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DonTom
11-04-2006, 10:23 PM
This problem is repaired, but some might find it interesting.

Our 1999 Mustang (90,000 miles) started to sound like it needed a new muffler. But when I started it this morning, I also noticed some new noise that sounded like it was coming from the hydraulic lifters. First, I checked the oil pressure gauge while running at idle, and it showed normal, perfect middle of scale, as usual.

So then, I stopped the engine, waited a few minutes and checked the oil on the dipstick and it showed NONE! Not a drop on the dipstick! The last time the oil was checked was just last week and this car never eats any noticeable amount of oil. I then looked under the car with engine running and saw drips of oil dripping out of the MotorCraft FL400S oil filter near the top on the side of the "can". There was a small crack there! Perhaps hit by a rock--I have no idea.

I went to the local Kragan AuotParts store and purchased a Fram TG-3600 (the TG's are not as junky as other Frams). I changed the filter to this Fram and had to add five full quarts (total oil capacity is only 5.5 quarts!). Engine is now nice and quiet, no longer sounds like a hole in the muffler. I hope no permanent damage has been done, but I am rather surprised that it only takes a half quart of oil to run this engine and even with a normal oil pressure gauge reading. I take it I found this problem in the last mile or so before being stuck with a frozen engine!

Any comments?

-Don-

Eric
11-05-2006, 07:38 AM
My comment is... you're very lucky not to have a seized engine or some major damage! The Motor Gods must like you!

DonTom
11-05-2006, 07:54 AM
you're very lucky not to have a seized engine or some major damage!

Yes, but would the oil pressure gauge show anything before the engine seizes? Or would that only happen when it's too late?

-Don -

Eric
11-05-2006, 09:07 AM
you're very lucky not to have a seized engine or some major damage!

Yes, but would the oil pressure gauge show anything before the engine seizes? Or would that only happen when it's too late?

-Don -


Not necessarily as many modern "gauges" are really just idiot lights - and don't convey the actual state of things, until (as in your case) there is no oil pressure at all.

chiph
11-05-2006, 12:28 PM
I think you were very lucky to not have major problems from this.

A question about the gauge -- is it a dial-type, or just a "it's low" indicator?
I'm thinking that the sensor is bad, or the line to the gauge from the block has become clogged.

Chip H.

DonTom
11-05-2006, 05:05 PM
A question about the gauge -- is it a dial-type, or just a "it's low" indicator?

It's got the numbers on it, showing the PSI of oil pressure. So I have to assume the oil pressure was normal when five quarts low (half quart left in engine). But if it were really normal, why the engine noise? Perhaps it was only normal pressure where the sensor is located!

-Don-

Jim Rose
11-05-2006, 07:31 PM
>>Perhaps it was only normal pressure where the sensor is located! <<

Some of the gauges used are of the "ON/OFF type and are no better than a light. They register full pressure when the actual pressure is just enough to make a light stay off.

DonTom
11-05-2006, 09:07 PM
I was incorrect about my 1999 Mustang convertible 3.8L. The gauges do NOT have any numbers. I was mixed up with some of my other vehicles.

However, I know that the Mustang temperature gauge is pure analog as it's slow to come up when the engine is warming up. But all the gauges show a reading at exactly mid scale when all warmed up.

-Don-

Jim Rose
11-05-2006, 11:35 PM
>>However, I know that the Mustang temperature gauge is pure analog as it's slow to come up when the engine is warming up. But all the gauges show a reading at exactly mid scale when all warmed up.<<

Even the gas gauge?

DonTom
11-05-2006, 11:59 PM
Even the gas gauge?


Yes, because today, we had exactly a half tank!

-Don-

Jim Rose
11-06-2006, 12:29 AM
>>Yes, because today, we had exactly a half tank! <<

According to the gauge--Probably a little less by measure!

Eric
11-06-2006, 07:38 AM
[color=Red]I was incorrect about my 1999 Mustang convertible 3.8L. The gauges do NOT have any numbers. I was mixed up with some of my other vehicles.

