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Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec #5142176
06/23/19 08:10 PM
06/23/19 08:10 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 314
Va
i6pwr Offline OP
i6pwr  Offline OP

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 314
Va
Sorry for being long-winded, but I feel all is pertinent info, there's a lot of maintenance pics but just hoping to possibly answer as many questions as possible beforehand. I've had a few threads on this in the maintenance section but this will be just for the oil. Brief history, 2002 Envoy, currently I'm at 290K, I bought this new and used Mobil 1 5W-30 for almost all of the first 200K. I developed a slight lash adjuster tick when cold then tried a few other oils...some T6, some HM 5W-30, but mainly stuck to the Mobil 1 5W-30.

Over the course of the last 30K, the motor went through a short series of occasional ticks and taps, nothing major. Around 260K I installed an oil catch can, this may or may not have caused a few issues but it certainly didn't help in the end. During my OCI's of about 4-5K miles, the can would catch about 4oz of oil, and at each OCI, I would dump the oil and move on. After about 4 OCI's, the can would catch less and less, until there was enough to cover the bottom of the can @4K miles.

I didn't notice much difference in the noises until about 280K. There was some more pronounced tapping noises and a more prominent hard tap when warm which gave me concern. At this point I tried a dose of MMO, then some Rislone...seemed to help a little but the hard tap just lingered. Recently around 287K I checked the large fresh air port for the PCV on the valve cover and discovered there was practically no vacuum. I investigated further and discovered the port at the crankcase was plugged up, turns out there was a small filter in the lid of the catch can that plugged up thus causing a total PCV clog. I was also hearing a much more intense knock from just a hard tap when warm, at that point I drained the oil and discovered a very light silver streak on the surface of the oil, so that's when I decided to stop driving it. Good thing I did as two rod bearing halves had a small chunk taken out but no damage to the journal.

I have since fixed that problem, currently using the stock PCV system, valve train was very clean, bottom end not too bad, I suppose the rings were caked a little as I developed a mild piston slap when warm.

Valvetrain @ 288K

[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]


Piston #1 was the worst as far as buildup:

[Linked Image]


After the B12 and GM TEC:

[Linked Image]


After 2 tanks of Costco 87 and 2 treatments of Amsoil PI, roughly 600 miles:

[Linked Image]

Cyl #4 rod bearing had the highest wear based on plastigage @ .003:

[Linked Image]

Cyl #5:

[Linked Image]


Cyl #3:

[Linked Image]


None of the rod journals had a mark on them, all looked like this all the way around.

[Linked Image]



Cyl #2 had the worst scuffing, Cyl #4 was close:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDBpzP4QbaY



I changed out the rod bearings @ 289K, they were pretty much at .003 where max wear limit is .0025. The hard tapping noise was much less but some was still there. I pulled the plugs to find carbon on all the crowns, during that week I soaked the rings with B12 about 3 times, followed by some GM Top Engine Cleaner in the aerosol can. Since the piston soakings, the hard tapping or light knocking has almost gone away. Only very mild piston slap when cold, and when warm, very light piston slap and you have to know its there to hear it....this is progressing week by week for the better.

Once I cleaned the ring packs, I ran some PP 5W-30 for about 2 days then drained and refilled with PUP 5W-30, the PUP has been in there for almost 900 miles and the motor sounds real good, any internal noises have diminished so much that again, you have to know you're listening for something when it's hot.

When starting up cold, there is a few min where the piston slap is audible and likely due to some skirt wear, this is where my question is about going to a slightly higher weight oil. The slap, or tap, whatever it may be....likely slap, doesn't seem to fully go away. The slap comes and goes and from when I first drove it with the PUP, the slap was noticeable all the time to the untrained ear, now it has diminished about half of what it was. Right after the soaking, I could hear the slap just slightly inside the cabin, now I have to try to hear it and really it's almost inaudible.

Will it ever go away...probably not, but to the point that the motor can live for a while longer that's hopefully what I can accomplish.

So my plan is to use the PUP 5W-30 for awhile longer, drain and refill with PUP 5W-30 and get some UOA's at 500, then maybe every 500 for awhile. Should I stick with the PUP or maybe go with M1 0W-40 or a 10W-40 for the summer? The manual calls for 5W-30 or 0W-30 so the 0 weight is allowable but have to factor in mileage. I'm very curious as to what the next 2-3K miles brings to the table.

I'm upset at myself for not checking the lid, but it was down and out of direct sight....the kicker is the motor could have been fine if I left it alone..hard to say but lesson learned.

Very curious to what you all recommend given these conditions, MPG is as good or better than it has ever been, motor runs very smooth. Compression before the ring soaking was between 197-210 PSI with 197 on Cyl #4 which had the very light thrust-side cylinder scuffing. I haven't done a subsequent compression test yet.


