80 SERIES OIL QUESTION

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So the wife just calls me, tells me the oil light in our 97 came on for a split second when she turned a corner. I tell her to stop by the local mechanic (since she was in town) and have him check the fluids for her. Everything is clean and full.

So...what the hell caused that light to come on? I have also noticed that my oil pressure drops to about 1/4 on the guage when I come to a stop, but climbs back up to about 3/4 on the guage when I am in motion. Is that normal? Am I having an oiling problem? I don't drive the 97 much, I usually drive the 60, so I am not sure if it's always done this with the pressure or not...I haven't noticed.

Thoughts on this? The oil light concerns me.

Thanks
Scott
 

Brentbba

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Only time I've ever seen the oil light has been when I was down almost a quart, and that's only been three time in 115K. Sounds odd that oil level checked out ok. Was she racing around corners enough to get the sensor to false positive?
 
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The gauge operation sounds typical assuming the needle moves with motor speed. Dunno about the oil light. How fast was she taking the turn :)?
 

semlin

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Not sure. I once had the alladin’s lamp light come on for a split second while being thrown around while descending a very steep hill off road. I was down half a quart at the time. It has never recurred. I have to perform several tight hairpins a day descending or ascending four levels in underground parking and it has never happened even when the oil was low, and even though I occasionally test the tire squealing limit. However, my brake light started occasionally flashing for a second during those corners and when I checked I was down to the add line. No recurrence once I topped it up.
 

Photoman

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This is just something off the wall that I have seen happen. (not on an 80) The oil pickup from the oil pump fell off. Oil pressure and level were normal running on the level as the oil pump itself was still immersed in the oil; but rounding a curve would lose pressure since it wasn't sucking from near the bottom of the pan. Hopefully this is not your problem. You could jack one side up pretty high, start it up for a few seconds, to see if the light comes on if there isn't another solution. Not even sure if the 80 engine has this setup.
Bill
 
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Don't think she was cornering the cruiser very hard. She was coming out of our kids school parking lot. Depending on where she was, could have been a tight turn on a bit of a slope. My first thought was low oil. My old pickup and my 60 do this when I am a little low. Fluids all checked out. I am going to check it myself when I get off work (don't trust anyone else). Maybe it's just a false alarm.

So, the oil light would come on under normal circumstance when your low on oil? It's not based on oil temp or pressure or anything else?

Scott
 

cruiserdan

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Scott,

I agree, the oil pressure gauge readings you describe are in the Normal range. The light is indeed a level indicator as mentioned before. I have had mine come on, with a full sump, in an extreme nose down descent. If the oil level is less than full but not "low" certain movements of the vehicle would be enough to swing the float around. Get it on level ground and re-check the level.


Dan
 

Gumby

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Certainly could be a problem with the sender or the wires to the light as well. Mine only flashes when it's low. It tells me I need an oil change 'cause I burn about a quart of Mobil 1 every 3500 or so. It burns less dino, strangely enough.
 
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I think your wife was just driving like mine. Yesterday, I was exhausted and asked my wife to drive home. She scared the piss out of me when she late braked for a corner and the front left started to howl as the truck shifted to the left. I would say this atypical, but she did it to me another time when she was dropping me off for a bike ride. This is coming from a guy who has no problem drifting a Nissan Pathfinders around corners.

I guess its time to order the low lift ome firm springs.

Cary
 

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