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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 91 NA with a gen4 3sgte. CP pistons, wiseco rods, King bearings and gt3071r. Motor was built by Prime.

The other day, I noticed the oil light started blinking for the first time. It came on in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, then stopped. It mostly blinked earlier in the rev range in each gear. I drove it very slowly. Once the engine warmed up it stopped. Oil level was about halfway between the two dots on the dipstick. The car does like to eat up oil. Car drove normally after that, boosted fine, etc. I didn’t drive for 2 days.

Today I started it up again and did the same thing. I drove a half mile to get some air for my tire with a nail in it, and again, it blinked early in each gear, then the light went off when it warmed up. I drove home and added oil. Waited a bit, started it, and it flickered as it idled. Oil is full.

The light is flickering almost like it what it looks like when something has a bad ground. By boost and water temp gauges are also flickering, which I noticed for the first time 2 days ago when the oil light flickered, and again today. I recently had to restart my battery after leaving the door open for a week in my garage. Oops.

Any of this make sense? The motor sounds like usual; there are no tapping/rubbing noises. Car boosts like normal, runs like normal.
 

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Scary. You should get an oil pressure tester on that thing and see what your idle oil pressure is.
Idle for USDM 3sgte should be 4.3psi or more. 3000 rpm is 36-71psi.
If those are alright, then your oil pressure sender is no good or the oil light circuit might be no good either.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. My head is a JDM Gen4 from a Toyota Caldina (the block is a gen2). ECU also a gen4 Caldina. Setup has been running for years successfully. Same oil pressure needed as the USDM?

Seeing as how my boost gauges started flickering at the same time (and haven’t before), is there a way this could be an electrical issue?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I’ll just note that, I’ve not seen an oil light do this before. I’ve seen one come on and stay before, but not flicker. I wouldn’t even consider this blinking. It comes on and off sporadically and fast, similar to what the boost gauges are doing. I’ll have to take a video and post tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tester gauge ordered, will be here tomorrow. I really do not want to have to rebuild this. I’m having a child any day now and won’t have time for awhile. I hope it’s the sender or something electrical.
 

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I am assuming the oil pressure would be the same as a gen2 system, and since I guess you'd also be using the gen2 oil pump system as well from that lower end.
As for the flickering, it could absolutely be an electrical issue. A ground for the combination meter might do it. You may want to check those instrument panel grounds for corrosion or other nasty looking wires.
I still believe getting a real physical test for your oil pressure is a good idea. Remember to seal the oil pressure sender with a very light coating of your sealant of choice on the threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oil pres is highest on a cold motor. If the oil light goes off after the car has warmed, that indicates that it is wiring,battery, alternator issue.
I’m beginning to think this is the case. I am also dealing with a nail in a tire (it’s close to sidewall - about an inch away). So I pulled it, filled, out back on, and started the car to see what was up. Absolutely nothing wrong, and no light at all. Drove the car very carefully, and nothing. It warmed up and I drove normally in traffic - nothing. Gave it some boost and drove with a little oomph - no light.

I’m still going to check pressure - got carried away and came home and had some stuff to take care of - but I am feeling good that the motor might be ok after driving around for an hour. It’s looking like I might have a ground/electrical problem. But who knows.

Will report back when I run the test.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Motor was built by Prime.
Did you contact prime to see if any customers experience the same issue?
I haven’t. Previous owner had the Gen4 head imported and gen2 block built by them apparently a few years ago. Was so long ago I’m not sure if they’d know anything but I guess it isn’t a bad idea to see if other cars might’ve had issues. All I checked was compression initially and all cylinders were near identical. Bearings should have low miles too.
 

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I've also seen this happen when the alternator starts to go. Dash lights come on randomly and/or flicker a bit.

I'd get a proper oil pressure check done and then suspect the electrical. No sense chancing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've also seen this happen when the alternator starts to go. Dash lights come on randomly and/or flicker a bit.

I'd get a proper oil pressure check done and then suspect the electrical. No sense chancing it.
I agree on not chancing it. I thought something could be funny when the only 2 times the oil light flickered on, was the only 2 times my aftermarket gauges were flickering at around same time - right when car was turned on.
 

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If the red oil light came on multiple times and it was not a false positive I would do an oil change immediately and start budgeting for a rebuild.
 

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Same thing happened on my truck, turned out to be an oil pressure sensor. Oil had seeped through it into the connector and was causing a poor connection. Pull the connector and/or sensor to make sure there's no oil on the pins.
 
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