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s13 oil pressure problem 

17 replies to this topic

#1 mazzotti

  • Joined:23-April 15
  • Location:Australia WA
  • Car:1990 sileighty

Posted 23 April 2015 - 11:43 AM

Hey guys, I recently bought an s13 that has the ca180det engine and only 91,000ks. I just noticed though that when the engine has warmed up fully after some time driving, idle oil pressure is very low around 5 psi and warning light comes on. I'm pretty worried because I know this can be due to cam bearings. Could it possibly be that it has the wrong oil in it or that the gauge is faulty? According to the guy I bought the car off the engine was rebuilt about a year ago so I though bearings should be sweet. Thanks

#2 moggys13

  • Joined:07-October 08
  • Location:Australia NSW
  • Car:1996 180sx det

Posted 23 April 2015 - 12:17 PM

factory specs should be when warm 11psi on idle, and 51-60psi at 3.5k. what oil is in it? could be to thin or there could be issues with oil pump/bearings

#3 B00sted180

  • Joined:26-March 12
  • Location:Australia SA
  • Car:180SX

Posted 23 April 2015 - 12:31 PM

View Postmazzotti, on 23 April 2015 - 11:43 AM, said:

According to the guy I bought the car off the engine was rebuilt about a year ago so I though bearings should be sweet.

Don't believe everything you hear. Found previous adverts for my car and apparently it had a rebuilt forged bottom end. Inspected it all when I had the head off and found it was all standard.

On another note the misses bought her car after being told her engine had been rebuilt. Recently started having problems with it and got it inspected and the mechanic laughed at the idea it had been rebuilt and said there isn't any sign at all of it ever being dismantled.

Unless you can verify statements don't take them for a grain of salt.

#4 mazzotti

  • Joined:23-April 15
  • Location:Australia WA
  • Car:1990 sileighty

Posted 23 April 2015 - 02:40 PM

View Postmoggys13, on 23 April 2015 - 12:17 PM, said:

factory specs should be when warm 11psi on idle, and 51-60psi at 3.5k. what oil is in it? could be to thin or there could be issues with oil pump/bearings

I'm not sure what oil is in it unfortunately. Would you recommend changing it and seeing how it runs then? Also the gauges seem to be wired a bit roughly and sometimes cut out....not sure if that would effect the reading. It's just weird how pressure is at like 50psi when cold idling and then drops to almost nothing once it's warm

Edited by mazzotti, 23 April 2015 - 02:44 PM.


#5 mazzotti

  • Joined:23-April 15
  • Location:Australia WA
  • Car:1990 sileighty

Posted 23 April 2015 - 02:46 PM

View PostB00sted180, on 23 April 2015 - 12:31 PM, said:

View Postmazzotti, on 23 April 2015 - 11:43 AM, said:

According to the guy I bought the car off the engine was rebuilt about a year ago so I though bearings should be sweet.

Don't believe everything you hear. Found previous adverts for my car and apparently it had a rebuilt forged bottom end. Inspected it all when I had the head off and found it was all standard.

On another note the misses bought her car after being told her engine had been rebuilt. Recently started having problems with it and got it inspected and the mechanic laughed at the idea it had been rebuilt and said there isn't any sign at all of it ever being dismantled.

Unless you can verify statements don't take them for a grain of salt.

Good point, I should have probably had a mechanic look at it. Even so though, if the car has only done 91,000 ks, wouldn't it be unlikely that can bearings or the oil pump would be failing at this stage?

Edited by mazzotti, 23 April 2015 - 03:21 PM.


#6 brent47

  • Joined:29-January 04
  • Location:Australia SA
  • Car:jdm 15

Posted 23 April 2015 - 03:42 PM

A 25 year old CA R/PS13 with anything less than 200,000 ks on it is laughable mate.

Odometer was wound back when imported/before the auctions, and probably again at some stage in Australia if it's that low.

Need to get the car looked at by a mechanic to sort the issue properly before too much damage is done


#7 Varvs

  • Joined:21-December 07
  • Location:Australia NSW
  • Car:97 180sx Type X

Posted 23 April 2015 - 04:38 PM

Anyone claiming any amount of kms as legit on any imported vehicle, even desirable Aus delivered cars, is naive.

people dont just buy a fun car and look at the f**kin thing. They drive its tits off.

#8 mazzotti

  • Joined:23-April 15
  • Location:Australia WA
  • Car:1990 sileighty

Posted 23 April 2015 - 07:52 PM

Damn, he said apparently it was sitting in a warehouse for years before it was imported. I didn't know winding back odometers was common or easy to do, is there any way to check?

