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  #1  
Old May 7th, 2007, 12:54 AM
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Will Peters
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Oil Pressure Problems

I'm just wondering what some of you all's opinions on my current problem are. Any advice is appreciated.
(And its a '97 with about 60K-ish miles, I've had the truck since 2000 and its never really had any abuse, and its had regular oil changes and all regular maintenance done when needed)

I had Land Rover Nashville do some work on my D90. I started having problems one day and since it was a daily driver that that time I did not have time to do the work myself so I had them do it... They replaced the head gaskets / timing cover / and the water pump.

A few days later (it had been cold out and it warmed up to 60's a few days after I picked the truck up) when I was stopped and the motor was warmed up my oil pressure light started to flicker. I took it back and the tech that had worked on it checked the oil pressure and it was low (its low at idle and picks up when the motor is at higher RPM's but is still a bit lower there then it should be). They dropped the pan and cleaned the pick up tube and screen. That did not help. So basically I'm going to run thicker oil to see if that helps and still if no improvement I guess I'll try the oil pump. But if that does not work I'm stuck looking at the bill for a new 4.0L short block I guess.

I'm just wondering if this oil pressure problem is something that they did wrong and I'm stuck paying for their mistake or if it's just one of those things that happens? I don't really know whats causing the low oil pressure, but it just seems like it does not have enough miles on it to be having these problems...
What do you all think?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old May 7th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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Hans Haase
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Do you have an actual gauge fitted? or just the dummy light?

As the engines wear, the pressure does start to drop a bit as bearing clearances widen up and the pump wears, so it is natural for the pressure to come down a bit over the years. At 100k miles, and a 3.9, you don't even want to know my pressures :-)

But if you are going to replace parts, I'd start with a new pressure switch first to make sure if it's just a gauge issue or actually pressure.

what oil weight were you running anyways? and how old was the oil?

-Hans
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  #3  
Old May 7th, 2007, 02:46 PM
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Chris Davis
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Also, you can replace the front cover which houses your oilpump--you would not need to replace the engine. Most people I know run 10/30 or heavier--some run 15/40 just because when running 5/30 or 10/30 they had flickering oil lights.

Something might be clogged, but odds are that the mechanic did nothing wrong. My first guess would be you are running too light an oil. My second guess would be to replace your sensor. If your pressure is too low, after a couple minutes (or less) you will hear your tappets start to stick--noise coming from your rockers (usually).

D-90's are not known to ever have great oil pressure.
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  #4  
Old May 7th, 2007, 06:30 PM
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Will Peters
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Well Land Rover put in 10-30 (they put it in when they did the work, less then a month ago). I had always run 10-40 with no problems.

I know the truck has low pressure. I was with the tech when he took off the oil filter and tested the pressure with their equipment.

I'm going to try a higher weight oil and see if that helps...
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Old May 16th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Will Peters
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Unhappy

Well I thought I had taken care of my problems by switching to 20-50 oil. I put the 20-50 in on Tuesday and drove the truck a little bit on Wednesday. Today I drove it around town for an hour or two and the oil pressure light did not come on.
After that I took it around to the back of my property and was on a bit of a angle with it idling (stopped) and the light flickered a bit.

So I took it to my garage and let it idle for a min. and the light did not come on when sitting level. But then after sitting there a second my check engine light came on... I haven't read the code so I don't know what code(s) its throwing.

Anyone have any ideas to what could be wrong?
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Old May 16th, 2007, 11:41 PM
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Hans Haase
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I wish I could offer more help, but I honestly just don't know too much about that rotor style oil pump you have running. It's potentially worn engine bearings, but generally that's a sign of neglect which isn't the case here. So it may be a problem with the pump itself, such as a stuck relief valve or worn rotors or something, but I don't know what the potential problems are in that style setup.

Another possibility that has been mentioned in other situations is a loose pickup tube, but you would need to remove the oil pan to inspect that.

-Hans
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  #7  
Old May 17th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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Johnathan Tisdale
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Double check your oil level, sometimes after an oil change I haven't put in enough (everywhere you check capacity you find a different number) While normal driving seems fine, this becomes evident once I get on the trail and start climbing ledges or going up steep angles. I get an oil light flicker. Something easy to try, can't help on the check engine light.
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  #8  
Old May 17th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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J. Michael McCaig
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I agree with the suggestions about replacing the sensor and using heavier oil for the summer. It sounds like your problem started right after you had work done on your truck. The oil pump is in the front cover and the oil path is through the cover to the block. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a problem with the gasket If they removed the front cover it is possible that they did not get the gasket to seal right.
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  #9  
Old September 14th, 2007, 12:17 AM
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Will, did you ever find a solution to your problem? My D-90 has almost the same story: just picked it up from a head gasket replacement, drove it over the mountain pass back home and as I pulled onto my street, the OP lamp started to flicker. Imagine my heart sinking, having just shelled out for a transmission replacement and a head gasket replacement within two months. :

Follow-up Post:

This is not looking good. Just went back out to check the dipstick and start her up to see if it would happen again. As soon as I started up, I heard clanking noises, sounds like a lifter or lifters. I'm guessing that the engine isn't getting any oil pressure. I should probably have it towed in, eh?

