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Oil Filters and Cold Start Pressure Readings #3952004 12/18/15 07:01 PM
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TheBogie Offline OP
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Hi all,

This is my first post and I want to thank you all for your experience that I have enjoyed reading for three years since I bought my Jeep and started doing my own maintenance again.

Like many, I have battled the cold start lifter rattle with my JK 3.8 for the last three winters at 39000 miles. I've spent hours reading all the posts about oil weight, filter ADBVs, using a block heater etc, here, BITGOG and other places. I have tried 5w-20 PYB dino, 5-30 Petro-Canada syn, 5w-20 & 5w30 Pennzoil Platinum with various filters including Mopar, Napa/Wix Gold, Napa/WIx Platinum, Fram Ultra Synthetic, and now Motorcraft FL400s. I have upgraded my wires and plugs, cleaned the throttle body, and seafoamed the CC every 2nd oil change.

At this point, I am getting my best results with Pennzoil 5w30 Platinum and Motorcraft FL400s. Admittedly, in "northern" Canada, my filter choices are limited... my stores almost always have FRAM only. I tried the FRAM Ultra due to its favorable reviews here and its abundance. It was second best for quieting the rattling. The Motorcraft/PZ 5w30 combo nets me a mostly quiet cold start, the quietest operating valve train and smooth idling. I monitor oil pressure and temp with Autometer gauges, independently monitoring from a Mishimoto sandwich plate adapter with a braided line offset for more accurate pressure. Pressures and temps, measured with my Autometer gauges, fall within good ranges for both cold and warm at idle and under load: (warm 17-psi - 60psi). My temp warms to 190F-140F depending on load conditions as expected.

In mornings below 40F, I plug my block heater in. This eliminates any cold start noise. But when at work and the JK is sitting all day, I still get some rattle as the temp dips.

I think that this is the best that I can do with an otherwise well-running 3.8. But my experiments gave some curious results that I hope someone can help me with.

On some filters, with temps between 0F-40F or lower, there was a 1-5 minute lag before pressure moved from zero as measured from the sandwich plate. The stock sensor does not flash any warnings so there is some pressure that is not measurable from the sandwich plate, but is from the stock location. (plus, the motor doesn't seize up!)

I know that the gauge is operating because on the Motorcraft, with the same oil and weight, I get pressure readings immediately at cold start ups. I can only think that some filters perform differently in the cold... perhaps the bypass settings are involved or the bypass location? The Fram Ultra XG3614 gave me the delayed readings when cold, while the FL-400s reads at startup.

Any ideas?

39000 miles
2011 2dr Wrangler
5w30 Pennzoil Platinum
Motorcraft FL-400s

Re: Oil Filters and Cold Start Pressure Readings [Re: TheBogie] #3952011 12/18/15 07:08 PM
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philipp10 Offline
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Does this rattle do any damage or is it just irritating? I live in Minnesota and my cars sound rough in cold starts too. Not as bad as before since I switched to synethic oil but still, -20 is cold.

Re: Oil Filters and Cold Start Pressure Readings [Re: TheBogie] #3952021 12/18/15 07:21 PM
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TheBogie Offline OP
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Many owners report that the rattle is nothing and all my vehicles have been noisy in winter in Canada. It's an irritating worry but with a Jeep... you are always hearing a new sound! I joke that it's a Jeep feature. Synthetics have been an improvement as you have found, and the 5w30 quiets the valvetrain year round remarkably. I remember years ago that with dino oil, you'd get a horrendous metal grinding if you forgot to plug the block in.

I'm more curious as to how different filters behave with pressure readings at cold start. There must be some mechanical explanation for some to read zero at the sandwich plate for a few minutes. I never would have discovered this has I not put in aux gauges in October.

Re: Oil Filters and Cold Start Pressure Readings [Re: TheBogie] #3952063 12/18/15 08:18 PM
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Greasymechtech Offline
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Try a 0w40

Try a free flowing filter(stainless) filter from scotts, gopurepower or kandp. Or, use a remote adapter without filter... just loop the oil flow from out to in.

http://kandpengineering.com/product-catalog/s15/
http://www.system1filters.com/oilfilters.htm

You can also try a Toyota oil filter. Maybe its inability to filter well allows it to flow better.


