Thick as molasses in January....experiment

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HermitJohn, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    This fall I bought an old Ford Ranger 4wd with 2.8 at salvage auction. Got it running ok, seemed acceptable oil pressure just driving it down to get mail or letting it sit and idle until it warmed fully, but oil pressure started dropping to 5psi at hot idle after highway driving. Threw can of aftermarket oil thickener in it. Minute change not worth mentioning. Today I had to go do laundry and stopped at AutoZone. Looked at oil display and saw Valvoline SAE60w straight weight oil. Meant for racing. Never saw it before. Had seen 50w racing oil long time ago, but nobody much carried it. About heaviest oil you ever saw was 40w or 20w50. Anyway this 60w is as thick as many aftermarket additives and lot cheaper. Actually looks thicker than 80w90 gear oil. Got 4 quart, new oil filter and qt of Lucas Oil Stabilizer just for heck of it. Had used Lucas in a manual tranny before and it does quiet a noisy one. Never tried it in an engine as I usually fix or ditch engines in poor enough shape to need such. Well, I did the oil change after getting home with engine hot to get out as much crud as possible. Oil draining out was black after just couple hundred miles since my first oil change. Previous owners for sure didnt believe in maintenence. Hot idle oil pressure is now 35 to 40 with the Lucas and racing oil.. Wow, I'm impressed.

    My question, do you think engine will even turn over with such thick oil after outdoor temp nosedives tonight? ;-) I maybe sorry for my experiment but it was fun and dont think this engine had long life in store with that 5psi oil pressure anyhow. Wouldnt hesitate to run it with super thick oil in summer though.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

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    Quick trip back to Autozone. Pick up electric dipstick. Plug in tonight. Oil will be hot in the morning.
     

  3. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    A better bet might be a 5w-50 sythetic. Expensive as all get out but it will be as thin as SAE-5w at 0F and as thick as SAE-50 at 210F. I think thats how that works. Anyhow, some say you don't have to change synthetic oil as often and others say it still gets dirty, while others say never ever to use anything but straight SAE-30, like it was milk from their mothers teat or something.

    http://www.phillips66lubricants.com...B75FFBE8D360/0/Tropartic100_percent_SynMO.pdf
     
  4. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    You know I havent seen a dipstick heater or even block heater for sale since I moved down here to AR. There is a block heater on my old diesel tractor, but it was originally from Nebraska according to service decal I saw on it and diesels are cold blooded things anyhow especially ancient ones before glow plugs. I might however just do that, sure I could find one off the internet, maybe ebay.

    Expensive synthetic in a worn out engine. Probably not. I did this on a lark just to see if and how much I could raise oil pressure in this thing. I already have plans to swap in an old Dodge slant six engine next summer. That 2.8 if in good shape probably would be ok in a little sporty car, but is a bad choice for a 4x4 engine.
     
  5. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............HJ , I've kinda been keeping up with your progress on reviving this little truck, but did you pull the pan and check the suction filter on the oil pump ?? I'd probably have added 3 qts. of 60 w and 1 qt. of 5w-30 synthetic Mobile 1 . That might be the best of both worlds , and still allow enough viscosity to allow the engine to turnover when cold . good luck , fordy... :clap:
     
  6. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

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    Ive never used the extra thick oil but my fear a normal oilpump (especially an old oil pump) would not me able to pump such an thick oil, it may ruin the current oil pump.

    It you have oil pressure when the truck is cold and it drops to 5 psi when warm could be caused by several things, Fist thing I would try is a compression check of all cylindars and go from there.
     
  7. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    I've never done it since a lab in school once, but it would be fun to test the viscosity of various oils and mixes at 0F, 32F, and on up to 210F. Even without the right requipment you could do a comparison of one oil with another, and also see if the viscosity changes much as it gets older. The proper equipment was really quite simple. A glass tube of some kind. Perhaps you could do something with a drinking straw.
     
