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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys
I've been commneting on various threads related to items in my title after doing them. I've finally got everything back together today and last thing hooked up a 180 degree oil pressure meter with ssending unit of course. I just tried 3 cranks and it shows no oil pressure, so I thought I'd ping the group.

Not that I want or need sympathy but I'm disabled vet and it really hurt doing this job, really, really hurt. I'd like not to have more pain, hope you can help.

What I did
1. Originally a timing cover coolant leak. Removed timing cover and oil in pump leaked out losing the prime. I opened the oil pump cleaned then lubed gears then packed them with Vaseline per my Alldata subscription instructions. I torque the 3 annoying star bolts, clearly remember that.
2. Put new gasket between filter adapter and TC. I did put the spring and the button back in, put new Felpro gasket, just a 1/8 drop of RTV at each corner to keep it flat and it was clearly around the oil pressure button, closed up and torque adapter bolts to spec.
3. Removed the Engine mount bracket, needed for step below anyway and replaced both engine mount and tranny mount
3. As removing the TC tore my oil pan gasket and I planned to do oil pan gasket anyway, off came the oil pan and I took of the strainer to replace its gasket. All from same Felpro set. Inspected the strainer pipe for cracks as I saw that was the cause of a loos of oil pressure in another thread. Inspected the strainer and it was clear and clean, poured acetone done it for a good washout of the tube and screen.
4. Did a super clean of oil pan, underside engine block mating surface, put the gasket on along with the pickup tube as stated above, applied RTV in the four corners at front and end of engine block. Torqued all oil pan bolts to proper ftlbs.
5 Put TC back on, I aligned the oil pump teeth with the crank teeth, the oil pump inner gear was easy to move with one finger, definitely remember that, so I know thats spinning. I had supper cleaned off the front engine block old gasket , and Torqued down TC cover per specs along with the nice new felpro gasket. Wish I had added a high temp sealer I saw someone mention in another thread that the used on the gasket, but I did use Permatex High Temp Red on the TC bolts per instructions. Did everything else to put car back together.
6. Pre-filled oil filter and used 5 gals of oil, I saw a thread where someone need 7 gals I think to get oil pressure going, don't know if it was in this group, going to check for that again.
7. Being very PARANOID of not having oil pressure I got an iEquus 2 inch electrical oil pressure meter. I tested this out extensively on my compressor, reading it stated pressure for my compressors guage and I tested my compressors guage with a high accuracy <3% air guage I have. The iEquus did not read low oil pressure well. I also measured its voltage output and its resistance at oil pressures from 0-70 psi. Basically it reads 12.5 psi when you have 20 psi, then above 20 psi it is remarkably accurate, very accurate, but its like a switch once you go a bit below 20. But I'm not getting any oil pressure at all. I checked I had 12v good power to my oil meter and I checked the actual sender unit was grounded to frame.

So above is all that I did to my car and test of the meter. Below is what I saw after starting and did there after.

1. After reading some threads, I pulled both the fuel injector and ignition fuses, hopefully to see oil pressure build up before making explosions in my engine.
2. On the first crank I say my meter go negative, it can only move a bit backwards but it did on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cranks. That's implying a vacuum, why would I get a vacuum, the oil filter is on the output of the oil pump..thats correct isn't it? I never saw that needle move backwards on all the testing I did on it and I did the same testing on 2 different days with my compressor to make sure the meter worked in case I was in the condition.
3. I removed the oil sender unit hoping I would see a little oil on the 1\8th to 1/4 npt adapter. Nope it was perfectly clean, no oil had come through.
4. On the third crank I also put a meter across the power and sender terminal of the meter, at atmo pressure its 1v when I cranked the car it went below 1 by about 20-25 mv which confirms why the needle moved backwards and verifies a vacuum is happening when I crank.

So what I am wonder is, is the starter enough to generate any oil pressure, remember I pull fuel and ignition? I imagine the Vaseline is still in there, nothing gooed out of the oil adapter pressure gauge threads.

