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  1. #1

    Default Yet another Gravely L Oil Pressure Problem

    I have a Gravely LI, serial number A-12456 (1945?). This tractor and Gravely in general are new to me. I have read through the old threads and the service manuals on this beast, but need some more detailed advice. When received, it would start right up (still does), but the oil pressure gauge read on the low side and as the motor warmed up, its reading and the oil stream under the fill cap would diminish. I have changed out the filter (spin-on type, with gauge on the output of the filter; this is as I received it). I took off the gauge and tested its response with my air compressor. The 'red' block tops off at 15-20 PSIG (poor resolution on my compressor's gauge) and 60 or so is just past 12-noon. So I know the gauge is working. New filter, 30 weight oil and no reading, but tilting just like in the manual and bang! high pressure in the gauge. But...the oil pressure still decreases as the motor warms up. To my uneducated mind, this implies the oil gears are worn and as they warm up the gap between them becomes too big to pump the oil. Does this sound correct or are there other (cheaper, easier to get to) items that I should attend to first?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    578
    Location
    SE Ohio & SE Florida

    Default Re: Yet another Gravely L Oil Pressure Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by gmulhollan View Post
    I have a Gravely LI, serial number A-12456 (1945?). This tractor and Gravely in general are new to me. I have read through the old threads and the service manuals on this beast, but need some more detailed advice. When received, it would start right up (still does), but the oil pressure gauge read on the low side and as the motor warmed up, its reading and the oil stream under the fill cap would diminish. I have changed out the filter (spin-on type, with gauge on the output of the filter; this is as I received it). I took off the gauge and tested its response with my air compressor. The 'red' block tops off at 15-20 PSIG (poor resolution on my compressor's gauge) and 60 or so is just past 12-noon. So I know the gauge is working. New filter, 30 weight oil and no reading, but tilting just like in the manual and bang! high pressure in the gauge. But...the oil pressure still decreases as the motor warms up. To my uneducated mind, this implies the oil gears are worn and as they warm up the gap between them becomes too big to pump the oil. Does this sound correct or are there other (cheaper, easier to get to) items that I should attend to first?
    The A in the Serial Number indicates a 1957 model. In 1957 the pump would have been the low volume version. Cold oil could reach 30+ pounds in those. Cold oil in a high volume pump can result in 45-50 PSI at WOT when cold. All of them drop back when warm. 10 to 15 PSI drop is common on them. Check and make sure the relief valve is set at 15 PSI and you should be good to go.

  3. #3
    Super Member schmism's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    5,040
    Location
    Peoria IL
    Tractor
    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: Yet another Gravely L Oil Pressure Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by gmulhollan View Post
    this implies the oil gears are worn and as they warm up the gap between them becomes too big to pump the oil. Does this sound correct or are there other (cheaper, easier to get to) items that I should attend to first?
    metal expands as it warms up, not shrinks.

    likely the oil thins out as it warms up and as it thins out it just blows past the worn bearings in the bottom end.

    youll find worn out bearins before you find worn out oil pump gears
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    60
    Location
    Windham Co. CT
    Tractor
    Kubota L345DT, Yanmar 1500D,

    Default Re: Yet another Gravely L Oil Pressure Problem

    Would it help to use some 40 weight or 50 weight?

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    72
    Location
    windsor,pa.
    Tractor
    john deere 4410,1962 Gravely L model,Gravely Commercial 10,multiple attachments,and JD x320

    Default Re: Yet another Gravely L Oil Pressure Problem

    i would hook up a good mechanical test guage to it to get an accurate reading and then compare specs.cold engine is going to run higher oil pressure,as the engine warms up,definitely could see a drop of 10-15 psi.the engine only needs 5 psi at an idle to maintain lubrication,at WOT,you should see 25-30 psi.if your not seeing those pressures,i would be checking bearing clearances.too much clearance bleeds off the pressure fast and won't let it maintain good consistant pressure.if the rod bearing is within spec,put a new oil pump on it.

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    5
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Tractor
    gravely L and L8

    Default Re: Yet another Gravely L Oil Pressure Problem

    I have 2 gravely's and had the same problem on one. I took the relief valve out and stretched the spring. It made the oil pressure increase alot.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    578
    Location
    SE Ohio & SE Florida

    Default Re: Yet another Gravely L Oil Pressure Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by al b View Post
    Would it help to use some 40 weight or 50 weight?
    40 wt was the recommended oil in the days when it was built. That will raise pressure both hot and cold.

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