Recommend oil for Acura engine, cold climate

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Hi all, I'm in need of an opinion / oil recommendation. I'm in the process of putting a modified 2008 Acura TSX engine (K24A2) in my 2000 Honda Insight. The TSX engine originally calls for 5w30 and was never back-spec'd for 5w20, as were many other Hondas of the era. The Accord, which uses the same block but marginally different head (slightly softer springs + lower redline, otherwise basically the same) is spec'd for 5w20/0w20. Now, I'm sure just pouring 5w30 in it and calling it a day would be perfectly safe, and I might just do that, but I'd like an opinion on using 0w30 or maybe even 0w20. Here are my factors: -The TSX engine normally pulls around a 3300lb car. It's going into a car that currently weighs around 1650lbs, and will be closer to 1700 with the new engine. I've also cut the rotating mass attached to the engine significantly - featherweight flywheel, deletion of some balance shafts, no power steering pump, some other bits I can't think of at the moment. The amount of work it has to do (on average) will be far lower. -The engine I'm putting in has brand new seals and less than 40k miles on everything else. -The 1.0L engine that came with the car already takes *forever* to get up to operating temperature. It has an oil-water heat exchanger to aid in getting the oil up to temperature as well as a system to capture heat from the exhaust to aid in warmup, but it's still slow to get there even during warm weather. During cold weather it's worse, probably because the heatercore lines are not affected by the thermostat (they're inside the engine's un-regulated loop). I blame this on the car being extremely lightweight, with a lot of friction reductions and with good aerodynamics - the engine simply doesn't work very hard. -I live in Vermont. We typically have 4-8 weeks where it's subzero in the mornings, and at least a few weeks where it might be subzero in the afternoon. It's extremely rare to ever have a day where it's over 90F. -I'm re-gearing the TSX transmission for extremely low cruising RPM. Much like a Corvette cruises along at ~1100rpm at highway speeds, cruising RPM will be 1600 or below on the highway in top gear, and even then my math says it will not be highly loaded. I'm also going to be doing some tuning to bring peak torque / efficiency to a lower RPM. -I will be keeping it under the stock redline and may even have a slightly lower than stock fuel cutoff (e.g. drop it from 7600rpm down to 7200 or 7300). -I may rev it up occasionally to embarrass a Corvette or Mustang GT at an on-ramp, but for the most part I drive slowly and for maximum fuel economy - I don't beat on my engines often, and I'm mindful to make sure they're warm when I do. My current engine is near 300,000 miles, running 0w20, and still has great compression and burns no measurable oil between 7k changes. -Due to the removal of some balance shafts from the sump, the engine will hold around 7L of oil as opposed to 4.6L if filled to the same level on the dipstick. I will probably keep the same OCI. -In the past I've only ever run Mobile 1. I'm open to the idea of running other very high quality oils. Given these factors, I'm thinking 0w30 may be a more appropriate oil, and 0w20 might even be the right choice, given how the engine is going to be used. However, there's still the point that Honda back-spec'd many other vehicles in the same year for thinner oils, and specifically did not for this one.
 
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Run what the book calls for which is 5w30, and that is tested for -22F (-30C). If you want to run 0w30 that is also fine and it is tested for -31F (-35C). No need to overthink it.
 
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Ecky

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Originally Posted by StevieC
Run what the book calls for which is 5w30, and that is tested for -22F (-30C). If you want to run 0w30 that is also fine and it is tested for -31F (-35C). No need to overthink it.
Although rare, the engine may be started a couple of times per year below -22F. 0w30 then?
 
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A 5W oil (any one of them) is entirely suitable for -22F. The benefit of a 0W oil is not significant until below that temperature.
 
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You can... There is a benefit to running the 5w30 over the 0w30 in that the spread between the two numbers is less so it's less likely to shear in use. If I was in your situation I'd run the 5w30 year round. The couple of days at -22F isn't going to hurt it. The oil still flows it's just not as quick as the 0w30 is all. (Barely any difference) My first car ran conventional 10w30 far less in quality than oils of today with temperatures that cold and lived a long life. So no worries... Especially if you are using a synthetic 5w30.
 
