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Oil Pump: Replace, or Not?

We’ve had the '68 Ford Galaxie 7 years now, and replaced almost every part - except the oil pump. So, should we “pre-emptively” replace it, as a precaution? Or wait until it goes out? My mechanic said, “The motor was rebuilt before you got the car, so your oil pump is probably okay - and the lifters will make noise, if the pump starts failing.” My main concern is that my 18 year old (who drives the car) won’t notice the noise (or the oil pressure warning light) and fry the engine. Or should I chill out, and stop being a worry-wart? What do you think? Replace, or not replace?

Your 18 year old needs to be given a sense of “hmmm…something is un-right here” about everything. 18 year old’s often are on a mission that is totally numb outside of their existence bubble. They’re often not critical of their environment. All my kids, when driving, could ignore multiple issues that should have triggered some level of awareness …yet did not.

My son was driving grandma’s Corsica. I note that the idle was high one morning. I ask, “How long has it been like that?”. He says, “A couple of days.”. I ask, “Isn’t that something that bothered you?”. “Not really”. About 2 days later I rode with him and noted that all the vent positions resulted in air coming out of the heater duct. Again, I asked, “Isn’t that something that bothered you …and did this happen to coincide with the high idle?”. “Oh, yeah.”. I opened the hood and found the PCV line unhooked. He’s not stupid or dumb …just preoccupied and distracted. Repeat for other children.

While this isn’t directly related to whether you change the oil pump or not, if you do change it, it merely eliminates one of 93 other causes that will grenade the car if he’s not tuned into being critical of his environment and recognizing that there’s something wrong.

If there is concern about oil pressure then check that with an external pressure gauge.
For what it’s worth, I’ve been turning wrenches for a very long time (35 or so years)and have never seen a worn out oil pump yet, although I have seen an oil pump get the blame for a lot of oil pressure problems.

As to the rebuilt motor a lot depends on if that motor was rebuilt correctly. A proper rebuild means a new oil pump anyway, whether it really needs it or not, and often failure to install a new pump will void any warranty on a rebuild.

Thanks, geeaea - I’ve raised 5 kids - four boys and one girl - some more mechanically savvy then others - my next-to-youngest, Sam, was working on cars at age 14 - his cars were always in perfect running condition - my oldest, Josh, would wait until something broke - same for boy number two, Joe - daughter Noel can fix stuff, but prefers a reliable truck. And the “baby”, William (now 18 and moving out in June) can fix stuff on his car - he’s just lazy, unaware or whatever. Luckily, he’ll be living with Sam when he’s at college - so, hopefully, some of Sam’s mechanical interests will rub-off!

Thanks, ok4450 - yeah, I got similar advice from my mechanic - but it’s nice to get a second opinion - we opened up the motor, and the insides were “great”, so we replaced the valves (needed hardened valve seats) and put it back together. Pressure is good on the oil pump, so I’m thinking “leave sleeping dogs lie”. Thanks again.

the oil pressure warning light is to warn you that it is time to buy a new engine. This is because the switch that operates the indicator is set so low it only trips when the engine is off or the bearings are already shot. An after market electrical oil pressure gauge is a worth wile investment on a vehicle this old and if it was a chevy would be a classic. The usual alternative is to buy a small block chevy engine and trany, and intall those in this car when the ford engine fails while your kid is drag racing it. only kidding (about the drag racing part.)

Oil pumps are mechanically simple devices that spend their entire lives bathed in fresh flowing oil. Usually if pressure becomes a problem it’s wear in other areas, generally crank bearings.

Prophylactically replacing an oil pump makes about as much sense IMHO as prophylactically replacing crankshaft. Less sense, actually, as the oil pump needs not maintain as tight a tolerances as the crankshaft.