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Old 04-14-2006, 06:27 AM   #1
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Oil pressure dropped to Zero and loud banging noise

I got an 89 TA 350 TPI with 117,000 miles.

Just less than 3 months ago - had intake manifold gasket replaced by my local Firebird so-called "ace" mechanic after the original finally blew out on road on way to work.
He did good job replaced gasket BUT I felt right away after that car stuttered kinda bad in 1st gear getting going from idle (still does this) but no leaks around gasket anymore and coolant system working good...
I had mechanic recheked the timing on distrbutor and he said AOK its 6 ahead.


This past month or so I was getting oil pressure gauge needle bouncing around very high between 30 to 60 once I get car warmed up and on hiway going about 65-70 mph. ( i thought because I had put in 1 extra qrt oil by mistake too much & after bunch of startups and blowing some blue smoke out pipes - oil level back down to normal area again now).

Last nite after off hiway - noticing at stop lites and when got home slowing down my street at 4-5 miles per hr - Oil pressure neeedle dropping down below 20 then 10 and when parking to ZERO and then hear some kinda loud thwapping or banging from engine for about 10 seconds until could park the car in driveway - so parked it real quick and shut OFF.
I have NEVER ever heard my engine do this before - kinda scary bad sounded to me.

NOW I'm really afraid to even start it up and turn ON.

WHAT could this OIL Pressure dropping to ZERO be from ?
WHAT was is this loud banging - the pistons or something due to very low or none oil making its way up to engine ????

- Is it the pickup screen falling off the Oil pump (I read some other posts about in here) inside the oil pan ?

- Is it something with the distributor maybe not been tightened/bolted down to the oil pump shaft correctly from 3 months ago? (someone else had this in here and got same zero pressure reading on guage)

- Is it that the old original Oil pump finallly gone dead or almost ?

- Could my "ace" mechanic screwed up the distributor setting and tightening etc when he did the Intake Manifold gasket ??

- Can/ should I blame this problem now on my "ace" mechanic not fininishing the Intake Man gasket job completely right 3 months ago??
Especially if I find out the distributor is somehow now loose connecting to the oil pump shaft ?

- Maybe just oil pressure sending unit being going bad ?


I heard that to pull and replace the oil pump or just take off the oil pan is a real BIG job because there's a crossmember?? thingy in way and have to jack up engine off the motor mounts to make room to get the oil pan out and to get at the oil pump ?

Is that TRUE ? Will that cost like couple hundred $$$ of mechanic labor time probably ?
( I have no real tools or skills or time to try even attempt to fix this by self)


I called Autozone - they got a Mellie oil pump for like $47.99 in stock for my car . And can order a Hitech one for like $58 (supposed to be better).


Should I get it TOWED to mechanic right away rather than driving it 5-6 miles there?

Will it seize up engine or really screw up engine if I try turning it over or driving it now in its condition ???

THANKS - please any good answers and ideas - be really appreciated!
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:06 AM   #2
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The way it sounds you spun a connecting rod bearing. Time for a rebuild
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:50 AM   #3
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Agreed. Time to yank the engine.
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:16 AM   #4
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You got to be kidding! no way

C'mon - really ?

Can you pls explain why you both are saying that ?

Ya meean I blew the engine and now the car's got a worthless engine?

How could this happen? Just because the Oil pressure needle hit down to 0
for just a few seconds and I heard this banging noise ??


What would happen if I go out right now and try to start it up and crank the engine?

I think it WOULD / WILL start and even probably move - so how can ya conclude
that whatever ya said about a rod and time for a new engine ????


I really do not understand all the mechanical stuff inside engine - so can you pls say more about the why's and what's to back up your statements - pls.

THANKS
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:21 AM   #5
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well, it will run, but if you dont fix it it will throw the rod and then you'll need a new block too.

You don't need a new engine.... But the low oil pressure, even for that second, let the bearings have metal to meatal contact and melted them. You need to pull the engine and have the bearing replaced, and all tolerances checked. It will be a good oportunity to start over with a fresh engine.
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:26 AM   #6
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Your problem is not just what damage was caused by the oil pressure going to zero for a couple seconds. Any engine that was in such condition that it had zero oil pressure for any amount of time is toast. Time for a rebuild. Really.
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:44 AM   #7
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Well it had 0 pressure for a reason.


Most likely it was from a bearing or 2 going, the excess clearance allowed alot of the oil to just spray out. Then when the RPM's drop the oil pump had no chance of being able to supply enough oil to lube everything, thats where the major damage started...


But no matter how you look at it the motor is done, Like said above you can drive it till the rod comes through the block or pull it now and salvage what you can/want.
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Old 04-14-2006, 11:49 AM   #8
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Geeze, tough break man. I initially thought "spun bearing" too, and then I read the more seasoned guys' posts. But hey, look on the bright side, now it's an excuse for you to do a 383
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Old 04-14-2006, 12:10 PM   #9
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The banging you heard was probably the piston hitting the head.

