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Low Oil Pressure

Q. I have an 1988 Ford ½ ton in the shop. It developed low/to no oil pressure over a short time. 1st. visit, Ford shop said just a sending unit. Not. 2nd. visit they dropped the pan and said needs new engine for $3000. I bought it 1½ years ago with a service policy that is still in effect, but the Company "Smart Choice" through Nat'l warranty Co. is blowing me off. I've maintained this truck and it never knocked, burned oil or anything.

My question is, if I get stuck by this warranty Company, could I get away with just a set of bearings for a while, as this is a vehicle I use very little (5000 miles in 1½ years) Service manager at Ford says don't do it, because if it wasn't bottom oiling, the top (cam bearings etc.) probably have problems. As I say it never made noise, and I can't see putting big money in an '88.. any advice.


A. I'm going to assume that the oil pump and oil pick up were looked at and deemed okay. Also that the dash gauge is reading correctly. With little or no oil pressure and no knocking, I'd say this engine is just plain old worn out. There's enough wear throughout the engine that it just can't maintain the need pressure. Oil is still flowing however, but not with the force needed to get it through the whole engine.

Would a new set of rod and crankshaft bearings help? Probably. Is it a wise move? Are you a gambling man? It certainly couldn't hurt, but there's a 50 - 50 chance it won't help. What I would do is have them test the oil pressure with an external oil pressure tester and see what the actual oil pressure is. And I would want to see the tester hooked up and what the reading is. Most mechanics I know don't even own an external oil pressure tester and this way you can be sure they are giving you the straight story.

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