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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I went to go test drive the t bird I won on ebay. It drove OK, but on a hard right turn, the oil gage went to zero and the check gages light came on. Once I had straighten out, the gage came back. I'm no dummy. I know that means that the engine was low on oil. I pointed it out to the guy selling the car. He was shocked! I pulled the dip stick and sure enough, no oil on the dip stick. I didn't stick around to see how much it needed. Now my real question is, what should I be expecting as far as damage if I would have bought that car? I know we are guessing here, but try. The car only had 90K on the clock and I know the 4.6s are long lived. Obviously it had some oil in there or the light would have come on from the get go. I'm sure when I turned I just uncovered the pick up for a second and it had a momentary pressure drop. Would you really be concerned. The reason I ask is that it is back up for sale and I think it would be a good deal at 1.5K, but not the 2.2K that I was supposed to pay.
 

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Well, that's really hard to say from here, but you can be pretty sure that the car will use at least some oil, or it wouldn't be that low in the first place. You can also be sure that it didn't get the best maintenance in the world lately either.

Do you think the guy selling the car has been the recent owner, or is he just buying/selling? There was no oil on this stick at all, even after driving the car? If there was ANY, did it look clean or dirty?

If the motor sounds good and there is no continuing blue smoke, I would say go for it. The most common source of using oil in these motors is the valve stem seals, which really won't hurt you, it will just smoke at start-up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mamberg,

Thanks for the advice. This guy is a buyer and seller. He has had the car for at least a week because I bought it on ebay. I won w/ a bid of 2025. If he would have cleaned up the interior (I won't even describe it) and checked the oil, I would have been all over it. But if that motor goes, I don't want to be out another grand to drop in a used PI motor.
 

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Right at about 3 months after an oil change when I make hard right turns my car does the same thing. I haven't had any other problems with it, nor have I had any problems because of it. It is just my reminder that it's time for an oil change, of course my oil doesn't read empty, just a little low.
 

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Exactly how low is it when it does that?
 

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doubleclutch said:
Exactly how low is it when it does that?

On my car, it is about 2 qts. low.
 

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MadMatt4.6 said:
Ive had the same problem until I replaced the sending unit
In this case, it's not a bad sending unit. The sending unit is doing it's job; on that right turn, there is no oil pressure and the oil level is low.
 

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I wasnt low on oil? The oil pressure would sometimes go to ziltch at WOT and sometimes would recover when I swung it through a turn. My problem was a bad sending unit
 

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My wife's car did the same thing this weekend, I was going fast uphill on a fairly long right-hand turn and the oil light blinked. It was only about 1qt low.

I wouldn't be too concerned; the car likely had plenty of oil to prevent damage, especially if the car wasn't driven for a long time, which would cause more heat build-up and viscosity breakdown, and wasn't started up a bunch of times either. Pretty much, if it had mild use, low oil isn't really a problem. That said, I think you were smart to walk away since you can't know any of those things, and you are wise to see low oil and filthy interior as evidence of poor maintenance.

What year is it? It seems like $1500 would be a tremendous bargain if you could clean it up good, but factor in likely mechanical repairs since it was likely not maintained well.

I cleaned my wife's car thouroughly for the first time in two years, and it came out excellent, even the interior, and her T-bird was the beach car. The leather is still worn out from the sun, but all the vinyl and plastic pieces cleaned up very nice, as did the engine and paint. It really looked new again, maybe even better than the day she got it.
 

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MadMatt4.6 said:
I wasnt low on oil? The oil pressure would sometimes go to ziltch at WOT and sometimes would recover when I swung it through a turn. My problem was a bad sending unit
I'm saying that the original poster's problem was a lack of oil, not a bad sending unit.
 

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Funny you bring this up.

When new to my 95 I didn't know they drank oil. No smoke no drips no problems I always thought.

I had the light come on and the gauge go to nothing a couple of times before I decided to look. WHOA, was it low.
I added 4 quarts. You know how many it holds.....
The engine was fine and has been for 3 years since that happened but I never thought a car could drive fine being 4 quarts low on oil. Never. So watch it!
 

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I thought I had a problem w/ oil pressure as well. It turned out to just be a bad sending unit. I did the mod in the tec articles. It works great BTW.

Also, Am I the only one that has a 4.6 that doesn't use oil? Mine is just over 100k when I bought it it was at 65K I regular oil changes every 3K I'm pretty hard on it,

It sees WOT pretty much daily. The only time it used any oil was after a day at the roadrack track. It burned about 1/2 QT in about 3 hours of beating the snot out of it on the track. It doesn't seem that it's used a drop since.

:D
 

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i check my oil before i go racing every thursday, doesnt use too much considering the puff of blue every time i leave a stop sign. I wouldnt be too conserned about the light, My 3.8 used to read low oil pressure on startup and would stay that way until you closed the door, the guage would go up to normal when the door was slammed shut. I figure our doors are so big that when we open em too wide we crimp off those vital line that run through the door panels, so we probably shouldnt let them run for too long with the door open.....was the door shut tight when you test drove the car? :tongue:
 

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Had this same problem, was only about a quart and a half low.
It happened to me when I was near oil change time for 2 changes, then I simply put in a stop leak additive and it has been great for 2 years, no pinging either.

I would say go for it on the car as long as it doesn't knock or ping, and the tranny shifts smooth.

It was probably the result of it sitting for a month or so.
 

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what did you use for an additive? ive heard lucas is good, ive also heard rave reveiws on prolong and restore....I tryed that Barsol no smoke....that stuff sucks
 

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My 94 4.6 with about 120,000 miles is down about half a quart when I have it changed every 3 to 4 thousand miles. I mentioned this at the dealership while taking a close look at the new 1967, I mean 2006 Mustang and a service writer told me that is a little better than the new 4.6 in the Mustangs. He unknowingly cost them a car sale for another couple of years.
 

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Palmguy said:
I'm saying that the original poster's problem was a lack of oil, not a bad sending unit.
the regulator pack culd be going in the cluster. They have dampeners so that things like coolant, amps, and fuel all have needle and reading dampers so the measurements and changes dont scare a motorist. The oil pressure gauge is also hooked to his pack. Mine reads all the way to High and migates. Having a ****ty cluster unit can also be the case. But counting the quart capacity after the pan is drained will let him know if he indeed is low and has consumption issues.
 
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