This meter does have a connection for the idiot light, I did test that to be about 4 lbs and I have my idiot light hooked to it, even though the 3800 idiot light is 2 wires, I just hooked up the tan with black strip which comes from the PCM and the PCM has a pull up resistor (meaning a resistor tied to 12 v), so the iEquus will ground that signal just like the GM switch would, the other wire on the GM connector goes to GND, so its the same connection.

So I guess I'm looking for suggestion, should I see pressure with a crank, remember I see a vacuum.

Should I put ignition and injector fuse back in and try again. I suppose I should remove my spark plugs if I do and squirt oil in it..shouldn't I, that will be painful for the rear.

Due to my disability what takes you an hour takes me 2 days so my car has been sitting for about 6 weeks doing this job, I did take off a week to fix my wifes car but still its a long time and any oil in the engine I'm sure totally drained out and dissipated and I don't want to crank it anymore.

Thanks Brothers/Sisters
-D
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The Daring may not live forever but the Cautious do not live at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've been looking through fourms,

Similar issue in this thread, solved by using 8 quarts to get pressure up
http://www.3800pro.com/forum/bottom-end/6865-no-oil-pressure-my-chevy-3-8-3800-series-ll-v-6-a.html

This has interesting method to force open oil filter check valve then use funnel and tube held high above engine & connected to oil sender port, he then has some one hand crank engine backwards to suck oil down from funnel and prime pump. Interesting but wouldnt that maybe cause timing chain to jump a tooth or teeth.
http://www.3800pro.com/forum/bottom-end/7389-prime-oil-pump.html


One other thing, I only had starter on for 3-5 seconds, I've been reading 20-30 seconds.

Think I'll try adding more oil and 2nd idea above if I get desperate But please any suggestions on above or other would be great.
-D
-------------------------------------------------------
2003 Impala 3800 LS
122K Dry California miles
L26 Aluminum UIM swap-mirror polished -bye bye coolant in oil
'98 Camaro Aluminum Valve Covers from JY, mirror polished bye bye oil fires
Bird poop on rear bumper
Nothing Else Special

-The daring may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Got my pressure primed adding 3 qts of oil, I drained back out 3, checked level correct and my gauge reads 73 lbs at idle ! Tried banging on oil adapter in case over pressure valve was stuck but no help.

How could I be getting over pressure, I checked the gauge/sender unit with ar pressure, unless it reacts different to oil.

Going to get a mechanical test guage...yikes !

I did see a few drips coming from under harmonic balancer...thinking it may be main oil seal there, first try wacking it in , it was a bit croked, 2nd wack it looked fine. Don't see any leaks anywhere else...realy hoping its the gauge at this time, if so, I'll never get an electrical one again.

Any ideas why 75 psi and I even emptied a quart of oil after first saw 75 psi, still at 75 after a quart or a bit more than 2 holes down on the dip stick.

Thanks Don
-------------------------------------------------------
2003 Impala 3800 LS
122K Dry California miles
L26 Aluminum UIM swap-mirror polished -bye bye coolant in oil
'98 Camaro Aluminum Valve Covers from JY, mirror polished bye bye oil fires
Little remanent of kids puke stain on back carpet
Nothing Else Special

-The daring may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all
 

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The amount of oil inside the engine does not affect oil pressure unless it's extremely LOW. I have seen many GM cars where the oil pressure sending unit goes bad and will give a bogus reading on the gage. You could use an oil pressure test gage to see actual oil pressure. Or just buy a new sending unit(a good one) and see what happens. Usually oil pressure is higher on cold oil and hot oil pressure can be 15/20 lbs lower. Don't over fill the crankcase or you may create an oil leak. Good luck........ jake
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Jake, thanks for answering,

The sender and oil gauge are new , just got them so I could check real pressure without idiot light. I just got and tried a good mechanical test qauge kit, it reads 70 psi, my oil gauge said 75.

