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Old 03-11-2014, 19:42   #1 (permalink)
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Bronco ii no oil pressure

I have an 87 Bronco ii we are resurrecting. When we put the engine in and tried to start it, it hydrolocked due what we eventually found was a fault in the ECU. That fault caused the injectors in cylinders 3 and 6 to go wide open and flood the cylinder with fuel. We replaced the ECU and it now starts. We've let it run for a few seconds and the check oil light stays on so we shut it off. We don't think we are getting oil pressure. We hooked a oil pressure gage in place of the oil pressure sensor and no reading of pressure with the engine running 30 seconds. We dismanteled an old distributor and installed it so it engages the oil pump shaft. When we turn it by hand we get resistance after a partial turn. When I hook up a drill to it indefinitly labors as the number of revolutions increases so it seems like the pump is engaged. We are wondering if the gas associated with the hydrolock draining in the pan could have created some blockage of some kind. The oil pump was working fine when the engine was removed and dismanteled. Only the oil pan seal was replaced. The pump, shaft, etc were left intact. Anybody have any idea what this might be?
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:16   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Bronco ii no oil pressure

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Originally Posted by gerhart View Post
I have an 87 Bronco ii we are resurrecting. When we put the engine in and tried to start it, it hydrolocked due what we eventually found was a fault in the ECU. That fault caused the injectors in cylinders 3 and 6 to go wide open and flood the cylinder with fuel. We replaced the ECU and it now starts. We've let it run for a few seconds and the check oil light stays on so we shut it off. We don't think we are getting oil pressure. We hooked a oil pressure gage in place of the oil pressure sensor and no reading of pressure with the engine running 30 seconds. We dismanteled an old distributor and installed it so it engages the oil pump shaft. When we turn it by hand we get resistance after a partial turn. When I hook up a drill to it indefinitly labors as the number of revolutions increases so it seems like the pump is engaged. We are wondering if the gas associated with the hydrolock draining in the pan could have created some blockage of some kind. The oil pump was working fine when the engine was removed and dismanteled. Only the oil pan seal was replaced. The pump, shaft, etc were left intact. Anybody have any idea what this might be?
You should try checking the oil pressure while a drill is turning the oil pump shaft.


^thats the oil pump above. I assume its driven off the distributor base through the shaft

And it might be a good idea to check the oil filter mount and the filter itself. The cause of the problems may be in there.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:34   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Bronco ii no oil pressure

So last night I pulled the filter and its it is full of fresh oil. Put the filter back on and pulled the oil pressure sensor and ran the drill at as high an rpm as it would go and no oil coming out the sensor hole. So I'm wondering if the mount could be plugged. The filter is a brand new Fram PH8A. I could swap the filter as well. I'm not sure how oil exits the filter. Its obviously getting into the filter but I can't tell if it goes out and somewhere else. Thanks for the help. I'll poke around that area of the engine.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:35   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Bronco ii no oil pressure

Here is a little more history my buddy authored that might have a clue...

The 1987 Ford Bronco II with the 2.9 fuel injected 6-cylinder died while warming/idling five years ago. When the engine wouldn't turn over with the starter the spark plugs were removed. The number 6 cylinder was hydro-locked and thus the starter would not crank the engine. The engine was remove and stored. The injector, intake manifold and heads were likewise removed.
I recently acquired the Bronco, replace the heads with newer 1988 heads, installed new hydraulic lifters and reinstalled the intake, injector, accessories and installed the engine. Unaware of the previously hydro-lock issue I attempted to start the engine. The starter would not crank the engine. I remove the spark plugs and the number 3 and number 6 cylinders were gas hydro-locked. Realizing I had two injectors stuck open I replaced all 6 injectors. The engine still hydro-locked on cylinders 3 and 6. I then replaced the ECU and the engine cranked, started and ran. The issue now is the engine doesn't have any oil pressure. I pulled the distributor to insure that the distributor is engaging and turning the oil pump and yes that appears to be working correctly. When the pump is turned clockwise the proper direction by hand it gets harder with a revolution appearing to be operating correctly. I have never experienced a gas hydro-lock engine and I am now wondering if the hydro-lock could have plugged a line or something thus causing the oil pressure issue. My understanding is that the engine did not have an oil pressure issue five years ago when the first hydro-lock occurred. I certainly would appreciate any and all help with the no oil pressure issue.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:17   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Bronco ii no oil pressure

You said you have resistance spinning pump withe the drill and oil filter is full. I would either replace oil filter like you already stated or try spinning pump with filter off. It's been years since I've seen a 2.9 to picture location of sending unit to determine if passage could be plugged. You said you ran it 30 seconds and light didn't go out. Is the top end noisy with it running? Could be an indication if it's actually getting pressure. Or look at rockers while running to look for oil on top end.


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Old 03-14-2014, 12:23   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Bronco ii no oil pressure

Could it be the pump needing primed after fuel washing oil away or the pickup up tube / filter blocked ?
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Old 03-15-2014, 18:22   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Bronco ii no oil pressure

I wanted to thank all of you who responded to my post. The culprit was a piece of loose plastic caught in one of the ports from the oil filter adapter to the block. This was impeding oil flow. Mystery solved.
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Old 03-15-2014, 20:44   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Bronco ii no oil pressure

Good to hear. Glad it's fixed


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Old 03-16-2014, 03:05   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Bronco ii no oil pressure

Great news , especially as it wasn't anything major .Thanks for updating the forum .
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:14   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Bronco ii no oil pressure

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I wanted to thank all of you who responded to my post. The culprit was a piece of loose plastic caught in one of the ports from the oil filter adapter to the block. This was impeding oil flow. Mystery solved.
You are very welcome.
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