• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

2000 Explorer 4.0 SOHC oil pressure issues

aveteam

New Member
Joined
January 16, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
4
City, State
Lakeview, OR
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLT
I've been banging my head on this one for a while now.

A little background-
I got this from my FIL a couple weeks ago. He owns a body shop, it was involved in a minor rear-ender and insurance totaled it. He bought it from them, fixed what was damaged, and we bought it from him. It's in really nice shape for 20 years old, straight & clean inside and out. I drove it 150 miles home, ran great, no issues. Went to warm it up the following morning, "Check Gauges" came on, oil pressure gauge was on the L. I shut it off right away, but the engine wasn't making any noises like they do when starving for oil.

I did some looking around on the web and decided the sending unit/switch might be bad, so I have one on order. Today I hooked up an oil pressure tester to it, and it had 35 - 40 psi at idle when cold. It dropped to almost nothing at idle when it warmed up (the 10 psi mark on this gauge is really close to the peg so it's hard to tell, it may have been 6 - 7 psi). The pressure comes right back up if I hold the throttle about 1500 RPM but it was still alarming to see it so low at idle.

Is this normal behavior for these? I know the spec is 15 psi minimum at 2000 RPM per Ford, but this seems low to me, even at idle.

FWIW it has 128000 miles on it. No codes/check engine light. Oil level is right where it should be, though it's fairly black.

My first thought is to change the oil and filter and see if improves, and maybe strain the oil to see if there are any particles in it. Who knows the last time it was changed. My second thought, after reading up some here, is possibly the o-rings in the oil filter adapter, but figured I'd deal with the easy stuff first.

Thanks for your help!
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




Mr. Alligator

Elite Explorer
Joined
November 30, 2014
Messages
800
Reaction score
264
City, State
Tampa, Florida
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 XLT Explorer
Certainly change oil and filter ASAP.

If that does not resolve it, maybe drop lower oil pan and see if anything is blockinng or clogging oil pump (esp. plastic pieces of timing chain cassettes).

Good luck.
 




aveteam

New Member
Joined
January 16, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
4
City, State
Lakeview, OR
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLT
Thanks Mr. Alligator and DILLARD000 for your replies. I plan on changing the oil & filter tomorrow after work and go from there. (Small town, no auto parts stores are open weekends and they roll up the sidewalks at 5PM Friday!) I'm pretty religious about oil changes.

I checked the oil pressure again today and it's ~18 psi @ 2000 rpm. Will check again after the oil/filter change & report back here.

Not really looking forward to dropping the oil pan but we'll see on that one. Looking at the workshop manual it doesn't look too bad. May as well take off the pickup tube and clean it out if I'm in there.

Regarding the ColdStart procedure, I'm wondering about points 2 & 3. Hold gas pedal to the floor and crank engine without starting? Never done that before unless it was flooded but I'll try it next time I do a cold start. I'm assuming it's set up to not actually start in that condition!

Is full synthetic recommended on these? Sticker says 5W30 but I've also seen on here about using heavier weight oil on older engines with oil pressure issues. I plan on using the recommended oil but was curious what you guys thought about using slightly heavier weight oil. I want to do whatever I can to avoid trouble with this vehicle.
 




Mbrooks420

High Voltage.
Elite Explorer
EF Vendor
Joined
February 2, 2002
Messages
10,521
Reaction score
1,691
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer AWD
I wouldn’t try the floored start on one of these with a cold engine. Test it on a warm engine the first time. When held wide open these cut the fuel injectors, so it won’t start. These often have stretched throttle cables, which can prevent this from working. This can be fixed with zip ties, if holding the pedal to the floor doesn’t work.
 




aveteam

New Member
Joined
January 16, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
4
City, State
Lakeview, OR
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLT
I wouldn’t try the floored start on one of these with a cold engine. Test it on a warm engine the first time. When held wide open these cut the fuel injectors, so it won’t start. These often have stretched throttle cables, which can prevent this from working. This can be fixed with zip ties, if holding the pedal to the floor doesn’t work.
That's the answer I was looking for! Probably saved me an OH **** moment!
I guess a guy could check for a stretched cable by having someone hold the throttle to the floor and see if you can rotate the throttle lever any further. With the engine off of course.
 




