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Old 10-03-2009, 07:42 PM   #1
JAFA
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Default Flathead Ford oil pressure

I have a 51 ford with a 51 Merc flathead in it with 61,000 miles running straight 40 weight oil. The oil pressure after warming up is 2lbs at idle and 12 running. I have been told that this isn't uncommon. It just seems low to me.

What kinda of oil pressure are most flatheads run?

Also if this is uncommon what do you recommend to fix this problems? I was looking at the Melling M-15 high pressure pump. But I have read that it doesn't increase the pressure in a stock.

Thanks for any help
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

I run 20w50 oil in both of mine and at start up I have 50 lbs. after warm up 30 and at idle 10. Put a can of STP in your flathead and you should gain 8 to 10 lbs of presure.
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

just take care of it and drive it..
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

My '50 starts at +40# at idle, cruise @ 60#, idles warm @ 30# thats on the dash gauge - my friends say thats great. One friend has a '49 Merc and it runs at -30# and he says flat heads are that way - keep oil in them and just drive it!
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

they are pretty forgiving, unlike new tight clearance engines.
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Old 10-03-2009, 07:59 PM   #6
Dale Fairfax
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

Before getting TOO alarmed, try hooking up a REAL gauge to the pressure tap on the back of the engine.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

Mine starts at 65, 20-25 when warm, 10 at idle, and 0 after about 15 minutes on the highway. I look like the old video game where you can shoot an oil slick out the back of your car.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by srosa707 View Post
Mine starts at 65, 20-25 when warm, 10 at idle, and 0 after about 15 minutes on the highway. I look like the old video game where you can shoot an oil slick out the back of your car.
Would that be Spy Hunter?
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

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Would that be Spy Hunter?
I was trying to think of that damn game! Thanks J RIPPER
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

I agree with getting a gauge and tap the fitting on the oil filter canister. The readings I get on my 52 are just about 30 warmed up, running 40wt. It is not uncommon for very low oil pressures, though.
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:41 AM   #11
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

As stated previosly, install a mechanical gage ( if you are using the original electric) to give a more accurate idea of what oil pressure really is. Read somewhere once that 5lb. oil pressure for every 1000 RPM is adequate.
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

Agree with all posted so far (confirm with good mech gauge, not uncommon). You can try running some 50wt or 20/50, but it probably won't make much difference.
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:28 AM   #13
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

I've seen flatties run for years that wouldn't even wiggle the gauge when they got warmed up. Any flow at all seems to be enough as long as you don't really get on it a lot. Most of the engines I'm talking about were in grain trucks, though, and they don't get treated gently.
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

your engine should run 50-60 lbs at speed. sounds like bottom end is worn out. if its not knockin just treat it gently and it should last a while....
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:25 AM   #15
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

Like most have said thatís about normal and not uncommon.
On a 40 convertible I had to keep running it had low presure like that plus it would burn a qt. every 300 or so miles.
I barrowed some 70wt from the bossís top fuel trailer before a trip to billet proof (200 + mil) and only burned a pint.
If your real worried, clean the pickup and put in a fresh pump.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:51 AM   #16
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

Thanks for the help. I'm just going to leave it alone and drive it.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:40 PM   #17
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

Try using 15w40 Diesel grade oil, this stuff's like liquid ball bearings!! Do you have any thumping at idle??? Good luck

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Old 10-05-2009, 06:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaspumpchas View Post
Try using 15w40 Diesel grade oil,
I also noticed a slight increase in my hot idle oil pressure when I switched to Diesel too. I think it's the additive packages they use.
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:27 PM   #19
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Thumbs up Re: Flathead Ford oil pressure

I gotta 59ab in my T roadster and it has about 3 lbs when warm idling. When i first got it running I asked my buddy who has been around since 1940 and built every kinda motor imaginable if i should be worried. He asked me how much pressure I had when warm, and I told him about 3lbs, he says "thats enough". Well, thats 3 years ago and shes still going strong. I run 20w50 and a can of STP...hope that helps, Weed
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