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Old 06-30-2018, 11:15 PM
billboat billboat is offline
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lost oil pressure then engine shut down - 2000 350 TBI

We pulled away from the dock today and within 5 minutes, the oil pressure dropped to zero, the engine alarm came on, and it shut down. After letting it sit a a few minutes it would start but was very rough, had a metallic sound at the top of the engine, and then died. I got a tow back to the dock and didn't try to start it again.

I changed the oil, filter, plugs, and wires this spring and ran it for several hours twice before today. The last time out I noticed a vibration at ~2000 rpm but I just put a different used prop on so I assumed that was the problem. Today when idling around the dock the engine warmed up as normal but I noticed the oil pressure was around 60-70 psi but my gauges are often unreliable. The temperature was just a bit above 160 F when it shut down. The oil is clear and just slightly above the full mark. There was no smoke/steam, no oil in the bilge. The engine has about 900 hrs and hasn't given me any trouble in the last 2 summers that I've had it and I've put about 100 hrs on it.

Can anybody suggest where I should look first for diagnosis? It feels like my summer just got short. What are the likely problems?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2018, 12:01 AM
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Thrall Thrall is offline
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A Chevy 350 losing an oil pump is rare. Not like winning the lottery rare but not common at all.
One suggestion, check first to see if the oil pump is working at all. Remove a valve cover, disconnect the coil or kill switch. Something that keeps it from firing and then crank it and see if oil comes up right away.
Good luck!
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Old 07-01-2018, 02:56 PM
billboat billboat is offline
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So perhaps the drop in oil pressure was a symptom and not the cause?

Should I plan for oil to go everywhere when I crank the engine with the valve cover off?

Will the computer have a code of any value or will it just tell me it went into limp mode?


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Old 07-01-2018, 03:24 PM
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mikeg205 mikeg205 is offline
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You could have spun a bearing, or a lifter dying. 900 not much for these 350s.

Get an oil analysis from Blackstone... its like 25 bucks.. it will indicate if any metal in oil.

This kind of problem can rattle you.. especially in early summer.

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Old 07-01-2018, 05:24 PM
88 PS190 88 PS190 is offline
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Troubleshoot the noise. Pressure could be a bad sender.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:09 PM
billboat billboat is offline
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Follow-up - More Qs

Well, I finally got over to the storage unit to look into the loss of pressure. I took off the valve cover on the port side and spun the engine over a few times. The "weep holes" were all completely dry (I cleaned them off and then spun over).

When I did a search for oil pump replacement, I learned that the distributor is attached to the oil pump. When I changed my plug wires this winter I realized that my distributor wasn't tightened down. I pulled on the first wire and lifted the distributor right up. Luckily there were marks for timing so I just aligned them and tightened down the bolt. Is is possible that the connection between the pump and distributor was lost/weakened when I yanked on the plug wire? Or I didn't get it seated back right?

A recap of the day of the lost of oil pressure. When I started up it was running around 60 psi and when I pushed on the throttle it moved up near 80 psi. It seemed a little high, but I couldn't remember the range it fluctuated in. Then after about 10 minutes of idling around the ramp I pushed the throttle and within minutes I lost pressure and it shut down or I shut it down quickly (I can't remember - I heard the alarm and saw the needle at 0 and turned off the key).

As for the sound - I'd guess that was the engine running without oil. I don't know if there's much to diagnose and I don't know how much snooping I could do without starting the engine and that seems risky at this point.

Does anybody have ideas for other things to check before I pull the engine and replace the oil pump? Is there anything else I should take care of while I have the engine out?

Thanks in advance,

Bill
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2018, 08:12 PM
billboat billboat is offline
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Pic of dry oil outlets


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  #8  
Old 08-05-2018, 10:18 PM
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mikeg205 mikeg205 is offline
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yikes.... keep us informed
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:32 PM
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Table Rocker Table Rocker is offline
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The oil pump is driven by the distributor. It sounds to me like your loose distributor caused the situation. The drive shaft for the oil pump is like the blunt end of an arrow and your distributor has a pin that fits in that notch.

When you mention your issue with the distributor lifting up, you don't mention the clamp. Was the clamp there and did you tighten it down, holding the distributor in place?
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2018, 11:41 PM
billboat billboat is offline
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lost oil pressure then engine shut down - 2000 350 TBI

I canít remember how it was held down. I tightened the bolt and it didnít move after that.

The boat is in storage but I will go monkey with the distributor this week.


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