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1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation #4487966
08/13/17 10:20 PM
08/13/17 10:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
South Alabama
96Vortec Offline OP
96Vortec  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
South Alabama
I just bought a 1996 chevrolet c1500 with the 5.7 Vortec with 167,000 miles. I want to know what weight and type to use. Here in south alabama I have always ran 10w30 conventional chevron supreme in my beater Chevy 350 tbi's but i want this motor to last. My father had a 99 suburban with the 5.7 and his finally slung a rod at 307,000 miles. I want this engine to last like that one. This is not a work truck. Just my daily driver. Currently im looking at Havoline 10w30 synthetic blend but ive had a bad experience with a 350 and synthetic oil. It was a tbi 350 but i still could see multiple leaks occuring again considering its already a high mileage engine. If not the Havoline then what do you think about the dino chevron supreme? Also i want your opinion on oil filters. Something specifically with great drainback protection. Thank you

Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: 96Vortec] #4487970
08/13/17 10:21 PM
08/13/17 10:21 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,303
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,303
New Jersey
I don't think you can go wrong with PYB in those engines. Fur years I ran fancy oils in my 98 4.3, but I'm just not seeing the benefit.

Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: JHZR2] #4487975
08/13/17 10:30 PM
08/13/17 10:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
South Alabama
96Vortec Offline OP
96Vortec  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 3
South Alabama
This is my first vortec. What commonly fails on these engines in your experience. Whats your mileage?

Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: 96Vortec] #4487976
08/13/17 10:31 PM
08/13/17 10:31 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 724
Canada
Run Offline
Run  Offline
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 724
Canada
Valvoline Maxlife should work nicely.


03 Neon 2.0 - VSP 5W-30 Pentius XL
Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: 96Vortec] #4487985
08/13/17 11:05 PM
08/13/17 11:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,841
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Offline
Chris142  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,841
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
The truck will fall apart around that 350.


02 Wrangler carlube 5w30
87 F250 traveler 15w40
07 fjcruiser Chevron 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: 96Vortec] #4487995
08/13/17 11:28 PM
08/13/17 11:28 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,199
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 7,199
Waco, TX
15W-40.

The flavor doesn't matter.

It'll see 400,000.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: 96Vortec] #4488002
08/13/17 11:46 PM
08/13/17 11:46 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,041
Las Vegas
ArrestMeRedZ Online content
ArrestMeRedZ  Online Content
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,041
Las Vegas
Originally Posted By: 96Vortec
This is my first vortec. What commonly fails on these engines in your experience. Whats your mileage?


Intake manifold gaskets. Yours have probably already been changed out, but watch it in case they weren't, or were replaced with the gaskets that were the original bad design. 1996 was the first year for the use of Dexcool, and those gaskets combined with Dexcool were a problem. Mine went at 66k. Other than that, my engine has been bulletproof.

Cheap parts, easy to work on, and reliable to boot, other than the gasket problem. I have used synthetic oil from the start, and haven't had a leak yet. Factory recommendation is for 5W-30 anywhere, with 10W-30 acceptable for non-freezing weather conditions.

Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: ArrestMeRedZ] #4488027
08/14/17 12:44 AM
08/14/17 12:44 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,303
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,303
New Jersey
Originally Posted By: ArrestMeRedZ
Originally Posted By: 96Vortec
This is my first vortec. What commonly fails on these engines in your experience. Whats your mileage?


Intake manifold gaskets. Yours have probably already been changed out, but watch it in case they weren't, or were replaced with the gaskets that were the original bad design. 1996 was the first year for the use of Dexcool, and those gaskets combined with Dexcool were a problem. Mine went at 66k. Other than that, my engine has been bulletproof.

Cheap parts, easy to work on, and reliable to boot, other than the gasket problem. I have used synthetic oil from the start, and haven't had a leak yet. Factory recommendation is for 5W-30 anywhere, with 10W-30 acceptable for non-freezing weather conditions.


+1. Id do an oil change, with a quick 500 mile OCI on the same oil, just to get consistent oil in there, then pull a UOA after 1000-3000 miles on the second change.

Look for telltale signs of a LIM leak.

If you have a diagonal radiator neck, check the cap. Plastic caps are bad. Stant caps at least were good.

