Loss of oil pressure on 96 SSE - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 04-19-2006, 01:21 AM   #1
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Default Loss of oil pressure on 96 SSE

I was driving home from work today and I noticed a lack in power. I looked over at the oil pressure gauge and it was gradually dropping. It got to the point where the oil pressure almost hit 10 unless I feathered the gas to keep the pressure up. You can hear a slight knock from the engine due to the low oil pressure. Is this a common problem with these oil pumps takin a crap? Could I get away with just replacing the oil pump, how bad of a job is it? Car only has 100,000 miles on it and its ran perfect up until this point. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-19-2006, 05:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Loss of oil pressure on 96 SSE

Quote:
Originally Posted by STWater
I was driving home from work today and I noticed a lack in power. I looked over at the oil pressure gauge and it was gradually dropping. It got to the point where the oil pressure almost hit 10 unless I feathered the gas to keep the pressure up. You can hear a slight knock from the engine due to the low oil pressure. Is this a common problem with these oil pumps takin a crap? Could I get away with just replacing the oil pump, how bad of a job is it? Car only has 100,000 miles on it and its ran perfect up until this point. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
as I answered your post on the other forum....and like we said..get a mechanical gauge on there...the senders, and gauges are known to fail on these cars...could also be a clogged pickup screen....but thats assuming the pressure actually low.

When was the last time you changed your oil and what filter did you use. some have had issues with certain brands.

they say oil pumps rarely fail on these cars.....like bill told me if the pressure is really low you might be be able to replace yoru bearings NOW and now have to rebuild the motor (thats assuming you are at 10psi)

do your gauges look like this:

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Old 04-19-2006, 09:31 AM   #3
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Ever lost any coolant? Got coolant in your oil? Ever had to replace the UIM or LIM or their gaskets?

I suspect a major bottom end failure due to coolant in the oil. A COMMON problem on the L36 engine that WILL get you sooner or later.
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Old 04-19-2006, 09:27 PM   #4
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I replaced the Upper intake manifold with a dorman and lower intake manifold gaskets about a month and a half ago. At the same time I replaced the lower intake elbow, all O-rings, PCV, thermostat, belt, and tentioner pulley. Car hasnt lost a drop of coolant, ive been monitoring it once a week. When I put it back together I used a WIX Oil filter and some semi synthetic castrol 10w40. I tried to keep the rpms high coming home from work to keep the oil pressure from dropping to 0. the lowest it went was 10 at idle but only a couple times. The motor doesnt have a bad knock, just a slight knock as if it had no oil. Im starting to think there may be gunk in the pickup screen now that you mention that. Any other ideas before I tear this thing apart this weekend?
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Old 04-19-2006, 09:41 PM   #5
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Sounds a lot more like the bottom end is toast... Oil pumps rarely go out in the 3800...

Is the Oil pan concaved or dented at all?

Also did you buy the car new? And what date did the old intake have onn it?

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Old 04-20-2006, 01:14 AM   #6
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No dents in the oil pan, iv owned the car since it was brandy new. just hit 100,000 miles not too long ago. Car has always been babied and maintained. The original intake was a rochester, dont know the date on it. I was very slowly loosing coolant into the intake, so I decided to change it before things got bad. I changed the UIM and replaced the lower gaskets and the car ran great up until a couple days ago with the loss of oil pressure. I put about 2000 miles on the car since doing the intake job. I thought I did a good job of cleaning all of the surfaces and keeping debris out of the engine. This just seems weird that I lost oil pressure so quick with no warning.
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Old 04-20-2006, 01:20 AM   #7
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The noise you have heard tells me that a mechanical gage will tell us a simmilar story as to what you are seein on the Gage... Its possible for the oil pump to be tanking, but again thats rare..

At this point I am not really sure what to tell you.. You'll have to dig into it and investagate to see what you find...

Let us know if there are any more questions we can help you with

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Old 04-20-2006, 01:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Loss of oil pressure on 96 SSE

[quote="STWater"]how bad of a job is it?quote]

Assuming you have the N/A SSE..... Pull the accesories, pop off the balancer pulley, take that blasted engine mount off(I think it'* called a torque axis mount?). Unhook cam, crank, and oil pressure sensors. You will have a jack or something of the sort holding the engine up at this point(gotta after removing the front engine mount thingee). You can pull the cover with the oil filter in place on the L36'*. The cover has a single pin that runs through it and into the block. The crank sensor centers on that if I recall. It may fight you. I know the one I did fought me both times I pulled it. Four torx bit bolts hold the pump gears in on the inside of the front cover. I've never replaced the pump, so I don't know what additional parts may be involved. Don't forget to pack it full of grease of some sort before putting it back together. Also don't forget to put sealant on the bolts that hold the front cover on. That'* just the pump. It wouldn't hurt to investigate those bearings while you have it torn down, but you're going to need to put that mount back in so you can get under the engine. Just my two cents...
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:08 AM   #9
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Why did you install the Dorman intake a month ago? Was it due to a failure of the intake, or preventive?
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Old 04-20-2006, 09:31 AM   #10
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This situation sounds extremely similar to many we've seen here.

Coolant leak in UIM leads to UIM being fixed, about 2,000 miles later the bottom end goes out. I recently finished replacing a motor in a car because of this same situation.
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