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ENGINE IGNITION AND OIL PRESSURE

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  • ENGINE IGNITION AND OIL PRESSURE

    Today was an eventful day following over two years of effort in that we got the '55 President 259 engine fired up for a few seconds. But have two questions.
    1. Brand new Pressure Relief Valve is installed. The original oil pressure gauge fitting broke at the back of the original gauge as well as one from a parts car, so I have an oil pressure gauge suspended from the dash with the tube running to the original pickup point on the back of the engine. We just ran the engine for a few seconds but the oil pressure reading quickly rose to 70-75 psi and stayed right there. Any problem here? I assume it will settle down once the engine is run longer. We could not run the engine longer because of my second question below.
    2. The engine would not start with the lever in Neutral, but I had to go to Park (I assume the neutral safety switch maybe?) But mechanically the tranny was not in Park because as we ran the engine the drive shaft (which is disconnected from the rear for rework) started bouncing around and hitting the floorboard. We went through all the gears by hand under the car and could NOT keep the driveshaft from turning. Broken parking pawl or something else?
    Thanks for any help.

    '55 Commander
    '55 President
    \'55 Commander
    \'55 President

  • #2
    Mine will run at 70 lbs oil pressure on start. Once Hot the presure drops to ( I think ) 40/45 lbs. at speed. I do not have any experience with your other question.

    Comment


    • #3
      70-75 PSI oil pressure sure is high. Depending on your oil quality, i.e. weight and brand type, it can drop as the engine warms up -synthetics are more pure and flow better, so dino oil psi tends to drop more as temp increase vs synthetics. But as a general rule for studebaker, it should not get that high. That's what the relief valve is for -limits the pressure to 40. As that pressure hits 40 it should move the valve piston and dump the extra oil pressure onto the timming gears and crank gear. This normally occurs at 40 mph or faster on the road (for you, think high rpms). So I would be a little concerned. Yes you will drop some PSI as the engine bearings break in, but 30psi, that's a little far fetched to believe. So A) I think you have a pressure relief valve problem, stuck or something else. B) Why did the pressure get to 75 in the first place, were you revving the engine fast? Or was it at idle ? Somehow you got 75 psi, thus you may have a major oil circulation problem somewhere in the system (besides the relief valve that needs to be checked or replaced). There could be numerous reasons in the oil system but a few might be: blocked oil passages from a poor cleaning prior to final engine assembly, or you might have too little bearing clearance....BOTH of which can cause oil starvation and eventual catastropic engine failure (i.e. a rod seizing on the crank, breaking and punching a hole out the side of the block).

      As for the tranny, I assume you have the OEM tranny, a Borg Warner DG250. The driveshaft should NOT turn AT ALL in park or neutral! (Period). No the fault does not lie with the parking pawl, even if it works, which it sounds like it didn't, with an engaged gear, the engine will turn the tranny with enough force to break the parking pawl -only a complete car, with tires and brakes applied could stop a tranny with engaged gears. If your tranny was in park, then either your parking pawl was already broken (many are sheared off from mis-use over the years) OR it became broken when you started the car and the tranny was engaged OR the pawl is not adjusted right and didn't engage the main shaft, i.e. there is a bolt on the inside, seen by dropping the oil pan, that is used to adjust the pawl's engagement. Anyway, moving on since the pawl is not the problem you have...

