: Oil filter IArea



geoz3
05-23-09, 09:38 PM
I just did my first oil change on a Northstar, when I went to remove the old oil filter, the filter, and the filter holder moved, left to right, right to left, like it was on a flexable mounting. Installed new filter, oil started it up and no probblems, no leaks. Is this normal for the northstar motor?

Submariner409
05-23-09, 10:05 PM
NO !!! The filter adapter is secured by two bolts with the oil passages sealed by O-ring seals to the block. Many pics here and in Seville/Deville over the last couple of years. A couple of threads within the past week. With pics.

geoz3
05-23-09, 10:14 PM
[QUOTE=submariner409;1886970]NO !!! The filter adapter is secured by two bolts with the oil passages sealed by O-ring seals to the block. Many pics here and in Seville/Deville over the last couple of years. A couple of threads within the past week. With pics.[/QUO


If it's that loose, it should be leaking, but it's not. I'm also having a problem with a high oil pressure reading. The sensor I noticed is right above it, could that be causing the high oil pressure reading? I'll check out the other posts..

Submariner409
05-23-09, 10:22 PM
...............O-rings are miraculous in their sealing ability under lousy conditions. Tighten the adapter bolts (2). Look up the bolt torque in your GM Factory Service Manual.

Ranger
05-23-09, 10:36 PM
I just did my first oil change on a Northstar, when I went to remove the old oil filter, the filter, and the filter holder moved, left to right, right to left, like it was on a flexable mounting. Installed new filter, oil started it up and no probblems, no leaks. Is this normal for the northstar motor?

That is scary. Do not drive it or even run it until you tighten it down.

00 Deville
05-23-09, 11:14 PM
As you can see from the picture of the o-rings you are seconds away from a massive oil leak. Torque the two 10mm bolts down to 12 ft lbs or you will be buying a new engine.

geoz3
05-26-09, 09:46 PM
As you can see from the picture of the o-rings you are seconds away from a massive oil leak. Torque the two 10mm bolts down to 12 ft lbs or you will be buying a new engine.

Thanks Guys,

One bolt was MIA, my engine is a swap into a fiero kit car. When I got under the car today, I noticed the oil filter adapter had been changed, the Oil pressure sending unit, is plumbed into the right side, and the left side is blocked off.

What is suppose to come out of the 2 holes on the adapter?

Submariner409
05-26-09, 09:57 PM
The blocked-off ports are for supply and return lines to an engine lube oil cooler in the right side (passenger) radiator tank. The engine is designed to keep the lube oil at just over 200 degrees to assist the vaporization of acids and moisture from condensation and blowby, thus allowing the PCV system to scavenge the block and valve covers.

geoz3
05-27-09, 05:17 AM
The blocked-off ports are for supply and return lines to an engine lube oil cooler in the right side (passenger) radiator tank. The engine is designed to keep the lube oil at just over 200 degrees to assist the vaporization of acids and moisture from condensation and blowby, thus allowing the PCV system to scavenge the block and valve covers.


Do you think by having this blocked off, it will cause problems, also would the PSI reading be higher at this point, causing my high oil pressure reading? I noticed a large fitting in the oil pan just below the oil filter adapter, is this the pickup for the oil pressure reading? I bought a oil pressure gauge last night that I'm going to install today, and may have to look at a oil cooler also.

Submariner409
05-27-09, 09:54 AM
The large fitting in the side of the pan, just below and left of the oil filter, is the oil level sensor. The oil pressure sensor/sender/switch (depends on how old you are ...) is the black/hex widget sticking out the top side of the filter adapter.

In order to install an oil pressure gauge, you need to pipe in a T fitting at the filter adapter in order to keep both the original sensor and to add the new sensor/capillary line. You need to keep the original sensor because that also drives the PCM "oil pressure OK" signal - without it the engine will not run because the PCM will try to protect the engine by shutting it down.

IF you install an oil cooler, as I posted before, the OEM cooler is designed to maintain the oil at engine coolant temperature for several reasons. DO NOT just hang a cooler out in front of the radiator - either repair the existing radiator or install a new, proper unit with the correct oil lines.

Just remembered that your engine is in a kit car, so there's no way to know if the original PCM, controls, harnesses, etc. are in use. You'll need to fudge some installations and make do with jury rigs in some cases. Some Northstars have NO oil coolers, so it's possible to pick up a filter adapter without the fittings installed. Not sure if the bypass on your rig is good or bad - it all depends on whether the oil cooler was full flow or spring bypass flow. Most oil coolers/adapters are spring or thermostatic bypass to allow full flow to the engine during cold starts.

geoz3
05-27-09, 07:17 PM
The oil sensor is not in use, the guy I got the car from reprogramed, and rewired the car. I hooked up a real oil pressure gauge today, and I'm I still getting the high Oil pressure readings. He made a custom raditior that does not include the oil cooler. The high Oil pressure reading really scares me, I thought it was a dad sensor, but looks like it's not.

Thank you all the outstanding info you provided, If you are tech, you have some lucky customers. Wish you werre in South Floride.

Ranger
05-27-09, 10:02 PM
The high Oil pressure reading really scares me
Define "high".

geoz3
05-28-09, 04:47 AM
At start up 80 PSi, droped to about 60 psi after 1 minitue. In looking at the plastic hose that the oil goes through to reach the gauge, it does not look like oil is getting to the gauge. Is it possible that air is in line? It appears that oil in only moving about 3/4 of the way up the 4 foot feeder line.

