my 78 cherokee has a 360 v8 with poor oil pressure and a pretty loud lifter tick. I have heard that these motors had a bad oil pump from inception but is there anything I can do remedy this situation without tearing apart the whole motor? Any help is much appreciated....
check the Oil pressur ewith a good ( trusted) mechanical guage directly off of the sending unit port..
the factory guage is there for entertainment purposes mainly..
and make sure the TICK isnt an exhaust leak
I dont mean to insult you if youve checked this! but lots of times its the case
design flaw, steel oil pump gears in an aluminum cavity
only fix is a new timing cover ( $300 or so)
you CAN rebuild the pump without tearing the engine down ( it isnt in the pan)
BUT if the timing cover ( gear cavity) is worn ( most likely) it wont help MUCH, teh pump cover gets worn too, and you can grind/polish it flat again and buy some of the clearance back..but not all....
Check the IFSJA site for more Oil pressure info on AMC v8s...
Don't overlook the obvious-high mileage. I have a Cherokee with a stock gauge and a J-10 with both stock and aftermarket mechanical. The mechanial is the way to go. theres a big diference in the readings. Normal oil pressure at idle on a 360 is 13 psi. That's what the truck reads and it's fine. Some other things to check are the pickup screen for sludge buildup, oil diluted with gas (bad fuel pump), or bad pressure relief spring in the pump housing. In most cases, new pump gears will restore pressure, unless the cover or the engine are really worn.
If you do tear it down, be sure to replace the cam bearings, on high mileage engines,(6 or 8) the bearings may delaminate their babbit material. If you find large flakes of aluminum-like material in the pan, it probably is from the cam bearings. Hope this helps, good luck!