However, I know that the Mustang temperature gauge is pure analog as it's slow to come up when the engine is warming up. But all the gauges show a reading at exactly mid scale when all warmed up.

Morning!

Are you sure about this? Manynew cars have fully "digitized" gauges that seem to be mechanical but which in fact are just displaying values translated from electronic signals, etc.

DonTom
11-06-2006, 09:19 AM
Are you sure about this?

No, I suppose it could be digital, but if so, it was done well enough to fool me. I don't really care if it's digital as long as it displays as analog and that's what the coolant temperature gauge seems to be doing.

-Don-

Eric
11-07-2006, 02:42 PM
Well, in any case, you "got off lucky"!

A testament to Fine Ford Products from the Ford Family of Fine Cars!

mrblanche
11-11-2006, 12:08 PM
The single most common cause of an oil filter cracking and leaking in the manner you describe is from someone putting it on with a filter wrench, instead of by hand as all manuals call for. Any crinkling on the filter from the wrench will form a weak spot that flexes and eventually breaks.

Eric
11-11-2006, 12:38 PM
The single most common cause of an oil filter cracking and leaking in the manner you describe is from someone putting it on with a filter wrench, instead of by hand as all manuals call for. Any crinkling on the filter from the wrench will form a weak spot that flexes and eventually breaks.


I "hope" no one here uses a wrench to install a filter!

ChevyMan
11-11-2006, 03:57 PM
>>>The single most common cause of an oil filter cracking and leaking in the manner you describe is from someone putting it on with a filter wrench, instead of by hand as all manuals call for. Any crinkling on the filter from the wrench will form a weak spot that flexes and eventually breaks.<<<

Hand-tighten only? The fastest way to wiggle loose while driving down a bumpy road and lose much, much oil and a seizing engine components!! Makers of filters recommend hand tighten until the gasket makes contact with the corresponding surface, then, tighten a quarter-turn with an approved filter wrench. Good advise!

DonTom
11-11-2006, 07:06 PM
Makers of filters recommend hand tighten until the gasket makes contact with the corresponding surface, then, tighten a quarter-turn with an approved filter wrench. Good advise!

You're both right and wrong!

Five or more years ago, the instructions on the oil filters said "use no tools to install". In the last few years ONLY, AFAIK, they changed this to "a half turn after base makes contact."

I think the problem is that some people are not strong enough to get in on tight enough without any tools being used and then some cars had the filter unscrew off, so they changed to better instructions.

Perhaps the filter did get overtightened in the Ford. Sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what a half turn is, with all the junk in the way.

-Don-

Eric
11-12-2006, 07:01 AM
I wonder...!

If someone's too feeble to turn the filter by hand, they probably are too weak to be attempting to change their oil. I would bet most of the problem is the common tendency to overtighten things - everything from filters to bolts!

DonTom
11-12-2006, 07:39 AM
I would bet most of the problem is the common tendency to overtighten things

The real problem is both can be a problem. Did you see my message a while back when I let an oil changer place change the oil & filter in my Saturn? The filter almost came off! Lucky I carry engine oil with me! At least a couple of quarts leaked out about 100 miles from home. That's when I decided to always do my own oil changes.

-Don-

Eric
11-12-2006, 08:00 AM
Indeed!

Those places are often disasters-in-waiting.

Several years ago, my mom called to ask whether I could come by their place to look at her car. She had taken it to one of those quick-lube joints. Anyhow, she noticed a puddle of oil underneath the car - and was concerned and called me. So I went over, got under the car - and found the drain plug not just loose - but stripped. The assholes had cross-threaded it and it was barely hanging on by the time I got to it. Amazingit didn't just fall out - and of course, I had to repair the ruined threads in the oilpan (I managed t Heli-coil it and so did not have to drop the pan). Still, those bastards almost turned a $20 oil change into a ruined engine and left me with an afternoon's messy hassle to deal with thanks to their incompetence.

Until they moved to AZ to retire, I performed all the oil changes on their vehicles from that point on!

