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  1. #1
    Sr. Apprentice
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    West By God Virginia!
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    Default What is your oil pressure? 1999 Suburban Vortec 5.7

    I have a couple questions about the oilo pressure in your 199x Suburban with the 5.7 Vortec...

    The gauge always seems to read low to me. When she is cold the pressure till get to just below 40.

    Once she is warm, the idle pressure is at 19psi and when I am accelerating it gets to around 30psi.

    After a long highway run the pressure can drop to just above 0 and the 'check gauges' light will come on unless I give it some gas.

    I know this is not normal behavior, but the engine is running fine no misses, temps are below 200, etc.

    Since my gauge cluster is starting to get flaky I am wondering if this is just a symptom of faulty gauges (oil reading low) or if it could be a real problem, Has anybody had to change their oil pump on this engine?

    Has anybody tapped in a separate oil gauge? If so, where can I tap into?

    I started running 5w40 Turbodiesel Mobil 1, up from 5w30 gasser M1, and it seems to be helping (my other car is a Diesel)

    The engine only has 159k on it. has lots of power and is not blowing any smoke like it would if the rings or valve stem seals were worn out. She has only been given M1 since new and does not use any appreciable amount of oil between changes


    Thanks guys!
    I have no convictions ... I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Vichy

    The Herd:
    FoxyCleopatra '99 Chevy Suburban 159K mi
    Rudolf 86 Mercedes Benz 300SDL - 305+K mi
    Fritzie 84 BMW 528e 234k mi
    Jenny '74 Jeep CJ5 23000 mi Factory plow package

    Former GM cars:
    1957 Nomad 283 4bbl rams horns,glasspacks disc brakes White over red
    1963 Corvair Monza 102hp convertible Aqua
    1963 Catalina 2dr 421 4bbl Navy/light blue
    1967 GTO 400 HO his/hers convertible White over red
    1971 Buick GS 455 Conv Black over red
    1977 Impala 305 2bbl Red/red
    1982 Celebrity Silver /blue 2.8 six
    1988 Corsica Red/red 2.8 six
    1996 Impala SS BBB/ gray LT1

  2. #2
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West By God Virginia!
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    Default

    Wow nobody is having oil pressure gauge issues? Nobody has run a mechanical gauge off a Vortec 5.7?
    I find that hard to believe...
    I have no convictions ... I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Vichy

    The Herd:
    FoxyCleopatra '99 Chevy Suburban 159K mi
    Rudolf 86 Mercedes Benz 300SDL - 305+K mi
    Fritzie 84 BMW 528e 234k mi
    Jenny '74 Jeep CJ5 23000 mi Factory plow package

    Former GM cars:
    1957 Nomad 283 4bbl rams horns,glasspacks disc brakes White over red
    1963 Corvair Monza 102hp convertible Aqua
    1963 Catalina 2dr 421 4bbl Navy/light blue
    1967 GTO 400 HO his/hers convertible White over red
    1971 Buick GS 455 Conv Black over red
    1977 Impala 305 2bbl Red/red
    1982 Celebrity Silver /blue 2.8 six
    1988 Corsica Red/red 2.8 six
    1996 Impala SS BBB/ gray LT1

  3. #3
    Sr. Apprentice BlackHawk99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Posts
    33

    Default

    My 1997 Tahoe with 216,000 runs at ~41 lbs PSI hot and ~55 lbs cold based on the dash guage, if that helps...

    Never hooked up a mechanical guage to it.
    1997 Chevy Tahoe
    2002 GMC Sonoma
    2000 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP
    1999 Pontiac Firehawk
    1978 Pontiac Trans Am

  4. #4
    Jr. Engineer
    97chevz71's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Location
    Perry County, Pennsylavania
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    235

    Default

    Mine runs about thirty when i am sitting and stop signs and lights.

  5. #5
    Legend

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    River Ridge Louisiana-4 miles W of New Orleans-didn't flood-water stopped 800 yards away.
    Posts
    1,612

    Default

    I would bet your gauge is OK.Your readings are not uncommon for an older motor.
    My 1998 210,000 Suburban reads 45 cold, but 21 psi at idle once warm.
    New motors usually are always above 40 psi.

    If your gauge was bad, I would expect it to be bad hot or cold.Your cold reading-40 psi-seems about right, SO THE LOW READINGS once hot are probably correct.

    Yes, the gauges can go bad, but I wouldn't bet your gauge is bad.

