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low oil pressure

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by steven s, Jul 13, 2013.

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    steven s

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    M52 +255,000 miles

    On fast left handers on track my oil light flickers.
    I overfill slightly. That didn't cure it.

    Thought it might be a cracked oil suction tube.
    Replaced that.
    Still flickers on left handers.
    Next I'm going with a baffle in the oil pan.

    But today at a light my oil light started to flicker at idle
    Rev it up, light off.
    Checked oil level, it's fine.

    So 2 things left.
    Oil pump or oil sender unit.

    Sender will be next.
    Any other suggestions?
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    steven s

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    Did some googling and it sounds like it may be normal.
    I use is 15-50w.
    Now for my left handers, that probably needs the baffle.
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    MGarrison

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    Any slant six, I suspect a baffle is a really good idea. Different engine, but a weak oil pump on my 155k 320i M10B18 had me end up with a rod knock and eventual engine rebuild after two days of track driving. Just like doctors, always get a second opinion when a mechanic says "That's no big deal, don't worry about it."
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    charlson89

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    To be on the safe side steve with your mileage I would check oil pressure on your car and replace the sender, easy job. Also I'm sure you have read about the dreaded engine oil pump nut falling off and starving your engine. I would also check for that and install some baffles in the pan to help with the hard cornering.
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    steven s

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    I asked my tech to secure the nut when he replaced the oil pickup.
    Don't know if he did.

    I found the oil sender on my car. Looks like I need to take the air duct to the alternator and it's right there.

    I may get an oil distribution block and add water temp, oil temp and oil pressure where my radio is.
    I've seen radio delete panels. Need to find someone with 3 holes already drilled.

    But I'm more afraid it's bearings. :(
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    charlson89

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    Yah that is worst case scenario if its the bearing. Do check the pressure when you replace the sender and if it needs a rebuild you can make it a great track motor.
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    steven s

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    If it needs to be rebuilt I'd rather find an S52. :)
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    MGarrison

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    I did forget to mention, the don't-worry-about-it-it's-fine comment was in response to asking about similar flickering oil-light symptoms. 1 engine later.... ancient history though, that was over 20 years ago.
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    steven s

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    Picked up an oil pressure switch but now see there are 4 different part numbers for the same part. ???
    It's a 1996 M52. No idea of the VIN that it cam out of.

    Also got some advice over the weekend at the PVGP.
    Drain the oil and replace with 40w.
    With 260,000 miles, it's not worth rebuilding.
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    charlson89

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    I belive the lastest part number is 12612367061. The other one will work but the part just has a new part number its called a supersession in the BMW world.
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    steven s

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    Good to know since that's the part number on my switch.
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    steven s

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    Replaced the sender and now the light is flickering again.
    I'm going to pickup a Harbor Freight oil pressure gauge and see what is going on.
    I may go ahead and replace the oil with 40W.

    I have a DE in 4 days. :(
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    Terry Sayther

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    Steven, is your chain noisy? The m42 engine is kind of infamous for the chain tensioner getting worn, the chain getting loose, and the chain grinding its way into the aluminum of the front cover. And that's where the oil pump lives. This sort of wear is always accompanied by noise---sewing machine-like noise. I hope you have a quiet engine.
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    steven s

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    This one is a M52.
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    steven s

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    I bought a Harbor Freight oil pressure gauge.
    Went for a 20 minute highway drive. At times WOT.
    Oil pressure goes up to 59 psi but it does bounce from 55 to 59 erratically, meaning not smooth like a working speedometer. Ease off the throttle and pressure is around 50. At idle 8psi.
    Everything seems normal.

    Went for another drive. Highway driving pressure gets up to about 58 then will drop to 50 slowly and jump back to 58.

    If I can get an electronic oil pressure gauge overnight, I'll install it.
    Car needs to be ready for a Fri DE.
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    Terry Sayther

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    This one is a M52.
    Ah, a real car! Racer's Tape over the light? Sorry, I didn't read back far enough in this thread. I'm not helping; I'll shut up now.
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    steven s

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    Nope. No tape. I like everything working. :)
    I've decided to find 40w oil and go with that.
    It's no longer a daily driver. More of a weekend fun toy.

    I'm not ruling out an oil pump but more likely it's issues with a motor with so many miles.
    I'm finding the warmer the motor, the slightly lower the pressure.
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    charlson89

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    Have you checked the oil pump nut for backing off?
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    steven s

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    When I had the oil suction tube replaced I forgot to ask to have it secured.

    Finding 40W synthetic oil locally is impossible.
    I'm going to run 15-50 and hope for the best.
    Hopefully I won't be in the market for an S52 shortly, not that it's a bad thing. :)

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