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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. I just bought a 99 T/A A4. It has 140k miles on the odometer. The body and interior are in fantastic shape for the age and miles and is all original. At start up she sounds real nice and not a hint of smoke. The oil pressure gauge needle is right in the middle or just to the right of the midway mark. After I idle it for around 10 minutes or so it starts to make a clicking sound in the motor and the oil pressure starts to drop slowly. Im almost sure its the lifters making the noise. As the oil pressure goes into the red the noise turns to a rattle noise and if I tap on the throttle it gets a little louder so I shut it off. Oil level is good and I just had the oil changed. If I go back about ten or so minutes later it does the same thing, starts off idling quietly then gets noisy after a while. Ive read about oil pressure problems in these cars so I want to go and have an SLP oil pump and timing chain installed. A Camaro expert in town tells met to just replace the engine but I dont want to spend a few grand on a motor if I can try and save this one. What do you think will happen if I go ahead with replacing the oil pump and chain? How much is the labor on a job like that? This car is not a daily driver. I have it stored away in another town and only expect to drive it on weekends maybe a few times a year. I just would like to get a few more thousand miles out of this engine if I could.
 

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I will tell you my experience, however it was not an lt1 or an ls1, it was a 2.2L in an s10. I bought it cheap, like $800, guy says oh it just needs an oil pump and timing chain, it never knocked or anything.. So I buy it with the intentions of doing just that (he says that it was losing oil pressure) ..To make an extremely long story short, an oil pump and timing chain and a few hundred bucks later (btw, 12 hours labor on a 2.2, I think about 8 on an lt1/ls1 at a shop with a lift...) it sounds exactly like yours. Starts up runs great when it's cold, warms up, and it starts "ticking" .. sounds like a tick.. Get near it, it's a [email protected] The bearings failed due to somehow water or something getting into the motor, the guy being a moron, and me being an idiot by buying it. I put some head gasket repear in it, put some lucas oil stabalizer and straight 50weight, and sold it for what I had in it, and told the guy not to expect to last to the next oil change. My advice: Either rebuild the motor you got or follow dudemans advice and get a new motor.
Good luck, keep me posted please!
 

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And, to get a few thousand more miles on it, put 50 weight in it, put some lucas oil stabilizer in it, and be easy on it. It will last for either 100 miles or 10,000 miles, you never know!!
 

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Based on your description I would drop the pan first and check the bearings before going ahead on a pump and chain swap
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
But if it were bad bearings and bad rods wouldnt it make noise right at start up? And wouldnt the oil pressure be pretty low?
 

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it's kinda normal if you have bearing damage for cold-start to be 'alright'. then the oil heats up, becomes thinner, and pressure drops.

you know what else it could be? some kind of damage to the oil pump pickup tube (or it just plain fell out). on cold start, most of the oil is in the pan. as the motor warms up and the top end starts retaining some oil.. pump starts sucking air, there goes your pressure..

just for fun, how about overfilling your oil by about a quart, start it up, and see if it improves. dont drive it like that, drain that quart out afterwards. its just a test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I add an extra quart? If oil pressure improves what will happen? Would there be a chance it may be the pump?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
And about the oil heating up, I can let it sit for about 30 minutes and come back and the pressure is back up again and after a few minutes will slowly drop. That doesn't sound to me like bearings or lifters. That kind of tells me the pump is petering out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I finally took the car in to a buddy if mine who has a shop. He owns a highly modded fbidy and has worked on many others so I believe he know what he's doing. When I first started the car to get it ready to load it on the trailer, I did not hear any unusual noise in the engine. I let it idle for a while, temp gauge was normal just below 210, no noise and oil pressure gauge read 60. I let it idle while I was jacking with the trailer and when I finished I drive it onto the trailer with no unusual clatter or chattering, oil pressure dropped between 40 and 60. I was not alarmed. Trailered it to his shop 60 miles away, started it, idled it and let it run a while. Revved it up a couple times, oil pressure was fine. So in all this I didnt get it to make the engine noise I described above but if I let it idle a lot longer it would eventually begin to make a chattering sound on top of the motor. He said most definetly the oil pump causing problem and would verify it once torn down. I ordered a GM pump and all gaskets associated. I will come back on here and let you know on the developments. I really hope this fixes it. I had a couple other people tell me to simply yank the engine and rebuild it. Yeah like I've got money sitting around waiting to use on an engine build on this thing.
 

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Might as well go with a ported pump. I'd put a larger cam, new springs, pushrods, and timing chain while its that far apart too...but I'm like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I got the car out of the shop. Drove it 5 miles and it lost all oil pressure. I don't understand wtf is going on! Why does it do this after I've driven it a while?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
and then I come back outside after its been sitting 30 minutes and I got oil pressure again. It's not a sensor problem because the engine starts clattering.
 

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What all was done to it by the shop?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just a new GM oil pump, 5w30 valvoline and a new filter. I also noticed that the coolant was coming out the coolant reservoir cap with the temp gauge showing just under 210 an the fans never come on! They only come on with the AC on. The oil pressure doesn't get dangerously low until after about 45 minutes of idling from a cold start. I don't know what the deal is. I added about 12 oz of Seafoam to the oil an man did that thin it out even more. But it still takes 45 minutes of run time before the lifters start making noise. I was told 5w30 is too thin. Maybe I should go with a 15w40 or 15w50. Wtf?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow reading this makes me tear up a bit. I haven't logged on since 2012 and I've been through so much good and bad. Well as for the 99 TA I sold the car right after I put the pump in. I was so disappointed because I so much wanted it to run good I guess I got screwed. Through all this I have still held onto my 95 Z28 and two years ago bought the car I have always wanted, an all original 96 Impala SS with 83K original miles. One day I would like to pick up another LS! TA but this time I'll be a lot smarter.
 
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