Oil Pressure

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    Oil Pressure

    2010 Chevy Tahoe, 131,000 miles, 5.3l, bone stock...

    Oil pressure at idle is 20 psi when up to running temp. This weekend while towing in the mountains it dropped to about 18 psi momentarily.

    Is this normal pressure for a 5.3l? My Silverado idles around 35 psi.

    Wife wants to tow out to Utah next year for vacation. Tahoe will be the vehicle we use. If I need to start tearing into this now would be better than later. However, it has ran at 20 psi at idle since we bought it...only things I can think to check is the screen on the oil pressure sensor, oil pump and pick up tube, or the valve body gasket in the DOD system.

    #2
    Any tapping noises?

    You can put a sending unit and screen in for shits and giggles, but I have had more problems with oil pump pickup tube o rings. If it’s not one of those, you’ll have to go deeper and hope it’s not something worse. Dod engines have a knack for chewing cams and such.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Rttoys View Post
      Any tapping noises?

      You can put a sending unit and screen in for shits and giggles, but I have had more problems with oil pump pickup tube o rings. If it’s not one of those, you’ll have to go deeper and hope it’s not something worse. Dod engines have a knack for chewing cams and such.
      Motor sounds good.

      I forgot about that o-ring...that's what I read most people replace for better pressure.

      This is going to suck dropping the oil pan on a 4WD.

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        #4
        Bad sensor? Random pressure fluctuations are usually a bad sensor, low oil or a blockage, like a spun bearing.
        1988 Dodge Ramcharger 2018 Ram 2500-Sleipnir
        Odin Owns Ye All

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          #5
          I have an 07 Chevy Silverado K3500 4wd with 242K a 6.0L that also has a oil pressure gauge that bounces around.

          No codes for that from what ive read.

          If it goes beyond just a sensor thats it for this motor, I'm not dropping the pan just to realize my other issue with its PO300 code is a flat cam on one or more lobes.

          Non °DOD engine that I know of (but then I wouldn't know how to tell)
          Last edited by PAE; 06-13-2020, 11:21 AM.

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            #6
            Originally posted by PAE View Post
            I have an 07 Chevy Silverado K3500 4wd with a 6.0L that also has a oil pressure gauge that bounces around.

            No codes for that from what ive read.

            If it goes beyond just a sensor thats it for this motor, I'm not dropping the pan just to realize my other issue with its PO300 code is a flat cam on one or more lobes.
            If it’s bouncing around, I’d toss a oil pressure sensor in.

            The P0300 could easily be intake gaskets, which is fairly common. Cam lobe problems are not common on 6.0. That’s more of a DOD thing.

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              #7
              Originally posted by FleshEater View Post

              Motor sounds good.

              I forgot about that o-ring...that's what I read most people replace for better pressure.

              This is going to suck dropping the oil pan on a 4WD.
              Everyone overlooks that oring. If it dry rots and flattens, it’ll suck air instead of oil.

              There are “tricks” to get that oring out without pulling the whole pan. I have seen YouTube videos on it, but have never tried it. I feel there’s a secondary failure with the oil pan gasket, that everyone overlooks. It’s overlooked because it’s replaced when doing the oring, so you are inadvertently fixing 2 problem areas.

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                #8
                Guess I should clarify my oil pressure doesn't usually fluctuate at idle at all. It's basically right at 20 psi at idle constantly. When it dropped to 18 momentarily that was after 7 hours towing, 85 degrees, and going slow in the mountains.

                What I was curious was if this is an okay oil pressure for the 5.3l. I just find it odd that my truck idles around 30-35 psi. Same motor, but 30,000 less miles.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by FleshEater View Post
                  Guess I should clarify my oil pressure doesn't usually fluctuate at idle at all. It's basically right at 20 psi at idle constantly. When it dropped to 18 momentarily that was after 7 hours towing, 85 degrees, and going slow in the mountains.

                  What I was curious was if this is an okay oil pressure for the 5.3l. I just find it odd that my truck idles around 30-35 psi. Same motor, but 30,000 less miles.
                  “Ok” yes (according to GM). Acceptable, no. Normal, no.

                  all of these truck ls engines should be just a tick under the 40 mark at idle, and over the 40 mark off idle.

                  I have 30 ls based trucks and vans at work (I’m a fleet mechanic) and have had 20-30 more since they have been out. All of them have oil pressure like I just stated (except some of these new ones with dual stage oil pumps 🤨) . Anytime one of mine would be at the 30 mark or under at idle, I pull the pan and do the o ring. It instantly bring the pressure back up to 40. We get 300k miles of hard use on our vehicles before we sell them.

                  Losing oil pressure in DOD engines are a little different than our non-DOD 6.0L, because of them chewing up camshafts. All else is the same.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Rttoys View Post

                    “Ok” yes (according to GM). Acceptable, no. Normal, no.

                    all of these truck ls engines should be just a tick under the 40 mark at idle, and over the 40 mark off idle.