Drain the oil and see how much metal is in it. Take off the oil filter and cut it open for inspection. Lots of metal means the engine needs some major work. Bad rod/main bearings either need a new crank or having it machined. The rod is probably damaged from heat (lack of oil). If the piston hit the head, it will have bent valves.

You can guess all you want and pick a band-aid solution but in the end, a new engine will be easier to do than a rebuild.
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Old 04-14-2006, 02:16 PM   #10
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Could 1 extra qrt oil have caused it ?

This really S*CKS bigtime.... I've taken care of this car for so long and
this happens... wowww.... i'm feeling so sickkkk

A few weeks ago I thought my oil was low a little and put in ONE quart.
Then I noticed the oil pressure gauge popping up from 30 to 60 and bouncing back & forth when driving around 65-70 mph on hiway once car got warmed up on hiway.

After few weeks that has/went away it seemed ok and I kept cheking oil dipstick and now it's right on full line mark again (I did have the usual blue smoke out pipes on startup happening for last few years - but no biggie)

******
Could having JUST one extra qrt of oil CAUSED this huge catastrophe ?
******

My mechanic guy says maybe the oil seals in oil pump couldve let go from the extra prsssure or something from the extra qrt of oil in car (oil pan)?

Is this TRUE? or possible?

-----

I kinda feel like that something maybe went wrong 3 months ago when my mechanic guy did the Intake Manifold gasket job ... ya have to take out the distributor for that, right?
Maybe he did not put it back in right to connect up securley with the oil pump shaft or whatever and got loose over the last couple months driving...
Could maybe some debris have fallen into engine or somewhere while doing the gasket ?
-----
PS.
When I told my mechanic over phone today what happened - he said first thing like you guys - "ya need a new engine" when he asked me what kind of sound I heard etc.
He said to me - TOW it over to him and he would take a look.

BUT - is that even worth me paying for a TOW now for him to even look at it or turn the key and let him hear (he is WAY more very experienced in TA's) how engine is sounding ???

Could I ever SELL this car "AS IS" like this now ??

Who would want a car like this ?
I suppose maybe for parts? or rebuilding the engine?

Me - no way would I go thru that... or putting in a new engine either.

HOW much ya think I could get for my car in shape its in now ?

Thanks for all your help.... I'm bummmmming so bad... please still answer as many questions above ya can -

WISH I could get my car back to normal again somehowwwww!
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Old 04-14-2006, 02:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueta89
Me - no way would I go thru that... or putting in a new engine either.
ha u think thats hard, i had to rebuild my motor TWICE!!
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Old 04-14-2006, 02:34 PM   #12
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Robert Wooley?
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Old 04-14-2006, 03:38 PM   #13
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There is zero chance that one extra quart of oil hurt the pump or made you spin a bearing. The motor probably had it in for itself long ago.
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Old 04-14-2006, 05:45 PM   #14
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did you drain the oil yet as suggested? what did you find?
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:45 PM   #15
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Too much oil in the crankcase will not effect the oil pressure. It will, however, cause the crank to hit the oil and churn it into foam causing crappy oil coverage. Intake manifold gasket replace had nothing to do with it, since barely any oil hits up there. That is of course assuming that water from the intake manifold wasn't leaking into the lifter vally and subsequently flowing into the crankcase. Thats bad news. Probably woulda caused total engine failure a lot sooner though if that was the case.
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:51 PM   #16
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Mechanic gonna replace oil pump

My mechanic guy drove by my house after work (before getting a tow job)...

He looked under hood, checked the dip stick himself immediately and then said start it up (now been sitting overnite and all day not on or moving)...

It started right up first try and oil press Guage nedle moved up smoothly from zero to about 30 -40 area...
Did not hear really any tapping or banging and then mechanic pushed the acelrator pretty hard from under hood and oil gauge needle popped up quickly to 60 right quick and then back down to about 35.
Then we shut it right down... so only ran it maybe 1 minute at very most.


He says - have it towed to the service station and he'll put a oil pump in it. ( I suggested way earlier about putting a oil press guage on it first to test etc - he said it a kinda tough to do on this car since got to hook up to distributor ).

True or not true ? Is he being lazy maybe?

He said it is a BIG job just to put oil pump in because have to jack up engine from motor mounts to get at oil pan and pump.
Said propbbaly be around $400 or so or more ... yikes !


Soooo does it sound like my engine may be able to survive for lil more longer ??? Will an oil pump bring it back ya think ?

THANKS

PS... I will tell him to drain oil and filter and take hard look for metal in there.
Maybe I should tell him just do that FIRST and if seems at all bad - to just quit and STOP and not bother put oil pump in and save my cash and just tow it home and SELL it AS IS.

But my mechanic claims if sell like this - the buyer will be bringing it right back 5 minutes once down the road.


