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Old 04-22-2009, 09:18 PM   #1
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Default Oil Issues

First of all, had a low pressure reading after doing a 15-mile break-in run. The oil pump was packed by the machine shop and we filled the oil filter full of oil before starting it. The car may have had low pressure all along, but not really 100% sure, I know that at one point, the car had been warming up and the gauge showed 30psi at idle, and when I came back from driving it, it was reading 10psi at idle, but still moving with the RPMs.

Next day, no oil pressure at all. Not even on the OEM dummy gauge.

Today was hoping that the oil filter was clogged with the engine assembly lube used to pack the oil pump. Couldn't really tell except the oil was murky looking. Put an OEM filter filled with some fresh oil on, took out the spark plugs, disconnected the coils, and tried cranking with no luck. Even took the oil feed off the turbo and nothing came out there. So I drained the oil into a pan. Also, there's still about half of the fresh oil left in the filter after checking it too.

This oil started out as cheap Advance 10w40 dino oil. Nice, clear, and gold. It flowed out of the oil pan like maple syrup.

So could they have added too much lube? If so, would that cause a problem with the pressure? What else could be the problem? (Besides a stuck pump pressure relief valve, I know that's still an option, even though the machine shop swears that when the pump was taken apart, cleaned, and rebuilt that the valve assembly was perfectly fine.)
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Oil Issues-dsc03665.jpg   Oil Issues-dsc03663.jpg  

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Old 04-22-2009, 11:09 PM   #2
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no pressure means no oil pump working, tha additives increase the density, so the pressure raise.
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:35 PM   #3
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did you put the head gasket on backwards? Sounds like its time to pull the engine (again) and replace the oil pump.
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:53 PM   #4
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I see what looks like aluminum particles in those photos.

By the way, these oil pumps are not rebuildable...if they fail to pass a visual or clearance inspection, they should be replaced with a new unit.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
did you put the head gasket on backwards? Sounds like its time to pull the engine (again) and replace the oil pump.
lol No, definitely not backwards. But yeah, engine is coming back out this weekend.

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I see what looks like aluminum particles in those photos.

By the way, these oil pumps are not rebuildable...if they fail to pass a visual or clearance inspection, they should be replaced with a new unit.
No, there are no aluminum particles in the oil. The oil, other than being extremely discolored and thick, contained no hard particles that were visible to the eye.

This one passed both visual and clearance inspection when it was torn down, cleaned, and rebuilt with the billet gears, everything was done according the factory service manual's instructions. The valve was clean, no burrs, scratching, or abnormal wear. Apparently though, that is not enough.

Moral of the story, like ZX-Tex's, replace the oil pump anytime you tear down and rebuild an engine. This amount of f***ing work for a $0.50 spring and valve is stupid.
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:03 AM   #6
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By particles, I don't necessarily mean chunks of aluminum...but in the photos you can see light colored swirls. That should not be there. Was the pan clean before you poured the oil in?
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:24 AM   #7
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Yes, everything was clean. The engine and head came from the machine shop, I put the head onto the block, put all the accessories and new turbo on, and put it in the car. Then proceeded to break the car in using the method that FM and the machine shop recommended to properly seat the rings. That oil as I said was brand new when it started and has seen 15 miles of use.
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:38 AM   #8
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To be on the safe side, I would pull off the cams and take a look at the journals, specifically the front ones (they support the timing belt tension).
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:07 PM   #9
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I'm going to be taking the engine out and giving it back to the machine shop to fix and check. I'll be over their shoulder watching as well if I can be. But I'm not going to risk being told I tampered with it and messed it up.

