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Old 10-24-2012, 03:24 PM
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oil pressure gauge: will this work?

I have an old engine compression tester gauge that I retired since I got a nicer set. Can I make an adapter and use that to check for oil PSI when I prime the engine with a drill? Is there a calibration different between air and oil???

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Old 10-24-2012, 04:01 PM
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If the gage is of the bourdon tube type then air gas or liguid pressure will have the same effect on the movement, you can use it, most gages are of this bourdon tube style except for cheap tire pressure gages.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Surfer View Post
I have an old engine compression tester gauge that I retired since I got a nicer set. Can I make an adapter and use that to check for oil PSI when I prime the engine with a drill? Is there a calibration different between air and oil???
I like the idea of retasking old tools. Breathe new life into it, save some money, plus the face is nice and large. That's what hotrodding is about IMHO.

What you might be thinking of are the different calibrations used such as psig (psi gauge) and psia (psi absolute). psia would include ambient pressure, psig doesn't include ambient pressure.

Bottom line, for what you want to do the compression tester gauge will work just fine for reading oil pressure. The compression tester's resolution might not be very fine being as how the compression pressure goes higher than most oil pressure gauges, but unless you were trying to read the oil pressure to a half pound this really doesn't matter. Don't worry about bleeding the line to the gauge, either. Totally unnecessary.

Last edited by cobalt327; 10-24-2012 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
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Is there a calibration different between air and oil???
Nope, pressure's pressure.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:48 PM
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Roger that Tech,,,especially when one is under it!
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:35 PM
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This worked out pretty good! Only concern is that I was showing about 75psi of oil pressure. This seems pretty high. I did not turn the crank while doing this as it was already primed, not sure if that matters, I just re-did this to confirm adequate pressure existed. Is this OK?
  • The sticker on the drill says 1,500 RPMs (no load, brand new, laboratory conditions)
  • Using 10w-30 Rotella
  • Complete rebuild with all new bearings
  • Melling M55 oil pump (standard pressure and standard volume)
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:13 PM
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id say 75 is fine,,, gage could be out as well, you need a dead weight tester to calibrate the gage or another known accurate gage to compare with.

Last time I did priming with a drill I forgot to put the oil filter on, I was cranking away with the drill watching the rockers until I saw the puddle instead
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom10 View Post
Last time I did priming with a drill I forgot to put the oil filter on, I was cranking away with the drill watching the rockers until I saw the puddle instead
Ummm, you're not the first person to do that. Ask me how I know.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:02 PM
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OK tech, tell us,,,kidding I think I know the answer

First time I did this I was actually surprised at how much power it takes to spin the pump, it was 10-40 oil and a high volume pump, new build, the 18V cordless could barely spin it.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Surfer View Post
This worked out pretty good! Only concern is that I was showing about 75psi of oil pressure. This seems pretty high. I did not turn the crank while doing this as it was already primed, not sure if that matters, I just re-did this to confirm adequate pressure existed. Is this OK?
  • The sticker on the drill says 1,500 RPMs (no load, brand new, laboratory conditions)
  • Using 10w-30 Rotella
  • Complete rebuild with all new bearings
  • Melling M55 oil pump (standard pressure and standard volume)
Well, considering the distributor turns 1/2 crank rpm, you are spinning the oil pump at nearly 3000 rpm in your case. So I agree that 75 psi w/cold oil is fine if you have a high pressure relief spring in the oil pump. But you have a standard pressure spring- which would indicate the bearing clearances are likely around 0.0015" or so and there are no losses due to a loose distributor body. And there IS a chance the gauge is reading high.
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