    Why not try 15w50 and see if all the reading go up. If they all go up, then it probably is just wear, not a bad gauge. 5W40 usually isn't the best oil because it has fewer lubricant molecules and more viscosity modifiers than 5 w 30.

    Try 15 50 and see if everything goes up-if it does your gauge is probably ok-and it is simply wear.
    Charlie
    1998 suburban-
    1/2 ton

    199500 miles
    River
    Ridge,LA

  6. #6
    Legend

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Red Wing, Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    3,356

    Default

    Mine runs around 45-50 cold then when she warms up and on the highway its around 30-35 and when idling after warm it can get down as far as 15, my mechanic says as long as there is no knocking or over heating it should be fine. If it starts to leak or use/burn oil then I would get really worried. After all its a 350 these can take a beating!!
    99 K1500 Suburban LT "THE BEAST"
    Hypertech III, K&N, true dual
    285/75/16
    ___________________________
    Jason

  7. #7
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West By God Virginia!
    Posts
    48

    Default

    I will try the 15w50 at my next oil change Is there a Mobile 1 in that weight? I have only used M1 from the beginning with this truck.

    On a funny note, The gauge seems to have settled down. My pressures are about 45 cold, just under 40 hot and about 19 at idle. The 'Check Gauges' light has not gone off since my original post. If I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic the pressure would get low enough to trip the idiot light!

    Also my temps never exceed 210.
    Of course with the jittery gas gauge, I cannot be 100% sure of the accuracy of any of my gauges hence the idea of plumbing a mechanical gauge in at least for the short term...

    I agree that the 350 can take a lot of punishment. I just cannot see this kind of wear when the car has been run on M1 it's entire life and has been given oil changes every 4-5000 miles and does not burn a drop.
    I mean with only 159k it is barely broken in, right?
    I have no convictions ... I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Vichy

    The Herd:
    FoxyCleopatra '99 Chevy Suburban 159K mi
    Rudolf 86 Mercedes Benz 300SDL - 305+K mi
    Fritzie 84 BMW 528e 234k mi
    Jenny '74 Jeep CJ5 23000 mi Factory plow package

    Former GM cars:
    1957 Nomad 283 4bbl rams horns,glasspacks disc brakes White over red
    1963 Corvair Monza 102hp convertible Aqua
    1963 Catalina 2dr 421 4bbl Navy/light blue
    1967 GTO 400 HO his/hers convertible White over red
    1971 Buick GS 455 Conv Black over red
    1977 Impala 305 2bbl Red/red
    1982 Celebrity Silver /blue 2.8 six
    1988 Corsica Red/red 2.8 six
    1996 Impala SS BBB/ gray LT1

  8. #8
    Legend

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Red Wing, Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    3,356

    Default

    what does your truck usually run at for temp?
    99 K1500 Suburban LT "THE BEAST"
    Hypertech III, K&N, true dual
    285/75/16
    ___________________________
    Jason

  9. #9

    Default

    My 97 truck with 350 vortech and 191K miles runs 45 psi cold and 20 psi hot when idling and holds about 35-40 when running down the road. I have a 30% higher flow water pump and my temp NEVER gets above 180 degrees.
    1997 Chevy Silverado 1500 210K miles:
    350 Vortec/4L60E, 3.42 posi, Underdrive crank pulley, K&N filter, Superchips power programmer, mallory coil, true dual exhaust, torque swirl TB spacer, and more!


    1991 Pontiac Trans Am GTA- L98 Superram
    1992 Subaru SVX LS-L- Way too many mods to list!

  10. #10
    Legend

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    River Ridge Louisiana-4 miles W of New Orleans-didn't flood-water stopped 800 yards away.
    Posts
    1,612

    Default

    Yes, there is 15W50 Mobil I- i USE IT IN MY MOTORCYCLES(it is car oil,I refuse to pay double for motorcycle oil). The 15w50 has red writing on it,I think.WalMart sells it now for about $22 five quarts.

    If your pressure is ok now- maybe it was just a wonky gauge? I would give the 15w50 a try anyway .

    I switched from the 5w30 to 10w30high mile oil.It didn't hurt my mpg and my warm idle pressure is maybe 22 psi instead of 20 psi.

    Luck
    Charlie

    my 1998 has 210,000 runs great.
    1998 suburban-
    1/2 ton

    199500 miles
    River
    Ridge,LA

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