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View Poll Results: What is your oil pressure at your favorite cruising speed?
10 PSI or less 4 3.70%
20 PSI 12 11.11%
30 PSI 27 25.00%
40 PSI 60 55.56%
50 PSI or more 5 4.63%
Voters: 108. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1   IP: 70.211.215.130
Old 05-28-2009, 08:53 PM
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What Oil Pressure?

At Shawn's request:

Tell us about your oil pressure at your favorite cruising speed when the engine is fully warmed up.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:30 PM
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50 psi on cold startup then after about an hour of running it drops to 40 psi at 1800 rpm and 20 psi at 700 -750 rpm in forward gear.

fresh water cooled and using heavy duty straight 30 weight oil
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:47 PM
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15-20 on cold startup at 700rpm.
Then 40 after the temp gets off the peg and it stays there at any rpm.
Cruise at 1700rpm. 5.5k in calm conditions. (40psi)(160º)
Castrol 10/30w

(Thanks for the idea Shawn)
-Jerry
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:50 AM
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Just under 60psi at startup.

Recently my engine has changed to a new steady state; now it takes 2 or 3
hours of hard running at 1,800 rpm for the oil pressure to drop down to just
a tad over 40.

20 at warmed up idle.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:02 AM
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Thumbs up ha, nice!

Ha ha..thanks, Bill!

You'll see why I was interested in this poll. I picked 20 psi, but it is often under that. I believe that I am fortunate not to have any of those fancy oil pressure dependent cut-off switches, or the thing would never run!

The oil pressure behavior is still somewhat of a mystery to me on my boat. When I first acquired her it seemed as long as the pressure gauge was above 'zero' I was supposed to be happy (this apparently was typical behavior reported by P.O. & I do not think he ever adjusted the pressure adjusting bolt) This was unsatisfactory to me, so before hauling, I turned it in one turn and saw a slight improvement, if I recall the ride to the travel lift it was 10-ish PSI. Over the winter I got another turn or so out of it, hoping for more PSI this spring.

I think I have just about run out of adjustment, after 2 or 2.5 turns in total (I got .5 more turns a few weeks ago and they seem to only turn together now, so I assume I've bottomed out on the adjustment.)

So, here is the current behavior. I always make my wife sit in the cockpit on the stbd side so her legs aren't blocking the gauge pod and I can see the gauges on the port side. I stare at them every couple of minutes! I am a gauge freak...
  • Cold - first 5 seconds of running - 40 PSI - I've never seen it this high, except right at start up.
  • After those 5 seconds of running it initially drops to 8-10 PSI
  • Warming up - 10-15 PSI (15 at idle, goes down to 10 in gear)
  • After extended running & warm up (30-45 minutes), it has been settling in around 20-25 PSI. I did see 35 one day at light cruise (1,400 RPM), but only once!

Type of oil is Mobil1 10w40, high mileage synthetic. This was the oil installed by the P.O., so for the over-the-winter change, I kept the same stuff. Now that I am getting the engine running a little better, I am probably going to experiment and go back to regular old SAE 30 and see how it does, unless you guys talk me out of it.
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Last edited by sastanley; 05-29-2009 at 02:48 PM. Reason: as usual, more babbling
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  #6   IP: 206.40.166.218
Old 05-29-2009, 12:48 PM
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I said 20 lbs, which is plus or minus where our pressure seems to be almost all the time, cold starting and at 1800 rpm, our usual cruising speed. The exception is when I drop the throttle to idle speed to slow down to pick up the mooring, when the pressure then falls to the low teens. When I mentioned this on the forum last fall, Don answered that many A4's run on low oil pressure and that Universal had said even pressure as low as 10 lbs. was sufficient. I'd like to see a bit more pressure at all speeds, say 30 at 1800 rpm and 20 or slightly less at idle.

Mark S
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:39 AM
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Shawn,

I met someone who had put one weight grade higher oil into his diesel which
caused some kind of sensor to trip out; he thought he was going to have to
pull his engine until he put the proper weight oil in, at which point everything
went back to normal.

