Oil pressure problems - 93 Regal 3.8 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 02-11-2012, 10:42 AM   #1
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Default Oil pressure problems - 93 Regal 3.8

Good morning. I'm new here and this is my first post.

Recently I've had oil pressure problems with a new, used engine I just installed. As the engine sat up for a long time before I bought it (from a salvage yard) I disabled the ignition, ECM and fuel injection and cranked the engine until I got oil pressure. Then I re-installed the fuses, the engine cranked right up and ran well. 30 seconds or so later I noticed 0 oil pressure and several quarts of oil on the driveway.

Searching for where the oil was coming from I installed a new oil filter and more oil and had the same problem. I discovered that the oil filter gasket was blowing out causing the leak. When I first cranked the engine over without it starting the oil pressure was more than half way between 40 and 120 (maybe around 80-90) on my gauge and slightly less when the engine ran and before I lost pressure. Suspecting the oil pressure relief valve in the front cover I am in the process of removing the engine to check that and to see if there was any damage to the bearings from when I had no oil pressure.

Having said all that, 2 things. First, if anyone would care to comment on my problem I would appreciate it, especially if you suspect there may be other or additonal problems than the relief valve. Second, I am using Fram oil filters (TG3387A). I have read several of the posts on this forum and apparently people here don't think to highly of Fram. That being the case, what filter would be recommended? My next choice would be ACDelco but I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks for reading through all this and for your help and advice.

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Old 02-11-2012, 11:53 AM   #2
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personally i use wix or hastings filters myself.
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:04 PM   #3
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I wouldn't trust the dash oil pressure gauge. If you have a mechanical gauge, install that. When the pressure sensor fails you would have 120psi. But if something loose blocked the opening, it'* possible to get zero. When it was running did you hear any odd sounds? Like valve tap? The first sign will be loss of pressure to the lifters. Remove the oil plug and check the tip. It'* a magnet and would collect any metal. 80-90 is rather high. 40-50 would be better. I run higher oil pressure on a very tight engine and I have about 68. So I suspect your sensor is the problem at this point.
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:21 PM   #4
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Make sure there isn't an old gasket stuck on the filter head. Like you said, the engine sat for awhile.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:39 PM   #5
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Thanks very much for the replies.

I replaced the oil pressure sensor switch when I was going over the new engine, so it'* new. From what I can tell, my problem is too much oil pressure which is blowing out the filter gasket. The last time the engine ran (2 days ago) I heard a small pop sound a few seconds after the engine started and watched the pressure gauge head toward 0. The gasket was protruding out away from the oil filter and the oil was coming from that. I'm assuming the pressure headed toward 0 because the oil was mostly being pumped out past the failed gasket. I suspect the problem is a stuck oil pressure relief valve. When I have the engine out I'll check it out.

I checked the filter head and there is no old gasket from the old engine on it.

I almost have the engine out of the car and I'll let you know what I find after I get into it.

Thanks again for the help. It really is appreciated.

Rick
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:56 PM   #6
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If the relief valve is stuck then it will max out and blow. When you remove the oil filter adapter and remove the plunger you will know right away if it'* stuck. It should move freely.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:43 AM   #7
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I pulled the engine so I could check the bearings. A couple of them look questionable so they will be replaced.

The pressure relief valve is definitely stuck. On my engine the spring goes into the front cover first with the the valve on top of that. Ordinarly the spring would push the valve out farther than the face of where the filter mount bolts on but it is stuck flush the face. Is there a way to come in behind it and push it out? I assume this would require me to remove the front cover.

Thanks for your help.

Rick
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:39 PM   #8
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You will need to remove the timing cover. Unless you try pushing it in a bit and perhaps get it to pop loose.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:29 AM   #9
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OK, the cover is off and the problem is fixed. Turns out the method used was tapping the valve in until the spring compressed enought to push the valve back out. Doing this several times did the trick. Having access to the spring from the inside of the cover helped but I may have been able to get the valve out without that. At any rate the problem has been resolved and I appreciate your help.

When I cleaned out the inside of the hole there was a bunch of very small, thin silver colored pieces of metal in there. They looked too bright to have been aluminum but I'm not sure what they were. Probably that was what caused the binding. Hope they don't come back and cause problems later.

Thanks again.

Rick
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:47 PM   #10
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Bits of metal is not a good sign. Be sure to watch the oil pressure close. If it starts to drop, your looking a bearing.
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