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DAPY

Oil Pressure

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At idle when hot the oil pressure in my 1982/305 drops close to "0". Engine accelerates well and runs smoothly in all regimes. Makes no unusual noises. Has 30K miles. Does not overheat or use oil. Should I worry? Use thicker oil? 

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First step is to check the accuracy of your gauge by using a direct reading gauge of known accuracy.

 

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What would be a "gauge of known accuracy"? I'm not mechanical.

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I had a similar issue with my '76 (400 SBC)a few years back.  Your mechanic should be able to easily check the accuracy of your gauge.  My gauge was accurate.  Pressure was anywhere from 28-36 at highway speed and down to nearly 0 idling.  My pressure issue was solved by finding a couple other issues with the motor and having it rebuilt.  Pressure at highway speeds is now at 52.

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So it wasn't your gauge. Since my engine is the 305 with only 35K miles with good compression I do not want to have it rebuilt. Replaced maybe with a rebuilt 350. What is the continuing risk?

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I would use 10W30 oil and as long as your engine maintains at least five psi, I would just run it.  In the days of idiot lights, many engines idled at very low pressures and the owner did not know it.

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16 hours ago, DAPY said:

What would be a "gauge of known accuracy"? I'm not mechanical.

Any well equipped repair shop should have a calibrated pressure gauge. 

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