Total bummer.
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  #10  
Old September 14th, 2007, 11:30 PM
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A friend of mine just had a similar problem that turned out to be the oil filter. He switched to a heavy duty Fram filter. Turns out the HD filter was more restrictive than the normal filter and restricted the flow volume. Switched back to the normal cheap Fram and the problem was solved.
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  #11  
Old September 15th, 2007, 10:50 AM
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I had the exact issure (flickering light at idle for a while, then a lifter acting up for a while (loud sewing machine like noises from the top of the engine)
I dropped my oil pan and checked my oil pick up tube and it was loose. I took it off , cleaned it and torqued it back on with threadlock. Got the pan back on, filled it with 20w50 and the light hasn't come onn for a month. Lifter stopped tapping after about two minutes and hasn't made a peep either, even at startup. If the tube is loose, you're not going to be getting much oil sucked up through it!!!!!

give it a shot, drop that pan.
If not then I'd say get into your oil pump and check for excessive wear on the gears or cover plate or see if the pressure release valve ball is sticking or the spring is just shot..

if not there, then you may have a bearing or few that are excessively worn, allowing oil pressure to escape. The bottom end crank bearings are the big ones, and are checkable when you have your pan off. Could be others though.. Good luck!!

~Steve
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  #12  
Old September 15th, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Will Peters
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I checked every possible thing (oil filters, different weight oil, dropped the pan and checked the pick up tube and screen, so on..). I still have no idea what caused the problems, it may of been something got messed up when they did the work or it may of been a problem that just had not shown up yet. Who know; it happened and there is nothing I can do about it now...

The old motor got so bad that I was getting like 12 pounds of oil pressure at high rpm's, so I had knocking, ticking noises and the engine was running really badly. So my solution was to put in a new 4.6 motor. (See the thread: 4.6 or 300TDI)
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  #13  
Old September 16th, 2007, 01:33 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'm hoping for the best. I had the truck towed back to the mechanic and he's looking into it. Will update when I find out what caused this...
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Old September 17th, 2007, 07:34 PM
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Chris, You could also have the pump cover resurfaced as that will help some. (im assuming it is a 3.9 with the external oil pump?) If you do it yourself use a REAL fine sandpaper and make sure the cover is placed on a very flat surface. Then carefully wet sand the inside of the pump cover. Make sure to replace the gasket too. It will help with the pressure somewhat. I would suggest a real gauge also. Note Fram is a very restrictive filter.I run KN and it makes a difference. Mobil 1 is also a good option. While you have the pump cover off check inside the front cover for wear as well and dont forget to pack it with vaseline when you put it back together. Good luck. Gordo
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Old September 17th, 2007, 10:56 PM
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Got the truck back today. It looks like it may have been the oil pressure relief valve sticking. They said that it was stuck but they didn't find any debris in it. They lubricated it and reassembled everything and packed the oil pump with grease. There was some wear on the oil pump gears but it wasn't terrible.

What's the consensus on these relief valves? When they start sticking, is it time to replace them or do they just need to be lubricated?

I'm running genuine filters, btw.
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  #16  
Old September 18th, 2007, 04:43 PM
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the relief valve parts are cheap, so I'd replace with new. New spring at least to keep the pressure on the ball correct

~Steve
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  #17  
Old September 18th, 2007, 10:12 PM
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I had a low oil pressure problem caused from a seized lifter which ground down a lobe on my cam and put alot of gunk in the oil system (mental note: get magnetic oil drain plug).

While I had the oilpan off I checked the main/rod bearings and noticed that the bearings had alot of wear (copper showing) but the crank journals weren't too bad. So, I replaced all my bearings with STD sized bearings. I also replaced the oil pump gears and pressure spring. I took the time to remove my beloved clock from the center dash (the only component on the truck which has always worked perfectly!) and installed a mechanical oil pressure gauge.

When I first started it up I used 10w30 because the engine was tight w/ the new bearings. Oil pressure was only around 12 psi when hot/idle/aircon on. After 2K miles I changed out the oil/filter and put in 20w50... now I had too MUCH oil pressure (40psi cold, blew some gaskets/started leaking a few places). I now run 10w40 and get a nice 20psi pressure when hot/idle and about 30psi cold/rpm.

My suggestion: if you drop the pan, take off the end caps and check your bearings. If the journals on the crank look OK, install new bearings (check the size, they are probably std). It's pretty low-cost and will add life to the powerplant. The only bearings I didn't change were the cam bearings as they are pressed into the block and I didn't want to tear the engine down that far and ship it out to have them done.
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