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Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 #5081897 04/21/19 03:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 126
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RonRonnster Offline OP
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A few weeks back the MIL got nailed by an uninsured driver. Money is tight for her, so we had to find a replacement vehicle on the cheap. Found a '92 Suburban with 250,000mi. on the clock for (very) cheap. Lots of miles but this thing purrs like a kitten and shifts surprisingly smooth, completely free of rust. Engine and trans was replaced at one point in its life, according to the PO, but of course no paperwork, so who knows.

So my question for any of you TBI owners out there is what oil to run? If there were no sales on full syn. I would lean toward running QSHM or SuperTech HM in this beast. But, my go to right now would be 5w or 10w30 Mobil1 HM based on the coupons and rebates available for it right now. Anything wrong with running Mobil1 HM oil in this old rig? I know the TBIs usually came with flat tappet lifters - is there another oil more suitable for that, or does it matter? I've owned several TBIs in the past but it's been years ago. It seems these do as well on conventional as anything, but these days just about everything is a syn blend, even conventionals.

Thanks in advance! - Here she is:

[Linked Image]

Last edited by RonRonnster; 04/21/19 03:49 PM.

- 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali - 6.2L / 81k mi.
- 1998 Chev K1500 4x4 - 5.7L / 155k mi.
Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: RonRonnster] #5081902 04/21/19 03:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,979
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JeffKeryk Online Content
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Joined: Jan 2010
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10w30 ST HM or Shell Rotella T 15w40.
Enjoy your Suburbon.

Last edited by JeffKeryk; 04/21/19 03:26 PM.

2018 Tesla Model 3, Medium Range Battery
2018 Lexus RX450h
2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport
2006 Acura TSX
2001 Tundra Access Cab, 1998 Accord LX, 1968 Corvette L36 Roadster, 1965 Olds 4-4-2
Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: RonRonnster] #5081917 04/21/19 03:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 8,614
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andyd Offline
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What a find.Look for a lube sticker with the name of whoever maintained it for all those miles. grin2


'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2
Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: RonRonnster] #5081918 04/21/19 03:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 12,896
dave1251 Offline
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Any 30 or 40 grade of your choice with current API certifications and sleep well.


make the inside of your engine oil cap white.
don't use.
Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: RonRonnster] #5081925 04/21/19 03:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 1,196
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das_peikko Offline
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That would be getting 10W-40 if it were mine. I'm basing that opinion off the UOA section here at BITOG.

Those GM truck V8s have the lowest wear numbers with 10W-40 Castrol GTX or Chevron Supreme.

Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: RonRonnster] #5081938 04/21/19 04:20 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 126
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RonRonnster Offline OP
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I should mention that the Mother-in-law will park this under a car port, so cold winter starts are a reality. In the winter it will usually cool to 15-25 degrees at night, and the dead of winter is commonly sub-zero temps here in the Rocky Mountains.


- 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali - 6.2L / 81k mi.
- 1998 Chev K1500 4x4 - 5.7L / 155k mi.
Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: RonRonnster] #5081950 04/21/19 04:37 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,126
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Chris142 Offline
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Those are unkilable. I have seen them go 400k + with very little maintenance. Put something oily in it and don't worry about it.


02 Wrangler Napa high milage 10w40
87 F250 Valvoline 15w40
07 fjcruiser Car lube plus 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am Maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor Chevron sae30
Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: RonRonnster] #5081960 04/21/19 04:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,222
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joegreen Offline
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The tbi systems are very reliable and simple. I would run a 40wt or 30wt. I don't suspect she will be running it hard or pulling a trailer. Looks like it needs new headlights.


1978 Chevrolet k20
Engine: Delo 10w30xle
Transmission: Castrol transmax dex/merc

1984 Mercedes-Benz 300 turbo diesel
Engine: Delo 400 15w40le
Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: RonRonnster] #5081966 04/21/19 04:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,322
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skyactiv Offline
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Run a 0W40 full saps oil meant for German vehicles. It will have more zinc, provide faster lubrication when could, a benefit for flat tappet engines and will be nice and thick as a 40W when warmed up.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual
The rude guy that points out reality


Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: dave1251] #5081978 04/21/19 05:00 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 14,334
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CT8 Offline
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Originally Posted by dave1251
Any 30 or 40 grade of your choice with current API certifications and sleep well.

+1


2015 F150 2.7
2018 F350 6.2
Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: RonRonnster] #5081979 04/21/19 05:01 PM
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Posts: 884
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Vladiator Offline
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Got a 1995 Tahoe, last year of TBI. Mine runs very well on 10w30s, 10w40s, and 5w40. 12mpg city, 15mpg highway. Love it. No regrets.

Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: skyactiv] #5082023 04/21/19 05:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 12,896
dave1251 Offline
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Originally Posted by skyactiv
Run a 0W40 full saps oil meant for German vehicles. It will have more zinc, provide faster lubrication when could, a benefit for flat tappet engines and will be nice and thick as a 40W when warmed up.

You really don't know what your talking about.


make the inside of your engine oil cap white.
don't use.
Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: RonRonnster] #5082057 04/21/19 06:13 PM
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bullwinkle Offline
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I had a '94 TBI 350 Sub for a while, I ran from 5W30 up to 20W50 (summer) in it-I would run the recommended 5W30 UNLESS you have low hot idle oil pressure (as mine did)-then move up to 10W40, 15W40, or even 20W50 in hot summer weather to get the oil pressure up-I even used STP Oil Treatment in mine with 20W50, and it started easily down to 0F!


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: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: RonRonnster] #5082073 04/21/19 06:24 PM
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xtell Offline
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I run PYB 5w-30, VWB 5w-30 or any name brand Synthetic 5w-30 (when it is on sale) in my GM work trucks small block Chevy engines with TBi. Whenever I have done any valve cover gasket or manifold gasket repairs on any of these engines, the internal parts do no have any varnish on them. These engines also do not burn any oil. I run my oil changes 5000-6000 miles.

Re: Oil for old Chevy TBI 350 [Re: xtell] #5082079 04/21/19 06:27 PM
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bullwinkle Offline
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Originally Posted by xtell
I run PYB 5w-30, VWB 5w-30 or any name brand Synthetic 5w-30 (when it is on sale) in my GM work trucks small block Chevy engines with TBi. Whenever I have done any valve cover gasket or manifold gasket repairs on any of these engines, the internal parts do no have any varnish on them. These engines also do not burn any oil. I run my oil changes 5000-6000 miles.
I agree-PYB would be an excellent, low cost choice for a TBI 350, as would Chevron Supreme-both are LOADED with moly!


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)
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