Extended Drains in the 1960/70's

Messages
15,088
Location
Canada
Anyone have any experience, or heard of people who did really extended drains in the 1960/70's? (ie., more than 5k miles on dino or 10k miles on synthetics). I just thought that with how much engines sludged up with poor maintenance or from poor oils in the 1960/70's, that most people got in the habit of 3k changes, and that became a sort of drilled-in norm. So when Mobile and Amsoil came out with 25,000 mile OCI's in the 1970's, it must have shocked a lot of people or been dismissed as a scam. Even QS recommended 15,000 mile changes with some of its 'Supreme' dino oils. Did anyone actually follow these recommendations and have success with them? I was just thinking a lot of people in general are still hesitant to run oils for long OCI's, so it must have seemed like absolute lunacy in the middle of the 'sludgy 70's'. [Big Grin]
 
Messages
1,779
Location
Central Iowa
My dad (who is in his late 70's) cringes every time I mention anything over 3000 miles. I suspect he'd wet himself if he ever saw some of the extended drains that are done here (15-25K). While he follows 3000 mile OCI's for the engine, I don't think he has ever changed transmission fluid or the differential....go figure.
 
Messages
1,508
Location
Colorado
I was reading just recently that BMW went to a 10k recommended oil change interval on at least some of its cars quite a long time ago; must have been early seventies or before - I think it was a pre-2002 model. Were synthetics even in use back then? I was surprised to read that. - Glenn
 

KW

Messages
1,686
Location
Central Arkansas
I know I said it before, but I believe that most cars hit the junk yard with the same oil that was in them when they left the new car lot. If the oil does get changed it is an after thought or the idiot light came on and the motor is sounding funny. Then the cheapest 10W40 Fred's has to offer a poured in to top it up. I really think this is true.
 
Messages
661
Location
Bosphoria
For the GM typical OCI was 5000 miles for the first, 7500 miles for the second half of the 70's, SE or SF may be SG for early 70's. A little irrelevant but here in '98, 3000 kms OCI it was being lectured like a rule of thumb in mechanics class of the drivers' licence!
 
Messages
2,533
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Years ago somebody around here had a 1965 Dodge Dart all painted up red white and blue with Amsoil logos all over it, "This Car Has Over 250,000 Miles With Amsoil", etc. all over it. But when you looked closer you saw it had about 20 gallons of Bondo holding it together and painted with a brush. So at least in the road salt/rust belt, until about 1985 it didn't matter a lot because the bodies would rot out long before any halfway-decently maintained engine gave up.
 
Messages
1,759
Location
Elizabeth City NC
I tried the Mobil 1 in the early 70's in my MGA. I pulled the dipstick at around 6000 miles and had a huge clump of gunk on it. I immediately flushed it out and went back to dino. I was a teenager and ignorant of oil back then. It must have really cleaned the thing out but it sure worried me at the time. Seems like it had around 50,000 miles on it at the time.
 
Messages
1,412
Location
Falls Church VA
I've been using AMSOIL for over 27 years now, changing at 25,000 (sometimes 30,000) or a year. In the past half dozen years, the year comes first. Before he died, I was in touch with a former Mobil guy who ran his Mobil 1 for 25,000 and UOA showed the oil still fine. Of course, that was before the Exxon-Mobil merger and subsequent reformulation (cost engineering?).
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,960
Location
The Motor City
Back in the 70s I used to change oil by the book... every 6K with 10W-40. The oil used to come out black and watery. The engines lasted the life of the car, though they started burning oil as they got older.
 
Messages
2,688
Location
Elderly County, Florida
Back in the 60's/70's - My dad always changed his oil at 5,000 miles. He drove around 25,000 miles a year and would trade when truck hit 100,000 miles. None ever burned any oil. As a side note, my first "nice" car, (as in not rusted out, beat-up, worn out) was a 1981 Chevy Malibu with a 229 V-6. It has 25,000 miles on it when I bought it. I followed the owners manuel and changed the oil at 7,500 miles. After two such changes, the oil light would come on and off, (from dim glow to bright glow). I then went to changing it every 3,000 miles. At 97,000 miles when I traded it, it was burning a quart every 700 miles. Needless to say, that experience cured me of the "extended drain." It's only been within the past year that I've bumped it up to changing every 5,000 miles. Besides, everything I own has over 100,000 miles on it and has one wheel in the junkyard.
 
