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Old 08-05-2018, 11:39 AM   #1
onlinebiker
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Default Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

I picked up a beautiful condition 93 SW2, which runs with noisy lifters.

The previous owner said the engine got noisy when the oil light came on - and the engine was immediately shut down. (I have only run it for 15 seconds, cold). Oil pressure light on. Removed sender - measured no oil pressure.

Took off pan. Pickup tube good, clear. No metal flake or fragments in pan. Oil smells normal. No burnt smell.

Took off filter and inverted it on the drain tank to drain out. 45 minutes later, I went to cut open the filter, and it was still full of oil..

Cut open filter, no metal fragments or foreign debris found. The paper in the filter was quite dark, and seemed excessively heavy - still retaining lots of oil.


Is it possible the filter itself was the cause of loss of pressure?

Other thoughts?

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Old 08-05-2018, 11:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

No, it is not likely that the filter is the cause. I expect these Saturns have a by-pass that opens if the filter is clogged and there is too much pressure drop through it.

Alas, by the time you can run the engine enough to diagnose the cause, the bearings may be damaged enough that you have to pull the crank; maybe they already are. I would pull the engine out so the timing cover can be easily removed to inspect the pump, and you will be all set to then go on to checking/replacing the bearings.

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Old 08-05-2018, 01:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

That filter was probably not bypassing but the pump recess in the timing cover is scored and bypassing all the oil.

Pull the plugs, pull the PCM B fuse. Change the oil and install a clean new filter, be sure to fill filter with oil before installing it. Run engine on starter for 3-4 15-20 second bursts and see if the oil light goes out. Oil and battery light function without the PCM B fuse in place. Without plugs you will not trash the starter. Be sure battery is fully charged.

IF the light goes out then check oil pressure again as the light is only a 5-7psi switch which is too low.

That plugged filter is in the flow path BEFORE the idiot light and it is obviously blocked. That may be the problem.

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Old 08-06-2018, 02:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

If a collapsed filter or clogged filter is not your cause, you will want to remove the front cover and replace the oil pump. It mounts on the inside of the timing cover, and has two rubber O-ring seals mated between it and the oil passages of the block/pickup tube.

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Old 08-07-2018, 08:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

Tested - and did a compression check at the same time.

Bad news - no oil pressure. Zero.

Good news 190 psi all four, cold and dry.

I take that as a very good sign that the engine survived the loss of oil pressure.

...

Going to drop the drivetrain today.

Nice part - this engine had zero oil leaks - the cases and everything else is clean and dry. No rust either. This should be the easiest extraction I have done.



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Old 08-07-2018, 09:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

Post some pictures of the beauty...

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Old 08-07-2018, 10:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

The engine bearings are more sensitive to loss of oil pressure than the piston/ring area; good compression doesn't ensure there is no damage. And, the compression isn't all that wonderful. Yes, it is above the 180 minimum, but not up in the 200-220 range that seems to be typical.

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Old 08-07-2018, 01:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
The engine bearings are more sensitive to loss of oil pressure than the piston/ring area; good compression doesn't ensure there is no damage. And, the compression isn't all that wonderful. Yes, it is above the 180 minimum, but not up in the 200-220 range that seems to be typical.
It' s been sitting for months, so I expected even lower. The engine I put in the last SL2 I sold had only 75 psi per cylinder. It had sat over a year. After 5 minutes running it had over 195 on all 4.

I will pull the rod caps and look for scoring. The engine turned over smoothly by hand. That' s encouraging.

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Old 08-07-2018, 04:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

Okay, and be realistic when you inspect those bearings. No bearing will look perfect after it has been in use. Sorry about the "mixed message" here...

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Old 08-08-2018, 08:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

You should inspect every bearing --rods and mains.

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Old 08-08-2018, 08:17 AM   #11
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

. I think I lucked out. I inspected the main and big end rod bearings. All show normal wear and oil present on all. Crankshaft appears perfect.

We'll go ahead and drop engine and pull off timing cover. rather then messing with this cover, I will use another cover off of a 93 that I know is good.

It will be interesting to take the pump apart and see if there's an obvious culprit.

...
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:10 AM   #12
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

Pump will show rotor tip wear and if the inside face of teh cover is scored that is where the oil went. The high pressure relief may have a chunk of chain guide stuck in it as it opens on every cold start. Suction seal can also fail and they are NOT common o-rings.

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Old 08-08-2018, 12:27 PM   #13
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

Thanks guys.

On using a crank sprocket - do you cut the sprocket teeth off to allow it to be bolted into place, so as it can stay in place while the timing cover is taken off?


Is there really enough room to pull the cover in the engine compasrtment- or better to extract the engine??

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3 96 SC2
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:45 PM   #14
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

There is enough room to pull the cover with the engine inside the car. I recommend you pull the water pump, however, because where the dowel pin is located for alignment ot the timing cover.

Purchase a front seal kit, to get the o-rings you need. Nuc is right, they are NOT common size O-rings. They also have a metal ring around them.

...
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"He checks the gas, and fills the oil....."

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Old 08-08-2018, 01:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

"On using a crank sprocket..."

For what? The timing cover R&R requires no special tools. Access when the engine is in the car is miserable, that's the only real issue.

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Old 08-08-2018, 03:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

You don't need to cut off the teeth. Removal does not require tools. If you put the gear in from the outside of the timing cover, it holds the oil pump in place. The crank pushes out the old gear as you install the timing cover. I replaced it once in the car. Lots of "fun" but it can be done.
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...&postcount=273

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Old 08-09-2018, 09:25 AM   #17
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

Scratching my head here. I have all the cover bolts out, (made easy with a chain drive offset ratchet extension).

The manual sez - use pry tabs - to remove cover.

Really? WHERE??

I would like to get this thing off in one piece.

It surprises me they didn't thread the thru holes on the cover on 4 corners. You could then thread in a bolt to pop off the cover..


Any helpful hints?

...
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93 SC2
93 SW2
95 SC2
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02 SC2
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2 94 SC2 parted out
3 96 SC2
98 SC2 - rusty frame minus engine.

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Old 08-09-2018, 10:27 AM   #18
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

How many screws did you take out, not counting the two that come up from the oil pan? I don't know the exact count, but there is one, kind of in the middle of the passenger-side face, that is a bit hidden and sometimes gets overlooked...

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Old 08-09-2018, 10:31 AM   #19
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

13 with a 10mm head, 1 with 8mm.

Manual says 14.

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Old 08-09-2018, 10:59 AM   #20
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Default Re: Stumped on loss of oil pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlinebiker View Post
The manual sez - use pry tabs - to remove cover.
Added a little red to make the arrows easier to see

edit: another view of the cover with all bolts and pry tab areas
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pry Points Cover Selection_1189.jpg (110.0 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg timing bolts small.jpg (76.6 KB, 5 views)

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