Rover K series oil pressure

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PJT
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Rover K series oil pressure

I have a 21 year old 1.6 rover K series Caterham.  The oil pressure varies! On start up it is 2 bar but this rapidly drops to 1 bar (or just under) and when stationary it drops into the red!

There are no obvious oil leaks.

Is this normal behavior for a K series or should I be looking for a new oil pump/gauge?  

Any thoughts gratefully received.

Yellow Peril

revilla
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Electrical or mechanical gauge? If electrical, the gauge sender would be the first thing I would suspect. Noted for failures. Personally rather than replacing it, I'd swap to mechanical ... but others may argue against.

SV VVC 170 - 170.4 bhp @ 7100 rpm - 142.4 ft.lb. @ 4900 rpm

SM25T
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Mechanical gauge all the way. Do that first for less than one new electrical sender and see what is really happening.
Jonathan Kay
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Has it always done this?

What oil is in there and how old is it?

Which dipstick do you have, and how are you checking the level and filling ?

Jonathan

paul richards
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As has been said. Failure of sender is very likely. You can replace it but you'll be replacing it again in a couple of years. Just as cheap to fit a mechanical gauge and much more reliable. 

Paul Richards

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Silver Machine
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Endorse 2 to 5. I have a similar aged car and have gone to mechanical gauge. Symptoms you describe mirror the failure of my last electrical sender as it slowly died. Fitting a mechanical system is not a big job. 

Sim
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It's really easy to damage the electrical sender - it's  very low and exposed- I damaged 2 by going over the anti-exit plates on the way into the company carpark before I realised what was causing the issue.

caterham used to sell a remote mount kit - to place it on the cross member - don't know if they still do.
 

Simon 

JonL
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My electrical sender failed in the same way - gradually lower and lower pressure readings.  Replaced with mechanical sender bought from Think Auto. Can dig out the part numbers if you need. 

W2TKY
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I was exactly the same, on my old 1.6 K, use to sit at junctions reving to keep the oil pressure up, it use to drop to zero on tickover. Bit the bullet and bough and fitted a mechanical gauge, and hay presto no more low oil pressure issues.

Owner of "Roxy the R400"

 

terryfield
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I bow to the knowledge of my peers in matters  related to gauges, but have you thought about the baffle in the sump (assuming it still has one)?

On my similar 1.8k I had oil pressure issues, albeit a bit more extreme than you are describing, and it turned out to be bits of a disintegrating plastic oil baffle starting to block the oil pick up.

Terry7

PJT
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Hi Guys,  Thanks for all your comments. I thought I better have a closer look at the issue so got down on my hands and knees - at nearly 79 I no longer enjoy laying on my back on a hard, cold concrete floor - and found that it looks as if the switch has been "grounded" at some time. Bit surprised that it still works at all!  Probably not surprising with some of the narrow, windy lanes in the Midlands (and the Peak District National Park in particular) so I have ordered a new switch but if that doesn't work I'll go for the mechanical route.

Many thanks for all your help.

Yellow Peril