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Oil idiot light going off

Well after taking a nice sweeping off-ramp at a reasonable speed (if it weren't for the 5 series in front of me it may have been taken at an un-reasonable speed but I digress). I then accelerated up to traffic speed after the ramp and then noticed the oil light on. Maybe 30 seconds maybe longer. I pulled over as soon as was prudent (I ain't going to get killed just to save a motor) Looked at the dipstick and it had oil on it, a little bubbly maybe but the engine was just turned off. I only had a 1/2 quart with me, put that in, fired up and no light, temp was a hair lower then normal and there was the normal amount of steam comming out of the oil filler (PCV vents to outside, not to the intake).

Things I know: This is bad, the idiot light only goes off at below 7 psi. My car has done this in the past when a quart low going around turns it would flicker. The engine seals leaks like a seive.

Things I don't know: What happened, is this the typical failure mode for no oil pressure? I allways thought lack of oil shot the temp up too.

Is it possible my idiot light is failing? Maybe an air pocket is the system by the sender? Was I driving too hard, I never hit 5000 but was at 4000 for a while there.

Old 09-10-2000, 02:17 PM
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Back many years ago, I had a 1.7 with the big bore kit (1.9). If I was on an off ramp and no BMW to slow me down , the oil light would come on.

Since your switch does not fault execpt when the oil is being thrown to one side, I would say that it is working correctly.

IMHO

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Smoke Daddy
Old 09-10-2000, 05:23 PM
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Actually this time it happened after the (possibly during but I didn't notice) the turn on a fairly straight part of road.
Old 09-10-2000, 06:44 PM
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Sounds like a job for a Tuna Can oil sump....
Old 09-10-2000, 08:16 PM
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At the last auto-x we had here in San Diego, two 914 owners wanted to get a qt of 20-50 from me as their oil light had come on during hard cornering. When they got back to the pits, oil level was normal so they did not add any oil. I asked my 914 mentor about this and he said this a fairly common thing to have happen and many drivers over fill by 1/2 qt or so of oil just to make sure that there is plenty. As you noted JP, the combination of a small oil capacity coupled with hight g-forces will let the pickup uncover. Several options are available: don't drive like this(?????yea right), install a deep sump, install a dry sump system with 12 qt oil tank or finally as noted fill a little extra oil and don't worry about it? Good luck.
Old 09-10-2000, 08:18 PM
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As MikeZ says, try the "tuna can" -- my oil light has not come on in all sorts of pretty agressive driving since I installed mine. Before that, I had severe starvation symptoms several times.

Cheap and easy, <$50 and easy as an oil change to install. Call Don at Pelican.

Chris C.
Old 09-10-2000, 09:52 PM
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Is it something that goes inside the stock block, like the cage around the fuel pick-up in the gas tank? Or are you talking about those bolt on extra capacity sumps?

Thanks for the advice, I think I can sleep better now.

FWIW I had a bolt on deep sump from the PO, with 50 series tires and a pothole I managed to rip the sucker right off the block. I pulled over immediatly, and saw the problem before I lost all oil presusre. I would rather not repeat the event.
Old 09-10-2000, 10:39 PM
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The oil sump you are talking about is one way of doing it, but I have never used it due to the low underslung position that you described. The offroad dune buggies use that model.

The other one, the "Tuna Can" looks like a .....well, a Tuna Can..... It is about two inches tall, the same circumference as the oil strainer. What it does is keeps about a 1/4 quart of oil in the reservoir and has an extended oil pickup. It is not thick enough to get banged by road hazards, as it does not stick down as far as the engine mount.

It is used by many and it works.
Old 09-11-2000, 07:42 AM
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Thank you everyone.
Old 09-11-2000, 05:55 PM
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I have one of the tuna cans adapted for the scavenge side of my dry sump system and have had no troubles with it hitting. I think other items are lower.
Old 09-11-2000, 10:10 PM
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Here is a pic of the tuna can (parts, off the car, I can take an on-car pic if you want). Pic courtesy of Don @ Pelican:



Chris C.

Old 09-12-2000, 11:17 PM
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