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Discussion Starter · #321 ·
Put Vaseline on the pump, got everything back together, cranked it on the starter - no oil light.

Hooked up the spark plugs, fired it up and - oil light on.

Tried Jim's quick rev trick - oil light still on.

Decided to start it one more time before pulling out what's left of my hair...

Speedometer Odometer Vehicle Car Tachometer


Oil light OFF! Double-checked inside (had to re-tighten the bleeder bolt anyway)...
Motor vehicle Automotive air manifold Auto part Engineering Nut

There's oil up there! (Yes, I'll change that out pretty quick, but it's way better than what came out originally.)

On to final details, and then hopefully she'll be on the road!
 

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It's the bolt you need to bleed, so I suspect it's the loose one he was tightening.

I would definitely be ordering an oil pressure gauge right now. :D
 

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Yep GET a gauge , electrical type will be fine , you will be able to use an adaptor ( tee piece) to allow the gauge sender and the warning light ,

Hopefully the top end quitens down quickly for you , well done
 

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Discussion Starter · #325 ·
Yes, will get a gauge. Looks like I can get it installed without removing the intake?
 

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Simplest way is just get the adaptor jvanbra mentioned awhile back, then a 1/4" tee and a switch for an early 900 or any 1/4" oil pressure light switch and hook the gauge to the remaining port. All can be done with the oil filter adaptor in place, or you can remove and do on the bench and re instal.
I am partial to mechanical gauges and an idiot light. Light alerts to a problem when you might not scan the gauge, gauge can be monitored if you think there is a problem. The two together are much better than either by them selves.
 

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I think I indicated the wrong sender before... it didn't seem right when I looked it up. You want VDO #360019 which is a standard VDO 0-80psi sender with a 7psi warning contact. You don't need a tee or the original idiot light sensor. Just connect the wire for the idiot light to the correct terminal on the VDO sender.


Then, a standard VDO oil pressure gauge.


The sender has a 1/4 NPT thread, so you'd need something like this:


I'm not positive that's the correct thread, but I think it is.

You don't have to remove anything to install - could take 10 minutes for a quick & dirty.
 

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Ahh, that is something new, haven't seen that before. However, I still prefer a mechanical gauge and light. the 270 deg sweep of mechanical gauges are superior to the 90 deg sweep of most electric.
May be because I have been dealing with engine that can run over $10K if things go wrong,
To me it is worth the trouble to plumb in both.
 

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You can get 270 degree electrics readily... eg


If you care about the details, it's the way to go. For this purpose, I don't think details matter. All that's needed to know is whether it's normal or not. I wouldn't personally spend the extra on a wider sweep, and I wouldn't deal with the hassle of mechanical either. Not for this purpose. Just my $0.02.
 

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that autometer is mechanical , but yeah totally agree , for just wanting an indication of normality an electical is fine and eliminates the inherent risk of mechanical, The dual port VDO senders are bees knees , I believe this is what was used from the factory when the 3 gauge option was fitted .
 

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I know about the 270 deg electrics and have installed them, Isspro is another source. Having said that, I still prefer mechanical unless the distance is long, like a motor coach or some marine application.
If done correctly, it is hard to beat a mechanical gauge.
If I am going to the trouble of installing a gauge where there wasn't one, I am going to take the time to do it right. Never had one of my installs fail ever! some have gone millions of miles without failure.
Done correctly there is no more or less risk with mechanical than there is with electric,
 

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Oil pressure gauges are what financiers call 'Lagging Indicators'. All it really tells you is that it's time for an autopsy; the light will tell you anything else you can act on.
If you know it has only 37 psi instead of 47, it doesn't tell you anything the odometer didn't already reveal.
 

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I wouldn't agree with that. If your oil pressure is normally X and one day it's 1/2x that is actionable before catastrophe. As an example, my wife observed oil pressure in her Audi had dipped substantially. I dropped the oil pan, replaced the pump, and the car is still on the road 14 years later. If she hadn't noticed oil pressure at idle was suddenly 10psi instead of 20, and instead waited for the light to come on, there's little doubt lasting damage would have been done.
 

