TE21 low oil pressure

For all cars made after 1945
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:57 am
Name: Mike Kerr

TE21 low oil pressure

Postby Firstseadog » Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:32 pm

Hi. I am a new member so please forgive any naive questions. I am negotiating to buy my first Alvis, a TE21. It is in generally very good condition but runs like a dog and has oil pressure when hot of 5psi. It also leaks oil from the engine and gearbox. Does the oil pressure indicate a need for a bottom end rebuild? What would be a very rough estimate for overhauling the 3 litre? Any guidance would be much appreciated.

Angus D'Arcy-Drake
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 9:05 am
Name: Angus D'Arcy-Drake

Re: TE21 low oil pressure

Postby Angus D'Arcy-Drake » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:50 am

Mike in the absence of any replies from anyone who can advise the cost of an engine rebuild, oil pressure when hot should be 50lb at anything above tickover for a healthy 3 litre engine. Be cautious!

Posts: 368
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 10:14 am
Name: Richard Wallach
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: TE21 low oil pressure

Postby RichardWallach » Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:34 am


Welcome to the Club. There are members from all around the world. Re the 5 lb oil pressure, is this when idling ? If it is what pressure does it run when doing say 60kmh?

Oil leaks are common. If you can put some white paper underneath and see where the leaks are coming from and the type of oil used. Is it an auto and is power steering fitted?

An engine rebuild is really quite straightforward and parts are readily available.

Can you measure the compression?

Is there a file of works that goes with the car? If there is then you can backtrack and see what has been done.

Overall mechanical parts can be overhauled and you can generally take your time and plan the way ahead. Being a UK car my concern would be the integrity of both the chassis and body given your climatic conditions. Money spent in these areas is usually substantial and a thorough inspection is warranted.

I hope this helps.


Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:57 am
Name: Mike Kerr

Re: TE21 low oil pressure

Postby Firstseadog » Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:07 pm

Thank you Angus and Richard. The asking price was too high to justify major mechanical work so I will be looking around for an Alvis in better condition!

dominic taylor-lane
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:55 pm
Name: dominic taylor-lane

Re: TE21 low oil pressure

Postby dominic taylor-lane » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:04 pm

I had a similar thought, the manual suggests an oil range of 2-60 lbs, I would suggest the 50lb figure above tick over a little optimistic, the filter bypass valve was set at 40lbs in the factory.
Mine drops low when properly hot and its had a rebuilt not that long ago. Its an older engine design so you can't expect miracles.

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