So something is wrong, I do have a drip below harmonic balancer probably from the mail oil seal I replaced, took 2 shots to get it in striaght but it was in and flush with the outside. I did see a hotrod shop video where they showed how high hp 3800 leak oil there on big boost, the return hole they said was to small at bottom of seal area and drillied it out by a 16th and fixed there problemm.

but not my problem, I took oil out earlier first thing I did. Theres 5 holes on dip stick and its at 3.5 holes now, still getting 75. Could something have gone wrong putting on oil filter adapater, I had to do that after I put the timing cover back on and it was very difficult fighting against that spring, but I dont see how the "cap end and the spring can get messed up. I did see a picture of a repacment set at intense racing it showed the cap, an o-ring and the spring, I dont remeber ever seeing an o-ring when disassemblinh assembling.

I dont know what to do beside maybe take off the adapter and look.As I put on the mechanical gauge, oil freely flowed out thru the sender port.

any pointers now ? My first post says what I originally did which was Timing Cover Gasket, take a apart and pack oil pump with Vaseline, but I hardly used any, I figured thats what my prime problem was, I replaced oil pan gasket and took off and replace gasket on pickup tube, I did inspect it, the screen was 100% clean like new, even gave it a cleaning changed engine and tranny mounts. I have same pressure after removing the 3 quarts + I added to help prime

Help!

Thanks -Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update a few minutes later....

Tried changing oil filter...no help...I bought a walmart brand just to use for first run of oil to clean out any coolant that may have gotten into engine during my timing cover leak. Put the Fram on and still 70 psi.

But................... I read this in another fourm

Oh I just wanted to add that cold oil pressure on that engine should be between 40-70 and hot oil pressure at idle should be around 20-40 and 1800 RPM's about 40 above 2000-2500 RPM's it should be about 65lbs. It should not be as high as you are seeing though once you pass 65-70 it should bypass.

This is first time I ever measured my oil pressure so don't know what it should be, maybe I need to give it a warm up, although this seems high

-D
-------------------------------------------------------
2003 Impala 3800 LS
122K Dry California miles
L26 Aluminum UIM swap-mirror polished -bye bye coolant in oil
'98 Camaro Aluminum Valve Covers from JY, mirror polished bye bye oil fires
Mafia may have left a body in trunk
Nothing Else Special
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yet another update..

Let engine run for 4-5 mins, oil pressure was hitting a low of 65 psi although bouncing a bit upward. I stopped because my oil test port was dripping, need to tighten and fix as well as the drips from under harmonic balancer are steady, which I think is from a bad job of installing the oil seal around the crank but I'll check more.

I this a normal oil pressure anyone for startup, have seen a few threads on net saying it is/could be/who knows
Thanks -D
-------------------------------------------------------
2003 Impala 3800 LS
122K Dry California miles
L26 Aluminum UIM swap-mirror polished -bye bye coolant in oil
'98 Camaro Aluminum Valve Covers from JY, mirror polished bye bye oil fires
Dead Bugs in Radiator
Nothing Else Special
 

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On many cars I've seen over the years 65/70 psi on COLD OIL is pretty common. Generally we see 25/40 psi after engine is hot at idle. That oil leak you mentioned does sound like it's the seal. I've worked on LOTS of 3800's over the years and never have seen any need to drill extra oil drain hole or enlarged hole for oil run-off. This applies to stock configuereations.

PS, I would be afraid to run cheap oil filters....I've seen a couple over the years that came apart and plugged up a few mail oil galleys......not pretty

Jake
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I took the HB off and yep....oil was dripping right from the bottom of the crank seal, dead center, exactly as I saw it when running engine, no oil anywhere else. The oil seal "outer lip" that sits on polished edge of TC hangs just over the center oil pan bolt on the V-section of pan. Nothing on the TC or pan or elsewhere from TC where it meets oil pan because I can see through the plastic crank sensor shield which has oil lots of oil on it, which makes sense, its dripping from the rubber seal or the metal on metal seal.

I looked with a mirror as engine was running, dangerous yes, but, I could see oil drips coming from dead center above the oil pan which of course is where the seal sits above it.

