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How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix
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jwallis
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:31 pm    Post subject: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

Hey gang,
I had a 1.9 that had blown head gaskets so I swapped in a 2.1, and what do you know? After being on the highway for about 5 minutes and pulling over, the light lights up. So yeah, really should have checked that endplay before putting it in there. Live and learn.

The van is in Austin now and all I need out of that 2.1 is ONE LAST TRIP up to Dallas without the oil getting so thin it throws a rod. Alls I need is a little pressure! I think I was already using 20w50, so where can I go from there? straight sae 60 racing oil or something like that?

Yes, I might be able to tow the thing, but I think it'll be fine as long as I can keep some pressure in the engine...

All ideas are welcome. Thanks-
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:42 pm    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

You need some kind of gauge on there to determine the actual oil pressure at idle and at speed. Idiot lights aren't your best guide to what's actually going on in the engine, though they can provide data points
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:46 am    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

If your rod bolts are stretching then you are going to throw a rod no matter what kind of mud you put in there to get the oil pressure raised up.

FWIW 2.1L engines don't tend to have a problem with end play as the thrust bearing design is from the modern era not the 1920's.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:41 am    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

Austin to Dallas...... 3 hours? 200 miles?

There are options.

#1: put a oil pressure gauge on and see what pressure you have. You have oil pressure? Go home.

#2: oil pressure is low, it's only 200 miles, keep the rpm's down and gently drive home on the secondary roads, hope for the best.
I've seen old Air Cooled engines go for 1000's of miles with knocking rods.
I've also seen them stop soon after I heard the knocking rod.

#3: if you are going to rebuild the 2.1, tow it home.

Thicker oil isn't any sort of fix. You need to lubricate the entire engine pushing oil into small orfices and fitting into tight clearances. Sometimes overly thick oil provides LESS lubrication because it cannot circulate.

Listen carefully for a rod knock, often shown by a quick "blip" of the accelerator and quickly let off, it will be like a woodpecker moved into your engne.

A rod knock is the death rattle of an engine.

Good luck but abandon the straight gear oil idea.

Dave
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bluebus86
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:56 am    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

oil pressure maybe just fine, the idiot lights may be at fault (ie bad senders, wires) so the correct thing to do is oil pressure test with a known good gage. if that shows problems, tow it home or gamble the rebuildability of the motor, and a breakdown at the worst spot at the worst time.

I hope you are suffering from a faulty pressure sender, but be prepared for the worst, get her tested!!!!!!


good luck
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:08 am    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
You need some kind of gauge on there to determine the actual oil pressure at idle and at speed. Idiot lights aren't your best guide to what's actually going on in the engine, though they can provide data points


Agreed. Could be an electrical malfunction.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

You stopped rolling because of a dash light?

Is the engine hammering ?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:47 am    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

jwallis wrote:
All ideas are welcome.


When you put the 2.1 in,,,, did you include the 2.1 oil cooler? If you used the 1.9 exhaust, I think you have to delete the oil cooler. Probably a bad idea.

I would try the 60W oil.
I would add a real oil pressure gauge. They're pretty easy to install when you can just run the wire out of the engine cover, over the seats etc up to the front.

You could also try a sandwich oil filter block, and add a large oil cooler out in the wind for this trip. Or at least across rear engine air intakes. It's cheaper than a towtruck. Ideally you won't have to buy a cooler and a towtruck....
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:52 am    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

Quote:
Listen carefully for a rod knock, often shown by a quick "blip" of the accelerator and quickly let off, it will be like a woodpecker moved into your engne.


Epically good description...
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

rent a truck and a tow bar and tow her home if pressure test fails. if pressure test is good, fix the idiot light system and drive her home. duh!!!!!

I checked online, Uhaul one day truck rental, $45, Tow dolley which will fit the vanagon, $20 total is $65. note price is area dependant I checked for near san jose california. your price may differ. then $1.39 per mile, 200 miles, about 280 bucks more

now you could waste $20 in thick oil maybe more on an engine your going to tear apart , you could add a cooler as some suggested, but that cost will may exceed the tow cost via U Haul. Note if the engine does fail on way home, good practice is to never reuse the oil cooler as they can trap metal bits, to be released later after your engine is rebuilt.

$345 for the tow rental seems like a fricken bargin to me, no worry, no risk of engine damage, no wasted thick oil, freakin peace of mind is worth it.


Link....


https://www.uhaul.com/Reservations/RatesTowingCombo.aspx
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:10 am    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

bluebus86 wrote:

$345 for the tow rental seems like a fricken bargin to me, no worry, no risk of engine damage, no wasted thick oil, freakin peace of mind is worth it


peace of mind .vs. "the challenge"

Each has its costs, risks or merits. Sometimes peace of mind is lost when you wish you accepted the challenge.

I had that trouble with a 2.1 (oilcooler delete) and 20w50 made no apparent difference. I was 500 miles from home. We rented a UHaul. This was in 1996 and it was a $600 expenditure to get the van home. But we did!.

Maybe warm it up, dump& and refill the warm engine with $16/gal 90w gear oil and ROLL!
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:32 am    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

You can't set the endplay, but you can check it from the pulley end. As mentioned probably not your problem. If you went from a 1.9 to a 2.1 I recall from reading, that some 1.9s did not have the dual oil pressure switches. Did you pay attention to that when you did the swap?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:

Maybe warm it up, dump& and refill the warm engine with $16/gal 90w gear oil and ROLL!


