Monday, October 1, 2012

Spiteful Post

GM Oil Pressure Sensor
I'm going to really give you casual surf monkeys something to ignore now because I'm going to describe the whole saga of this oil pressure sensor for a 1999 Pontiac Firebird.

First I want to tell you that the threaded end of this sensor is screwed directly into the engine block down by the oil pump. See? And the suction from the oil pump will direct oil into the hole and into this sensor where it spins microscopic wings around and magic fairies whisper secrets in troll ears and on the other end are two copper contacts on a suspended spring wire system. The plug going to the electronic control module is connected to the two prongs via an indexed connector that was green in 1999 and brown in 1998 (I know this from the crashed vehicle I found at the scrap yard)


Oil pressure is usually between 60 at idle and 90 high rev. (actually I did some research and it depends on many factors but between 20-80 is more normal) and there's a gauge on the dashboard that reads these magic numbers. If the pressure shoots up then either the gauge broke or something is prohibiting flow of oil beyond the sensor so pressure builds up. If oil pressure plummets then Oggy might've left a gasket without a hole in the middle of the pick up tube or a cracked connecting rod crashed through the oil pan and all that precious BP oil sucked from the gulf of mexico just flooded the puddles where the stray dogs drink. Either way, <snobby-know-it-all-tone>ya might want to check things out before driving on.</snobby-know-it-all-tone>

So, Oggy was out there busting his knuckles in his attempt to fix this piece of shit Firebird and he goes to reinstall the serpentine belt after a complete dis-assembly of the injector rails to reach the intake manifold bolts (they were all tight). And the wire to the oil pressure sensor was in the way so Oggy reaches down to remove the sensor and the wires break off in his hand without any pressure or resistance at all. What THE FUCK??
He pulls the connector off and of course it's the ridiculously rare indexed slot hermaphroditic (male/female) pins he recognized from his semiconductor days.



  • OH SHIT. The wires broke off and the pins can not be reused. What followed was a painful comedy of efforts and sweating and inventing swear words to make it all work again...mind you all because I double checked my torque. FUCK. Hours of effort to salvage the pins is futile. The original crimp didn't grab any of the insulation...those fucking Korean assembly line motherfuckers really screwed me by crossing the GM picketline OH GOD WHY ARE UNIONS BUSTED DAILY! These pins can not be found just anywhere and I'm the only person in the garage who even understands that to find the pins wouldn't mean shit because you have to find the right pin crimper also and I curse my lot in life and moan and throw things because I've brought this on myself with my nonconformist ways. Why didn't I just stay in Arcata and be a bad Kindergarten teacher? Why not go to grad school and study obscure Bach fugues? I had to be a maverick and try to get my book published and that has led me to the point where I have to deal with two extremely specific pins being fucked. How am I going to fix this?

    Flash forward to when I managed to solder the wires onto the pins and force them back into the connector and cover it all in heat shrink, a method that will cause me to lose sleep and still I hear a hissing above and beyond the ringing in my Tinnitus ears that is going to make me go crazy. So the boss comes over with his stethoscope and listens and points to the EGR hose.
    "That's your vacuum leak right there."
    And he was right. I had pulled that metal hose out and it broke the fitting. Well, shit. I can't JB weld that so I go to the junk yard and dig deep into a crashed vehicle to get the hose and then I see...the hole where the oil pressure sensor once was (someone took it already) but they left the connector! I realize I can just steal the connector and splice it onto the wires back at the '99 Firebird and the pins will work.

    ((Oh, I didn't mention that because the pins were fucked up and I had to perform microscopic surgery with my legs going backward over my arse because the Firebird is three inches off the ground, because of that and because these pins need a very special PIN EXTRACTOR that I didn't have so I had to force them out and that destroyed the integrity of the pin mate/lock so when I finally lined up the two contacts in the sensor with the pins and pushed, ONE OF THE CONTACTS BENT BACK AND BROKE OFF THE SENSOR. OH WHAT THE FUCK!!!! The oil pressure went to 120 but it was really a broken sensor.

    So I had a fucked up pin/connector AND a broken pressure sensor. Well, I managed to delicately fix the sensor back together (knowing that it would break in perhaps a week) and I managed to plug the connector in and get it to read a reasonable 70 on the gauge.))

    But then I found the connector in the scrap yard and because I didn't bring my tools (taking my moped to the scrap yard like a foolish hippy riding on the broken sidewalk of his crooked morality) so I had to chew through the oily wire insulation. But I still needed the sensor and I hunted everywhere and actually swore so loud two Mexan mechanics looked fearfully in my direction when I found another crashed Firebird BUT SOMEONE HAD ALREADY TAKEN THE SENSOR.
    I think I yelled, "OH You fucking CUNT!" so that lizards scurried in fear and revulsion.
    But I chewed through the other connector because I didn't want to come back and it was better to take two and not need one than need the other...seeing as how Mr. Murphy's Law was playing all kinds of fun party games with my fucked up life that day.

    So, I had my EGR hose and I had 2 oil pressure SENSOR connectors with good pins. (I really can't emphasize how specialized these pins are. NOTHING WOULD WORK AS A SUBSTITUTE. You would have to have those pins and the correct crimper or you shouldn't even bother.) Not only that, you would need a week of special training to even get a good crimp at all. But I had found a solution which is to find the exact connector (like a needle in a haystack) and splice it onto the wire.

    So, I did as I planned, the EGR hose fixed the vacuum leak, the wires spliced onto the old wires and the new connector fit the old sensor.....BUT....remember that I had broken the oil pressure sensor? There was nothing I could do about that except buy another sensor. But recall, dear reader, that I have no money and am leaving for Mexico soon so any investment in this shitty Firebird would be pointless. But I'm also obsessive and feel it is my ethical responsibility to fix this fucking car but I can't afford the Sensor and my garage is a pathetic joke where nothing is purchased and everything is postponed....so I was going to pray that the pressure sensor would last....

    Then I go to work on the Goldwing motorcycle and what do I find? A cart with a pristine EGR hose for that specific car (it has been here since November 2011 and has had three engines in it and 4 Heads and apparently 2 EGR units. I could've just taken this EGR hose...FUCK WASTED MONEY...

    ...but the best thing of all happens when I strip a bolt head off the water pump cover of the Goldwing. This bolt head, a small 8mm head stripped like butter in the rusty recesses of my brain and I'm not worried because the mosquitoes are going to kill me before this motorcycle ever rides again, but I'm curious how I'm going to take the bolt off. So I hunt through a tool box full of taps and dies and easy-out tools and backward drill bits and....WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS???? IS IT>>>>>>COULD IT BE>>>>>> YES. In the bottom of a drawer filled with junk and bulbs and ridiculous artifacts of mechanic methods while I'm looking for a tool to take out that stripped water pump cover bolt...I find...AN OIL PRESSURE SENSOR FOR A 1999 Pontiac FIREBIRD.

    It was totally unexpected but I feel it was destiny.

    Then I decided to take the entire water pump off the motorcycle so I could take the cover to a vise and get physical with it and get the bolt off. How I will find a replacement for that bolt will be the subject of a future post.

    So now I have the correct connector and a sensor I hope will work and a spare EGR hose and the bolt is off and the ringing in my ears only bothers me when I'm awake. So life is good and I don't even care that 0 people read this.
    Creative Commons License
    Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.