98 windstar 3.8 oil pressure


gary evans
02-18-2005, 08:50 PM
my 98 windstar with 86k has started to display the oil warning light at idle after it has been driven about 15 minites. it has clean 10w-30 oil. the light goes out above 1000 rpms. i changed the oil sending unit without effect. where is the oil pump? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated because im scared.

12Ounce
02-18-2005, 10:50 PM
The oil filter screws onto the oil pump. The oil pump is attached (by six bolts) to the "front cover" of the engine. The two bolts furthest apart are installed with 10Nm torque... the remaining four bolts with 25Nm torque. There an "o-ring" of sorts between the pump and the cover. The pressure relief valve is part of the pump (I believe).

You may want to look at a replacement pump ... probably avail at AutoZone or NAPA.. before removing yours, just to see what's what.

My reference is a '99 3.8. I would think the oil pumps are the same on both models.

gary evans
02-18-2005, 11:28 PM
i gather from this that the pump is not in the timing cover, but on it under the oil filter-----otherwise it would involve tearing off the front of the engine (alternator, a/c, etc. If I tried this, the van would have to go to salvage. You have given me hope. Many thanks---Gary

wiswind
02-19-2005, 12:54 PM
Sorry to say....but the "front cover" and the "timing chain cover" are the same thing. Try visiting www.autozone.com and see if they have instructions for replacing the oil pump. You should not have to remove the front/timing cover....but there is not a lot of room in there.

12Ounce
02-19-2005, 01:54 PM
Space is at a premium, ....but I believe the oil pump is removable, from below, with engine in place.

gary evans
02-19-2005, 09:44 PM
Space is at a premium, ....but I believe the oil pump is removable, from below, with engine in place.
thank you fellows-----i got the autozone print-out and replacing the pump seems possible without tearing the engine apart----i ordered the pump from NAPA so i hope that does it----any thoughts on the problem if this doesn't work? i guess the oil pan would have to come off next to check the pick-up and if that were ok it would be wrecked main bearings and i throw it away. many thanks and i will let you know how it turns out----gary

gary evans
02-28-2005, 08:36 PM
thank you fellows-----i got the autozone print-out and replacing the pump seems possible without tearing the engine apart----i ordered the pump from NAPA so i hope that does it----any thoughts on the problem if this doesn't work? i guess the oil pan would have to come off next to check the pick-up and if that were ok it would be wrecked main bearings and i throw it away. many thanks and i will let you know how it turns out----gary
well, i changed the oil pump and put in 20-50 oil and the oil light still comes on at stop lights----it van has no other symptoms,--smoke noises, oil consumption,etc. but i am frightened of getting 1000 miles from home with this thing and having it blow up. any thoughts would be appreciated.

12Ounce
02-28-2005, 08:46 PM
Did you happen to notice the pressure relief valve? Is it part of the replacement pump? .. or is it a separate item stuck into a recess "under" the pump in the front cover ... and held in place by the pump?

wiswind
02-28-2005, 08:56 PM
I seem to remember the pressure relief as being part of the pump assembly on the '96 3.8L....from reading repair information.

wiswind
02-28-2005, 08:58 PM
I seem to remember the pressure relief as being part of the pump assembly on the '96 3.8L....from reading repair information.

There is an Oil level sensor also.....I wonder if that is having something to do with this...........

gary evans
02-28-2005, 10:19 PM
I seem to remember the pressure relief as being part of the pump assembly on the '96 3.8L....from reading repair information.

There is an Oil level sensor also.....I wonder if that is having something to do with this...........
you know, i didnt ask the mechanic if he changed the presure relief valve. the spring and stuff was in the box with the pump from napa and since he charged me $175 maybe he did take the front cover off and did that too. I was in too much of a hurry when i picked it up. the oil light flickers when you first stop and then glows bright after you sit for about 5 seconds. if you shift to park or neutral the jump in rpms puts the light out. would an oil level sensor ever cause this? is it worth taking the oil pan off to check for crud? i dismissed that as a possible problem thinking that since the light is out till the oil heats up, crud restriction of the pick up would be more likely when the oil was cold. should i stop driving this thing?

