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Author Topic: Oil Gauge Problems  (Read 571 times)

WashiestSnake

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    • 1991 Mercury Capri
Oil Gauge Problems
« on: March 31, 2018, 04:01:16 PM »

Alright so last night I'm on my way home I check the oil pressure garage and it's reading very low, I get to my mechanics shop and check the oil it's nearly half full.I refilled it with semi-synthetic 5w30 1.25Qs and put in on the hoist to check where the leak is coming from. Looks to be the back of the engine, up high. I today replaced the valve cover gasket and repainted it. Started the car up no leaks, oil pressure was good/high again for about 5 minutes on my drive home from my shop. Got home and it steadily was going down to when at idle it was just over the red line. I got out and checked the oil it was still full. The car drove perfectly fine but I'm scared that it might have a problem what do you guys think what should I check? When im driving and about 3-4k rpm it's around middle but it declines.
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1991 Mercury Capri 68,xxx Miles--Project(AWD)
1996 Lincoln Continental -- The Boat(Given to my Brother)

Rocketman

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    • 91 BPT AWD Capri & 1991 XR2
    • http://www.werbatfik.com
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2018, 05:42:48 PM »

Normal oil pressure behavior (for all engines):

Pressure is very high when the engine is cold and oil viscosity is high
Pressure is lower at idle, the pump runs on the crankshaft, more revs = more oil = more pressure
Pressure will drop when engine is hot and oil viscosity is lower

That being said, the Capri oil gauges are notoriously unreliable. Some issues seem to be with bad engine grounds, others seem to be with bad/worn out OPSU.
There's a handful of discussions here on this subject.
I personally don't trust what the gauge says in any of my Capris. If the oil pressure drops dangerously low the HLAs will start to clack and you'll have an audible warning
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1.8L Turbo All Wheel Drive Capri... the "GTXR2"


greywolf27030

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    • 88 Festiva, 91 Capri, 91 XR2
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2018, 05:53:14 PM »

I noticed that the hole in the block for the water going to the TB was very small, maybe 1/8"D, is the hole for the oil pressure sender small like that and would drilling them out be a good idea.  Always opened up drain back holes of V8's when rebuilding them, especially Ford's.

Jack Byrd
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WashiestSnake

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    • 1991 Mercury Capri
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2018, 08:24:11 PM »

Normal oil pressure behavior (for all engines):

Pressure is very high when the engine is cold and oil viscosity is high
Pressure is lower at idle, the pump runs on the crankshaft, more revs = more oil = more pressure
Pressure will drop when engine is hot and oil viscosity is lower

That being said, the Capri oil gauges are notoriously unreliable. Some issues seem to be with bad engine grounds, others seem to be with bad/worn out OPSU.
There's a handful of discussions here on this subject.
I personally don't trust what the gauge says in any of my Capris. If the oil pressure drops dangerously low the HLAs will start to clack and you'll have an audible warning
Normally my oil pressure is nearly twice as high even while warm and usually will stay at 50% on idle instead of nearly red. That's what had me concerned. I'm aware of oil being thicker when it's cold but I started it up a half a hour ago and it's still just above the redline at 2000rpm. Even on FOT it's barely increasing. I hear no valve clatter or anything and the car felt normal. I'm probably gonna replace the oil pressure sender with the Miata one and hopefully that fixes my problem.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 08:27:33 PM by WashiestSnake »
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1991 Mercury Capri 68,xxx Miles--Project(AWD)
1996 Lincoln Continental -- The Boat(Given to my Brother)

SHOwn

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    • 91 XR2
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2018, 08:56:20 PM »

Before you start running for parts gave you tried replacing the oil filter?  Maybe it is a bit plugged.
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R. Powell
'91 XR2, LM 16" Chrome Drifters, White Gauge Faces, Kuhmo 40's, Big Brake UG, 2.5" Mandrel Bent CATback, BMW318 Heated Seats, `94 console, '99 Dodge Neon Spoiler, '94 XR2 Sideskirts Bumpers and taillights, Fresh Basecoat-Clearcoat Cardinal Red (Jul2014), vj11/vj14 hybrid, manual boost CTL.

WashiestSnake

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    • 1991 Mercury Capri
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2018, 09:09:03 PM »

I have not the car is actually 200miles away from it's 3K mile change. The plan was to change the oil on Monday when I go back into work. I was planing on switching the car onto synthetic and running it like that till it dies or I swap the engine.
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1991 Mercury Capri 68,xxx Miles--Project(AWD)
1996 Lincoln Continental -- The Boat(Given to my Brother)

SHOwn

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    • 91 XR2
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2018, 11:29:45 PM »

Since you are getting ready to change the oil, might I make a few suggestions? I've decided to go away from pure synthetic oli in my XR2 after a mechanic walked me the problems he has been seeing with older cars running it. He suggested running Max Life or equivalent semi-syn 10w40 and even keeping it heavier in winter with 10w30 semi-syn as well.

