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OIl Pressure Gauge on '55 Commander

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  • OIl Pressure Gauge on '55 Commander

    Oil pressure gauge has become some erratic, reading mostly low (10-20 psi) anytime, after startup and after warm. Engine seems fine as it's quiet and runs well. Checked the flexible line from the engine to the oil pressure line going to the gauge and it is not leaking or kinked. The gauge I believe is fluctuating much too rapidly to be representative of an actual oil pressure deficiency. It reacts like an electric problem, but then the gauge is mechanical. I had an old gauge off my '55 President that appears to have a metallic strip and a very very fine wire associated with it at the gauge itself and then the line appears to be brazed to the backside. I was wondering if there's any histoty of oil pressure gauge problems.

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

  • #2
    Put on a test gauge. It could be an internal oil leak>

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    • #3
      The oil pressure on my 54 Commander 232cu has acted low for some time. Last summer I disconnected the hose from the block to the copper tube going through the firewall to the guage, and found it was somewhat blocked and full of crud. I bled that, replaced the oil, and then disconnected the tube to the guage under the dash and bled that into a coffee can with a lid (for insurance). Much higher pressure now, and the pressure is much more stable. Think about it - the oil in there had not been changed in 56 years! It's new now, and the line is clear.

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      • #4
        I'll pull the line as you did and try that first. Until the last year or so I drove the car more often which kept things flowing, but recently it has been driven infrequently, so that could contribute to it. Think I'll replace the flex line while I'm at it.

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

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        • #5
          Studebaker V8s will run and sound good with almost no oil pressure. As well as temperature, engine speed will change oil pressure.

          I have not experienced a malfunctioning oil pressure gauge, but I suppose its possible.

          I would focus on dirt in the line, kinks or connection at the motor before I took any drastic motor steps.

          Also make sure your engine oil is fresh.

          My dad's oil line broke on the highway with a 6 cylinder and by the time he pulled off, the engine was smoked. Older rubber lines should be fresh.

          Good luck.

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          • #6
            That's one thing I do is maintain the oil clean with oil and filter changes frequently. I'll check the lines out first and see if that remedies it; I can do an external gauge pressure check later if necessary.

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

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            • #7
              55s, I had an engine fire in my first 55 that burnt through the flex line to the gauge. Smokey the Bear was on the job. I replaced the flex line and found I had better oil pressure (at least at the guage LOL). Makes sense to me. My current 55 is coming out of the paint shop next week, I hope. Would love to have a peek at yours when we go to wire it. Brrrr.
              Dave Warren (Perry Mason by day, Perry Como by night)

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