Last edited by i6pwr; 06/23/19 08:31 PM.
Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: i6pwr] #5142196
06/23/19 08:31 PM
06/23/19 08:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 564
PEARL River la
tiger862 Offline
tiger862  Offline

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 564
PEARL River la
I would run Mobil1 0w30 with reason is oil will get to flowing quicker. I would then run Textron in tank for about 1000 miles then you can lessen usage if you want. I would also consider 91 octane shell since it has more additives for a few tanks. All this is to clean carbon. What I wouldn't do is seafoam through vacuum as with mileage you take a risk of more engine damage. If oil pressure is good drive and enjoy it.

Last edited by tiger862; 06/23/19 08:32 PM.

Tiger862
2018 Grand Caravan
Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: i6pwr] #5142207
06/23/19 08:48 PM
06/23/19 08:48 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,748
pa
benjy Offline
benjy  Offline

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,748
pa
older + looser engines would prolly do better on thicker oils + you being in virginia a 10-40 or even 15-40 may do well if your not in a colder mountain area. my good running 55 thou 2001 TT 1.8T does better on 10-40 redline + when i add in the summer its redline 15-40. this procedure cuts consumption + i see 25 lb vacuum on the gauge. since i only have a 4.25 qt total capacity i choose redline being one of the best oils IMO.

Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: i6pwr] #5142334
06/23/19 10:56 PM
06/23/19 10:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 209
Texas, USA
PPWarrior Offline
PPWarrior  Offline

Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 209
Texas, USA
I would use a 10w40 in that older engine just because it is not as thin


nissan versa m/t
chevy imapala auto
toyota corolla auto
Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: PPWarrior] #5142400
06/24/19 01:15 AM
06/24/19 01:15 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 314
Va
i6pwr Offline OP
i6pwr  Offline OP

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 314
Va
Originally Posted by tiger862
I would run Mobil1 0w30 with reason is oil will get to flowing quicker. I would then run Textron in tank for about 1000 miles then you can lessen usage if you want. I would also consider 91 octane shell since it has more additives for a few tanks. All this is to clean carbon. What I wouldn't do is seafoam through vacuum as with mileage you take a risk of more engine damage. If oil pressure is good drive and enjoy it.


0W-30 is a possibility if everything quiets down, it's trending that way but could be a stretch. Oil pressure is very good, hits about 70 PSI quickly after startup. I have a few bottles of Techron Concentrate and will run a few more until all is (hopefully) clean.

Originally Posted by benjy
older + looser engines would prolly do better on thicker oils + you being in virginia a 10-40 or even 15-40 may do well if your not in a colder mountain area. my good running 55 thou 2001 TT 1.8T does better on 10-40 redline + when i add in the summer its redline 15-40. this procedure cuts consumption + i see 25 lb vacuum on the gauge. since i only have a 4.25 qt total capacity i choose redline being one of the best oils IMO.


I actually did start to use Redline 5W-30 right before I pulled the pan, that's the oil I discovered the silver film floating on the surface. Surprisingly the engine (while during a very short interval) did seem quieter with the Redline and I suppose that's due to the Redline being on the heavy side of a 30WT.

Originally Posted by PPWarrior
I would use a 10w40 in that older engine just because it is not as thin


In conjunction with what @benjy stated, I have been reading numerous threads here on 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-40, 10W-40, & 15W-40. Been leaning towards the 0W-40 & 10W-40 but with M1 10W-40 being a HM oil, I'm hesitant as I don't see any leaks in the front and rear seals....I guess I'm more worried on possibly swelling the seals prematurely but that's not saying the rest of the add pack wouldn't help. That's one area I wanted to ask about.

I've read about the 0W-40 M1 shearing quicker than expected, not sure if that would be an issue in my case. I did try T6 for about 12K miles around the 260K mark and it seemed to work well, but this was near the height of my PCV system being restricted so it's hard to say what I could have expected. At that time during the T6 my lash adjuster was also showing It's sypmtoms pretty hard during the winter months so again, I never really was able to use the T6 on a somewhat healthy engine.

One area of concern is the piston to cyl clearance now with the mileage. A few pistons obviously have some wear so an oil that provides added protection there would surely be beneficial.

Also having a cam phaser keeps me from going too thick with the oil which is why I had ruled a 15W-50 out.

I like the idea of the M1 HM 10W-40, or maybe even the Redline... Castrol 0W-40 seems to be more popular than the M1 0W-40 so also a consideration.

Edited to add: I wasn't aware PUP was avail in 0W-40 when I bought the 5W-30....their 0W-40 is also an option

i appreciate the input.