I used a 1-3/4 in PVC busing to knock in the seal, thats just about the diameter of the rubber seal and a bit over, maybe I damaged the rubber seal when I did that, also It took 3 wacks, first most in except bottom of seal was out a bit or 2 or 3 bits, 2nd and 3rd to get bottom in flat. Maybe I bent the metal on metal seal at bottom when doing that and or damaged spring around it?

I read someone on 3.4 chevy engines, said their key way on the HB had sealant on it first time he pulled it out, I didn't notice any, my Alldata subscription makes no note about applying a sealant there. Should there be?

Any tip, tricks I should note about installing the seal. I'm going to get a heavy duty washer I saw in store, its about size of the entire recessed area of the seal and has clearance enough for the crank. That way force will be more evenly distributed around the seal when I used the busing to hit it in.

As far as me talking about the oil return hole not big enough issue, that was a drag shop that had 500+ hp super boost, it was there theory why the where getting a leak there, that the hole was n't big enough, maybe but it wasn't designed for that either, its a you tube video, they never posted a follow up.

Thanks a million for your help !
-Don
-------------------------------------------------------
2003 Impala 3800 LS
122K Dry California miles
L26 Aluminum UIM swap-mirror polished -bye bye coolant in oil
'98 Camaro Aluminum Valve Covers from JY, mirror polished bye bye oil fires
Curb Scuff on Rear Tire
Nothing Else Special
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Wow, just saw a crank seal replace video on youtube for '07 3500 impala the crank area looks the same, the TC even has the same out polished ring around the crank seal, but the crank seal does not have that thin out lip that sits atop the TC polished area, its a fully flex seal material on inside and out, like I talked about most others where.

I wonder if it would fit a '03 Series 2, gonna investigate. I used a Felpro crank seal that came with TC seal kit.

Anyone else use a seal without the out lip sitting on the TC?

Update Checked GM Catalog, http://parts-catalog.acdelco.com/catalog/catalog_search.phpthis crank seal fits just about every engine in every division in GM back to 1982 except 3.8L's, there where a few 3.8's but 80's with Vin A. GM PN 296-21

-Don
-------------------------------------------------------
2003 Impala 3800 LS
122K Dry California miles
L26 Aluminum UIM swap-mirror polished -bye bye coolant in oil
'98 Camaro Aluminum Valve Covers from JY, mirror polished bye bye oil fires
Air Induction Challenged (L36)
Nothing Else Special
 

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For installing seals like your harmonic balance seal, I have a varity of different
diameter pipes approx 6 to 8 inches long.... and a couple that are over a foot. I use the one that fits the outer diameter of metal portion of the seal and also use some red high temp sealer on the outer edge of the new seal where it has to seal up whatever hole it's going into. The trick to getting the sealer to do it's job is to wash the area off with BRAKE CLEANER. This stuff dries clean in a few seconds and then pound the new seal in(STRAIGHT) and you'er done. I also put a light coating of oil on the sealing surface of balancer or whatever you are sealing up. Putting these things together DRY may damage the seal when the engine is fired up for the first time after the repair(that light oil coating makes everything slippery so no seal damage happens). And that's about it.

Only other thing is to buy QUALITY OIL SEALS. Recently I was building my son's new race engine (383 small block chev) and we ran into a fiasco with the rear main seal leaking. The guy/machinest who did the block gave my kid a bunch of gaskets, seals, etc. So I used them. All was well except the rear main seal. Needless to say now I was into an OIL PAN removal in the car(not fun)and replacing the rear main seal.....BRAND NEW HOT ROD FELPRO SEAL. After examining it closely I saw a very weak area of rubber right where the seal lip engages the crank. So I look at a few different brands and settled on a NATIONAL SEAL. MUCH beafer around the sealing lip and that was the fix. POINT IS....seems now days there's a lot of junk parts out there. A guy now has to do homework on parts being used! I will say that most GM parts are excellent...but also more expensive. What's that saying.... you get what you pay for. And the rest is history. The kids first few passes were 10.9 at 122. Not to bad for a 3400+ 81 z28.... Let the fun begin!

