Electrical Oil Pressure Gauge Install (Pics) - The Saab Link Forums

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Performance Modifications for the NG900 / Old 9-3 This forum contains PERFORMANCE related Q&A's for the NG900 and 9-3. This may also include suspension.

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Old 07-22-2007, 01:39 PM   #1
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Electrical Oil Pressure Gauge Install (Pics)

There’s been a bit of talk about oil pressure lately and my turbo is blowing oil so I finally got around to installing my oil pressure gauge. There was a good write-up on the install recently by NahumCC but there were a few questions that remained unanswered. As stated in the install write-up an adapter is needed to go from the metric engine block hole to the 1/8” pipe thread. I had a spare sensor which I drilled and tapped, it worked really well. Also, a 1” socket works well to remove the sensor which is connected by a yellow wire in the picture.

Because of the oil fill drain tube it is not possible to fit the sender, which is rather large, directly to the thread adapter. The oil tube is metal and bolted to the block at the bottom. I attempted to bend it a little out of the way but it wasn’t moving. I ended up using a 1/8” pipe extension and couple to move the oil pressure sender past the oil fill tube. There is plenty of room behind the engine to do this.

After reading several oil pressure installs I was surprised that the stock pressure switch could be completely removed without any problems. Well when I finished my install and went for a drive the (!) triangle and oil light popped right up on my 96 900 SE. The triangle went off after a few minutes but the oil light continued to flicker for the rest of the drive. The stock oil pressure sensor is a simple sensor with only one wire going to it. I would guess that it works as a variable ground sensor, high resistance indicating a fault and low resistance for good oil pressure. In the picture with the oil sender installed there is a large rusty wire to the left of the yellow wire. It is a ground for the starter motor. I grounded the oil pressure yellow wire to this and it has kept the dash oil light from coming on.

I bought the short sweep Electrical Autometer gauge, it is much cheaper than the full sweep electrical gauge. It is not terribly precise but is good enough to get a quick read of the oil pressure. My oil pressure has been running between 20 psi and 60 psi from idle to high rpms.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Sender.jpg (44.9 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg OilSensor.jpg (84.5 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg SenderInstall.jpg (82.4 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg GaugeInstall.jpg (53.6 KB, 87 views)
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Old 07-22-2007, 03:23 PM   #2
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the old c900 gauge packs that had an oil pressure gauge had a really nice sender unit, it had two pins coming off it, one was for the gauge, and the other fed to the idiot light so that still worked. they were VDO gauges, and i bet that you can still get this type of sender from vdo, and their stuff is typically pretty cheap. even had metric threads iirc, so no need for adapters.

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Old 07-22-2007, 03:24 PM   #3
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Nice job Eric, I think its nice to know what your oil pressure is actually doing when it gets hot and thin.

I have the same autometer sensor and I think it works just fine. I was able to get mine to fit, just barely between the dip stick tube and block, but I have a b234 block with b234 oil dip stick tube and it is not metal and it goes farther back toward the firewall. I guess I got lucky on that one.

My oil light was not coming on even after I replaced the stock sensor and that was another reason to run a real ops. I got lucky on that one too I guess and did not have to run an extra ground to keep the light off, mine never came on no matter what!

I think you are dead on with the resistance. I was told to ground the sensor to make the light on the dash come on, but mine never came on no matter what I did.

Nice work,

John
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Old 07-22-2007, 03:26 PM   #4
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here's one, $25 from summit, reads oil pressure and has the warning light feature http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku

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Old 07-22-2007, 07:02 PM   #5
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LOL ERP. The whole reason I mentioned zip tieing the sensor wire to anything thats not metal was so that it couldn't ground itself and light up that annoying triangle and constantly beep at you. Hope my write up hadn't left you with to many questions as I wrote it a few days after I had done it myself.

I however went with a mechanical gauge which might have led to some questions about clearances which you seemed to have gotten by. Glad the write up did help.



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Old 07-22-2007, 09:37 PM   #6
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Nice write up and explanation there Eric.
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Old 07-23-2007, 07:02 AM   #7
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Im going the easy route. Sandwich plate
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Old 07-23-2007, 07:07 AM   #8
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Eric, do you see 20 PSI at idle after actually driving the car, or just after it warms up? Also, is that 20 PSI after being romped on? I've been really curious as I'm seeing 14/15 PSI, which IMO is a healthy number, much better than the 2 PSI I had before replacing the timing cover, gears, relief valve and oil pump cover...
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:19 AM   #9
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It’s hard to give exact psi numbers with the short sweep gauge. At start up the gauge is just over 50 psi and idles around 30 psi. After ~10 minutes the idle has come down to just below 25 psi, but it does not look like it drops below 20 psi. My numbers seem to be higher than what I have seen from others, but the ability to read the gauge is about +/- 3 psi so I can not give you precise numbers. I’m running 10w-40 Syntec.
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:01 PM   #10
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Yeah, I'm looking at between 70 and 80 at startup... I'd say your numbers sound about right.
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:58 PM   #11
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ERIC, what was the metric thread for the block do you remember?
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Old 07-23-2007, 03:48 PM   #12
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NahumCC has all the details of the install a few threads down. He lists the metric thread as a M14x1.5. I used a spare stock oil sensor so I did not have to worry about matching the threads.
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