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Shakedown run....lost oil pressure..UPDATE !!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ratroddude, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. Ratroddude
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,027


    After about a month of late nights in the garage , and a multitude of openings of the wallet , and a couple of minor injuries to myself... I get to take the Fleetline out on a shakedown run (V8 / auto trans & rear swap), I am having a blast and my dad is enjoying the friuts of our labor when..... a dreadful sound comes from the windows which are rolled down for the early spring breeze , but , its the sound of dry push rods rattling under the rocker arms....I'm only about half a mile from a buddies garage...I bump it to neutral, and glide in the driveway.... "sounds like you lost oil pressure" he said..I tell him to think positive , but it is true , I think it's because of the motor being gummed up in the oil screen , the car I pulled the motor from sounded sweet , but , after I changed the motor , I changed the oil , the filter was a pennzoil filter with a date of 1972 on it , I am hoping that a quart of kerosene and about 10 minutes runniNg will clear out any gunk in the crank case , if not , looks like I'm down for a rebuild , that's what you get when you don't check out stuff , even though is sounds good , shoulda pulled the pan while it was out.....Oh well, I feel better now , sorry for the rant...:mad::(
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011
  2. RRD, the oil filter was 39 years old? The old guys that told of the kerosene clean out the sludge story's always told me they would just let the engine idle for a while. They wouldn't drive it. I hope things turn out well for you friend.
  3. Ratroddude
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,027


    Thanks man , I'm getting ready to try the kerosene trick in about an hour , I was told to let it be totally cold , pour in the kerosene , and let the engine run till it gets to operating temp. , turn motor off , drain oil and pull filter , replace with a synthetic oil to "slick down" the rod and main bearings , the reason is , I have heard that the kerosene will wash the bearings out if ran too long , has anyone did this trick with kerosene before? if so , how'd it turn out for you?
  4. At this point I'd be asking myself this :
    did the pump fail to provide oil to the entire engine?
    just the top end loose oil?

    There's lots of little passages that the oil needs to go thru. They can get plugged easily.
    Running a cleaner thru an engine devoids the bearings of proper lubrication. You are also going to be loosening debris that will further clog the engine if it gets thru the pump. Personal experience is that the engine will develop a lower end knock when used in a sludge filled engine.

    I've ran cleaners as a last resort because there's nothing left to loose. So are you at that point?

    Haven't you seen the Mike Rowe commercial " if you can't get it off your finger, you're not going to get it out of the engine.

  5. I didn't hear it run but I think I'd pull the valve covers and pushrods. Soak those in kerosene loose.
    pull the pan and clean that out spotless. Pull the pump pick up screen and soak that with the pushrods.
    Spray the bottom end down with kerosene and a parts brush. Clean that good. Same on the top end in the heads. Clean the oil returns spotless.

    I'd fasten a very fine screen over the pick up and reassemble the engine. Then run the kerosene /oil mixture or seafoam That should only take you a few hours.

    Cross my fingers and hope for the best.

    Drop the pan again and see what's in there. Remove the extra fine screen on the pick up.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011
  6. Ratroddude
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,027


    Thanks man , I will say , the bottom end never made a noise , just the top end , and after it sat for about 10 minutes ,(long enough to install a oil pressure guage) I started it up , and at idle it held around 20lbs , but as it ran the pressure dropped off to 0 , turned it off , and went to get the truck and trailer , was gone around 30 minutes , started it up , the lifter sound immediately quieted down , and I pulled the car up on the trailer , and hauled it home ,about a 15 minute ride , pulled in the driveway , started the car , no noise , and backed it off the trailer , and shut it off , and drifted it in front of my garage , and has set , untouched since last evening around 6 pm , judging by this info , does it sound like a plugged up screen , or a weak oil pump?
    Joined: Mar 30, 2010
    Posts: 3,253


    Sounds like Penzoil strikes again.
    MY $.02
  8. Something plugged or worn. Usually worn is worn and the drop in pressure is gradually becoming more over a longer time period like days or weeks. Usually doesn't rise unless its pushing on a plugged surface that's letting go and plugging up again.

    If the screen is plugged and no oil getting to the pump there will be no oil for the engine.
  9. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 4,171

    Automotive Stud

    I don't think I would try to run the motor again like that. If you try the kerosine trick I would pull the distributor and use an oil pump primer to circulate the kerosine rather than risk any further damage by running the engine again. Also, it doesn't sound like you have an oil pressure gauge. Hook up a decent mechanical gauge so you see what you've got going on in there.
  10. Great point
  11. Ratroddude
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,027


    I guess I need to say , I changed the oil before I started running the car , I put Castrol 10-40 and a Fram filter , and the Penzoil filter was on the engine when I pulled the engine out of the car, the car had been setting for a long time , and I found the date on the filter, it said somthing about; "after such and such date in 1972 , the filter number would change to something or another" , so , I just assumed it was last changed in or around 1972 , I wouldn't have even attempted running the engine with that ancient oil in it .
  12. How hard is it to pull off the oil pan?
    The kerosene will loosen some of the sludge but some of it will be trapped in the pickup screen shield. I would run it with the kerosene, drain it and run kerosene through the engine with the drain plug out. Put the plug back in and fill the crankcase with kerosene. Take out the distributor and run the oil pump backwards to flush out the pickup screen. Drain out the kerosene and use regular oil and filter, drive it about 10 to 15 miles(full temp) and drain and refill. Or pull the engine and rebuild.
  13. Personally, I'd be pulling that engine, putting her on a stand and taking a good look at the internals. If it really needs an internal kerosene bath, I'd be much happier doing it on a stand. I'd also be willing to bet there is a ton of crud in the pan too. (Pull the valve covers, oil pan, intake, and timing cover ... I am assuming SBC here, this will allow you to clean the entire engine).

