GM 3.4 v-6, Dino vs M1

Messages
506
Location
Michigan
Had the oil changed on the wife's van. Since it's too stinking cold & snowy to do myself, had to settle for the "special" at the local autoshop. In went Dino 5w30, out went 5w30 M1 full synthetic (6k miles on it). When using the m1, every morning you could hear the clanking of the Rocker arms for 10 seconds or so. Using Dino, no noise. My theory? The M1 flows so well, it's all back in the oil pan while the Dino leaves some in the upper part of the engine. I use M1 80% of the time and think it does well in all my vehicles. Just an observation.
 
Messages
7,775
Location
Oklahoma
Hmmmmm...interesting hypothesis. I got the 3.3l GM, had the clanking problem for years, I just get use to it. It's been on dino juice its whole existance. '90 model with 180K on it. I had thought about going to syn. to see if that would help stop it from doing that. Glad I didn't after reading your post.
 
Messages
4,872
Location
MN
GM's 60degree engines(2.8-3.1-3.4) do have a small valvtrain click to them. This seems to be worse when using a fram filter. -T
 
Messages
1,130
Location
California
We have an Olds van with the 3.4 and I've also noticed that Mobil-1 5W-30 results in much more early morning start up clatter than does either Pennzoil 5W-30 synthetic or Chevron Supreme 5W-30 dino oil. ST filters or Wix filters seem to make no difference. Every time I used Mobil-1 5W-30 I had the same results. M1 5W-30 is reputed to be on the thin side, so maybe that has something to do with it. These engines also have a history of intake manifold gasket failures which let coolant get into the oil. Make sure to get periodic oil analysis to see this early rather than late! For now I'm sticking with 3,000 mile dino juice. The big risk with this engine seems to be oil contamination rather than oil wear out. Given that, frequent changes or lower cost dino juice seem to be a better choice than less frequent changes of high price synthetics. I will probably also switch to 10W-30 for the summer months as the 10W-30 dinos seem to hold their viscosity range better than the 5W-30s. The main point: Get oil analysis at least twice a year on these engines. The $20 per time cost is well worth it! John
 
Messages
5,785
Location
Dixie
Ed, It's a nice theory ... it would be even better if it had any engineering basis to it... [Wink] The reason why ANY petroleum oil is "quieter" is that it's much thicker on startup, especially in subfreezing temps, so it simply damps out the sound better. Try running a 10w-40 or 15w-40 synthetic and the engine will be nice and quiet too. Even this new Mobil 1, 5w-40 will be much quieter then their 5w-30, since it's a "thick" 5wt, with a CCS viscosity of approx 6000 Cp @ -30C/-22F. Tooslick Dixie Synthetics
 
Messages
2,768
Location
Tn
quote:
Originally posted by Schmoe: If you got one of these engines, budget for a new intake gasket. Period.
GM will fix the problem and there are TSB's and re-calls. It shouldn't cost you. Extended OCI's should be approached with caution with these engines,because of this fact.
 
Messages
816
Location
McGregor TX
Yeh, but many fail after warranty. The gasket in my 1997 Pontiac TRans Sport failed at around 70K miles. Luckily, GM came out with an updated gasket design early last year (prior to my failure). Hopefully the fix will last for the rest of the vehicles life. Also, I caught it very early and it was mostly an external leak.
 

edvanp

Thread starter
Messages
506
Location
Michigan
Oil filter type doesn't seem to matter. It either gets a pure-1 or a NAPA Gold and clatters with either one if M1 syn. is used. Next change will see some NAPA synthetic (Valvoline) 5w30 since I was able to pick it up on sale at approx. $3 a quart. Thanks to those who spoke regarding the intake gasket. My Van checked out ok, but a guy who I work with, who has the same year Montana Van, had to have his replaced. 35,500 miles on it, it will start leaking in 501 miles on it..guaranteed!
 
Messages
1,034
Location
GA, USA
Try using a filter that tends to have lower restriction/higher flow capacity like a K&N; maybe it will allow the oil to be pumped up quicker to the heads and reduce valvetrain clatter. From what I've read, PureOne and NAPA/Wix are good filters but may put up more resistance to oil flow than a K&N. For this reason I like using K&N oil filters in the winter. Just a thought. [I dont know]
 
Messages
2,597
Location
MN
I use M1 5w30 with a NAPA Gold in my Montana, but last time I tried an AC Delco from the dealer and it seemed to help a little on the noise. I think the AC Delco filters are pretty good from what I hear. They are the OEM filter so I thought I would give it a try. I had my intake manifold gasket replaced at about 40,000, and I have 87,000 on it now and holding my breath!
 