Is he just trying to push me into spending more large $$ and "trying" a fix like oil pump replace and maybe still have a bigger serious engine problem still on my hands ???

I'll go for maybe spending $$ 300-400 on a new ooil pump - ONLY IF I can get some decent promise/guarantee that there is no other bigger engine problem inside. If not - I say forget it - my time has run on my baby and will just have to sell it.

Thanks
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:37 PM   #17
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1 extra quart wouldn't do any harm.

If he had originally put the distributor back in too shallow to catch the oil pump, then oil would have spewed out the distributor opening in the intake. Not to mention the fact that no pump = no oil pressure = no run - oil pressure sending unit won't turn fuel pump on without oil pressure.

Quote:
( I suggested way earlier about putting a oil press guage on it first to test etc - he said it a kinda tough to do on this car since got to hook up to distributor )
This makes no sense to me - why would oil pressure guage connect to dizzy? It doesn't.

Also, he'll have to remove the dizzy cap anyway to do the pump replacement - when you jack motor off mounts, the dizzy will hit the firewall and crack the cap.

$400 bucks huh? I guess that's about right - 5 hours labor at $60 an hour and $50 oil pump, plus shop fees. I did mine in the driveway, on jack stands, and it took me 5 hours - but I didn't have a lift, air tools, etc. This is why I do all my own work - too much money for too little service these days.
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:07 PM   #18
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Dont waste the $400.00 bucks. You need as rebuild face the facts.oil pumps dont go too often!!! The reason your oil pressure dropped is your bearing clearances were too much,Keep driving it like that and you will destroy whats left of your motor.you spun a bearing.Your mechanic is giveing you bad advice.to m,uch oil blowing the seals out of the pump.no seals in the pump.
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackroc68
Dont waste the $400.00 bucks. You need as rebuild face the facts.oil pumps dont go too often!!! The reason your oil pressure dropped is your bearing clearances were too much,Keep driving it like that and you will destroy whats left of your motor.you spun a bearing.Your mechanic is giveing you bad advice.to m,uch oil blowing the seals out of the pump.no seals in the pump.


You either spun a rod bearing or broke the crankshaft. My oil pressure on my old 355 went to less than 10 psi when the crankshaft broke in to two pieces and it made a horrible knock, ONLY in gear at idle strangely.

I wouldn't even bother rebuilding the engine. Buy a brand new GM crate 350. I picked up my TBI engine for less the $2,000, it came with 250 HP and a 3yr/100,000 mile warrenty.

Here is a 200 HP version for just over $1,600.

http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/store...0763&langId=-1

Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 04-14-2006, 10:24 PM   #20
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Doh! I wasn't reading everything above that. Yes, there are no seals in the pump. There isn't even a seal between the pump and the block. The chances of an oil pump failing are very slim. The oil pump is nothing more than a couple of gears driven off the bottom of the distributor.

About the only thing that can fail about an oil pump is; The oil pickup tube falls off or perhaps you dropped some gasket material or silicone into the crankcase while changing the intake and it plugged the pickup screen. The chance of any large material getting into the pump itself is zero because of the pickup screen.

Since you fired it up and had oil pressure, there's nothing wrong with the pump. Drain the oil, change and cut open the filter then decide your next step. It may be wise to still pull the pan off just to see if there's anything large (gasket or silicone) sitting in the bottom of the pan that could block the pickup tube screen. If the pan is pulled off to change an oil pump and lots of bearing material is found in the bottom, putting on a new oil pump isn't going to fix anything so all that time is wasted.

There's lots of places to install a mechanical pressure gauge to check the oil pressure.
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Old 04-15-2006, 06:57 AM   #21
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i am in agreement you ned a rebuild, and trying to sell this to someone else you might get 500 for it with a bad engine. get it fixed you are pretty much stuck, i will say the oil pump will go bad i have had one do the same thing on me. it get wear just like the rest of the engine the gaps between the gears gets larger and the pump will stop working. sounds like you picked up so trash in the pick up and u starved the engine, pull the filter and ck it, if it has metal you need a rebuild. if not change the oil pump and you should be ok for a few, nothing will be a garentee though. good luck.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:29 AM   #22
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Maybe just pickup screen or debris in oil pan, maybe?

Thanks alot for all the answers but could you answer few more >>>>> questions I have down below one by one ? :


You said:
{{{ Doh! I wasn't reading everything above that. Yes, there are no seals in the pump. There isn't even a seal between the pump and the block. The chances of an oil pump failing are very slim. The oil pump is nothing more than a couple of gears driven off the bottom of the distributor.


>>> Could it just be the distributor gears are not tight or locked in enough to the oil pump gears ?
Causing the oil pump to poorly perform and low pressure resulting ? Is there some adjustment my mechanic can do at the connection (once oil pan is off and he can see things) to fix it correctly?
Could there be something broken down here at this location that can be fixed easier/simpler RATHER than something major major up above inside engine ??



