Anyone add a low oil pressure "idiot light"? (1 Viewer)

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My LX might be getting some serious use from a family member who is not mechanical. To protect Lex, I'd like to mod my oil pressure gauge so there's a low oil pressure dash lamp should the truck ever have an oil pressure loss. And truthfully I'd like it for myself as well, I mean who watches their oil pressure gauge close enough to prevent major engine damage? Not me.

Has anyone figured out how to modify the stock gauge to do this? And seriously...why would they have failed to include such a simple and engine-saving addition? I'd much rather have a moron light than that gauge.

Kind of ironic that there's a red moron light for the voltmeter, but not oil pressure...I mean it's WAY more important to know if you're discharging/overcharging your battery versus cooking you engine bearings right?
 
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FWIW my 450 had an oil light come on down at the bottom the other day close to where the locker lights are. I knew I was getting close to needing to add a little oil. It was about a quart low.
 

NLXTACY

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There is a oil pressure switch used for the gauge and is screwed into the block. There is a low oil level light that is activated by a kind of float that is in the oil pan. There is a light and and it came on for me years ago.
 
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That light is for oil level and it comes on well before you are in any danger of causing damage. Just add about half a quart when you see that light and you should be OK.

As for the original question, I think you're being overly cautious. The odds of a sudden drop in oil pressure occurring are extremely low and even then, a low oil pressure light may not save the truck. Also, adding an aftermarket indicator light and telling the driver to shut the truck down immediately (as in seconds) if it ever comes on, would cause quite a lot of concern to a less mechanically minded person. The very notion that you've added a special indicator would probably make them think that they are driving a ticking time bomb that they may fall apart through normal driving. Going even further, it may make them feel like you're transferring liability.
 
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I like the idea and have heard several people say they have run a light, but i've never seen a write up. I will be keeping an eye on this thread for your solution.
 
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Wow, I've never heard of this before and I've been around quite a while. The common preference of most gear heads, and my preference is to ditch the idiot lights and gimme some gauges.. In the old days we had no tachs, and no gauges, soooo we all went out and added VDO gauges..


...via IH8MUD app
 
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I have an aftermarket oil pressure gauge and, frankly, it's a bit of a waste of time. The factory gauge is completely adequate.

Check it with a manual gauge to make sure it's reading correctly and just leave it alone.
 
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Thanks for the responses everyone.

Yep..I'm well aware of the low oil level warning lamp. However, I'm looking to add a low oil pressure warning lamp.

I think you're being overly cautious. The odds of a sudden drop in oil pressure occurring are extremely low and even then, a low oil pressure light may not save the truck. Also, adding an aftermarket indicator light and telling the driver to shut the truck down immediately (as in seconds) if it ever comes on, would cause quite a lot of concern to a less mechanically minded person. The very notion that you've added a special indicator would probably make them think that they are driving a ticking time bomb that they may fall apart through normal driving. Going even further, it may make them feel like you're transferring liability.

Good points, but I'd disagree with the first part...you can for sure save a motor with a quick shut down. My current DD consumes more oil than I was aware of...and I found out during some spirited cornering when the oil pressure lamp blinked for a moment. Now I know and watch the oil level very closely (pick-up sucked a little air in a turn). Moreover, I had a car that had oil pressure problems (1981 Starlet), motor was really sludged up. I cleaned the top-end and ran a quart of trans fluid in it for a long time. But now-and-then the pick-up screen would clog, oil light would come one and I'd have to shut it down and coast until the debris dropped out. Drove it for years and sold it running! No rod knocks or major issues.

I recall a member posting not too long ago that he lost oil pressure, traced it back to a faulty oil filter. And let's be honest, we're not watching our gauge as we're driving. But a red lamp that suddenly pops on WOULD get the driver's attention.
 
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I watch my gauge quite a bit, but, its not going to take very long to smoke the engine if you do lose pressure. I like this idea, you should do a write up.
 
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I watch my gauge quite a bit, but, its not going to take very long to smoke the engine if you do lose pressure. I like this idea, you should do a write up.

Yep...okay...I've never taken on such a challenge but I will take this one on. But, considering that I have a super charger sitting in a box in my parent's basement, and a rod-knock 1FZ-FE waiting for a rebuild...I cannot say this will happen anytime soon. but who knows?

Stay tuned...I do want to add to my list of things that I've saved from death a couple of 1FZ-FE motors that lost oil pressure. Once I've delivered on this project, please have it added to my headstone.

What is considered low pressure/high pressure?

Do you want high pressure and if so where should the stock gauge indicator be?

I wouldn't worry about high/low pressure. The stock gauge reads pretty low with a hot motor and idle speed. You'd have to check the FSM for what spec is. I'd guess 5 psi at idle. Get the PDF of the manual and search it.
 
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What sensor would you use in order to determine the low pressure condition. Do they make an adjustable deal that you could tap in with the stock sender ?
 
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What sensor would you use in order to determine the low pressure condition. Do they make an adjustable deal that you could tap in with the stock sender ?

Dunno...maybe?

Step 1. Listen for engine knock

Step 2. Wait another 45 seconds for connecting rod to be thrown (NB. I suggest relatively high RPM engine speed to induce rod breakage)

But seriously, if you had low pressure your engine bearings would let you know by turning into the general thickness of aluminum foil and then you'd have a rod knock. But if you really wanna see what sort of oil pressure you have, thinking you might be low, get a mechanical gauge and follow the FSM's instructions for ascertaining oil pressure.

But unless you've a rod knock...I'd bet $50 you're all good so you can go ahead and start worrying about global warming again and not low oil pressure.
 

brian

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if it has good pressure and then looses pressure, something has already happened internally that needs fixed.
 

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