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Thread: Oil pressure

  1. #1
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    Oil pressure

    My oil light was intermittently coming on so I installed a oil pressure gauge. my oil pressure is around 60 while driving and goes down to 12 when warm and idling. Just wondering what pressure other people have on their vans especially at idle It's a 4ye. thinking about going with a little thicker oil I think my main bearings might be a little tired. Right now I'm running 10w30 thanks for any input.

  2. #2
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    Re: Oil pressure

    Benji - the oil gauge on your dash is merely a guide, it was never meant to be as precise as people expect.
    Senders are notorious for displaying lower pressure at idle and its not uncommon, as they age, for them to start displaying zero at idle.

    If you have 12lbs at idle with a mechanical gauge, all is good.
    Thicker oil can bridge a wear gap but it can also cause starvation in other parts that aren't as worn.

  3. #3
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    Re: Oil pressure

    Thanks for the reply. My van has no factory oil gauge just a light. I ran a new wire from light to sender that took care of the light coming on and off. Since I was already running that wire I ran a oil gauge sender wire and installed a electronic gauge. I don't like mechanical gauges oil going into my van one more place for oil to leak. When I was young I had a mechanical gauge blow out on me oil all over the dash and floor. Anyone out there run a little thicker oil to help take care of a little bit of a tired engine. I would pull the motor and rebuild it but my Datsun 510 is getting that treatment right now. My van is my daily to work. Thanks again for reply good to know oil pressure at idle is ok.

  4. #4
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    Re: Oil pressure

    I hear ya on the oil explosion thing, btdt, what a mess.

    On DX vans (those without a Tach) the "oil" light actually serves 2 purposes, the "pressure" sender AND the level sender activate the same light.
    If you physically ran a new wire from the PS switch to the instrument pack you may have inadvertently disconnected the level sensor.
    If it was the level sensor portion of the circuit that was activating the light, that could explain why it doesn't any more.
    Those level sensors can fail, causing a false warning, but might be a good idea to check the level, just the same.

    The search function can provide all the answers you seek regarding discussion on oil types and ratings.

  5. #5
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    Re: Oil pressure

    Interesting I didn't know about any vehicles from the 80's or before had a oil level sensor. I tied into the oil light at the consol and the other end to the oil pressure senser. Comes on prestart and goes off ounce started. Before I reworded the light it would come on sometimes even if the oil was topped off. Just out of curiosity where would the oil level senser be located. I do like having a gauge I feel like it is a much more solid way of knowing if there is a problem especially since this old van is a little tired.thanks for the info

  6. #6
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    Re: Oil pressure

    Oil level sensor is mounted through the left(driver)side of the oil pan and they are frequently unreliable. It's wiring is incorporated into the alternator harness. One of my vans has a jumper wire in the chassis connector that was there when I got the van the other goes on and off when it feels like it. My Mitsubishi van does the same thing. There's a few threads where this is discussed in some detail. I'm of the same opinion as Burntboot on the oil pressure. 12# is at warm idle is plenty. The oil only needs to be flowing through the engine at idle Most idiot light switches open and close around 4psi.

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