About the only thing that can fail about an oil pump is; The oil pickup tube falls off or perhaps you dropped some gasket material or silicone into the crankcase while changing the intake and it plugged the pickup screen. The chance of any large material getting into the pump itself is zero because of the pickup screen.

Since you fired it up and had oil pressure, there's nothing wrong with the pump. Drain the oil, change and cut open the filter then decide your next step. It may be wise to still pull the pan off just to see if there's anything large (gasket or silicone) sitting in the bottom of the pan that could block the pickup tube screen. If the pan is pulled off to change an oil pump and lots of bearing material is found in the bottom, putting on a new oil pump isn't going to fix anything so all that time is wasted.

>>> Maybe ya think that the pickup screen fell off the oil pump inside the oil pan (some other poster guy had this problem and saw his oil gauge going up and down - and that's all it was) ??

>>>Wouldn't that possibly explain maybe why (if screen fell off) then the pressure would drop down to zero since now there is a bigger unrestricted flow of liquid going up into pump and I was very slowly (like 'ole lady) backing in REVERSE to parallel park the car in front of house when at that moment I saw needle drop down to zero for couple seconds then shut off car ?

>> Wouldn't it be worth to at least remove oil, oil filter - examine oil and filter all closely. Look for metal or bearing material - like you said. Then someone on here - said then you can tap/feel bottom of empty oil pan and see if hear/feel something rattle - can then get good idea if pickup screen fell off or loose and laying on bottom of oil pan ??

>> If I do let my mechanic go so far to jack up engine, spend 4 hours +, $400+ later , to get oil pan off and down - maybe like you said - there is some piece of gasket or silicone in there. Could'nt that stuff maybe have caused the pressure gauage needle to go low or real high sometime as it floats around inside pan and INTERMITTENTLY blocks the flow thru pickup screen ?? Then if that's mostly TRUE - after all that work - might as well put in a new younger oil pump (mine is original from 1989) and hope for BEST and maybe that's all I needed ???

>> At minimum time and $$money - woulldn't it be worth it - to at least "try" to do a regular oil change and replace with new filter - before anyone decides to write off this engine and say it's needs to be junked?

>> (I almost forgot) - my mechanic guy said when he came by my house - he would pull out oil pump and clean out and blow compressed air in and around all the oil pump tunnels (?) (I don't know technical lingo so good) and get any debris out .
Is this possible to "blow" stuff out ? I know this means having to jack up engine and pulling off pan.
Ya think "blowing" will do much good?


>> I guess I'm willing to spend (if have to) another $400 more to get the oil pan down and off and see it and clean it all out and put in a new oil pump - JUST to make one last ditch effort to save my car before anyone writes the engine off and says I have to sell it or junk it, ya know?



There's lots of places to install a mechanical pressure gauge to check the oil pressure.

>>> Can you tell me lil more ? Where / what do you hook gauge up to ? Maybe I can lead my mechanic by nose to do that first.

PS... my mechanic guy is pretty good - have pretty good confidence and trust - he has 3 TA's of his own and has replaced engine or two on his cars plus he works 6 days a week fulltime for probably 10 years now as gas station car mechanic and real gearhead.
And he did the Intake man. gasket with another mechanic (2 days) just 3 months ago on this car.
So I don't think he's out to rip me off or anything & wants to help me out best he can. I know you and guys here also have years/tons of experience and hope your answer will help me and my car.


Thanks
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Old 04-15-2006, 10:00 AM   #23
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The distributor gear is held on with a roll pin. If the roll pin beaks, the camshaft will still turn the gear and oil put but won't turn the distributor (engine no start). Now there is a small plastic coupler that joins the pump drive shaft to the pump. If it breaks, the oil pump won't turn but you fired it up again and got oil pressure. There are good aftermarket pump drives that uses a metal coupler.

Pickup tubes don't normally fall off the oil pump. There are millions of cars on the roads with a factory pumps and pressed in pickup tubes. About the only way it could fall off is if the pump was replaced and the tube wasn't installed properly. Engine builders will usually tack weld it on just to make sure.

The oil pump can be easily removed and disassembled for cleaning and inspection. 4 bolts on the bottom cover of the pump and it's all apart.

Before you decide on spending any money on repairs, start basic troubleshooting. DRAIN THE OIL AND CUT OPEN THE FILTER! If major metal is not visible, take a section of the filter paper and squeeze the oil out of it in a vice. Then open it up and look again. If you have bearing damage, then you can decide on the next step.

Depending on the block casting, there are pressure ports all over the engine. There's at least one beside the filter. Possibly one near the distributor. There's one on both sides at the front of the block along the pan rail.
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Old 04-15-2006, 10:15 AM   #24
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These cars have a switch that cuts power to the fuel pump if you lose all oil pressure. I don't think thats your problem. These oil pressure gauges are notoriously innacurate.
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Old 04-15-2006, 11:35 AM   #25
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One person's "loud banging" is different from anothers. Especially for someone who has never heard his engine bang before, any noise at all is a loud banging. It could be that when oil pressure dropped for whatever reason, your hydraulic lifters ceased being hydraulic and collapsed(due to not enough oil flow). When this happens, they will clatter like mad.

