Synthetic oil and towing

Messages
47
Location
Buffalo N.Y.
Hello , My 2000 Ford Conversion Van with the 5.4 litre calls for 5W30 ... At times in the summer I tow heavy , usually at the weight limit allowed .. I am considering the switch to Mobil 1 , since I take the vehicle off the road for winter and start up every few weeks , I figure the start up oil circulation in N.Y. winters would be better with the synthetic , but my concern is during summer towing , since the oil is a bit thinner , upon normal or a bit above normal operating temperture , might I be doing some premature wear on my 5.4 ? I hate to go a little heavier in summer with the oil as this vehicle is still under warranty till 2004 and the manual strictly calls for 5W30.... comments would be appreciated ... Larry B. [LOL!]
 
Messages
1,908
Location
Fort Worth, TX
I'm one of those who runs synthetic in everything. I certainly cannot speak to the warranty dilemma (especially as I feel uncomfortable with "light" oils for HD use), but we converted the old mans '87 454-TBI Suburban to M1 15W-50 at about 127k miles from 10W-40 dino. Consumption dropped dramatically. Vehicle is 3.54 geared, towing an 8000#-plus travel trailer since new (now at 190,000 with only a timing chain) out of hotter-n-hell Texas. Pops goes 6000-miles between changes with one filter change at 3000 and adds any make-up oil at same time. Engine is helped by having a dedicated engine oil cooler (OEM Tow Package), so that would be my first thought, especially if that manufacturer carries one in the line for that or a same-family engine. Analyzing the oil for best trends and brand recommendations as well as frequency of change would be high on my list. As to starting it in winter, sure . . . so long as you take it out and drive it fifty miles. The cold climate guys should speak to the issue. I always drive my old Chrysler 25-30 miles when run first time each week (car currently seeing 6000 miles per year).
 
Messages
3,346
Location
Clarksville, Tennessee
quote:
Originally posted by Larry B.: Hello , I am considering the switch to Mobil 1 , since I take the vehicle off the road for winter and start up every few weeks , I figure the start up oil circulation in N.Y. winters would be better with the synthetic , but my concern is during summer towing , since the oil is a bit thinner , [LOL!]
It's not always about the weight of the oil. Mobil 1 will have a higher film strenght as compared to a same weight conventional. This is why you are seeing more and more lower wieght synthetic diesel oils compared to no low weight conventional diesel oils. For Instance. Amsoil 5w30 HDD is recommened for any application that calls for 15w40. So of those diesel engines can have upwards of 1000 ft/lbs of torque. If that won't tax the oil I don't know what will. With the 5w30 I've seen considerable wear reduction when comparing to a conventional 15w40. With the 5w30 synthetic in that engine you can't go wrong.
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
quote:
Originally posted by msparks: ... For Instance. Amsoil 5w30 HDD is recommended for any application that calls for 15w40. So of those diesel engines can have upwards of 1000 ft/lbs of torque. If that won't tax the oil I don't know what will. ...
The engine's actual power or torque output is not what's stressing the oil. More important are the size of the bearings and the engine's force on the oil in the bearing...pounds of force per unit of area of the bearing. I've run 30 wt. crankcase oil in diesels that produce 5,000 hp per cylinder with near zero bearing wear and near zero oil degradation, 'cuz that's what the engine was designed for. In these engines the bearing shells are so big and heavy that you lift them with a chain hoist. Ken [ April 08, 2003, 01:06 PM: Message edited by: Ken2 ]
 
Messages
70
Location
Maine
What Tan Sedan said about the Winter Driving is basically True, but why waste your time and gas? Just make sure you have an oil that has good Rust and Corrosion Inhibitors before you put it away, fill up gas and add Gas stabelizer. Maybe put the car up on jacks so you dont get flat spots. And charge the battery every once in a while if you feel like it.
 
Messages
243
Location
Reno Nevada
Towing heavy stresses oil by increasing the rate of oxidation. An engine towing under load uses 50-100% more fuel per rpm than when running solo. The extra throttle generates more power and more heat. The combustion and cylinder heat temperatures are much higher under load. Both the heat and the extra fuel contribute to formation of oxidation products in the oil. Most oxidation takes place in microenvironments in an engine, not in the crankcase where the cooling system keeps oil temperature moderate. You won't stress the bearings unless you lug the engine at low rpm. A 5W-30 synthetic should be fine for your engine as long as you don't exceed the CGVWR. They now recommend 5W-20 for that engine in the F-150. UOA will let you know how long you can go between changes. I've had good numbers with 5W-30 M1 towing 3,000 lb with a Toyota 3.4L after 4-5K. I've never had a sample shear below the viscosity limit for 30 weight.
 
Messages
792
Location
MD
I have the same issue. I am towing about 9,000 lbs with a F250 with 460 engine. I got Delo 400 15w40 but wonder if I should use Mobil 1 instead, at least 50% ratio.
 
Messages
507
Location
Tennessee
Ford now recommends 5w20 for the 5.4 Triton. There have been a couple of UOAs on these modular engines that towed trailers. I went over 4000 miles on an Expedition 4.6 (50% towing), and Blackstone recommended going to 5000 miles. And the 5w20 would be much better during the cold climate.
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
My 1990 27-foot motorhome with a 460 V8 did well on Maxlife 10w30 for 4400 miles (UOA recently posted on this site). The viscosity thickened to a thin 40 wt and oxidation was up a bit, but I did run it well beyond the Ford-recommended 3000 miles, and they were hard miles.
 
If you don't put many miles on the vehicle, say under 5K/yr, then I'd stick with the dino and change it out every 6 months. If you drive more than 5k/yr then I'd go with the Mobil1 and change it out every 5K - 7K miles, or at least once a year. The 5w30 weight is fine in either Mobil1 or dino.
 
Messages
792
Location
MD
I've decided to mix Chevron Delo 400 with 1qt of Mobil 1 5w-30, just because I've never done it. Here in Virginia, winters don't get very cold. January can be in high 20's sometimes.
 
Messages
61
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
I have a 99 GMC Safari and pull a 3500lb tent trailer in the mountains of British Columbia. I used synth 10w40 for this summer, with no difference in my mileage [Smile] form last summers synth 10w30. Steve
 
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