New to boards.... opinion

Not open for further replies.
Jun 12, 2003
Limon, Co
First off I'm new to the boards so i'll tell you all im switching over to amsoil 5w-30 and the SDF-42 filter on my 2002 Dodge ram 1500 with the 4.7 litre motor. it has 20k even as of today..=) My usual driving habits are a 3 mile each way trip to work so the motor rarely warms totally up and once or twice a month trip into town which is 75 miles each way. about once or twice a year I tow a 21 foot camper here in the high mountians of colorado. I usually change oil dino oil (5w-30 valvoline and mopar filter) ever 3500 miles. do you guys in the know see a good improvement wil a change to synth? This motor runs VERY well and burns 0 oil. I want this truck to last me at least 10 years. THANKS!

Considering your short trips, I do believe you're better off with synthetics, as it's been said here before that synthetics can handle moisture in the oil a bit better than dinos can.

I'd still take the long route to work everyday if that were me though, just to get the oil good and hot before shutting it down.
I wish I could take a longer route. Its either straight down the hiway or not at all. Rural town i live in here in colorado....

Thanks though this is exactly the opinions im looking for good or bad.

Amsoil should serve you well! I would change oil according to the "normal schedule" since you are using synth or every 6 months. Repeated short trips do take a toll on the oil. I have the same routine also except my driving distance is 2 miles. To counteract the short drives I will occasionally take a 15 minute drive to try to burn off some moisture accumulation then once a month I take it on the highway.
Thanks Amkeer.

I figured I fell into the "normal" schedual. which is 7500 miles. especially if I jump to Amsoil. Would it be wise to pull a test sample at like 5k miles just to see whats up? or is 7500 miles easy in these conditions/synth oil?
7,500 is easy for a good syn lube unless the engine is not up to par and the driving conditions are severe.
Cool, thanks guys.

Would a dual by-pass filter set up be totally over kill then? maybe to help pick up condensation of not getting motor up to proper temps?
For the cost of the dual bypass, IMO go for shorter oil change ,two times a year with Amsoil that would probably cost about the same.
The by-pass filter will trap water. I've never seen an oil analysis from a truck running 3 miles per trip on Amsoil with a by-pass filter though. That's real tough on oil especially in a truck that takes longer to heat up than the average car.

I have one of those cars, and the 5k oil analysis was not good. With that kind of driving 3,500 on an oil change can be considered and entended drain interval.

When you put a by-pass on an engine the payback is long term. The cost each year is less, but there are big up front costs. Keeping that truck 10 years makes it a better investment. I installed one on my truck behind the front bumber for easy access.

Treat your engine with Auto-RX on your last dino before converting to synthetics for best results IMO.

For your situation you need a filter that has very economical elements and is easy to service and is set up for cold weather. The best I've been able to find is the Motor Guard of California. I set one up for a 360 3/4 ton Dodge for a friend. What it amounted to was a Perma-Cool.Com sandwich adapter #181. In the catalog they are 771.181.
I don't like to move the stock full flow filter. I have found that in some conditions it is better to use an economical lube oil and a filter that cleans oil then change the element more often. If you use a filter that uses an element that cost more than an oil drain you are not going to change the filter as often as you need to. Even the Motor Guard won't do much filtering on a three mile trip in cold weather. It will kick butt on the 75 mile trip.
If worse comes to worse you can take an extra minute to change the element and add a qt of oil more often in winter. There are no magic filters. The more they clean and dry the oil the more often they must be changed.


Dodge has had some sludging problems with the 4.7L V-8. I believe in this case it's primarily a crankcase ventilation issue, but I'd check with the dealer. There may be a technical services bulletin that addresses this concern.

I'd say you should be able to run at least 7500 miles/6 month, oil/filter changes with Amsoil, but it would be worthwhile to test it once or twice and look at the overall contamination levels. In particular I'd be concerned about fuel and moisture buildup from the short trips. A high TBN synthetic will perform better in this regard, but will still degrade more quickly that if you were doing mostly highway driving.

As a Chrysler master technician,I'll go on record and say the 4.7 engine is one of the best engines that Mopar has put in production.No problems with sludge either.Since this engine has been produced,it has always given good power and great fuel economy.I have one in my 2002 Dodge 1500 truck(also with 20K) and I really like it.Personally I use a 3mo/3K oil change interval using dino oil,but your switch to synth and your trip interval,a 7500 mi change interval will work.Keep detailed records though.(BTW Mopar has gone to 6K for extended oil changes for 2003).I would use the 10w30 AmsOil instead of the 5w30 if you are going to switch to synthetic.Your fuel economy won't increase with the synth(didn't in 3 other 4.7's that I know of)I also think you should stay with the single oil filter.I also am going to make my new Dodge last at least 10 years as well,so I'll be interested in any observations you have with the synth oil.And Welcome to the board!! You'll find a lot of very good info here.

Too Slick...You state the Dodge engine has sludge problems.Your info please? The condensation in the filler cap TSB is not an indication of sludge problems,so I'd like to know where this info came from.Thanks.

[ June 15, 2003, 09:14 AM: Message edited by: Chris 2421 ]

YOu are referring to the TSB I cited ....Sounds like it's a minor problem and not what I've heard. I retract the comment about sludging, since you have much more experience with this engine than I do.

First off

All of the above advise is very sound for your situation but I have something to add. Ever consider driving past your destination/exit/stop and then loop back? May sound silly but could be worth it to run some of that moisture out. Hey, you could even enjoy the extra 15-20 minutes of scenery, sip on some coffee and get more than 1 song from the CD too. Just a thought.

[ June 17, 2003, 10:19 AM: Message edited by: shortyb ]

Originally posted by shortyb:
First off

All of the above advise is very sound for your situation but I have something to add. Ever consider driving past your destination/exit/stop and then loop back? May sound silly but could be worth it to run some of that moisture out. Hey, you could even enjoy the extra 15-20 minutes of scenery, sip on some coffee and get more than 1 song from the CD too. Just a thought.

That's what I do on the weekends when I go to Walmart. Since it's only about 3 miles from my house, I take the long route there, a really long route! Going there and back home again usually results in about a 30-40 mile journey for me! I go right past it on the highway for about ten minutes, then turn around. And then on my trip home, I go right past my house by about ten minutes, then loop around and come back. I just don't like ever doing short trips in my car, with it's 15 quart cooling system, even a ten mile trip in the winter time means the oil hasn't reached full operating temperature. Plus I just love driving, and always have my stereo cranked up.
With the nice weather season here, I often go out on my lunch hour for a 40-50 mile highway drive too, just for the heck of it.
NOw that its summer its a little easier to get the motor warmed up. there is usually enough honey do's in the aternoon the truck gets a work out. poor little town I live in only has 1 stop light so its hard to get anything warmed up unless you warm up the truck even in summer.
Not open for further replies.