New to forum, some Questions

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Jul 6, 2004
Houston, TX
Hello all! My names is James, adn after a while of reading over everyones shoulders I've decided to join the message board! I currently drive a 1987 Merkur XR4Ti 2.3L turbo with 162K miles and the wife drives her 1995 Saturn SL2 DOHC automatic with 128K miles. The Merkur has been using Mobil 1 10w-30 since new with PureOne filters, and only paper air filters. The last 25K miles I have been using Mobil 1 Delvac 5w-40 Synthetic (my twin brother owns an EZ Lube, Mobil products ONLY) and Wix/NAPA filters. I change my oil at 7K mile intervals, and I NORMALLY drive around 1,400 miles PER WEEK during the commute, and occasionally sees track and autocross duty as well. I may be selling the car next week only because I cannot afford to put fuel in it with that much driving per year, and do not want to risk crashing such a rare car (for CA) in such great shape. Any thoughts or suggestions for the oil-cooled turbo 2.3L? The Saturn is a different around 85K miles after having dealer service and trans checkup in Austin TX, we returned home to CA, an 1800-mile trip. I added only 3/4-qt during the drive, right about normal for that time. I did the oil change at 2,500 miles and found the oil filter CRUSHED into a little ball, and the oil was thick and black...I drained it into a clean, clear container and let it sit for 3 days, and it settled out to have a 1" layer of sludge in the bottom, metal shavings down there also. 10K miles later after two more oil changes (clean at change after the second time), I check the oil and find none on the dipstick. I change the oil (it was about that time, and I check it pretty much weekly) and find only ONE sludgy quart in the pan. Now we're at 128K miles after progressing from 10w-30 to 10w-40 to 15w-40 Delo to 20w-50 Castrol. The Delo actually cleaned the motor up and I found that it consumed less, though coming out it looked "dirty", peering down the valve cover hole the metal inside was less stained. No exhaust smoke, no external leaks, just missing 1 quart usually per 1200 miles....very strange. Used to use Fram filters on her car, not anymore. Comments, rebuttals?
More-- to replace the Merkur I will be getting a 1994 Suzuki Swift GT (1.3L DOHC, 130K miles but only 20K on factory rebuild) that will see that same 1,400-mile weekly commute as well as 8500RPM autocross laps (up to 450 laps per year, 60-90 seconds), uses the same part # NAPA/Wix filter as the Saturn so I get to buy in bulk :-P Any initial suggestions for oil and filters?
I've used RL oil and KN filter in my wifes previous car. When I changed the filter @ 5k and again @ 10k, the oil looked nearly new. @ 5k I was floored due to the fact it looked like I just put the oil in. I put a doesteh filter in and did a complete change @ 10k. A bit dirter but no where near as black as a "normal" change @ 3K w/ dino and a standard filter. FWIW, I spoke to champion filters some time ago. They make mobil, k&n and bosch. The mobil had the best filtration, then the bosch and K&N tieing for 2nd. Per their tech, he said go with what ever is cheaper of the group. They are all syn, and since their nominal and single pass efficieny are nearly the same, all would be a good choice. I spend $11/filter for my PSD right now on ave, mobil one. W/ the soot the oil is always dark, so oh well. I'll find a relocate for my wifes car then use a fleetguard filter w/ built in by pass. I'll get the biggest one I can and w/ syn and the extra cap, i'll see how long I can go. Since I can get RP locally now, I may switch to that. [I dont know]
I'm a teenager from the 80's and have always liked those XR4TIs. I'm sure you'll find a good enthusiast to buy it. As for the Saturn, I used to have a 95 SW2 w/5 spd. I won't buy one again. Everything on the car was really pretty good but mine used 1 qt oil per 800-1200 miles. Seems this is a design "feature". I think others have found that the rings are high on the piston and tend to coke up and allow oil blow-by. Unacceptable to me. I sold it at 100k and that's my last one. Currently my rides get M1 and so far in 4-5000 mile changes no detectable oil usage. The way I like it. Other than running strong doses of seafoam, auto-rx, etc I don't know if you'll be able to free up the rings and keep them that way. Good luck!
[Cool] Sounds like you're doing fine on the Merkur, I wouldn't do anything different. The Saturn might have a faulty PCV valve. I'd check that first.
Since you brother supplies Mobil: Suzuki Swift GT DOHC - Mobil Delvac 1 or Mobil 1 Truck & SUV 5W-40 Saturn 1.9L DOHC - Mobil Delvac 1300 15W-40 (You dont check oil in Saturns - You just check the gas and fill them with oil) Do check the EGR, PCV, and Air Filter on the Saturn. I really dont think you can buy a lot better oil for either. So no reason to go out of your way to bring in your own oil. Gene
Solo, I own a 96 SL2 w/109K miles and have seen the oil consumption stuff first hand on a previous Saturn I owned. Please do try Auto-Rx! It took me a year to spend the $$ on it, but I'm so glad I did! It cleaned things up so much that even after 3000 miles on current run of M1 15w-50, it's just about as clean as the day I put it in! I ran this same oil last year and it was quite black by this time. Your oil choices for attempting to stop the consumption are commendable! I believe the older Saturns really like thicker oils. Welcome to the board!!!
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