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New Engine. . .Now I Got Oil Problems. . .Help!

4929 Views 27 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Arisley
Ok, just got the engine built that's in my sig (yes, i did all the work w/exception to the machining myself). So I have 1 2 or 3 problems, i'm not sure how related they are, but here it goes.

1) I have an oil leak from the rear of the engine. No oil in the valley, no oil coming from the oil plugs in the back of the head. Most of the oil is coming from the inspection cover in the tranny. It is engine oil. It seems to leak after running the truck, but eventually stops after the truck has been shut down. I'm guessing i leak about and ounce or a little more every time. . .it leaves a spot about the size of a dinner plate over night. I checked the h2e mounting and on the front it looks good. . .the exhaust has always been too hot to check the rear, but i'm pretty sure it's not leaking. I'm to the point that i think its an oil plug in the back of the block or the rear main leaking. Not a big deal, i'll get it fixed when i go to Brians to have the tranny retuned for the new power.

2) At start up it takes about 6 seconds to build oil pressure on my guage (the factory idiot guage). With the old motor, it would build pressure nearly instantaneously so i know it should read pressure much quicker. I had a devil of a time trying to get oil pressure to initially start the motor. I ended up packing it w/vasoline to get it to draw pressure and the truck started on the 2nd crank. The entire rebuild kit was a ford issued kit that i purchased through BWD, the entire low pressure pump was replaced with a new one.

3) After i hit the 150mile mark i started having issues starting the truck after it would sit over night. The HPO resevoir is draining out. It can sit for 8 hrs during the day and be fine, but sitting overnight creates a no start truck in the morning. The fix is dumping some oil in the resevoir to give the truck oil to start. It will start and then 6 seconds later i'll have low pressure oil too.

Here are the quick hitters i'm gonna try to trouble shoot this weekend when i have some spare time.

1) Change the oil and filter, maybe the anti-drain back valve in the filter isn't working properly.

2) Check and clean the anti drain back valve in the top of the engine to make sure debris didn't get lodged in the valve and is holding it open.

Beyond that, I'm lost. I'm wondering if one of the oil plugs in the rear of the engine isn't leaking and letting air into the system and the system to drain out as it sits. . .that's the only other solution i can come up with.

Let me know if i'm missing something, or if you have any further ideas of what could be going on with my poor truck.

Thanks in advance,

01 F250 4X4 Super Cab
6" Pro Comp Lift 315 75 16 SuperSwamper SSR's
Built 97 engine, Dynomite BD's, Swamp's Gen III, H2E, Comp 910's, BWD Pushrods, H-11 Headstuds, BTS Tranny, 5" mitre cut stacks.

[email protected] New times to come after the tranny has been updated and dyno tuned.
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you suggesting it's the rear main seal. . .or questioning if it's really the seal?

If it's a superficial leak like that, i don't care about it for now, i'll just have Brian and crew fix it when i have them retune the tranny. I'm just wondering if the leak may be tied to my oiling problem :shrug:
Thanks Bigr, thats one of the things i'm really hoping for. . .very easy fix. . .once the tranny's out.

Fishin, yah, i got lots of stuff left, but they send parts for all the available combination of engines from 94.5 up. I don't have anything left that should be causing my oil leak though.
Thanks! Good to know a worn lpop can cause drain back issues. . .i'm wondering if i got a bad lpop from ford when i got my rebuild kit. Where did you get your melling pump? What do they run?

I'm gonna change my oil filter this weekend and check the drain back valve in the top of the engine. . .if that doesn't work, i'll put in a new lpop. . .pulling the fan is just such a pain in teh @$$ I don't want to do it unnecessarily.

The motor was clean when i assembled it, so i don't think anything tore the pump up to begin with.

Thanks again for the input. . .makes me feel better about the lpop!
Good deal!

