Recommendations for older 2.8 liter Chevy V6 -TBI

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Jun 25, 2009

New to this forum and have a question. A 1987 Chevy S10 pick up (166K miles) was given to me a few weeks ago and I've been cleaning it up and such. It was sitting ilde in a garage for 12 months so it needed a bit of TLC before it would even start. The owner couldnt' tell me the last time the oil was changed but the crank case was full - and it was still liquid. I drained it out, removed the fram filter and put in 4 qts of Q-State 10W30 and a Purolator filter. It fired right up and suprisingly no black smoke or funny noises. I have been using it on the weekends and have not noticed any smoke or piston slaping or odd noises. What would be a good choice of oil for an engine this age? It's not an everyday driver but it still has some life left in it. My fear is that with sitting for so long, [censored] and sludge have built up in it. The oil has stayed clean with 1400 miles driven. One more thing. What is the fill capacity with a filter change on this engine? I've seen 4qts and 3qts? Any suggestions, advise w/b appreciated. Thanks!
QS oil and Purolator filters should be great for that or any engine. Have you changed out any other fluids?? Tranny, power steering, coolant, differential??? Time takes its toll on these as well, so you might want to look into replacing them out.
Thannks all, for the quick reply!

Did the tranny this past weekend, all was good - owner had it replaced 2 years ago. Had to put new master cyl and run new brake lines to rear of truck (what a pain....) so that's good also. New coolant and flush when I replaced the spongy upper rad hose so good there. How do you change/replace power steering fluid? I checked it and it's full. Differential was taken care of during brake fiasco. I have read and been told that the 2.8 l V6 in this truck is weak or "junk" but I'm not racing it or towing anything. Just a few sheets of drywall once in a while or other such things. Seems pretty smooth for me - It's not a screamer, but that's not what I'm going for. Anyone have anything \good\ to say about this engine?
Hey if it`s lasted 166,000 miles,it sure cant be that bad.I do know what your refering to though.I have heard those motors are questionable too,one of their biggest problems is oil leaks.Just treat it with some respect,and stay on top of its needs and you should be fine.Oh,as far as the power steering fluid,the best way is to pick up a cheap plastic pump from the auto parts store,and suck out the old fluid.
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sure! while most people certainly prefer the 4.3L engine, the 2.8L is a narrow angle, compact V6 that can give you good service and reasonable fuel mileage. its also fairly easy to work on. I would not hesitate to own one. GM made millions of these engines! actually, the later 3.1, 3.4, etc. are more problematic as they tend to blow intake manifold gaskets and head gaskets. as far as replacing PS fluid, disconnect the low pressure return line and let it drain out of the pump - or suck it out with a suction pump or turkey baster. I believe the oil capacity is 4 qts with a filter change (3.5 wihtout)
PSF gets replaced by using a turkey baster to suck the old PSF out and then new PSF gets poured in.

If you have a helper around, you can use a more effective method.
1. Take the PS return hose off, and point it into a waste oil container.
2. Have something to constantly fill the P/S pump.
3. Have a friend start the engine and turn the wheel while you add PSF.
4. Stop the engine.
5. reconnect the hoses.
6. check PSF level and add more PSF if needed.

See if your car needs PSF, or if it needs ATF.
Very good, thanks for all of the advise. I had thought of using a low powered pump, but was afraid I might mess something up - seemed "too easy". I know it needs to be refreshed - it looked dirty on the towel when I checked the level. One more question and I'll quit for a while. It's just nice to talk with folks who's standard replay about this is "junk the 2.8 and put a 350 in it... Sheesh. Last question is this and I'm probably on the wrong forum. Other vichle is a 2009 Honda Fit w/ 1.5 l. Wants 5w20 which I understand is for economy etc. Do you/can you recommend one brand over another? It's coming up on it's first oil change and I want to use Moble 5000 as I've had very good luck with all my other vehicles. This is my first Honda - heck my first non-american car so I am curious as to what's good. Protection and cleanliness are my top prioroty. I want to go to Mobil Full Synth after I get about 7-10k, but for these first oil changes what's a good non synth 5w20 for that little Honda engine?
2.8 V-6's are pretty easy on oil - I doubt it is sludged up at all. Your choice of QS 10W-30 is excellent - if you like it, just keep using it and change it every 5k miles or 6 months.

As for the Fit, ANY 5W-20 oil is an excellent product - just go with whatever is cheapest or easiest to get. Mobil 5000 would be a good choice if you are comfortable with it.
I had an 81 Pontiac with one of those engines. In the late 80's, running QS 10w-30, and 6 month OCI per the manual. I ended up with a real mess of sludge under the rocker arm covers. The oil drain holes were plugged up causing them to stand full of oil and leak.
My friend had the 2.8 and I had the 2.5. It's not the engine I'd worry about but every electronic and vacuum piece. If you start having problems you'll keep the auto parts stores in business.
Had two of these engines the 2.8 is FAR from a power house but they do run good and run forever on just about any oil,and not known for sludge making either mine was always clean inside(M1),pic a good oil and run it, that engine is just breaking in.

Takes 5 qts IIRC with A pf52
The 2.8 in the trucks was a different engine than the 2.8 that was in passenger cars. I don't know the exact details, but basically the truck engine was 'stronger' than the PC one.

Also, I don't doubt that 20 years ago, QS would sludge up in short-trip/6-month OCI usage - however, it wouldn't do that today...
I've had 3 of these engines. 1 in a 81 Citation, 1 in a 1984 S-10 PU 4X4, and 1 in a 1988 S-10 2WD. Yah, not a powerhouse for sure, but a good engine. I was 18yrs old and ran the snot out of the Citation. I actually raced people (dumb kid) while driving home with it every night from work. It's a wonder I'm still alive! The thing redlined often at about 90mph. It ran on Arco 20W-50 Graphite even in winter all its life before I sold it at about 160,000miles! If that isn't a testimony to the engine's reliability I don't know what is!
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