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Thread: Oil Pressure Dropping

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Little Tennessee River (Tellico Lak) near Knoxville
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    Oil Pressure Dropping

    I have twin Crusader 270 engines - 350 Chevy Block.

    Heading down from Knoxville, Tn. area I noticed my stbd engine which normally held Oil Pressure at about 55 psi, started slowly losing pressure.
    Recently. I had made a new dashboard with all instruments and on short play trips of about 3 or 4 hours i noticed that it was getting lower. We were giving the engines a good run the other day because we are planning to head further south. My starting oil pressure is the old 55 -60 PSI. After about an hour or so it dropped down to about 50 and then to about 45. In idle it dropped below 30.

    I tried to find a reliable mechanic but they are hard to come by. One was supposed to come by today but never called or showed.

    Until he finally gets here, I am in a panic. My oil seems clean, there is hardly any smoke, I'm not using any oil and the engine seems relatively quiet and runs smooth.

    Anyone have any idea what this could be?
    I'm in panic mode, not just because of the expense of repairs, but also, If we dont leave soon we will probably have to stay till spring.

    Thanks in advance
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Leesburg, Georgia
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    You have 2 oil pressure gauges? If so, try swapping the leads and see if it is the gauge (fingers crossed). If the gauge checks good, there may be a sensor going bad. I say that about the sensor if it is not a mechanical gauge. I would also say the 30psi oil pressure at IDLE isn't too bad. If it is dropping off at cruising RPM's, I would watch it closely along with the engine Temp gauge. If the Temp starts rising, immediate shutdown. Not knowing what kind/brand of HB you are on, I can't say anything as far as being able to change out the oil pump without a lot of work. My Grandparents boat, just enough space to drop the oil pan and get to the oil pump (been there done that). I hope it isn't the pump.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    I dont have a HB. I have a 36' Mainship motoryacht. The boat and engines are about 30 years old. The gages and senders are new. When installed about 3 months ago, the new ones read the same as the old ones. The pressure on the stbd engine started dropping before the gage swap and is continuing to drop. At start-up the PSI is about 55 -60. After about 30 mins, the press starts to drop to about 45 or less. When in idle, the press drops below 30. The water temp remains at its normal 160 - 165.
    I too hope it's not the pump because I dont know if the mechanic will be able to drop the oil pan as is.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  4. #4
    Senior Member 42gibson's Avatar
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    norwich,ohio
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    we have 454's with 400 hours,they run 40-45lbs at 2000 rpm and around 20 at idle on all gauges.
    44 gibson executive
    on the muskingum river & ohio river
    marietta,ohio

  5. #5
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
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    I answered in the duplicate thread. What does the Crusader manual say the oil pressure should be? 30 PSI on a Chevy small block in a car at idle is good. What oil viscosity are you running? If you want to know the actual pressure, you will need to hook up a manual gauge.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    MY concern is not with the actual number of PSI, but with the fact that it dropped so drastically recently.
    I just bought a mechanical gauge from Advanced Auto. Either tomorrow or Wednesday I will try it out and see what happens.
    Thanks for the replies and keep them coming.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  7. #7
    Super Moderator OLD HOUSEBOATER's Avatar
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    Check oil for metal
    The fries are cold so we gave you extra.

  8. #8
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    Cadiz, Ky--Okeechobee, Fl
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    Cut the oil filter check for metal. DON'T use a hacksaw

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Curious questions:
    1). I know metal in the oil is not good, but what would it tell me in this particular situation?
    My exhaust is clean - virtually no smoke.
    2). The sea water hose on the oil cooler was removed at the heater exchanger end and and the inside of the hose wall showed (actually felt with finger and then a long swab) showed no sign of oil in it.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  10. #10
    Super Moderator OLD HOUSEBOATER's Avatar
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    Metal in oil can indicate wear from bearings which increases clearances which reduces oil pressure. Probably time to have an oil analysis performed. if you do have a problem it can help identify the problem area.
    The fries are cold so we gave you extra.

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