When you change your oil, take a flashlight and look into teh pan. You probably won't be able so see much. If you see something that is obviously not right, like your pickup laying there, pull the pan. Another thing you can do is take some coathanger and bend it like an "L", Then put it through the drain plug hole and sweep it around on the bottom of the pan. if you hit ANYTHING that moves, or that you can push aropund(like a pickup screen laying in the bottom, or a chunk of gasket or whatever) you've found your problem and know what you have to do.

You said you were backing up your driveway when you lost pressure? How steep is your driveway, and do you always back up it?

If I was in your position, I would start saving up for a rebuild just in case. I'd do the things suggested here. Since you said you started it again and it worked fine, if it looks OK after changing the oil/inspecting the filter and you can't feel anything in the pan, I would drive it and hope for the best. I'd also install a Mech oil pressure guage just to be sure.
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Old 04-15-2006, 12:04 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueta89
The chance of any large material getting into the pump itself is zero because of the pickup screen.
The holes in the pickup screen are considerably larger than the clearance between the pump rotors. I've seen one pump that picked up a small piece of hard plastic debris that made its way past the screen and jammed the pump. It was a stock engine with the plastic sleeve on the shaft, so the engine happily kept running while it starved for oil and ate its bearings.

If you lost oil pressure, the oil pump isn't the major problem to be fixed anymore. The engine needs to be checked to see what damage occurred while there was no pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe350
These cars have a switch that cuts power to the fuel pump if you lose all oil pressure.
The oil pressure switch doesn't cut power to the fuel pump when there's no pressure. It powers the pump when the fuel pump relay fails.

Last edited by Apeiron; 04-15-2006 at 12:08 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 04-15-2006, 05:09 PM   #27
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I didn't read all the posts so I might have missed something, but a possible explanation for what took place. What we know. The oil pressure dropped to zero at idle. When the car was restarted sometime later it had oil pressure. My suspicion is the oil pump relief. Over the last 40 years I have had many old drivers with various similar problems. One acted the same way and even gave a little rod knock on shut down. I only let that happen once. It was the spring in the relief valve. Put in a new spring and drove it another 20000 miles till I sold it. Sometimes the relief plunger will stick in the bore and give really crappy or zero oil pressure at idle. I had another one that would start out with good oil pressure and as it warmed up the pressure would drop to 15 psi. If you stopped it and restarted the pressure would go to normal and stay there for the day. That one was a weak relief spring. I am still driving that one in my old truck after about 6 years. My point being to start out looking for the easy jobs.
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Old 04-15-2006, 06:52 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apeiron
The oil pressure switch doesn't cut power to the fuel pump when there's no pressure. It powers the pump when the fuel pump relay fails.
That doesn't make any logical sense, but whatever.

Last edited by joe350; 04-15-2006 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:01 PM   #29
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It makes perfect sense.

The oil pressure switch is in parallel with the fuel pump relay.

If the oil pressure falls, the oil pressure switch opens, but the fuel pump relay is still powering the fuel pump. The car keeps running.

If the fuel pump relay fails, the oil pressure switch closes when the oil pressure rises during cranking and turns on the fuel pump so the car will start.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:13 PM   #30
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Stop going to this clown and talk to a respected mechanic. You need to find a shop that will help you, just from what I read on here your not real mechanical and a dishonest mechanic will use that to his advantage.

Good luck.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:34 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjmcgee
Stop going to this clown and talk to a respected mechanic. You need to find a shop that will help you, just from what I read on here your not real mechanical and a dishonest mechanic will use that to his advantage.

Good luck.


I hope he is seriously joking if he thinks he can get metal out of the oil passages just by using shop air. He will end up just pushing it to the lifters, and the main and rod bearings. IF it has metal shavings in it, it HAS to come completely apart, the plugs on the passages opened, the passages roded out, and then washed out with pressurized soapy water, then dried with compressed air. It is the ONLY way to do it right.

BTW, not all ECMs keep the fuel pump relay energized when the engine is running, that means the fuel pump is under sole control of the oil pressure switch with those ECMs.
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:09 PM   #32
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when blueta89 made a comment about how replacing the intake gaskets ruined his oil pressure I remembered why I do not work on anyone else's car

If you have not mechanical knowlege or do not intend to learn than you should not have one of these cars
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Old 04-16-2006, 05:04 AM   #33
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Maybe try flushing out with some brand new oil to clean it out ??