      Something is wrong if its turning as you say. Was the tranny rebuilt properly, i.e. by someone competent in the older Tranny designs of the 50's era, especially the DG series? If rebuilt, did it sit for a long time, say for a few years? Here's a quick list of the DG250 tranny problems that could cause your issue: 1) Too tight brake bands, if they are not adjusted right they will grab the main shaft drum and engage the forward or reverse gears depending on the band that is too tight -conversly don't make them too loose or else the gears won't engage. This is probably the easiest item to check, just back off the adjusting bolts to loosen up the bands...don't go too far or the strut that engages the adjusting bolt to the band may come loose and then you'll have to disassemble the tranny some to put it back. To play it safe you could tighted the adjusting bolts until they stop, then back them off about 4 turns (IIRC, I'll see if I can get more accurate when I crawl under and work on my tranny in the next few days). There are three bands, low, forward, and reverse, each with an adjusting bolt..see the shop manual for specific instructions for help on adjusting. 2) Direct drive engagement: the clutch in the torque converter is locked up, either due to Torque converter failure or the valve body is delivering the clutch pressure when it shouldn't. 3) Hydraulic pressure system malfunction, i.e. the Valve body or governor valve is malfunctioning: For the brake bands to engage gears and the direct drive engagnement, they are all controlled by pressure from the pumps and this pressure is controlled and routed by the valve body and the governor valve. The valve body has numerous valves and many passages that can be blocked. If any of the valves fail (bloc
      Best Regards,
      Eric West
      "The Speedster Kid"
      Sunny Northern California
      Where the roads don't freeze over and the heat doesn't kill you.
      And an open road is yours to have -only during non-commute rush hours 9am-4pm and 7pm to 7am (Ha, ha, ha)
      55 Speedster "Lemon/Lime" (Beautiful)
      55 President State Sedan (Rusty original, but runs great and reliable)

      Comment


      • #4
        It's a new engine with no worn parts. That's great oil pressure! It will drop considerably as the engine warms up, probably to around 50 psi going down the highway. Don't attempt to adjust the pressure relief valve.
        Disconnect the shift linkage at the transmission and push the lever on the side of the transmission all the way forward and see if that will lock the driveshaft.

        [img] http://home.comcast.net/~jdwain/63.63.jpg [/img]
        Dwain G.

        Comment


        • #5
          OK, thanks for the assistance. The oil is Pennzoil 30W because I use it in my Stick shift Commander as well as other cars with over 175,000 miles on them. Fresh clean oil, new filter. Since we ran the engine just for maybe 5-10 seconds, we didn't have the opportunity this time to see if it would drop as Curt mentions above. EVERYTHING is new in the engine and rebuilt to specs. per two friends who did my '54 Hornet a few years ago. Brand new Pressure Relief valve and spring were installed as I read earlier on this forum to do this. The throtte was worked from outside as the accelerator pedal linkage isn't hooked up yet, but we did not rev. the engine up at all.....just barely above idle. Rods and mains were installed to specs. in the service manual and the block and heads, etc. all cleaned out by competent folks around for a long time.
          On the tranny, the old fluid was not too dirty and the filter screen not bad at all, but all we did to the tranny was front and rear seals, new gasket and just initially the 5 quarts of Dexron III. We have made no adjustments of any kind yet on the transmission. Indeed the engine and tranny sat outside for many years when we acquired the car, but nothing was open to the air as such. I have printed your suggestions and when we get back to it will take it from there cautiously.
          After initially some troublesome coolant leaks last week, I was delighted to remedy those and very pleased the engine fired up rather quickly. I'll keep you posted what we find out next, probably next weekend.
          On the oil pressure relieve valve, I don't have the book with me, but is that adjustable....like by spring length maybe?

          '55 Commander
          '55 President
          \'55 Commander
          \'55 President

          Comment


          • #6

            I don't think there's anything wrong with the relief valve. The oil pump will produce pressure high enough to blow the seal out of a cannister filter, if it was. You probably have a pretty good engine.

            As far as the trans, not too many have a working knowledge of those. I'd take what 55studeman says and run with it.
            64 GT Hawk (K7)
            1970 Avanti (R3)

            Comment


            • #7
              OK Dwain, we'll see what the oil pressure does next startup. On the tranny, we did disconnect the linkage and moved the lever all the way forward as far as it would go and it did not lock up the driveshaft. I ponder a bit here about this because somehow when we were working with the tranny on the bench, that lever got stuck and we pulled the pan off then above that 6 bolts to pull the next portion of the transmission off and found the inside part of the lever and gotten jammed, but we got that fixed and reassembled the tranny and put it on the car. It seesms to be going through the exact number of detents.