Mbrooks420

High Voltage.
Elite Explorer
EF Vendor
Joined
February 2, 2002
Messages
10,521
Reaction score
1,691
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer AWD
Starting a warm motor under throttle is fine. It’s already lubed, and it’s no worse than a hard launch. If you want to check this for certain hook up a scanner and make sure your TPS reads 100%.
 




aveteam

New Member
Joined
January 16, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
4
City, State
Lakeview, OR
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLT
Checking back in-

Just got the oil changed this evening and it did seem to help. 5W30 full synthetic. Oil pressure is now 28 @ 2000 rpm warm. No plastic pieces in the drain pan so that's good. It did have a Motorcraft filter on it though. Haven't taken the filter apart yet to look for debris in there. As soon as the new sending unit/switch gets here I'll button the thing up and take her for a test drive.

I found the sticker from the last time the oil was changed and it was due at the dealership on the 3rd of this month @ 130,000 miles, so it had a couple thousand left before it needed changing. I found a receipt from the same dealership dated 2016 when the oil was changed the time before. It looks like it's been well cared for. Same oil both times, 5W30. Didn't say if it was synthetic or not.

Any tips you all might have on making these last, like warming it up before a short drive, etc., would be appreciated. It seems like I've got a pretty good rig here and I want to keep it going.

There was another thing going on where it was dripping antifreeze from somewhere high on the engine when cold (first time I'd ever seen that), but the oil pressure issue seemed the worse of the two and I want to verify what, if anything, is happening before asking for advice. I couldn't see any obvious leaks when it was running & warmed up just now and that's when I would expect to find them. For now, the antifreeze is topped up and I'll keep a close eye on it. If I find anything for sure I'll put it in another post.
 




Mbrooks420

High Voltage.
Elite Explorer
EF Vendor
Joined
February 2, 2002
Messages
10,521
Reaction score
1,691
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer AWD
You typically won’t find plastic in your drain pan, I believe you need to drop the oil pan to check.

I’m guessing this oil change isn’t going to solve your issue, and your low oil condition will return.
 




aveteam

New Member
Joined
January 16, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
4
City, State
Lakeview, OR
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLT
You typically won’t find plastic in your drain pan, I believe you need to drop the oil pan to check.

I’m guessing this oil change isn’t going to solve your issue, and your low oil condition will return.
I haven't heard the "death rattle" coming from this even cold so I guess we'll see.
Probably a good thing the pan isn't too hard to take off.
 




aveteam

New Member
Joined
January 16, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
4
City, State
Lakeview, OR
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLT
Starting a warm motor under throttle is fine. It’s already lubed, and it’s no worse than a hard launch. If you want to check this for certain hook up a scanner and make sure your TPS reads 100%.
So I hooked up my reader and with the pedal to the floor it read 93.5% for throttle position. I guess this isn't a good candidate for the ColdStart procedure.
If it has a stretched cable, is there an adjustment to take up the slack?
 




Mbrooks420

High Voltage.
Elite Explorer
EF Vendor
Joined
February 2, 2002
Messages
10,521
Reaction score
1,691
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer AWD
Zip ties. You put them on the cable itself at the pedal to take up the slack.
 




aveteam

New Member
Joined
January 16, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
4
City, State
Lakeview, OR
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLT
Zip ties. You put them on the cable itself at the pedal to take up the slack.

Common trick is to use ZipTies as spacers to take up ThrottleCable slack on the Pedal end under the dash.
Careful not take all slack out of the cable or risk further stretching\breaking the cable if your foot is too heavy.
Thanks!
Adding just enough to get it to 100% should be a safe bet.
 




Top