>>> One person's "loud banging" is different from anothers. Especially for someone who has never heard his engine bang before, any noise at all is a loud banging. It could be that when oil pressure dropped for whatever reason, your hydraulic lifters ceased being hydraulic and collapsed(due to not enough oil flow). When this happens, they will clatter like mad.

Right - that's what I think too - maybe it was a "clatter" or maybe a loud "tapping" noise - BUT I pretty much paniced when I heard noise and granted it was not really loud - but I don't have the "experienced" ear.
I do know I saw the oil pressure gauge drop down for a couple seconds to zero while on flat road in REVERSE backing up about 10 feet this happened.
(lil bit earlier when off hiway, at some stop lites - I thought I heard some unusual louder general engine noise let's say while in gear idling or in 1st gear just taking off.


>>> You said you were backing up your driveway when you lost pressure? How steep is your driveway, and do you always back up it?

I never thought about this. When this happened I was out on flat ground actually in front of house, not in driveway. But for last 3 - 5 months I've been usually parking in driveway which is kinda steep (how steep is steep ? it's guessing maybe 30 degree - dunno) but every morning when cold starting to go work - I had to back it up in REVERSE up hill about 25 feet till get to flat street. It definitely did put some strain on car first thing for about 15 seconds I thought just to get going everyday.
But why do you ask about "steep" and while '"backing up" ??

Someone said "clown" mechanic and stop going this guy.
Why do ya think he's clown? Like I said earlier - this guy is Fulltime 6 days a week for past 10 + years. He personnally has 3 of own TA's and has changed out & modified a couple engines on his. He's done other smaller work and the bigger Intake manifold gasket job with help from another pretty experienced mechanic. I don't think really he is or would try to rip me off and would try to help me best he could (although I know like everyone he needs to make money to make a living).


Question:
If after doing simplest, cheapest things first - I get the oil dumped out and filter off and cut open and examine real closely for debris, metal shavings. If he finds some small bits of metal or something OR NOT and pokes around with coathanger up the oil drain hole -

Could he next step - maybe re-fill up engine (from the top of engine of course) with maybe 2-3 quarts or more or fully 4-5 quarts of CLEAN oil and try to "cheaply" "wash out" FLUSH OUT as much metal or debris as possible ????

Would it best to do this without ever turning on engine still yet ?
Or would it be ok to crank over the engine and let it start up for a few seconds then turn it off (like I did for the mechanic guy when he came over to my house to see& listen for himself). I'm thinking with brand new CLEAN oil dropping down thru it (with engine off) and gravity working - that maybe with some LUCK most or some other shavings or debris will get "washed" out or flush ot back out of oil drain hole.

Good idea or at least worth trying and ONLY spending like what another $15-20 or more on 5 or more quarts of oil to wash it out????
---
This would be at least a lot cheaper and costlier (maybe at least worth trying) than -
Because I "heard" it's a "big" job (have to jack up motor and pull off motor mounts etc) just to get at and remove the oil pan ????

IS this "jacking up" etc above TRUE or not on this type car - 1989 350 automatic TA all standard not modified anything from factory in 1989 ????

And that above would cost probably at least $300-400 just to do that in labor time of my mechanic man ???

Anyways...
Couple things I've pretty much ruled out already - it's an old car and some big things I guess are finally wearing out and I'm getting tired of throwing good money at it and worrying if I'm going to make it home every time I fire it up.... so....
- I ain't gonna rebuild or have someone tear apart and fix this engine
- I ain't gonna buy and install a "new" engine either.
PERIOD.
- I will sell it "AS IS" PERIOD - if it comes to it.

BUT - I'm at - right now willing (if make logical reasonable sense) to spend a couple hundred $$ to find out if can salvage/fix the oil pump pressure problem - if possible - so hoping maybe can at least get car driving again with some degree of reliability. AND then sell it best I can.

Can some of you experts answer my questions above ?
THANKS to ALL of YOU guys for some really GREAT answers and points you made!
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Old 04-16-2006, 08:38 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe350
That doesn't make any logical sense, but whatever.
Thats the outcome of posting while drinking. You are indeed correct (I looked at my wiring diagram), but I still think it would make more sense to have a switch cutting the fuel pump when oil pressure drops to nothing.
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:50 AM   #35
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i havnt read everything, some of these posts are just too long...

but it sounds like you dont want to face the facts. i understand not being mechanically inclined, i was there not too long ago but you need to do the correct thing or you WILL get stranded.

if you havnt done so CHANGE YOUR OIL and examine/cut open you filter (dont use a hacksaw because that will introduce metal shavings in the filter)! if you dont see any small shiny particles then you still need to drop the oil pan and check for anything foreign in there (and examine the oil pump pickup).
i (not suspecting anything) dropped the pan in my jetta to change the gakset and found 5 pieces of plastic wedged in the pickup and sitting at the bottom of the pan!!!!

as stated, no matter what, since you ran with NO oil pressure for a while the bottom end really needs to be checked out/rebuilt but if you cant afford to do so then drop the pan yourself and change that pump! get some1 that knows a little about motors (dad? uncle?) and you can get it im sure.
you will learn a ton and what do you have to loose? $50 and some time? well, its worth it to save $400 (for a mechanic to change it for you). if there wasnt metal in the oil then this new pump will get you around...for a while.
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:50 AM   #36
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By the way, I noticed some AutoZone guy's recommendation of a $50 oil pump. More than likely, thats a high volume pump. I can't hink of a single possible reason why that would be beneficial on a street driven vehicle. Most of their recommendations typically base whats better on whats more expensive. Bottom line is, you don't want or need volume pump.

