View original topic: Bostig Zetec low oil pressure light on at hot idle Page: 1, 2  Next
vanagonjon Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:13 am

About a week ago I noted that my oil pressure light was coming on at low engine rpm, I checked the level as was about a quart low. I added a quart, and since I have a high capacity oil pan I wasn't that concerned since I have kept it a quart low since I did the install due to what appeared to be windage issues at times showing a trail of smoke on the highway at higher revs.

The problem did not go away with the added quart. I just installed a new switch and the problem is still there. Has anyone else seen a similar issue? My engine is 10 years old, was a new crate engine originally from Ford racing that was sold on Ebay. This is like a flashback to the original 2.1 low oil pressure at hot idle.

John Fitzgerald

jimf909 Sat Mar 06, 2021 8:07 am

The OP on my Zetec was always so high I removed the gauge. This is 61 psi at cold idle. Not a good time to read OP but I took this photo because it was more than twice as high as I ever saw with the wbx.

I'll suggest that installing a gauge will help with diagnosis. It's fairly easy on the Zetec.

jimf909 Sat Mar 06, 2021 8:41 am

Here's where I had the OP gauge sending unit, just ahead of the sender for the light. How many miles on the engine?

MarkWard Sat Mar 06, 2021 8:54 am

Is it the dynamic oil pressure warning that is coming on or the no pressure warning light? Big difference. To maintain the original system from the 2.1 WBX, you'd need 2 switches and an rpm signal to the vanagon cluster.

If the dynamic system was not incorporated into your conversion, I would not start it anymore until you measure the actual pressure as advised. The low pressure warning light turns on just above zero pressure.

Until you are out of oil, being a qt or 2 low shouldn't have a bearing on oil pressure.

vanagonjon Sat Mar 06, 2021 8:57 am

The engine has about 120K miles. I am ashamed to say that it is in it's second body, and I really didn't keep track to well when the swap was made of how many miles were on the original. I have an oil pressure test kit that I will put on to see the actual pressure. I don't have the time now to pull the pan and inspect what is going on in there.

I have been running Mobil 1 the whole life of the engine, it is the wife's car actually, was her daily driver until I got here a Jeep YJ about four years ago. She got hit hard last year in the Jeep, so I am fixing that so the Vanagon is here daily driver until then.

I just assumed the Zetec would last forever I guess, I do miss the smoothness of the WBX, but love the horsepower on the highway.


jimf909 Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:37 am

From the internets, FWIW...

The chatter suggests the stock sender triggers the light below 10 psi but your current depends on which sender you have.

Ford Zetec specs:
Oil pressure @ 800-850 rpm - 1.3 to 2.5 bar (18.9 to 36.3 psi)
Oil pressure @ 4000 rpm - 3.7 to 5.5 bar (53.7 to 79.8 psi)

The general sentiment is that these motors go 200K miles easy. The good news is that if your engine died there are long blocks available for less than $500. The bad news is that it's becoming much harder to find low mileage motors and crate motors are essentially gone.

Good luck.

vanagonjon Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:14 pm

The light comes on at 0.3 bar, I only see it at idle. I had never really looked at the Zetec oil pump till now. I will pull the Bostig high capacity oil pan when I can next week and see if there are any answers there. The oil pump appears to be part of the lower crankcase at the front main seal. I was hoping to go 200-300K with no issues, but that seems to be not happening.

I was looking to see if anyone has had a similar issue, I will let everyone know what I find. My wife needs to continue driving the van, if the engine is soon to be toast, it will let us know. I hear no bearing slap, another mystery of life forced upon me I guess.........


MarkWard Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:20 pm

Or it will throw a rod through the block, oil will get thrown on the hot exhaust, and catch fire. A good pilot trusts his instruments.

jimf909 Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:24 pm

The Bostig fb user group has more active folks but I don't think I've ever seen low OP issues.

JudoJeff Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:55 pm

Drain the oil. Open the access port on HCOP. See if the pickup screen is clogged with something. Thereís the possible problem.

