406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 12, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue

I have a potential problem with the oil pressure. Up until the other day my oil pressure would be 25-30 warm. Now cold I am lucky to get to 20 and when i accelerate it drops to 10 and even lower. I am going to do a fresh oil change in the next couple of days I also would like to swap the gauge out to make sure that is not defective, if neither of these solve the problem is there any suggestions on how to proceed and start eliminating other potential issues?

Thanks in advance from a young guy learning the hobby.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 12, 09:17 AM
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Re: 406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue

Welcome, Clay.
You would be taking the right course in swapping another gauge in place if mechanical, or sending unit if electrical.

Even better if the block has a pipe plug up front between the timing cover and intake. This plug is the end of main oil galley.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 12, 09:26 AM
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Re: 406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue

Check your oil level before doing anything else.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 12, 10:05 AM
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Re: 406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue

Change out the oil filter. A clogged one goes to bypass so you only get pressure of the bypass, usually 5 lbs or so.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 12, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue

Alright well looks like I have multiple options I will start checking and replacing and testing and see if any of suggestions fix the problem.

thanks again
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 16th, 12, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue

Small update...

First thing I did was check the oil it was right in the middle of the add..full line so I dismissed that until I read DjD comment so i decided to top it off, added 1 qt which put the level right at the full line fired it up and the pressure idled at 30 and held steady during light driving right at 20. My next question is does that seem normal for a 406 SB? I was running at approximately 3000 rpm.

If you haven't guessed I bought this car a week ago and trying to work out all the kinks plenty more posts to come.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 16th, 12, 05:48 PM
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Re: 406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue

My experience is a typical SBC with a stock 5qt capacity (pan & filter) will start doing what yours was doing around 2 qts low. Maybe your dip stick is off since it indicated you were only 1qt low. Since you planned on an oil change anyway you can figure it out then.

If it's not your dip stick then maybe the one qt low vs two qts low could be your pickup is not as close to the bottom of the pan as it should be or maybe you have a high volume pump that drains the pan faster than the oil drains back.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 16th, 12, 06:05 PM
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Re: 406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue

#1....what filter ? Fram ? swap it out and add a quart.

#2.....change the oil and filter, check the dip dtick as said above.

#3.....no, that oil press. is not right for a 406 or any SBC for that matter.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 16th, 12, 06:15 PM
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Re: 406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalderm View Post
held steady during light driving right at 20.
Any rpm other than hot idle rpm, pressure is usually around 40 PSI, even with a stock volume pump regardless of oil viscosity.

Pressure is resistance to flow. Generally, bearing clearance of 0.0015" to 0.002" should develop 40 PSI at 2500 rpm at operating temp. More bearing, less oil pressure.

Unless oil pressure relief valve in pump cover is stuck partially open.
I had this unfortunate event happen in a Pontiac 400 CID engine; 5 PSI at 2500 rpm. Pull engine, new pump, install engine, and registerd 45 PSI.
You might ask the previous owner the viscosity used earlier.
Hopefully, your problem will only be low level essue.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 16th, 12, 06:28 PM
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Re: 406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue

Rule of thumb is 10 psi per 1000 rpm... 3000 rpm @ 20 mph = 30psi would seem ok as long as the pressure doesn't drop at steady cruise and goes up as rpm does...

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 17th, 12, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue

Problem Solved

Swapped the oil filter with a brand new fram "long" (short was on there). Cold start up 60 once it warmed up cruising at 60 and idled at 40. Thanks all for ideas real glad it was a simple fix.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 17th, 12, 04:51 PM
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Re: 406 Crate.. Oil pressure issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalderm View Post
Problem Solved

Swapped the oil filter with a brand new fram "long" (short was on there). Cold start up 60 once it warmed up cruising at 60 and idled at 40. Thanks all for ideas real glad it was a simple fix.
Glad you found the problem.

Short one vs long one shouldn't matter. You should cut open the filter you took off.
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