Oil Pump Question

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seantp
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:48 pm
My tercel:: 1983 SR5 4WD Wagon
Location: White River Junction, VT

Oil Pump Question

Post by seantp » Thu May 03, 2018 9:11 pm

Yesterday I noticed the oil light came on during a hard stop. Today it was flickering on more frequently. The dipstick showed the oil was down about a quart, if that. The last time my oil light came on, my dipstick was almost dry. Could the light coming on for the past couple of days be indicating that the oil pump going? I have 222k miles. Also, when I topped off the oil with a quart tonight, I added about four ounces of Sea Foam. The oil light has stopped coming on. So... do I need a new oil pump or...? Thanks for your help.

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rer233
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My tercel:: Multiple

Re: Oil Pump Question

Post by rer233 » Thu May 03, 2018 10:08 pm

20 years ago I had a similar problem with a former GF's '84 FWD wagon- turned out it had a bad oil pressure switch. That engine's still running fine today ('course it only had about 120K on the clock then.)
if it aint there, there's a good chance it won't break!
83 SR5 Silver/Blue (Snowmobile/work beater)-totaled but drivable
85 SR5 Blue
88 SR5 White (the 'good' one)-not anymore-totaled
87 fwd silver wagon a/t
87 4wd dx Cream (a/t- not anymore- now m/t)

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seantp
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My tercel:: 1983 SR5 4WD Wagon
Location: White River Junction, VT

Re: Oil Pump Question

Post by seantp » Thu May 03, 2018 10:57 pm

It happened again. I wasn't breaking this time but shifting from 3rd to neutral on a downhill. The RPMs dropped down to about 500 then bounced back up and the light went off. Come to think of it there may have been a correlation between the light coming on and downhills all along.

xirdneh
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My tercel:: 87 tercel 4x4 wagon w/reringed engine, 83 tercel 4x4 wagon w/salvaged engine and 4.1 Diff's
Location: seabeck, washington, USA

Re: Oil Pump Question

Post by xirdneh » Thu May 03, 2018 11:54 pm

i have had three senders go bad. its a cheap fix so i would try that first
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

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marlinh
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My tercel:: 'Everett' Blue mint 4WD wagon and 'Rocky' 86 4WD Wagon
Location: Kootenays

Re: Oil Pump Question

Post by marlinh » Fri May 04, 2018 8:43 am

Ditto. These oil pumps are very durable. It would be a good idea to try and locate the oil leaks and fix them also.

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splatterdog
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Location: Minnesota, USA

Re: Oil Pump Question

Post by splatterdog » Fri May 04, 2018 5:11 pm

The senders on these rarely leak when bad. I've had at least a couple that did the same thing, and was always the sender. My theory is that the sender leaks internally which equalizes pressure on each side of the spring loaded switch inside. Cheap and easy fix..

Keep oil on the stick!

Unless you are flushing the crankcase, avoid seafoam in the oil, it thins it. Todays oils really don't need any help. If you oil loss is from the sticky oil control rings I have used Berryman B12 to help free them up as a last desperate act. When the oil is down some, add a full can to a cold engine. Start and idle until it's warmed up, then drain out the oil. A word of warning though, you might open up leaks by getting rid of goop that's currently blocking that leak. If it's really ugly inside, you can also clog the pickup screen with dislodged crud. Berryman makes seafoam seem like water as far as cutting carbon.

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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
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Re: Oil Pump Question

Post by Petros » Fri May 04, 2018 6:04 pm

you may have work away your bearings by running with low oil enough to cause low oil pressue at idle. OTOH, could be the sender, or as happened on my daily driver, the wire chaffed and makes ground contact (making my oil like flicker on and off at random).

THIS IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW! install an after market oil pressure gauge, cheap at any autoparts store or from ebay, I like the mechanical one with the hydraulic line, but they are more troublesome to install. Than drive it so you really KNOW what the oil pressure is actually doing. if your oil pressure is low, and near zero at warm idle, it is time to replace the bearings and likely the oil pump. If your oil pressue is within factory specs, than it is likely the sender, or a bad wiring shorting out (I never did find my short, I just kept the oil pressure gauge in place, and even though the sender and light are disconneceted my oil light still flickers on sometimes!).

Though the oil pump is unusually durable and long lasting, but it does pump unfiltered oil. so if you or the previous owner tended just top it up, and to change the oil rarely (like I do), the oil pump will wear out internally. there are a few things to can do yourself to recondition the oil pump if not too badly worn out, but if there is any question it should be replaced.

It would be best to keep the oil idiot light and the gauge, that way you get a warning visible warning if you suddenly loose oil pressure.

It is critically important you verify if you have oil pressure. I had an old beater toyota truck with lots of miles on it (bought it for $600, but it was a good work horse), oil like would flicker on and off between shifts and at traffic stops. I installed the gauge and saw only 6-8 psi at idle, on hot days it almost nothing. I kept driving it, running pressie was 15-18 psi (low but still pumping oil to the bearings), I did not have time, I was in the middle of building our new house and had a full time job. Than one hot day the engine threw a rod. And I not only got to do a full rebuild anyway, I had lost a day getting my truck towned home. Before, I would have been facing a bearing and ring job, now I had to replace the whole engine. not one internal parts was salvageable, even the head took a beating as the piston was striking the head before it big end lets loose and drove itself though the side of the engine. it all became scrap metal.

So ALWAYS DIAGNOSE the PROBLEM BEFORE you try and FIX IT!
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

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