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Old 12-27-2010, 09:34 AM   #1
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Low oil pressure, got taken???

Well, I bought a 97 that looked good. Have had it for one week. Changed the oil. Oil pressure was always 30-40 on the gauge. Put in some nice 5W-30 M1 and now at idle it will kinda hold 15 and then dip down to nothing and the check gauges light comes on, then back to 15 and the light will go out. The old oil was kinda thick and the filter, Fram was heavy. Put on a new Chrysler filter. Did I get taken??? Think I saw on the forum the cam bearings go. Will be calling the seller tonight!!!!! Private sell.

Thanks,

Will

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Old 12-27-2010, 09:46 AM   #2
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Maybe hopeful thinking- but unless you paid top dollar and it has high miles, you may not be getting hurt too bad. Would check and verify that oil pressure is what it says it is-and maybe flush system if old oil was that dirty. Next would also wonder about the oil pump-is truly working properly-again as I said maybe overly hopeful but those Jeep motors usually pretty strong. Good Luck!!

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Old 12-27-2010, 09:48 AM   #3
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Isn't the recommended oil 10/30? Why did you go lighter?
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:50 AM   #4
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Sending units are notorious for giving false readings. Buy a Mopar sending unit.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:52 AM   #5
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sending units are notorious for giving false readings. Buy a mopar sending unit.
x2, that could be the reason for your oil pressure dropping down to 0 and lighting the Check Gauges light.

15 psi at idle is fine anyway, and the oil pressure is supposed to vary with engine rpms since the oil pump is mechanically driven by the engine. 10 psi per 1000 engine rpms is the usual rule-of-thumb for an acceptable oil pressure so your 15 psi at idle is well above the minimum acceptable pressure.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:53 AM   #6
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I would change the oil again, to what ever is called for in the book. How many miles on the engine?
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:56 AM   #7
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His oil pressure issue is not caused by him having installed 5W-30 which is entirely acceptable, especially during the winter months in areas like where the OP lives. 10W-30 for all but the very coldest conditions where 5W-30 is a good choice.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:00 AM   #8
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Previous owner had the Jeep for 7 months. New sender on it. Still has clean teflon tape on the threads. 122,000 miles. Paid $5,000 for it. It has a Napa starter on it, so I would not doubt it is not a Mopar sending unit. Had 30psi all day with old oil, now this????
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:03 AM   #9
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If your oil pressure indicated only 30 psi no matter what the engine rpms were, something is wrong with the sender since, again, your oil pressure is supposed to vary up and down with engine rpms. Perhaps you just didn't notice the pressure going up and down with engine rpms as it is supposed to do. Only newer Jeeps don't do that, the factory reprogrammed the oil pressure gauge to not show the true ups and downs of oil pressure which was unnecessarily alarming some people who did not realize oil pressure is supposed to vary in step with the engine rpms.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:09 AM   #10
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With the old oil in it, it would vary just a little, Really, 35-45 It would hug the 40 mark all day. Now with this oil, check gauges light comes on and it hits nothing??? How much is a sender? Don't want to spend money on it, if I try to return it to the seller.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:32 AM   #11
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I just got a sending unit from the dealer two weeks ago, the part cost like $54.... Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater..... fix the minor thing that needs it, and keep the Jeep.... Sending units seem to hate the cold, it seems like many more fail in winter than warmer months....
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:33 AM   #12
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Well, off to the dealer i guess. See what happens.

When it does go low on the gauge, it will take about 4-5 seconds to get back to 40psi. The gauge is slow to move.


Wish me luck!!!
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:43 AM   #13
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Hey! I had the same thing happen on my 97 TJ. I changed the sending unit, my oil, tried heavier weight oil, lighter weight oil..... nothing. So I took it to the dealer and they were able to test the oil pressure in my engine and all was fine. Turns out its the gauge itself.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:48 AM   #14
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No dealers around me have it, but one dealer told me a dealer 50 miles away has one. All dealers around her are asking $85.00 for the switch. Any other parts places have good switches????
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:53 AM   #15
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Ive always had good luck at Napa. Thats where I got mine. it was still like $60.

Good Luck!
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:08 AM   #16
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The oil pressure was fluctuating with my '97 wrangler. On start up the "check gauges" idiot light would be on and the oil pressure would read zero...

Changed the oil pressure sending unit and all seems fine.

Found it for $25.

