Ford Owners...anyone had any oil starvation matters using 30W oil?

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Hi- I was recently told that because of teflon coated pistons, the clearances in the newer F-150 engines are extremely tight. I was also told that this was the reason why Ford decided to go with the 5W-20 weight oils. This contradicts all that I have heard about CAFE rating and the need for Ford to meet certain requirments set by the EPA. I have been running 10W-30 Red Line in my engine since new and have had no problems except a leaky headgasket (replaced under warranty at 18,500 miles). Has anyone had any oil starvation issues running a 30 weight oil? -Matt [ July 01, 2003, 08:54 PM: Message edited by: mf150 ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by mf150: I was recently told that because of teflon coated pistons, the clearances in the newer F-150 engines are extremely tight. I was also told that this was the reason why Ford decided to go with the 5W-20 weight oils.
This sounds like a bunch of baloney to me. First off, modern piston skirt coatings are not Teflon (which would actually REPEL oil) but MOLY, so any report you run into that says "teflon" is a piston coating is suspect. And Ford (along with Conoco, who developed the first 5w20 to Ford's specs) has plainly stated that low friction and CAFE were the reasons behind the switch from 5w30.
 
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Here's a bit about one type of wettable solid dry film coating that can be applied to piston skirts: http://www.hpcoatings.com/engine_coatings.htm It clearly is not Teflon® which would not withstand either the heat or the pressure, and which repels oil. I was recently speaking with the maintenance foreman of our county vehicle shop. He keeps in contact with his counterparts in other counties and says that they've had engines blowing in their sheriff's new Crown Vics when using 5W-20 oil. He's been using 5W-30 and has had no engine problems. These engines are not under warranty due to the type of service. It does indeed seem that the switch to 5w-20 is to chase a fraction of an mpg to benefit Ford's C.A.F.E. penalty payments. Ken
 
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Ken2, do you know what brands of oil they are using and the length of the oil change interval that is being used in any of the Ford Police Crown Victorias or any of the other Police cars? Several years ago a popular viscosity of oil for this type of use was 15W-40. [ July 01, 2003, 10:29 PM: Message edited by: Sin City ]
 

mf150

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Just goes to show my intuition was correct. It does sound like B.S. to have Teflon piston skirts. I wasn't questioning whether or not to switch to 5W-20, just to see if *ANYONE* has had an oil starvation issues because of running a 30 weight oil. I know the 97's recommended 5W-30, but in 00 or 01, Ford switched to recommending 5W-20. The only internal changes happened to the heads, which were "PI" heads. Aside from the COP ignition, everything is the same. Just goes to show that some Ford Master Technicians are being fed false information by the company!
 
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What you've been told is BS, plain and simple. CAFE is the only reason for the move to 5w20, for better or worse. Until I see verifiable reports of blown engines due to using 5w20, I'll measure those claims with a grain of salt.
 
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I'm kind of with MNGopher on this one. Sure, Ford switched to 5w-20 oil for CAFE reasons. But the way many people on this board and other boards think is false. They seem to think that Ford had a secret meeting in a dark closet without any engineers present, during which improved fuel mileage was discussed. One department within Ford says, well gee just run 5w-20 in everything and it'll get better. Those at the secret meeting concur and from then on everybody was told to 5w-20. Look, it just didn't happen this way. Ford has engineers. Ford also has a research and development team. Ford put up stringent contraints on the oil, and any other oil, required for use in their motors. That oil had to meet their standards. If it didn't they'd have warranty work out their ears and everybody would be bailing ship away from Ford. I just haven't seen this for the past 3 years this oil has been used. Yet, some people think that they know better than all of Ford's engineers and development team. They look at the numbers on the front of the oil quart and say "that oil is just too darned thin for my motor" as if they know more than hundreds and thousands that WORK with this stuff for a living. Sorry for the long rant and I don't mean to tick anybody off. I just think everybody needs to think a little more clearly on this issue.
 
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I wouldn't put a secret meeting or two passed Ford at all. I mean if they use a light weight ranger frame for an SUV that automatically rolls over if it gets a flat tire at speed, and build the crown vics so that they automatically explode in a rear end impact, and build new mustangs with VERY bad crash test ratings then why not cheat the public on motor oil too. [Roll Eyes]
 
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[Off Topic!] Well, now you've brought all that up: Lets, see, an SUV that automatically rolls over at speed when it loses a tire. Hmmm, funny, the Explorer has a better safety record (including rollover rates) than many other SUV's in its class. Tests were conducted by reputable organizations who couldn't get the explorer to roll over if they tried with a blown tire. Couldn't be Ford sells more SUV's in this class than any other manufacturer... Crown vics have a better safety record involving fire than the comparable product put out by GM, the old Impala (which has been discontinued and out out as a FWD car). Could it be that only Ford manufactures a car in this class that sees more abnormal conditions involving high speed rear end collisions than any other vehicle on the market? Show me a bad 5w20 UOA in vehicle approved for it. Oh - thats right -they've all looked decent. Give me a break... [Roll Eyes]
 
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Ya but what about us Newtonian retentive types? If I go out and buy a new Ford can I use my SAE 20? I just put straight 40 in my 95 Windstar for a long trip just for the heck of it. 502F flash point 131/14.4, tbn 8.0, 1.0 SA, 109 VI. The 3000KM used SAE 30 looked good enough to put in the kids 22R. I forgot to measure how much came out, I still use the dip-stick to guage oil level. I keep a "good used" bucket of oil for beaters.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Sin City: Ken2, do you know what brands of oil they are using and the length of the oil change interval that is being used in any of the Ford Police Crown Victorias or any of the other Police cars? Several years ago a popular viscosity of oil for this type of use was 15W-40.
I don't know those details. The foreman I was talking to who has had no engine trouble with the 5W-30 also said that he has a real problem getting the sheriff's folks to bring the cars in for regular oil changes...I guess he needs one of those mobile oil change rigs and park it at the donut shop. Ken
 
