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Old 04-27-2010, 07:44 PM
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Another thing, IIRC the Fords oil the lifter first and the mains and rods last so don't take oil at the pushrods to be a definative sign. If the guage reads low, and trying a second gauge does too or you trust the gauge you have, then believe the gauge.

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Old 04-27-2010, 08:01 PM
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Also you may check your new dist. to your old dist. I'm not sure but remember something bout either the gear or the lower part of the dist. housing having a different shoulder on it which would impair O/P. since you had good pressure with the drill before hand this could be an issue I just don't remember the issue for sure.

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Old 04-27-2010, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66GMC
Seems to me that pickup trucks had a larger capacity pan than a passenger car, and therefore used a deeper pickup screen. Once you've moved some of that (cold, thick) oil up to the top of the engine ... could it be starving at the bottom?
Interesting you mention starvation because I was just thinking about that when you asked about the pickup and gaskets. My thought was that I might have run myself about a quart low on oil (after I primed the pump and filled the filter). And now, when I start the engine, it pumps enough oil to the top so that the pickup is starving at the bottom end. That explanation does fall in line with my having 25 lbs of pressure when I first started it and then having that drop off after a couple minutes of run time. (Obviously, it is not the only explanation that fits...but it does fit.)

But now that you bring up the possibility of a different length pickup, I got to thinking about it more and realized there was NOT a new pickup included with the new pump, and I just grabbed the original pickup and used it. So I think I have the right pickup...BUT we are back to your original point regarding the inability to get those pickups really clean and the potential for debris and crud getting up into the new pump. So that issue is back on the table as a potential culprit. Will this stuff show up if I pull the pan and open up the pump or will there be scratches and scuffs on the pump rotor?
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72
Another thing, IIRC the Fords oil the lifter first and the mains and rods last so don't take oil at the pushrods to be a definative sign.
I think you are right about using the gauge reading as the best indicator, but from my little bit of research (including here ) the oil flow goes from pump to filter to main galley to mains/rods then to lifters and finally push rods and rocker arms. See if you agree with this guys description from the link above:

Oil flows from the pump to the filter. Out of the filter and to the main galley. Down the main galley. Along the main galley there are passages drilled down to the main bearings. In the main saddles there are small holes, one in each saddle. Those feed the cam bearings. Oil flows from the main feed holes to the saddles and into the cam bearings via a slotted main bearing. At the back of the block, you will find a core plug (freeze plug) under the intake. One hole goes nearly straight down. The other is drilled at an angle. The one that goes straight down--it intersects all the way down to the main galley. Both of these holes intersect the lifter galleys. Lifters are oiled through these galleys and of course the springs and rockers are oiled through the pushrods.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ericnova72
Any chance there is a filter problem?, might look there first and try a different filter.
Well, I have a Fram. I could put a different one on tomorrow (all I have here are Frams) and spin it up with the drill to see if it makes any difference. Any telltale symptoms to look for with a collapse?
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:29 PM
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Yes. If that oil pump has sucked up some crud, I would expect to see some scoring of the rotor and schrapnel inside the pump.

I'm not sure of the oil path after it leaves the pump, or whether it's a "full-flow" system through the oil filter. If some of that schrapnel has managed to find it's way to main, rod, or cam bearings ... it will be a real heart-breaker.

Fingers, toes, and eyes all crossed, hoping this is not the case.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboy
I think you are right about using the gauge reading as the best indicator, but from my little bit of research (including here ) the oil flow goes from pump to filter to main galley to mains/rods then to lifters and finally push rods and rocker arms. See if you agree with this guys description from the link above:

Oil flows from the pump to the filter. Out of the filter and to the main galley. Down the main galley. Along the main galley there are passages drilled down to the main bearings. In the main saddles there are small holes, one in each saddle. Those feed the cam bearings. Oil flows from the main feed holes to the saddles and into the cam bearings via a slotted main bearing. At the back of the block, you will find a core plug (freeze plug) under the intake. One hole goes nearly straight down. The other is drilled at an angle. The one that goes straight down--it intersects all the way down to the main galley. Both of these holes intersect the lifter galleys. Lifters are oiled through these galleys and of course the springs and rockers are oiled through the pushrods.
This is likely right and I am probably just thinking of the Cleveland and 385 Series(429/460) oiling systems which do oil the lifters first. I rarely mess with 302's, too small for me . The last one was 10 years ago.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:40 PM
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I'd REALLY like to have a look under John Force's funny car to see if he actually runs that garbage. (A little too strongly worded, perhaps? All I can say is that you'll never see one on my stuff.)

