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#914796 - 06/05/07 07:42 PM Signs that oil is too thin using UOA
Laminar Lou Offline


Registered: 03/09/06
Posts: 1383
Loc: Agrestic, CA
How do you tell if you are running an oil that is too thin? I was thinking that elevated lead numbers would indicate that the oil is flowing out of the bearings too quickly and therefore too thin. Is that assumption correct? What other increases in wear metals would indicate an oil is too thin?

I am currently testing 5W20 in my Toyota Tundra (which is spec'd for 5W30) and want to know what to look for.

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#914797 - 06/05/07 08:05 PM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: Laminar Lou]
Seth Offline


Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 421
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Why run 5w20 in the middle of summer?
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#914798 - 06/05/07 08:30 PM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: Seth]
Gene K Offline


Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 3127
Loc: Decatur AL USA
I would think lead and copper. However some of the new engines have very little lead in the bearings.

4.7L V-8 does very well on Motorcraft 5W-20 and Castrol GTX 5W-20.


Edited by Gene K (06/05/07 08:33 PM)
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#914799 - 06/05/07 08:34 PM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: Seth]
Laminar Lou Offline


Registered: 03/09/06
Posts: 1383
Loc: Agrestic, CA
I am testing to see if it will affect my fuel economy. The Tundra goes only 5 miles to work and back, so the oil doesn't really have time to get up to temp in that short amount of time. The truck also has an oil cooler that runs through the radiator, so I am not super concerned that the oil is getting really hot.

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#914800 - 06/05/07 09:48 PM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: Laminar Lou]
Laminar Lou Offline


Registered: 03/09/06
Posts: 1383
Loc: Agrestic, CA
Gene,

Thanks for the info.

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#914801 - 06/05/07 10:34 PM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: Laminar Lou]
INDYMAC Offline


Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 2314
Loc: Magnolia, TX
You only drive 10 miles a day and you're worried about fuel economy??? I think this takes the cake!
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#914802 - 06/05/07 11:40 PM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: INDYMAC]
bluesubie Offline


Registered: 08/04/03
Posts: 1765
Loc: NJ
Quote:

You only drive 10 miles a day and you're worried about fuel economy??? I think this takes the cake!



Maybe he means fuel dilution.

-Dennis
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#914803 - 06/06/07 12:28 AM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: bluesubie]
TR3-2001SE Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1759
Loc: Elizabeth City NC
I think lead, aluminum and copper would tell you too thin. Depends of the exact engine but these would cause me to switch to thicker oil.

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#914804 - 06/06/07 12:53 AM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: INDYMAC]
Laminar Lou Offline


Registered: 03/09/06
Posts: 1383
Loc: Agrestic, CA
Quote:

You only drive 10 miles a day and you're worried about fuel economy??? I think this takes the cake!




I think "worried" is too strong a term. "Curious" would be better. Just curious to see if the 5W20 will do anything to improve MPG on my gas guzzling Tundra. It's more out of hobby then to save money. Heck, the UOAs I am doing to test if the 5W20 is causing more wear negates the fuel savings by a large margin.

Oh, and I drive 20 miles a day (I go home for lunch)!

Thanks everyone for the info. I'll post my UOA results when I have them.

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#914805 - 06/06/07 01:19 AM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: INDYMAC]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 7832
Loc: Clovis, CA
Quote:

You only drive 10 miles a day and you're worried about fuel economy??? I think this takes the cake!




LOL!!! . . .

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#914806 - 06/06/07 04:41 AM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: Merkava_4]
oilyriser Offline


Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 7077
Loc: Ontario, Canada
A super short tripper is perfect for a no-alternator experiment. That should save 5% gas usage, though the battery would wear out faster, which would eat some of the savings.

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#914807 - 06/06/07 06:39 AM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: oilyriser]
theedge67 Offline


Registered: 04/01/07
Posts: 268
Loc: St. Louis area MO
It wouldn't wear out if you had a deep cycle battery, those are made to be discharged down a ways then charged back up. That would be an interesting experiment!

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#914808 - 06/06/07 06:50 AM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: theedge67]
Terry Offline


Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 3845
Loc: Greenville , Texas
I predict Gary's, 0w10 bruceoil experiment will reveal what I see daily, that a very "thin" vis but well formulated motor oil in a well kept engine is RARELY if EVER a problem wear wise.

Oxidative thickening is more of a threat. As a matter of fact a too viscous oil causes more problems than the opposite.

Some nonautomotive engine metallurgy is very tough and if driven gently could run a SAE 5 oil safely.

Rule of thumb is to run as thin a grade as you can safely.

Hydrodynamic fluid stability measure is but one area to be concerned with but one of the first the enthusiast focus's on.

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#914809 - 06/06/07 10:09 AM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: Laminar Lou]
Camu Mahubah Offline


Registered: 02/04/05
Posts: 3048
Loc: the Sandhills of Nebraska
5w20 in A motor that specs 5w30. Why don't you try 0w30, just a thought...

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#914810 - 06/06/07 11:21 AM Re: Signs that oil is too thin using UOA [Re: Camu Mahubah]
Colt45ws Offline


Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 7258
Loc: Central Washington
This weekend Im draining the 5W20 PP out of the 4.7L Dodge. Its seen a few 100+* days here in Vegas already. UOA to come. I guess we will find out if likes it or what shows high wear if its too thin. I think it likes it though.
One thing I noticed when I went from 10W30 valvo durablend to PP 5W20, is it basically stopped consuming oil. After 3k the durablend was just above the add line. Now, after 5k with PP its right at full. Being that I overfilled it slightly there is some loss, but WTH!
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