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View Full Version : Oil light at startup - out of idea's?



TunaFish240
06-21-2005, 12:21 PM
Ever since I got the car, there has been an oil light at startup. It remains on for about 10 seconds, unless I rev the car (reving to about 3k makes it go off almost instantly). (SR20DET)
Followed with the light, I do get timing chain rattle, so it doesn't sound like a bad sender.

If the car has only sat for a very short while (less than a few minutes) the oil light doesn't come on at start. If it has sat for 15min or less the oil light goes off much sooner.

I have replaced the tensioner with the newer design
replaced the oil pickup gasket
replaced the oil pan with a greddy
notched the pickup a-la s14 pickup

Ran at least a few different engine flushes, detergents, and oil weights to no avail.

I originally figured that $1000 or/so for a new long-block was no big deal, and would drive the motor until it blew since it probably was messed up already. However it has been since febuary of daily driving it with no issues arrising.

No bits of bearings in the oil pan, no metal shavings, no abnormal cam wear

Here is where it gets slightly strange, when replace the oil strainer gasket I noticed that the oil pump orrifice looked dry, along with the strainer tube itself. As if its not sucking up any oil.

However oil is definitley circulating, as it gets dirty and there is oil pressure after I rev the engine a bit.

So my only thoughts at this point are - somehow the oil pump is sucking oil from somewhere other than the pickup?

Or possibly there is a restricted passage right around the oil pressure sender and the timing chain tensioner (as they are right near each other).

Any idea's?

The only things I haven't checked obviously are the pump itself and the relief valve. However the removal of the subframe/lower pan makes me rather just swap the motor out for a known good one than go through the bother.

BlownDET
06-21-2005, 12:47 PM
Sounds like a week oil pump, a week pump will still pump oil but wount pump it to the PSI it should be at start up. and if that is the case to fix that is not so hard it's all on the front of the motor and very simple to get to.

TunaFish240
06-21-2005, 12:52 PM
hmmm,

doesn't that still require the removal of the lower pan (and thus the subframe as well) since its a SR20?

edit:

...it seems kinda odd.
The pumps are mechanical, and should be pretty bulletproof. In the absense of picking up crap and scoring the hell out of the gears, I don't see how it would fail.

And there is nothing in my pan/oil that seems like it would scorei t.

It also wouldn't explain why the oil pump pickup and inlet were dry? If it were just weak, it seems like it would suck up some oil even if it wasn't much?

Is there a seal or something between the oil pump and the pickup adapter that could be leaking? And its sucking oil from there instead of below the strainer?

Kingtal0n
06-22-2005, 04:08 PM
The pumps are mechanical, and should be pretty bulletproof. In the absense of picking up crap and scoring the hell out of the gears, I don't see how it would fail.

one of the weakest points of the SR20 is the oil pump. being crank driven and people using thick oils (20W-50 anybody?) in a motor with such tight clearances wears the oil pump out FAST, and even FASTER if you like to see 5000-7000RPMs regularly. If your oil light comes on during cold start it could very well be the oil pump.

rogoman
06-22-2005, 04:55 PM
doesn't that still require the removal of the lower pan (and thus the subframe as well) since its a SR20?

It also wouldn't explain why the oil pump pickup and inlet were dry? If it were just weak, it seems like it would suck up some oil even if it wasn't much?

Is there a seal or something between the oil pump and the pickup adapter that could be leaking? And its sucking oil from there instead of below the strainer?



To remove the front timing cover, which conains the oil pump, the oil pan needs to be removed so that the oil pickup tube can be removed.

There is a gasket between the oil pump and the oil pickup tube assembly; when you replaced the oil pickup, did you install a new gasket? The oil pick tube may have a crack in it. Does the pickup screen have enough space between it and the pan.

To determine the condition of the lubrication system, install a temporary mechanical oil pressure gauge in place of the oil pressure sensor. Here's what the readings should be with a fully warmed up motor:

Idle speed: More than 11 psi
3,200 rpm: 46 - 57 psi

TunaFish240
06-23-2005, 12:40 PM
Isn't that just for the KA? Doesn't the SR20 need the lower pan removed to get to the front cover bolts?

I did replace the pickup gasket, with the newer designed one. (That is more than just an 0-Ring). However I did not pressure check the tube itself for a hairline crack. Hitting myself for that now.

Thanks for the suggestions, at this point it looks like just replacing the front cover and the bearings is the best plan of action.