So it's worth trying 30w oil. You'd have to go through 1 or 2 oil changes
to get most of the heavier oil out, so it's an experiment you'd be doing
over a bit of time I'd think.

-jonathan
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:11 PM
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Oil Pressure

Yesterday I installed the new scavenger tube and started emptying the internal fuel tank. While I was there I couldn't help but start the engine again (I am like a kid now that the engine actually starts - I have to do it all the time.)

For the first time my oil pressure gauge actually moved! It started at 40, the engine rev'd up and when I lowered the RPM, the pressure dropped to about 20, then it slowly climbed back up to 40. So the gauge does actually move, but for some reason, the pressure stays pretty steady at 40.
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:54 PM
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jonathon,

Thanks for the tip. I hadn't seen it until today. The oil has about 10 hours on it now, and it is clean as a whistle. I'll consider that, now that we are using the boat more....a 'couple' of changes with 30w is a lot cheaper than a 'couple' of changes with synthetic!

David,
Nice to hear the good news. I get all giggly when she fires up and runs too!
I finally stopped freaking out over the gauges today since we used the engine on 3 different occasions during our daysail. When it sounded good, I trusted it was running good. When I did sneak a peak at the gauges, I saw 155 F and about 25 PSI oil (@ 1,700 RPM, maybe 20 at sub-1,500). Those are GREAT numbers for my engine!
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"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
She is even happier with fresh paint on the topsides!

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Old 07-02-2009, 04:26 PM
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Spoke to another A4 owner who said their oil pressure was unvaryingly low until taking the sender out of the port, pumping a bit of oil through the port by bumping the engine, and cleaning out the sender. Then it read normally higher when cruising. They thought maybe a piece of grit had blocked the blind passage into the sender.
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:00 AM
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oil pressure

"Pot 'O' Gold" runs at 25 psi oil pressure when warmed up and running at cruising speed, when started cold higher at 35.

Joe
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:23 PM
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Red face pressure

I cruise with my Indigo (the last 5) at 1900 rpm at 125 degrees with 35 psi of oil preassure, well just for the last 26 years or so.

Dave Neptune
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadnsky View Post
15-20 on cold startup at 700rpm.
Then 40 after the temp gets off the peg and it stays there at any rpm.
Cruise at 1700rpm. 5.5k in calm conditions. (40psi)(160º)
Castrol 10/30w

(Thanks for the idea Shawn)
-Jerry
Ditto on all - except about 6 knots in calm.
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Old 05-24-2010, 02:28 AM
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Whiskeyjack is set a little high, 50 psi at cruise. I will most likely reduce it to 40 next month.

Shawn, are there any problems with synthetic oil in the clutch pack in the reversing gear?
Back in the day, the early synthetic manufactures said to not use it in motorcycles with wet clutch packs.

Russ
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:42 AM
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Russ,
not sure...that is what was in the motor when I got the boat, so last year that is what I left in there. If you are wondering if I noticed any problems, the answer is, 'no'..everything seemed to perform as expected.

This season, I went back to regular dino juice - Rotella SAE 30.

The gauge is still low at start up , but seems to slowly rise to about 18-20 PSI after 40 minutes or so.
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"Twice Around" - '77 Catalina 30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold.
She is even happier with fresh paint on the topsides!

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Old 05-24-2010, 08:49 AM
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Russ,

My recollection "back in the day" was that synthetic was encouraged in motorcycles with wet clutch packs. I remember switching from SAE whatever to Golden Spectro and finding ease of shifting gears to be much improved.

Mark
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sastanley View Post
Ha ha..thanks, Bill!

You'll see why I was interested in this poll. I picked 20 psi, but it is often under that. I believe that I am fortunate not to have any of those fancy oil pressure dependent cut-off switches, or the thing would never run!

Not such a worry, as it turns out.
I neglected to refill my old engine with oil one spring launch. The un-suck-able quart left in the engine was sufficient to let the electronic fuel pump run the boat out of the launch bay, around to the slip, etc. Only when I checked the dipstick later in the day did I realize my error.

