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Post Info TOPIC: 1960 Pontiac Strato Chief


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1960 Pontiac Strato Chief


Hello, Brand new to the forum and hope Im putting this in the right forum.

I have a 1960 Pontiac Strato Chief and Im reaching out in case you can help me.  Recently the oil light has come on and, though Im not a mechanic, I have come to the conclusion that it has something to do with the part thats circled in the attached photo, which is located under the cylinder head cover. If possible, could you tell me the name of that part, and where I might be able to pick one up?  I would be very grateful for any of your knowledge you can share with me with regards to this.  Thank you very much, Jeff.



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A Poncho Legend!

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Hi and welcome to Canadian Poncho.

I am not very familiar with the 261 engine that is in your car. My first question to you would be, have you confirmed that the oil warning light is accurate? You would do this by removing the electric oil pressure switch and installing a mechanical oil pressure gauge, then starting the engine to prove that the oil pressure is actually low enough for the warning light to be on.

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Does the light go out when you increase the rpm? Does your car put out blue smoke and consume oil? Have you owned the car long and put many miles on it?

Doing what Carl says with installing a mechanical oil pressure gauge is the easiest way to confirm oil pressure.

Welcome to CP, looks like a solid 1960 you have there. Id recommend you find the shop manuals for your car, youd need the 1958 shop manual and the 1960 supplement. Available on Kijiji or eBay, dont bother with the USA model manuals, they are a completely different car mechanically. 
Don



-- Edited by DonSSDD on Sunday 5th of November 2023 03:36:05 AM

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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



Poncho Master!

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if you buy an accessory guage be certain that the line  connecting to the guage is copper and not nylon.  Nylon will fail at the worst time.

 



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Cliff

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Like the larger type for my eyes. 

 

 



A Poncho Legend!

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Actually don't use pure copper because it can crack. You can buy 1/8" copper/steel tubing and that is the best. It bends nicely and won't crack like pure copper can. I used to use copper too until I learned about this. Thankfully I didn't learn the hard way!



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars



Poncho Master!

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Good point, I suppose my old installation used ?copper? but i have heard of the nylon tubing failing.



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Cliff

Done Hurryin

Like the larger type for my eyes. 

 

 



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oshawacliff wrote:

Good point, I suppose my old installation used ?copper? but i have heard of the nylon tubing failing.


 Yes, me too. Saw pictures of a nylon line that failed inside the car and the driver was wearing shorts. He said the hot oil hurt when it got on his bare leg.



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars



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Hi,
Thank you for your feedback and welcoming. Glad to be here. I drive the car only in the summer, and even then, not that often. I noticed the light came on after I went around a corner. Plenty of oil in her. After a few days of resting it, I started it up again and the light was off, but after about 20 minutes of driving it came back on again. Its not blowing blue smoke and the light doesnt go out when I increase the rpm. So, under the hood, I found the wire coming out from (remember Im no mechanic so go easy on me) and pulled that offobviously the light went out (a friend said there youve solved your problem! Lol). So, the other end of the wire goes into what Im assuming is what you mention is the electric oil pressure switch. I havent taken that off as I dont have a socket for it. I guess thats next on the list to get. Does the mechanical oil pressure gauge go in there once its out? Are these gauges standardized or do you have a suggestion on which one I should get?
Ps Don: thanks for the manual suggestions!

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Im a v8 guy, havent worked on a 6. The end on the block has the sensor, if you pick up a mechanical gauge, the fitting will likely screw into where the electric sensor screws in. I use copper but would use copper/steel now, but the vinyl line will work fine for checking the mechanical oil pressure, just replace it if you choose to keep it in place. You may have an oil pressure problem if increasing rpm doesnt change anything.

Put some marvel mystery oil in it and drive it, may help, may not, but wont hurt. If the car hasnt been driven a lot, it could be something the marvel can cure/help.

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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



Poncho Master!

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if you take the electrical switch out the block you can get a 'T' block which will allow you to keep the switch and give you a port to hook up the guage and put the guage under the dash. 

 

 



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Cliff

Done Hurryin

Like the larger type for my eyes. 

 

 



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POSSIBLE THE SWITCH,

HAD A COUPLE 261 ENGINES AND BOTH HAD THE LIGHT COME ON AT IDLE

PUT A MECHANICAL GAUGE ON AND YES

LOW OIL PRESSURE

IF YOU HAVE TO PULL THE ENGINE , DO THE BOTTOM END ON YOUR OWN

USED ENGINES ARE ??????

 

 THE OILER LINE MAY BE LEAKING .YOUR OIL TUBE ON THE ROCKER SHAFT LOOKS OUT OF LINE.

HAVE YOU WATCHED IT WHEN ENGINE RUNNING , TO SEE IF YOUR LOSING A LOT AT THAT AREA ?DRIPPING ONLY NOT RUNNING OUT.

