Oil Pressure Gauge Installation


It is important to know the true oil pressure of any engine, but its especially true with high performance engines such as the KTM 950/990 and other offroad vehicles. This is Particularly true given the extreme stresses many Inmates place on their beloved Katooms.

One situation the LC8 engine is known for, is the loss of its water pump's ability to seal, resulting in water contaminating the oil. Which causes the OEM paper oil filter to swell closed. The results are gradual. By the time the oil pressure "idiot light" indicates there is a problem, it is often too late to save the engine from undue wear or catastrophic failure. In a worst case scenario, it could leave you stranded in the wilderness many miles from help (at the mercy of lions, tigers, and bears. Or amorous banjo playin' hill billies).

An accurate oil pressure gauge will indicate the early tell-tale signs of an impending oil filter clogging. This will manifest itself as a gradually declining pressure reading over time. Allowing you to correct the problem in a safe and timely manner; long before the engine would incur damage. Also, a big advantage is the gauge's ability to show indications of internal wear before they become catastrophic failures at "inconvenient" times. All things that the idiot light will miss.

Fit is snug, but adequate in either top fairing piece. I installed this one in the right fairing. There are several other locations that are also suitable, depending on your particular needs.

There are several options for different locations to tap for monitoring oil pressure. In this case, the rear cylinder cam tensioner bolt (red arrow) provided a handy spot in an easy to get at location.

The AN-3 to 1/8" pipe fitting was installed using petroleum resistant teflon sealing tape (the yellow stuff)

I routed the 36" long AN-3 (3/16" I.D.) stainless steel braided high pressure hose along the right side of the frame. This tap in location also allows me to easily keep the OEM "idiot light" (red arrow) for those times when I am distracted and not watching the gauge. Some racers attach a large, bright brake light to the oil pressure switch and mount it in their line of sight, for just those critical situations.

The factory oil pressure specification for LC8 engines is:
Minimum of .8 bar (11 psi) @ 1500 rpm taken at a coolant temperature of 100 deg C (212 deg F). As you can see in the image above, this 2003 KTM 950 has 32 psi at 1400 rpm (idle) and 100 deg C (212 deg F). Well in spec.

The factory spec also prescribes a range for oil pressure at 6000 rpm.
2.4 - 3.5 bar (35 - 50 psi) (again, at 100 deg C).
The image above shows a reading of 50 psi at 6000 rpm and 100 deg C. Right at the oil pump's pressure relief valve setting.

oil pressure gauge
Now it is possible to know at all times what the engine's heart (oil pump) and "life blood" (lubricating oil) are doing.

Are you wondering if the flickering red light on your dash means your oil pressure is bottoming out due to a clogged oil filter? Or is it just a bad idiot light? Is that clattering noise coming from your engine a result of a bad camchain or tensioner? Or is it due to a leaking waterpump seal causing your paper oil fitter to collapse and shut off oil to your engine; eating up its bearings? Stop wondering, and KNOW what the vital heart of your engine and its lifeblood are doing at all times. Install an oil pressure gauge.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this page and on this site is condensed from the combined wisdom of the members and contributors of the Orange Crush Forum. The contributions are reprinted here exactly as posted by the contributors. The spelling, syntax, grammar, etc have purposely not been corrected in order to retain its original flavor. The contributors are from throughout the World, and English may very well not be their native language. Don't be an ass and complain about the lexicon. It is mostly subjective, with a little objectivity thrown in for seasoning, based on the experiences of the contributors. Use this info at your own risk. The site owner is not responsible for its accuracy or validity. None of the procedures described should be taken as recommendations by anyone. Take anything you read or hear anywhere, but especially on the World Wide Web with a very large dose of salt. The cognoscente is a skeptic.