Well, i talked to Dave at swamps today, he said they've had a few pumps blow the front seals, so they are sending me a new pump to try to see if that helps. I also installed a check valve in the aux. line feeding the hpop resevoir to see if i can keep from draining the resevoir over night to aid in starting until i get the other issue resolved. Dave wants me to install an oil pressure guage this weekend and call him back with both cold and hot idle pressures on monday to further aide in resolving the issue.

I am planning to change the oil tomorrow. While i'm at it i'm gonna pull the anti drain back check valve on the front of the engine and see if it's stuck open w/debris. I'm also gonna pull the inspection cover and see where the leak is for sure coming from. Assuming the oil pressure comes in good, and the changes i make this weekend don't help, i'll order up the melling pump to see if that solves my issue.

The valve in the oil cooler is bothering me a bit. Is this simply a bypass around the filter in the case of a clogged filter/thick oil. .. or will this bypass excess pressure to the oil pan which would allow a drain back and hence slow build of oil pressure at start?

I will keep yall posted. . .thanks for all the input. . .and the pictures!
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Ok, today's updates:

Oil leak. . .it's not the main seal, it looks like i've got something running down the back of the engine and down and into the bell housing. Maybe the oil galley plug? I'll do some more searching after i get my oil pressure situation figured out.

I bought an oil pressure guage today (O'Riley special. .. set me back a whopin $8. . .it'll do till i get the guage pod and fill it w/some procomp guages). Hooked it up to the hpop resevoir. When it was hot, i had 4-8 psi at idle and couldn't hardly get it over 20 as i ran the truck. Not good! I pulled the oil filter (to change the oil) and started inspecting. There is a valve in the filter head/oil cooler that dumps oil back to the oil pan. It looks to be an overpressure relief valve. It was not seated correctly in the filter head due to crappy manufacturing. I replaced the filter head w/an extra one that was laying around that was assembled correctly. I changed the oil, refilled the coolant, and fired the truck up. Now i had 35psi at idle, but if i reved the truck the pressure would not go up. After driving the truck the oil pressure eventually returned to 6-10psi at idle and driving down the road i would build pressure to 25psi where it would flatline. It seems that replacing the filter head helped my issue, but it is not completely solved. That being said, what pressure should this truck be running at?

The drain back issue has been helped maybe a little. When the truck sat for 5-10 minutes while i returned my waste oil, the oil pressure rose quickly when i restarted the truck. But a little later, it took about 3 seconds to build pressure on the guage after sitting for 10-15 minutes.

I put a check valve in the aux. feed line to the gen III pump and that solved the oil drain back issue so the truck starts right up in the morning.

I did not have time to check the drain back valve today, i lost daylight and the mosquitos got too bad for me. I'm not sure that will solve my oil pressure issue, but may further help with the drain back. Hopefully i'll have a chance to pull and clean it tomorrow while i wait to load up the old engine.
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Thanks Hammer. .. good to see you around and posting again! I will relocate the pickup tomorrow to see how that affects my OP.

BigBlock. . .i had the pump off when i was origionally trying to get the truck to pull a prime on the initial start. I packed it w/vasoline to get it going. I checked the mating surface and it looked ok, i didn't see any blatant visible damage. But, I'm getting really close to replacing the lpop even though this one only has 400 miles on it just to see if it maybe got messed up with the initial cranking trying to get oil pressure, so if I get that far i will take a much closer look at the mating surface. I inspected it and didn't see any visible damage, but who knows. . .maybe i got a funky one from the factory. :shrug:

Thanks for all the ideas, keep them coming and i'll continue to look into them as i continue my quest to make this a happy engine.
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Ok, moved the oil sender to the filter base to get a baseline of what is actually coming from the pump. Once the truck cools, i'll move it to the location suggested by hammer.

Cold idle pressure- 50psi
Hot idle pressure- 12-13psi
Cruising at around 1800rpm i'm running around 35ish psi obviously the pressure fluxuates with RPM.

The oil drain back out of the hpop had once again returned this afternoon, even w/the check valve in place.

Do those pressures sound right for the truck?

