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Old 06-24-2007, 09:15 PM   #1
rickf
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SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

I've got a realtively-new-to-me 350v8 from a GMC C20 camper special, now in a 64 Chevy C10. The 350 has (allegedly) about 35K miles on a rebuild, but that rebuild was two PO's ago, and I have no facts, no idea what was put in there. I will say though, it seems to run clean and strong.

I'm using the original stock oilt pressure gauge in the C10, I believe it is working. With the worn out 230L6 that came out, oil pressure would range from 0 to 20 psi or so.

The range on the gauge is 0 to 60, and this 350 pegs it at 60 on cold start, so maybe it is actually higher. After five minutes of warmup, it goes down to 30 psi at idle, up to about 45 psi at what I'de guess is 2000 RPM or maybe a little more (no tachometer, so guessing at gentle throttle cruise 35 mpg or so). At freeway speeds it is up to near 60 again.

This seems like a lot, but then again I am used to old worn out stuff.
Should I be happy with this pressue or is it too much, going to cause some problem?
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:43 PM   #2
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

That sounds like a tight engine, no problem. New bearings with tight clearances will give a high pressure reading.
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:51 PM   #3
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

all sounds well to me. buy a gauge that reads 80lbs on the high side..

and don't use fram filters u will be just fine..
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:27 PM   #4
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

That's a relief, thanks guys.

So if it pegs an 80 psi gauge, then that would be too much?

And what would be the best filter to be getting?

I used Purolator in the old 230L6, because that it what the closest place that sold filters had. But I want to treat this "new" engine to the best. I have no hot rodder history (vintage MX guy here) and am a complete newby to SBC350 care and feeding.
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:48 PM   #5
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

I agree with the others your oil pressure sounds just fine to me.

BTW I recommend WIX filters or NAPA Gold witch is a WIX filter.

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Old 06-25-2007, 09:50 PM   #6
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

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Originally Posted by RACINJASON22 View Post

BTW I recommend WIX filters or NAPA Gold witch is a WIX filter.

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Old 07-03-2007, 12:10 AM   #7
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

Not to steal yer post or anything, but mine will hit 80 psi when it is cold and you tromp on it, maintains about 45 at 2500rpm cruising, and drops to about 25 when idling and hot, does this sound okay???

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Old 07-03-2007, 03:35 PM   #8
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

+1 on Fram filters being trash.

Carquest also brands those WIX filters as their own. It's part # B4631. You can also ask for the fleet pack of them with 12(i think) in a single box, which is cheaper since they are just wrapped in plastic instead of individually boxed.
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Old 07-03-2007, 03:47 PM   #9
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

Thanks for the Carquest #B4631 tip.

What is it about Fram that's gotten the wrath of y'all?

I would have thought that was a good name brand, but then one has to watch out for "name brand", I know. Like Volvos made by Ford, some things just ain't like they used to be.
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:25 PM   #10
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

rickf do a search on here about FRAM filters and you will find some good readings about why not to use FRAM filters.

They have went down hill alot over the years. I still like there HP line of filters but IMO that is as far as I will go with them and, I most of the time pick over them when I can get K&N oil filters in advance to when I need them.

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Old 08-24-2007, 10:03 PM   #11
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

Hey Pyro, great tip on the filters. The part number for one of the plastic wrapped ones is a B4631MP. However, these are Purolator filters. All of the Carquest brand filters in the red box with the "B" part number designation are Purolators.

They all beat fram!
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:04 PM   #12
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

Wow, just noticed I dug up an old post...sorry!
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:15 AM   #13
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

How about great pressure at start up and road speeds, but very low at idle 10-15 lbs. tops! The motor is still in the "break in" stages of it's life, only has about 250 miles on the thing. Should I be concerned or buy another aftermarket gauge? The worn out 350 that came out of it did the same thing at idle.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:49 AM   #14
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

You may want to start a new thread on that Old Iron , That pressure should concern you at 250 mi.
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:10 AM   #15
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

Thanks Richard..
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:50 AM   #16
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

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Originally Posted by OLDIRON69 View Post
How about great pressure at start up and road speeds, but very low at idle 10-15 lbs. tops! The motor is still in the "break in" stages of it's life, only has about 250 miles on the thing. Should I be concerned or buy another aftermarket gauge? The worn out 350 that came out of it did the same thing at idle.
That is plenty of pressure at idle for a Chevy SB . Got a 360 (.060 over 350) in my '65 GMC that was set up with round track clearance (bought it unassembled). Never has run over 38lb hot and around 10-15 hot at idle. Now with over 100,000 miles still runs 38 and 10-15 and still does not use any oil between changes. After all when the chevy SB first came out 35lb was the stock figure.This is my go-fer with the above engine:
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Old 08-27-2007, 01:15 PM   #17
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

I forgot to mention..in drive, sitting at a stop sign the gauge (aftermarket tri gauge set) will drop to almost NOTHING. I'm tempted to hook the factory oil pressure gauge back up and throw the triple gauge set up as far as I can. I trust the origional 40+ yr old gauge more!

NICE 65 BTW!!!!
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Old 08-27-2007, 01:51 PM   #18
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

Heh, my old '81 with 335,000 original miles gets 15psi no matter what. It doesn't matter if it's cold 50W at shift point or VERY hot 5W30 at idle.
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Old 08-27-2007, 02:51 PM   #19
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

I've always heard that about 10 psi per 1000 rpm is fine and a small block will live all day long on minimal oil pressure (less than 10 psi) at idle.
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:51 PM   #20
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

a lot of small block chevies will go as low as 5 or 6 psi at idle and live a very long time. i know mine does and has forever. will peg the guage out at cold startup then after a hard highway run will idle between 5 and 10 psi. i have seen the same thing with countless small blocks that never had any issues
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Old 08-27-2007, 08:50 PM   #21
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Re: SBC 350 oil pressure, how much is too much ?

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Originally Posted by SactoJim View Post
I've always heard that about 10 psi per 1000 rpm is fine and a small block will live all day long on minimal oil pressure (less than 10 psi) at idle.
This is what I have been taught as well. If you are running at 5000rpm you should have 50psi. If you are idling at 800rpm you need 8 psi. I had a 70 El Camino that had those readings. The bearing were obviously worn but it ran fine. The more steady the oil pressure the better, it would be ideal if you had 50 all the time, but if you have 60 cold and 25 when it is hot I would say it is a good motor.
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