Good luck.

vanagonjon Sat Mar 06, 2021 4:40 pm

I took it off the road, I do not have anything that works to read the oil pressure off the port here now. I am thinking there is an issue with the pickup, and will pull the pan next week on my day off. The wife is bummed, but we have a work around to get her to work until the rig is fixed. I can't find another Bostig kit Zetec low oil pressure problem anywhere, go figure. I will not be posting again till the end of next week.

I am not on facebook, no smartphone either, old man vibe.......


jimf909 Sat Mar 06, 2021 5:55 pm

vanagonjon wrote:
I am not on facebook, no smartphone either, old man vibe.......


You're not missing a lot.

Are you sure you want to pull the entire pan and not just open the access plate? If yours isn't leaking it would be nice to not mess with the seal.

vanagonjon Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:29 am

Without x-ray vision, my guess is that the oil pump inlet screen may be clogged with powder coat that has flaked off. I want to inspect that, I have the original Ford pan that I will put on while I decide what to do. My engine mount cradle powder coat looks bad around the edges. We do use the van as a van, it runs through New England winters, which will kill it like the other 7 or 8 Vanagons we have had since the 80's. At least the Vanagons last longer than the bay windows we had since the 70's.


crazyvwvanman Sun Mar 07, 2021 6:56 am

With a shortened pan I think it must have a modified oil pump pickup tube.
Perhaps one of the added welds on the tube has cracked and is letting some air into the pump.


[email protected] Sun Mar 07, 2021 10:04 am

i don't know anything about a ferd but do these have o-rings on the pick up tube?

a lot of eurotrash i work on suffer from oil pressure issues because the oil pick up o ring gets rock hard and sucks air or just splits.

this usually shows up as a bouncy needle on a pressure gauge or micro bubbles on the dipstick, the oil will look foamy

honestly, not putting a gauge on this before you dig in is foolish. i would want to know before and after results before i dug into something

vanagonjon Sun Mar 07, 2021 1:11 pm

It's not a big deal to remove the pan, it is just hanging there with some 10mm bolts keeping it up. I know the pressure is low because I put a brand new switch on and it shows low pressure as the 10 year old original switch also indicated. The powder coating on the pan is failing on the outside, I can't see the inside unless I take off the inspection cover. Taking off the whole pan is not a whole lot more work after that. Then I can pull a bearing cap and look at a bearing also. There is something wrong, best to tear off the whole scab. The Zetec has been trouble free mechanical wise before this. For some reason I have gone through 3 or 4 failed coils, the last one I put on about a year ago is a Motorcraft, but that was made in China like the ones that failed.

I am going to rig up a gauge to check pressure, my 30 year old oil pressure kit hose is no good any more.


JudoJeff Sun Mar 07, 2021 1:29 pm

I donít think you installed the HCOP, but itís your vehicle. Iíd do what I wrote, and if that fixes the problem, stop.

vanagonjon Sun Mar 07, 2021 1:59 pm

I did install the HCOP myself, I don't remember what everything looked like for the pickup tube. If there is something clogging the screen when I check there really can't be too many things in there that I can think of other than some peeled powder coat. I can't recall if it was powder coated inside originally.

I will be checking it out on Thursday morning, working four twelve hours shifts till then.


vandroid Mon Mar 08, 2021 9:25 am

Chances are with the HCOP and something blocking the pickup, it will be RTV. The pictures I have seen on a few different Bostig related feeds of DIY installs showed serious possibilities of issues down the road. Use the gasket! Our mechanic has done both of our Bostig converted vans for us. Our second was a recent purchase and he showed us pictures of all the sealant that was pulled onto and some into the pickup. Luckily for us, his finding was during the pre purchase examination. It saved us a bundle and really embarassed the seller, enough to drop the price of the van 25% and he covered the labor to seal it properly. The gasket was $40.

Steve M. Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:25 am

Do an Oil Analysis for the engine. They can say where the high metals are coming from if there are any high concentration of metals by knowing where the metal is used in the engine.

You buy a kit that gives you a small bottle and drain hot oil into it and mail it off to them or bring it to a local shop depending on where you are. I've been using Kelly Tractor for the last 20 yrs. as a matter of routine twice a year. they give you a prepaid envelope to mail it to them.

I find it amazing that you can mail off oil samples in the mail without trigger hazmat teams etc., etc.!

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