I'd suggest putting a Wix, Purolator or Motorcraft filter on there.
Years ago, Fram didn't even have a drain-back valve, and their entire construction could be described as "flimsy" at best. I do have to say that the last time I cut one apart, it DID look a little better.
At least the newer versions have a crimped metal retainer on the pleated media. The old ones were simply overlapped and glued to cardboard end-plates. The shell was about "beer-can" thickness.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboy
Well, I have a Fram. I could put a different one on tomorrow (all I have here are Frams) and spin it up with the drill to see if it makes any difference. Any telltale symptoms to look for with a collapse?
The one we had collapse inside you could see it looking into the filter, the orange rubber check valve was skewed over blocking the outlet hole up the center and the filter media was all deformed to one side. Engine had fine oil pressure the night before, was low upon start up the next day, and got lower with each successive cold start as we tried to figure out what was going on. Last time we started it to check(about the 4th time) it barely registered on the gauge. The owner was in a tizzy thinking we were going to have to pull the motor and something bad had happened inside until I told him what I had heard around the web about Fram and the crap they are marketing nowadays. I told him it had to be something simple as it was fine the night before. He was skeptical until he pulled the filter and it was obvious. Changed to a Wix and the pressure was right where it should be. I wish we had kept it and took a picture, I still see tons of people claiming Fram is great and they have never had a problem, but it only takes seeing it once to convince you to avoid them. Stories like this pop up all over the hot rod boards on the net but you can't convince some people until it bites them.

We were running a blocked filter bypass on a race engine so it was obvious just as soon as it happened. With a stock bypass it might not show so easily on the gauge as a bypass would allow some oil to get by.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:31 AM
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Morning update....

Well, what do you make of THIS. I went out this morning and pulled the Fram oil filter and replaced it with a new one (another Fram - it was all I had on hand). I emptied the canister and inspected down inside and could find no evidence of "collapse" or filter materials out of place.

However, when I put my drill on the oil pump and spun it up, I immediately got 30 lbs of pressure and it probably would have even gone a bit higher had I let the drill run a little longer. That is about where I was with pressure back when I originally primed the system on the engine stand.

Here's my thinking...and chime in with yours. First, I think this little test pretty much eliminates the possibility of a blown out oil galley plug. Even with the oil being colder and thicker this morning than yesterday afternoon, if a plug was missing or loose, thicker oil just isn't going to make that much difference (I could only muster 12.5 lbs of pressure with the drill yesterday...and that was after spinning for a bit of time. This mornings pressure was strong and nearly instantaneous at the gauge.)

Second, I think this might also reduce the possibility that this was oil pump failure of some sort (scoring due to debris in the screen and pickup). If the pump rotor was badly damaged, it seems unlikely to me that it wouldn't produce pressure yesterday but today can produce very adequate pressure.

Third, I think the possibility of a bad bearing or two is still on the table. Won't bearing problems show up much more dramatically with hot oil and a hot engine than with cold, thick oil?

So the big question for me is whether to start the engine one more time and see if the pressure drops dramatically when things warm up? Or do I assume I still have a problem and go right at inspecting some, or all, of the bearings. Obviously, that second choice would be a major task and with my engine skills, I could do more damage opening things up and dismantling things then just leaving it alone. I'm really leaning toward starting it up even at the risk of doing more serious damage.

As always, if someone has another diagnostic test I could run to detect bearing failure I'd jump at trying it.

Also, does anyone have a logical explanation why changing the filter might account for such an increase in oil pressure (more than double what I was getting yesterday)? Is there any sort of blow by provision in the Fram that would account for that? Or can hot oil vs cold oil explain the huge improvement in pressure this morning?
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:23 AM
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Hmm, sorry to hear your having engine issues Dewey, I know how you feel. How much temperature difference between "hot" and "cold" are we talking? It doesn't sound like it was was running long enough to really get up to temperature, so I wouldn't think that was the issue.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that since you have been able to get the pressure up to 30#'s with your drill and the oil is flowing though the system, all of your bearings have a coating of oil on them which should give you a few seconds of run time to try and restart and see if it builds pressure.

Not sure how your engine mounts and if there is a crossmember, but if you could pull the pan without pulling the engine, you could check the bottom end. One trick is to pressurze the bottom end w/ oil though the oil pressure port and watch the oil drian away from the crank w/ the pan off. You can see pretty quickly if there are any bearing issues.