90wt oil has the same viscosity are 40-50wt motor oil.

https://bobistheoilguy.com/viscosity-charts/
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:20 pm    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

1 Quart 90 weight, 5 quarts STP, let her rip.

The only thing you have to lose is an entire bottom end, & the engine cases.
No core charge credit for you when the rods let loose.

Is that worth renting, borrowing a tow vehicle?
I would think so.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

Terry Kay wrote:
1 Quart 90 weight, 5 quarts STP, let her rip.

The only thing you have to lose is an entire bottom end, & the engine cases.
No core charge credit for you when the rods let loose.

Is that worth renting, borrowing a tow vehicle?
I would think so.


Not too mention the added tow cost if she blows part way home, possible two tow charges. The first to get you off the side of the shoulderless bridge she dies on to the tow garage, and a second tow home via the U Haul, and maybe cab fare from the garage to the U Haul store.

Oh it was dark and rainy when the engine locked up, and a five car pile up with fatalities results becuase of the van blocking the road, only a bus load of handicap children, and half of a six member family on vacation. And then the tow truck driver is hit by a passing truck while he is attempting to tie your van down.
I guess it could be worse, oh yeah that medical transpaort of that heart for the eight year old boy with the rare blood type that has been waiting for 10 months for the matching blood type heart transplant. Well that ice packed heart shipment in the ambulance gets delayed in the wreck caused by the blown vanagon motor, the donated heart expires and the little boy dies.

No risk at all, right?

anyway good luck, hope the oil pressure test finds its an instrument error. But if its really low such it triggers the alarm in only five minutes of driving, heck thats not even warmed up hardly, what happens when you got a three hour drive and the engine gets too full temp, maybe you need to pull a grade? that will heat things up and probably cause even more loss.






But all that aside, Let's read what the VW Factory Manual has to say, this is the owners book that came with my 1986 Van new.

Page 30....

"Oil Pressure Warning Light

Stop the engine immediatly, check the engine oil level and add oil, if necessary.

If oil level is normal, but light continues to flash, do not continue to operate the vehicle."


The above statement is printed in BOLD in the manual.




"Do not continue to operate the vehicle." I wonder if VW really means it???? Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes


good luck
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:38 pm    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

When my van was doing that, I could drive all day in town, but at 55mph it would blink the oil light after about 10 minutes. It never made any knocking sounds. Maybe you can drive the 200 miles on backroads, at 35 mph?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

You guys crack me up. The OP posted a question and you all have gone way past an answer and assumed all sorts of stuff. How about letting the poor soul digest some of the info and chime in....
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:01 pm    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
You guys crack me up. The OP posted a question and you all have gone way past an answer and assumed all sorts of stuff. How about letting the poor soul digest some of the info and chime in....


Heck all he need do is read the owners manual, The warning lights are in the index, look it up and believe it or not, the factory states what to do in this situation. Id only run it to check pressure at this point, maybe move it a short distance with fingers crossed if I absolutly have too. I just wont risk the money of a wasted core cause I am a economical person, and fundementally in a moral way hate harming a VW in anyway if I can at all avoid it. I protect my cars, guard them well from harm and needless risks. Yeah laugh if you must, but sometimes I talk to my cars. Id no sooner risk blowing my motor than stepping on my pet rabbit, it would be so wrong. It's just not in my DNA to risk harming the van. I'm wired to protect my van. I treat being a van mechanic much like a doctor caring for a patient, Doctors take an oath that they will DO NO HARM. I cant allow harm to happen to the van, it makes me physically ill just thinking about it. I love my van Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:36 pm    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

Holy crap, I've been on here nearly 5 years and never gotten that kind of response. If I'd known I would have given a full history, as one does at a mechanic or a doctor.

I love my van, which is why I did the 1987 2.1 swap and why I now have a Bostig kit in the mail. I need to bring him up here to do the conversion, and if I knew that blowing the 2.1 was no risk to the van itself, I'd roll the dice.

Thanks for all the comments! I have done the research with pressure testing and while I didn't go as far as having a gauge installed, etc. I am 90% certain that it is true low pressure. The heads are leaking anyway, so I'm done with the boxer. I was told it should be good to go by someone I trusted.

@Wildthings that's news to me. I thought checking the endplay was a good barometer for these engines. Makes me feel better that I skipped that step. Jim at Bostig says that checking endplay on the zetec engine is a reasonable indicator for those engines.
The 90Wt gear vs 50Wt engine oil comparison is baffling and mildly upsetting Sad

@djkeev I don't believe it's knocking. It ran like a top after some dizzy adjustment. The power difference 1.9-2.1 was impressive as well.

@Sodo you're right, I had to delete the oil cooler even though I used the 2.1 exhaust. I have an external tranny cooler but hadn't thought about one for the oil. If I could rig it, that'd be a great idea. Going 35 the whole way is the other best option I think. Same deal, fine around the city.

@MarkWard that's correct, I don't have the high-pressure switch, which is why I only see the problem on the highway, then exiting and coming to a stop.

@dobryan crazy right? I never get this much attention on here, but everyone is really trying to be helpful, and checking the electrical first is definitely good advice. Unfortunately I always do a lot of research before asking on here and I'm real clear this engine is going to need a complete rebuild, and I ain't doin it.

@bluebus86 I think we are probably comfortable with different levels of risk. From what I've read and experienced, I think I have a decent shot at making the trip, I was just hoping to mitigate it.

It doesn't knock, but yall have me thinking I need to tow it. Don't be dumb, spend the money, do it right... I am so mad at that engine I just hate spending more money on it.

Thank you very much everyone who took the time...
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:40 pm    Post subject: Re: How to raise oil pressure, I need a stop-gap fix Reply with quote

remove the engine before you tow it! Smile
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