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Old 06-22-2008, 12:14 AM   #1
SVTSnak
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Question Oil gauge bad or sending unit?

Hey all...

On my '96 Cobra, the oil pressure gauge just sits way below L. (to the far left) Hasn't worked since I got it. I asked them to fix it (the dealer I bought it from), but that's just not going to happen.

Anyway, I was wondering a couple of things...First, do the gauges usually go out in these cars or is it most likely the oil pressure sending unit/switch? What's your experiences with this situation?

Secondly, where on the engine would the switch/sending unit be located at?

Is there a way to have it tested or should I just buy a new one and hope that was the answer?

Thanks for the help!
Mat
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:12 AM   #2
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Anyone? Anyone?

Bueller? Bueller?

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Old 06-24-2008, 08:26 AM   #3
Larry95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTSnak
Hey all...

On my '96 Cobra, the oil pressure gauge just sits way below L. (to the far left) Hasn't worked since I got it. I asked them to fix it (the dealer I bought it from), but that's just not going to happen.

Anyway, I was wondering a couple of things...First, do the gauges usually go out in these cars or is it most likely the oil pressure sending unit/switch? What's your experiences with this situation?

Secondly, where on the engine would the switch/sending unit be located at?

Is there a way to have it tested or should I just buy a new one and hope that was the answer?

Thanks for the help!
Mat
Could be the gauge, could be the sending unit, and could be the wiring in between them. Does the gauge ever move either up or down? Have you had any work done on the car lately? The sending unit is located somewhere where it can sense the oil pressure. On my '95's it's located on the block next to the oil filter, but on the mod motors, I don't know. The sending unit can be check by someone that knows what they're doing.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info Larry.

Since I bought it (2 weeks ago), the gauge needle hasn't moved a muscle. It just sits way to the left below L. Even when you first turn the car on, I don't believe it moves at all. I'll check again tomorrow morning, but I'm 95% positive it doesn't move a muscle.

The dealer was "trying" to fix my idle problem I had when I first got the car, but the oil gauge wasn't moving even before they touched it after I test drove the car. I checked the oil (first thing when I noticed) and it was up to par. I checked it cold. Since I've gone through a couple of tanks of gas already (few hundred miles), it would have grenaded if there really was no oil pressure.

I haven't been able to purchase a Ford Service Manual for the car yet. That's pretty much my next step. When I was at NAPA Auto parts, I asked about purchasing the sending unit and they said it was a "dealer only item". I can only imagine how much it's going to cost. However, I almost hope it's the sending unit...that has to be easier to replace than ripping the dash apart to replace the gauge.

Well, I appreciate the info. I figured it was in/on the block somewhere, just wasn't sure. I know Chevys are on the back part of the block next to the intake (well, on pre-roller blocks, anyway), but not sure on mod motors, so I thought I'd ask.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:06 AM   #5
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If your local dealer seems to be giving you outrageous prices on parts, check out Steve at Tousley Ford (in Minnesota I think)...he gives 10% over cost on all Ford items. Also, ripping the dash apart is no big deal, if I remember it's only 5 or 6 screws
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:02 PM   #6
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Thanks for the heads up!

I also found out the guy at Napa is losing his mind. I found the parts at 3 other auto parts stores in the area for less than $10.

So, I don't know what the heck he was talkin' about. However, I also noticed (after looking at a pic of the part) that it just has a threaded end/stud that the connector would slide or screw onto. I'm wondering if, for some reason, someone didn't reconnect it or if it fell off (the wire/connector). Plus, if it's located at the front of the engine, under the exhaust, I wonder if the wire got burned/melted/cut and that's why it's not workin'. I'll have to check it this weekend when I crawl under the car.

Again, I appreciate the info about Tousley Ford...do we just let him know our SCMC number when we order from him?

I do have a chance to get a factory service manual for about $45, but the covers have been ripped off and the last couple of pages are missing. I'm just wondering how important those last couple of pages are/were. If they aren't THAT important, it would save me about $40 (plus shipping) to buy the damaged manual instead...still wrestling with that one.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:37 AM   #7
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You could purchase the entire one or just buy a Haynes manual from Napa or Advance...
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:25 AM   #8
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The bad part is, I've tried Haynes & Chilton's manuals before when I used to wrench on my Camaros. However, it always seemed that when you had to take off something "big" or important, that's where the manual "disappears". Those manuals seem good for general maintanance and such, but if you're doing a very involved repair (say tearing down the rear end and replacing the spider gears or something), they seem to be a let down. At least that's what I"m used to. Ever since then, I usually always get the factory manuals for the cars because they seem to cover absolutely everything.

I'm just wondering if these couple of missing pages might be a big issue or not. If it's just a couple of index pages or something, then I'm not too worried about it. However, if the last couple of pages are wiring diagrams or something important like that, then I don't want to be missing those and this one manual won't be worth the discount.

But staying on the thread topic...I'm going to be replacing the switch/sensor in the block tomorrow evening, so we'll see if that helps the gauge work.
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:14 AM   #9
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I would call Steve at Tosley Ford too. I got my factory chin strip from him for 10% over cost. Got here extemely fast!!
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:22 PM   #10
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Crap...

Well, I replaced the gauge sensor in the block just over the oil filter. No such luck. The gauge still reads all the way to the left.

Actually, I just noticed that when you turn the key on the gauge moved even a little more to the far left. Almost seems like a polarity problem or a bad ground or something? I think my gas gauge in my 69 Chevelle did that and I found out the ground wasn't secured well enough and once I cleaned and resecured the ground, the gauge worked fine.

anyway, so it's either the gauge or the wiring to the gauge (oh joy...I just LOOOOVE electrical problems ). I really don't feel like taking the dash apart, especially since I wouldn't know how to really test the gauge to see if it's bad (or if it's the wiring to the gauge). Oh, and just for poops and giggles, I did pull every fuse in the car to make sure none were bad and all appeared to be just fine, so it's not a fuse.

Maybe I'll just buy an Auto Meter A Pillar dual gauge trim piece and put in a set of mechanical Auto Meter oil pressure and water temp gauges and be done with it. Hmmmm....
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Old 06-29-2008, 07:51 PM   #11
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Try your free diagnostic tool built in by Ford Engineers. It works great on my '01 Cobra. I explain how on my website. Try this http://www.lumpydogmotorsports.com/Maintenance.html

It will give you the actual real time engine temp in degree Celcius. If it reads OK then you have a gauge issue.

I'm not sure what model years this little trick works on, so let me know if it works for you.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:14 PM   #12
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Hey there Jeff,

I looked over the page you provided and I don't think I'll be able to do that with my car. Reason being, is it looks like it only works with digital odo's/dash. Mine is still mechanical for '96. So, I won't be able to perform the test.

However, I appreciate the info though!

Looks like I'm back to tearing down the dash and trying to test the oil gauge itself...or just try and find one and replace it with one that works. LOL I would try and test the wire, but I need the wiring diagram from the model to verify the color wire I need to test for the oil pressure gauge.
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