Jim Grant's Tech Tips
Dodge Spirit, No Oil Pressure
My name is Damon and I have recently rebuilt an89 Dodge Spirit (2.5
liter engine) that we originally bought new. I rebuilt the engine including
a new water pump, oil pump, etc. When I started the car it started easily
and ran smoothly but showed no oil pressure. The lifters chattered fiercely
and I shut the engine off. I removed the oil sending unit and started
the engine. No oil came through the oil sending unit opening (hole in
block). Therefore, I removed the oil pan and oil pump from the engine
and put the oil pump in a pan of oil and turned the shaft by hand and
oil came out the oil hole - the pump was working. Still no oil pressure
to the engine. While the engine was worked on at a machine shop, I was
told to leave off a balance shaft carrier in the oil pan. I was also instructed
to block the oil flow to that unit. The machinist told me that this unit
cannot be replaced.
Id say that youre missing an oil gallery plug inside the engine.
The oil gallery is a maze of passages that provide oil to all the critical
lube points of the engine. Because of all the direction changes in the
engine the passages have to be drilled/machined from different angles.
To close the unneeded side of this machine work, a plug is installed.
These plugs are removed when rebuilding an engine to allow for proper
cleaning. If a plug is forgotten during assembly there will be little
to no oil pressure. It sounds as if youre going back into the engine
to find a passage that is missing a plug.