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#1 Old 03-14-2011, 09:39 PM
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3rd Generation 5sfe Oil Pressure Problems

Make : Toyota
Model : Camry LE
Motor: 5sfe
Year : 1993

I've been having a problem recently with oil pressure. I am thinking that my bearings are wearing out in the bottom end, but want to get a second opinion. Currently I have an oil pressure gauge hooked into the motor. I have a T hooked into the front to also house the Low pressure switch. Yesterday I changed the oil because it had been a while since I've done it and my oil light was starting to flicker. I thought maybe the old broken down oil was culprit. Well, after changing the oil the light stays on continuously. I thought that maybe the switch was bad, so i got another one and installed it . Same thing. I hooked up my mechanical gauge while cold and started it.

The mechanical gauge went to 80PSI at cold for about 5 seconds then dropped to about 2 psi .. wasn't completely 0. What would cause the oil pressure to spike like that then drop down so drastically? I was thinking a clog somewhere, but you would think a huge spike in pressure would stay on constantly. At 3000 RPM, the oil pressure is correct. I tried to take it for a test drive and I noticed at stop lights the light stays on until around 1500 RPM then goes off (I have no way to monitor the pressure while driving). So I am assuming between 0 and 1500 RPM the pressure is around 2 PSI. I do not hear any loud tapping or rapping from the motor indicating a bad bearing.

If anyone has any information or suggestions to offer, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you in advance
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#2 Old 03-14-2011, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avatar View Post
Make : Toyota
Model : Camry LE
Motor: 5sfe
Year : 1993

I've been having a problem recently with oil pressure. I am thinking that my bearings are wearing out in the bottom end, but want to get a second opinion. Currently I have an oil pressure gauge hooked into the motor. I have a T hooked into the front to also house the Low pressure switch. Yesterday I changed the oil because it had been a while since I've done it and my oil light was starting to flicker. I thought maybe the old broken down oil was culprit. Well, after changing the oil the light stays on continuously. I thought that maybe the switch was bad, so i got another one and installed it . Same thing. I hooked up my mechanical gauge while cold and started it.

The mechanical gauge went to 80PSI at cold for about 5 seconds then dropped to about 2 psi .. wasn't completely 0. What would cause the oil pressure to spike like that then drop down so drastically? I was thinking a clog somewhere, but you would think a huge spike in pressure would stay on constantly. At 3000 RPM, the oil pressure is correct. I tried to take it for a test drive and I noticed at stop lights the light stays on until around 1500 RPM then goes off (I have no way to monitor the pressure while driving). So I am assuming between 0 and 1500 RPM the pressure is around 2 PSI. I do not hear any loud tapping or rapping from the motor indicating a bad bearing.

If anyone has any information or suggestions to offer, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you in advance


How is your oil pump, if you know?
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#3 Old 03-14-2011, 10:04 PM
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I'm not sure the condition of the oil pump . I am assuming its OK, but cant confirm that. I dont think the oil pumps go bad too often
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#4 Old 03-14-2011, 10:16 PM
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Rule of thumb 1 psi per 100 rpm's

so idle at 700 rpm and expect 7 psi

Can you connect your gauge to another vehicle to make sure that it is operating correctly? Just to rule out any gauge related issues.

What is your idle speed?

Did you change your oil filter with the oil change?

Is the level of oil correct?

What weight oil did you use?

I would change the filter again just to rule that out. Could be an internal filter problem (bypass valve or the like).

Consider dropping pan to inspect for debris getting in screen?

Oil pump could be bad. Pressure relief valve might be stuck open or gear might be worn.
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#5 Old 03-14-2011, 10:24 PM
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Stuck open pressure relief valve, partially blocked or loose oil pickup, in addition to main bearing wear and worn oil pump. Are you using oil?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Avatar View Post
Make : Toyota
Model : Camry LE
Motor: 5sfe
Year : 1993

I've been having a problem recently with oil pressure. I am thinking that my bearings are wearing out in the bottom end, but want to get a second opinion. Currently I have an oil pressure gauge hooked into the motor. I have a T hooked into the front to also house the Low pressure switch. Yesterday I changed the oil because it had been a while since I've done it and my oil light was starting to flicker. I thought maybe the old broken down oil was culprit. Well, after changing the oil the light stays on continuously. I thought that maybe the switch was bad, so i got another one and installed it . Same thing. I hooked up my mechanical gauge while cold and started it.

The mechanical gauge went to 80PSI at cold for about 5 seconds then dropped to about 2 psi .. wasn't completely 0. What would cause the oil pressure to spike like that then drop down so drastically? I was thinking a clog somewhere, but you would think a huge spike in pressure would stay on constantly. At 3000 RPM, the oil pressure is correct. I tried to take it for a test drive and I noticed at stop lights the light stays on until around 1500 RPM then goes off (I have no way to monitor the pressure while driving). So I am assuming between 0 and 1500 RPM the pressure is around 2 PSI. I do not hear any loud tapping or rapping from the motor indicating a bad bearing.

If anyone has any information or suggestions to offer, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you in advance
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#6 Old 03-14-2011, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarney1988 View Post
Rule of thumb 1 psi per 100 rpm's

so idle at 700 rpm and expect 7 psi

Can you connect your gauge to another vehicle to make sure that it is operating correctly? Just to rule out any gauge related issues.

Gauge works correctly. The Dash " Low oil pressure light " comes on as well so I know its working


What is your idle speed?

800 RPM

Did you change your oil filter with the oil change?

