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motor oil

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by Rebel4Ever, July 1, 2016.

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  1. Rebel4Ever

    Rebel4Ever New Member

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    I've got a 1994 Ford Explorer. In the manual, it states that a high mileage ford would do better with traditional oil rather than synthetic. Mine has 166,000 miles. Is that considered high mileage and does anyone have any knowledge as to which one would be better for it.
     
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  3. Maniak

    Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I ran mobile 1 synthetic on our '92 all the way up to the engine rebuild @ 355k miles. I only rebuilt it because I had a cracked head... When I took it apart it turns out the bearings and cylinders were still fine...

    Our 4.0 sohc in our Mustang has run synthetic since aroudn 30k miles (ran semi synth before that) and the last used oil analysis came out nice, even at 307k miles.

    So, if synthetic is working fine now, just keep it...

    `Mark
     
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  4. Number4

    Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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    It's all about oil changes. If you change your oil 3-4K, just run conventional oil, something like the regular Casrtol oil GTX or something.

    Me, I push 5-7k because I'm lazy, so I run Mobil 1.
     
  5. 2stroke

    2stroke Elite Explorer

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    I dont see a reason not to use synthetic. The cheapest no name conventional is about 2.50 a quart, and you can get a name brand synthetic for 4-5 a quart. When it goes on sale, napa sells theirs for 3.50.

    Yes synthetic oil is better. I don't bother with blends either. I either get conventional which is good enough, or synthetic which is better. Synthetic blends are for indecisive people.
     
  6. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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    Ditto. Not to mention "synthetic blend" or "semi synthetic" oils are no more than 30% pure synthetic.
     
  7. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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  8. natenkiki2004

    natenkiki2004 Blue Bomb!

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    The only negativity of using a synthetic oil, and it's greatly debated, is that under some circumstances (and especially when synthetics were new on the market), it can super clean the internals and either cause leaks or oil burning that crud/varnish internally was masking. Synthetic oil itself will not harm any engine. The arguable problem(s) comes in with premium oil blends and additives on a vehicle that was poorly maintained or very old.

    From what I understand, a big difference between synthetic and regular is how they get their multi-weight. Regular oil gets viscosity modifiers to increase the thickness of the oil. When regular oil gets hot, old or broken down from shearing (timing chains crushing the oil molecules), the oil will tend to thin out. This is really bad in hot climates on vehicles that aren't maintained. Synthetic oil goes in the other direction, it gets thicker with age/wear/shearing. No problem with that except in cold climates and building pressure on a cold start.

    In all the information I've read and in the tidbits I posted above, the most important thing to know is that there's only problems switching oils when there's already problems that you don't know about or problems that are masked. It will never hurt to mix oil brands, synthetic or non-synthetic or even mix weights that are close. They will all work. The "best" is to simply use a premium synthetic oil from a reputable brand (Valvoline, Mobil 1, Pennzoil, etc) of the correct weight and change it once a year or 5,000 miles. Not to mention, a good filter. Preferably a WIX premium filter such as the NAPA Gold series or Carquest Blue.

    If you really want to take care of your engine and it's longevity is your primary concern, consider researching a bypass filter. They can be a bit expensive but well worth it. Personally, if I ever have a vehicle that's not high mileage, I'll put one on. Fact is, when you get your vehicle with 150,000 miles on it, a lot of wear has already been done and if you maintain the oil, that's good enough. If you buy a new car from the stealership or one with 40,000 miles and you trust the owner with maintenance history, go for it! If your engine is young or totally rebuilt and you're building a performance car/truck that will see hot temps, I'd personally do a bypass filter with some Rotella 5w-30 oil. That stuff is heavy duty oil meant for diesels. It has a fantastic additive pack and will last in hot climates and heavy loads. With a bypass filter and that oil, I don't see why you couldn't do a 15k mile oil change.

    Personally, I've used Valvoline, Mobil 1 and Pennzoil all in high mileage premium full synthetic oils. I notice no difference between any of them. My lifters tick the same on all of them and winter starts are all the same. I get whatever is affordable, usually leaning to Valvoline. Sometimes I'll try an oil when there's a mail in rebate which usually means I can do an oil change for $20. I tend to lean away from Mobil 1 because the High Mileage blend doesn't show "Resource Conserving" on the back which leads me to believe that it's not as thin and thus might not protect as well in the winter. I've got no evidence of that though.
     
