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Thread: Engine issues

  1. #1
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    NW Indiana

    Default Engine issues

    I'm not superior at diagnosing problems, but I know the basics. My '97 Sierra took a crap today, unless my wishful thinking is true. Driving down the highway, the oil pressure dropped to 0 psi, engine shutdown and I pulled over. I opened the hood and it smelled of oil pretty bad. There was some oil burning off of the valve cover. The engine will not turn over and seems to be seized. My guess is either the oil pump failed or a head gasket blew possibly. If anyone has any insight it would be greatly appreciated, even if the news is I need a new engine.

    Thanks in advance.

    1997 Sierra 4.3L, Manual, 2 x 4, 205,000

    2004 Jeep Wrangler, 4.0L, 55,000

  2. #2
    Legend unplugged's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    High Deserts of SoCal

    Default What causes the loss of oil pressure

    Head gaskets usually aren't the primary cause of an oil pressure failure.
    The usual suspects in a loss of oil pressure are: (not in any order and probably not a complete list)
    (Assumes oil pressure gauge is working properly)

    Failure of the oil filter
    Failure of the oil pump
    Failure of the distributor gear or shaft
    Failure of the oil pressure switch
    Failure of the oil gallery, ie; crank, rods, push rod(s)
    Failure of the oil filter bypass
    Failure of the timing chain

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  3. #3
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    NW Indiana


    Ok, maybe this may help in eliminating some causes; I looked underneath the truck and there is no oil dripping from the bottom.

  4. #4


    Hate to ask, but it always helps to check the absolute basics. Oil level, metal looking flakes in oil or other contaminants. Hole in the block. Try turning motor with socket and breaker bar on crank pulley. Take starter out, try turning flywheel/motor that way. If oil pressure is lost, fuel pump will shut off.

  5. #5


    Do you have oil in it that would be helpful, and locked up is a bad sign.IT could have been low and just cooked,Or a mechanical faliure in pump but if its locked that won't matter now

    99 tahoe 2 dr. 4x4 7.4 4L80-e NP246, SAS, dana 60 hp, sterling 10.5 rear, gibson headers, and alot of tricks of the trade !!!!!!IF YOU'RE NOT CHEATING YOUR NOT TRYING!!!!!!!!

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