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V6 Discussion and questions about the base carbureted or MPFI V6's and the rare SFI Turbo V6.

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Old 09-10-2002, 07:33 AM   #1
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Oil pump change

So my oil pressure is nearly in the red when I'm at idle with the engine warm, I assume I need to change my oil pump.

I read the chiltons, and it sounds like there are a bunch of little things I have to move or remove in order to get the pan off.

My question is "Are there any tips from you all that would make my life easier as I change the pump."

As well where exactly would I jack up the engine if I need to remove the pan?

Forgive me if I'm missing something really simple, I'm a slow adult...


Oh yeah, 1990 firebird, 3.1 v6...
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1986 5.7, T-5 (busted), donated to a better cause
1990 3.1, 700R4, on the road...
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Old 09-10-2002, 09:29 AM   #2
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You might be able to raise the engine up at the back of the motor, where the engine meets the trans- just remove the flywheel inspection cover. Eastwoodcompany.com (free catalog) is now selling a cool little tool; it straddles the top of the fenders, on the inside of the hood, and can support an engine. I don't remember the price, though, I think it was around $80?
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Old 09-10-2002, 10:59 AM   #3
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Want reality!?
Here's goes.
By the time your oil gauge is reading in the red
Your bearings on crank are shot (so loose the pressure is showing that detail, LOW!)
You engine is so "Broken IN"
It's time for a fresh rebuild.
You'll end up completely removing the engine to gain good access to the pump.
You can't "cheat"
Tranny gotta be remove-loosened
Mounts
Exhaust
etc.
What's left?
Seek out a fresh rebuilt long block or a great running low milage used long block.
Find a 3.4 that fits perfectly. Read my tech tip way to do the 2.8 - 3.4 Long Block Swap Boogie.
Honest.
Your engine is history.
Find the right alternative for the effort ya gonna lay out.
EITHER MISSION is alot of work.
Alot.
One is just more beneficial in the end
IF YOU LOVE YOUR RIDE.
Happy decision making, hard choice.
Yes, one is much more costly.
Gotta love your ride, tho.
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Old 09-10-2002, 02:42 PM   #4
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TomP: Thanks I'll look into that...

KED85: Well seeing how I just got the 90 to replace the 86 I don't have the extra $$$ to get a "new" motor. I wouldn't be afraid of a limited rebuild that I could do in a weekend. This engine has to last a while longer, maybe until I can either sell the 350 or get the time and energy to drop it into the 90. (but that is unlikely for a while...)

So what would you suggest I replace for the time being? (other than the whole engine)

(as well it has only touched into the red once, it typically runs somewhere between straight up and red though)

Last edited by FirebirdGeek; 09-10-2002 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 09-10-2002, 02:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by FirebirdGeek
So what would you suggest I replace for the time being? (other than the whole engine)
Sounds like you wouldat a minimum need to replace the crankshaft, main and rod bearings (along w/ a new oil pump of course). However, depending on the mileage I would also change the head gaskets and have a valve job done. Unfortunately, there is no small bandaid fix for a bad pump. All of it is going to cost about 500-600 to fix properly.

Unless the bearing are not knocking... then you could throw a new oil pump in there and maybe it will last
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Old 09-10-2002, 03:21 PM   #6
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Well its got 112K (a lot highway, so I was told) and the engine sounds good, no noticable knocking or what-not...

So then I could JUST replace the pump for the time being, because if this tempararily fixes my issue then I doesn't do any additional harm to "an engine that might already be shot".

Does that sound like a fair assesment?
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1984 5.0, 700R4, donated...
1989 2.8, T-5, falling apart...being loved by a German somewhere in Germany...
1985 none, none, parted-traded-junked...
1986 5.7, T-5 (busted), donated to a better cause
1990 3.1, 700R4, on the road...
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Old 09-10-2002, 03:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by FirebirdGeek
Does that sound like a fair assesment?
-- But don't be surprised if it blows up soon after
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Old 09-10-2002, 03:26 PM   #8
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Are you sure it's not your gauge?

With 238,000 miles on my 2.8, when the motor's hot, I drop to almost zero oil pressure when I come to a stop. I'd love to know how wide all my bearing clearances are!! But get this, FirebirdG, it's been like this for over 3 years... engine still runs.
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Old 09-10-2002, 03:35 PM   #9
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TomP: What really kills me is that such a low pressure is alien to me because my 350 always had the pressure guage maxed under anything but idle...

MDv6man: Well I can't make it any worse by changing it...so we'll see...keeping fingers crossed...


Thanks for all of the info!
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1984 5.0, 700R4, donated...
1989 2.8, T-5, falling apart...being loved by a German somewhere in Germany...
1985 none, none, parted-traded-junked...
1986 5.7, T-5 (busted), donated to a better cause
1990 3.1, 700R4, on the road...
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Old 09-10-2002, 03:37 PM   #10
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WE ALL dream of the cheap easy for long miles fix!
I swapped heads on my 1985 S-10 Blazer at 211,500 original miles & always high oil pressure.
I swapped heads as the head gasket went.
All I could do was move the car one side of street to other.
Blazer has the 50K milage 1995 3.4 long block now, also.
You just never know how a bandaid may take.
Hard decision ya know.
Been there.
Twice.
I now, upon engine death, swap in a new rebuilt engine or a used long block running strong.
Unless it's a distributor or fuel pump or carb/water pump, timing chain change, ain't worth it in the end of my effort.
It's a hard decision and alot of effort.
Find all options before sinking more dollars and turning that wrench.
Best answer may not be the most fun, either.
Maybe just get another ride in better shape.
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Old 09-10-2002, 04:18 PM   #11
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Are you sure that your car has 'only 112K' on it? My 1992 3.1 has 166K on it, and the thing has good oil pressure. I would suggest you change the oil, and go to a thicker oil, maybe 15W-40 or something like that before trying to rip into it. If the engine isn't smoking or isn't knocking or rattling, then I would leave it alone. Also, TomP said something about the gauge being incorrect... that has happened to me before with a different vehicle. The sending unit was messed up, and it would only read about 60% of the actual pressure for some reason. If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about it. I know that the small block chevy engines need only about 6 to 8 pounds at idle to be ok.

My whole point is not to dispute what these guys are saying. They all seem very knowledgeable. I would encourage you to try the cheapest things first. Put a good gauge in it, change the oil to a thicker oil, and see what happens. Those things would be good to have anyway. I would hate to see you put a bunch of work into the car when it really isn't needed. Just my $.02 worth.
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Old 09-10-2002, 07:09 PM   #12
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i personally would spend the 25 bucks on a oil pressure sensor before going ahead and ripping the bottom out of my engine to replace a pump you don't know for sure is shot.
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Old 09-10-2002, 07:09 PM
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