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VIEW SOLUTIONS TO COMMON PROBLEMS
Accessing the Pump
The Oil Pan
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Operation: Other than during an engine rebuild, one of the most common reasons for replacing the oil pump is due to low oil pressure. Advice: Low oil pressure can be the fault of a defective oil pump, but there are several other possible reasons for loss of oil pressure in an engine. These include but are not limited to; a plugged oil pickup screen, excessive oil dilution, sludge buildup, and excessive camshaft and or crankshaft bearing clearances. It is also possible that a defective oil pressure sending unit or gauge is indicating low oil pressure when in fact the oil pressure is fine. You can verify oil pressure by removing the sending unit and installing a handheld pressure gauge in the threaded hole that the sending unit came out of. If both gauges are showing low oil pressure you can be pretty sure that the problem is real. Recommendations: Hand held oil pressure guage.
Advice: Most oil pumps are accessed by removing the oil pan. These pumps are usually driven by the camshaft or by the distributor shaft which is itself driven by the camshaft. Some oil pumps are mounted externally, usually on the front of the engine driven by the crankshaft. Check the repair guides for the vehicle that you are working on. Recommendations: Repair guides
Operation: The oil pan is mounted on the bottom of the engine. It acts as an oil reservoir for the lubrication system. Advice: The oil pan is held in place by as many as 12 or more small bolts. After removing and cleaning the oil pan, look carefully at the lip of the pan especially around the bolt holes. It is not uncommon to find a dimpled area around the bolt holes where the bolt has bent the lip of the pan. To correct this, rest the lip of the pan on the flat surface of a bench vise or work table and carefully tap the dimples flat with a hammer. When replacing the oil pan, hand start the four corner bolts to hold the pan in place, then start the rest of the bolts. Tighten the bolts a little at a time slowly and systematically so that the oil pan is drawn up evenly. Do not over tighten the bolts. Over tightening will dimple the oil pan and rupture the new gasket.
Operation: Gasket sealant is used to fill in the small imperfections in the gasket material and the sealing surfaces to be joined. Advice: Before deciding on which type gasket sealant that you need, take a good look at the gaskets that you are replacing. Many gaskets now come with a bead of sealant already applied. If the engine you are working on is computer controlled, make sure that any sealant you buy is safe for oxygen sensors. For paper and fibrous gaskets, a thin coat of sealant on both sides of the gasket is sufficient. Unless otherwise noted, there is no need to use gasket sealant on rubber gaskets. Recommendations: Gasket sealant