What oil should I use for a 1985 Ford Ranger 2.3L

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60
Location
Long Beach, CA
I just bought a 1985 Ford Ranger with 96,000 original miles on the odometer [Cool] It's a 5-spd with an inline-4 2.3L I live in Los Angeles, CA by the way. We never experience extreme heat or cold like some parts of the country [SPAZ!] I drive about 30% city/70% highway I was thinking of using a Motorcraft oil filter and Motorcraft 10-30 oil with an OCI of 4,000 miles [I dont know] Or... Do you guys think that the engine is too old for a synthetic oil like Mobil 1 10-30? [Confused] Any advice/opinions are welcome. Thanks in advance [Smile] myke
 
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4,652
Location
The Garden State
With 96,000 miles on an 1985 vehicle, which isn't very many miles, you might want to do an Auto-RX treatment since you don't know the "type" of miles those 96,000 miles were. Were they short drive miles or highway miles with lots of no driving in between. This way you can "clean" out the crud and condition you engine seals. As far as your choice of oil and filter I think Motorcraft for both is great. You'll get the best "bang for the buck" with that combo. Whimsey
 

TC

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1,644
Location
California
Sound like a very good choice on your part -- Motorcraft filter + Motorcraft 10w-30, and I assume you're talkin' WalMart. For what it's worth to ya, the oil is relabeled Conoco HydroClear. A 10w-40 might even be appropriate for So Cal summers -- check your manual. With mostly highway driving, I might personally bump up to 5,000 mile oil changes, but don't know what Ford originally called for in terms of frequency. AutoRX is well thought of; another alternative is to use the Motorcraft 15w-40 diesel lube for $1.46, also from WalMart, for a cycle or two. This can help clean things out. Syn might be a bit pricey for this ride. [ May 26, 2004, 07:56 PM: Message edited by: TC ]
 

TC

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1,644
Location
California
I suspect the 20w-50's are a bit overused by some folks. If you look at the Chevron/Havoline websites, they describe 10w-30 as the default weight for many older and some newer engines, 10w-40 for "older model cars that see regular high temp operation," and 20w-50 for "towing heavy trailers at high speeds or up inclines for long periods of time...and racing and rallying." Some Euro engines, such as BMWs and Jags, have often called for 20w-50 as well. But for older American rides, 10w-40 IS a "high temp" oil. Your engine might be "older" as the mechanic says, but what's relevant is whether it burns oil or not, not it's age, as Virtuoso suggests. Unless it burns oil, go with 10w-30 or 10w-40 in So. Cal. What does the manual call for?
 

IBJanky

Thread starter
Messages
60
Location
Long Beach, CA
quote:
Originally posted by TC: I suspect the 20w-50's are a bit overused by some folks. If you look at the Chevron/Havoline websites, they describe 10w-30 as the default weight for many older and some newer engines, 10w-40 for "older model cars that see regular high temp operation," and 20w-50 for "towing heavy trailers at high speeds or up inclines for long periods of time...and racing and rallying." Some Euro engines, such as BMWs and Jags, have often called for 20w-50 as well. But for older American rides, 10w-40 IS a "high temp" oil. Your engine might be "older" as the mechanic says, but what's relevant is whether it burns oil or not, not it's age, as Virtuoso suggests. Unless it burns oil, go with 10w-30 or 10w-40 in So. Cal. What does the manual call for?
I dont have the manual... i had just bought the truck a week ago and it didnt come w/ a manual All I have is a Haynes repair manual and it says that 10w-30 should be ok myke
 

IBJanky

Thread starter
Messages
60
Location
Long Beach, CA
quote:
Originally posted by Virtuoso: As long as it's not burning horrendus amounts of oil, I wouldn't run a weight that heavy. 10w-30 would do this engine fine.
I just did an oil change yesterday, and I used some Castrol 20w-50 per recommendation by my mechanic I'll switch to the Motorcraft 10w-30 in about 3-4K miles myke
 
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555
Location
south texas border
The older 2.3's, If i recall, had an issue with poor oiling in the number 4 piston (the one in the back) Not sure if and when ford fixed the problem. They will run a long time, but anything you can do to speed up the oil flow will keep it going longer....the 20w50 will work, but personally, I'd go with 5w or 10w and replace the stock oil pump relief spring with a stiffer one to increase the oil pressure. best of luck.
 
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1,381
Location
Southeast Kentucky
"I was thinking of using a Motorcraft oil filter and Motorcraft 10-30 oil with an OCI of 4,000 miles "...that sounds like a good starting point. If you experience oil usage than you may want to try a heavier oil.
 
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342
Location
fairbanks, alaska
I had a '87 Ranger 2.3L with 5 speed when I lived in Geogia. Manual called for 10w30 above 0F. I mainly used Pennzoil, GTX, and Havoline with Fram's. Went from 0 to 87,000 miles without any trouble. The manual did state that 10w40 was ok.
 
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2,480
I wonder if this is the same engine as I had in my college-beater 2.3L `88 Mustang with the same mileage It always consumed 5-30 and was black by 2-2.5k mi.. Consumed M-1 5-30 at an even more alarming rate, so it wasn't worth the added cost. Knowing what I know now I would probably use a 10-40 to control consumption. A 20-50 wouldn't be crossed off my chart's either.
 
Messages
12
Location
FL
Why run a XXw-30 oil, all you need is a HD mono grade 30 oil in summer LA heat.Plus at start up the 30 grade oil should be thinner than a comparable multi vis.
 
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