Oil pressure and mechanical gauges
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Oil pressure and mechanical gauges

  1. #1
    Glendale Arizona Squirtcha?'s Avatar
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    Default Oil pressure and mechanical gauges

    O.K. had a little scare with the boat/motor Monday night. Was
    getting all over it and stayed in it for a good bit of time, then
    repeated several times. Following one of these runs, I noticed
    my oil pressure drop to about 10 psi. Kinda freaked out and shut
    it off coasting in to my trailer. I was right at the Big River ramp
    when I noticed it so it only ran a few seconds (literally) before
    getting shut down. I wasn't sure if I had sucked my pan dry (done
    that a few times) by staying in it too long or what.

    Didn't touch it after getting it out of the water. The next morning
    I backed down to the ramp and disengaged the jetaway and fired
    it off. Pressure was still low at about 10 psi at idle and 20 psi if
    gassed. Shut it down right away and pulled it home.

    Before tearing into anything I went and bought a mechanical pressure
    gauge (normally run a Autometer Ultralite electric). I suspected/hoped
    that maybe my sender took a shit on me and although it might still
    be sending a signal, maybe not the proper signal.

    Fired it one last time at home with the electric gauge and it still read a max
    of 25 psi. Removed the sender and connected the mech gauge temporarily.
    It seems to be better and reads 25 psi at idle and 50+ PSI when reved
    up some. That's about what it's always been.

    Here's my question.............never having run a mech gauge I see that
    there is a lot of air in the capillary tubing (photo below). Is this normal
    and am I getting an accurate reading with this thing?


    Thanks for any help. Hoping like hell that it's just a gauge/sender problem.

    The capillary tubing and mech gauge is just a temporary deal for trouble
    shooting. No intention of leaving it that way.

    Oh yeah, motor never made any weird/scary noises. Just the low oil
    pressure reading.

    Thanks for any and all input. Much as I want my stroker, I sorta need
    this one to last the summer............fingers crossed



    Filter pleats look o.k.

    Last edited by Squirtcha?; 06-21-2009 at 01:31 PM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member fleetimus's Avatar
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    I had an electric and mechanical on my Olds. The mechanical always read higher than the electric. I think I would do a little tear down for piece of mind.

    Also, you may get a new sending unit and see what it says.

  4. #3
    Glendale Arizona Squirtcha?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fleetimus View Post
    I had an electric and mechanical on my Olds. The mechanical always read higher than the electric. I think I would do a little tear down for piece of mind.

    Also, you may get a new sending unit and see what it says.
    Peace of mind tear downs will be limited to winter time only Tim.......
    It is now officially the boating season.

    My buddy TX-19 runs the same electric gauge in his sand car. He's offered to let me try his sender.

    Reckon we'll see what happens.........

    What about the air in the capillary tubing? Normal? Yes? No?

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  6. #4
    punk ass kid warpt71's Avatar
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    I use a mechanical and the capillary all the way to the dash. The last time I had it allapart I "primed" the capillary befor conecting it to the dash. I dont think it really matters but thats what I did.

    Now for oil press. issues, what do you have for an oil pump? Stock or a HV?? Your numbers sound right for a stock oil pump.

    I had an oil filter collaps on me last year and it made the oil pressure different, not zero, but considerably less. Im pretty sure it happend after back to back to back passes last Oct. Pull the filter off and check it, its quick and easy.

    Hope that helps
    I'll paddle my flat before I drive anything else!

  7. #5
    460
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    Dan my sender did this same thing 2 weeks ago. Freaked the shit out of me. Started the motor, 40 psi. By the time i had got to the channel at sag it was at 20 Turned out for the best. Im guessing your sender took a shit. Mine would hold for a bit the bleed off.

  8. #6
    Senior Member fleetimus's Avatar
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    Air is normal. It hopefully is the sending unit. Cut the oil filter and check it.

  9. #7
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    My electric gauge did the same thing last weekend except it started bouncing from 0 to 100 really fast then would go to 10 then back to 60. It was my sending unit that was my problem. For the mechanical pressure gauge, my 71 chevy truck has one and it has air in the line just like yours does.

  10. #8
    Senior Member cave's Avatar
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    Scary Dan! I had this happen in Yuma. Never heard any noise. Boat ran great. Just no oil pressure. Sat out the whole day at the sand bar. Headed to Farmer Johns to get a mechanical gauge hooked up. and there you go. I got Oil pressure. Go out Sunday. Boat runs great but the pressure was down just a bit from normal. Well now I know. If the pressure is different from the normal. Pull the motor. I had my crank crack at some point either there or here. The #2 & 3 bearings had spun. I had pressure but thought it was OK to run it. I did. The crank finally cracked to a point where the front snout did the wobble deal. Its guna cost me now. If I had just come home or hooked up with the wackas I may have saved some parts.