Could it be possible that i have a lpop issue that is causing the drain back. . .i really can't think of anything else that would be causing it. The squirters for the cylinder walls would be an opening for air to enter, so i can't imagine an oil leak causing the pump to loose prime every time. All i can figure is the lpop isn't sealing well enough to keep the oil in the pick up tube. :shrug:
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The dual pumps seem to suck a lot of oil! with the truck up to hot idle (at about 12psi on my current configuration), i would have nex to no op in the resevoir. . .and at cruising speed i couldn't build more than 20psi or so, 25psi when the truck was relatively cool. . .under hard acceleration it would drop to 12-15psi. After moving the pick up to the filter head my pressure went up significantly. Remember that the pumps are positive displacement pumps, so any oil not needed to make pressure is dumped directly back to the pan and lost. 2 pumps will be more of a drain on the lpo system. . .something that before having oil issues I never even considered. So, it sounds like cold i'm on par w/you, but at hot idle i'm a little low.

I replaced the filter head w/the filter bypass/over-pressure relief valves. Both are in good shape in this housing. I know i installed the check valve in the front of the block, but there could be some debris located in there that is holding it open and i'll take a closer look at once i get a chance to work on the truck when it's cool. . .that thing gets freakin hot! I lock tite'ed the nozzle bolts when i assembled the truck, so i'm sure one of them didn't fall out, and the gen III from swamps has an auxiliary feed line that feeds directly from the main oil galley to the hpop resevoir.

I'm gonna talke w/Swamps in the morning, and then will probably order the Melling Lpop tomorrow and give that a shot. I'll double check the front cover to be sure it's not damaged.

Other than that, the only issue i can come up with is a leaky pick up tube, or a random crack in an oil galley somewhere. . .hopefully it's not the latter of the two.

I'm thinking that since i have sufficient pressure at cruise, if the lpop doesn't work, i'll just let the crew at BTS take a look at it and see if they can figure anything out.

Thanks again for all the input and help! You guys rock!
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yah, i'm seeing the dual pumps straining the oiling system. I've been in close communication w/dave at swamps, so once i get everything ironed out i'll let you know what kind of paramaters i'm working in. I also ordered up a new oil pump today, it should be here tomorrow, so i guess after work tomorrow i'll swap that out and see what happens. Dave did say that my pressures were pretty low, so hopefully we can get stuff figured out. I'm really loosing faith in this project, hopefully things pick up for me here shortly.
Ok, here's the update i'm sure everyone's been waiting for. After many busted and bloodied knuckles and quarts of spilt and wasted oil here is where i stand:

1)replaced the gen 3 pump w/a new unit. .. helped the idle a little bit, that's about it.

2)Replaced the ipr. . .helped the idle a little bit, that's about it

It was at this point that i couldn't get the truck to start on saturday afternoon. .. after many hours of cranking, swearing, crying and thinking of lighting my truck on fire and taking the insurance money to buy a more reliable form of transportation (I'm thinking a Huffy), I realized my Glow Plug Relay was shot. .. guess it got cold enough to need a little help starting. Got a Stancor on order. . .jumping the relay w/a wrench in the mean time.

3)Replaced the LPOP w/a melling unit (M208, the higher volume one. .. got it from O'Rileys for $70). Oil pressure builds w/in 2 secs of starting. . .cold oil pressure is up from before and hits over 60psi while doing 30mph. I didn't get it hot or get out of town, but i think the problem has been solved. The other pump did put a couple scratches in the front cover, but i'm not gonna worry about it until this engine comes back out.

Thanks everyone for your help! Yall helped to keep me sane as i was trying to figure this mess out. . .now i just gotta isolate the oil leak.:D I'll post back w/numbers after my meeting w/BTS on Oct 2.
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yah, that actually gets very confusing. . .the gear says damper but then you get all backwards when you install it in the pump. . .they need it to say engine on it and you face it so you can see it in the housing. . .that makes much more sense to me! :D
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