Jake

PS, now we have to get the trans brake set up correctly so he can go BRACKET RACING........
 

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Hey, you mentioned the GM seals...... as I was reading that it brought back a memory of the very early 231's. These and the V8 engines used a ROPE SEAL! Talk about fun...... major pain in the a---! Amazingly enough those old rope seals actually worked very well if you put them in correctly..........Ah, days of yester year........... Jake
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Got the seal in in a very cleaver way, no pounding ! I got a National seal 710162 for the 3800, funny you should mention getting the same for your rear oil seal, yes they are the best and part of the Federal family which includes Felpro. This seal is the 3500 style , no flat outer lip that sits on the timing cover.

I originally used a PCV 1-3/4 bushing but is only like 1/8 thick maybe on the rings, should have seen that coming, inhaled to much acetone I guess. But I made my onw press fit for under 3$.

Got a hardcore washer in the Simpson Strong Tie area of Ace hardware, its used to tie you house to rods in the foundation. There are 1-1/8 or 1-1/4 ID's (so it clears the crankshaft) and 3+ OD which will butt againsts the timing cover to keep you from over pressing & are 3/16th's+ in thickness.

I cleaned and oiled up as you stated as I did first time as well, I love acetone. Put the new seal in place, then I took my crank bolt, put a smaller washer first towards the nut, then my 1-3/4 PVC bushing which acted like a spacer, then the honkin' strong larger washer, which would of course sits against the seal and presses completely flat on the whole thing, this would not work with the standard style seals, google picture of the National 710162. I then took up most the thread slack, made sure one last time the seal was sitting in proper spot and tightened down the crank bolt, it pressed in perfectly. Actually it could work with standard seal with outer lip, you would just need a similar washer whose OD fits inside the diameter of TC seal location.

I pressed on the HB and ran the engine for about 30 mins and no oil leaks from the shaft. Yes! After weeks of work my Trifecta is complete!

I had some pipe but not right size, its possible I punched the oil seal in to far last time maybe. I looked at the HB and noticed as the shaft approached the HB its diameter bulged out sort of bell like. Maybe Seal was in to far, maybe I damaged it with my bushing diameter sitting to close or on the rubber seal, probably that, the spring was still on. I thought about the high temp sealant, I saw someone else rub RTV grey around the seal edge, but I don't see how it will stay as the seal meshes so close to the TC edge

Well thanks for you help and advice my good friend, really appreciate your time and support, may your rod be ever oiled and you piston always pump.

If you ever need covert action undersea...'m your guy
-D
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2003 Impala 3800 LS
122K Dry California miles
L26 Aluminum UIM swap-mirror polished -bye bye coolant in oil
'98 Camaro Aluminum Valve Covers from JY, mirror polished bye bye oil fires
Non oil leaking crank seal
Nothing Else Special
 

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Hey, need a partner??? I'm an A class uspsa competitor... can hit the A zone at 50yds with my hand gun rocket loads......comped 38super and 9/21mm open guns. Lots of fun at USPSA matches or steel challenge matches. Many moons ago when we were all doing 45 cal, it was the bowling pins that got our fancy.... for a while. USPSA really gets your heart pumping from all the "run and gun" stages. Too much fun but building our own loads is time consuming and lots of bucks. STILL a ton of fun even with all the safety rules in place(which is a definite necessity). My AR had been in the safe for so long now I forgot how it feels. Later, Jake (mr goodwrench)
 

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Hey, I just remembered.....In CALIFORNIA (grew up in ORANGE COUNTY), we can only have 10 rd mags. HERE we use 28+ mags and a full belt of loaded pouches...... Just in case....... Many of our coarses of fire are 35/40 rds and sometimes more. Papaer/steel/ and disapearing/activeted paper. TOO much fun.

Back in the 60's it was a great place to be and grow up with along with all the serious hot rod action back in those days. Any one have a time machine......

Jake
 
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