June 26, 2009 at 9:23 pm #232660DickParticipant
Ah, the little things that make your day! I was out driving in traffic
yesterday, the outside air temperature was around 95, and the
temperature gauge climbed to 220. Normally the 1.6L Chevette runs
around 195. It didn’t seem to affect anything and the car ran great, so I
pressed on. Then the speedometer needle started jumping around. Then I
pulled into the driveway and the oil low pressure light came on. So I shut
the engine down.
I let Penelope cool down for a few hours until it was dark and checked her
precious bodily fluids. No problems. I started the little beast and the temp
and oil pressure were fine. I did a test run and the temp climbed to about
210 and the oil pressure light was ok. But the speedometer needle is still
Any thoughts or recommendations?June 26, 2009 at 10:11 pm #239109
Do you know if your speedometer is mechanical or electronic?
I like your car name. I should name mine also. Be sure to post your info to the registry discussion so we can get you on the list.
JamesJune 26, 2009 at 10:54 pm #239110Dan RosaParticipant
Dick ; I had that same trouble, check your thermostat , I also made a shroud around the fan, A cut down 5 gallon bucket to fit around the fan and the both helped to keep the engine cooler and have not any more over heat trouble , heat will also cause loss of oil pressure , Dan R.June 27, 2009 at 1:20 pm #239111Paul MossbergKeymaster
Obvious, but check the oil level too.
It is not unsual for oil pressure to drop below 20 pounds at idle when an engine is hot. Do you have a pressure gauge? Or just a warning light?
What viscosity are you using?
Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
2005 Intermeccanica Roadster
If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)June 27, 2009 at 2:12 pm #239112DickParticipant
I have a mechanical speedometer and run 10-40 weight oil. I’m due for an
annual oil change and and thinking of changing to 20-50 weight oil. I upped
the idle RPM to 800 and hope that might solve the oil low pressure light (no
pressure gauge) problem.June 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm #239113Carlene marieParticipant
On a mechanical speedo, check the cable. Make sure it’s spinning freely in the case, if it has any stiff bends , it may have worn a rough spot in the housing and any drag and needle will jump a bit. Make sure it’s securely connected at both ends.
On our bugs, it connects at the front wheel, some times they vibrate loose and if not tight would be jumpy.
on the getting hot, might be time to clean the radiator? if you haven’t done it in a few years, it will get sediment in the bottom, or just might be time to replace the thermostat.
Something to check though ~
purplemyth39991.6104282407June 30, 2009 at 1:23 pm #239114Mark HendricksonParticipant
Dan R probably has most of the solution. These Chevette radiators are very small and require a “focused” amount of air passing through them. The fan is pretty far away too. Making a shroud will GREATLY improve the cooling. I love the 5 gallon bucket idea.
Another cooling fan idea is a shrouded electric fan mounted in the “puller” position. A Flex-A-Lite multi bladed fan would also pull more air, but the shroud is the most important item.
Changing to a 180 degree stat will also help as will Lucas Water Wetter” or Royal Purple Ice coolant additives. The Chevette has no computer and most all the smog related equipment is fully functional by the time the engine is 180 degrees.
My advice is to use a decent 10w-40 synthetic oil like Royal Purple, Amsoil and as a last resort synthetic use Mobil 1 or Castrol Syntec. The latter no longer have the zinc “scuff package” in the oil. Any oil API service rated “SM” no longer has a scuff package…very bad for flat tappet camshafts.
I suspect, do to lack of room for a cable, your car has an electronic speedo. If it’s an older design by Classic Gauges, they jump all over and sometimes even quit when they get hot. The Hall Effect senders on these older units were really junk.July 1, 2009 at 12:04 am #239115
I don’t know much about the synthetic oils. Maybe I should use that in my engine when I put it back together. It sounds to be better for the engine. Do you need a special filter for synthetic?July 1, 2009 at 11:19 am #239116Mark HendricksonParticipant
Not to change the topic of this post, but there is absolutely no comparison between organic and synthetic oils.
If you are rebuilding your engine and starting fresh (new pistons/rings/bearings) Royal Purple has a break in oil available.
You can switch from organic to synthetic oil at any oil change. All of the old myths about synthetic oil are exactly that…myths.
No special filter is required for synthetic oil, but all filters are NOT created equal. Through lots of experience, I use only WIX filters or K&N if I can’t get the WIX. NAPA Gold and Carquest filters are made by WIX. The Chevette Wix oil fliter is #51040. The NAPA Gold would be a #1040 and Carquest would be #81040.
I had a link to an oil filter testing site and FRAM was one of the worst of the filters tested. Ever since Allied bought them, they are off-shore made junk. Some are even rusted inside while still new in the box!
JAS…what was the problem with your locked up motor?July 1, 2009 at 1:26 pm #239117
Thanks, great advice. I’ll take back my new Fram filter and get the WIX.
I have not discovered exactly what locked up the engine. It is totally free now and I can hand turn it without problem. The odd thing is one evening I could not move the crank at all, I laid under the panless engine and stared at everything. For fun, I reached up to give it one more go just for fun, and it turned without hesitation. I must have stared it to death . The motor is still open until I can pin point the problem. Something somewhere stopped it, then suddenly didn’t….weird. I have replaced the oil pump since I had it open anyway, the old pump was like new inside, but I changed it. I’ll send an update when or if I ever discover the problem. One way or the other, the engine goes back together mid-July. The old oil pump did throw up on me….right on my face and into my hair of course. It was like it was under unreleased pressure, but the passages seemed to be clear. I’ll post an update under the engine lockup topic soon. Thanks,
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