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  #1  
Old 07-17-2009, 06:50 PM
OldTruck OldTruck is offline
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Question Oil light comes on above idle

I have a problem that someone may have dealt with or heard of before. Here
is a description:

My 1988 Ranger Super Cab, 2X4, 2.3L EFI, 5 spd manual, 177K miles.

After starting, the oil light stays on indicating no oil pressure, for at least
20 seconds. After the oil light goes out, if the engine rpm is increased above
above idle, the oil light comes on. The light goes out at idle, but comes on
above idle. The only strange sound the engine makes is a clicking nose
something like a bad lifter makes.

I just had a mechanic check it out. He thinks the oil pump is bad. I wonder if
it might be a spun bearing.

So, what do you think might be the problem?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2009, 01:09 AM
Jay FX4 Jay FX4 is offline
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Did this just start, or have you been through at least one oil change since this has been going on?
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2009, 07:23 AM
Grrranger Grrranger is offline
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Oil pump is probably a good call, though it would be nice if you could plumb in a mechanical gauge to verify what's going on with your oil pressure. Depending on how it's been maintained, driven, and so on at 177 k I'd be careful about throwing parts at this one.

A typical oil pump should move more oil and make somewhat better pressure as idle increases, and yours sounds like it's struggling to pick up prime from the sump as well. The symptoms could also be caused by a problem at the sump pickup tube - crack, or a bad seal inside the oil pan.
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  #4  
Old 07-18-2009, 07:46 AM
OldTruck OldTruck is offline
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The mechanic that checked it out said he attached a pressure gage and
found at idle it held about 40 psi, but when the rpm was increased the
pressure dropped of to about 15 psi.

This problem just started. It occurred after I changed the valve cover gasket.
The old gasket was leaking too much.

I have always changed the oil on time. When I had the valve cover off, I
observed no sign of sludge. In fact, it looked pretty good! I was proud of
myself for keeping the inside of the engine so clean.

Then I started it a went out for a test drive. I got about 2 miles down the
road and the pressure light came on. The engine wasn't making any bad
noises so I turned around and slowly drove the 2 miles back home.
Just before I got home it started making the clicking noise a bad lifter makes
when it is not pumping up.

I think the engine is toast!

I wonder if that mazda 5 speed transmission would bolt up to a V-6?
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  #5  
Old 07-18-2009, 08:34 AM
Grrranger Grrranger is offline
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Oil level is good? Hopefully you didn't get too crazy with gasket sealer when you were working on the valve cover and accidently caused a drainage issue. Losing good oil pressure like that might indicate that the sump is "pumping out", but the slow pickup time on top of that makes an issue with the pickup tube more likely.
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  #6  
Old 07-21-2009, 02:06 PM
OldTruck OldTruck is offline
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Well, I couldn't get this forum to work last week. Now it seems to be OK.

Anyway, the oil level is slightly above full level. The gasket I used was an
aftermarket rubber gasket with instructions that stated no sealant was
to be used, so I didn't.

Now for some more of the story.

The truck came from the factory with a flat metal bracket bolted to the left
(driver's) side of the cylinder head right next to the valve cover. I had to
remove it in order to remove the valve cover. The bracket did not seem to
have any useful purpose so I left it off during reassembly.

During the first test drive, while the engine was still cold, I noticed it was
stumbling when I shifted gears, like there was a large vacuum leak.
After the oil light came on I stopped and opened the hood. There was a small
amount of oil on the left side of the engine compartment as though oil had
squirted out of something. The only possible vacuum leak and source of oil
I could find was the two holes in the side of the head where that bracket
used to go. So, when I got back home I looked for the bracket to re-install
it. I could not find both bolts, so I replaced both of them and re-installed the
bracket

The engine no longer stumbles like it has a vacuum leak, but it still has the
oil pressure problem.

I don't like working on the truck while lying on my back in my driveway, so
I had the truck towed to a mechanic in El Paso. He said it is necessary to
pull the engine in order to replace the oil pump.

That is too much labor for me!

Maybe what this truck needs is a new owner! I wonder how big a shoe horn
would be needed to stuff a V-8 into it.

Thanks for your responses and ideas.

Last edited by OldTruck; 07-21-2009 at 02:07 PM. Reason: Formatting
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2009, 03:51 PM
bassproducers bassproducers is offline
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Default Same Problem

I'm having the exact same problem with my 1988 ranger, it's a show truck so it is well takin care of. My only question is do I really have to pull the motor to change the oil pump.
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2009, 05:52 PM
Jay FX4 Jay FX4 is offline
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I have heard a few guys say Fram oil filters cause oil pressure problems in their Rangers.
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NOS for teh horse powaz!!!
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2009, 08:40 PM
DieHard4rd DieHard4rd is offline
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I have heard that to. I stay away from Fram oil filters for sure. I have heard of the filter media in them coming out & plugging the oil pick up tube.
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2009, 10:06 PM
OldTruck OldTruck is offline
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Odd that you say that about Fram filters. I used fram filters for most of the
178K miles on my truck, and had no problems until now. If Fram filters were
bad, you'd think I would have had problems before now.


Believe what you will.
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2009, 05:15 AM
DieHard4rd DieHard4rd is offline
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All it takes is 1 bad one.

Drop your oil pan & see if there is part of the fram plugging things up.
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2009, 09:54 AM
littleblue littleblue is offline
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Do a search on the internet about Fram filter quality and problems. You would be surprised at the issues.
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  #13  
Old 11-09-2009, 05:35 PM
OldTruck OldTruck is offline
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Red face Oil pressure problem update

I decided I didn't want to do the job lying on my back in my driveway,
so I finally had the truck towed back to the repair shop. They found
they could get to the oil pump without pulling the engine completely
out of the truck. The just had to lift is up a little bit.

The problem was a plugged oil screen on the pump intake. I had them
change the pump anyway. Now, over $900.00 later I have my truck
running again.

TTYL
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2010, 11:22 AM
ppeterso2 ppeterso2 is offline
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Default Glad that you got it fixed!

You know having owned 4 Mustang GTs before I bought my used 2000 Ranger XLT step V6 (my first ranger), I would have pointed fingers at the main bearings. I had 2 of my mustang GT's do this to me around 120k (in my case even my stock oil gauge would drop down when I accelerated-and swing up when I let off the gas) and it was diagnosed as the crank moving laterally. Makes me think that all that was wrong with those cars was an oil screen/pump. They blamed synthetic oils etc. etc.... Glad you got it fixed up!
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