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Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? #5455741 06/17/20 01:52 AM
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ddhmax1973 Offline OP
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I’ve had my 2000 Ford Explorer XLT 5.0l AWD for over 17 years now. I purchased it used in 2003. It now has 310,000 miles.
Anyway, I just drive it during bad winter days and to haul my trash off, as in no more big long trips.
It runs okay with just a few problems here and there. I just can’t get rid of it. It has been paid for years ago, and is so comfortable to drive. But...
It’s really starting to go through oil more than usual. There is a burning oil smell. I’m guessing that it is from the main seal? Or maybe old worn out piston rings, I’m not sure.
I want to keep my old Explorer running as long as possible, without spending huge mechanical repair bills.
So what should I do as far as the unknown oil burning? Should I use something thicker than 5w30 high mileage? Or should I use some kind of oil additive?

Re: Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? [Re: ddhmax1973] #5455749 06/17/20 02:44 AM
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ChristianBerg Offline
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I'd start with some 5w40 HM oil. If you see no results, start using thicker grades. But, some day using thicker oils will no longer solve your problems.

Re: Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? [Re: ddhmax1973] #5455758 06/17/20 03:41 AM
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Falcon_LS Offline
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Replace the PCV valve and see if it continues. If it does, just add a can of Liqui-Moly Motor Oil Saver to whatever oil you're currently using. It's ester-based, and a can at every oil change is what's recommended.

The 5.0L is a solid motor, although it's literally crammed into the Explorer's engine bay.


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Re: Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? [Re: ddhmax1973] #5455768 06/17/20 05:17 AM
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WyrTwister Offline
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First , I would replace the PCV valve , then check for leaks . May need to take it to the car wash and soak / wash the engine very well . Drive it for a short while & then search for leaks . Do not hesitate to take a flash light and go under the vehicle , on the search .

Any drips on the concrete ?

Sounds like you do not drive it , much . If it were me & you can not find or repair it , I would keep adding oil . Cheap compared to a major repair .


Wyr
God bless
Re: Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? [Re: ddhmax1973] #5455775 06/17/20 05:25 AM
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Astro14 Offline
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If you’re smelling burning oil, it’s most likely valve cover leaks that are weeping onto the exhaust manifold. There, the oil cooks off and you smell it.

No HM or other formulation will fix that. New gaskets will.

Most other leaks simply dribble down the engine and end upon the ground.

As Wyr said, clean the engine and figure out where it’s leaking. Go from there.


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Re: Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? [Re: ddhmax1973] #5455857 06/17/20 07:33 AM
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Cujet Offline
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Note: Acrid blue smoke from the tailpipe is an overt indication of burning oil. Steam is normal and dissipates. Blue smoke remains longer in the air.

I'd guess after that many miles, the cylinders have some wear and some of your oil consumption is due to rings and cylinder wear. An easy and inexpensive oil choice for such an engine is any common 15W-40 diesel oil, such as Rotella (available at Walmart) . It will be considerably more robust than any typical 5W-30, and may help reduce consumption. It's also a good choice for engines with internal deposits, as typical 15W-40 diesel oils are engineered to help combat deposits.

Since you are in Indiana, winter starts may be a bit slower with a more viscous oil. If you do choose a 15W-40, in the winter it's probably a good idea to let the engine and oil warm up for a few minutes, before driving off.

A leak that is bad enough to show on the dipstick will probably have a large puddle where you park. Hence my guess that your consumption is through the cylinders/rings.

Last edited by Cujet; 06/17/20 07:35 AM.

People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? [Re: ddhmax1973] #5455865 06/17/20 07:48 AM
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SatinSilver Offline
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For a low everyday price on oil try Menard’s FVP store brand made by Warren for only two bucks per quart.

Re: Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? [Re: Cujet] #5455898 06/17/20 08:39 AM
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OVERKILL Offline
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Originally Posted by Cujet
Note: Acrid blue smoke from the tailpipe is an overt indication of burning oil. Steam is normal and dissipates. Blue smoke remains longer in the air.

