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Old 05-12-2013, 06:13 PM   #1
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Oil Pressure/temp gauge on a 3.6

I just installed an old Spa gauge and thought I'd pass it on in case anyone wants to have a pressure/temp gauge in their Pentastar. Before anyone says the sky's going to fall I did the same thing on my Sprinter several years ago. In fact the gauge came off my Sprinter when I sold it and saw no reason why I couldn't do the same thing with my jeep.

I'm not going to get into every detail. I simply drilled then a 1/8" pipe tap in the center of the filter cap. I used a o-ring and teflon tape then screwed it down. On the bottom side I used a nut. Yes a nut will fit using a socket but I had to grind the socket down to make it work. Snugged everything down well but not over tight. I would have used locktite but didn't have any. I'll keep an eye to make sure there aren't any problems.

I'm going to buy a new filter cap and keep in the Jeep with a wrench in case I have a problem on the road. I'm also picking up another oil pan drain plug and will drill/tap and screw the temp sensor in. That way I have a fully functional gauge. It will be nice to monitor oil temps even if it only show's pan temperature.

I'm leaving the engine cover off in case someone points out I'll never get it back on. I could have put the sensor sideways but thought there might be too much leverage on the cap. The good thing about this mod is that it's easily reversible, but I did have to cut a hole for the gauge.

There you have it. A simple and effective mod that you can undue any time you like. If you try this I'd buy another cap first in case you screw one up, and carry a spare in your Jeep. The last thing you want to see is smoke pouring out from under the hood

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Old 05-12-2013, 06:32 PM   #2
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This would have made a great How To with more details and step by step instructions.

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Old 05-13-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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I don't normally have time to document such things. i posted this to let others know there is a way to get oil pressure/temp on a 3.6. It's not that difficult. I'd think guys in hotter climates would like to know their oil temp. Guys in the colder climates too.

Oil pressure is good to know. I was surprised at the wide fluctuations. I saw it as high as 120 and as low as 32 at idle. What's surprising is when I maintained a steady rpm @ 50 the pressure would increase from 40 to over 100 then back. Or it might go to 55psi. I want to understand pressure vs temps with the oil I'm using. Someone else can document and post if they want to do this. Extra oil filter caps are $7.00. A pan nut is $7.50. Not exactly breaking the bank.

Here's a picture of a temp sensor inside a pan nut. I tapped it for a 1/8 " pipe. Just make sure you use the correct drill and tap for your sensors. It's not very difficult to do.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:12 PM   #4
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There are 2 phases for the oil pressure in the 3.6. At low pressure state which is usually from idle to 3000-4000rpms the pressure is 29psi. Then at high pressure state from 4000rpms & up it's around 65psi. The max pressure it can achieve is 145psi before a pressure relief valve starts dumping oil. The lowest the oil pressure can go before parts start getting dry is 6psi. If it falls below that is when damage will occur.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
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Good info from both of you. Thanks!!!
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info. I knew there was a two stage pump.. I was surprised when the psi shot up because at no time did I rev past 1800. Maybe it was some sort of self diagnostic going on because it happened early. Once the oil came up to operating temp ( pan temp of 185 @ 60 ambient ) the pressure was extremely predictable.

I don't know about you guys, but I sleep better knowing oil psi and temp There's a lot of information you can get from a temp/psi gauge. For one thing you can see how shear stable your oil is. You can also get empirical data comparing say 0-20/5-20/0-30/5-30 etc plus it's nice to know when your oil reaches operating temperature.

If anyone just wants to monitor oil temp I'd probably put the sensor on the oil filter cap. You can easily take the cap off when you change filters. I used the pan plug because I didn't want too much stuff on the oil cap. Pan temps are probably 15-20 degrees below actual internal temps but it gives you a baseline.

This set up could also be used for an oil bypass system. I've done it to other vehicles. Maybe I'll look into it with my Jeep. If anyone tries this think it through. It's not rocket science but a working knowledge of how things go together and drill/tap stuff doesn't hurt.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:24 PM   #7
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FWIW the Pentastar has an engine oil cooler located in the valley under the intake manifold.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:38 PM   #8
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I just did this to my 2013 JKU and it worked amazingly well! I did everything that xzy did. I tapped a hole into the cap (I also have a back up cap just incase). And the hose goes into a mechanical oil pressure gauge. I can't believe how well it worked. Thank you xyz! And if anyone else is looking to install an oil pressure gauge in their 2012/2013 wrangler do it this way. It's easily reversible and turns out great. Not to mention it's very easy to do!
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:56 PM   #9
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What year model is your Jeep xyz? I have a 2014 JKU with the 3.6 Pentastar and it has the oil pressure reading on the EVIC system. No temp but it does have the pressure.

My oil pressure usually runs 80-100 psi until the engine warms up well and then it drops to the 35-40 range at idle.

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