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‘66 Rambler classic 232 opinion needed

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Itschrisb View Drop Down
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    Posted: May/27/2021 at 5:27pm
Hey new member here. Just picked up a ‘66 rambler classic 770 with a 232 in it. It has low oil pressure issues that I’m suspecting is the oil pump. At idle in gear I have 0-5psi at cruising speed I have 30-40psi. Max psi I’ve seen is about 50psi. The engine only has 46k miles on it so I doubt it’s a bearing issue but then again it did get parked in ‘99 and sat until earlier this year. Could have gotten parked for oil pressure issues.

Anyway at this point the engine has to come out to put a new oil pump and pickup on it. While it’s out I’m going to clean it up and replace some other seals. 

I also found a donor 232 for basically free that I’m considering just swapping in instead of messing with the original engine.

So my questions are do you think it’s worth fussing with the original engine?

Should I just swap in the known good 232 and then rebuild/hop up the original 232?

I’d go with a different engine altogether but I don’t want to do any other driveline modifications because I don’t necessarily want to make this a “project”.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Heavy 488 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2021 at 6:38pm
Did you do a compression and oil pressure check on the known good engine?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ramblinrev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2021 at 7:16pm
Oil pumps rarely wear out on these.
30-40 psi while driving is not bad on an old engine. How does it run?

Keep in mind that if you swap in a different motor, it has to be '71 or earlier, as there was a major change in '72 that would not be compatible with a '66 tranny/starter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Itschrisb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2021 at 7:39pm
The known good 232 is out of the exact same car ‘66 rambler so compatibility shouldn’t be an issue. I did not check compression or oil pressure but it’s from a running driving car so I’m assuming it’s good.

As far as 30-40 psi while driving is concerned, it’s not bad at all. I’m not concerned with that. It’s the 0-5psi and valve tap at idle that is concerning to me.  Today in traffic the valve chatter was awful. The engine otherwise runs fantastic. Feels strong and runs smooth.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Heavy 488 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2021 at 7:47pm
My wife's old 258 Eagle had that low/ no idle pressure and clattering lifters.. 20w50 took care of that for a few years
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Itschrisb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2021 at 8:00pm
Originally posted by Heavy 488 Heavy 488 wrote:

My wife's old 258 Eagle had that low/ no idle pressure and clattering lifters.. 20w50 took care of that for a few years

I considered a heavier oil, I have 10w30 in it now. I’d like to know what the actual issue/fix is though. Did you ever figure out the issue?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Heavy 488 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2021 at 8:19pm
Shot crank and bearings. Oil pumps are rarely the root of the problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Itschrisb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2021 at 8:26pm
Originally posted by Heavy 488 Heavy 488 wrote:

Shot crank and bearings. Oil pumps are rarely the root of the problem.

Even with such low mileage you think it would be crank and bearings? I’m definitely not an engine guy but at 46k miles seems low to have bearing issues. Who knows though it could have not been well cared for.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Heavy 488 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2021 at 8:50pm
Problem with old economy cars is oil changes didn't happen that often. Combine that with the old oil technology. Pull the valve cover and check if it looks like a wax museum.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 6768rogues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/27/2021 at 10:08pm
My Jeep has low oil pressure and running 20w-50 oil helps. It has been like that since 1982 and no problems yet, and it has a lot of hard off road use. I would change the oil and drive it. If you have room get the spare engine just in case.
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