Oil Pressure Sending Unit (2 Pin)*56031003 by the Jeep Specialists | Morris 4x4 Center
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:29 AM   #17
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First I want to say "I love you guys!!!" While the nearest dealer that has one is 50 miles away, I went to our local parts store and got one. My trip there and back it never went under 30psi???? I put the parts store pressure switch in it. The old switch never made it past 45 psi. With the new switch in it, I started it up and at idle it has 50psi. Revved it up and it went to about 55. Time to go put gas in it and drive some. Will let you know how it goes.

To everyone, a BIG THANKS!!!!!


Will
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:40 AM   #18
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Idling at 50 psi is not correct for an older TJ like yours, as was already said above. Your '97 TJ should be indicating the true oil pressure which at idle would normally be 20 or under. Only newer TJs with the reprogrammed oil pressure gauge will indicate 50 psi more or less all the time which is not the actual/true oil pressure.
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:53 AM   #19
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My 97 tj was also doing the same thing at one time. I had left my top off over night and we got a crap load of rain. My baby was flooded. My oil pressure gauge was so low the check engine light was coming on also. After everything dried out real good which took a couple days, everything started working perfectly. Not a problem since....
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:08 PM   #20
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Well, took it for a ride and got it hot. Pulled in driveway and idle is about 30-35psi and driving down the road is a good 50. Might not be totally right by not having a Mopar switch in it, but atleast it don't go to 0 no more. I will check the oil pressure against a mechanical gauge and see how close it is. Thanks for the help guys.


Will
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:07 PM   #21
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I'd say your doin good plowboy. I myself have a rebuilt 97' with 1,200k on it and it drives about 50 and drops to 30 at idle.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:31 PM   #22
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Thanks TRV. Time will tell if things work out.


Will
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:04 PM   #23
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Idling at 50 psi is not correct for an older TJ like yours, as was already said above. Your '97 TJ should be indicating the true oil pressure which at idle would normally be 20 or under. Only newer TJs with the reprogrammed oil pressure gauge will indicate 50 psi more or less all the time which is not the actual/true oil pressure.
when its stone cold it would go up to 45 ish at idle. warmed up idle should be around 25 psi.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:22 PM   #24
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Just a quick question:

Did you put the right AMOUNT of oil in the Jeep when you changed the oil?

6 quarts for a 4.0L, if you don't get it filled correctly, it will fluctuate.

I have a 2004 Wrangler. The oil pressure is at 50 psi all day long. No problems.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:50 PM   #25
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Just a quick question:

Did you put the right AMOUNT of oil in the Jeep when you changed the oil?

6 quarts for a 4.0L, if you don't get it filled correctly, it will fluctuate.

I have a 2004 Wrangler. The oil pressure is at 50 psi all day long. No problems.

Yep 6 quarts. New sender seems to work good. No strange sounds from the engine. Looked in the oil fill hole in valve cover and that looks nice and clean.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:55 PM   #26
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plowboy,
Just took my 97 4.0 out for chinese food. 94k miles ,10-30 oil 25Deg out,fully warm,reads 42psi ish at idle,runs up to 55psi at 3k rpm.Dont know if its accurate,but ive owned it for 9 years,and it runs like a top.If I ever see 20 psi like Jerry says at idle,id have a heart attack LOL!
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:28 PM   #27
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Ya, I am thinking I might have hit the sender taking the filter off. Talked to the brother in law. He said his father in law would always mess up the one in his 95 Cherokee when he had it. New one moves but never under 30. Started it cold and it went to about 55. I can live with 30-55 any day. Thanks for all you input guys. Hope one day I can repay you.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:54 PM   #28
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I have a 2004 Wrangler. The oil pressure is at 50 psi all day long. No problems.
That's because newer TJs like yours had their oil pressure gauges reprogrammed so they don't fluctuate as the oil pressure does in reality. They go to mid scale and stay there providing there is no problem with the true oil pressure. Older TJ oil pressure gauges were designed to show the true oil pressure, newer gauges after 2001 or 2002 were programmed not to show the true oil pressure because not many people understand the true oil pressure rises and falls in step with engine rpms. Drivers of older TJs got scared by seeing what was likely their first oil pressure gauge going up and down and unnecessarily complained about it to their dealerships. Many refused to believe it was normal and created all kinds of problems for dealerships across the country. Not many vehicles come with true oil pressure gauges any more like they used to.

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