early 550 oil pressures | FerrariChat

early 550 oil pressures

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by henryr, Dec 31, 2003.

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  1. henryr

    henryr Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 10, 2003
    Full Name:
    Juan Sánchez Villa-L
    in the 550 market and have been trying to learn as much as possible about these cars. i came across the sheehan article on the 550/456 cars and it mentions the problems of the early cars having excessive oil pressures and the simple spacer fix.

    what exactly is done to correct this problem? and what sort of pressures were being seen before and after the fix? if you had two early cars, one fixed and the other not, would you be able to tell by the oil pressure guages assuming both cars were warmed up etc in a side by side comparison?

  2. AEHaas

    AEHaas Formula 3

    May 9, 2003
    Osprey, Florida
    Full Name:
    Ali E. Haas
    I had a 550, 575 now. These are very tight engines and high oil pressure is most likely from the owner using too thick an oil. These cars are shipped from the factory with Shell Helix Ultra 5W-30. This is too thick for the low temperatures of the engine around town but may be OK for the track. I am using 0W-20 Mobil 1 and still the pressures are too high for me, 70 PSI at 2,000 RPM at full operating temperature.

    The answer is not to play with oil circuit parts but rather use the right oil to get the correct pressure.

    There is always an outside chance that there is something wrong with the car or filter. The wrong filter for example, or one of those additives that clog filters (as DuraLube can) could be a problem.

    In my experience people think that the higher the pressure the better the lubrication and nothing can be further from the truth. People uniformly use oils way too thick for the application. Lubrication is not what you feel rubbing oil between your fingers but rather the flow of oil between parts. The higher the flow the better the lubrication.

  3. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    May 29, 2001
    I will not argue with Aehaas, as he is much more the expert on the subject than me, but will confirm that the oil pressure is adjustable on Ferraris. My 328 (ever since I owned the car) seemed to always be too high (using 5w-40 shell synthetic) at over 120 psi at 6k rpm. My mechanic changed out a spring or something and got it to within spec (around 92 psi max at 6k rpm). I intend to follow Aehaas' advice and switch to 5w-30 synthetic on my next oil change and seen if this will further drop the oil pressure.

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