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chris cunningham, south amboy, NJ, 1987, dodge power ram 318

I bought an 87 Power Ram 4×4 318 a few months ago from a guy who put ajunkyard motor in it. It smoked from day one. I figured bad heads andstarted tearing it down only to find the intake completly clogged withcarbon, it was so bad it was actually pushing the heat riser plate away fromthe bottom of the intake. Anyway, I cleaned all that poop out, reassembledit and it runs alot better, still smokes a bit, but then I lost all oilpressure. I changed the oil and filter, and the pressure shot right upagain, But now only after a day of driving the pressure shoots almost allthe way down when I come to a light in drive (it’s an auto trans), but if iput it in neutral, it goes back up, sometimes after a good revving.

I just need some advice on where to start looking because this is my onlytransportation now and I dont want to grenade this engine before I can saveup for a new one.

Thanks for any help.

Chris, drop the pan. With that kind of junk engine, most likely the pickupscreen is nearly 100% plugged with hardened sludge resembling coal.

If you’re lazy, try a can of “sludge flush” or even 2 qts of Kerosene in theoil, hold at fast idle for 15-20 mins. (as long as there is SOME pressure).Then change oil.

If it looks clean in there, it could also be just super-worn bearings andoil pump. You can do a driveway bearing and pump swap. Or use SAE40 oil and2 cans of STP. But ONLY do this if the bottom end looks pretty clean.

If there’s tons of blowby, it may run a bit better with the PCV disconnectedand 2 large valve cover breathers…less contamination of the intake charge.Wear a gas mask when driving, however, and always be sure there’s nothingbut Prius’ behind you.

Rick

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