#9 Varvs

  • Joined:21-December 07
  • Location:Australia NSW
  • Car:97 180sx Type X

Posted 23 April 2015 - 08:48 PM

http://www.japaneseodometercheck.com/

$30.

#10 adm15

  • Joined:17-February 15
  • Location:Australia VIC
  • Car:s15

Posted 23 April 2015 - 09:22 PM

I too had bought a car that supposedly had the engine rebuilt and forged. I always assumed the guy was talking shit. After a while the thing did a head gasket and I had to pull the head off. To my surprise I found it did have forgies in it. Rare I suppose but not impossible. As far as the low k's , the body and interior can tell a story there. If its genuinely below 100k I would expect almost no wear and tear to carpet, seats, steering wheel etc. If u can see wear on those u know its been wound back.

#11 B00sted180

  • Joined:26-March 12
  • Location:Australia SA
  • Car:180SX

Posted 23 April 2015 - 09:50 PM

My 180 has done around 140,000km. I'm confident it hasn't been changed since being in Australia as I have spoken to several previous owners and the change in km's each time it changed hands was at a expected rate. However I can't guarantee is wasn't changed prior to getting to Australia. Only thing that makes me believe it wasn't changed is that it was near completely stock with only a fmic, cat-back and pod filter when I bought it. It still has it's original engine and from my understanding it really hasn't been thrashed all that much. When I had my head removed I checked the lip in each cylinder and it would be fair to say 140,000km's would be around the bench mark.

However if I wanted to look into it JOC states that any car imported prior to 2004 won't have records. My car is a 1991 and was imported in 2001 and I've had it since 2011. If I could get a guaranteed history on the car I would.

#12 mazzotti

  • Joined:23-April 15
  • Location:Australia WA
  • Car:1990 sileighty

Posted 23 April 2015 - 10:19 PM

View PostVarvs, on 23 April 2015 - 08:48 PM, said:


Sweet cheers that's awesome will use

#13 Wizard

  • Joined:09-February 10
  • Location:Australia NSW
  • Car:Moneypit

Posted 24 April 2015 - 06:47 AM

View Postmazzotti, on 23 April 2015 - 02:46 PM, said:

View PostB00sted180, on 23 April 2015 - 12:31 PM, said:

View Postmazzotti, on 23 April 2015 - 11:43 AM, said:

According to the guy I bought the car off the engine was rebuilt about a year ago so I though bearings should be sweet.

Don't believe everything you hear. Found previous adverts for my car and apparently it had a rebuilt forged bottom end. Inspected it all when I had the head off and found it was all standard.

On another note the misses bought her car after being told her engine had been rebuilt. Recently started having problems with it and got it inspected and the mechanic laughed at the idea it had been rebuilt and said there isn't any sign at all of it ever being dismantled.

Unless you can verify statements don't take them for a grain of salt.

Good point, I should have probably had a mechanic look at it. Even so though, if the car has only done 91,000 ks, wouldn't it be unlikely that can bearings or the oil pump would be failing at this stage?

Oil pressure isn't related to "cam bearings". The oil pump is driven by the crank, which then feeds oil through the crank and then through the main and big-end bearings. If the oil pump is f**ked, then you'll have no pressure, and if the big ends or mains have moved or been squashed, then you'll see a drop in oil pressure as well.

On a soon-to-be-dead motor, going from 60psi cold to 5 psi warm isn't uncommon. You could have a shit gauge but it could be on its last legs.

And with kilometers/age, I've had 21 or so 90's Nissans pass through my hands. I have seen ONE car with 90k km's that I believed. It was a treasure ship of rare parts. It did get written off a week later though. I've had one car with 140,000km on it where the interior was fresh, gloss black, and all the buttons clicked like new. That's 1/21 cars. I've probably had 10 S13's with "140,000km" on the cluster, all of them with trashed carpet, the white markings are worn off buttons, faded indicator/wiper stalks, dash cracks, etc.

but if the car genuinely has 90,000km on it, and the oil pressure isn't actually a problem, make sure the timing belt has been done. Even if it hasn't done the km's, a 25 year old timing belt isn't a good thing to rely on.

#14 Varvs

  • Joined:21-December 07
  • Location:Australia NSW
  • Car:97 180sx Type X

Posted 24 April 2015 - 07:48 AM

View PostB00sted180, on 23 April 2015 - 09:50 PM, said:

My 180 has done around 140,000km. I'm confident it hasn't been changed since being in Australia as I have spoken to several previous owners and the change in km's each time it changed hands was at a expected rate. However I can't guarantee is wasn't changed prior to getting to Australia. Only thing that makes me believe it wasn't changed is that it was near completely stock with only a fmic, cat-back and pod filter when I bought it. It still has it's original engine and from my understanding it really hasn't been thrashed all that much. When I had my head removed I checked the lip in each cylinder and it would be fair to say 140,000km's would be around the bench mark.