Yes, I used a WIX Filter with a silicone anti-drain back valve


Is the level of oil correct?

Yes


What weight oil did you use?

5w30


I would change the filter again just to rule that out. Could be an internal filter problem (bypass valve or the like).

Problem was there with old filter prior to oil change. That's why I changed the oil in the first place


Consider dropping pan to inspect for debris getting in screen?

I am planning on this. I am also going to check the condition of the bearings when I do this


Oil pump could be bad. Pressure relief valve might be stuck open or gear might be worn.

Could Be.. I will have to check that as well. I will just change the timing belt at this time as well

Thank you for your input. I appreciate it
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#7 Old 03-14-2011, 10:55 PM
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Given what you said sounds like 1 of a few
  1. relief valve malfunction
  2. bearing wear
  3. 1 + 2
  4. debris in pick up
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#8 Old 03-14-2011, 11:05 PM
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Pull valve cover off for sludge inspection. If there, then the pickup is clogged. Drop pan and clean it.

Bore scope inspection through drain plug should be considered.

What does "its been a while" mean for the oil change interval?
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#9 Old 03-15-2011, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadrx7conv View Post
What does "its been a while" mean for the oil change interval?

Instead of changing the oil at 3,000 miles like I normally do I changed it around 6,000 miles.

thank you for your input everyone, I will be pulling the pan this weekend and checking the pickup for debris. I will also pull the Relief valve out and try to polish where the valve rides.
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#10 Old 03-15-2011, 11:38 PM
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errr ... you did 6k miles on dino oil with stock size filter?

you oil pressure may be related to sludge... I would pull the valve cover asap as see what's beneath, really, no kidding ...


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#11 Old 03-16-2011, 09:46 AM
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pulled the valve cover off, a little sludge build up but nothing alarming. There was actually more when I first got the car ... I started running synthetic in it when I first got it and changed the oil every 1000 miles and it cleaned most of it out.

I will be dropping the oil pan this weekend. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
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#12 Old 03-16-2011, 01:24 PM
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So i pulled the pan today to inspect for Metal particles, and there was a little bit but not enough to alarm me. (first time I've dropped the pan since owning it). I remember reading somewhere a little bit of bearing wear is normal for a motor. (could be wrong though)

I Dropped the balancer also to check the condition of the Rods and all of the rods felt tight, no play. I'm leaning towards possibly my oil pump is bad, or pressure relief valve is stuck. I am about to drop the pressure relief valve and polish the tubing and re-install it.

edit:

By the way... The relief Valve is a PITA to reinstall while on the vehicle. I recommend using a Torx screw driver that fits just inside of the hole on the flat washer that holds the spring in place.. (Goes in order outside to inside ; C clip, Washer, Spring, Plunger). Place the C Clip, around the screw driver shaft first, then place the washer on the top. Put the spring on the washer, and get something thats about 2" thick to jam between the sub-frame and the screw driver (enough so you can see where the C Clip is supposed to sit --- the groove). Once you can see the groove and its jammed in place, let go of the screw driver and use your C-Clip Pliers and compress and install it. I found this is the best and most effective way to do this.

Also, the plunger seemed to be stuck at the top of the hole. From reading the manual, It says its supposed to fall under its own pressure. It did not. I did clean/polish the shaft though so I am hoping that its enough.

Cleaned it up and reinstalled everything and still have low oil pressure. I am going to try to install a new oil pump and see if that helps. If that doesn't help, Last ditch effort will be to remove the oil filter relief valve (Where the filter screws onto) and try to clean it out. If that doesn't work, Im going to drop the pan down again and run plastigage on the Crankshaft and see if the bearings are in-fact out of spec. I don't think they are because there was no play but it will be the only thing I haven't done that I can think of.

I also removed the Balancer shafts because the thrust clearance was out of spec and I didnt want the balance shafts to Seize and snap a connecting rod. I tapped the oil hole and ran a bolt inside with High-temp silicone half way down the shank, and put some lock tight at the very tip of the bolt.

i was reading through the forum, and noticed that people weren't sure how many oil holes there were to plug. I have found that there is only ONE hole that needs to be plugged, and that is the one that goes to the balance shafts.. The other holes are just threaded holes that hold the assembly in place. I used a 5/16" x 24 thread tap to tap it out.. fit perfectly.

Last edited by Avatar; 03-16-2011 at 10:40 PM.
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#13 Old 03-17-2011, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGD View Post
Stuck open pressure relief valve, partially blocked or loose oil pickup, in addition to main bearing wear and worn oil pump. Are you using oil?
John, would a stuck open pressure relief valve be at the top of the shaft? I removed the C-Clip and Spring and the Plunger Valve didn't drop and the inside of the shaft was Varnished looking. I cleaned what I could out and its now shiny but the valve is still at the top. I'm wondering if maybe its Partially pushed down, allowing the pressure to Escape? Going to rip into it a little more tomorrow. Any advise would be great

Edit:

I also noticed, that at low RPM the pressure is almost nothing but at higher RPM the mechanical Gauge moves with the RPM. go to 3000 rpm, and the Gauge will go up quickly, let off the gas gauge drops quickly. I'm leaning to think that the oil pump may be culprit because the Rod bearings feel tight and there was minimal material in the pan.

Last edited by Avatar; 03-17-2011 at 12:28 AM.
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#14 Old 03-17-2011, 11:50 PM
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#15 Old 03-17-2011, 11:52 PM
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If it was my car I would replace the entire oil pump, they are not all that expensive.

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