    With it on the stand, it would be a good time to clean everything (use a tooth brush and a squirt bottle for the degreaser/kerosene), mic the bearings (I know there was no bottom end noise, I'd mic them just to see what the clearances are), change the front and rear seals, and also put in a fresh timing chain (always a good idea). I am not saying the kerosene rinse won't work (never done it myself), what I am saying is ... if you do it "right" you won't have to worry about any "chunks" floating around, potentially causing issues later on (peace of mind).

    Not saying you should do this, just saying I would.
  14. Stock Racer
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 701

    Stock Racer

    Before going any farther try a new oil filter. Seen it happen with Fram filters, especially with synthetic oil. Cheap to try.
  15. Another point is if you run the oil pump with a dist shaft and drill you with the valve covers removed you can see if theres any oil coming up to the rockers.
  16. JC Sparks
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 724

    JC Sparks
    from Ohio

    Before you turn the motor over again cut that oil filter open and see if the element has fallen apart. If it did, all that crap is in every oil hole that motor has. JC
  17. This is your brain on drugs:D:rolleyes::cool:, this is your brain on Fram oil filters:mad::(:eek:
  18. Tenacious A
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 284

    Tenacious A
    from Willis Tx

    Bingo! It's the fram filter. Don't use a cleaner, you will loosen stuff you don't want to move to the screen.
  19. Ironpeddler
    Joined: May 16, 2009
    Posts: 100


    Change the filter and fill the new filter with oil before installing it.
  20. Ratroddude
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,027


    I woulda never guessed that , when I bought the oil and filter , he asked which filter I wanted , and I asked for an AC Delco , which they didn't have, I have good luck with AC Delco , but , he said that he had Purolator and Fram , I do like the grip on the bottom of a Fram filter , but , I'm gonna go pull the filter , and replace it with a Wix , hopefully that cures my problem , who woulda knew that , as old a name as Fram has , they woulda turned to shit.....:confused:
  21. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,669

    from Oregon

    Change the Fram filter out. It's proabably plugged. Hopefully you didn't damage bearings already, but I wouldn't chance it with kerosene in a running engine. If you do the kerosene wwill sit in places and still be there when you drain it out. A second oil change will get it out, but you'll need to do it soon after the kerosene cleaning.
    I think I'd get an adapter and pull the distributor, then drive the oil pump with a drill motor through the dist. hole. Pull the valve covers while you're driving the oil pump to see if it's getting good circulation.
  22. Stock Racer
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 701

    Stock Racer

    The Wix is your best choice. NAPA filters are made by Wix. Wix also has a line of racing oil filters. You can research them on their website.
  23. Ricci32
    Joined: Jul 30, 2010
    Posts: 416


    Lost a racing engine innthe past with a fram filter. remove the filter cut it and check for bearing material or filings with a magnet. before you fire it again. The problem i had was the element collapsed.
  24. Gus68
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 426

    from Minnesota

    A few years back I bought an 82 chevy pickup from an old farmer. It was in nice shape and had low miles for an 82. It ran great and I drove it around town for a while. Then one day I had to take the interstate on a long drive. After about 50 miles or so of 75 mph the top end started rattleing and the oil pressure went low. I stopped shut it off checked everything, fired it up again and everything was fine. on the way home same thing happend, shut it off for a while and it was fine again. So when i got home I changed the oil and added "sea foam" to the oil. I ran it for a few days and changed it again, and added the sea foam again. After all that, the oil pressure problem never came back. I blamed it on the farmer putting around and never "driving" it and the engine getting all slugged up. When I got out an the interstate and ran it, the oil pump sucked up a bunch of gunk, and when I shut it off the gunk fell off the screen. The sea foam cleaned up the gunk. Just something for you to think about.
  25. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260


    AC-Delco now garbage like Fram. They are now made in China by small children.
  26. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531


    It's been awhile since I worked on a old Chevy six but I remember there was a small copper line that went up through the side cover to supply oil to the rockers. Maybe the line is plugged up too so be sure and clean it out.

    Fram filters are junk, at least the new ones and Amalie and Penzoil used to turn into what looked like Vaseline in those older engines.
  27. Bryan G
    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 188

    Bryan G
    from Delmarva

    Just yesterday a friend of mine was in here telling me a 30 year old story about how he changed his oil to Castrol and it plugged the drain-backs. Apparently it wasn't capatible with the oil he had been using. Long time ago, and take it with a grain of salt anyway, but thought it was worth mentioning.
  28. 92GTA
    Joined: Oct 19, 2010
    Posts: 99


    Dude, I would pull the oil pan. I didn't after I started my engine after it had been sitting parked for 39 years. I did a flush and change. Ran Redline & AutoRX. About 6 months later I pulled the plan to replace the rear main, BAM, about 1" THICK goop at the bottom of the oil pan. Nasty! All kinds of crap was stuck in the oil pickup, like chunks of crap. I ended up doing a complete R&R for other reasons like rings being stuck and causing blow-by but I learned 1 important thing, always pull the oil pan!
  29. Ratroddude
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,027


    UPDATE !!!!...... Well it's not the filter , I went to the local NAPA store , bought the Wix / Napa filter , brought it home , installed the filter , and it ran great with an idle pressure of 30psi , and a revving pressure of 40psi , for about 10 minutes , then it all got warm , then the pressure dropped systematically all the way to zero.... , kerosene trick? , what do you guys think?

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