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Old December 30th, 2009, 08:41 PM   #1
victorymike
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Bought it used a month ago and it runs great and I love it. Took it to Marquette and back and it was a dream to drive. I am fairly certain that when I first got it the oil pressure stayed constant at 40#, but am not sure. I've noticed lately that the oil pressure is nothing like my GMC K1500 truck with a 305 in it. This Ram seems to have a maximum oil pressure of around 35# now. When cold it idles nicely like when I first got it with an oil pressure of about 35#. When it warms up it is around 30#. On the freeway lately it freaked me out by dropping from around 35 to 20 (cruising along at a constant rpm at 70mph) and then slowly climbing back up to 30 (no change in rpm or gas pedal). When I get off the freeway and the engine is nice and warm it idles around 20#. The guage says "normal" is 20-60#. My GMC, with similar mileage (160K), idles around 30# and on the freeway is solid at 45#. Since I've noticed the irratic oil pressure I have also noticed equally irratic lifter rattle that comes and goes (and doesn't seem to be based on whether the oil pressure is 35# or 20#...but seems to like to do it under moderate acceleration around 35mph).

I just did an oil change, complete with oil flush, and put in Castrol 10W30 and the condition persists. The oil level has never been low and I keep it at the top line. I have been thinking about dropping the pan but don't know if it is possible without jacking up the engine. There is a crossmember, like on my GMC. Can you get the oil pan out without jacking up the engine? If so I was thinking about installing a high volume/pressure oil pump (and modifying the oil pan to accomodate this) and cleaning the pickup screen.

Last edited by victorymike; December 30th, 2009 at 08:47 PM.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 09:08 AM   #2
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my dodge has 256k miles and runs 40lbs running down the road and highway. at idle its about 35. i picked it up with about 175k from the org. owner he ran nothing but 20w50 max life after 150k miles. you might try it and see if it helps, its a p.i.t.a to drop the pan in the truck of a 2nd gen dodge. you never know what they po ran and how they drove.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 05:42 PM   #3
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your probably fine. Change the oil and make sure you put 10w30. pressure will drop a bit with age put you really dont have much to worry about till the pressure is way lower than that. just keep an eye on it and youll be fine
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 08:17 PM   #4
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I did a flush and oil change with 10W30 last week...no change. Today I bought an oil pressure sending unit. I think it is waaaaay back up against the firewall. I'll try ot install it tomorrow and see if there is any change. It just seems wierd when cruising down the highway on cruise control and the oil pressure goes from 30 to 20 and then flickers back and forth, slowly climbing back to 30 or 35 and back to 30. It does seem to climb a little from idle at a stop to speed.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 08:49 PM   #5
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Took it in to the shop for a pro to look at it. Found a freeze plug coolant leak and a small oil leak from the timing chain cover. Also mentioned replacing the intake gaskets to satisfy a service bulletin about oil loss.

But they also said that the lower oil pressure was likely main bearings, which is what I said right off the bat. So I'm having it completely rebuilt. I love the truck and this is the only sure way to get another 100K+ miles out of it.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #6
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Oh man Mike I'm sorry to hear that.

I went through that motor when I put it in the truck and the bearings were in good shape. I always kept the oil changed and full and let it warm up before I drove it. It pulled some heavy loads but never missed a beat. It didn't run low on oil on your trip to Marquette, did it? Not that it ever burned or leaked it but I'm searching for an explanation as to why a motor that was gone through 30k miles ago and in great health at that time would have bearing issues now.

Did you already move to Marquette? If you're still in the area I'll do whatever I can to help you out.

Tom
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Old January 8th, 2010, 09:01 PM   #7
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The intake gaskets were new when the motor was installed, if that is any consolation...
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Old January 8th, 2010, 09:24 PM   #8
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I figured that you went thru that motor when you put it in, tmhd2. The oil never got low when I went to Marquette and back. I always used the remote starter and let it warm up before driving it...until the low oil pressure surfaced...then I only warmed it up a little bit. As stated several times before, I really love the truck. Figured that with all the work you put into it that it is well worth an engine rebuild. I would really love to see it running over 40# of oil pressure above idle.

I also bought these last week
Dodge Ram Rockers
. Hope to replace that driver's side one after we get settled in in Marquette and the weather warms things up.

We are making one trip to Marquette Jan 16th, taking a bus back and taking a final trip up Jan 22nd.

Last edited by victorymike; January 9th, 2010 at 11:38 PM.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 01:30 PM   #9
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Just got a call from the machine shop. Both heads had small cracks. That was another guess of mine. The move to Marquette is getting tougher and tougher. When its done it will be really nice tho.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #10
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Got it back Saturday afternoon...just in time to drive it up to Marquette. I took my time and cycled the speed from 40-55 the entire way. Took me over 10 hours to make it...and it is time for its first oil change right now. The oil pressure is now 40-50# on the freeway...and about 35# at idle. It runs really nice now. And it is pretty too. No leaks.
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