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K-Series oil pressure

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I'm running in a K-series 1.6ss. I have the Stack dash and I'm showing oil pressure figures of around 85 when the oil is cold and never dropping below 55 when the oil is warm and engine is at tickover. The Stack figure is not in bar so must be psi - I'm assuming - could be wrong.


I have some concerns that I don't know the relative values of these figures and if they are what to expect. I'm using a bog standard non-syntehetic oil as I am still in the first 500 miles. The standard pressure on the move at revs up to 4000 or so is in the mid 70s.


Anyone know if my figures are OK, someone mentioned the pressure was too high so an owner or knowledgeable expert's opinion would be welcome.





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Graham its not an equal comparison. Your R500 runs with greater clearances on both its mains and big ends and has a fully cross drilled crank , it also has a steel spark erroded rotor within its oil pump, again this runs with greater clearances. In short you will have far greater bleed off of oil pressure when hot.
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Count - do you have the caterham dry sump already? if so then it is the same as I


I seem to remember my oil pressure was a bit higher with the running in oil than it is now, but surely you must have run it in by now teeth.gif


howver I have the standard gauge so it is hard to tell, we did hook up a stack dash at one point to check something can't remeber waht it read, however the engine would have been cold, as the bugger wouldn't run!





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I do have the Caterham dry sump system. It looks as if the pressure is a little on the high side. I don't have the Apollo tank. Someone has suggested the oil pressure relief valve might need adjusting, but with the dry sump system in place, I don't know where the hell that is located.


A call to the factory would seem in order, I've now done about 300 miles so I'll change to a synthetic oil in another 200 miles and that might change things, just don't want to do any damage before then.



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Pardon my ignorance but I thought that fully synthetic oil was the greatest thing since sliced bread. As I hope to take delivery around the back end of May of a 1.6 K-Series, I would be interested to know what the dangers are of using synthetic oils.
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There is no concern with synthetic oil at all, but when you are running the engine in, general concensus is that a good quality synthetic will protect and coat the engine too well, so you won't run the internals as smooth as you would want.


The advice is to use a bog standard, cheapo oil for the first 500 miles. This allows the engine to run in properly and then you switch to the good stuff.


Which good stuff is another debate..




Just phoned Caterham


To translate the Stack figures divide by 14.5037 to get a bar figure.


Gives me about 5.5 bar from cold and about 4.9bar on the run, about 4 bar when hot and idling.


Nothing to really worry about says Charles at Caterham. Still seems high to me, apparently the valve is not to be tampered with. So check the sender (wiggle it about and check connections) and see figures after first oil change.


Any other advice ??




Edited by - Count on 18 Feb 2002 16:12:14

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Count, because you are running the Stack, your oil pressures are not comparable with the standard gauge and indicate higher by about 1bar (the pressure drop across the filter).


The Stack remote oil pressure sender kit measures the pressure before the filter (which is fairly pointless). The standard sender is mounted after the filter (as it should be). At higher revs, the Stack display can show an increasing oil pressure, while the pressure in the galleries is actually falling (resistance across the filter rises). It is a design fault and it all goes to show that the Caterham implementation of the Stack oil pressure gauge is intended to give trite reassurance rather than information .


Absolute values for oil pressure do vary from engine to engine. Production spec engines with graded bearing fitment are very consistent. You should use the Stack to monitor for any changes in oil pressure behaviour at given oil temperature and revs while keeping the oil spec the same. Your pressures are fine and typical. Just watch out for an indicated rise in pressure that could indicate a blocked filter. The filter has a bypass, so this shouldn't happen but if you go to very high revs and flow rates in the future you will get this.


FWIW, there is next to no difference on my engine between indicated gallery pressure with the standard pump rotor and with a spark eroded pump rotor.

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Thanks for that advice, I was hoping you would read the thread. I'm fitting a warning light anyway for any loss of pressure but some reassurance on the current readings is welcome.






My SVA was OK, I failed on some things but fixed them at the test centre. I'm putting some SVA tips together and I'll post them as quite a few people are building or will be soon for the summer.




Might even drive to the Fork Handles meeting tonight if it stays dry.


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  • 4 weeks later...

I fitted a Stack dash to my 1.8Kss over the winter and done my first track day of the year on Saturday.

In a few corners i was getting the Oil Pressure warning light (set at 50psi) coming on, saying low oil pressure 38!!.

This is obviously because of surge, but is 38 ok? and what do other people with Stack dashes set there Oil Pressure warning light to?





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