Jim Rose
11-12-2006, 10:08 AM
>>Still, those bastards almost turned a $20 oil change into a ruined engine and left me with an afternoon's messy hassle to deal with thanks to their incompetence. <<

They should have paid for a new oil pan---- labor included

ChevyMan
11-12-2006, 02:18 PM
Re; Don Tom msg.:

>>>Perhaps the filter did get overtightened in the Ford. Sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what a half turn is, with all the junk in the way.

-Don- <<<
What I do when I tighten the filter "by hand" before final tightening by tool is to stick a 2-in.piece of masking tape on the filter base and do the final tightening by observing where the tape ends, whether a quarter, or a half-turn.

chiph
11-12-2006, 02:55 PM
I wonder...!

If someone's too feeble to turn the filter by hand, they probably are too weak to be attempting to change their oil. I would bet most of the problem is the common tendency to overtighten things - everything from filters to bolts!

I don't think it's a strength issue, so much as an access issue. Sometimes you just can't get your arm in there to where you can apply your strength.

You gotta remember, Eric, that engine bays on modern cars aren't as "open" as your Trans-Am. :-)

Chip H.

DonTom
11-12-2006, 04:49 PM
What I do when I tighten the filter "by hand" before final tightening by tool is to stick a 2-in.piece of masking tape on the filter base and do the final tightening by observing where the tape ends, whether a quarter, or a half-turn.


I like that idea! From now on, I will keep some tape near my oil and filters ready for the next filter change.

Thanks!

-Don-

Eric
11-13-2006, 08:00 AM
I hear you!

I have to slightly jack up my Nissan pick-up to be able to access the filter through the passenger-side wheel-housing. I then snake a ratchet extension with Sears "wobble" feature (veryhand item!) through the hoses and brackets to get to the filter. Not easy - and you have to do it "by feel" since you can't really see anything!

DonTom
11-13-2006, 09:27 AM
They should have paid for a new oil pan---- labor included

You don't expect them to admit to any wrong doing, do you? They will tell you that it was like that before they even touched it .

In these type of siturations, the customer is always wrong. No exceptions.

-Don-

Jim Rose
11-13-2006, 01:01 PM
>>You don't expect them to admit to any wrong doing, do you? They will tell you that it was like that before they even touched it .

In these type of siturations, the customer is always wrong. No exceptions.<<

A trip to small claims court would prove otherwise-- I personally would have called them and told them to come get the vehicle and fix their problem. If it was that way when I brought it in, why did they let it go out without telling me and how come it retained the oil before they worked on it?

DonTom
11-14-2006, 06:02 PM
A trip to small claims court would prove otherwise--

Have you ever been to small claims court? I have and even proved fraud. However, they still wanted me to pay half. All they same to do at small claims court is spit things in half with every case. Compromise is the name of the small claims court game.

However, in my case, I got the last laugh because a couple of months later I read in a newspaper how another larger fraud case landed the guy in jail.

Small claims court didn't seem to care about things like fraud, just split every case 50-50.

Now, this was all in the 1970's. It could have changed by then. Anybody here been to small claim court more recently?

-Don-

Jim Rose
11-14-2006, 07:52 PM
>>Have you ever been to small claims court? <<

Yes and won both times--- I was the defendant in both cases. Both suits were frivolous and after being presented required only that I present the real facts.

DonTom
11-15-2006, 11:50 PM
Both suits were frivolous

For what purpose? Do you mind telling the story here?

-Don-

DonTom
02-15-2007, 11:51 PM
I changed the oil in several of my cars today. All three oil filters said "turn from 3/4 to a full turn after contact with base". None of these three said anything about using (or not using) tools. I remember years ago, most oil filters said "use no tools to install".

So today, I compared the two and got a surprise. I discovered that if I screw on the oil filter as tight as I can without using any tools, it is one eight of a turn MORE than one full turn!

This proves to me that it's never necessary use a tool to install an oil filter. A little old lady could probably get it well past the required 3/4 turn without any tools.

