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Technical discussions specific to 1964-1967, 1968-1970, and 1971-1973 Classic Mustang. Discuss all tech related to in-line six cylinder and V8 powered Vintage Mustangs here.

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Unread 04-01-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1968 Mustang 302 Oil Sending Unit Help

Hey all... Been a while since I posted here.

I kinda left my Mustang by the wayside for a while there, but I've been working on it recently and discovered a bit of a problem when I got it running again.

Somehow, my oil pressure sending unit got loose while I was replacing the water pump and flushing the block. Now, every time I start the car, oil jets out of it all over the engine compartment. I can't get at the thing easily because the power steering pump is in the way.

My question is twofold:

First, does anyone know if there's an easy way to get to that sending unit without taking that accursed power steering pump off again?

Second, I noticed that, not counting the unit itself, there's two (possibly nylon?) nuts on the line connected to it that also could be loose. Is there an order or specific way in which these need to be tightened? Also, could any of those be leaking the oil, or would the oil only leak where the sending unit meets the block?
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Unread 04-01-2010   #2 (permalink)
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might be easier to come up from underneath the car with a wrench or pair of pliers and spin the sending unit extension out of there and apply a lot of fresh Teflon tape to each one of the fittings.

As far as nylon nuts, it sounds like you may have had some Jerry rigging there...normally you just have the extension coming from the block and the sending unit screwed directly into the extension. I would remove anything that is not needed. The easier it is for the oil to flow the more accurate the reading will be.
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Unread 04-01-2010   #3 (permalink)
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As Jbyrd said, if you've got anything other than the big sending unit screwed onto the hex shaped extension it's something that's been added. Do you have the standard dash gauge? are there any aftermarket gauges? If not I'd remove any Tees and screw the factory sending unit back in and put the electrical 90* plug wire back on.

Pics would really help figure out what you've got going on.
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Unread 04-01-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah... I think what I thought was the sending unit is actually the extension that Jbyrd was talking about... So, there's the extension, the sending unit screwed into it, and the wire screwed into that.

I may pull the P/S pump tonight and see if I can tighten it down some. If that doesn't go as planned, I'll take some pics and post them...

I don't think I can get at it from underneath, but I didn't try all that hard last night. Something about getting oil all over my face didn't appeal to me.
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Unread 04-02-2010   #5 (permalink)
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So... I pulled off the PS Pump tonight and tried to detach the oil sending unit. Unfortunately as I was removing it, the line attached to it simply popped off...

I suspect this was a combination of my own stupidity and something that was already wrong with it. One way or another, I need a new one now. Only, I can't seem to find it anywhere.

Can anyone help me identify this and / or tell me where I can get a replacement? I have a Deluxe coupe, so I have a gauge instead of an idiot light. The line attached to the threaded bit appears to be a tube... Pictures attached.
Attached Thumbnails
1968 Mustang 302 Oil Sending Unit Help-dscf0945.jpg  1968 Mustang 302 Oil Sending Unit Help-dscf0946.jpg  1968 Mustang 302 Oil Sending Unit Help-dscf0954.jpg  
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Unread 04-02-2010   #6 (permalink)
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That nylon line that popped off is a line for a mechanical oil pressure gauge. Do you have an after market gauge in the car? I don't see anything that looks like a sender for an electric gauge or an idiot light.

If the working gauge in the car is in fact an after market mechanical gauge, you can buy a tubing kit that includes all those little brass fittings and a new line so you can replace all that stuff for about $10. When installing the new one, make sure you don't get it all twisted up, then make sure to route the line away from exhaust and any moving parts and sharp edges.
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Unread 04-02-2010   #7 (permalink)
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Nolan_Speed is right, that is not a sending unit that you have pictured there. All sending units work as some type of a sensor meaning they are electrical and not mechanical. That should be a pretty cheap fix you have there as parts are readily available for those.

I am still lost as to why you had to pull your power steering pump off to access that though.

If it is easier on you, you can pull that extension off the block and hook everything up because oil will not / should not come out of that hole while the car is turned off since it is all sitting down in the bottom of the pan.

Good luck
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Unread 04-02-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Ohhh!!!! Yes, there's an after-market set of gauges mounted underneath the dash. I noted last time I looked that there was an oil pressure gauge there. I just assumed that something branched somewhere, and that stuff was still stock!

(This is what happens when you buy a modded Mustang from someone else...)

As to why I had to pull the P/S pump, well... Keep in mind that this is a '68 302 in a '66 body, with a '66 P/S pump. I suspect that it's not designed the same. You can see the two P/S pump hoses in the pictures above. When the P/S pump is mounted, those hoses are *right next to* that sending unit. Given that the connectors are mounted to the top of the extension, as you can see from the pictures, I discerned that there was insufficient swing room for a crescent in between the P/S pump hoses and the headers to make it reasonable to do the job without removing the pump. (I could only barely get a hand in there with the pump mounted, and my hands aren't that big...) Even if I could have done it, which I doubt, I decided I'd hate life a lot less if I just pulled the P/S pump.

If I hadn't jacked up the hose fitting, the whole thing probably would have been done in a matter of an hour or so. Probably best I did, though. I realized as I was doing it that I forgot to torque the bolts securing the P/S pump bracket to the block. :run_over:

Now all I have to do is figure out what gauge package it is that I have so I can get the right line...

Thanks guys!
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Unread 04-02-2010   #9 (permalink)
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The line is pretty much universal, I think it's an 1/8'' nylon line with compression fittings and almost all the mechanical gauges use them so just get whatever kit you can find and don't worry about the brand.

On mine I got rid of the extension altogether since it's not needed. I think that they're used to give the larger electric senders some clearance but the tubing doesn't need it, so you can just thread the fitting directly into the block (it's an 1/8" npt thread). I think the extension is more likely to break than just going directly to the block anyways.

They also make copper tubing kits which resist exhaust heat better than the nylon, but they're more likely to fail due to vibration, so I'd stick with nylon and route it properly.
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Unread 04-02-2010   #10 (permalink)
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I was wondering about that. I'll check out the attachments tonight to make sure everything's kosher, but I'm pretty sure the Autometer hose kit that I found will work.

Do I have to bleed that line to get it working, or does oil travel through it at all?

I thought about pulling the extension, but I put a goodly amount of force on the stupid thing with a crescent (can't get a box wrench over it) and it didn't budge. Probably not worth it, honestly...
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Unread 04-03-2010   #11 (permalink)
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You don't have to bleed that line. As mentioned before, that part of the block if well above the oil line. It is a measure of pressure, not the actual amount of oil in there. Obviously those two go hand in hand, but short anwser is no that you do not have to bleed the line. It will always gather some air in the lines since it is not presurized all the time.

Good luck!
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Unread 04-03-2010   #12 (permalink)
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So how tightly does it need to be screwed onto the block? I screwed mine on kind of tight but not super tight. I got it to the point where it didn't feel like it want to go anymore, and that if I were to force it more I worried I would round it.
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