              '55 Commander
              '55 President
              \'55 Commander
              \'55 President

              Comment


              • #8
                Perhaps the depth adjustment for the pawl needs to be reset?

                [img] http://home.comcast.net/~jdwain/63.63.jpg [/img]
                Dwain G.

                Comment


                • #9
                  For the oil pressure, don't adjust the relief valve spring -just replace it if you feel it is needed, or you want to check it... they're cheap enough. Make sure the valve and bore is smooth and not galled and it slides easily, also look to see if the tiny hole in the valve is open and not clogged -all very easy things to check.

                  Sure enough, the oil pressure will drop when it warms up, dino oil more than synthetics. I'd still be a little worried but you I don't think you have enough history on the engine since it's freshly rebuilt, i.e. running time. To me the high pressure doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you have a pressure valve that opens at 40 PSI so that the oil pressure stays there instead of going higher. I could understand 50 or maybe 60 just due to variances inherent in engines and the relief valve manufacturing tolerances....but hitting 70+ to me is a little worrisome...just an opinion, trying to think along the lines of the engineers who designed the oiling system.

                  Think of it this way, pressure is related to volume flow and resistance. So from the high pressure right at the rear main bearing where the pump is, it will gradually decrease as oil volume is siphoned off at bearings and orifices until it reaches a lower psi range at the rocker arm assemblies. Each point of lubrication uses a little bit of oil volume which gradually decreases pressure. To get a grasp on this, think of it this way, if all the bearing feeds and oiling orifices are blocked then no oil volume flow is bled off; the pump will keep going but the flow is stopped and so then the pressure keeps rising until either the oil flows out through something broken or the pump itself and/or the oil pump shaft breaks. Conversely, if the system has very large tolerances on the bearings and orifices, making the system very open, then oil will flow out and pressure will never get off the ground -that's why we USUALLY rebuild engines...BUT you could argue that very high pressue is a justicfication for rebuilding as well since it would indicate that something is wrong -just food for thought. Fluid dynamics are much more complicated than this and I'm not a professional by no means just a commoner, but this is the simplistic way of thinking about it without all the in depth physics.

                  I'm not trying to get you worried or anyone else, we all know that there are little oddities to our Studebaker engines. It may very well settle down really fast but don't forget what the engineers intended when brand new, FACTORY fresh -why should we get results that are any different, we're not re-designing it....just rebuilding.




                  E. West
                  "The Speedster Kid"
                  Sunny Northern California
                  Where the roads don't freeze over and the heat doesn't kill you.
                  And an open road is yours to have -only during non-commute rush hours 9am-4pm and 7pm to 7am (Ha, ha, ha)
                  Best Regards,
                  Eric West
                  "The Speedster Kid"
                  Sunny Northern California
                  Where the roads don't freeze over and the heat doesn't kill you.
                  And an open road is yours to have -only during non-commute rush hours 9am-4pm and 7pm to 7am (Ha, ha, ha)
                  55 Speedster "Lemon/Lime" (Beautiful)
                  55 President State Sedan (Rusty original, but runs great and reliable)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Tranny

                    To reiterate, the pawl is not your issue, although it may not be engaging as it should and needs adjustment. If the tranny gears are completely disengaged it will not transmit hardly any rotational movement to the driveshaft and if it did, it would be so low that holding it by hand would enough. Yours sounds stronger, like a gear is engaged.

                    That list of potential problems I mentioned was just the most commom and easier to deal with. I should add that if those are not it, then you could potentially have gears that have frozen to the main shaft like the rear sun gear (although highly unlikely but possible since the main shaft isn't fully submerged in ATF when the car sits -it gets oil through the pressure system). OR a tooth or whole gears in the planetary sets broke and became lodged such that it jams the planetaries and transmits power to the driveshaft. These are more difficult issues requiring disassembly of the main shaft and planetary gear sets, something that is much more difficult. Makes you think why was the car sitting? Parked due to a failed tranny, seen it happen before. Do you know by chance?