  9. chefduane

    chefduane Texas Elite Explorer Elite Explorer

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    Temperate winters here in DFW (one, maybe two hard freezes a season) but oven hot extended summers! I run Mobil-1Hi-Mileage 5w-30 full synthetic and M-1 Extended Performance Filters all year 'round. Change at about 9k intervals.
     
  10. 2stroke

    2stroke Elite Explorer

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    Unfortunately, like all oil threads, this one really lit the fuse. I'll give you the simplest answer I can. Synthetic oil is better than conventional. Like Natenkiki2004 said, there are some stories of leaks appearing and the like, but to be honest, I wouldn't worry about it. I'm a frequent reader, but not poster, on bob is the oil guy, so I am a bit of an oil nut. All you need to know is 170k miles is not that high of miles, use synthetic oil 5w30, and change it at a reasonable interval. I choose 5000 miles since its a nice round number, I'd say anywhere from 4k to 7k is just fine.

    Engines are not delicate, all you need to do is keep the oil full, and keep clean air going in and it should be the least of your worries.

    A more important maintenance item that most look over is brake fluid. Its only good for about 3 years, and needs to be flushed.
     
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  11. trashtruck

    trashtruck Active Member

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    motor oil, some swear by it, others swear at it. i had an older truck that leaked and took a quart of conventional oil once a month so i never changed it and only replaced the filter every 6 months. that truck had well over 350k when it got broadsided. 2stroke is right, most other fluids only seem to get maintained when there is some kind of system failure.
     
  12. Wolfie_85

    Wolfie_85 Active Member

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    I used Castrol High Mileage 5-w30. Changing your oil regularly is a good idea, even with synthetic or synthetic blends. They consider 75,000+ high miles. But even if you choose to use a conventional oil, you'll be fine if you change it every 3,000 miles and put in a new filter.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
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  13. Machine090767

    Machine090767 Active Member

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    If one has been using a particular type of motor oil, and your vehicle has been running fine, there is no need to upgrade.
    It's all a marketing ploy to get your money.
     
  14. larrydd999

    larrydd999 Active Member

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    The things you learn when you don't expect to... Thanks for the tip on the brake fluid, I didn't know that. It just got added to my list.
     
  15. 92exp4x4

    92exp4x4 Elite Explorer

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    This is definitely a touchy, and passionate topic, but no one ever mentions oil sampling. No matter the type of oil, heat and the byproducts of combustion are the biggest enemies of oil longevity. Chemistry resists heat breakdown, and precise fuel metering (modern fuel injection) limits oil contamination. Oil sampling will tell you the condition of the oil by seeing what impurities are in it. There are now lube-for-life diesel engines with super filtration systems (3 and 4 filters). The fuel injection and lube filtration is so precise that the oil stays clean. You only add to the level and there is no drain plug. I understand Duetz builds one like this and supposedly they claim 5000 hr emissions compliance. It's a roughly 30 city miles to 1 hour conversion, in forklifts..

    Synthetic oils are superior in their ability to resist lubricity package (additives) breakdown, because of the package chemical compositions. The oil itself is merely a carrier for these additives and is the same oil used in conventional oils.

    Back to sampling, a technical trainer at the tech support and training facility where I work did an experiment with a wrecked Ford fusion he rebuilt. It had approx 15000 miles at the time. He drove approx 100 miles daily on highway.

    He changed the oil at time of finishing repair (no engine work done), then changed again at 500 miles using Mobil 1 5w20 and sampled. At 20k he sampled oil and changed filter only (motorcraft). 25k did the same, 30 the same and so on. As time went on the samples came back that the dirt (silica) levels actually got lower. And metals stayed about the same. At 55k he finally noticed a rise in metals and decided to change the oil although the chemists recommended resampling at normal interval. He figures he could have gotten another 10k before the oil would be chemically "worn out".

    This i think works on an engine from new or newer designs. A worn engine or older design will never have the tight tolerances that new engines have. Our first gen Explorers will probably never achieve this but I think 20k on synthetic oil is realistic without harm. My dads 99 VW jetta diesel TDI oil change recommendation with 5w30 synthetic is 10k. At 280,000 miles, its still going strong, and returns about 50 mpg.

    As soon as I have a new engine to experiment with i will try the same and see what happens. My problem is I don't drive any one vehicle enough to accrue the miles that fast.

