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The Gentleman's Express: Tech-Tips from the JIOC

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Clean Oil Pickup Screens

Author: CFF

I recently purchased a Mk III Interceptor from one of our members. It had a basic problem; terrible oil pressure. I inspected the bottom of the car and found a badly damaged oil pan. From this I reasoned the possibility of a bent oil pickup tube. I ordered and received a new pick-up, and removed the pan to replace it and found the pick-up not to be bent but much clogged with plastic teeth material from a timing gear.

I knew when this particular gear had been replaced - over six years ago. Evidently, when the gear was replaced, the mechanic neglected to pull the oil pan and clean it in order to get rid of the teeth debris. As a consequence, with this particular car, running as it had with low oil pressure for six years, all the damage that could be done was done. I will thus have to live with the oil pressure as it is until it is time to replace the bearings and remedy whatever other damage had been done.

ADVISORY: Should your Interceptor ever have to have new timing gears installed (preferably the metal ones), be sure that the shop pulls and cleans the oil pump pick-up screen before the engine is restarted.

In another instance, a Club Member’s engine had low, low oil pressure so he decided to check out the bottom end. With removal of the oil pan, the problem was apparent. The pan was filled with sludge and the oil pump pick-up screen was caked with the stuff to such an extent that it was almost completely clogged, effectively decreasing the volume of oil that could pass through it. With a thorough cleaning of the pan, screen and pick-up tube and replacing same, his oil pressure increased by more than 20 lbs, solving his problem.

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