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  1. #1
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    Mar 2013
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    Chevy 350 oil pressure advice

    Hi all,

    hoping this is nothing to worry about but looking for some advise.

    1st trip today in the car where I've spent any significant time in heavy traffic (close to 2 hrs trying to get into Goodwood FOS). Much of the last 4 miles was crawling in traffic in 28degree outside temperatures.

    I had twin elec fans running for the whole time but water temp was getting close to 100, Oil temp got up to around 90. Oil pressure was steady at around 30-35 however the oil light started flickering on.

    Is this something to worry about - should I get the sensor for the oil light checked?

    Oil was checked before I left home & was at the full mark on the dip stick

    All advise appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Martham, Norfolk
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    Sounds ok to me. The coolant thermostat on the engine should keep the working temperature of the engine at (I think) around 90º and creeping up to near 100º in heavy traffic doesn't sound particularly high. The radiator fans would be working pretty hard in those circumstances too.

    It's not unusual for an oil light to flicker when the engine is idling, so long as it goes out when the revs rise. Was the 30-35psi oil pressure at idle or when driving along with a few more revs. What engine oil are you running?
    Henry
    'I tell you, we are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.' Kurt Vonnegut
    DAX DeDion Chevy 350ci

  3. #3
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    Mar 2013
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    Hi,only had the car since May & not changed the oil yet so not sure what it has in it. The other thing I noticed was as the car got hotter the idle revs crept up - normally it idles at around 800 rpm but it crept up to around 1000 rpm.

    it normally shows 40 PSI at idle when cold dropping to around 30 psi when warmed up

    Any recommendation on the best oil to use in a 350 chevy its only done around 7000 miles since rebuild & is in a fairly mild state of tune with 340 bhp.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Shezzer99; 14-07-13 at 06:56 PM. Reason: missed reply

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Not unusual for the idle revs to creep up a bit as the engine gets hotter. It's due to the hot oil being thinner and therefore not exerting so much drag on moving parts. My engine tends to bog down and stall if it gets too hot idling in slow moving/static traffic. That's due to the petrol boiling in the carb's float chamber.

    Most of us (myself included) use Valvoline VR1 20-50 because it has added zinc to protect your camshaft, but there are other 'classic' motor oils that can do a similar job. I wouldn't describe 340bhp as farily mild for a 350 Chevy. It's not a race engine, but its fairly hot for street use.
    Henry
    'I tell you, we are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.' Kurt Vonnegut
    DAX DeDion Chevy 350ci

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Depends on which oil pump you're using as to what pressure you'll be seeing. Is it high pressure/high volume?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    30-35psi at idle is perfectly fine, but the oil pressure warning light flickering on would concern me, since oil pressure switches for these engines should normally be calibrated to trip at around 5-7psi. So, either the pressure switch is faulty or incorrectly calibrated, or your pressure gauge is telling porkies.

    Is the pressure gauge electric or mechanical? If mechanical, it can be trusted. If electrical, it might be reading incorrectly and giving a false reading. I'd verify the pressure gauge is accurate by hooking-up known-good/new pressure gauge in its place and making sure it reads the same. Hopefully, it's the pressure switch that is faulty and being over-zealous.

    PS. Oil and water temps are fine... you don't need to start worrying until the water temp creeps up into the 110C range.
    2008 AK427
    497BHP 383 by Knight Racing Services

  7. #7
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    Mar 2013
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    Hi, will need to find some time at the weekend I guess but I just took the car for another run. From what I can tell the gauge is electrical - from a cold start it read 55 psi. After a 10 mile run at idle it dropped off to about 32psi but after idling for about 5 mins the oil pressure light started flickering again. will need to do some more investigating.

  8. #8
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    If at idle are you sure its oil pressure light and not alternator??
    BIG TONE


    Mercedes SL owner, definitely NOT a kitcar owner like you lot!


  9. #9
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    Do you have any idea what pressure your warning light sender is set at?
    You can get various ones some of which are quite high to give an early warning.
    Maybe change the switch to one with a known value perhaps 15psi?
    Kev Davies
    South Wales Area Rep. UKCC Membership Secretary
    DAX Mk4, 383 Chevy Stroker, Tremec. SOLD
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    Dax De Dion LS2 and T56 IVA'd June '17 SOLD
    1965 Ford Mustang 289 Convertible FOR SALE
    In build- Hawk 289 Sebring

  10. #10
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    Mar 2013
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    hi all

    confirmed pressure gauge is oil feed not electrical so ruled that out. Checked invoices from original engine build by Real Steels & a high pressure pump was fitted.

    What I did find was the electrical connectors to the sensor were a bit oily so Ive cleaned them up. I know from experience on a Discovery TD5 when the injector harness gets impreanated with oil that it can do some odd things to the electrics so hoping that may be the problem here.

    Any idea how to tell from the temp sensor what setting its set to - no sign of any identification numbers on it. Next thing will be to swap it for another one .

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