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Old 04-23-2009, 12:19 PM   #10
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Most of the time we pack the oil pump with vasaline for initnal start-up. This is a quick prime for the pump and emulsifies in the engine oil.
Did u check the pressure control on the oil pump? Spring in and piston not in backwards?
WAIT!
I seen a problem like this a few years ago, The kid didnt tighten the oil pick-up tube to the oil pump. One bolt fell in the oil pan and when the other bolt started loosening up BAM! no oil pressure. Like a straw with an extra hole in the middle.
Hopefully yours will be that easy.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RotorNutFD3S View Post
Yes, everything was clean. The engine and head came from the machine shop, I put the head onto the block
I'm praying you put the head gasket on the right way. If put on backwards it will block an oil passage to the head.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:25 PM   #12
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The pressure sender is in the block and if there is no oil there as he stated then there will be nothing in the head right? even with a backwards, upside down head gasket there would still be oil pressure on the gauge correct? As it reads the pressure from the block prior to it reaching the cylinder head? I think the problem is way before the head gasket.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowBoostn View Post
Most of the time we pack the oil pump with vasaline for initnal start-up. This is a quick prime for the pump and emulsifies in the engine oil.
Did u check the pressure control on the oil pump? Spring in and piston not in backwards?
WAIT!
I seen a problem like this a few years ago, The kid didnt tighten the oil pick-up tube to the oil pump. One bolt fell in the oil pan and when the other bolt started loosening up BAM! no oil pressure. Like a straw with an extra hole in the middle.
Hopefully yours will be that easy.
They used assembly lubricant, but yeah, same idea.
I did not do any of the oil pump work, that was the machine shop's job. I stated that a few posts back. They installed the billet gears and checked everything against the FSM, or that's what they are saying anyway.
They also assembled the pickup tube, oil pump, oil pan, etc. to the block. However, I could see how that could happen. At the same time, the pick up tube is bolted to the MBSP which when bolted to the main caps, forces the tube to meet the pump, and since they sealed the connection with a sealant, it's highly unlikely.

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I'm praying you put the head gasket on the right way. If put on backwards it will block an oil passage to the head.
As I said a few posts back, the gasket was put on the right way, there's only one way it fits properly to expose all of the passages properly.

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The pressure sender is in the block and if there is no oil there as he stated then there will be nothing in the head right? even with a backwards, upside down head gasket there would still be oil pressure on the gauge correct? As it reads the pressure from the block prior to it reaching the cylinder head? I think the problem is way before the head gasket.
Yep, OEM sender is in the block and my AutoMeter gauge sender is in a sandwich plate at the filter, so it would immediately see pressure from the oil pump.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:32 PM   #14
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I doubt it's his head gasket. As he stated earlier "no oil through the turbo feed either".
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philly View Post
I doubt it's his head gasket. As he stated earlier "no oil through the turbo feed either".
Yup, no oil there now except residual oil. When I prefilled the oil filter with oil and installed it, then used ZX-Tex's ShopVac trick, I think I got some out of the filter, but that's about it.

Not to mention the car had pressure when it was started and during most of the break-in drive while I was monitoring it. I'm not sure when it dropped to lower pressure, but when I got back to my house to do a quick check over things is when I noticed the low pressure and decided to park it instead.

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Old 04-23-2009, 12:49 PM   #16
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What is the shopvac trick?
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:52 PM   #17
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:57 PM   #18
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lol, nice.

I will do something similar. I don't have a shopvac but I do have a cruise control vacuum pump...
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:58 PM   #19
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I'm with tony on this one. Take the oil from that bucket and smear it across a white sheet of printer paper. Then bend it so it has a curved edge and roll it back and forth under a bright light. That to me looks like oil impregnated with metal - like bearing or cam cap metal. That's what those swirls are- and I've been unfortunate enough to personally know what it looks like.

Way back I had an OE head gasket that had still had some of the knock outs in the head gasket - they didn't fully punch out. Fortunately I noticed that before using it.
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:05 PM   #20
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Alright, I'll give that a shot. I really hope that's not the case...

I gave the headgasket a really good lookover when I installed it, while I held it and while it was sitting on top of the block, I'm pretty sure that everything was correct on it.
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