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Ecky

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Originally Posted by kschachn
A 5W oil (any one of them) is entirely suitable for -22F. The benefit of a 0W oil is not significant until below that temperature.
And the downside? Let's assume they're sitting next to each other in Walmart, same price. EDIT:
Originally Posted by StevieC
You can... There is a benefit to running the 5w30 over the 0w30 in that the spread between the two numbers is less so it's less likely to shear in use. If I was in your situation I'd run the 5w30 year round. The couple of days at -22F isn't going to hurt it. The oil still flows it's just not as quick as the 0w30 is all. My first car ran conventional 10w30 in the winter with temperatures that cold and lived a long life. So no worries... Especially if you are using a synthetic 5w30.
Thanks, that's helpful. Larger spread, more chance of shear. Still, outweighs the benefit of running a thicker oil in an area which has sub-freezing startups for 5 months of the year in an engine which might struggle to reach operating temps?
 
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Originally Posted by Ecky
Originally Posted by kschachn
A 5W oil (any one of them) is entirely suitable for -22F. The benefit of a 0W oil is not significant until below that temperature.
And the downside? Let's assume they're sitting next to each other in Walmart, same price.
There is no downside for cold cranking performance. That's what you asked. Shear is an inflated concern on this board. It is influenced more by engine design than anything else. The vast majority of UOA posted on here that show viscosity degradation is due to fuel dilution, not mechanical shear. In a typical automotive application shear is not a significant problem.
 
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If they were the same price I'd grab the 5w30. If I lived in Northern Alberta where it gets colder than your temperatures I'd grab the 0w30 out of preference but even then the 5w30 would be more than fine just less optimal.
 
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Originally Posted by Ecky
Still, outweighs the benefit of running a thicker oil in an area which has sub-freezing startups for 5 months of the year in an engine which might struggle to reach operating temps?
A thicker oil will warm up faster than a thinner one.
 
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Any good 0/5W-30 will do ya. That should be a hoot to drive, a K24 powered Insight. It's built like the NSX. I would imagine it would take too much work to get the IMA drivetrain to work with a K-series engine. I've dreamed about a 1ZZ-FE or 2ZZ-GE swap into a 2nd gen Prius. The 9th gen Corolla did offer the 1NZ-FE outside of North America. I don't think it would be too difficult to get the hybrid part working.
 

Ecky

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Originally Posted by nthach
Any good 0/5W-30 will do ya. That should be a hoot to drive, a K24 powered Insight. It's built like the NSX. I would imagine it would take too much work to get the IMA drivetrain to work with a K-series engine. I've dreamed about a 1ZZ-FE or 2ZZ-GE swap into a 2nd gen Prius. The 9th gen Corolla did offer the 1NZ-FE outside of North America. I don't think it would be too difficult to get the hybrid part working.
I spent a fortune on the transmission, custom gearsets are needed not to have wheelspin in 3rd gear. The chassis is indeed very stiff and handling is excellent with some minor changes to spring and dampening rates. Others who have done a similar swap report a 0-60 of 3.6-4.0 seconds with a completely stock engine, and the weight distribution isn't much worse than stock, since the IMA system is so heavy. Back end is a little lighter, front is close to the same. IMA motor would *definitely* not fit, there's simply no room to have an extra 2-3 inches between engine and transmission, I'd have had to carve into the frame rails. On my wish list would be the rear end from a Rav4 hybrid (has motor built into it) cut down to fit, but it probably won't ever happen. K24 is definitely a better engine than 2ZZ wink
 
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Originally Posted by JLTD
0w-30 all the way, especially if you'll be having lots of cold starts.
There isn't a significant difference between a 5W and a 0W oil on terms of cold starts at -22F.
 
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