Oil Pressure Problem - '79 Aspen - 225ci


Old 08-18-03, 08:12 AM
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Oil Pressure Problem - '79 Aspen - 225ci

I have a '79 Dodge Aspen, 225ci, with too many miles to count. I had the head done last year with new valves etc. When I am in Drive, but sitting at a light, the oil pressure light comes on. When I satrt to drive it will go off. It also goes off if I rev the car in neutral. I changed the sender unit with no change. I checked the oil pressure with a mechanical unit and it read: 7 psi at idle; 2 psi when in Drive (at idle); and 20 psi at 20km (that's about 30 mph). I don't hear any unusual noises coming from the engine when I am driving it.
Is this engine toast? What should I be checking next? What could the problem be?
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Old 08-18-03, 08:37 AM
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Check what the specifications are in the service manual, but I suspect you are way too low.

Probably a bad oil pump for starters. Those engines are pretty stout, takes a lot to kill them .
Old 08-20-03, 10:11 PM
mike from nj
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you could try a thicker grade oil for now, or turn the idle up slightly.

the oil pump is an easy job to replace, a few bolts on the side of the block near the distributor and it pulls out. you could take it apart and measure the gears for wear or simply slap a new one in for a few bucks. (on some cars the engine has to be raised about an inch, not sure on your's)
Old 08-20-03, 11:40 PM
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low oil pressure

low oil pressure at low rpm in a motor with allot of miles could very well be worn bearings as well as the pump
Old 08-21-03, 10:28 PM
mike from nj
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yes it could be bearings, i just pointed out the much easier and cheaper route. i had the identical engine in my car in my teen years that did the same exact thing, everytime the engine would warm up(10 minutes of driving) the oil light would come on at idle and it never made any noises and lasted a long time too. then one day i drove through a foot and a half of flood waters and the light went right off, until it warmed up again. i'm thinking he just has hot thin oil with a worn out pump(or bearings, but they will usually make noise, rods and mains do make different distinct noises. not to forget cam bearing which won't make any noises but will bleed off oil pressure just as rapidly) i guess it could be anything, but a fresh, tight pump might band-aid it for now?? (until the front end wears out)

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