Synthetic OK?

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Apr 19, 2003
I need some info on synthetics and leaks. I know that years ago that was a problem and that current synthetics shouldn't have that problem. But I want some opinions on a specific setup.

I have a 1981 DeLorean with 18k miles on it. It was in storage for 12 years prior to when I bought it in 1999. I've put 14.5k miles on it since then. The only engine oil leak is the idiot light sending unit and I just received a new one that I will be installing this week.

I've been running Castrol 10w-40 in it since I got it, with no problems. Purolator filter.

I'm going to be installing an aftermarket turbo setup on the car this summer and would like to switch to a synthetic for extra insurance against the additional heat and to keep the turbo running as many years as possible.

Since the car was in storage for so long, and now only gets about 3-4k miles per year on it, will there be much of a chance of causing oil leaks due to the switch to synthetic?

I run Mobil 1 in my other cars as it's readily available OTC locally. Would this be a good one for this situation? What weight would you recommend for 3-season use? It gets well above a 100 deg out in the desert here.


Mark Noeltner
Your D has a Volvo/Renault V6 engine in it, which, if memory serves me correctly, wasn't particularly prone to oil leaks. However, you're still looking at a 22 year old engine with 22 year old seals, so who knows?

If you're going to put a turbo on it, I'd definitely go with the Mobil 1 even if it did leak a little. (But, if it were mine, I wouldn't put the turbo on it.)
What kind of oil are you going to run in the flux capacitor?
by Patman

What kind of oil are you going to run in the flux capacitor?

Good catch Patman, 1.21 Gigawatts has to be tuff on any lube!

Dr. Emmett Brown

The flux capacitor is on back order. That's why I'm turboing.

Actually the PRV6 as used in the DeLorean is a very good candidate for a turbo. IF you only boost 5-6 pounds. It's a fairly low compression engine with only 130hp stock. Lots of 'em out there with turbos added. In fact the factory had Legend Industries designing a dual turbo setup when they went bankrupt. 2 cars and 3 engines exist with that setup.

The turbo I have is a vintage kit from the early 80's. It was sitting in someones garage and had never been installed. Found it on e-Bay. All it needs is a catalytic converter and a new exhaust pipe and it's ready to bolt up. I bought it because I moved from Illinois, near sea level, to Utah where I'm at 4500 ft here at the house and regularly drive at 6 or 7000 feet. The stock engine is pretty anemic at those altitudes. With just a mild boost I have my power back, plus some.
My PRV Dodge and Eagle(alloy head and block SOHCs) went easily over 200k without any front or rare main seal leaks(Mobil1 oil used). I wonder if it is in the same family as the Delorean. Too bad the ZF auto tranny is a wimp.

I would switch to synthetics for the sake of the hot turbo.
That is a really great idea on running a turbo at high elevations! If I lived up there I would run a turbo car for sure, as they don't lose all that much horsepower up high due to the boost compensating for the altitude. So a 300hp turbo car might still be 280hp at high elevations, while a 300hp normally aspirated engine might be down to 225hp. I know guys with LS1 f-bodies run a full second slower in Colorado than the guys at sea level.

And I agree with others here, you definitely want synthetic in the sump once the turbo is on there.

[ April 21, 2003, 11:03 AM: Message edited by: Patman ]
I would run synthetic in that motor regardless of turbo or not...not the most robust top end and smallish oil galleries too boot...

This engine has a horrible rep. according to Volvo folks....although mine was doing fine in my 81 Bertone coupe when I sold it at 185K miles

Originally posted by Pablo:
This engine has a horrible rep. according to Volvo folks....although mine was doing fine in my 81 Bertone coupe when I sold it at 185K miles

Actually, I've always heard that the B28F was a great engine, good for over 200k easy. Early versions had problems with cams that weren't hardened enough and caused a lot of the reputation problems, but most Volvo enthusiasts seem to agree that after the cams were fixed it was a fine engine.

I know of a few DeLoreans with 150k miles or more and no issues. Most problems that show up on our discussion list seem to be due to neglect more than anything else.
I'd run a bottle or two of the AutoRX, then try some Mobil 1, 15w-50 in that old motor. I think that will do fine and you'll have minimal leakage ....Flux capacitor indeed!

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