One thing you can do to clean up your oiling system is to run a cleaner in the oil immediately before dumping it. I use a half can Berrymans B-12 in the crankcase for 30 minutes at idle just before I dump it. It really cleans up the oil system and I have seen my oil pressure look a little higher. Look into it if you aren't sure. Quite a few people use cleaners just befor the change.
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R. Powell
'91 XR2, LM 16" Chrome Drifters, White Gauge Faces, Kuhmo 40's, Big Brake UG, 2.5" Mandrel Bent CATback, BMW318 Heated Seats, `94 console, '99 Dodge Neon Spoiler, '94 XR2 Sideskirts Bumpers and taillights, Fresh Basecoat-Clearcoat Cardinal Red (Jul2014), vj11/vj14 hybrid, manual boost CTL.

WashiestSnake

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    • 1991 Mercury Capri
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2018, 11:12:38 PM »

Thanks guys I really appreciate it. I confirmed it was the oil sender today. What's the correct oil I should be using, for my N/A? I've heard several different things from 5w30 to 10w30 to even 0w20.
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1991 Mercury Capri 68,xxx Miles--Project(AWD)
1996 Lincoln Continental -- The Boat(Given to my Brother)

jdp

  • Jr. Member
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  • Posts: 55
    • 1994 Magenta Capri NA, 94 Reef greenXR2 and 92 XR2
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2018, 11:33:59 PM »

Will be interesting to see the variety of answers you get. 

MOTOR OIL—SAE VISCOSITY GRADE Article No.
RECOMMENDATION—SERVICE TIP 99-8-16 shows Ford recommendation for 5w/30 in all model years.
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John

boomingbeetle

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    • '92 XR2, '71 Porsche 914, '79 Trans Am, 13 Outback
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2018, 06:33:15 PM »

I second the 5W-30 recommendation.  Most people mistakenly believe that higher mileage motors need heavier, thicker oil, which is not the case.  I also firmly believe in synthetics, especially since our cars run at higher temps.  Synthetic performs much better at high temp than dino oil, it has much more uniform particle sizes, and it is less reactive.  If you have ever sent heavy equipment and machinery oil samples to be analyzed, you know what I am talking about.  Synthetics may "leak" more than conventional oil, but this is because they do a better job lubricating and the particle size is more uniform (and usually smaller).  I can live with some extra drips to offset the added protection.

EDIT: I also use 0W-20 full synthetic in my Subaru with 130,000 miles and change the oil every 7500 miles even though it looks very clean.  Compression, emmissions, and performance of this motor are still outstanding.  I've run other cars well over 300,000 miles on lightweight synthetic oils.  Hell, even when I get rid of them the motors are still good.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 06:38:10 PM by boomingbeetle »
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WashiestSnake

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    • 1991 Mercury Capri
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2018, 07:40:11 PM »

Alright so I just got back from work. Here's the skinny use 5w30 if its colder and 10w30 if its hotter out. I was able to find this on the ProDemand website we have at my shop. I put the 10w30 in and my oil pressure seemed to go up quite abit and I'm much happier with it.
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1991 Mercury Capri 68,xxx Miles--Project(AWD)
1996 Lincoln Continental -- The Boat(Given to my Brother)

jdp

  • Jr. Member
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    • 1994 Magenta Capri NA, 94 Reef greenXR2 and 92 XR2
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2018, 08:35:49 PM »

Thanks guys. Now what transmission fluid for these 5 speeds?
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John

SHOwn

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    • 91 XR2
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2018, 10:18:29 PM »

After having trouble with syncro 3 a few times with different choices (Mobil 1 syn, Valvoline syn) at the 10k mark, I followed suggestions to try Penzoil Syncromesh. Instant success, no more syncro trouble for 30k now. It is not a synthetic, and is moderately thick in winter, but still butterly smooth shifting. That's my recommendation.
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R. Powell
'91 XR2, LM 16" Chrome Drifters, White Gauge Faces, Kuhmo 40's, Big Brake UG, 2.5" Mandrel Bent CATback, BMW318 Heated Seats, `94 console, '99 Dodge Neon Spoiler, '94 XR2 Sideskirts Bumpers and taillights, Fresh Basecoat-Clearcoat Cardinal Red (Jul2014), vj11/vj14 hybrid, manual boost CTL.

greywolf27030

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    • 88 Festiva, 91 Capri, 91 XR2
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2018, 01:37:42 PM »

My Festiva and both my Capri's shift better with Penzoil Syncromesh.

Jack Byrd
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jdp

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  • Posts: 55
    • 1994 Magenta Capri NA, 94 Reef greenXR2 and 92 XR2
Re: Oil Gauge Problems
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2018, 09:45:38 PM »

we are having trouble with #3 in both 94 NA and 94 XR2, so I will check out Syncromesh.
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John
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