WORKED ON A 235 THAT HAD PLENTY OF OIL UP TOP .

PINCHED THE LINE A BIT TO  SLOW DOWWN THE OIL AND THE LIGHT STAYED OUT/



-- Edited by OURWAGON on Sunday 5th of November 2023 10:25:44 PM



-- Edited by OURWAGON on Sunday 5th of November 2023 10:36:36 PM

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Thank you all for your valuable feedback. A few questions if I may: Is the 1960 Strato Chief compatible to parts of other Pontiacs at that time? Can I just reference the 261 engine if I'm looking for parts? I'm a bit confused as to what shop manual I should get; I did a search on the 1958 that Don suggested but a bunch came up and I'm not sure which one is the right one. Can anyone provide a direct link to the one I should get? Thanks again, I really appreciate all this help. Cheers.

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outhouse_critic wrote:

Thank you all for your valuable feedback. A few questions if I may: Is the 1960 Strato Chief compatible to parts of other Pontiacs at that time? Can I just reference the 261 engine if I'm looking for parts? I'm a bit confused as to what shop manual I should get; I did a search on the 1958 that Don suggested but a bunch came up and I'm not sure which one is the right one. Can anyone provide a direct link to the one I should get? Thanks again, I really appreciate all this help. Cheers.


 Search Pontiac 7000, heres one on eBay. 
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/155649609611?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=706-159614-043509-9&mkcid=2&mkscid=101&itemid=155649609611&targetid=4585856844771835&device=m&mktype=&googleloc=&poi=&campaignid=440273763&mkgroupid=1316116946030195&rlsatarget=pla-4585856844771835&abcId=9301944&merchantid=136822&msclkid=b3ca31bf8f64148b144754f74045a20d



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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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And the 59-60 supplement.

www.ebay.ca/itm/284202105433

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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



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That's great, thanks so much for taking the time to find the links. Any idea why they call it the 7000 series?

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In terms of parts...can anyone tell me what compatible vehicle(s) go with my 1960 Pontiac Strato Chief? Thank you, Jeff

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A Poncho Legend!

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If you are looking for chassis parts always order for a 1960 Impala. It's identical and the parts guys will have a lot easier time finding the parts.

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars



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Hi and welcome to the site. Regarding the type of line to use, the simplest thing is to go to NAPA or any parts store and use the same line that is used for brake lines, that way you don't have to get bogged down wondering what material it is made of. Plastic or copper lines should never be used on your car anywhere as a permanent repair.

Not knowing the history of you car my suggestion would take you in a different direction. There is a list of things that can cause low oil pressure. My suggestion is to buy a good compression test gauge and do a compression test to see how strong your engine is or is it old and tired. If you follow these steps you'll be on the road to know if your engine simply needs a new gauge or sending unit or if it needs a complete rebuild.

1. Run the engine until it is at normal operating temp.
2. Remove all spark plugs
3. Remove the air cleaner and jam the throttle wide open
4. Connect the compression test gauge, making sure it had a good seal
5. Have someone crank turn the key to crank the engine over a minimum of 4 times, no more than 6
6. Record the readings from each cylinder. The GM spec says none should be below 130 lbs

Ideally they should all be within 10 - 12 lbs of each other. If the test results are on the low side chances are all components are tired, including the oil pump and that is one cause of low oil pressure.

As someone else here said, don't waste money buying a used engine, get yours rebuilt.

Keep us posted on your progress.

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Thanks to you all for your suggestions and help. Does anyone know where I can find an oiler tube that's on the rocker arm shaft (see circle in pic)? Where do you guys usually hunt down your parts? Really appreciate it.

 



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Addicted!

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Ames is a good supplier for those older Pontiacs I found.Another company in California Frank's Pontiac Parts sell mostly parts from stripped cars so all factory pieces.

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A Poncho Legend!

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JetRider wrote:

Ames is a good supplier for those older Pontiacs I found.Another company in California Frank's Pontiac Parts sell mostly parts from stripped cars so all factory pieces.


 Just have to be careful with the Canadian vs. US models for parts ordering. Yes, both those names seem to have a good reputation with the guys in the States who buy Pontiac parts.



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars



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Ok, thank you. By the way, here's a few pics of my car for those that are interested.



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A Poncho Legend!

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Your car looks to be in great shape. Very rare to see a Wonderbar radio in a Strato Chief. I wonder if the car came with it or was a radio delete and someone added it after it was sold?


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Very nice car, thanks for the pics.

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63 Parisienne sport coupe (The Big GTO), black, maroon interior, 409 4 speed; former owner of a 59 El Camino, 63 Corvette SWC, 62 Chev Bel Air SC.
1963- Pontiac top selling car in Canada

Mahone Bay, NS Still not old enough to need an automatic



A Poncho Legend!

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Feature car material.


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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 

1966 Grande Parisienne, 396 1 of 23 factory air cars

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