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Thread: Oil Pressure Dropping

  1. #11
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Little Tennessee River (Tellico Lak) near Knoxville
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    Toay. I completely removed starboard (Problematic engine) oil sender and shut-off alarm and "T" and installed it in the port engine - the good engine. I was hoping I could nail this on the senders but not so. I ran the port engine for almost an hour tied to the dock at 16-1800 RPM which is about my normal cruising speed. The engine started at about 60 psi and went to about 53 PSI when I went to 1400 RPM. When I ran it up to and held 1800 rpm it steadied out at around 55 plus a tad PSI. The bad news is that the senders are fine.

    Tomorrow, I will install the new mechanical oil press gauge in the starboard engine (Problematic one) and hope it works out fine. That will then narrow it down to an electrical problem.
    If pressure really is low according to the mechanical gauge, I am probably in serious trouble.

    So if the mechanical gauge shows low, I will try OHB's idea of breaking open the oil filter. God, I hope its not that.

    Wish me luck.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  2. #12
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Oil Analysis?

    Quote Originally Posted by OLD HOUSEBOATER View Post
    Metal in oil can indicate wear from bearings which increases clearances which reduces oil pressure. Probably time to have an oil analysis performed.
    OK, now i'm scared. If I have to have an oil analysis, exactly what do I have to do and where do I have to go?

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

  3. #13
    Senior Member easttnboater's Avatar
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    I would not get all excited. The oiling system relies both on pressure and volume. I really would not expect 50+ PSI at 1,800 rpm. I know that is what you are used to, but as long as you have good volume, you should be good at 25 PSI at that rpm.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    It's not the volume that I'm worried about. its the fact that this happened so quickly. One day I have 55 psi and the next day I have 40 psi. Will I have 20 PSI tomorrow in the middle of nowhere while on a 600 mile trip? I am planning on leaving my current location around Dec. 1.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  5. #15
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    Cadiz, Ky--Okeechobee, Fl
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    You could also have a bad spring in the relief valve in the pump, they will cause a sudden change in pressure. The first thing to do is open the oil filter and check for metal. It will cost you around $6.00 and tell you more then anything.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Happy Ending

    Yesterday, I installed a mechanical oil pressure gauge. Started the engine at 60 PSI, then slowly drifted down to 55. I ran the engine for an hour at the dock at 1800 RPM in reverse gear for a load. Guess what? Nothing happened, the engine just sat there steady at 55 PSI. Great news, I can now sleep better and plan my trip southward next week. I will leave the mechanical gauge in place and use it. Although I only drive from the fly bridge, I make engine room checks about every 45 mins to an hour and the alarm buzzer thingie is hooked up so I am not worried about a real live oil drop.

    So now I know that the problem is not the "T", nor the alarm sender nor the pressure gauge sender. There are only two things left (Ithink), either the gauge is defective or there is some sort of wiring conflict. I will put the sender wire from the good engine (port) and put it on the suspect engine's (starboard) gauge and that will tell me if the gauge is defective.
    Anyway, now I can sleep tonight.

    Thanks for all the help. I really learned a lot.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  7. #17
    Senior Member 42gibson's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
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    norwich,ohio
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    glad everything is ok, have a good trip
    44 gibson executive
    on the muskingum river & ohio river
    marietta,ohio

  8. #18
    Senior Member Stmbtwle's Avatar
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    Ruskin, Florida
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    Glad you found it, it was sounding expensive there for a while.
    She's a tired old barge but she's paid for!

  9. #19
    Senior Member Tony B's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help and encouragement. I was starting to panic.

    Looks like I will be ready to head back to Tx next week.
    Houseboater at Heart
    1986 Mainship 36 Dual Cabin Pointed Ended House Boat

  10. #20
    Super Moderator
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    Aliceville Al
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    Crusader does not recommend mutible viscosity oils, try 30 winter and 40 summer. Glad you came by yesterday, good to see you.

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