                    I have 30 ls based trucks and vans at work (I’m a fleet mechanic) and have had 20-30 more since they have been out. All of them have oil pressure like I just stated (except some of these new ones with dual stage oil pumps 🤨) . Anytime one of mine would be at the 30 mark or under at idle, I pull the pan and do the o ring. It instantly bring the pressure back up to 40. We get 300k miles of hard use on our vehicles before we sell them.

                    Losing oil pressure in DOD engines are a little different than our non-DOD 6.0L, because of them chewing up camshafts. All else is the same.
                    Thank you! That's what I wanted to know.

                    I'll drop the pan.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I recently went through this on a 2005 5.3 with 200,000 miles on it. Started dropping enough that it began to tick at idle after towing or going through the hills.

                      I wasn’t sure if it was a pickup issue such as an o ring, or simply a plugged screen from sludge and abuse.

                      Delo seems to have enough detergent in it to keep all my Cummins engines clean for hundreds of thousands of miles, so that’s where I came up with my plan.

                      Drained the oil and pulled the filter. New wix filter and delo was added. Ran it for a couple days with weight behind it and noticed the pressure wouldn’t drop as low and no tick.

                      So I went and drained the oil and pulled the filter again. Oil was significantly dirty for being in there for a couple of days, so obviously it picked up and is grabbing a bunch of shit out of the engine.

                      I did this 3 times total in apx a week and a half and the oil pressure has come up close to 10 psi at idle and no more ticking. I’m guessing that the screen and engine is loaded with sludge and I’ve gotten enough off the pickup screen to lube the engine better.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Rockbuggy84 View Post
                        I recently went through this on a 2005 5.3 with 200,000 miles on it. Started dropping enough that it began to tick at idle after towing or going through the hills.

                        I wasn’t sure if it was a pickup issue such as an o ring, or simply a plugged screen from sludge and abuse.

                        Delo seems to have enough detergent in it to keep all my Cummins engines clean for hundreds of thousands of miles, so that’s where I came up with my plan.

                        Drained the oil and pulled the filter. New wix filter and delo was added. Ran it for a couple days with weight behind it and noticed the pressure wouldn’t drop as low and no tick.

                        So I went and drained the oil and pulled the filter again. Oil was significantly dirty for being in there for a couple of days, so obviously it picked up and is grabbing a bunch of shit out of the engine.

                        I did this 3 times total in apx a week and a half and the oil pressure has come up close to 10 psi at idle and no more ticking. I’m guessing that the screen and engine is loaded with sludge and I’ve gotten enough off the pickup screen to lube the engine better.
                        I bought this with 107,000 miles on it, so I'm kind of interested in seeing how much sludge is in the pan.

                        Damn Haynes manual says a shitload of unnecessary stuff needs to come off. Watched some YouTube videos and it doesn't seem too bad. If it isn't too bad dropping the front diff I might re-gear it, too.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by FleshEater View Post

                          I bought this with 107,000 miles on it, so I'm kind of interested in seeing how much sludge is in the pan.

                          Damn Haynes manual says a shitload of unnecessary stuff needs to come off. Watched some YouTube videos and it doesn't seem too bad. If it isn't too bad dropping the front diff I might re-gear it, too.
                          If you have a car lift, or access to one, it’s quick and easy.
                          I just swapped an engine in a 2011 4wd pickup with a 5.3. I was worried about clearance at the oil pan to front diff for removal, so I yanked the front diff.

                          Took about 30 minutes to drop the entire front diff and skid plate assembly on my lift. tons of access to the oil pan after that.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Rockbuggy84 View Post

                            If you have a car lift, or access to one, it’s quick and easy.
                            I just swapped an engine in a 2011 4wd pickup with a 5.3. I was worried about clearance at the oil pan to front diff for removal, so I yanked the front diff.

                            Took about 30 minutes to drop the entire front diff and skid plate assembly on my lift. tons of access to the oil pan after that.
                            This will all be while laying on the floor...no lift.

                            I don't need it up and running immediately so I can take my time.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Dropping the ft diff is the best plan of attack.

                              Get the correct o ring too. Don’t try to match it up from a universal o ring kit. Felpro makes good ones, and believe it or not, getting one from the dealer is not that expensive and probably your best bet. It will be the exact one you need.

                              the oil pan gasket is riveted on. No biggie, just drill out the heads of the rivets and clean everything like normal.

                              Now the important part, the pan is part of the engine structure or backbone and must be aligned properly. Not a big deal. Put all your bolts in loosely. Snug 2 up front (balancer side) where the pan just starts to make contact with the engine. Now on the rear (transmission side), tighten the back 2 bolts going up to the engine. Then tighten the bolts going sideways from the trans to the pan. Now, loosen the 2 bolts to the engine. Tighten the 2 trans bolts more. Back to tighten the 2 engine bolts again then loosen the trans bolts. and repeat.

                              do this until the pan has worked it’s way up and back flush with the engine and trans, then tighten all the pan bolts.

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