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Old 07-17-2013, 12:41 PM   #1
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Oil Pump Going?

1998 3.8L
So, this has been a problem for awhile now, but doesn't actually happen all the time. Normally I cruise around in the overdrive gear (my car being an automatic), as opposed to drive, and everything's always fine. Sometimes (like it seems to be a 50-50 chance of this happening), when I switch into the 'Drive' gear, only about a minute down the road I'll get some lifter ticking. So I'll switch it back into Overdrive and it goes away.

I'm thinking since in drive the rpms stay fluctuated a bit higher than in overdrive, where the rpms would normally be at or below 2k when I'm cruising, that maybe my oil pump is going out and getting weak, and it's taking too long for the oil to get to the lifters. Possible? Any other explanations?

Edit: Also, oil changes don't seem to make the problem go away. I've tried 10w-30 and 5w-30 (and adding a quart of Risoline).
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:10 PM   #2
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I saw this post on another forum and thought about it. I'm personally stumped. Are you sure it's lifter noise? Does it do it at all times after it starts or only when on the accelerator/off accelerator? I was thinking maybe with overdrive off you could be "engine braking" a little when letting off the gas causing some valve train noise...other than that I'm not sure.

As far as oil pressure goes, you should get the same noise at low speeds too during acceleration OD or not... If you are worried about pressure the best bet is to always hook up a mechanical gauge to, at the very least, put your mind at ease.

I also wonder if it just happens to be a noise you catch at a certain rpm, you just may not notice it because you leave that range quickly due to the transmission shifting. Try sitting still and rev it up in park 2k rpm won't hurt anything for a short test or even running it in the 2nd band to maintain the same rpm at a low speed and see if it still happens maybe? That's the best I got, sorry
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:47 PM   #3
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What is the oil pressure reading in drive versus the reading in overdrive?

I'm more inclined to think it's main bearing wear if it's a high mileage car.
Oil pumps rarely wear out if ever.
OR
Simply a case of a lifter that doesn't stay pumped up like it should.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickenfloss View Post
I also wonder if it just happens to be a noise you catch at a certain rpm, you just may not notice it because you leave that range quickly due to the transmission shifting. Try sitting still and rev it up in park 2k rpm won't hurt anything for a short test or even running it in the 2nd band to maintain the same rpm at a low speed and see if it still happens maybe? That's the best I got, sorry
Well, just to clarify, when it does happen, it's constant throughout any rpms, unless I'm just not on the gas at all (in nuetral it's silent, given I'm not revving it in nuetral). I've tried putting it in park and it'll still tick while revving it. Or even just sitting.

Sometimes, when I give the car a bit of gas (flooring it, basically), the ticking goes away pretty quickly and doesn't come back. Or after I shut the car off for an hour or so, it'll have gone away by the time I start it back up.

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Originally Posted by NavyVet View Post
What is the oil pressure reading in drive versus the reading in overdrive?

I'm more inclined to think it's main bearing wear if it's a high mileage car.
Oil pumps rarely wear out if ever.
OR
Simply a case of a lifter that doesn't stay pumped up like it should.
I'll have to pay closer attention to the drive vs. overdrive reading next time I go out and get back on that.

And it's really not too high mileage. I replaced the engine with a brand new crate motor, which only has around 15k miles, roughly.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
And it's really not too high mileage. I replaced the engine with a brand new crate motor, which only has around 15k miles, roughly.
Then I'm betting you just have a lifter that's pumping a little bit too much oil.
The lifters actually pump oil up to the rockers through the pushrods.
That is how the rockers and valve stems get lubed.
Most likely the lifter has some dirt in it and is partially collapsing at lower RpMs because, it's holding the valve open ( and losing oil ) for a slightly longer duration.

Keep in mind though that a blown exhaust manifold gasket can sound a lot like a lifter when the engine is under a load.
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Custom leather interior at 189k miles

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Old 07-17-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavyVet View Post
Keep in mind though that a blown exhaust manifold gasket can sound a lot like a lifter when the engine is under a load.
Right, I've had a slight exhaust leak before and I agree it does sound similar, but I'm more than certain that's not what it is. I can hear it at all times when it is ticking.
I had it in drive coming back from work today (only about a 5 minute drive) and by the time I got back home, it had the ticking. I watched the oil pressure gauge and it remained at the halfway point consistently, if not just a tad bit over.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:20 PM   #7
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I'm thinking you've got a lifter with some dirt or a faulty check valve in it.

FWIW, I have a lifter that's been ticking for 40 thousand miles.
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96 T/A, Black/Graphite Leather, T-Tops, 6 speed, 10 speaker Delco/Bose "Monsoon"
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Comp cams Xtreme Energy LT1 266HR-14 street cam and springs.
Custom leather interior at 189k miles

Last edited by NavyVet; 07-17-2013 at 07:27 PM. Reason: dislexic keyboard
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:22 PM   #8
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Yeah, I'm not too worried about it right now, so long as it's not doing it constantly, that'd just bug the shit out of me. But thanks for the info guys, I'll check it out before the summer's end hopefully.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:44 PM   #9
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Even though I'd tried this awhile ago (before I changed to the oil I have in now), I added a quart of Risoline in today and drove it home (~15 minutes), and didn't get any ticking. Gonna keep it in drive and see how it goes.
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