  8. Countrybumpkin

    Countrybumpkin Well-Known Member

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    I have a '78 Ford F250 that has gotten so bad that I have to run 20-50 in it to keep pressure up...in the winter I have to drag the salamder out to be able to turn the thing over...
     
  9. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    It actually has even compression and runs smooth since I removed heads and ground valves as part of getting it running in first place. Just cost me time and gaskets as I have tool to reface valves. I suppose it is theoretically possible that oil pickup screen is clogged but I seriously doubt it and it would be a pain to remove oil pan to check. If this engine can manage not to throw rod the rest of winter then thats all I ask.

    By way, engine started fairly easily this morning, but oil pressure took bit to work its way up. And coming home this evening after climbing county road and then driveway, hot idle was down to 20psi. Grrrr.... If it gets back down to 5psi with this thick oil, then I'll have to park it until I can get another engine in it. Hate to as I really like this Ranger. So nice to just stick it in low range 4wd and crawl up driveway without hassle.
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't park it until it blew. My father drove a '53 chevy for years with less than 15 lbs. oil pressure. As long as the oil is being pumped to the top and flowing back down, it should be fine. You might want to remove the oil filter and blow high pressure air back into the crankcase. It may remove some of the crud from the screen. Another thing you might want to try is at next oil change, drain oil and fill with kerezene, run engine 2 to 3 minutes. No longer. Watch water temp. If it goes above 180, stop there, even if it is only 1 minute. Drain and refill with new oil and filter. It will help clean all ports, screens, return holes, ETC.
     
  11. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

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    If ya got the time, try replacing the oil pump itself. It could have a bad gasket or is loose.
     
  12. cruiser3006

    cruiser3006 Active Member

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    I had the same problem in a 91 Dodge 3/4 tn. replacing the camshaft bearings solved the problem of weak oil pressure after warmup. I don't know why it worked, but it did.
     
  13. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    super thick oil in a weakened oil pump will over work it and kill it.

    low oil pressure isnt BAD in every case, what you are more concered with is FLOW.
    remove the valve pan and start the engine... how much flow do you have making its way back up to the head?

    if you have little flow, flush the engine out, [engine fluser... refined diesel fuel] to get the flow going again. in most cases... youll see an imediate rise in pressure.

    now, fill it with full synthetic. change the oil filter once a week till the change day comes where you see the oil is still clean when you pull it off. your first 4 or 5 filters [cheap ones for this stage] will be full of tar anf gunk.. thats good. synthetic oil is highly solvent, and will clean the engine out gently and safely.

    you might start a leak this way. dont panic over a small seeping leak, most times when the syn oil saturates the dry part of the gasket it will swel back up and stop leaking. if you have a larger leak to start with... you might wanna fix that first.

    I have an old ford with a 390 ir idles at 7 PSI, drives at about 35. the flow to the heads is smooth and full, I dont worry about the PSI... that low PSI in an FE is NORMAL.
    in a newer type engine you need to investigate whats "normal".
    putting 60 wt oil in there isnt going to solve anything. all its doing is restricting the flow in the pump and the pressure at the oil filter where the sender is is high... from restriction.
    the thick oil wont flow in the filter right, less so when its dirty. your going to starve the oil in the galleries and important bits, and kill the engine.

    old engines can be rehabbed by a good correct oil changeover that cleans out the engine and restores FLOW.

    dont use engine flush more than once, youll desolve the crud built up in the main bearings and kill them. let the synthetic oil SLOWLY clean them.
    and keep changing the filter till its clean, the syn will loosen tons of gunk and sludge.
    as it seems to be cleaner when you yank the filter... put on a better quality filter with a smaller micrron size filter to trap the smaller stuff... suprise itll suddenly be really dirty again for a few changes as it now traps the finer gunk.

    after a while itll be as clean as a new engine.

    on the "quality" question of synthetic oil.... cheap full synthetic oil is 100x better than expensive real oil. top grade syn is only slightly better than cheap syn, still worth the money once you get to a point it isnt leaking and its clean, as you can now leave it in much longer.

    quaker state syn is cheap, fine for a cleaning stage.
    redline or royla purple is great quality oil once you can "leave it in" for a regular cycle.

    flow is what you need to check for, and remember, the gauge might be wrong... they go bad more than most gauges do. p[ick up a new 13 buck oil gauge and put it in, and see if its the same or better pressure.