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The quote below just flat out isn't true. I owned a '92 Explorer (back when it was a ranger frame, they ain't no more). I had a rim come off the vehicle at highway speed. (I might add, the incident was not the vehicles fault, it was shown later that it was due to neighborhood kids loosening the lug nuts on the vehicle and the police were notified about other incidents to other vehicles.) Anyways, during the incident, that vehicle was amazingly easy to control. In fact, if i hadn't seen the rim pass me on the passenger side, I would have never believed that I had lost a rim. [Eek!] There have been independent studies done on the Explorers showing that during a blowout, control is not a problem. It was concluded that the blowout problems were due to Firestones quality issues. The control problems were non-existant and the study basically concluded that the problem only existed for people who didn't know how to drive. (This I fully believe. You don't? Just watch people drive on the first snow of the year. People don't know how to drive.) Back to the Oil, UOA on 5w-20 comes back good. Any warranty problems related to oil that is too thin? I ain't heard of any and we've been running this stuff for 3 years. Success isn't luck, or a mistake. To think so is a discredit to American workmanship and modern science.
 

mf150

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I can tell you that there is a noticable difference between the two viscocities. Recently, I had a HG leak fixed. To do so, the Ford tech. had to tear the head off my block. He filled it back up with the recommended 5W-20 oil. I bought the truck in St. Helena, which is 70+ miles away from where I live in SF, Cali. The engine was noisier with the light weight Motorcraft oil. As soon as I got home, I switched oil and filter to Red Line 10W-30 and an FL-820S. The engine was silent except for the fans comming on every once in a while. If the 5W-20 is doing such a good job, why is there a significan amount of engine noise when running it? Why is the engine less noisy when I run the Red Line 10W-30. Is there any quality difference (I think so)? What about lubrication ability (I think so)? I think the 5W-20 would be a good choice for the *STOCK* engine/set-up, but when you have a moderately modified engine, you might want to run a heavier oil, like 5W-30 or 10W-30 for warmer climates. I guess I can come to the conclusion that there are no oil starvation issues reagrding 30 Weight oils in newer F-150's. Thanks for all the posts. -matt
 
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<...said that he has a real problem getting the sheriff's folks to bring the cars in for regular oil changes...I guess he needs one of those mobile oil change rigs and park it at the donut shop.> Without knowing the real situation, I suspect this might be more of the problem than the 5w-20.
 
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I think you've probably answered your own question here. If it's moderately modified, it's not in the factory trim, for which the factory oil was designed. In which case, this whole discussin is moot.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Oilmeup: Amen! Never owned a Ford, and never will. I will stick with my Nissan. Love my Nissan!
Is this an American/Foreign car thing or is this in reference to Ford's specifying 5w-20 (which is what my original post refered to)? If so, do you believe Honda's specifying 5w-20 is any better than Fords? If so I'm curious to hear your answer.
 
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A number of other technologies to be introduced on the '04 Explorer also help improve its fuel economy by reducing friction and parasitic energy loss. These technologies include coated pistons, torque converter upgrade, electronic returnless fuel system, low rolling resistance tires, synthetic rear axle lube and an advanced exhaust gas return (EGR) system. Many of today's engines are also running much closer piston-to-cylinder wall clearances to reduce blowby emissions. Some clearances are .001" or less, which leaves little room for error – or overheating. A tighter fit means there is less room for thermal expansion, which is yet another reason why the OEMs are using hypereutectic pistons in many of these engines.
 
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quote:
Show me a bad 5w20 UOA in vehicle approved for it. Oh - thats right -they've all looked decent.
Show me a good dino 5W-20 UOA.... oh that's right, there are none. All 5W-20's are either synth blends or synthetics. Let's see how many good 5W-30 synth blend and synthetic UOAs there are... wow. there's a lot. I would expect an engine using synth blend 5W-20 to last, but as to how long? 200k miles? 300k miles? I dunno. 5W-20 is probably on the threshold of actually protecting the engine while being as thin as possible. My reason to use 5w-30 in a 2001-up Ford V8 is: If the same engine for the past 10 years has ran fine on 5W-30, and the avg lifespan of a mod motor using 5W-30 is like 200k-300k miles, why change it? How long has Ford tested the engine using 5W-20 for longevity purposes? Ford does NOT want your engine to last 20+ years! Just keep that in mind. As long as they keep warranty claims down, they'd HOPE your car breaks down right after the warranty is over - hopefully you're loyal to Ford and decide to buy another of their vehicles. That being said, our family has gone with Ford since 1980 and as long as you get a RWD V8/I6, you should not have an engine or drivetrain issue. The FWDs are the ones to really worry about. Ford engineers actually tell you not to use 5w-20. lol. This is unofficial of course. Mobil even recommends the use of M1 5W-30 over 0W-20 or xW-20 (unofficially). Officially, 2001-up Ford engines should/must use 5W-20 meeting or exceeding Ford spec to meet warranty requirements, blah blah blah. Your 2001-up Ford engine will NOT break down using 5W-30. The only reason 5W-20 UOAs look so good is because they're all synth blends or synthetics. None of them are "pure" Group I/II/II+ dinos. The best way to compare is to use 5W-20 synth blend for like 4000 miles and then run 5W-30 synth blend (same brand if possible) for 4000 miles and compare. Please do NOT quote that 5W-20 UOAs look so much better than 5W-30 UOAs because chances are, the bad 5W-30 UOAs you read are for a dino 5W-30 and not a synth blend. Doing so, you're comparing apples to oranges. [Smile] [ July 02, 2003, 05:54 AM: Message edited by: metroplex ]
 
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