73-87 Chevy _ GMC Trucks > Members Rides

1987 Silverado V10 from the frozen north

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Greetings all.
A brief backstory, if I may. I didn't grow up working on engines. My family and my proclivities at the time let me in other directions and helped me gain expertise in other areas. Fast forward to my middle years here, and I'm finding engine work terribly interesting, and yet I realize I'm working from a deficit of understanding and experience. To begin addressing this lack, I started out repairing some jet skis since they're so simple relatively speaking - things like replacing burned down pistons, rings, starters, rebuilding carbs, gaskets etc. It seems like all mechanic roads lead to vehicles for the road, so of course, eventually I followed the momentum of this interest and found a 1987 Chevrolet Silverado (tbi) 4x4 V10 with a 305/auto here in Minnesota that had been sitting for a few years (last oil change sticker was 2016) that was not running at the time due to a fuel delivery issue. "Ok great," I thought "I can figure that out." Well, I ended up just putting essentially a new fuel system in the right side (has dual tanks) so the RH side has a new tank, new pump, new in-tank sock, new sending unit, new soft lines from there to the selector valve, new in-line filter, and I cleaned out the hard lines and the tbi throttle body. So far so good. Here's a video of how it went once I got all that done and added 4-5 gallons (please note the truck has both manifolds both running into a single glass pack, then splitting to those tiny pipes under the bumper - so it will sound consistent with that)

One of the other fun elements is that the previous owner - for whatever reason - completely disassembled the dash. I haven't looked into the electrical side yet, but I've done some other electrical work so I think I can figure some of it out when the time comes, but I did find the main plug on the back of the gauge cluster was unplugged. Plugged it back in, and to my dismay my oil pressure gauge is either broken, the sending unit is broken, or I don't have oil pressure. I don't hear a lot of valve train noise, but I still am not really driving it anywhere yet until I get an oil pressure tester (on order). Just a couple comments/pseudo questions:

Any advise regarding the possibility of no oil pressure? Getting a testing kit all I need to do to trouble shoot? Also, you can see it does start to smoke a bit a little bit after startup (around the time I go around the big boat in the video). It doesn't smell like coolant to me, but I do have coolant leaving the system somewhere (I'll probably have to get a pressure tester for that too). I did a spot check of cylinder compression to see if the engine was worn out and burning oil because of worn out rings, but I got 140psi. I know I need to check them all, but if I have one or two with good pressure, it should mean the entire motor isn't just worn out I'd think... Mileage on the odo is something like 80k, but of course I'm not sure this is the original dash cluster (it came with a spare for example) and not sure if that's 180 (likely).

I should say that the old oil is full, but dark. I'm planning on changing it but didn't think that would make the difference for the gauge showing literally zero.

End goal is not a show truck, or anything, but I'd like it to be mechanically sound as a warmer weather daily driver type (I'll be getting some body panels eventually if I can get the mechanicals nailed down) Basically, just looking for a community to help me make sure I don't blow anything up or go about this the totally wrong way. Thank you all for your help in encouraging my mid-life personal interest redirect.

Not a bad looking truck!
I can try to answer a few questions and there are a few others on this forum that are really good.
1) Oil pressure: Ensure your oil pressure sender just above the oil filter is connected (2 Wire connector). Then ensure your oil pressure switch on the top rear (by firewall that has a single wire connector) is hooked up. I would recommend changing the oil first thing, if not done since you bought the truck.

When the oil pressure sensor goes bad you normally get inaccurate readings. When readings fall out of designed specs, a warning light is set.
The oil pressure switch either works or not and if not you could have a bad oil pump. On the other hand check your oil level and if your engine is running quietly, you could have a bad oil pressure sending unit, light switch, or oil pressure gauge.

2) Coolant  leaving your system: Should be easy to detect because being up north you should have anti-freeze and should be easy to see since it is colored. Only two places the coolant is leaking internal or external. Internal, you will see your oil level increase as it mixes with the oil. External: it will most likely come from the radiator, a coolant hose, a freeze plug rusted out, thermastat housing, or maybe your over fill reservoir.

My Conclusion: If your engine runs quietly, smooth, your oil pressure sender is probably bad. You need to find the coolant leak ASAP.

One more thing, it could simply be a burned out bulb if you have lights instead of gauges.

Thanks, I do have a gauge, not a light. At least, I don't have any warning lights coming on, but the gauge hovers just above zero. I checked the 2 prong wire by the filter, and though it doesn't look to be seated well, it's there. And the one by the distributor is hooked up as well.

I do have bright green coolant/antifreeze yep. Being it's outside on a gravel driveway it's a little harder to see, but I don't know I see a lot of leaks. That said, I haven't really run it yet....

Maybe hooking up a mechanical gauge is a next step. I would want confirmation of good oil pressure before I made any firm decisions.


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