In two of these vehicles, I have not changed the oil since Feb 2006. One of them we put just over 1,500 miles and the other, just under 3,000 miles in the full year. I tend to think in this case, changing the oil once per year is enough (I don't expect Eric to agree ;D). The old oil looked quite clean. When these vehicles do get driven, it's usually more than 50 miles each time, so it should be very easy on the engine oil.

-Don- (near Reno, NV)

Jim Rose
02-16-2007, 12:18 AM
>>Both suits were frivolous

For what purpose? Do you mind telling the story here?<<

In both cases, I ws sued by salesmen who thought that they deserved commissions on sales made after they left my employ. Both claimed to have called on the prospective customer while working for me.
All the was necessary was for me to show their employment contract that they had signed when they started the job. It clearly stated what the employment terms were.
The best time I ever had though was when I fired an old employee that refused to update his skills to work on the new equipment. He was 74 at the time and wanted to keep working but only on equipment that was obsolete. He complained to the state labor board that it was age discrimination and he wanted his job back with 6 months pay. Our corporate attorney attended the hearing with me and it was his first exposure to the real world. He was actually the leg man for our aged corporate attorney.
The mediator asked for the 6 months pay-- we offered 4 months and that he retire and go away. He refused that offer and stuck with his original 6 months and the job back. I got up and walked out and said that 4 was our offer and I was withdrawing it.
The mediator came out and said the man decided to accept the 4 months-- I told him he had an opportunity to do that 10 minuted ago and that offer has been cancelled -- Six months later, a PG female investigatopr from the state came to my place of business and after she did her investigation, asked me why we allowed him to work as long as we did without fireing him.

Eric
02-16-2007, 07:15 AM
Overtightening filters is a fairly common beginner's mistake; I agree, with you - a person strong enough to change his own oil should have more than sufficient hand/grip strength to hand-tighten the filter, per the instructions on the box!

ChevyMan
02-16-2007, 10:18 AM
I changed the oil in several of my cars today. All three oil filters said "turn from 3/4 to a full turn after contact with base". None of these three said anything about using (or not using) tools. I remember years ago, most oil filters said "use no tools to install".

So today, I compared the two and got a surprise. I discovered that if I screw on the oil filter as tight as I can without using any tools, it is one eight of a turn MORE than one full turn!

This proves to me that it's never necessary use a tool to install an oil filter. A little old lady could probably get it well past the required 3/4 turn without any tools.

In two of these vehicles, I have not changed the oil since Feb 2006. One of them we put just over 1,500 miles and the other, just under 3,000 miles in the full year. I tend to think in this case, changing the oil once per year is enough (I don't expect Eric to agree ;D). The old oil looked quite clean. When these vehicles do get driven, it's usually more than 50 miles each time, so it should be very easy on the engine oil.

-Don- (near Reno, NV)
Putting this controversy on hand tighten or wrench tightening of oil filters aside, do all you DIYourselfers use new gasgets on the oil drain plugs, or do you use the same gasgets, and how many times? Inane question??

Eric
02-16-2007, 10:32 AM
"Putting this controversy on hand tighten or wrench tightening of oil filters aside, do all you DIYourselfers use new gasgets on the oil drain plugs, or do you use the same gasgets, and how many times? Inane question??"

On my Pontiac, there is a nylon washer/gasket on the drain plug; it is reusable (until it breaks!). The bikes have o-ring gaskets; these usually last awhile - though often the filter kit comes with fresh o-rings for both the drain plug and the oil filter adapter.

If there's a gasket (and there may not be), replace it when it's visibly deteriorating - that's the general rule.

More importantly: Be careful not to crossthread (or overtighten) the drain plug bolt - or you will be dealing with a real PITAS!

pgranzeau
02-16-2007, 10:44 AM
This problem is repaired, but some might find it interesting.

Our 1999 Mustang (90,000 miles) started to sound like it needed a new muffler. But when I started it this morning, I also noticed some new noise that sounded like it was coming from the hydraulic lifters. First, I checked the oil pressure gauge while running at idle, and it showed normal, perfect middle of scale, as usual.