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On high dollar stuff, its a light and buzzer and gauge, three warnings. A gauge is useless if someone isn't monitoring it, light can draw attention and buzzer can wake the sleeping.
Electrics gauges can fail in many ways, sender can fail from vibration, wires can the also, the connections between gauge and the rest of the system. At least three wires are needed. Hot, sender and ground. a break in any one and the gauge is useless, a high resistance in any one and the gauge will be inaccurate.
Most gauge mfg recommend isolating the sender from engine heat and vibration (if you read the fine print).
running a properly spec'd hose with JIC fittings from the engine to a bulkhead fitting,( SAE spec engine hyd hose) then installing the sender is the preferred method, same for mechanical gauge.
From the Buckhead fitting semi rigid tubing to the gauge, it can be copper, steel, aluminum or nylon if it is rated for the pressure and temp.
If done the way I describe the gauge will outlast several engine lives.
 

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My 1965 Ford Galaxy 289 cid leaked oil, bad. Whenever the light came on, I added 4 quarts of recycled oil; never bothered with the dipstick.
The guy i sold it to fixed the leak, drove it for years. The light worked fine....
What, exactly, do you expect to save a 200k motor from by getting 'early warning'? The odometer will do.
 

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That made me laugh Jim , Yeah dipstick Too much information ! They do say Mechanics are the worst at maintaing there own vehicles...
 

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The argument about wiring does not hold water. The entire car is filled with wires and sensors and they aren't breaking all the time. I can count on one hand the number of times wiring I've done has failed. And, should it, it's quite obvious that the gauge is dead or pegged. There is no mystery there.

Sender argument doesn't hold water either. I am still using an '80s era VDO sender and '80s era VDO oil pressure gauge (both purchased from Saab and branded Saab) in my '85 SPG. It works perfectly. The gauge in my '80 is actual VDO and it's been there since 2002. The gauge in the '87 is Automated purchased in '01. Hell, my Cadillac's gauges have been there since 1967.

Failures are always possible but the old saying "don't let perfect be the enemy of good" applies here. Electric gauges, senders, and wiring work well and typically for a long time.
 

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My point was there are failure point on electric gauges, more in fact than with mechanical. Each person can make their own choice, but few in automotive have as many miles and time under their installs as mine do. Aussi's statement of "inherent risks" in mechanical gauges is poppycock. There are failure points in anything and everything. On this site we have been dealing with plenty of wireing, connection problems.
If one is going to install an aftermarket gauge esp if you are going to install on an engine that has gone beyond the point where bearings are most often worn into the copper, and use it to eek out some more time before rolling in new bearings, it only make sense to install one with a large sweep, and those require a more complex sender and more wires (or at least the Isspro did when I used them). or a simple mechanical gauge. True, there are cheap 90 deg sweep mechanical gauges which are more or less useless, but the install procedure is the same to install a good one as a cheap one.
If you use oil pressure as a guide as to when you change bearings, the difference between worn but ok to a shell that has started to spin can be very hard to see, only a few psi lower at same RPM. or slightly higher rpm to reach relief setting. I don't recommend playing that game on an engine you care about. If you are going to play that game, give yourself the best indicators you can.
The best indication is not oil pressure, it is with warm oil, at what RPM oil pressure reaches the set value of the pressure relief setting. When there is a sudden change in that, you have just witnessed the results of a problem. The "trick" is to get to it before that happens. a 3 psi change at one rpm can be hard to see on a 90 deg sweep.
I recommend everyone have a mechanical gauge in their "tool box" and it would have been helpful to have one earlier in this thread, to detect the problem.
As I said, your engine, your choice. For me, if I am going to install an aftermarket pressure gauge on this application, it would be a 270-sweep mechanical, but then, mine has far fewer miles and I have a set of bearing that are going in as a matter of maintaince.
There is some truth to Jim's statement that a pressure gauge indicates after the problem has resulted in damage, but I don't hold that a good gauge is worthless either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #339 ·
Ran engine 5 minutes - lots of white smoke out the tail pipe, and check engine light on. Temp just coming up, not quite to the green. Is this expected, or do I need to diagnose?
 

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White smoke can definitely be a thing - between gunk left in the combustion chamber and moisture (maybe even coolant) left in the exhaust there's a lot to go. As long as the coolant level isn't dropping consistently (it may drop a little as air bleeds out) I'd at least give it a good 20-30 minutes to clean itself out.

Check engine is a problem - there is something wrong. The CEL on the c900 is pretty primitive - it won't tell you about misfires or subtle mixture issues or general performance. Also, CEL codes don't persist so if it's on, something is wrong since the last start. IME, a CEL on at start means I would expect something major is unplugged, like the MAF. You can pull the codes with light flashes and a little jumper if you want.

In the cold it can take a good 20-30 minutes idling for the temp to normalize. If the oil pressure is good, fluids are good, and it's running smoothly there's little risk in just letting it run for while. But, I would try to see what the CEL is about ASAP.
 
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