Oil pressure vs. load? - Fuelly Forums

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Old 05-17-2013, 03:04 PM   #1
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Question Oil pressure vs. load?

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?
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:57 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:05 PM   #4
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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.
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