    Personally I run mobile conventional 10w30 in everything I own and change it every two years or about 5k, except where different weight is recommended. This oil is cheap, I get it for about $3 a qt through work.

    P.S. my carbureted vehicles get oil change once a year or 3000 mi.
     
    Last edited: July 22, 2016
  16. 92exp4x4

    92exp4x4 Elite Explorer

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    Brake fluid absorbs and traps moisture from the air. That's what turns it dark colored. That's why they say not to use fluid from an open container when performing brake repairs.
     
  17. 92exp4x4

    92exp4x4 Elite Explorer

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    Well, Maniak mentioned oil sampling. I missed it first go around...:)
     
  18. natenkiki2004

    natenkiki2004 Blue Bomb!

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    Hygroscopic :)

    You can actually see this on a brake system that's been neglected for a while. Suck out the reservoir with a turkey baster and fill with clean fluid. Pump the brakes vigorously maybe 20 times or so or just drive it around briefly. Suck the fluid out again and you'll see in the turkey baster tube that some fluid is cloudy and dirty compared to fresh fluid. The old and new fluid will just start to mix at that point.

    Brake fluid won't really wear out but just like oil it gets contaminated. Contamination accelerates wear and drops performance. Especially in ABS systems, you want to keep the fluid clean and get as much crud out as you can so you don't ruin that expensive ABS pump or valves.
     
  19. 2stroke

    2stroke Elite Explorer

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    I know this is a motor oil thread, but I think its pretty clear by now that motor oil is not nearly as critical as most make it out to be. Don't get me wrong, low oil has ruined more cars than anything else besides accidents, but most people are good about motor oil. Just change it regularly, and most importantly, keep it full.

    On to brake fluid, it is an absolutely vital fluid that almost everyone neglects. I found a chart on boiling point of brake fluid by percent. This chart recommends every 2 years fluid change. You can completely blow a brake line and still stop, but when the fluid boils, your brakes are just gone without warning. You had better hope the e brake works. Also, old brake fluid will rust your lines from the inside, and ruin seals. Plus all that crud will wear out moving components. I change it every 3 years, but may go to every other year after seeing this. All you have to do essentially is bleed your brakes until you see new clear fluid come out.


    [​IMG]

    Edit: An important note to add is DOT 3,4, and 5.1 are all glycol based and compatible. The differences are the dry and wet boiling points. You cannot mix DOT 5 as it is silicone based. Why they didn't call DOT 5.1, DOT 6, not even the creators know.
     
    Last edited: July 22, 2016
  20. FirstExplorer

    FirstExplorer Active Member

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    This is an interesting demonstration on the differences in oils:
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/car...ld-switch-to-synthetic-motor-oil-immediately/
     
  21. natenkiki2004

    natenkiki2004 Blue Bomb!

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    "High Mileage" oils are generally formulated with more detergents (calcium) and some seal conditioners. They might also be slightly thicker than their regular counterparts to prevent burning due to worn parts and seals. There's no harm using high mileage oils in a vehicle with 50,000 miles. Even Valvoline recommends it and they're not really benefitting since high mileage variants are usually the same price. These days, anything above 75,000 miles is considered high mileage.

    The only thing I'd avoid is high mileage or synthetic oil filters. The high mileage variants like what FRAM offers have additives inside. I trust the chemistry professionals at the oil companies to determine additive packs, not filter manufacturers. No need to add anything like that and it could mess with the balance of things. I avoid synthetic oil filters because they don't filter better than paper/cellulose ones. They advertise as extended capacity or synthetic because they're meant to last a long time with extended drain intervals. They do this by making it filter less so it doesn't clog up and bypass with a long interval between changes. This means it doesn't filter down as fine as premium cellulose filters. You can even look on the WIX website and see the micron rating is higher (lower is smaller particles) than their cellulose ones.

    Keep in mind that oil filters are a balance of flow versus filtration. We have the technology to filter extremely dirty oil to the point where it looks and performs like new. The problem is that it takes a long time and the flow through that fine filter is very slow, nowhere near enough to keep up with a running engine. You can buy bypass filters and setups for oil but they cost a decent amount. They use a traditional filter for flow but tie-in a very fine bypass filter to grab the super small particles the regular filter lets through. Personally, if I spent a decent amount rebuilding an engine, I'd buy the kit. You could easily do 20-30k mile oil changes and have an engine that runs well past half a million miles.
     
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