    I had fine oil pressure in one of my trucks I didnt question and i found one day, swapping around gauges, that my gauge was wrong... really off. the pressure was really low and the gunk was slowing the flow in the engine... after a flush and another gauge, the pressure went up, and fluctuated like it was suppose to. the flow to the open heads was visably better.

    Thicker oil aint the answer. restoring flow, cleaning the engine and replace the gauge is.
    noise also tells you a lot about where oil is and is not going... a mechanics stethiscope can pinpoint the ticks clicks and knocks....

    you engine can be saves, its HP boosted and itll last a good long time if its a quiet one, and its compression is good.
     
  14. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    if the bearings are worn out the oil flows too fast thru them and the oil presure drops. I was looking at a little S10 that did that, good pressure cold once it warmed up the pressure dropped to zero. Once I pointed this out to the guy he almost gave the truck to me and I shoulda taken it, it was a nice truck...
    the lack of pressure from mains doesnt cut flow, you still get flow to the vital bits... at lower pressure. the problem is the bearing as are worn so bad, they can and do break and ruin the engine... so the engine doesnt die from low oi pressure it dies from main bearing failure.

    low oil pressure is only one sign to consider, added to other symtoms it can mean several things. afte the pressure drops from bad mains.... you can hear them with a stethiscope probe making more noise than they do cold.
    buying an engine this way is risky, if its been run to much the crank could be scarred up so bad it will need replaced also.
     
  15. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, interesting theories into the alchemy of keeping worn out engines alive, but in my experiences, if one starts getting low oil pressure, either repair or replace the engine if one wants reliability. If its either got zillion miles or has been so mistreated/neglected for bearings to wear to this degree, then rest of engine isnt any great shakes either. The compression on this engine is even, but not high. If I actually liked this engine then I would tear it apart and fix it properly with basically a total rebuild, though new cam bearings and a crank kit would probably gain a lot of miles. Nobody yet has said what is normal oil pressure for this particular engine either on this thread or on other in shop forum. Old Chilton says normal pressure is 50psi at 2000rpm. Sure that is what is expected in a perfect condition specimen of this engine. Great, that is what it now gives with the 60w. Or what to look for when this engine is ready to give up the ghost other than obvious rod knock etc. Different engines act differently. Ford 300 I-6 can go with low oil pressure for incredible amounts of time and at least have good chance of limping home with bad rod knock. Dodge slant six can continue to run with big hole in piston. Olds V8 can have life after being severely overheated. Most others cant. I have no experience with these 2.8s. I have never heard they were a particulary long lifed engine (one junkyard guy said they'd outlast a GM 2.8) even if babied, but then I havent heard much about them at all.

    As I have mentioned, I have absolutely no love for this engine, especially with crappy fuel mileage it seems to deliver. I just dont care to get stranded somewhere and would like to keep the rest of the truck without some huge towing bill. If high viscosity oil lets this happen until warmer weather when I can replace engine with something I know to be reliable, then good enough.
     
  16. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I didnt mention exact compression reading because my old compression gauge had proven not to be accurate. Bought new one. 90-95 psi all around. Even compression due to my refacing/lapping valves but very low compression readings for modern engine. Its just a worn out engine with worn out rings and bearings. Good engine would give 130 psi compression readings or better on each cylinder. Also explains my very low gas mileage. Know its running as well as it can cause plugs are all that nice light brown. Time to start looking for replacement engine. Since this 2.8 is silly choice for an engine in a 4wd and pricey to rebuild, am going to have to measure and hopefully adapt a good Dodge slant six into it. Slant six has good low end torque and if tuned well can get to mid twenties mileage wise (hiway miles) with a manual overdrive.
     
