20W50

Joined
Dec 8, 2008
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oregon
Ok my curiosity is running wild. It seems as though the thicker oils are going the way of the dodo bird and that the thin oils are here to stay. But here is my question. Who still uses 20W50 oil? what do you use it in and why? and last but not least would you use it in a vehicle that is under 15 years of age, and under 200,000 miles?
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
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1,606
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Oahu, Hawaii
I use 20W50 in my 1990 Toyota 4Runner. In the user manual there is a guide to see what oil weight should be used depending on the climate. Since I live in Hawaii, a 40 or 50 weight is used in this truck. Similar from my truck's manual:
 
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Joined
Jan 24, 2008
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TX
We run straight 50 wt in the Cessnas and Pipers I fly I guess it's more ideal for aircraft because they're air cooled which is less consisent than water cooled engines.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
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Kansas City
Lots of people use it in air cooled motorcycles. I use Maxlife 20w-50 in my 1991 BMW R100. It is the grade that is recommended by BMW. Older BMW cars use it also. I have found that it is getting harder to find at superstores, but still readily at Auto part stores.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
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Lost in the Garden State
I use M1 15W-50 (20W-50 is specified) in my 1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo. Another reason for non-turbo applications to use it, is that Mobil has increased the ZDDP in it. This is good for the cams and followers. Not as good for the catalyst... I understand that several other brands' formulations of heavier oil now still have ZDDP. Look for the SL spec.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
Messages
3,252
Location
Florida
 Originally Posted By: grease_monkey
Ok my curiosity is running wild. It seems as though the thicker oils are going the way of the dodo bird and that the thin oils are here to stay. But here is my question. Who still uses 20W50 oil? what do you use it in and why? and last but not least would you use it in a vehicle that is under 15 years of age, and under 200,000 miles?
I used it in my 1986 truck for over 10 years. Worked fine. Even used it with those "restrictive" Pure One filters and without a thermostat! Then again, I live in Florida and it doesn't get below 30 degrees but a few times a year. Would I use it on my nice, new vehicles. Not so much. I think engineering is much better today.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
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By Detroit
Best use for 20w50 is to thicken your 10w30 in the summer at a ratio of about 1:4, which will bring the modern 10 cSt 30 weight up to an old fashioned 12 cSt 30 wt.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
25,584
Location
Dallas,Tx USA
 Originally Posted By: Carbuff
I understand that several other brands' formulations of heavier oil now still have ZDDP. Look for the SL spec.
^^I noticed my jug of Mobil 1 15W50 silver cap has the SM,SL,and CF specs,but my jug of Pennzoil yellow bottle only has SM spec. What exactly does all that translate to when it comes to the ingredients/additives in both oils? Either one more robust/tougher than the other? The way my car performs with both oils,Pennzoil 20W50 yellow bottle wins hands down.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
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Location
CA
I run it in the GN and have for many years. Clearances are stockish except for piston to cylinder. It won't live on anything thinner. To clarify, I use this year round and it works great. Believe it or not, the thick stuff eliminated the rod knock I experienced for the first second or two on startup on my older worn engine. It seemed to build pressure quicker on the thick stuff which goes against everything we read about on here.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
3,756
Location
CA
 Originally Posted By: Carbuff
I use M1 15W-50 (20W-50 is specified) in my 1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo. Another reason for non-turbo applications to use it, is that Mobil has increased the ZDDP in it. This is good for the cams and followers. Not as good for the catalyst... I understand that several other brands' formulations of heavier oil now still have ZDDP. Look for the SL spec.
Just had to say nice car!
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
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By Detroit
 Originally Posted By: BuickGN
I run it in the GN and have for many years. Clearances are stockish except for piston to cylinder. It won't live on anything thinner.
Yes, I was more speaking for the average guy, but anyone with a muscle car may need the thicker oil because those engines are whole different animals, different clearances, different temperatures, different stresses, etc.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2007
Messages
1,540
Location
FL
I have used in 20w-50 my my Rx-7, using Delo 15w40 now because of the robust add pack. \:\!
 
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Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
25,584
Location
Dallas,Tx USA
 Originally Posted By: BuickGN
I run it in the GN and have for many years. Clearances are stockish except for piston to cylinder. It won't live on anything thinner. To clarify, I use this year round and it works great. Believe it or not, the thick stuff eliminated the rod knock I experienced for the first second or two on startup on my older worn engine. It seemed to build pressure quicker on the thick stuff which goes against everything we read about on here.
Hey Buick,what kind`ve 20W50 do you run in that beast?
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2006
Messages
11,268
Location
Bad Axe, MI
 Originally Posted By: aquariuscsm
 Originally Posted By: Carbuff
I understand that several other brands' formulations of heavier oil now still have ZDDP. Look for the SL spec.
^^I noticed my jug of Mobil 1 15W50 silver cap has the SM,SL,and CF specs,but my jug of Pennzoil yellow bottle only has SM spec. What exactly does all that translate to when it comes to the ingredients/additives in both oils? Either one more robust/tougher than the other? The way my car performs with both oils,Pennzoil 20W50 yellow bottle wins hands down.
It's specd(has SL listed) because it has a high level of Zinc in it,but can still be used in SM rated engines.
 
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