                    A tranny that has sat a long time will have peculiar things that need to be gone over, especially if it went dry. Did your's have oil in the case?

                    For example I bought a NOS off the shelf, original box Valve body assembly from SASCO (a few weeks ago). It was real exciting for me, I love that NOS stuff. Unfortunately, and I knew this would be the case, everything, all the valves were "frozen up." It wouldn't work a darn if I had just installed it. It took me 3 hours to very, very slowly and carefully disassemble it, clean the light surface rust and the dried, gumbed up parts, re-oil and reassemble. So that's what happens after 50 years of sitting, granted it wasn't sitting in oil like it would in a tranny, it just had a light coating that had gumbed up.

                    Your stuck gear selector sounds awfully similar to my NOS valve body. Your problem may lie in the valve body causing the symptom of engaged gears, it may need to be taken apart. If you do rebuild the valve body yourself, be VERY careful, the valves to bores tolerances are on the order of 0.0001", much tighter than engine bearings. Any scratch on the valves or bores will cause them to stick or not work, trust one that knows (meaning I made that mistake once). ALSO lint can jam up the valves, hence the use of lint free towels while rebuilding tranny valve assemblies, a key lesson taught in auto tranny classes.

                    I wish you the best next weekend and do keep us posted so that we can all learn from your trials. Your excitment when the engine fired up is felt by us all, we love hearing about the progress on Stude rebuilds...gives us all encouragment.

                    E. West
                    "The Speedster Kid"
                    Sunny Northern California
                    Where the roads don't freeze over and the heat doesn't kill you.
                    And an open road is yours to have -only during non-commute rush hours 9am-4pm and 7pm to 7am (Ha, ha, ha)
                    Best Regards,
                    Eric West
                    "The Speedster Kid"
                    Sunny Northern California
                    Where the roads don't freeze over and the heat doesn't kill you.
                    And an open road is yours to have -only during non-commute rush hours 9am-4pm and 7pm to 7am (Ha, ha, ha)
                    55 Speedster "Lemon/Lime" (Beautiful)
                    55 President State Sedan (Rusty original, but runs great and reliable)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Before a person gets into the high oil pressure aspect too awfully deep, it might be wise to beg, borrow or steal, no wait, nix the last one, another pressure guage to compare readings. If it shows abnormally high, then consider further investigation if it's felt necessary.

                      Something you might do is pull the valve covers, wipe things off with a clean rag, reinstall them and run it a bit. Pull them again and if things are good and oily, then you know oil is getting there. If things are dry upstairs, then something's wrong. I haven't looked at the manual closely, but if the rocker arms are the last on the circuit and they're getting oil, maybe it's time to stop worrying.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OK, thanks. Will try and check all those things out as above and keep you posted.

                        '55 Commander
                        '55 President
                        \'55 Commander
                        \'55 President

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:Originally posted by Original50
                          If you see within that circle the letters
                          CI-4 or CI-4 Plus, then you have found a motor oil that still has the ZDDP additive in the oil. Shell makes ROTELLA T 15W-40 which is a big truck motor oil such as a diesel, but this oil is also good for automotive use.
                          Old news. Bob Palma clued us in some time ago via his column in TW. Thanks anyway.

                          (been using Rotella in my Studes ever since)




                          Dick Steinkamp
                          Bellingham, WA
                          Dick Steinkamp
                          Bellingham, WA

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My question is if I use one Pint of STP with each oil change will I be ok with my 48 Champion? I have been useing Castrol GTX.

                            GARY H 2DR.SEDAN 48 STUDEBAKER CHAMPION NORTHEAST MD.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Other interesting info - lube oils are produced from "heavy" crude oil, often from Venezuela. The additive packages are supplied by 2 major companies.
                              Makes one wonder about the claimed superiorities of some oil brands.
                              I use synthetic oil for my precious cars, supermarket 20/50 for the semi-modern one. BUT, I change oil AND filter frequently, every 5,000 km without fail. I use 20/60 synthetic, but I don't have to worry about cold weather where I live and drive.
                              /H

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