However if I wanted to look into it JOC states that any car imported prior to 2004 won't have records. My car is a 1991 and was imported in 2001 and I've had it since 2011. If I could get a guaranteed history on the car I would.


Mine was exactly the same as this and it was wound back approx 90,000kms.

Body work, interior and bushings didnt look very old at all, so youd never have picked it without the papers

Doesnt really change the fact that the motor is strong, looked after and still making good power - but to think that a car from japan - especially something like an S13 which is one of the least profitable to import - has not been wound back? kidding yourself.

#15 mazzotti

  • Joined:23-April 15
  • Location:Australia WA
  • Car:1990 sileighty

Posted 24 April 2015 - 11:49 AM

View PostWizard, on 24 April 2015 - 06:47 AM, said:

View Postmazzotti, on 23 April 2015 - 02:46 PM, said:

View PostB00sted180, on 23 April 2015 - 12:31 PM, said:

View Postmazzotti, on 23 April 2015 - 11:43 AM, said:

According to the guy I bought the car off the engine was rebuilt about a year ago so I though bearings should be sweet.

Don't believe everything you hear. Found previous adverts for my car and apparently it had a rebuilt forged bottom end. Inspected it all when I had the head off and found it was all standard.

On another note the misses bought her car after being told her engine had been rebuilt. Recently started having problems with it and got it inspected and the mechanic laughed at the idea it had been rebuilt and said there isn't any sign at all of it ever being dismantled.

Unless you can verify statements don't take them for a grain of salt.

Good point, I should have probably had a mechanic look at it. Even so though, if the car has only done 91,000 ks, wouldn't it be unlikely that can bearings or the oil pump would be failing at this stage?

Oil pressure isn't related to "cam bearings". The oil pump is driven by the crank, which then feeds oil through the crank and then through the main and big-end bearings. If the oil pump is f**ked, then you'll have no pressure, and if the big ends or mains have moved or been squashed, then you'll see a drop in oil pressure as well.

On a soon-to-be-dead motor, going from 60psi cold to 5 psi warm isn't uncommon. You could have a shit gauge but it could be on its last legs.

And with kilometers/age, I've had 21 or so 90's Nissans pass through my hands. I have seen ONE car with 90k km's that I believed. It was a treasure ship of rare parts. It did get written off a week later though. I've had one car with 140,000km on it where the interior was fresh, gloss black, and all the buttons clicked like new. That's 1/21 cars. I've probably had 10 S13's with "140,000km" on the cluster, all of them with trashed carpet, the white markings are worn off buttons, faded indicator/wiper stalks, dash cracks, etc.

but if the car genuinely has 90,000km on it, and the oil pressure isn't actually a problem, make sure the timing belt has been done. Even if it hasn't done the km's, a 25 year old timing belt isn't a good thing to rely on.

ok cool, that's good to know, I'll definitely check into it more thoroughly next time.
So are you saying if it is a bearings problem then oil pressure will drop under revs or when engine is idling? Because mine seems solid when I'm driving, sits at 60psi at 3.5k revs or so. Only when idling it drops to 5 psi or even less.....


#16 Wizard

  • Joined:09-February 10
  • Location:Australia NSW
  • Car:Moneypit

Posted 24 April 2015 - 12:20 PM

Oil pump is connected directly to the crank - the faster the motor spins, the faster the oil pump spins. The service manual will have a few numbers to say what is good and what isn't good. I'm not sure what the numbers are for CA's, but the book for SR will say that 4 bar/60psi at 3200rpm, 3 bar/45psi at 2500rpm, and 11-20psi at idle (800). If your gauge is legit, and it is only 5psi at idle, then its rebuild time.

#17 mazzotti

  • Joined:23-April 15
  • Location:Australia WA
  • Car:1990 sileighty

Posted 26 April 2015 - 11:26 AM

Ok cool, well then I'm gonna do an oil chamge and then test the pressure with a mechanical gauge. Touch wood it's either thin oil or slightly innacurate gauge! Thanks for all the input guys, I'll let you know what the outcome is.

#18 mazzotti

  • Joined:23-April 15
  • Location:Australia WA
  • Car:1990 sileighty

Posted 03 May 2015 - 12:14 AM

Alright so did an oil change, checked my gauges (one of the plugs was almost falling out), and checked and cleaned the oil sensor. Now oil pressure is sweet sitting at around 15psi on idle.
On another note, this car is tuned to 15psi boost, at what rpm should the car reach full boost?





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