The long term cost of using conventional motor oil?

I have a friend that has a 1992 ford half ton with a 302 v-8 now at 185,000 miles. He purchased the truck with 80,000 five years back. He said the previous owner was stringent with 3000 mile intervals using a specific brand of dino juice. He stayed with that brand of oil alternating between 5w-30 and 10w-30 depending on the time of year. Well now the motor seems to be about shot. High oil consumption, low compression, and excess smoking. He to was anal about his oil changes. I do not want to mention the brand of oil so it is not crucified more. My point is that yes dino is less expensive over the long haul but if this truck had used synthetic at least the last five years maybe it would not be at this condition. I know other factors have played into this motor such as poor quality of dino oil from years back vs. better quality today. I may change my thinking [Razz] regarding using dino oil for short and frequent changes. I want to keep my 04 dakota for a long time and hope to get at least 250,000 out of the motor. I am not sure that with all the short trip driving I do this can happen. Synthetic makes more sense to me now when you look at the long term picture.
 
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143
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NH
Its a multitude of factors including engine use and engine design. I'm a 4k+ dino changer and have 210k problem free miles on a Honda and its clean under valve cover according to last mechanic who checked valve clearance recently. Interestly enough more than 60% of oil used (intial part of its life) was Valvoline. [ May 16, 2004, 05:38 PM: Message edited by: andyfish ]
 
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2,569
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College Dorm...
Like I've said before (anyone listening this time?), I will not use mineral based PCEO's...sorry, PCMO's! Why? Well, on regular change intervals, they can keep metal wear rates very low, but they CAN NOT keep an engine clean, with a great deal of varnish/deposit buildup in the top-end/valvetrain, but most noteably, a high amount of buildup in the piston ring area that causes the rings to no longer function properly and causes the problems you just mentioned...high oil consumption, low compression, and excess smoking! Like a rock...I'd definitely recommend that your friend switches over to a HDEO 15w-40 for the warmer months. I've made the switch in several high-mileage gas engines that were experiencing these same problems, and the results have been great! Of these oils, I'd strongly suggest Pennzoil Long-Life 15w-40 as the addition of a good dose of molybdenum to its additive package (along with the HDEO detergent package that cleans things up) really helps with ring/cylinder seal, which reduces consumption and smoking a great deal.
 
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70
Location
Iowa
I don't think the oil has hardly anything to do with engine longevity. Thats just my opinion but there are plenty of vehicles around that have ONLY used dino oil with 3 month/3000 mile intervals that have upwards of 200,000 - 250,000+ miles. They still run good - no consumption, no smoking, hardly any loss in performance or fuel mileage, no sludge in the oil pan or under the valve covers, ect... I think synthetic oils such as AMSOIL and Mobil 1 are overkill for almost all vehicles on the road. I've seen to many vehicles with over 200,000 miles that got the pi$$ beat out of them for most of their life and they still run great. Use any SL/energy conserving oil and change it every 3 months/3000 miles and you will surely get 250,000 miles out of that engine. Everything else may fall to crap but your engine will still be humming along. Anyway I think engine durability and longevity depend A LOT more on assembly quality, materials used, engine design, proper vehicle maintanence, and conditions the engine is put through than the oil that is used. Use a good dino oil change it often and drive the crap out of that truck! [Big Grin]
 
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2,569
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College Dorm...
quote:
Originally posted by andyfish: I'm a 4k+ dino changer and have 210k problem free miles on a Honda and its clean under valve cover according to last mechanic who checked valve clearance recently.
Compared to what? All the other vehicles he services that have spent their lives on mineral-based PCMO's? I say this because I've seen a lot of high-mileage gas engines in my short time, and not a single one of them (no matter how good they were taken care of) has been anywhere nearly as clean as a gas engine that was ran on an HDEO or synthetic PCMO. Would be interesting to see what your ring-pack looked like...
 

like a rock

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278
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Petersburg, West Virginia
Good point Jelly. Problem is that the motor is toast. The compression is so bad that he needs a jake brake on a steep hill. [Eek!] All jokes aside I think short trips really are a killer on motors with the condensation and extra fuel left to do the evil work on the oil. At least for me this is the reason to look at synthetics now.
 
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2,569
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College Dorm...
quote:
Originally posted by like a rock: Good point Jelly. Problem is that the motor is toast. The compression is so bad that he needs a jake brake on a steep hill. [Eek!] All jokes aside I think short trips really are a killer on motors with the condensation and extra fuel left to do the evil work on the oil. At least for me this is the reason to look at synthetics now.
...Because the ring-pack is so covered in varnish/deposits that they simply aren't performing their job! Is he still running 5w-30? Why not give something else a try (Much thicker viscosity, high detergent, and dose of moly) instead of junking it? How expensive are a few quarts of oil and a SuperTech filter over at Wally-World? I'm sure your friend can spare a few bucks! I would spend the few bucks to at least see what would happen and if I could save it...
 

like a rock

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278
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Petersburg, West Virginia
Jelly he is now using 10w-30. I will suggest to try a 15w-40 at least the super tech brand but maybe I can convince him to try penz. LL 15w-40 and some auto-rx. He found another used 302 with 60,000 on it for 600.00 bucks with a year warranty. I have used the penz LL 15-40 in a 10 year old lawn tractor - briggs air cooled motor and boy did it break up the gunk. [Eek!]
 
