328 oil pressure question

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Doc, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. Doc

    Doc Formula Junior

    Sep 13, 2001
    Latham, New York
    Full Name:
    Bill Van Dyne
    A good friend of mine with a 328 has noticed a wide fluctuation of reading on his oil pressure gauge. At one point, in a turn, the needle went to a zero reading and the oil pressure light came on momentarily. Shortly thereafter, the needle jumped to the normal operatimg reading and the light went out. He noted that the gauge has been reading erratically recently, but the light only came on that one time.The oil level was 1.5 qts down.

    Do the gauge and light have separate senders? If this indicates a true drop in oil pressure , what would the causes be? What tests can be run to evaluate this situation?
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  3. spang308

    spang308 Formula Junior

    Jul 17, 2004
    York, PA
    Let me guess, happened in a right hand turn??
    The senders are know to be marginal at best. The drop he saw was from an oil starvation problem and oil running away from the pickup. Tell him to top off the oil. The stuff's cheap, engines aren't.

  4. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    Full Name:
    Hugh G. Rection
    Gauge and light are seperate. What he experienced in the turn would be considered normal, especially if he is down 1.5 quarts. For tracking, many 308/328 owners will overfill by .5 to 1 quart to prevent oil starvation in the corners.
  5. pcord

    pcord Karting

    Jul 28, 2005
    Near Phila, PA
    Full Name:
    Pete C
    Another option is an Accu-sump type set-up which feeds oil to the engine immediately at startup (notice the gage is at 0 there) and around prolonged sharp turns. They pretty easy to install and if he's tracking a lot, might be VERY worthwhile to prevent oil starvation.
  6. LarryS

    LarryS Formula Junior

    Nov 14, 2003
    Fremont, CA
    Full Name:
    Larry S
    How does it do that?
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  8. MJT328GTS

    MJT328GTS Formula Junior

    Mar 30, 2005
    St. Louis
    Full Name:
    Wow, what a coincidence. Same thing happened to me last weekend. I know I need to top off my oil and it concerned me a little bit about the oil light coming on briefly when I made a sharp right going home. Good to know it's nothing serious.

  9. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
    Full Name:
    I have never had this happen, even in track events, where there are mostly very hard right turns. Of course, I do check the oil level occassionally. I would not think that being down 1.5 qts should cause that much starvation.

  10. flyingboa

    flyingboa Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    Just my .02
    Circuits giving the pressure indication and lightning up the low pressure light are independent.
    The fact that both gave siimultaneously the low pressure indication is not a good hing. That means that you really had low pressure, not likely that both indicators failed at the same time.
    What the low pressure cause was is the problem. If oil level is way too low, then possibly you have the culprit.
    If the level is norma, then begin to worry.
    Anyway I should not drive my car with erratic oil pressure indications.
  11. ferrarifixer

    ferrarifixer F1 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2003
    Full Name:
    Phil Hughes
    The light coming on is a bad sign. The crank will have been spinning without proper lubrication for sure.

    It's possible you've got away with it, but to be sure you should listen very carefully on start up and when the oil is very hot, to see if there are any new rattles.

    Change the oil and drain the old into a clean tray so you can examine it for particles.

    328 have some campaigns to improve oil pressure control... theres new relief valve springs and relief shuttles too, you need to check your chassis numbers as it may have been done already. The problem is very high pressure surges when cold.
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  13. Iain

    Iain F1 Rookie

    Jan 21, 2005
    Its potentially very serious! The 308s are much more prone to this problem IIRC - I think you have to be "trying" pretty hard & be well low on oil to see it in a 328 on the road - I believe the 328 sump has better baffles & also the oil pickup was modified to be lower in the sump.

    Top your oil off - its best kept right towards the top of the dipstick marks. In case you wern't sure, correct method for checking is with the engine warm, on level ground, switch of allow to settle for 2-3 minutes & then check the level.


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