Ranger
05-28-09, 10:15 AM
I suppose it is possible to have air in the line, but being compressible, I would think that might give a lower reading if anything, no? 80 is high, but is it a problem? I don't know.

Submariner409
05-28-09, 10:26 AM
Don't sweat the gauge line: it will always have some amount of air in it somewhere along the length. Normal. Trying to keep an air bubble out by bleeding it at the gauge is an exercise in frustration. You just can't see the bubble in a copper line, so the apparent problem doesn't come up........:sneaky:

I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that the engine builder has fooled with the oil pump pressure regulator spring and has either installed a heavier spring or stacked a washer or two under the spring in order to increase oil pressure. That isn't so bad IF the oil pressure drops to around 60 - 65 psi at highway rpm, engine hot. Maybe to 25 - 35 at 700 rpm idle.

Keep that nylon oil gauge capillary tube well away from the exhaust system !!!

Ranger
05-28-09, 10:49 AM
Keep that nylon oil gauge capillary tube well away from the exhaust system !!!
Keep it away from anything hot, including radiator hoses. It cost me an engine once.

geoz3
05-28-09, 04:37 PM
Why would you want to increase the oil Pressure? Would it be hide a problem in the engine? He claimed he got the engine from "Old South" and claims the engine had a note attached "recently rebuilt". The car has been sitting for about 2 years, I guess I'll just drive it and see what happens. The line is well away from the exhaust, but maybe a fire might be the best thing for it. LOL

Thanks again guys for the input, I keep you informed.

Submariner409
05-29-09, 10:17 AM
High oil pressures are an old wives' tale which refuses to die off. While pressures in the 45 - 60 psi range are desirable in order to maintain flow in tight tolerance areas, excessive pressures tend to blow seals and gaskets.

Good oil temperatures (~200 degrees or so), distribution and flow are essentials that go hand in hand with adequate pressure.

geoz3
05-29-09, 08:45 PM
That was my thinking about the seals and gaskets. When I started it today pressure was steady at about 40 PSi, car has not been driven in 2 years. I wonder if use will help things out.

Submariner409
05-29-09, 09:03 PM
If you're running the same oil that has been in the pan for 2 years, warm the engine up thoroughly and change the oil and filter. NOW. The viscosity rating depends on the year sequence of Northstar: pre-2000 = 10W-30 and 2000+ = 5W-30, dino or synthetic, whatever floats your boat. Use a WIX oil filter, probably a #51522. More media area = less flow restriction. Fill the filter before you screw it on just past firmly hand tight, and fill the sump only to halfway up the dipstick hashmark. GM has a TSB (Tech Service Bulletin) out concerning overfilling Northstars and the resulting excessive oil use. Keep the level at halfway up, no more. Google "knize oil filter study".

geoz3
05-30-09, 08:59 AM
Have new oil and filter in, when you say 1/2 on dipstick, you mean let it show oil levvel as being low at all times?

00 Deville
05-30-09, 10:30 AM
1/2 on the dipstick means... the oil level full mark should be in the middle of the XXXXX marks on the dipstick. The north* takes 7 1/2 quarts of oil this will usually put it at the middle of the XXXXX marks... if you take it to the upper part of the XXXXX marks it will be overfull and will burn oil.

On another note... don't sweat the small amount of air in the line going to the pressure switch. It will make no difference in the pressure you read on your gauge. If we go back to basic hydraulic and pneumatic theory air is compressible liquids are not. The air in the line will be compressed to the same pressure as the oil. The air will act as a small spring if you push on one side of the spring with 60 psi you will still have 60 psi on the other side of the spring.

Ranger
05-30-09, 11:24 AM
Another way to put it is half way between MIN and MAX.

Don't sweat being "low". When the CHECK OIL LEVEL message comes on the DIC, you are 2 qts low and the oil level will be just at or off the tip of the dip stick. That means you still have 5.5 qts in the sump. Far from low.

00 Deville
05-30-09, 04:15 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong... but I remember reading somewhere that the North* was originally designed for a 5 quart oil capacity. But during testing the engineers discovered that during a extremely high g force turn it was possible for the oil pump pickup to go dry so the fix was increasing the capacity to 7 1/2 quarts. So unless you are Drifting around the corners in your N* you have nothing to worry about running a little low.

geoz3
05-30-09, 05:06 PM
got it, thanks again guys for all the good info.

Submariner409
05-30-09, 05:37 PM
As long as we're covering oil capacity design ideas, also remember that the ONLY medium which cools the crank, rods, bearings, piston pins and skirts, and cam gear/valvetrain is oil. Therefore capacity and maybe an oil cooler factor into not only the lubrication equation, but also the cooling equation. (But, a proper oil cooler is designed to keep the oil at very close to coolant temperatures so that there's no great thermal differences in engine parts, among other reasons for temp control.)

Back in the Dark Ages a couple of my (real, not Ford) Jaguars had 11 to 14 quart sumps. Not for lubrication: the cooling system was woefully inadequate.

Ranger
05-30-09, 08:32 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong... but I remember reading somewhere that the North* was originally designed for a 5 quart oil capacity. But during testing the engineers discovered that during a extremely high g force turn it was possible for the oil pump pickup to go dry so the fix was increasing the capacity to 7 1/2 quarts. So unless you are Drifting around the corners in your N* you have nothing to worry about running a little low.
I do not know if it was originally designed for 5 qts or not, but you are correct about why it has 7.5. As the Guru explained it to me, it was designed as a high performance motor and they wanted to be sure it would not run dry at WOT with a 1 G force on a skid pad.