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Old 02-02-2012, 18:25   #1
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Perkins 4018 Low Oil Pressure

I wonder if you guys can help me. When first starting my 4108 in the winter (30-40F) the oil pressure light remains on for some 30 secs, and the oil pressure gauge shows nothing. Once the oil light goes off and the engine warms up (160F) the oil pressure registers as follows: 2000 rpm - 55 psi; 1500 rpm - 40 psi; 1200 rpm - 30 psi. idling 20 psi. These pressures remain pretty steady. When starting hot the warning light stays on for no more than a couple of seconds and oil pressure readings are as above. I have checked the oil pressure gauge and sender unit - both OK. I have compared the gauge reading with a mechanical gauge - they read the same. I am using DELO 400 15 - 40. It has about 3500 hours, and there are no nasty knocks from the engine - in fact it runs quite smoothly. I would appreciate if anyone can tell me if other 4108's of this vintage behave similarly, and what the problem might be.

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Old 02-02-2012, 20:22   #2
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Re: Perkins 4018 low oil pressure

Are you using a cheapo oil filter that does not have an antidrain valve? Sounds like you are filling the oil filter before you build a head of pressure. I run Delo 30W 100% of the time.
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Old 02-02-2012, 20:29   #3
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Re: Perkins 4018 low oil pressure

What oil is in it? I use 5 w 40 synthetic in all my diesels year round and oil pressure is always instant. I think I'd start with an oil and filter change and see what happens.
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Old 02-02-2012, 20:53   #4
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Re: Perkins 4018 low oil pressure

If your oil filter spins on with the open end down, you have to be careful to use replacment filters with the antidrain valve. The genuine Perkins filters do have the valve.
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Old 02-02-2012, 21:12   #5
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Re: Perkins 4018 low oil pressure

I really doubt it's the filter if it's taking 30 seconds to get oil pressure. Sounds more like milky oil maybe, clogged pickup screen or something else stupid. My powerstroke fills 2 3 quart filters in about 5 seconds. I rarely fill them when I change them. My tractors all have upside down filters without anti drainback valves, one is a perkins, and none of them ever take more than 2 or 3 seconds even in the winter with an empty filter to get pressure. Something is wrong here. He really needs to get a look at the oil before doing anything. Water in it is about the most likely. I hope it's not that though. The pressures are too good to be a bad pump really. Although, as the oil warms up it will get better pressure sucking through a clogged pickup screen. I see that a lot on cummins diesels and pretty much anything made by chrysler and mitsubishi. They tell people 7500 mile oil change intervals these days and people go to jiffy lube every 15000. Clogged pick up screens are very common.
Almost every perkins I've ever seen with this problem was caused by water. I used to overhaul them quite a bit at a tractor dealer. It's a common engine in forklifts and skid steers.
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Old 03-02-2012, 00:06   #6
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Re: Perkins 4108 low oil pressure

Thanks for your comments. I use a Baldwin upside down filter. Filter has an anti-siphon valve. I am pretty sure that there is no water in the oil. I think that I will have to drop the oil pan, and check the oil pump filter screen, and check the connections from screen to pump.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:29   #7
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Re: Perkins 4018 low oil pressure

Change your filter first! You may be rewarded. My filter takes at least 10 seconds or longer to fill after an oil change before I build pressure....6500 hrs on 1988 4108.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:02   #8
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Re: Perkins 4018 low oil pressure

To give you feedback. I pulled the oil pan and found a bad connection where the oil line from the pan filter was connected to the pump. I guess in cold weather (with thicker oil) the pump was drawing air not oil, as the engine warmed up the viscosity decreased. At the same time I checked the pressure release valve - that was OK. So you can bench mark these rare symptons that I described.
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Old 19-07-2015, 20:35   #9
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Re: Perkins 4018 Low Oil Pressure

Grimshaw,
I think I have the same issue as you did. I have ruled out the oil filter. Interestingly, the 4.108 manual specifies a filter with anti-drain back valve and also a stand pipe. The official Perkins filter no longer includes a standpipe. I expected that my issue would be solved by replacing the Perkins filter with a Fram filter that included the standpipe. Alas, there is not much difference in the time required to achieve pressure.
Please provide more details on your repair. Did you have to replace any parts? Or was it more of an adjustment. Did you have good access to the bottom of the engine? I'm dreading the thought of contorting my body to drop the pan.
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