Switched to Amsoil in my 1992 Toyota V6...

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Feb 22, 2004
I need some advice. Went with Amsoil 0w-30. Good choice or bad?

1992 Toyota 3L V6, 83k miles... reasonably well maintained, but not great. I use this truck for snow plowing now, so low miles but heavy work.

Dino oil exclusively up until now. Had low oil pressure problem, so dropped the oil pan last month and found a sludge monster and an almost completely blocked oil pump screen. Cleaned her up and put in 5w-30 Valvoline for a very short interval or 3 weeks. Oil pressure looks good until engine is worked for a while, then it goes low at low idle only. Responds to RPMs good though - according to mechanical guage.

Decided to go synthetic, even with the high mileage/age, to reduce deposits and help clean the engine. If I find any leaks I'll fix them (none so far). I chose Amsoil 0w-30 due to detergent package. Used the Amsoil engine flush and dropped the pan once more just to see if it washed anything out - it was clean. I'm thinking of doing a 6 month OCI.

Did I choose wrong? Should I have gone w/ M1 or Redline 10w-30 or is the Amsoil 0w-30 a good choice for my application?

Amsoil Series 2000 0W-30 is an excellent oil. I've used it with good results, However since reading the many post on this forum, I've decided to change over to Series 3000 5W-30 HD diesel. It has the best additive package for this type of vehicle IMO. I too have a 1992 Toyota 4 runner with the 3.0 V-6 engine.

I know 5-6 local guys who run the Series 2000 in the 3.0L, Toyota V-6 with drain intervals up to 10,000 miles and excellent results. One of these is a 1999 Avalon with over 150,000 highway miles on it, using either the Amsoil 5w-30/ASL or 0w-30 w/ 7000-10,000 mile drains.

I haven't gotten around to testing the S3000, 5w-30 in this application, but I suspect it may hold up tad better, ie it's more shear stable. I also have someone running the current ASL formulation and will try and test that after 7000-8000 miles. Since ASL/ATM are now ACEA A3/B4 rated, the more expensive S2000 may not be needed to run 7k-10k drains.

I would go 5K or less on the 0W-30 in there now. Drain it, and do dino oil and AutoRx high mile treatment to clean the top side.

Then switch to Amsoil of your choice as mentioned by TS.

What drain intervals were you using with dino?
I have a 92 Camry V6, not sure if it is the same engine as the truck. Now 163,000, used the Amsoil 10w30 entire life, into a RX rinse cycle now but engine was pretty clean from what I could tell. With the 10W I doubt I could get 10,000 miles between changes, I used the 7500 entire life. Once did a 15,000, UOA was absolutely terrible so went back to 7500.

You may be able to get more with the 0W but, IMO, work up to it over one or two OCIs and do the UOA. These engines are pigs and Amsoil does not always endure the OCI that they claim is available, especially under your driving conditions.
If you are haveing oil pressure problems fix this fast! It could be main bearings or it could be oil pump or both. I would find the source of the problem ASAP! It is too easy to install a new set of rod and main bearings. THe oil pump is also not hard to change. If the engine is still strong 30-40 dollars for bearings and plastiguage is cheap to keep it going!

When oil pressure only responds to RPM it usualy is an indicator that the mains are hemerageing a large volume of oil. A thicker oil will help this to some extent. If the bypass piston is stuck or the pump is worn this can also happen!

If oil pressure goes down as RPM's climb it tells you that the rod bearings are gone!

P.S. When ever a pickup screen becomes clogged or nearly cloged with sludge you can not use the words maintence, good, decent, fair, ok or great in the same sentence!

[ February 24, 2004, 08:30 PM: Message edited by: JohnBrowning ]
Ok, JohnBrowning, you got me... Crappy maintenance and now I'm getting what I deserve.

But I'm a born again maintenance fanatic and I'll do what it takes to try to get her back into shape.

So what about camshaft journals and cam bearings? If I'm going to go after the low pressure problem, shouldn't I check them all. Reason I ask is I can't afford to take the truck out of service for too long right now... might need it anyday for plowing. If it makes sense to check the mains first, I might attack it in stages. Otherwise, I'm going to wait for spring and do it all at once.
That engine does not use replaceable cam bearing!It is expensive to repair a OHC head that has out of spec came bearing clearance. You would not see an oil pressure lose due to cam bearing clearance on this engine!

You can drop the pan and insert a piece of plastiguage into the crank and rod caps and retorque. Then remove and measure the plastiguage. This will tell you wich is out of spec. I suspect that it is just the mains. If they test fine you know it is likely the oil pump. Part are available on the after market for this engine so you can do the repairs reasonably.

You do not want to have to rebuild that engine! This is not a cheap engine to rebuild!! They are hard to find in salavage yards with low miles. Dealerships buy up the low millage ones as soon as they get word. It is also hard to sell a V6 Toyota truck with a bum engine!
That's great information, thanks!

So what about cleaning the engine? I was going to take it apart to clean it rather than go with AutoRx because it'll take me a while to put 1500 miles on it.

What do you think of me checking/replacing the bearings/pump now and breaking it down and cleaning it in the spring? Or should I just go with AutoRx to clean it?

Thanks again!
You state"
" Oil pressure looks good until engine is worked for a while, then it goes low at low idle only. Responds to RPMs good though - according to mechanical guage".

Perhaps you should have the actual pressure testest/checked to see if it is up to spec before assuming a mechanical problem. depending on a dasHboard gauge is a guesstimate1 May be worth a few bucks to have a mechanic check the actual pressure at hot idle. Moat engines will show very low pressure at hot idle, question is what is the OEM spec and what is your engine at now?
I'm planning to do that myself. I'll be checking both oil pressure and cylinder compression to get an accurate assessment.

I am confident that the pressure really is lower than it should be at low idle. I've been running with both the OEM and a mechanical oil guage together because I didn't trust the OEM one and they both show low.
What you mentioned is normal other than the sludge. If you say that at idle it drops to below the first mark on the oil gauge when warm that is normal. If you increase RPM's and it goes somewhere in the middle of the gauge, that is normal. You only have 83,000 on this motor I wouldn't be to concerned however keep up with the maintenance. This topic was already discussed in the Maintenance section of the forum.

You picked I fine oil. Change the first batch at 4 months then change every 6 months thereafter.
I mean it doesn't register at all on the gauge. It doesn't even come close to the first mark. But with some RPMs it does move into the middle range.
JohnStra, you mentioned you have dropped the oilpan and cleaned the sludge out. Why don't you remove the valve cover and remove the sludge that has formed there as well? If the 'drain back' holes in the valve area are choked with sludge, it may cause the oil to collect in the valve valley. This would starve the sump from oil to circulate and therefore cause low oil pressure.
Jim Spahr - I plan to do that - like today! Any suggestions how best to clean that area? Just wipe what I can get to or is there a better approach?
One way to do it,please don't laugh, is to get a shop vac, a hammer and a putty knife and chisel the carbon deposits off while applying suction with the vacuum. Did that to a sludged up chevy straight 6 then ran diesel 15w40. It remained in service for quite a while after that. Just my .02.
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