12Ounce
03-01-2005, 10:04 AM
The front cover would not have to come off to replace the pressure relief valve... I'm thinking it is sandwiched between the oil pump body and the front cover... and would come loose in the box just like you describe.
It should have been replaced by the mechanic to eliminate that possible problem. My guess is your whole original problem is a broken spring in the pressure relief valve....its the only thing that would "suddenly" give you your symptoms.

Go back to the mechanic and insist he address this concern.

Of course, IF the pressure relief valve was replaced and IS working then MAYBE there is a pickup tube concern....but I don't believe it!

gary evans
03-01-2005, 03:59 PM
12 ounce----the mechanic said he did not replace the relief valve because the front cover would had to come off. the light is tending to stay off more, sometimes just flickering and sometimes staying off, so i guess it is better. the mechanic said he thought the engine just had that much wear, so i will probably just drive it awhile more and see what happens----many thanks for your help, gary

12Ounce
03-01-2005, 04:28 PM
I pretty sure the mechanic is wrong on this issue. I have seen an exploded view (somewhere) that indicated the pressure relief valve is temporarily held in place by a clip-in retainer ... then when the oil pump body is bolted on, the relief valve is finally captured securely. What ever it took... why wouldn't he complete the job?

The pressure sender is telling you there is a problem... please don't destroy your engine!

Is there someone out there who has actually replaced the pressure relief valve on a 3.8?

Winny_the_Pooh
03-02-2005, 11:46 PM
Well, I presently have my timing cover off and oil pump off. I'll take a look and get back to you. May be this weekend though.

gary evans
03-02-2005, 11:56 PM
thanks----I am still fooling with this thing and will keep you informed on the outcome, if any---gary

gary evans
03-06-2005, 11:22 AM
I got an engine code for the front o2 sensor and i changed that plus the wires and plugs, which were original. i have driven about 300 miles since and the oil light has stayed off, so i think it is ok. i cant see what difference these changes could have since the rpms have stayed the same, but so far, so good. many thanks---gary

egstasea
03-06-2005, 01:03 PM
Not the same engine, but I ahad a similar problem on a chevy 2.8. It was caused by partially clogged oil return passages in the heads. One tel tale symptom was the dip stick read low just after running, but full after sitting a while. Just a thought.

gary evans
03-06-2005, 10:30 PM
good thought----i drove 30 miles tonight and it did it again----maybe need to pull the covers and take a look----have not noticed any difference in oil level but maybe have waited too long before checking thanks---gary

zooite1059
04-25-2005, 10:35 PM
HI, I to am having the exact same problem with my 98 3.8l engine.
If you find out the problem I would much appreciate a post so that I can fix mine oil pressure problem at low rpm after the motor is warmed up.
Thanks

patfogle
04-25-2005, 10:50 PM
Have you checked the pressure with a gauge? That is where I would have started. Get it warmed up and replace the light sender with a gauge. Auto zone sells them, as do many parts stores. Your mechanic should have one as well. It may be a bad alternator or battery, at idle and in gear the alternator isn't really turning fast enough to charge... So if the battery is going bad, or the alternator is going bad there can be a voltage drop that can cause odd things.

zooite1059
04-26-2005, 06:43 AM
Have you checked the pressure with a gauge? That is where I would have started. Get it warmed up and replace the light sender with a gauge. Auto zone sells them, as do many parts stores. Your mechanic should have one as well. It may be a bad alternator or battery, at idle and in gear the alternator isn't really turning fast enough to charge... So if the battery is going bad, or the alternator is going bad there can be a voltage drop that can cause odd things.

