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Unread 07-20-2005, 07:37 PM   #1
schmoken
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Lingle, WY
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304 low oil pressure

We were on a family trail ride last week, 2 Jeeps and a Dodge pickup packed full of kids and food.

While climbing a fairly steep trail I heard some lifter racket, and saw oil pressure at 0. Dropping the rpm's to <1200 or so brought the pressure back.

Babied it back to camp and checked the oil. Right at the add mark. Put in a quart and went out to find a hill to check it out again.
It was better now but still when I got her really steep up or down pressure would drop clear to 0. It seems to me if the engine hasn't stalled out it should still have oil pressure.

The armchair mechanics at camp had ideas of a loose oil pump pickup tube or the dipstick wasn't the correct one for the 304...
I could see the pickup idea, but since it loses pressure going up AND down, that doesn't make sense to me.
As for the dipstick, I know I put in 5 qts plus a little at the last oil change. No leaks and she doesn't smoke.

Pressure at idle cold is around 50 and warm around 20.

I don't have a lot of history to tell, I've only had this one for 8 months or so.

I'm not familiar with 304's, both of my previous Jeeps had the Buick 225. So feel free to call me a ******* and point out the obvious (hopefully).

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Unread 07-24-2005, 09:23 PM   #2
jeepdaddy2000
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Location: Eagle Point Oregon
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Given the information, I would suspect the pick up tube. While I don't think it is loose(wouldn't suck), it is possable that it has been bent up, causing excessive clearence between the screen and the bottom of the pan, or the screen is missing. Since you have no history on the Jeep, it is also possable that the engine has the wrong pan/pickup combo.
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Unread 07-24-2005, 11:53 PM   #3
Traveller
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Ditto on the pickup tube. I always do a small tack weld on the pickup tube when putting in an oil pump. Some 70's GM cars, like the Vega had a switch attached to the oil pressure sending unit that would cut off the ignition if oil pressure fell below 7 psi.

The cut off switch is cheap (if you can find one) and is good insurance. Having your engine stall on a steep climb or descent isn't a good thing, but lose oil pressure for long enough it might break something and not run anyway.
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Unread 07-25-2005, 10:34 AM   #4
schmoken
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Thanks guys. I was leaning toward the pickup too. Just been too damn hot outside to go pull the pan and have a look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveller
The cut off switch is cheap (if you can find one) and is good insurance.
I've seen tractors with Stewart Warner oil press guages that will do the same. But you had to hold an override switch at startup until pressure built up. hmmmm
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Unread 08-14-2005, 09:38 PM   #5
schmoken
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Well I FINALLY went out tonight and dropped the oil pan...
The screen had a couple chunks of rtv in it, but it doesn't seem clogged. The tube wasn't loose. I wouldn't call it tight either, just snug.

Do I need sealant on the tube threads at the block?

Ran out of time tonight (working nights). The motor mount has to come off so I can swing the pickup tube all the way around to pull it and really take a good look. That's tomorrow's project.
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Unread 08-24-2005, 09:44 PM   #6
schmoken
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Well so much for the doesn't seem clogged part. I ended up taking the screen off of the tube and got a pile of crap out of it. RTV and a bunch of little dried up gasket chunks.
Now my idle pressure is WAY better than before, but it looks like my relief is lifting at about 55# when I rev it up a bit.
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