Last edited by i6pwr; 06/24/19 01:23 AM.
Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: i6pwr] #5142417
06/24/19 02:31 AM
06/24/19 02:31 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 776
WA
Mad_Hatter Offline
Mad_Hatter  Offline

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 776
WA
There's more to just seal conditioners in some HiMi blends. For example, Valvoline advertises their MaxLife line of oils has more cleaning agents, more ashless antiwear agents, more detergents and dispersants than "regular" formulas. They even say it's okay to use on on "low mile" engines. Now how much of all that is backed up by science and testing is unknown to me but Valvoline doesn't strike me as a brand to make outlandish claims without having some kind of evidence to support it.

Just food for thought...

(im almost wondering why I haven't switched to a HiMi blend already @165k miles 🤔🤔)

Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: i6pwr] #5142426
06/24/19 03:22 AM
06/24/19 03:22 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,421
PA
Gasbuggy Offline
Gasbuggy  Offline

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,421
PA
Hey, this a post from a thread I made a while back about my own about a noisy 5.3 LS engine. I think you are a good candidate to try this oil.

Originally Posted by RDY4WAR
I have a 2002 Tahoe 5.3L with 237k miles. It's had piston slap since day one, though it only did it on cold starts. What worked for me was switching to an oil with high amounts of moly, especially tri-nuclear moly. I ran Amsoil Signature Series 10w-30 for a while, which has around 240 ppm, and it quieted down a good bit. I recently switched to Driven LS30 5w-30, a PAO/ester oil with around 400 ppm of tri-nuclear moly, and the piston slap is gone entirely. Even with it being 30*F out this morning with frost on the windshield, it still fired right up smooth and quiet.


Cadillac CTS-V 6.2L 10w30PP
Volvo P1800 Euro L
76 Mercedes 300D Rotella T4
Series III Land Rover VWB
02 Yukon 10w30 PP
01 P71 M1 EP-HM 0W20
95 Accord - 386k. Mobil 2 RIP
Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: Mad_Hatter] #5142839
06/24/19 01:38 PM
06/24/19 01:38 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 314
Va
i6pwr Offline OP
i6pwr  Offline OP

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 314
Va

Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
There's more to just seal conditioners in some HiMi blends. For example, Valvoline advertises their MaxLife line of oils has more cleaning agents, more ashless antiwear agents, more detergents and dispersants than "regular" formulas. They even say it's okay to use on on "low mile" engines. Now how much of all that is backed up by science and testing is unknown to me but Valvoline doesn't strike me as a brand to make outlandish claims without having some kind of evidence to support it.

Just food for thought...


Thanks...I agree, and I don't think my seals would swell up out of the block, I guess my mindset is on not using seal conditioners until they are showing leaks, but that doesn't mean they couldn't benefit from them to keep that from happening...who knows what their condition is.


Originally Posted by Gasbuggy
Hey, this a post from a thread I made a while back about my own about a noisy 5.3 LS engine. I think you are a good candidate to try this oil.

Originally Posted by RDY4WAR
I have a 2002 Tahoe 5.3L with 237k miles. It's had piston slap since day one, though it only did it on cold starts. What worked for me was switching to an oil with high amounts of moly, especially tri-nuclear moly. I ran Amsoil Signature Series 10w-30 for a while, which has around 240 ppm, and it quieted down a good bit. I recently switched to Driven LS30 5w-30, a PAO/ester oil with around 400 ppm of tri-nuclear moly, and the piston slap is gone entirely. Even with it being 30*F out this morning with frost on the windshield, it still fired right up smooth and quiet.



I came across a thread on some LS30 awhile ago but never really gave it much thought, never heard of it at that time actually. So I read up on it after seeing this and I don't mind trying it just to see what happens. Honestly I never really had any type of cold-start noises until around 200K, and that was my lash adjusters. There may have been a few seconds of light rattling until oil pressure built up but nothing else.

I always let the engine idle for awhile when cold until things heated up, even warm I let it run for at least 30 seconds or so before pulling away. I want to speculate the slap I have now was likely from some crud in the rings, hopefully that has been cured or at least lessened so moving forward I want to provide as much protection as possible to the cylinder walls.

Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: i6pwr] #5143424
06/25/19 06:44 AM
06/25/19 06:44 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 314
Va
i6pwr Offline OP
i6pwr  Offline OP

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 314
Va
I did order 7 qts of the LS30, will surely give that a try. The last few days after some driving, it seems I could hear more of a tap, this is with 1100 miles on the PUP 5W-30. One reason I am using the PUP was to continue any residual cleaning after the piston soaks.

I stopped by WW this am and picked up 5+1 qts of M1 0W-40, and 1qt of M1 15W-50.

The plan was to go to about 3K on the PUP, and get samples every 1K, but after the last few days, my gut was telling me I should change it out now for a heavier oil.

I changed out the PUP and grabbed a sample to compare to some fresh oil I still have and will see what the results are.

I was thinking the PUP was likely shearing down and wanted to get something heavier in there.

