Question about 2001 Jeep Cherokee

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Have 2001 jeep Cherokee classic 4.0l. At idle the oil pressure gauge goes to zero and the oil light comes on. I installed a high performance oil pump and did help some. However tonite I it was idiling @ 10# pressure and it dropped suddenly to zero again. The engine temporarily chatters @ take-off then stops. Engine does not knock or smoke. Help.

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  • Joe  A
    Joe A Mar 16, 2011

    Did you change the oil filter when you did the new pump? I'm thinking a blocked oil passage
    but an oil change and a new filter are first steps. Let us know.

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This could be caused from a few different things, so lets start with the simplest thing first. Since you are certain that there is not a knock in the engine, I would start by changing the oil and substitute a quart of oil and use a can of Seafoam in its place. This will clean the engine and any oil build up that has occurred over the years. I would then recommend changing the oil filter; make sure that you get one that has a check valve in it, so you will not have a dry start. You mentioned that the engine is chattering, and that is not a good sign. This means that parts, probably lifters, are not getting properly lubricated, and that may be the sign of a bad pump. I know that you stated that you have changed it, but, there is a chance that it is faulty. Before you do that, I would recommend that you put a live oil pressure gage on the engine to see what pressure you are holding. The engine should hold 20-40 psi at an idle. The 10 psi that you are getting is not sufficient, and if this goes unresolved, then you are looking at some serious internal engine damage.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011

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The chattering is the motor running dry wanting to lock from oil starvation. the high flow pump only helped the problem. you might have worn trust bearings explaining no knocking as of yet because rod bearings are not worn. but still if worn will allow enough gap for oil and pressure to leak out especially when the pump is pumping its least at low rpm. the slower its turning the less oil it pumps,, in this case enough less to run dry and chatter, lock. its not smoking because rings aren't affected. in any case you will need to pull the engine take off oil pan and inspect. and most likely rebuild. good luck. hope i helped.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011

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