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Sabyre 01-07-2013 08:34 AM

Oil Pressure Problem
98 RAM 1500, 318, 230,000 Miles

This is an on going issue, in fact 2 years ago we parked the truck out of the way and its been there until yersterday. I'm tired of it being in the yard dormant. If it's worth fixing then we will keep it and ustilize it or it needs to be sold.

Oil pressure drops from 40psi to 0 and will come back up at intermitten times. Last time we were doing anything to resolve this we did a full tuneup, replaced the CKP, 02 sensor, coil, etc. Basically though a bunch of money at it hoping for the best.

The oil pressure thing we assumed was a bad sensor, but I now don't think so.

The problem with the truck is that after it heats up it struggles to stay running. Cold it runs great. Warmed up it will die and you wont get it started till it completely cools. And when I say warmed up I mean 1 mile, 2 miles tops and your walking.

As I said, yesterday we moved it to the garage and it now has a lifter tap.

I don't know why I didn't put 2 and 2 together before, but now it seems obvious that the truck (Fred) is starving for oil and tried to warn us.

The question is has it gone to far to be recovered?

Logic tells me that being starved for oil, metal to metal friction is causing internals to expand and become harder and harder to move as it heats up.

Is it worth dropping the pan, replacing the oil pump and tube, or is the lifter tap a sign that too much damage has been done?

RamTech 01-07-2013 09:34 AM

I would recommend dropping the pan and pulling the main caps and rod caps to check for damage. If the bearings are ok, install a new pump and pickup tube.

Sabyre 01-07-2013 11:38 AM

What about the lifter tap?

And if the beaings are in good shape should the first few oil changes be done with 4qrts oil, 1 qrt auto trans fluid/marvel mystery oil to help clean out any residule sludge/gunk?

RamTech 01-07-2013 11:53 AM

With the increased oil pressure and volume from a new pump, the lifter noise should go away unless it's damaged. I would NOT recommend trying to flush the engine because anything you break loose is going to go right back to the pickup tube where it could congeal and stop it up.

Sabyre 01-07-2013 12:02 PM

Should we break things up then before we replace the pump? If so whats the best way to go about it or best product to use? I have heard everything from using deisel/k1, seafoam, transmission fluid, ect.

I'm inclined to think it would be best to clean the motor as best as possible to avoid future issues.

Also, not a fan of seafoam. In fact I believe that the use of seafoam (which we did) is what caused all the issues to begin with.

RamTech 01-07-2013 12:29 PM

The only way I approve of for removing sludge from a block, is a complete tear down and cleaning by way of hot tanking and bore brushing. Obviously, anything that can be removed from the block can be cleaned and put back on with no worries. Breaking sludge loose with any form of chemical method is asking for trouble IMO. I would much rather leave the deposits in place as long as they aren't restricting oil flow.

Sabyre 01-07-2013 02:53 PM

Good to know, thank you for the info.

I just had a buddy look at it and he says the lifter tap is not a lifter tap, he says its a lower end knock.

So this may not be worth it after all....

I'll still pull the pan and have a peek at how things look.

RamTech 01-07-2013 03:00 PM

Ouch. That immediately makes me think connecting rod bearing. Good luck with it and keep us posted.

dartmathis 01-07-2013 10:30 PM

i would say your lifter tap is from lack of oil pressure. the lifters are hydraulic and they have to have pressure to keep filled up. i've seen this before but you very possibly could have sludge in the pan. and its clogging up the sending unit. if you drive it too much like that you will be looking at a bearing problem for sure. and remember anytime you do have a bad bearing it could cause loss of oil pressure so definantly drop the pan it will reveal the problem

Sabyre 01-08-2013 08:03 AM

Yeah, we definately dont drive it. Like I said it was parked for nearly 2 years. If it was being driven, after a mile or 2 you would be walking.

Before being parked it did have an occasional lifter tap (very faint tick), after being woken from a 2 year slumber it now has a very apparent knock. Perhaps one of the bearings rusted itself inplace? The altenator was rusted up and wouldnt spin. I had to use a socket on the pully and free it up.

Luckily it was only driven 50 - 100 feet in the yard to move it to the garage.

I don't know, but when we drop the pan I will report my findings (and probably ask for more advise).

Thanks guys.

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