I let the fresh oil run for about 10 min and could tell the difference right away. I don't have an exact value, but I would say the tapping, slapping was reduced by about half.

I know every motor is different, I'm willing to try anything. Will see how this goes for the time being.

Last edited by i6pwr; 06/25/19 06:46 AM.
Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: i6pwr] #5143589
06/25/19 10:26 AM
06/25/19 10:26 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,401
Cajun Country, La.
BlueOvalFitter Offline
BlueOvalFitter  Offline

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,401
Cajun Country, La.
Did you by any chance keep the oil filter? It would make a good talk subject in the oil filter forum.
Man, looking at those bearings, you sure had an Angel looking over that engine!
I would stay with the M1 5W30, or run the PUP 5W30. Either one is a good choice for your engine.


"One Filter, One OCI!"
2007 F150, 4.2 V6
Havoline HM 5W20, MC FL-400S
"One Box, One OCI!"
Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: i6pwr] #5143671
06/25/19 11:57 AM
06/25/19 11:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 732
WV
loneryder Offline
loneryder  Offline

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 732
WV
I wouldn't use a 0w oil in that engine. I would stick with Mobil 1 5-30 or 10-40 HM. Mobil 1 has served that engine well. That top end looks great. My daughter's MB v6 has 216k on it and 0-40 goes thru it like grass thru a goose. 5-40 hangs in there very well. We are going to try Mobil 1 10-40HM next OC. She is in Northern Va.

Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: loneryder] #5143836
06/25/19 03:03 PM
06/25/19 03:03 PM
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Posts: 314
Va
i6pwr Offline OP
i6pwr  Offline OP

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 314
Va
Originally Posted by BlueOvalFitter
Did you by any chance keep the oil filter? It would make a good talk subject in the oil filter forum.
Man, looking at those bearings, you sure had an Angel looking over that engine!
I would stay with the M1 5W30, or run the PUP 5W30. Either one is a good choice for your engine.


Are you referring to the filter right before I dropped the pan? No....I didn't, and I wish I did. However, I had changed the oil a couple times in 3K miles before that just to try different weights to no avail, along with the filters so likely the one I pulled prior to removing the pan was likely in good shape with minimal material.

I agree, someone was looking out!

I wan't to stay with a 5W-30, just concerned about wall clearances, I'm very curious as to how the LS30 performs.

Originally Posted by loneryder
I wouldn't use a 0w oil in that engine. I would stick with Mobil 1 5-30 or 10-40 HM. Mobil 1 has served that engine well. That top end looks great. My daughter's MB v6 has 216k on it and 0-40 goes thru it like grass thru a goose. 5-40 hangs in there very well. We are going to try Mobil 1 10-40HM next OC. She is in Northern Va.


WW didn't have any 5W-40 today, at least the one I went to. The M1 variant is a TDT correct?

I didn't want to use the 0W in the summer, the owners manual specs 0W-30 but naturally that's for winter. The couple reasons I tried the 0W-40 today was of course the praise it receives, but also I mixed it with some 15W-50 ...6qts 0W-40 +1qt 15W50.

I'll try to get a video clip later but the difference when warm now is dramatic. This is from 1100 mile PUP 5W-30 to fresh 0W-40/ 15W-50 mix.

I would like to try the Redline, the 0W-40 seems high on the HTHS but could be a good thing, like you said though, may not be the best for summer. Comparison of Redline 5W-30 to 0W-40


[Linked Image]

Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: i6pwr] #5145224
06/27/19 01:28 AM
06/27/19 01:28 AM
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Posts: 2,421
PA
Gasbuggy Offline
Gasbuggy  Offline

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Posts: 2,421
PA
What causes chips in bearings like that?


Cadillac CTS-V 6.2L 10w30PP
Volvo P1800 Euro L
76 Mercedes 300D Rotella T4
Series III Land Rover VWB
02 Yukon 10w30 PP
01 P71 M1 EP-HM 0W20
95 Accord - 386k. Mobil 2 RIP
Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: Gasbuggy] #5145574
06/27/19 12:28 PM
06/27/19 12:28 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 314
Va
i6pwr Offline OP
i6pwr  Offline OP

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 314
Va
Originally Posted by Gasbuggy
What causes chips in bearings like that?


I honestly don't know, unless a piece of carbon hit just right. The chip.on the edge is even more odd, definitely glad I pulled the pan when I did.

Re: Thoughts on moving from 5W-30 on high mileage 4200 Vortec [Re: i6pwr] #5145648
06/27/19 02:44 PM
06/27/19 02:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 257
GA
Silver Offline
Silver  Offline

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 257
GA
Is that engine VVT? If so "they say" really thicker oils may cause it to not advance properly.

Did you replace the bearings with the engine in?

Last edited by Silver; 06/27/19 02:46 PM.
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