I haven't read the entire post so I don't know what your plans are right now, but in case a new oil ump is in your plans, go with a Melling M55. Its $19 at Autozone. Don't ask for a pump by your vehicles year, make, model, etc... just ask them for it by part number.
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:19 PM   #37
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Have to jack up engine and pull from motor mounts ?

Unfortunately, I'm not so lucky to have mechanical dad, uncle - so got to depend on my mechanic man.... I ain't gonna try doing this big job of pulling the oil pan myself, PERIOD.

Pls just answer or confirm YES or NO my question 1 and 2 below:

1.
Because I "heard" it's a "big" job (have to jack up motor and pull off motor mounts etc) just to get at and remove the oil pan ????

IS this "jacking up" etc above TRUE or not on this type car - 1989 350 automatic TA all standard not modified anything from factory in 1989 ????

And that above would cost probably at least $300-400 just to do that in labor time of my mechanic man ???


2.
Question:
If after doing simplest, cheapest things first - I get the old oil dumped out and filter off and cut open and examine real closely for debris, metal shavings. If he finds some small bits of metal or something OR NOT and pokes around with coathanger up the oil drain hole -

Could he next step - maybe re-fill up engine (from the top of engine of course) with maybe 2-3 quarts or more or fully 4-5 quarts of CLEAN oil and try to "cheaply" "wash out" FLUSH OUT as much metal or debris as possible ????

Would it best to do this without ever turning on engine still yet ?
Or would it be ok to crank over the engine and let it start up for a few seconds then turn it off (like I did for the mechanic guy when he came over to my house to see& listen for himself). I'm thinking with brand new CLEAN oil dropping down thru it (with engine off) and gravity working - that maybe with some LUCK most or some other shavings or debris will get "washed" out or flush ot back out of oil drain hole.

Good idea or at least worth trying and ONLY spending like what another $15-20 or more on 5 or more quarts of oil to wash it out????
---
This would be at least a lot cheaper and costlier (maybe at least worth trying) than pulling off oil pan and jacking motor up and and and and...
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:26 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92blue
By the way, I noticed some AutoZone guy's recommendation of a $50 oil pump. More than likely, thats a high volume pump. I can't hink of a single possible reason why that would be beneficial on a street driven vehicle. Most of their recommendations typically base whats better on whats more expensive. Bottom line is, you don't want or need volume pump.
Not trying to get off topic, but I have the opposite opinon. The small blocks that were meant to be worked hard came with a high volume pump from GM. (My Medium Duty Truck Crate 350 TBI is an example of this, it runs 35 psi at 550 RPM idle when fully warmed up). Going down the highway at 1,800 rpm, it keeps the stock gauge pegged at 60 psi.
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:43 PM   #39
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A pump yielding 35 psi at idle would make it a high pressure pump, not necessariyl high volume. There is a difference between the two, and I very highly doubt GM used high volume pumps from the factory. Quite a few people on this board have blown their stock/relatively mild engine by running a high volume oil pump. At high RPM, it can pump oil up to the top of the engine faster than it drains back down, and you can run the engine "dry" even though you have 5 quarts of oil in it.

A high pressure pump will yield higher oil pressures without the problem mentioned above. I personally would recommend running a high pressure pump, I have one on my daily driver. You can buy one labeled as high pressure, or buy a regular pump and spend $8 on a MR. Gasket #26 oil pressure spring. It makes a regular pump a high pressure unit.
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:48 PM   #40
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GM pumps have a pressure relief valve in them. It's behind a spring that's held in with a roll pin. It's common to change the shim on the spring to change the relief pressure. All this does is when the pump reaches maximum pressure, the relief valve vents off the excess pressure back into the pan. You wouldn't want 120+ psi in the oil galleries. Any pump can be shimmed to a higher pressure.

High volume pumps just pump more oil. SBC and BBC oil pumps are interchangable. A SBC pump has 4 bolts on the cover. BBC pumps have 5 bolts on the cover. The BBC pump has more teeth on the gears and can pump more fluid.

