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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Southampton, UK

    Early signs of Oil pump failure

    I was reading somewhere recently about a guy who had his ceramic washers fail and was monitoring his oil pressure at various points on the Engine over time. He seemed to know what oil pressure to expect at these key points and had decided that now was the time to change his oil pumps, or he would end up with an engine similar to the one Shibby was exhibiting!
    I think this would be a good "routine" check for anyone who has had ceramics fail, but I don't have any of the info; pressures/where to measure, etc., etc. If this information could be posted, maybe in the "how to" section, it would have done it's job if it saves even one engine from the graveyard!
    ....It could also serve a a check that a dealer waranty repair has been done properly .
    What do you think?

  2. #2
    That would be me, I think.
    My ski ate the sc washers and at first seem to have little to no ill effects. The ski ran great (8000-8100) rpm and sounded just as good as new.
    I decided to check the HEAD oil pressure (there are 2 places to connect the guage and you will get two different preassure levels).
    The manual states that the min safe limit is around 20 psi at the head, but mine was at 15 psi. I would consider that a dangerous level to continue to operate at. Parts were getting oil, but just enough.
    I would go by what the manual says and if your below or at the min tollerance you need to find out why before a bearing starves for oil or a piston melts due to insufficent oil to cool it from the sprayer. Either way your a time bomb waiting to go boom.

    Its my own fault, I should have replaced the pumps when the clutch failed but even a few min with the ceramics in the motor can really chew up the pumps.

    Here are the recommended pressures and a link of where the head plug is (thanks Jerry)

    Pressures at head plug shown in the link.
    Idle cold (startup)=58-72 PSI
    Idle warm=a min of 20 psi
    4000-7600 rpm=25-35 psi

    If your "T" off the sending unit (Block Pressure)then as follows:
    Idle cold (startup)= 65-95 PSI
    Idle Warm=min of 33 psi
    4000-7500=58-72 PSI

    I think most of us would connect to the head port (cause its free and no "T's" are required). But I think the oil pressure sending unit port would give a better overall idea as to how well the pumps and pressure regulator are working because the head pressure is reduced by a jet that limits oil flow to the head.

    Now I never got a low oil pressure warning, and its set for around 26-32 psi and thats at block pressure. I must be right on the edge and have a pressure switch that triggers on the low side.

    I don't think these engines exibit any indication of low oil pressure until they go boom. A guage looks like a very good idea for anyone wanting to monitor the health of the engine.

  3. #3
    Splish: could you get us a pic of your oil test set-up? What did you use?...PR...

  4. #4
    I used a stock off the shelf oil pressure guage. Sorry no pick but it came with the right size adapters. It was from iEquus guages
    I like these because they are only 1 1/2 " in dia so the fit nice in the bottom of the glove box (I just used the oil guage)

    I pressure tested the oil pressure guage to verify its performance and it worked fine.(my first suspicion when I had such low reading was it was a bad guage but unfortunattly not.)
    Im going to pick up a mechanics guage that wil just screw into the block to get very accurate reading before and adter replaceing the pumps.
    Something like this

  5. #5
    Cool: I`m going to do something a little more permanent, I like the idea of the glove box, but I have the GPS box. I would like to do something in the left mirror housing like I did in the right side with the boost gauge...PR...
    Last edited by Pale Rider; 05-04-2007 at 08:14 AM.

  6. #6
    I like the mirror guage, it's 100% visible all the time. But I actually use the mirrors when towing a tube. I like the wide angle mirrors the rxp has. If I was not towing I would go the mirror route.
    I will try to post a pic today but it raining right now.

  7. #7
    Here are a few pic of the oil guage install.

  8. #8
    Sweet! do you get needle bounce? or does it stay steady. That`s why I went with the liquid filled series...
    What ski do you have and what mods?...PR...

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Southampton, UK


    Thats exactly what I was looking for!
    I plan on changing our clutch to metal in the next few weeks, but I have been hearing of people who have had ceramics fail, repaired under waranty, then had the engine go when the waranty has expired. Not good!

  10. #10
    No needle bounce, but my pressure was so low it just mave have not shown up.
    Ski is a 2004 RXP and the only mods are Riva Vortech SC impeller and Riva air intake and BOV.
    I only have 50 hrs on her, I baby it too much. But I do that to all 3 skis.

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