Messages
58
Location
USA
Back in the 60's & 70's, cars used leaded gas, were rear wheel driven, every thing was mechanical, not electronic controlled. Cars were only $1995 for a new Volkswagon, and $5000 at the most for a very well equipped Cadilac! Cars were big and roomy. No one needed to change transmission or differential oils because they lasted longer than the car did. If you had an engine problem, you could tinker with it and get home, not like today's cars where a computer decides to go crazy and the only way home is with an expensive tow truck. If a belt broke on the highway, you would use a dress tie as a replacement till you made it to the mechanic. Try driving a new car home when the "idler" pulley decides to snap off and makes the serpintine belt useless.
 
Messages
40,764
Location
Great Lakes
In the 70s, Fiat recommended 6K mile (10K km) OCI on the 125 model, standard dino oil of the day. My dad had one of those. By the time it hit 60K miles (100K km), it needed to have its engine rebuilt. I don't know what the reason for the rebuild was though.
 
Messages
1,908
Location
Fort Worth, TX
It took more than $5000 to buy a Cadillac in the 1950's, much less the 1960's. $6-7000 was more like it. To understand price inflation, most all numbers from WWII to the early 1970's should be multiplied by about 12. As to oil changes, 4-mos/4,000 was the recommendation on several cars that I remember, GM, Ford & Chrysler. If racing, towing, or driving often at above 90 mph, the recommendation was to change at around 2,000 miles. If you wanted it to last forever, then changes were good at 2,000 to 2500 miles. 3000 for Joe Average, and anything else was a crapshoot. That people didn't change their oil is a slander. I can't think of anyone who didn't, though, eventually, we all saw cars where this was neglected. Yeah, they were "easier" to fix, but they needed work a lot more often. Tune-ups were a good idea every 6-mos/6000 for example. The big changes -- radial tires, gas-charged shock absorbers, front disc brakes, electronic ignition, spread-bore/vacuum-secondary carburetors (on V8's) -- were in place by 1975, and retrofitting an older one was the way to go. Oil was also pretty decent by then, compared to the early 1960's.
 
Messages
1,420
Location
Balto.
How would I know if it is sludged up or not? [I dont know] I have not had the valve covers off my 70 Camaro since the 80's when I repainted them (they dont leak so why mess with a good thing) and have never had the oil pan off. Gets very low mileage now but when I change the oil every couple of years, it looks nearly as clear as when it went in. Always have used dino. Many of the early oil changes (QS Super Blend 10w 30) were done by replacing the filter every other time, per the manual.
 
Messages
5,763
Location
Da Swamp
TheTanSedan wrote: << It took more than $5000 to buy a Cadillac in the 1950's, much less the 1960's. $6-7000 was more like it.>> I was about 13 in 1966, and I recall a Fleetwood 4-door being stickered at about $5500. (To put that in perspective, my father's '66 Impala Super Sport went for $3400.00 new.) << To understand price inflation, most all numbers from WWII to the early 1970's should be multiplied by about 12.>> Have a look at this website: http://www.eh.net/hmit/ppowerusd/ According to them, $5500.00 in 1966 was worth $31,194.64 in 2003. Now I haven't priced Cadillacs lately; can a new DeVille be had for less than $40K? Just another proof of how badly our purchasing power has slipped. -- Paul W.
 
Messages
10,910
Location
Nokesville, VA
quote:
Try driving a new car home when the "idler" pulley decides to snap off and makes the serpintine belt useless.
If the waterpump is driven by a timing belt or is on it's own belt or is otherwise not driven by the serpentine belt, you can drive as far as the charge in the battery will allow you to go. If the battery was fully charged when the belt gave up, it'll last at least half an hour.
 
Messages
9,111
Location
Marshfield , MA
in the late 60s I worked in a local garage. One customer brought his NewYorker in every 15oo miles for an oil change, every 3k for oil and filter. Another customer had a 63 Ford he just topped off as needed. I used to remove the valve covers on plenty of engines and be barely able to see the rockers sticking out of the sludge they were in.
 
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