After I put in the 5MT, my 1980 Buick got to flex its low-RPM torque muscles, do some EOC, and make some good fuel economy. Then I sent an oil sample for analysis and found that it was showing wear particles, indicating likely insufficient oil pressure. After that I adjusted my driving, using a little higher RPM/lower gear and letting it idle a couple seconds after bump-starting to make sure oil pressure builds. Fuel economy has suffered.
I'm going to put in an oil pressure gauge. Once it's in, how do I balance low RPM heavy throttle high gear driving vs. oil pressure?
If I remember correctly, your Buick has the bored out version of the 3.8 Buick V6? If so, its easy to boost the oil pump. There's a rebuild kit for the oil pump, and you can change the volume/pressure by selecting different springs to rebuild the pump with. Any rebuild kit should have an assortment of springs to choose from.
You remember correctly. The oil pump should be exactly the same as the classic 3.8.
That doesn't sound like a project I want to do, but extra oil pressure does sound good for my purposes.
I was going to put that gauge sender in. Then I saw where it goes, where the existing oil pressure switch is. Yikes...don't know if it'll even fit in there, it's kinda porky and there's not a lot of room. Even if it would fit I don't know how I'd get tools in there, it's a small space between the block and the frame, I might have to unbolt a mount and jack the engine up or drop it down or something. I wonder if there's some other place I can put it.
Its not as complicated as it seems. The oil pump is integrated into the front timing cover. With the age on that engine, its not a bad idea to visually inspect the timing chain, and also preemptively replace the harmonic balancer before it fails and possibly damages the crank in the process.
If you can retrofit a manual tranny into that car you can certainly rebuild an oil pump.