So then, I stopped the engine, waited a few minutes and checked the oil on the dipstick and it showed NONE! Not a drop on the dipstick! The last time the oil was checked was just last week and this car never eats any noticeable amount of oil. I then looked under the car with engine running and saw drips of oil dripping out of the MotorCraft FL400S oil filter near the top on the side of the "can". There was a small crack there! Perhaps hit by a rock--I have no idea.

I went to the local Kragan AuotParts store and purchased a Fram TG-3600 (the TG's are not as junky as other Frams). I changed the filter to this Fram and had to add five full quarts (total oil capacity is only 5.5 quarts!). Engine is now nice and quiet, no longer sounds like a hole in the muffler. I hope no permanent damage has been done, but I am rather surprised that it only takes a half quart of oil to run this engine and even with a normal oil pressure gauge reading. I take it I found this problem in the last mile or so before being stuck with a frozen engine!

Any comments?



My experience with lost oil is that if you have damaged the bearings but not frozen the engine, that your oil pump won't be able to maintain pressure at an idle. You might have adequate pressure when running. You would have an engine that has been compromised, in any event, and the low oil pressure at idle is the symptom.

Since I don't know what kind of gauge you have, I can't go any further. If you have a true oil pressure gauge, not some kind of on/off thing, it sounds as if you have managed to beat the odds, and didn't hurt your engine.

Dave Brand
02-16-2007, 12:46 PM
Putting this controversy on hand tighten or wrench tightening of oil filters aside, do all you DIYourselfers use new gasgets on the oil drain plugs, or do you use the same gasgets, and how many times? Inane question??

I've reused copper & nylon seals repeatedly with no problems, even though I know it's good practice to use them only once. My current Alfa had a flat copper washer as original fit, but last time I did an oil change I decided to get a new one; they have now changed to Dowty seals, which I had only previously come across in high-pressure industrial hydraulic applications. I'm not sure if I'll be happy reusing them, so I'll make sure I've always got a new one ready when I do an oil change.

DonTom
02-16-2007, 03:40 PM
Putting this controversy on hand tighten or wrench tightening of oil filters aside, do all you DIYourselfers use new gasgets on the oil drain plugs, or do you use the same gasgets, and how many times? Inane question??

My cars don't have gaskets on the drain plugs, but my motorcycles do. On the motorcycles, I never change them. Why bother, if they are not leaking?

If they leaked, or become loose or show a problem, then I would change them.

-Don-

DonTom
02-16-2007, 03:44 PM
If you have a true oil pressure gauge, not some kind of on/off thing, it sounds as if you have managed to beat the odds, and didn't hurt your engine.

It has a gauge, but I have no idea how "true" it is. It read normal even during the time it had very low oil and was making a lot of noise because of it.

We've but on several thousand miles on this car since then (it's out most used car) and have no had any problems and it does not eat any engine oil.

-Don-

Eric
02-16-2007, 04:00 PM
"My cars don't have gaskets on the drain plugs, but my motorcycles do. On the motorcycles, I never change them. Why bother, if they are not leaking?"

On my Kz900 and ZRX, the filter kits typically come with new gaskets for the adapter and the plug. I agree with you that it rarely appears they need to be replaced, but since they come with the kit and the parts are already taken off, etc. I usually go ahead and swap in the new gaskets, o-rings. I figure they're giving them to me for some reason...!

Eric
02-16-2007, 04:05 PM
If you have a true oil pressure gauge, not some kind of on/off thing, it sounds as if you have managed to beat the odds, and didn't hurt your engine.

It has a gauge, but I have no idea how "true" it is. It read normal even during the time it had very low oil and was making a lot of noise because of it.

We've but on several thousand miles on this car since then (it's out most used car) and have no had any problems and it does not eat any engine oil.

