1983 Ford Econoline Van


Old 10-22-02, 02:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: canada
Posts: 120
1983 Ford Econoline Van

To date our van has been a real workhorse. Very dependable even after 20 years! Our eldest son wasn't born when we bought the Van and now he is hoping to inherit it!

But....every so often (no pattern detected) ...three readings on the dash go to the far right. These are the fuel , temperature and oil pressure gauges.

The battery charge gauge stays normal

Then all 3 readings (no pattern) will all return to their correct positions after a while. The engine doesn't really heat up. No fuel magically gets in the tank (I wish it did), etc.

Any advice where the problem might be?

Also, I'm curious as to what makes an oil pressure gauge go towards the 'red zone'. What causes higher oil pressure? Sometimes (when the van's gauges are working correctly) the oil pressure gauge creaps about 2/3rds (but still in safe zone) of the way over to the high zone. This may sound like a naive question but does the oil level have any relation to oil pressure?

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 10-22-02, 04:11 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 516
Chech the ground wire to the gauges, sound like it may be loose and giving false readings
Old 10-22-02, 05:48 PM
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Don't over fill oil past its full mark on dipstick.Most people think it is ok to overfill the oil but don't realize the level will rise to the crankshaft level and the crankshaft will churn the oil like an egg beater thereby whiping air bubbles into the oil and air bubbles are not a lubricant but rather a insulator to the oil on bearing surfaces and this will cause rapid bearing wear.I had a oil pressure in my car and oil pressure does go up after a oil change because the oil is thick and overfilling the oil will raise the pressure.
Old 10-22-02, 05:53 PM
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Check for loose ground wires or plugs on and around the dash & firewall.

most oil pressure guages work on resistance to ground and the majority zero when grounded and pin at full when there is no continuity to ground or a high resistance.

Generally speaking oil level has no effect on pressure, provided there is sufficient oil to feed the pump. Heavier weight oil will often show a higher reading as will a cold engine.

Provided your guage moves off the low mark at idle & stays between the 1/4 and 3/4 (or higher, just not pinned) marks while driving you should be in good shape.
Old 10-22-02, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,531
Bad voltage limiter on back of instrument cluster

Old 10-23-02, 12:11 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Colorado
Posts: 431
I agree with Larry. change the voltage limiter on the back of the instrument cluster.
Should look something like this.


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