At what point should a lurker start posting :-)
Re: Oil Filters and Cold Start Pressure Readings [Re: TheBogie] #3952069 12/18/15 08:21 PM
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ZeeOSix Offline
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Originally Posted By: TheBogie
I think that this is the best that I can do with an otherwise well-running 3.8. But my experiments gave some curious results that I hope someone can help me with.

On some filters, with temps between 0F-40F or lower, there was a 1-5 minute lag before pressure moved from zero as measured from the sandwich plate. The stock sensor does not flash any warnings so there is some pressure that is not measurable from the sandwich plate, but is from the stock location. (plus, the motor doesn't seize up!)

I know that the gauge is operating because on the Motorcraft, with the same oil and weight, I get pressure readings immediately at cold start ups. I can only think that some filters perform differently in the cold... perhaps the bypass settings are involved or the bypass location? The Fram Ultra XG3614 gave me the delayed readings when cold, while the FL-400s reads at startup.


Sounds strange, because with a positive displacement oil pump - which your Jeep probably has - there should be no real reason that it would take that long for the oil pressure to build up, even if the whole oiling system drained down due to a bad ADBV. Even if the filter was in bypass mode, the oil should fill and pressurize the engine's oiling system and build oil pressure pretty quickly.

Re: Oil Filters and Cold Start Pressure Readings [Re: TheBogie] #3952112 12/18/15 08:56 PM
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goodtimes Offline
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A 5w-20 or 0w -20 with correct size oe filter or Fram Ultra equivalent? That takes the very common 3614 size I believe. Maybe larger filters,the sandwich plate, tubing etc doesn't help matters. Some guys were pouring oils in cold temps and I remember the M1 did well. Not that it is much of a test the way they did it, but it seemed M1 was flowing easier.

Re: Oil Filters and Cold Start Pressure Readings [Re: TheBogie] #3952164 12/18/15 10:14 PM
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double vanos Offline
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My sister in law has a 2008 Jeep with the 3.8. She had lifter noise and consumption problems big time until I switched it over to Castrol 0W-40 with a Wix filter and that took care of that. Don't know about yours, but hers likes the thicker A3 oils.
While we don't see Canada type temps, we are in the Arizona mountains (5800 ft) and routinely see +20 and that temp it's all good.
So far it's working for us.....


Sabine Schmitz is the Queen of the 'Ring; Svetlana Kapanina is the Queen of the SKIES...
Re: Oil Filters and Cold Start Pressure Readings [Re: goodtimes] #3952179 12/18/15 10:38 PM
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TheBogie Offline OP
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I wonder that I might have introduced too many variables as well goodtimes. It doesn't help that I have only had the gauges for last two filter tries. I have made sure that I have a proper fill to compensate for the larger filter at least and the operating pressures are good.

I may not be able to figure it out unless I ran all those filter variants again now that I have the gauges, both in stock and the larger size.

But, the larger 400s is performing as it should pressure-wise, is quieter than the rest and readily available at Ford, then maybe I should just stick with what works and not bother trying to figure out why the others didn't! I have exhausted the limited choices in my town. I have a good relationship with a dealer in a nearby town for the last year of the powertrain warranty and if I really wanted to give myself some warranty insurance, I could always do a UOA with the 5w30/FL-400s setup.

Re: Oil Filters and Cold Start Pressure Readings [Re: TheBogie] #3952182 12/18/15 10:45 PM
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TheBogie Offline OP
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I tried all the other stock size filters originally for the cold start noise, but went to the 5w30 to quiet the operating valvetrain noise and address oil consumption. I was burning 1 qt/3000 miles and now that has dropped to half.

As suggested by the poster from Arizona, a thicker oil could be good for our summers. I tend to push things a little harder then wheeling or towing a my utility trailer.

So I'm leaning towards sticking with the FL400s/PP 5w30 combo for our winters to manage the clatter and consumption but you have given me something to think about regarding thicker weights for our summer.

One thing's for sure, I have really benefited from all of the BITOG community over the last few years. Thank you.

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