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chuckellison 03-02-2003 07:37 PM

Low idle oil pressure
I am wondering if anyone around there has any ideas about an oil pressure problem I have been having. I rebuilt a 350 chevy engine in about 1998 and it ran flawlessly for years. Then I had several problems very close together. It became very difficult to crank when it was hot. It reached a point where if I turned the engine off, it would have to sit for 30 minutes or more before it would even turn over. During this time, I replaced a bent a pushrod, and a couple months later, a seized lifter. At this point, I noticed that my idle oil pressure was low, so I decided it was time for a rebuild. I pulled the engine out and went completely through it. I replaced everything that I new of that could cause an oil leak: new rings, new bearings, a new oil pump, a new (longer duration) cam, and lifters. The pump is a Summit piece that included a welded on pickup and new pump shaft. The cam is a CompCams XE274H with matching lifters. I also checked all of the oil galley plugs and they looked fine. However, after getting the engine back in the truck, I still had the same problem with oil pressure. The engine produces great oil pressure cold (over 50 psi at idle) but only about 7 psi idling hot at about 700-800 rpm. I took the valve covers back off to check the preload on the lifters and found that oil was spraying out of the rocker arm on #1 cylinder (a steady stream against the fender well). It drenched the side of my truck before I could shut the engine down. Does this mean that another lifter has seized or is it just a result of the low oil pressure? Considering my relatively good oil pressure when cold, would a high volume oil pump help the problem? Do you have any ideas about the root source of the problem? 03-02-2003 08:03 PM

its common for one or two rockers to decorate the fender and walls on a small block, thats why they make "rocker stoppers", have you tried a different gauge? or maybe the line is partially plugged? Did you put in new cam bearings on the rebuild? what kind of main bearing clearance?

KULTULZ 03-03-2003 03:20 AM

-Lisle Rocker Stoppers-

onebadmerc 03-03-2003 05:06 AM

Did you check or replace your cam bearings when you did the rebuild?

chuckellison 03-03-2003 07:20 AM

This is not the normal amount of oil that I have seen coming out of the rocker arms in the past. I have always seen a trickle of oil that gets splashed around the engine bay by the rockers. This was like I put a water hose against the bottom of the pushrod and was "spraying for distance". I lost half a quart of oil in the time it took to shut the engine down.

I did not put a guage on the bearings this time around. All I can say is that there was no visible wear on the crank and everything was on the low end of the tolerance during the last rebuild. I didn't replace the cam bearings but they appeared to be in good shape.

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