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post #1 of 4 Old 07-06-2003 Thread Starter
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Decreasing Oil Pressure

I have a 34'' 1988 Sabre with a 27 Westerbeke engine (900 hours). The book states the normal oil pressure range is 40-80psi. I note that when first starting, the pressure is about 70. After approximately 1 hour it will have decresed to about 50psi. After 2 hours of continuous motoring it will have decreased to below 40. I''m afraid of the answer; I''m sure it will be expensive. Any opinions are welcome. Thanks.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-06-2003
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Decreasing Oil Pressure

Generally, low oil pressure is an indication of bearing wear. The engine oil pump can pump a certain volume of oil which is distributed to the various bearings in the engine. As these bearings wear, they allow more oil to flow past them due to a greater clearance between the bearing and the surface the bearing operates against. Eventually, the oil pump is unable to pump a sufficient volume of oil (because of the leakage) and the oil pressure begins to fall.

Oil pressure normally falls as the oil reaches a higher temperature and becomes thinner, but when it falls below the manufacturers oil pressure range it usually means excessive engine wear.

If you are lucky, it could be the oil pressure relief valve is stuck in the open position which can also cause a similiar indication. Unless the engine has been abused, 900 hours is not normally enough time to experience excessive bearing wear.

An evaluation by a good boat engine mechanic should be done before you accept the worst case scenario.

Good luck!

Jim
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-07-2003
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Decreasing Oil Pressure

40 psi is not unusual for a hot diesel engine - in fact I''d say it was pretty good. If you see less than 15-20 with a hot engine at idle, there could be a problem, but some engines are even ok with that. I''d say not to worry.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-07-2003
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Decreasing Oil Pressure

I have a Perkins 30hp that does the same thing. Starts at 60 and slowly goes down to 40. Normal, don''t worry!
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