-Don-





Just an update that bears on this little debate:

The mechanical oil pressure gauge I installed on my Kz900 gives me a much more precise "read" of the oil pressure at any given time. With just the sender and idiot light, I only got two indications - there is oil pressure (though not much of an idea how much or little oil presure) or there is next to no oi pressure (the light comes on when the senor reads less than 5 psi, I think). In other words, the light is pretty useless - other than as a fail-safe 9and assuming I can shut off the engine almost immediately when/if that light does come on!

With the gauge, I can visually confirm that I have, for example, 15 psi .. or 8 psi. I can see the oil pressure "curve" throughout the engine's operating range (whichallows me to confirm the oil pump's working properl, etc. - as opposed to barely working).

All in all, seems like a smart decision to me. And the gauge looks good, too!

DonTom
02-16-2007, 04:09 PM
All in all, seems like a smart decision to me. And the gauge looks good, too!

If I have a vehicle that's old enough to lose oil pressure, I would junk it anyway. So to me, an oil pressure gauge is rather wortless.

-Don-

Eric
02-16-2007, 05:03 PM
All in all, seems like a smart decision to me. And the gauge looks good, too!

If I have a vehicle that's old enough to lose oil pressure, I would junk it anyway. So to me, an oil pressure gauge is rather wortless.

-Don-


How about a restored older vehicle? My Kz's 31 years old - but looks and runs as good as new... but you never know - right?

A vehicle of any age can experience a sudden drop (or total loss) of oil pressure; if I can save my engine by having had a bit of warning about a failing oil pump, etc., I'd say it was money very well spent. Moreover, the diagnostic aspect is helpful, too.

mrblanche
02-16-2007, 05:55 PM
How about a restored older vehicle? My Kz's 31 years old - but looks and runs as good as new... but you never know - right?

A vehicle of any age can experience a sudden drop (or total loss) of oil pressure; if I can save my engine by having had a bit of warning about a failing oil pump, etc., I'd say it was money very well spent. Moreover, the diagnostic aspect is helpful, too.


The problem is that you can't keep your eyes on the gauge all the time, so a catastrophic failure can occur without you're knowing it, still. In fact, the gauge is best at pointing out slow failures, not sudden ones.

Eric
02-17-2007, 06:29 AM
How about a restored older vehicle? My Kz's 31 years old - but looks and runs as good as new... but you never know - right?

A vehicle of any age can experience a sudden drop (or total loss) of oil pressure; if I can save my engine by having had a bit of warning about a failing oil pump, etc., I'd say it was money very well spent. Moreover, the diagnostic aspect is helpful, too.


The problem is that you can't keep your eyes on the gauge all the time, so a catastrophic failure can occur without you're knowing it, still. In fact, the gauge is best at pointing out slow failures, not sudden ones.


True; nothing's absolutely foolproof. But I maintain the gauge provides more info - and is thus more useful - than the idiot light. (It's also mechanical, so unlike an electri sender/idiot light, you are less apt to get a false reading. Assuming the gauge is a quality piece, of course!)

mrblanche
02-17-2007, 09:21 AM
A regular observation of the gauge at all sorts of operation can make you wiser about the condition of your vehicle. A cursory glance now and then, however, will do nothing (shown by the fact that it's been removed in most cars).

Eric
02-17-2007, 09:36 AM
A regular observation of the gauge at all sorts of operation can make you wiser about the condition of your vehicle. A cursory glance now and then, however, will do nothing (shown by the fact that it's been removed in most cars).


Agreed... and I believe this is one reason why so many cars have gone to lights over real gauges; people are increasingy inattentive and you need a flashing light, etc. to get them tonotice anything...

DonTom
02-18-2007, 08:27 AM
people are increasingy inattentive and you need a flashing light, etc. to get them tonotice anything...

IMO, we are all like, at least sometimes, when we drive. There are often some things more important to check while driving than the gauges.

Because of this, I added a lamp in my RV to show when it's not charging. If an alternator belt breaks, I will know the very second it happens instead of noticing the very slow decrease in battery voltage as shown on the gauge after many miles of driving.