I have not done that yet. When I found this thread with the exact same problems, I was hoping to see what cured his problem first before I started the troubleshooting. Thanks for the other info though.

patfogle
04-26-2005, 11:22 AM
One other thing about the gauge.. It's realy just an idiot light.. The sending unit is just a switch that come on at 7psi. We ran into the same things with a 93 Aerostar 3.0. After almost 200k miles the motor was just worn out.

gary evans
04-26-2005, 09:17 PM
Well, I presently have my timing cover off and oil pump off. I'll take a look and get back to you. May be this weekend though. regarding the windstar with the oil light coming on at stop signs-----i finally had the pan taken off, and the oil pick-up was about 95% clogged----apparent poor maintanence by the former owner because it had only 88k actual miles----i had the rod and main bearings replace, but the crankshaft was pretty badly scored and a couple of mechanics said the bearings would probably soon wear out----i drove it about 700 miles and the light never came on, it performed great and never made any noise, but they scared me enough that i traded it off last weekend, so now i have a whole new set of problems gary

SVT1998
04-14-2006, 12:31 PM
I got the exact same issue, flickering oil light at idle, only when warm. I'm afraid its the same issue as gary's, as i just bought it last year and had very poor to no maintenance done prior to that, especially oil. I don't want to get into taking the pan off just yet as the whole exhaust has to be dropped I believe. I pickedup an oil pressure gauge to see if I can confirm the low pressure. I noticed a plug fitting accessible just off where the oil filter screws on. Is this a good place to tap into the system for a gauge? getting to the oil pressure sensor looks like a pain.

bos2677
04-17-2006, 01:22 PM
I too have this problem. Just started on 4/14 and exhibits same symptoms, only after I drive for 20 minutes does the light flicker at a stop. I am interested in opinions on low battery. My battery is on the last leg and I am now wondering if it can contribute. Mine is 1995 with 170K miles.

SVT1998
07-23-2006, 11:29 PM
Well finally managed to get the plug out on the oil filter housing and got a gauge hooked up to it. Bad news...............pressure really drops as the oil gets hot. Had just barely changed the oil and filter, when i started it up it jumped right up to 60psi. I was smiling! Then as it warmed up it started to drop. At idle when warm it was down below 10psi. I stepped the rpm up to about 2000rpm (around normal hiway speed) and only got up to around 30psi. Oil wasn't really hot either, I only took it around the block, so it was still only warm. So the idiot light was right. I was hoping for a faulty sensor. Looks like bearings and a oil pump for me too.

wiswind
07-24-2006, 12:06 AM
Best thing that I can think of is to drop the oil pan.....and check the pick up unit. YES you do have to drop the "Y" pipe with the catalytic converters.....
You will want to soak the bolts with a penatrating oil such as PBlaster......2 nuts at each exhaust manifold, and 1 bolt next to the transmission......and then the 2 bolts for the connection to the flex pipe.
Disconnect the oxygen sensors....and be VERY careful with them.....particularly if you have one mounted into the catalytic converter....rather than the pipe....as it will really easily break out of the converter......requiring replacement of the "Y" pipe (list price from FORD $1600...walker "direct fit" just over $300)
When you drop the "Y" pipe......support the flex section..behind the Y pipe and in front of the big square muffler.... with a wire.....as in hold it up so that it does not dangle and become damaged.


There is an engine cleaner called "AutoRX" that is only available over the internet. This is a product that will gently clean deposits from the parts of the engine that the oil gets to. The key word is GENTLY. It breaks down crud in small parts.....not big chunks that can clog things like oil pick up screens......which some other cleaners can do.
You put a bottle of this cleaner in.....drive about 1500 miles......drain the oil, change the filter....and put in a non-synthetic oil for the "clean" phase....which is when most of the crud is removed from the engine.

LeSabre97mint
07-24-2006, 01:07 PM
Hello

Is any one having rod noise on start up? I did on my 95 at 177,000 miles. I changed the rod bearings and at 200,000 it's doing fine. The crank looked okay. I didn't measure it, just put in STD size bearings. The best $35.00 + (pan gasket) spent.

Regards

Dan

searcherrr
12-18-2007, 06:00 AM
If some of the people in this thread ever resolved their issues please speak up now and say what fixed it. I am having the SAME exact issue with a BRAND NEW REMAN from truetestengines.com (which seemingly is ATK or ATKNA.com). Oil filter, oil, pickup, etc.. all are new. Even oil pressure sending unit is new. I'm not facing a crap load of bureaucratic bs to get the manufacturer to pay for repairs to the shop that installed my new engine.

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