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#3386221 - 06/01/14 11:43 AM Re: Is my oil pressure gauge working properly? [Re: ThirdeYe]
aquariuscsm Offline


Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 16817
Loc: South Texas,USA
I bet your 3800 Firebird is awesome!! I never knew they came with that engine. On your OP gauge,is it the "switch" type that sits in the same spot no matter the rpm,oil temp,etc? Mine fluctuates with rpm,oil temp,etc.
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#3386390 - 06/01/14 04:23 PM Re: Is my oil pressure gauge working properly? [Re: The_Eric]
dailydriver Offline


Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 8752
Loc: Bucks County, Pa.
Originally Posted By: The_Eric
Yes, in that vintage, GM was still making functional gauges. I believe they still do but cannot confirm.

At any rate 60 psi on a 3.8 is pretty typical of the ones that I've seen. Most would run just north of 60psi hot and idle in the high 30's/low 40's.

I'd verify with a gauge first if possible, then look into the sending unit or gauge in the dash.


According to the various f body forums I frequent (mainly LT1 and LS1 related) the last year (ironically, also the first year for LS1s) 4th gen f bodies which actually had accurate oil pressure gauges was the '98s. frown

I do not know whether this is true or not, but this seems to be the consensus.
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#3386823 - 06/02/14 08:56 AM Re: Is my oil pressure gauge working properly? [Re: ThirdeYe]
ThirdeYe Offline


Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 8116
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
The oil pressure gauge does fluctuate a little bit, but not much. It never varies from between 60-70 psi. If I'm accelerating, I can see it move a little bit in line with the revs... maybe 5-10 psi or so. I'm not sure that it's entirely a dummy gauge, but that it just doesn't move much.
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#3386825 - 06/02/14 08:58 AM Re: Is my oil pressure gauge working properly? [Re: aquariuscsm]
ThirdeYe Offline


Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 8116
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Originally Posted By: aquariuscsm
I bet your 3800 Firebird is awesome!! I never knew they came with that engine. On your OP gauge,is it the "switch" type that sits in the same spot no matter the rpm,oil temp,etc? Mine fluctuates with rpm,oil temp,etc.


It's a great car. It needed a few things done to it, but nothing out of line for a 15 year old car. Overall, it's in very good shape for the year. It runs great and it sounds mean for a V6 with the aftermarket dual exhaust that it has. It's no V8, but it sounds good for being a V6.
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#3390940 - 06/06/14 06:06 PM Re: Is my oil pressure gauge working properly? [Re: Recalculating]
Recalculating Offline


Registered: 08/04/12
Posts: 389
Loc: New York
And hot idle fluctuates between 37-39 psi. Just never took the occasion to look so the OP thread peaked my interest.
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#3391815 - 06/07/14 10:38 PM Re: Is my oil pressure gauge working properly? [Re: ThirdeYe]
ThirdeYe Offline


Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 8116
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Interesting... yeah, mine's still 60-65psi on hot idle. It does fluctuate a little bit when you push the gas initially, but it doesn't go up any higher than approx. 70psi. Once you push the gas a little bit to start moving, it goes right up to 70 and stays there all the way up to 4,000+ rpms. I know Mobil 1 HM 10W-30 is on the thicker end of the 30-grade spectrum, so I figured the oil pressure would be a little high, but I'm still not sure if the oversized oil filter I put on it would affect it in any way. I really wish I would've paid attention to it when the previous fill from the dealership was in there (AC Delco 5W-30/PF47). One thing I've noticed that may or may not be related is that when you first start the engine cold, I get a bit of what sounds like piston slap for the first 10-15 seconds then it goes away. It lasts longer than the typical rattle one would get from a car building up oil pressure from the filter for a second or two for the oil light to go off, IMO... the oil light isn't on that whole time, either.
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#3392226 - 06/08/14 02:03 PM Re: Is my oil pressure gauge working properly? [Re: ThirdeYe]
Recalculating Offline


Registered: 08/04/12
Posts: 389
Loc: New York
The K&N oil filter now on my supercharged 3800 Series II is oversized. It does not figure into the oil pressure for me. I bought the filter with an AA special last year. Likely will not do oversized again. My PAU has the driver instrument cluster (DIC) allowing for an active digital reading. It is not set up like the photo you provided on yours however the speedometer center package is the same. I have become spoiled not looking there since some of the information like speed is
provided in the heads up display projected on the windshield.

If you have never changed out the oil pressure sensor, more than likely it is the culprit. I do not have any sounds like you have in startup. I still have the original dual muffler exhaust system and when at hot idle, one can barely hear the car running inside or outside the vehicle.
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2009 Honda CR-V EX-L 49k
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#3392431 - 06/08/14 07:02 PM Re: Is my oil pressure gauge working properly? [Re: Recalculating]
ThirdeYe Offline


Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 8116
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Originally Posted By: Recalculating
The K&N oil filter now on my supercharged 3800 Series II is oversized. It does not figure into the oil pressure for me. I bought the filter with an AA special last year. Likely will not do oversized again. My PAU has the driver instrument cluster (DIC) allowing for an active digital reading. It is not set up like the photo you provided on yours however the speedometer center package is the same. I have become spoiled not looking there since some of the information like speed is
provided in the heads up display projected on the windshield.

If you have never changed out the oil pressure sensor, more than likely it is the culprit. I do not have any sounds like you have in startup. I still have the original dual muffler exhaust system and when at hot idle, one can barely hear the car running inside or outside the vehicle.


The previous owner put a Flo-Pro dual exhaust system on this car, so I'm not sure if the exhaust's sound is playing tricks on my ear, but it sounds identical to the piston slap I've heard in my mom's old 2003 Malibu 3.1 except it doesn't last nearly as long. Maybe it's a lifter?
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