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Oil pressure


Explorer Addict
January 24, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Newport News, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 V8 (Eddie Bauer) AWD
What is the range of normal oil pressure on a V8 5.0L engine? I have:

Cold - 20PSI at idle, up to 35PSI when I rev up the engine. At 35PSI looks like the pressure limiter in the oil pump kicks in because it doesn't go over.
Warming the engine it takes it to 6-7PSI at idle in D (or 8-9PSI in N). At 2000RPM I have 12-15PSI. At 4000RPM it passes 22PSI.

This is with full synthetic oil. And 2 bottles of Motor Honey, because the gauge was oscillating at warm idle - now it stopped.
Any ideas? The engine makes some noise (lifters, don't know exactly), but still has compression.

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That is awfully low oil pressure...

Especially when the engine gets warm...10 psi/1000 rpm is a general rule...Sounds like you have either a dying pump and a rapidly dying engine or a worn out engine with a good pump that can't keep up with the oil flowing past the bearings...

My V8 in the Ranger runs 60-80 psi cold idle, 30 psi hot idle...Pressure maxs out @ 60-70 psi from 2k up...My old V6 ran 65 psi cold idle, 25 psi hot idle, maxed @65 psi from 2k-up as well...

I think it is time to pull the pan and change the pump and see if it is just a pump before wearing out the engine with low oil pressure...

If it turns out to be the engine is too worn you haven't spent too much verifying that...Just a pump, pickup screen, and pan gasket... And some sweat equity in the truck...

I would have the pan down by now, but I cannot remove the engine. And don't know if I can drop the front end (and put it back on).
Thank you for your measurements, mine doesn't get past 40 PSI cold. Idle hot barley hovers over 5 PSI.
It looks like it is related with some other temperature, not with the water temperature. Water temp gets to normal in one mile, but I still have decent pressure then. Only latter, after some 10 miles, pressure gets that bad.

LE: I arranged with my mechanic to drop the front end and then the pan. Hope to find a lot of sludge there and/or a bad pump, if not... I'm f***t.

I have dropped my Exploder to my mechanic to replace the oil pump. If I have time to swing by while it is worked at, I will take and post some pictures.

i did replace the oil pump, strainer and... Pressure good at start-up, but still drops a LOT (7PSI) after the first 20-30 minutes of running at noon with 95F outside. In the morning (80's) drops less. Water temperature is constant. Castrol Syntetic 5W-20 oil.
Could it be that the oil gets too hot? And if so, why?
Is there any engine oil cooler better than original one for this V8 5.0L? Because I am out of ideas...


Okey. I have a 01 sport trac 4.0 sohc. Thare will be times that when I turn my car on my oil pressure gauge will say tjat its low and ill turn my car off then turn it back on, is thare any reason behind that?

It might be an intermmitent contact. The oil pressure sender it is just a stupid switch (good/bad).

Now, related to my problem - I had read the water temp with a code reader and it said 209F (fluctuating). I guess that is part of my problem.
I had read that 185F is "the norm". At the parts store they sell thermostats for 160, 180, 195 degree "open temp" and the 195 it is marked as "OE temperature". I am tempted to get the 160F one. Does enybody have some input here?

LE: I did replace the thermostat and the lower water temperature (180 degree) did make a big change in the oil pressure.