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Old 06/27/20, 01:28 PM   #1
gbrew
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Oil Pressure Problem

I'm on the final stages of a frame off build on a 77. I've put a 5.0 in it from a 99 Mountaineer and it was built with some minor mods like flat top pistons, cam and some head work. It was built by a reputable builder that builds racing engines. It has a Melling high volume pump and ARP rod that drives it. When I finally fired the motor up about a year and a half after it was built it had good oil pressure at first then dropped to about 7 lbs at idle and wouldn't come up with rpms. The lifters were noisy also. Pulled the front of the motor off to replace front seal and found two of the small pressed in cam bearing plugs out and were found in the oil pan. After threading the holes and putting threaded plugs in, the oil pressure came up to about 65lbs at idle and the lifter noise stopped. After running for less than an hour the pressure fell back down like before and the lifter noise returned. This has me baffled. Any ideas??? Thanks for your help in advance.
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Old 06/27/20, 07:12 PM   #2
69_Sport
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Likely another plug blowout or similar. Disassemble and you will find it. If you are lucky, it didn't run long enough to do any bearing damage. I'd check the main bearings if it was me.

In my opinion, you really don't want to run any oil pump on a small block Ford but std pressure. Higher volume is ok, just not higher pressure. I've heard too many stories about problems ranging from yours to breakage and failures due to over stressing the pump/drive system combined with running too heavy an oil. This is one of those times when "a little more" is indeed too much.


I've had good luck with the high volume, std pressure, blueprinted pumps from Precision Oil Pumps in CA.
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Old 06/27/20, 08:02 PM   #3
SHX669
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I've seen problems with High Pressure and high volume pumps .
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Old 06/27/20, 08:45 PM   #4
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Pull the intake. There is a oil galley plug under the intake toward the back. If you blew out the other pressed in plugs that one may have let loose as well. Those 4 plugs (3 under the timing chain + 1 under the intake are the only pressed in ones.

It is odd they pushed out. That isn't normally an issue. I've never had one push out. They should be fine going in dry. Maybe they were not seated all the way? Just in until flush but not recessed slightly? I always put a drop of Loctite when I press them in as well.

The high volume oil pump is probably fighting you a bit as well. Are you running loose bearing clearances? If running stock bearing clearances the stock volume pump would probably be a better match. You may also be running into a sticky pressure relief valve in the oil pump. Didn't mention what weight oil you are running but an overly thick oil mixed with that high volume pump might be an issue as well.
I'll run a high volume pump if the motor is built loose is has a lot of wear. I've run one high pressure (but stock volume) pump on a tight motor that I was expecting to get some RPM with.

"She's built like a steakhouse but she handles like a bistro"-Zapp Brannigan
Why do people keep expecting "normal" from me?
Full throttle, it either solves the problem or ends the suspense.
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Old 06/27/20, 08:57 PM   #5
gbrew
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Thanks

Wow thanks everyone for some direction. I'll definitely pull the intake and check that plug also. I think it sounds good to go with the standard pressure pump. The oil is 10w40 and the clearances on the bearings are stock. I was baffled and sure didn't know about the oil galley plug under the intake. I'll let you guys know how it goes and thanks again for your response.
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Old 06/29/20, 09:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrew View Post
Wow thanks everyone for some direction. I'll definitely pull the intake and check that plug also. I think it sounds good to go with the standard pressure pump. The oil is 10w40 and the clearances on the bearings are stock. I was baffled and sure didn't know about the oil galley plug under the intake. I'll let you guys know how it goes and thanks again for your response.
Good luck....

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Old 06/29/20, 08:34 PM   #7
gbrew
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Dang it

Well I pulled the intake and the passenger valve cover. The rear oil gallery plug was still in place and staked. Connected the drill and got oil to the rockers and it began to seep around the rear plug enough to fill it up but not anything drastic. I turned the key on to check if I was getting any oil pressure at the gage and it was minimal, maybe 5 lbs. I decided to talk with the guys that built the motor and they thought it would be best to pull the motor and bring it to them and they could look it over and check the mains, rods and cam bearings.I should have it out tomorrow and take him the long block with the timing cover and oil pan installed. I will feel better for them to make sure nothing was damaged during the low oil pressure but it sure is a pain in the butt to have to do all that work not to mention I'm sure it won't be free! The motor was built in 2017 and they only have one year warranty and my build has taken a little longer than I thought. Thanks for everyones help on this site. No way I'd be where I am without your help. Thanks
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