I don't know what the pressure threshold is on those oil pressure "safety" switches is, but it ain't much!
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:04 PM
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I am using the Indigo oil pressure regulating valve. It is rock steady from startup to shutdown.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:05 PM
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Smile

The Force was definitely with you. 3 - 7 psi is standard for the NAPA switches.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:45 PM
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Wink 35

Well, Volador runs at about 40psi cold at anything above 1000 rpm and idles at about 30~35. Once warmed up she runs at just over 35psi at anything above idle and gets to about 40 @ 2000 plus and idles at 30psi. I have never touched the adjustment in the 26 years I have run the boat and the motor is going on its 40th year of ticking away reliably and quietly. I use straight 30wt any major brand of oil and I add a pint os STP oil treatment when I change the oil at the END of the season. Perhaps the STP keeps the viscosity up a bit as there should be plenty of wear in all of my bearings which should reduce the preassure at least a bit at low RPM's and idle. Also note that I did add a bypass oil filter to the system when I bought the boat and it had no affect on preassure that I noticed.

Volador 1970 E-35MkII original A-4 still ticking.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marthur View Post
I am using the Indigo oil pressure regulating valve. It is rock steady from startup to shutdown.
What do you do to the old spring/ball regulator when you install that, do you remove it?? I have the Indigo filter kit, but haven't installed it yet. I took the 'stock' regulator apart over the winter and made sure it was clean and re-installed it and went one more half turn & I still have very low pressure at start up...it does still stabilize around 18-20 PSI after 45 minutes, but my extra 1/2 turn didn't seem to do squat.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:27 AM
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My experience, similar with two different A4s in the same boat, is as follows.

On cold start up, oil pressure is off the gauge, 60 psi or more. As the engine warms up, pressure comes down. It probably is down to 40 (at cruising speed, approx 1800 rpm) after 20 - 30 minutes, which is probably the average length of engine time I use to get in and out of the creek, in and out of an anchorage. It continues to drop, slowly, as the engine continues to run, over a period of an hour or two, down to about 25 or a bit less, where (hopefully) it stabilizes.

I don't think it's ever dropped below the critical 10 psi per 1000 rpm, but it's gotten close at times. Adjusting the oil pressure screw doesn't seem to affect the low end much, but does affect the cold start up pressure, so I don't want to increase it much beyond where it now is.

On the old engine, I replaced the ball and spring adjuster with the pointed-end version. I believe (but am not certain) that my replacement engine (a Moyer rebuilt one, currently with about 300 hours) has the pointed end version installed.

I welcome any observations or comments.

Jesse Delanoy
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Pasadena/Baltimore
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sastanley View Post
What do you do to the old spring/ball regulator when you install that, do you remove it??
On the indigo kit, you remove the old spring / ball regulator. The oil line to the filter and new regulator attaches near the front of the motor where my oil pressure sending unit was (the oil pressure sending unit is then mounted near the oil filter). The return line runs to the oil pan.

The indigo oil regulator is a well designed unit and is much more steady than my old regulator.
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:32 PM
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I just got back from the boat. Had two good day sails.
The oil pressure:
50 psi at cold start,
~40 at cruise temp and rpm,
and ~25 at hot idle


Mark, I may be confused. I might be remembering the recommendations for that engine additive Slick 50. Might be a good thread subject.

Russ
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:37 PM
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Thumbs up

marthur,

Thanks for that information. That is exactly what I was looking for. I wasn't sure reading Tom's (Indigo) description on his website whether it was removed entirely from the oil system or not (I also haven't read the install instructions yet, they're still in the bag, it would probably answer my question also)..I am hoping in addition to adding an oil filter to the system, I will be able to stabilize my oil pressure problem with this kit. I am happy you're satisfied with the Indigo kit..so far, I've been extremely pleased with everything from Indigo.

As soon as necessities like leaky stuffing boxes are fixed & things like the mast is rigged and I can go sailing, I'll add fun things like oil filter kits.
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She is even happier with fresh paint on the topsides!

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