I had a shop give me a standard size bearings after they turned the crank .010. After having no oil pressureon startup, I did that test and oil just poured from the crank journals. What can I say, I was a kid and just learning and assumed the machine shop knew what they were doing.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrowhead
Not sure how your engine mounts and if there is a crossmember, but if you could pull the pan without pulling the engine, you could check the bottom end. One trick is to pressurze the bottom end w/ oil though the oil pressure port and watch the oil drian away from the crank w/ the pan off.
There is no crossmember blocking the pan. But there is a major issue getting the car up high enough to get underneath so I can see what I am doing or to actually pull the rod caps and the main caps. I only have a Quick Lift...which requires the car to be under power to get up on the lift...so I really can't use that. So I have to jack the car by hand and then build up some kind of support to hold the car up high enough. It's doable...just not easy.

I like the idea of pressurizing the oil system with the pan off but I have a couple question. I assume when you say hook to the oil pressure port you mean the port in the block where one would normally attach the oil gauge (just want to make sure on that one). The biggest questions are 1) how do you pressurize the oil and how much pressure is required - for example, is a common squirt type oil can hooked up with a hose enough or do you need some really stout pressure system?

And the really big question is 2) what SHOULD it look like once you pressurize the system. Should there be no oil at all out the sides of the bearings, a small drip, a moderate drip? I think I can imagine, based on your experience, what it should NOT look like. I just don't know what would be considered acceptable.

My other thought is, if I go to all the work of getting the car raised up and pulling the pan, why even bother with that pressure test. Just get new bearings, plastigauge everything, and button it back up? (Or possibly run the pressure test at THAT point.) I'd much prefer doing all this on an engine stand but it is a huge task to pull and replace the engine because it is a 3 spd and the trans has to be mated up in the car (not enough room to put the engine and trans in as one unit.)

I'm giving myself some time to mull this over before I charge ahead in any particular direction. But my inclination right now is similar to your initial suggestion. Go ahead and start the engine again. If I don't getting decent pressure (I'll call that 20-30 lbs) immediately after start up or if the car gets good early pressure but then it starts dropping off dramatically, I'll shut down and then assume I need to tear things apart, replace the bearings, and see what other evidence I might find at the bottom end. If I can keep the car running and get it up to normal operating temperatures AND maintain at least 10 lbs of pressure for every 1000 rpm...I'll assume I'm good to go.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:03 PM
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What you are thinking is what I would do at this point, a bit of run time to verify that you have pressure isn't likely to really hurt anything more than it is now if there is a problem. If the pressure isn't there good on start up and maintaining for a minute or two while running I'd shut it back down, but if it is there run it like another cam break-in just to be safe.

I'm assuming you'll have the carb and timing a litle better this time around so it will actually run without a bunch of fiddling with it. I normally crank the idle screw on the carb way up in the beginning to try to minimize having to babysit the gas pedal if I'm alone.

If you aren't in a big hurry I'd get something other than a Fram filter this time, even though it is better now what if it does the same thing the last one did?? Wix or Purolater are the two I use and see referred the most, with Wix in the lead by a good margin.

I thought it funny on another board when another racer said that the standing joke with his buddies is their name for the Fram filter - the "Orange Canister of Death" LOL
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72
... I'm assuming you'll have the carb and timing a litle better this time around...
Well that's the good news. I made some changes on the setup and it started right up and ran great. No coughs or sputters or carb backfires like before. Engine sounded pretty strong.

But then the bad news. I got 30 lbs of pressure at start up. I set the idle right at 2,000 to start the cam break in period but as the car warmed up (about a minute) the pressure dropped to 25. Then after 2-3 more minutes, the pressure began to drop off even more. I tried to raise the rpm a little to see if that would help, but it didn't. And as the gauge reached about 10-15 lbs, I shut it down because things just weren't going to get any better.

My thinking now is clearly pointing to a bearing problem. So I've pretty much just set my mind to the fact I'll have to replace them all. However, I'm going to try to do it in the car. I just can't face pulling the motor at this juncture. On the plus side, I think I've figured out a way to get the car up on my Quick Lift by using the starter motor (and someone along side the car moving chocks up behind the rear wheels).

Thanks for all the help (and consolation) on this one guys. As usual, it really helped clarify my thinking.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:34 PM
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Bummer

Just a heads-up, don't make the assumption that if it is a bearing problem that it is at the crank or rods, it could also be a problem at the cam bearings. I've done enough bottom end work in the car to say you will be alot farther ahead to pull the engine so that you can work from an engine stand, even if the clutch and trans is a pain to reassemble. Trying to change bearings and plastigage things upside down with the rods, crank, and mains all interfering with each other leads to a lot of frustrating time. Just my .02 $
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