    Prolly not your problem. For me I have a new respect for that OIL Pressure gauge,electrical or mechanical.

    Good luck.

    I heard you were looking to do a 540 anyways.
    Takin it home

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    E-7 Sheepdog (ret) SmokinLowriderSS's Avatar
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    There is nothing wrong with the air in teh line.

    The gauge is pneumatic/hydrualic and oil @ 50psig reads the exact same as air @ 50psig.

    Sometimes hard to believe air and fluids follow the exact same fluid flow and pressure dynamics laws, other than air being compressable.
    "As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
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    The rest of us are being dragged along kicking and screaming.

  12. #10
    21 Daytona Outlaw's Avatar
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    What pump drive are you running?

    I have seen that hex drive on a 460 start rounding off
    and would skip at high RPM/pressures. this was with a HV pump/stock shaft

    might be worth pulling the distributor and checking
    #55

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    Senior Member YumaJet's Avatar
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    I used to use a plastic oil pressure line and for some reason it would always get crap stuck in it and give false readings. I now have 1/8 copper tubing, with a mech. gauge and everything is working fine at 60-70psi.
    boatless....

  14. #12
    Seriously off center slowride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squirtcha? View Post
    O.K. had a little scare with the boat/motor Monday night. Was
    getting all over it and stayed in it for a good bit of time, then
    repeated several times. Following one of these runs, I noticed
    my oil pressure drop to about 10 psi. Kinda freaked out and shut
    it off coasting in to my trailer. I was right at the Big River ramp
    when I noticed it so it only ran a few seconds (literally) before
    getting shut down. I wasn't sure if I had sucked my pan dry (done
    that a few times) by staying in it too long or what.

    Didn't touch it after getting it out of the water. The next morning
    I backed down to the ramp and disengaged the jetaway and fired
    it off. Pressure was still low at about 10 psi at idle and 20 psi if
    gassed. Shut it down right away and pulled it home.

    Before tearing into anything I went and bought a mechanical pressure
    gauge (normally run a Autometer Ultralite electric). I suspected/hoped
    that maybe my sender took a shit on me and although it might still
    be sending a signal, maybe not the proper signal.

    Fired it one last time at home with the electric gauge and it still read a max
    of 25 psi. Removed the sender and connected the mech gauge temporarily.
    It seems to be better and reads 25 psi at idle and 50+ PSI when reved
    up some. That's about what it's always been.

    Here's my question.............never having run a mech gauge I see that
    there is a lot of air in the capillary tubing (photo below). Is this normal
    and am I getting an accurate reading with this thing?


    Thanks for any help. Hoping like hell that it's just a gauge/sender problem.

    The capillary tubing and mech gauge is just a temporary deal for trouble
    shooting. No intention of leaving it that way.

    Oh yeah, motor never made any weird/scary noises. Just the low oil
    pressure reading.

    Thanks for any and all input. Much as I want my stroker, I sorta need
    this one to last the summer............fingers crossed

    Put an T in the block and run both with the mechanical gauge on the T. There is pressure loss in extended lengths that make them react slower, and (in extremes) inaccurately. The mechanical gauge on the block will give the best reading possible. Compare the 2 gauges until you're comfortable with their readings. Watch them and enjoy the summer.

  15. #13
    Living in a cage of fear thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw View Post
    What pump drive are you running?

    I have seen that hex drive on a 460 start rounding off
    and would skip at high RPM/pressures. this was with a HV pump/stock shaft

    might be worth pulling the distributor and checking
    I have seen that also, to the point of completely rounding off.
    Tommy
    Quote Originally Posted by Rexone View Post
    Tommy please remove all Jimsplace quotes from your sig and don't put more back. He doesn't like it and it is against the rules. Thank you.
    "So as through a glass, and darkly
    The age long strife I see
    Where I fought in many guises,
    Many names, but always me."

    Gen. George S Patton

  16. #14
    Boat Nut sleekcrafter's Avatar
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    Air in the lines is no problem, it's just reading pressure... might see a little dampening thats all. If using copper lines be sure to loop the end before going to the gauge, this helps keep the copper from being over worked to the point of becoming brittle and breaking. Nothing worse than hot oil spraying all over the insides of you and your boat
    Upper Midwest Power Boat Association
    DRAG BOAT RACING UMPBA #926


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