The M55 mentioned above is the SBC pump. A M77 is a BBC pump.
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Old 04-16-2006, 12:50 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92blue
A pump yielding 35 psi at idle would make it a high pressure pump, not necessariyl high volume. There is a difference between the two, and I very highly doubt GM used high volume pumps from the factory. Quite a few people on this board have blown their stock/relatively mild engine by running a high volume oil pump. At high RPM, it can pump oil up to the top of the engine faster than it drains back down, and you can run the engine "dry" even though you have 5 quarts of oil in it.

A high pressure pump will yield higher oil pressures without the problem mentioned above. I personally would recommend running a high pressure pump, I have one on my daily driver. You can buy one labeled as high pressure, or buy a regular pump and spend $8 on a MR. Gasket #26 oil pressure spring. It makes a regular pump a high pressure unit.
Nope, IT IS a high volume pump not a high pressure. I took the thing apart, it has gears that are another 1/3" longer. It is the stock GM crate 350 for a medium duty truck.

I have run the high volume pump in many of my builds, some running over 6,000 rpm with no ill effects. I do run the 5 quart truck pans though.
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Old 04-16-2006, 02:49 PM   #42
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If you think dropping an oil pan is a big job you are way out of your league on this car. Yes you have to unbolt the motor mounts and jack the engine up. It took me a half hour to have my oil pan off with the car on the ground.
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Old 04-16-2006, 03:43 PM   #43
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I'm not doing the job

Guess people don't always read all the posts..

"way out league" someone said - YES you are absolutely correct.

As I SAID - I am not attempting this job by myself at all. I am only asking to get perspective and some knowledge so I can talk and decide with my mechanic man what would be worth / reasonable /affordable for me to do next with this car.

Geeez sorry sometimes I ask in here... We are all not certified EXPERTS or mechanics, or are we?

I'm just looking for some help and may be asking some real stupid questions. So be it. I'm stupid, ok. Get over it and share your knowledge and help out or get out of way.
THANKS
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Old 04-17-2006, 01:49 PM   #44
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FAST355, I stand corrected then. Thats still a surprise to me.

I have seen a multitude of posts on here where people have run the bottom end dry with a high volume pump and a stock 5 quart oil pan though.
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Old 04-17-2006, 02:31 PM   #45
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Quote:
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I have seen a multitude of posts on here where people have run the bottom end dry with a high volume pump and a stock 5 quart oil pan though.
I bet you've seen a lot more people on here though who think they've run the bottom end dry with an HV pump than who actually have.
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:51 AM   #46
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Drained oil

Back again... drained out oil & filter --- looked like graphite color kinda and really hardly any metal or pieces per se or anything looking like shiny metal or and no real debris or any small or large pieces...
Guess will take my chances and drive it for little while...
Wiht new oil - started ok and only ran a few minutes and seemed ok and not heard any noise or tapping or banging.... so idunnooo
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:32 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamon8
when blueta89 made a comment about how replacing the intake gaskets ruined his oil pressure I remembered why I do not work on anyone else's car

If you have not mechanical knowlege or do not intend to learn than you should not have one of these cars
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:11 AM   #48
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When you say "graphite color", does that mean something like silvery looking? Like it has powder in it? As opposed to normal used oil, which is clear brownish-black?

If so, that's METAL SHAVINGS. And if that's the case, DO NOT RUN THE MOTOR ANY MORE UNTIL YOU FIX IT!!!! All you'll accomplish by running it, is further damage. The more it's allowed to keep chewing itself up, the more expensive the repair will become.

I know that's not what you want to hear; but people can tell you what you want to hear all day long, or you can just keep telling yourself what you want to hear, and it will have no effect on reality whatsoever. But I can tell you for certain, motors don't start making loud banging noises for no reason, and changing the oil doesn't fix a motor that has reached that point. I think you just wasted $15 or whatever, and ruined some perfectly good oil, without doing anything any good.

If it starts making noise again when it gets hot, PARK THE CAR IMMEDIATELY. Call a tow truck. That $35 or whatever, is MONEY WELL SPENT, if it saves you from having to do a tear-down and rebuild. Thin kof it as $35 that saves you $1000 or more..... maybe..... if it's not already too late.
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:34 AM   #49
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Let him keep running it, it's what he wants to do.
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:52 AM   #50
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Axle/Gears: Behind me somewhere

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Well, we can't exactly stop him , all we can do is warn him of the consequences. And don't forget, if you've never had a motor blow up on you that you've just gone into ostrich mode and kept driving until it will drive no more, you don't really realize how much extra unnecessary stuff you can trash that way. I'm just trying to save him from having to learn about that the hard way, like I did. Actually, being as dom as I am, it took me a couple of times to figure out, that if I QUIT DRIVING IT at the first sign of trouble and took care of it, it would cost only A TINY FRACTION of the other. I wish the Internet had existed when I first got into this hobby, so I didn't have to learn everything by screwing it up a few times until I finally got it right, but could just ask and lots of people would steer me in the right direction. Because I SURE DID screw up a bunch of stuff, before I learned better. And it SURE WAS EXPENSIVE.
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:52 AM
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