY damaging. This is only a suggestion for something to check. ..
You mentioned it’s a new mechanical gauge. Is there a lot of air in the line? If so, lower pressures may not register until you sufficently compess the air… i.e., “Pressure about 60 lbs at 3500 rpm estimated”. Try bleeding the line to remove the air.
Once you have established you have oil pressure at idle the next suggestion applies… It’s not uncommon for new motors to have problems getting oil to the rockers. If the lifters were not primed properly they will not pump. Here is something that worked for me. Loosen the rockers and slid them to the side. Use a pump can with oil and fill the pushrod. Slid the rocker back and tighten until you cannot twist it between your fingers. Do not torque them.
Once all the pre-oiling is completed, start the motor and see it they start pumping. Thighten until they stop clattering — one at a time in 1/4 turn increments. If they are still pumping, keep tightening. Once you bottom out, you can torque the nut. Be aware that this is VERY messy. I used cardboard to fill the gap between the head and fender and fender covers to keep it off my car as much as possible.
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Content last modified: January 16, 2014 at 8:40 am