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College Dorm...
quote:
Originally posted by like a rock: Jelly he is now using 10w-30. I will suggest to try a 15w-40 at least the super tech brand but maybe I can convince him to try penz. LL 15w-40 and some auto-rx. He found another used 302 with 60,000 on it for 600.00 bucks with a year warranty. I have used the penz LL 15-40 in a 10 year old lawn tractor - briggs air cooled motor and boy did it break up the gunk. [Eek!]
Kinda taking the original post off topic here...but "break up the gunk"? Did you have bad sludging (or varnish/deposits) or something?
 
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243
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PA
quote:
Originally posted by liquidballbearing: The ninth word in that first post says it all---FORD. [Wink]
LOL! [crushedcar]
 

TC

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1,644
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California
This early 90's Ford small block has lasted 185,000 miles. I've never owned one -- is this good, bad, typical for a blue oval? If hypothetically these are typically "150K-200K engines" when well maintained, are there really any complaints to be had here? Perhaps other Ford small block junkies can answer this...? My thoughts are that, just a decade earlier (1980's), V-8s such as this typically had 100K-150K longevity, so 185K doesn't seem so bad in comparison, and certainly no indictment of dino oil. There's been other threads here talking about Ford Crown Vic V-8 taxicabs running 250K miles on low-cost dino, but they have unusual steady-state operating conditions. "I want to keep my 04 dakota for a long time and hope to get at least 250,000 out of the motor." If possible, I'd guess this would require excellent maintenance: a better syn oil, premium (10-15 micron -- see the "Mercruiser" thread) filters, and shortened drain intervals. [ May 16, 2004, 09:43 PM: Message edited by: TC ]
 
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199
Location
Michigan
you are just going to have to decide for yourself if the extra cost is worth it to you. You can spend ~$1.50 per quart every 3-4k miles or ~$4 per quart every 6-8k miles. Sure running a synthetic may give you a marginally cleaner engine at 100,000 miles but at what cost? Wear rates based on UOA's indicate that dino can yield wear rates just as good as a synthetic. Either way you go you are going to be taking a risk and the chances of engine failure strictly due to oil choice will be remote. Besides, at 250,000 miles I'm sure you are to have other issues to worry about besides the oil.
 
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9,448
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A good dino oil changed every 3 months or 3000 miles is going to keep the engine clean in most areas. If you are getting a lot of varnish with a dino oil it is either two light a viscosity or too cheap of base stock is being used. The problem is that the average joe goes 9000 miles on an oil change with cheap bulk tank 5W30 at 90MPH day in and day out then idles for an 1 hour in a tracfic jam runing the a/c full tilt! I have seen plenty of engines run on synthetics that had more varnish then engines ran on dino oil. I have never seen an engine run on synthetic sludge unless it was being raced and had a coolant issue ie blown head gasket etc..... I have seen a lot of sludged up dino oil vechiles. THe most strikeing area is the amount of carbon left around seals and gaskets and pistons and rings. I have found that synthetics do not leave hardly any carbon deposits on or around seals. THe amount left in ring packs and piston tops is also greatly reduced when compared to average OTC dino oils. When working on a car feed a steady diet of synthetics you can often remove all the gaskets even the paper ones with two fingetrs. Often their is no carbon ring around the edges and the mateing surfaces are so clean that you do not need to scrap them at all. With conventional oil it is a fight to get any gasket off as it has been glued on to the block with carbon! When I say synthetic I am reffering to PAO's and esters not GIII oils.
 
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Apple Valley, California
If the rings are worn but the rest of the engine is ok id look into the air filter. Does this truck have a roller tappets or flat tappets? Usually the flat tappets will eat the cam first if there is a lubrication problem. Does the truck have a K&N air filter? Does it have a gasket between the carb and filter housing?
 
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Nokesville, VA
quote:
Originally posted by TC: If hypothetically these are typically "150K-200K engines" when well maintained, are there really any complaints to be had here?
That engine (the 302) is known to last over 200K miles if taken care of, at least in the Mustang 5.0. There are several threads about this on the http://www.corral.net forums...
 
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10,910
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Nokesville, VA
quote:
Originally posted by like a rock: High oil consumption, low compression, and excess smoking.
Did he ever change the PVC valve screen? This is a mesh screen under the PCV valve which is known to plug up over time. Most people who aren't familiar with the 5.0 don't know that it's there and don't change it when they change the PCV valve.
 

CBC

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3
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Southern California
302 is one **** of a motor in my opinion..had a few mustangs..beat the crap outta them and my current play car has 170k on the motor and still spanks those new 4.6s. I have run M1 15-50 in it for about the last 100k miles burns about a qt per 3-4k miles.
 
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