Id do a change of the coolant regardless. My truck has all original, clean and bright cooling system, having never seen anything besides dex cool. Dex isnt bad in an dof itself, with new gaskets at least. Mixing it with other stuff like green coolant is. Rebaseline it by changing out the radiator and then after 1000 miles doing the radiator again, that will get >50% out at least. Any signs of brown sludge and you may need to be a bit more aggressive and/or flush the block.

Why not get some fresh Dex VI in there too, if you trust that the AT has been serviced before?

plugs, wires, and distributor all ok?

Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: 96Vortec] #4488029
08/14/17 01:08 AM
08/14/17 01:08 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 2,037
VW Fanboy Island
maxdustington Online content
maxdustington  Online Content
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 2,037
VW Fanboy Island
Originally Posted By: 96Vortec
This is my first vortec. What commonly fails on these engines in your experience. Whats your mileage?


The spider injectors go bad and have to be replaced with a conventional mpfi conversion harness which is available pretty cheap on amazon. We have a 97 305 and my dad told me the plastic intake manifold exploded?! Due to this. It was running like trash before that so i want to believe him. Ours went bad at about 190k km.

You can also run a different intake from a boat 350 vortec that has a more conventional injector set up but that would be more for a hotrod instead of a DD.

Make sure you block the air intake silencer box off with the bottom of a pop can, too. I did that back in 2006 and i think it's still there.


03 Jetta AWP/09A 205k kms
Edge 0W40 + Mann 719/30
Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: 96Vortec] #4488041
08/14/17 02:40 AM
08/14/17 02:40 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 5,684
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DoubleWasp Offline
DoubleWasp  Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 5,684
Fort Lauderdale, FL
We have a few in Izusu NPR HD's. They've been run on HDEO 15w40 their entire lives with only one issue. One started Rod knocking at 330k and now gets SAE60. Going almost 40k on the rod knock with SAE60.

Skip the 5w30 if you drive your truck like a truck and want longevity. Seen too many of those engines with excessive blowby north of 150k miles using that.

I'd say a high HTHS 10w-30 at a minimum, but 15w40 being the preference.


07 Lincoln Navigator M1 0w-40/FU
68 Charger R/T / Supercharged 440 VR1/DBL7349
07 Ram 3500 4x4 / Cummins 6.7 /DBL7349
17 Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio
Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: 96Vortec] #4488083
08/14/17 05:55 AM
08/14/17 05:55 AM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,817
Balearic Islands , Spain
FordCapriDriver Online content
FordCapriDriver  Online Content
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 2,817
Balearic Islands , Spain
Valvoline Maxlife 10W-40 should work great, it's known to stop leaks quite well.
I would change the coolant too.


1975 Ford Capri II Ghia 3000 V6, - Shell Helix HX3 20W-50 w/ 20% Rimula R4X 15W-40 HDEO.

1988 Ford Escort Mk4 Xr3i Cabrio, - Shell Rimula R4X 15W-40, w/ 30% Helix 3 20W-50.

Finnish expat in Spain.
Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: 96Vortec] #4488106
08/14/17 06:25 AM
08/14/17 06:25 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 182
Houston, TX
czbrian Offline
czbrian  Offline
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 182
Houston, TX
My family has had a ton of trucks or tahoes with either the Vortec 5.7 or 5.0. All lasted to around 300K miles before they were either wrecked or eventually sold using various flavors of 10w30. Early in their lives we used mostly Mobil 1 but usually switch to something less expensive later on such as Mobil 5000.

Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: 96Vortec] #4488223
08/14/17 08:45 AM
08/14/17 08:45 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,338
Cincinnati, OH, USA
bullwinkle Offline
bullwinkle  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,338
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Run whatever HM grade between 5W30 and 20W50 that gets the hot oil pressure in a good range (around 15-20 at idle, 35 or higher at cruise)-but if it hasn't been done, the lower intake manifold gasket WILL FAIL and kill your bottom end. Losing the Dexcool (if its old enough to have come with it) isn't a bad idea either-but replace thos LIMK gaskets!

Last edited by bullwinkle; 08/14/17 08:45 AM.

06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: 1996 vortec 5.7 oil recommendation [Re: 96Vortec] #4488282
08/14/17 09:43 AM
08/14/17 09:43 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Merkava_4 Offline
Merkava_4  Offline
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Some kind of 40 weight would be good. I like the MaxLife idea.


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