Oil advice for 89 toyota PU V6, heavy long haul towing

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Jan 23, 2003
Gasport, NY
Hello, Pretty new to the board, just learing about motor oil, synthtics, etc. I plan on going on a long trip (round trip 6000 miles) with my 89 toyota truck, 4x4,76k, ext cab, w/ 3.0 v6 and auto trans, towing a fairly heavy load for the truck (3500-4000 lbs) I currently have a transmission oil cooler, in line with the factory oil cooler. I flushed the existing transmission oil (pumped out all of the old, and replaced it with 11 or so new qts) w/ reg dino trans fluid before I leave, I'm going to have the current oil anilyzed by a lab, to be sure everything is in good working order. the oil presently looks clean, for having 2800 miles on it, and the truck uses hardly any oil the oil in the truck presently is reg oil, as supplied by the dealer. (I usually do my own oil changes, but it's been so **** cold here, I just paid the price, and had it done.) now the questions I have are- A) any benefit now of flushing the transmission fluid again, and replacing it with synthetic? B) should I stick with the Dino oil, or switch to Synthetic? (the truck is going to be working hard the whole way) C) which grade oil should I use for the trip? (remember the truck is going to be working hard- mountainous terrain, heavy loads, high revs when in the mountains, etc)- Im leaving Buffalo NY, and will arrive in Las Vegas, Nevada D)I've been using factory toyota filters- anything any better for my truck? E) should I change the oil when I get there, or should I just push on through, w/o the oil change? thanks so much for any and all advice, I'm leaving feb 9th, and my truck is my baby.. I want her to last as long as possible. Percy.
I am new to this board also but I have an idea the experts will say. a.No b.Synthetic because of the extra load,chance of overheating etc. c.10w-40 again because of the extra load and time of the year maybe even a 5w-40 d.Factory filter in my opinion is always very good and many times the best available. e.Synthetic should be good for the 6000 miles with no problem. Because you seem to really care for this truck I would go with the best synthetic available. Don't have an answer as to which is best but price is always a good way to possible determine that. I believe the Amsoil is the most expensive so it should give you more confidence than most.
You said you had the oil anlyzed-are you talking engine or trans?? Anyway-you have a trans cooler and have just changed trans fluid. I'd stop there. I use Mobil 1 auto trans oil to avoid more freqent chnging. But that's not an issue here. As far as the oil-I would go with the Mobil-1 10W-30, 0W-40, or the Delvac 5W-50. If you go with the 10W-30 and it uses some oil-you can make up with 15W-50 Mobil 1. Certainly Amsoil is as good or better than Mobil. Probably a dino oil could handle it but if you are really going to whip it-I'd feel better with the Syn. [Welcome!] [ January 24, 2003, 09:06 PM: Message edited by: Al ]
Toyota trucks of your era were not approved to tow more than 3500 lbs and when you add up the weight of passengers and everything you intend to carry, you might be exceeding your GCVWR (gross combination vehicle weight rating). Check your owners manual to see what the maximum permissiable GCVWR is. Your chief concern, in my view, should be the mechanical condition of your truck. For example, has the truck been tuned up recently and precisely using OEM spark plugs, plug wires, rotor and distributor cap? And has the engines valve clearance been checked and adjusted every 60,000 miles? Has the oxygen sensor ever been replaced? Has the antifreeze been changed every 2 years / 30,000 miles since the truck was new using nothing but the OEM (Toyota Red) antifreeze and distilled water. Neglect of any of the above can result in higher than normal exhaust gas temperatures which in turn can cause the exhaust valves to burn on the V6 engine, especially when it is used for towing. So instead of spending money on oil analysis and synthetic oil, you should consider spending money on items that will keep your engine exhaust tempertures down. Things like a tune up, new radiator, new oxygen sensor and valve clearance check. Lastly, make sure the timing belt is changed if it wasn't changed within the past 90,000 miles.
All of the above has been done- I only use factory stuff, and the only things that aren't new are the plug wires, and they are perfect. I've used Toyota Red in it, did the proper refilling procedure, etc. the truck only has 76k on it. I've maintined it very well, and I've used it to tow very heavy loads, (up to 5000 lbs) it never gave me any problems, i just keep it out of OD except for the absolute straight flats, and have trailer brakes for the trailer, so all should be well. Maintenence has been followed, my main concern was the longevity of the engine, and which fluids to use. thanks!
Great! Toyota pickup drivetrains are virtually unbreakable given regular maintainance. That is why they survive cross country duty hauling motorhome chassis and U-haul trucks. And staying out of OD is the key to preventing transmission overheating and failure. Unlike American car automatics, Toyota automatics normally run at only 130-175 degrees F so yours should run extra cool since you have added an additional cooler.
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