I'd guess after that many miles, the cylinders have some wear and some of your oil consumption is due to rings and cylinder wear. An easy and inexpensive oil choice for such an engine is any common 15W-40 diesel oil, such as Rotella (available at Walmart) . It will be considerably more robust than any typical 5W-30, and may help reduce consumption. It's also a good choice for engines with internal deposits, as typical 15W-40 diesel oils are engineered to help combat deposits.

Since you are in Indiana, winter starts may be a bit slower with a more viscous oil. If you do choose a 15W-40, in the winter it's probably a good idea to let the engine and oil warm up for a few minutes, before driving off.

A leak that is bad enough to show on the dipstick will probably have a large puddle where you park. Hence my guess that your consumption is through the cylinders/rings.


Just an aside, but the venerable 302, which has an insanely short stroke, typically experiences no visible cylinder wear. I've torn into engines with well over 200,000 miles on them and the bores still had visible cross-hatching, bore wear just isn't thing with this engine.


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Re: Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? [Re: Astro14] #5455901 06/17/20 08:50 AM
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OVERKILL Offline
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Originally Posted by Astro14
If you’re smelling burning oil, it’s most likely valve cover leaks that are weeping onto the exhaust manifold. There, the oil cooks off and you smell it.

No HM or other formulation will fix that. New gaskets will.

Most other leaks simply dribble down the engine and end upon the ground.

As Wyr said, clean the engine and figure out where it’s leaking. Go from there.



This.

If you smell burning oil, figure out where it is coming from. The common sources on the 302 are:
1. Valve cover gaskets (external oil leak)
2. Plugged PCV screen (internal)
3. Intake end seals (if #2 has been plugged for a long time)

The rear main seal is also possible, but less likely.

The PCV assembly on the EEC-IV/V vintage 302 is a monumental pain the rear. Not only is the valve on the very back of the intake manifold, but there's an oil separator screen underneath it that is super fun to retrieve and likes to plug solid, rendering the PCV completely non-functional.

Your intake looks like this:
[Linked Image]

At the very top of the lower intake, you can see the black grommet, that, the screen and the PCV should all be replaced together. The screen is below the grommet and you'll need a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove it. You may have to drive a screw down inside it if it won't come out with just the pliers, to give you something to grab onto.


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Re: Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? [Re: OVERKILL] #5456193 06/17/20 03:43 PM
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CR94 Offline
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Originally Posted by OVERKILL
... Just an aside, but the venerable 302, which has an insanely short stroke, typically experiences no visible cylinder wear. ...
Yes, 3.00" . The more venerable 289, with the same bore, had a proportionately shorter stroke. My old Subaru's was much shorter at 60 mm (2.362").


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Re: Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? [Re: WyrTwister] #5456290 06/17/20 05:26 PM
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ddhmax1973 Offline OP
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Thanks for your answer!
I’m going to replace the PCV valve and see if that helps. It is one of the biggest pains in the rear to change. I’ve avoided that maintenance item probably far too long.

Re: Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? [Re: OVERKILL] #5456298 06/17/20 05:31 PM
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ddhmax1973 Offline OP
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Thanks for your answer!
I’ve never pulled the screen that was under the PCV valve. I’ve only changed the valve, and that was hard enough. I can only imagine the screen is a super pain to pull.

Re: Oil for my old 5.0l Ford Explorer that’s “burning” oil? [Re: CR94] #5456436 06/17/20 10:00 PM
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OVERKILL Offline
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Originally Posted by CR94
Originally Posted by OVERKILL
... Just an aside, but the venerable 302, which has an insanely short stroke, typically experiences no visible cylinder wear. ...
Yes, 3.00" . The more venerable 289, with the same bore, had a proportionately shorter stroke. My old Subaru's was much shorter at 60 mm (2.362").


Yup, the 289 had an even shorter stroke, but the R/S ratio wasn't much different and it had a much shorter run and never made the power the 302 did. What was the bore on your Subaru? the R/S ratio on the 289 was 1.39, the 302 was 1.33, whereas the 351 was 1.14 for comparison.


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