  17. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Just checking, are you sure the oil pressure gauge is reading right?
     
  18. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    My guess? Worn bearings.The 60 wt. is able to lube them and not be forced out,allowing it up to valve train.I would suspect valve train is oiling poorly though.Probably tighter tolerances up there.I once tried 50 wt in an engine with hydraulic lifters,they couldnt function.

    Hey,you have nothing to lose.

    Try a can of 'Engine Restore'.It works by filling in metal scratches/grooves with lead/copper and silver.

    Its only a couple bucks(about 7 dollars)

    It completely stopped my oil burning in an S10 v-6.That goofy stuff really worked for consumption,but that was rings no doubt.

    Reviews:

    "I have 3 Toyotas each with over 200k on them and I saw a Baja race team use this stuff to restore compression to a scrached cylinder and it worked for them. I tried it and can tell you it will give your old engine the horse power it used to have. You will feel the difference after a couple hundred miles."

    "I think it is a good product!!! "

    " G O O D"

    "I have a 1993 Chrysler van with a 160,000 miles. I owned for 5 years and I use this product every time a do a oil change. I never have any problems with my cars. "

    " WORKS GREAT. I OWN AN AUTO SHOP AND HAVE USED THIS PRODUCT FOR SEVERAL YEARS. IT WORKS!! IT ALSO WORKS VERY WELL IN MY OLD AIR COMPRESSOR."

    "Increadable"

    " I have a Honda 1990 Civic that my daughter gave me with 213,000. I was adding about 1 can of engine additive of all different kinds and still was adding 1 qt of oil about every 2 to 3 tanks of gas. Since I added 11 oz of Engine Restore I have not added anything for the last three tanks. All I can say if something would told me this I would have told them they nuts. This product is INCREDIBLE. "


    http://www.atvconnection.com/atvconnection/Features/productreviews/Restore-Engine-Restorer.cfm

    http://www.restoreusa.com/restorer.html

    Give it a try John.At least read the links for future reference.
     
  19. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Its a new aftermarket mechanical oil pressure gauge. I believe it. 5psi hot idle oil pressure with regular 10w40 oil. 20psi hot idle oil pressure with the 60w.

    I am not particularly worried about valve train lubrication. This engine oddly enough has solid lifters and you mechanically adjust the valves like the old timey engines. Should hold up as long as I need this engine. I would think 60w oil would not work well with hydraulic lifters or overhead cams. I am most worried about this engine throwing a rod and leaving me stranded. Also really hate gas mileage in low teens. Last tank I got 12.5mpg. That hurts at todays prices.

    Engine Restorer huh? I am rather dubious about the miracle cures. Well when I had heads off, the cylinders looked pretty good, just little bit of a ridge at top of cylinder. though I didnt spend lot time examining them closely as to how out of round they were. I've seen lot worse. Old Chev engines especially. So possibly if any miracle cure was going to work, this would be a good candidate for experimenting????

    Probably gain some compression with just new regular size rings and some more oil pressure with just new bearings. But require removing heads again. Head gasket set for this engine is unfortunately NOT cheap. Cheapest I found cost me $38 plus tax last time. I'd rather put any money into replacement engine than half-assed repairs to this one. If I wanted to keep this engine, I'd disassemble it and have block bored and crank ground. thing is I found a good junk yard slant six for $250 if I go that way and I think I will. Need to look at slant six out in my yard first. It has set several years with just bucket over carb. Seems to be stuck right now. Also its an early version before hardened valve seats. People can deny it all they want, but in my opinion hardened valve seats were great boon to keeping old engine going long time.
     
  20. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I didnt believe it either,but it did work.

    Same thing with that headgasket sealer stuff too,didnt believe that either til a friend did it in a 440,and many many Subarus owners used it and fixed those leaks.Appears there ARE some cans o crud that really work.

    I tell you what,I'll send you 7 bucks if you PM me.I'd like to know what it can/cant do in a really worn engine,worth 7 bucks to me just to know.Want to give it a shot?

    BooBoo