Messages
2,768
Location
Tn
quote:
Originally posted by mrdctaylor: Yeh, but many fail after warranty. The gasket in my 1997 Pontiac TRans Sport failed at around 70K miles. Luckily, GM came out with an updated gasket design early last year (prior to my failure). Hopefully the fix will last for the rest of the vehicles life. Also, I caught it very early and it was mostly an external leak.
Even though the warranty has expired GM will still repair the problem and reimburse (if you have documentation) you if you had the work previously done. I got my Recall letter on it, but don't have it before me right now. They also have a preventative fix if you don't have the problem yet.
 
Messages
66
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
I switched my '01 3.1L over to 0w-30 Mobil 1 with the larger PF-52 size Mobil one filter this past week. It had been running 5w-30 dyno with the smaller PF-47 filter. It only has 17.5K miles on it and has always seem to make slight valve train noise at idle, now it's a bit more noticeable. Next time I may make a 5w-40 witch's brew by substituting 2 quarts of 15w-50 into the mix or just switch to 0w-40 Mobil 1. The '00 3.4L with 36.5K miles had it's leaking intake gasket changed last Fall under warranty. The oil analysis showed no coolant, so we lucked out. I have been running 5w-30 dino with the larger PF-52 size filter for some time now. I will most likely change it over to a similar Mobil 1 strategy on the next change. Personally I think the 2.8/3.1/3.4L engine family have always been a bit on the noisy side with their valve train and loose pistons. I hope they do a better job with the newer 3.5/3.9L versions. In my mind the 3800 I/II/III family has always been a much superior engine design/execution.
 
Messages
698
Location
MA
quote:
Originally posted by Schmoe: Hmmmmm...interesting hypothesis. I got the 3.3l GM, had the clanking problem for years, I just get use to it. It's been on dino juice its whole existance. '90 model with 180K on it. I had thought about going to syn. to see if that would help stop it from doing that. Glad I didn't after reading your post.
That 3.3 is more like a 3.8 than the 60 degree 2.8/3100/3400. In my experience that engine is pretty much bullet proof but not very well balanced.
 
Messages
4,872
Location
MN
I think that the 3.3 has a balance shaft like the 3800. With the addition of the balance shaft a 90deg V6 becomes almost as smooth as a 60deg. Older models with the balance shaft, like the 3.8 and 3.0 do run a little rougher. Here's a breakdown in order of apearance. Years are estimates. 2.8(7?-88)/3.1(88-92)/3.4(OHV)(9?-94)/3100(93-04)/3400 OHV(99-04)/3500 OHV(04)/3900(05) are 60deg. 198(62)/225(63-67)/231(74-87)/252(73-84)/3.8(85-88)/3.0(82-88)/3800(88-04)/3300(89-92) are 90deg. -T
 
Messages
2,768
Location
Tn
My 3.3L (1989) was rougher than a cob under load, but still a daily driver. My Series II 3800 feels much more refined. Neither consumed oil in 30wt. either GTX I ran in the old one or the syn I run now. I had dino GTX in the 3800 once and it was noisier than with Syntec or M1. Syn's are not always noisier than dino. Far from it in my limited experience.
 
Messages
7,775
Location
Oklahoma
It's a little rough at idle to about 1K, but then smooths out onwards. Have to admit, best engine I've ever owned. Since new, '90, only had to replace alternator, water pump and coil pack, and that is with 180K on it. I swear, I'll cry my @ss off when that car bites the dust. Kind of like what's been discussed here for some time, usually the engine out lives the car. I have noticed that it does idle rough, always had. Never thought about the engine design. I know the 3.8 is pretty smooth.
 
Messages
2,768
Location
Tn
quote:
Originally posted by Schmoe: It's a little rough at idle to about 1K, but then smooths out onwards. Have to admit, best engine I've ever owned. Since new, '90, only had to replace alternator, water pump and coil pack, and that is with 180K on it. I swear, I'll cry my @ss off when that car bites the dust. Kind of like what's been discussed here for some time, usually the engine out lives the car. I have noticed that it does idle rough, always had. Never thought about the engine design. I know the 3.8 is pretty smooth.
My 89, 3.3L did not have balance shaft, so it shuddered a bit if you got on it some. It was also only a 3-speed. I used GTX 5-30 and sold it at around 200K. Ran like the day I bought it. It's still going for someone else. I traded in 2001 because the deal on the 3.8L was too good to pass up. 10-30 Syn seems to be working for me now, so I'll probably stay with that.
 
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