As I have explained here before, the lamp on the GM vehicles was so well thought out that it's MUCH better than a voltage (or current) gauge. The good news is that with older GM vehicles with only a gauge, the alternator fail lamp is very easy to add. A small 12 volt lamp in series with the brown alternator lead is all that is required. The current this lamp should be changes a bit from one GM model to the next, but what looks like the proper brightness when ignition on with engine off and not on at all when running at fast idle is when it will work fine in 1970's & early 1980 vehicles. The voltmeter will still work normally.

I added such in my 1984 Chevy Van (350 CID) that I used to own as well as in my 1978 (400 CID) Chevy RV which I still own. With this GM lamp design, the lamp must be on with ignition on when engine is NOT running, completely out with engine running or when key is out (or ignition completely turned off). That's all the owner needs to know about the charging, but the old voltmeter will still work normally anyway.

-Don-

Eric
02-18-2007, 08:41 AM
"IMO, we are all like, at least sometimes, when we drive. "

I'll agree to that - with one exception: Anything really old. I constantly scan/monitor all the gauges when driving/riding my antiques vehicles. Even though they are all kept in top tune and I am pretty anal about maintenance,when you are dealing with decades-old equipment that, even when perfectly retored, still represents the often iffy technology of its era, it is prudent to be a little paranoid. These vehicles were, for example, often prone to overheating even when nearly new...

"Because of this, I added a lamp in my RV to show when it's not charging. If an alternator belt breaks, I will know the very second it happens instead of noticing the very slow decrease in battery voltage as shown on the gauge after many miles of driving."

Good call!

Jim Rose
02-18-2007, 11:26 AM
>>Good call! <<

When there is only one choice, I'll take the light over the gauge because of the fact it get's your attention. The light is as mechanical as the gauge when it comes to a catastrophic failure, and speaking of that, when was the last time you had oil pressure fail? Both the gauge and the light use sending units.
It's been years--- 1971 for a fact when the last time I had an engine overheat and that happened at 120 MPH and by the time I got stopped, the engine was in bad shape! Point being, a gauge never would have helped here -- mainly because at that speed, I was only quickly glancing at the speedo--- all eyes were on the road!

pgranzeau
02-19-2007, 12:23 PM
When there is only one choice, I'll take the light over the gauge because of the fact it get's your attention. The light is as mechanical as the gauge when it comes to a catastrophic failure, and speaking of that, when was the last time you had oil pressure fail? Both the gauge and the light use sending units.

I once owned a 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spyder Normale. It had a mechanical oil pressure gauge, and there was actually a copper tube from the engine to the gauge (e.g., no sending unit). Unfortunately, the copper tube was fastened to the aluminum engine block, just beneath the exhaust manifold, with a brass bolt. Brass, copper, aluminum--different rates of expansion and contraction, which meant that sooner or later, the bolt would work loose, resulting in a spray of oil onto the exhaust (and the pervasive smell of hot oil). The fix was, of course, to tighten the bolt. But that had to be done when the car was cold, as if it had just been driven, you would burn the Hell out of your hand when you reached in under the exhaust to do the tightening.

Jim Rose
02-19-2007, 01:14 PM
>>I once owned a 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spyder Normale. It had a mechanical oil pressure gauge, and there was actually a copper tube from the engine to the gauge (e.g., no sending unit). <<

Most all of the old cars had "real" gauges in the dashboard. An oil leak inside the car was not too common, but it could and did happen on occasion.

mrblanche
02-20-2007, 03:54 PM
I had a brand new 1989 Volvo truck that I picked up in Birmingham and drove to Kansas City. While there, I noticed oil dripping on my shoe under the dashboard. Turned out to be an oil capillary tube.

Eric
02-20-2007, 04:15 PM
I had a brand new 1989 Volvo truck that I picked up in Birmingham and drove to Kansas City. While there, I noticed oil dripping on my shoe under the dashboard. Turned out to be an oil capillary tube.


The guage I installed on the old Kz900 is mechanical; brass fitting into the aluminum block. So far, no leaks or problems...