An oily situation? Need your opinion.
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    An oily situation? Need your opinion.

    A short time ago I started a thread here Titled "High Mileage-Really"

    I was looking long & hard to find a long bed pickup truck in halfway decent shape to pick up lumber, etc. locally for some DIY projects here at home. Quite by accident my wife spotted one on a used car lot in a town we were passing through. To make a long story short, it turned out to be a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT. The dealer allowed me to take it all the way to my mechanic for an inspection. Everything appears to be in reasonable condition for a ten year old truck. It appears to be running well so far.

    On the day I went to pick it up from the dealer, all the fix up work that I asked for as part of the deal was done. But they did not get to do the oil change. So the dealer gave me a card so I could take it about a mile down the road & have the oil & filter changed at no cost to me. Got to the quick change place & they drove it into the service bay & did the change. I asked the manager what weight oil they installed & I was told it was 10W40.

    Here's my question. I intend to change the oil again as soon as I put on 500 miles or so. I want to use a High Mileage oil. The owners manual states that the oil specified for the 4.7 ltr. engine is 5W30. The one drawback to this truck is the high mileage which is at 213K . My thinking is that at this point with 213k the better oil to use would be 10W40, because lets face it, I don't know the maintenance record of the vehicle over the long haul. It could well be that the previous long term owner used 5W30. Or they could have used another weight.

    I'm tempted to use the 10W40, but the owners manual has strong words on varying the oil weight. Personally I think the language in the owners manual is nothing more than legal mumbo jumbo against repair claims, which in my case cannot be made. Dodge Ram is not my first choice. I hunted for a ford F150 long bed & just got tired of the hunt. Opportunity came with the Dodge & I took it. So what's your opinion on the oil. I'm not sure other than I want to use one of the High Mileage formulas.

    Tried to post some pictures, but I haven't figured out how. Sorry

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    If it were me I would use the specified oil in the manual, perhaps going to synthetic as IIRC you don't plan on putting tons of miles on the truck and it's my belief that synthetics handle longer change intervals and shorter more infrequent use between them.

    "High mileage" oils are bunk IMHO Stick with a quality name brand oil and you'll be fine.
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    Zebrafive's Avatar
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    It seems now that the oil weight specified is more for fuel mileage than anything else. As long as it spins fast enough to start easy, I'd stay with the 10w-40 and keep it in there a lot longer than 500 miles.
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    Waaaayyyy back in the day.... I had myself an old beat up Ford F150. Had a nice 400 cu. in. engine in it and had been owned by a propane company so it was converted to run on propane. Anyway, it had something like 220,000 mile son it when I bought it for a song (as in, $400). The only problem with it was that it ate a bit of oil.

    It was supposed to use 10W-40 but me, being the rocket surgeon that I am, decided that if I fed it some straight 40 weight at an oil change, it wouldn't eat so much. So that's what I did.

    And the next morning I drove it to work. When I parked I noticed that was a huge cloud of blue smoke. And then I looked closer and saw a huge puddle of oil forming on the parking lot under my truck. Of course, my immediate thought was that *I* had done this soooo... after work I changed the oil right there in the parking lot. And I drove home. And then I drove to work again the next day and, on my way home the oil light came on. I crawled home and popped the hood. Sure enough, out of oil. HOW CAN THIS BE?

    So, fed up with it I took it to the local garage the next morning. They looked at during the day and called me mid-afternoon to let me know that pretty much every seal in the thing was leaking. Their thinking was that some idiot must have put a heavier weight oil in it than they were supposed to.

    It wasn't worth rebuilding the engine so I picked it up, drove it home, promptly sold it and bought myself a Datsun pickup. After all of that, I stick with what the manufacturer recommends.
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    Your 4.7 is an overhead cam engine. It's important to have oil at the very top of the engine on start-up hence the SAE 5W-30 oil requirement. You're probably going to be ok in SC with the 10W-40 as the ambient temperatures should allow the oil to flow quickly and easily. I'd keep an eye on the oil level but would recommend you switch back to 5W-30 at the next service interval. I'd also suggest a synthetic blend or full synthetic oil.
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    I would suggest that you have this conversation with your mechanic. You trusted him enough to go over the vehicle and give you input on its current state - trust him again to give you guidance on what oil is appropriate to run in that motor.
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    Superglide pretty much nailed it.

    The newer motors have been engineered much differently than the old small blocks and 6's.
    Everything has tighter tolerances, and is set up to work oil flowing in tighter clearances.

    Even the dadgum lifters are persnickity about flow rate.
    I found out the hard way on the 4.0 in my Jeep.

    The 4.0 is just a rehashed 232/258 right? Nope.
    I always just used 15-40 in the summer and 10-30 in the winter with the old CJ's.
    Guess what I did?
    Sounded like a hundred little elves hammering away on start up.
    A quick call to a buddy that works at the dealer as a tech, had a good laugh.
    "Don't do that, ya stupid Farmer!!"

    If you want some good scoop on oil, head over to Bobistheoilguy, and ask.
    There are some seriously geeky, oil geeks over there, along with actual petro engineers, that can explain the how's and whatzits.

    The thing is, there is really nothing gained by going with 10-40 over 5-30 anyhow.
    Literally, one just flows better at temp. Modern oils have advanced right along with other tech, and it's really kind of nuts, how all the rules have changed.
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    I was not too concerned when the oil change shop put in the 10W40 even though the engine filler cap clearly says to use 5W30. The reason for
    not being concerned was because I had been thinking it should have the heavier weight due to engine wear. But after reading all the responses here so far, it look like I should drain out the 10W30 & punt in the 5W30. I'm ok with doing that, but now it becomes a question as to the oil itself. Should I use a Syn., or a blend, or the old fashioned stuff straight out of the ground?

    I once read where Syn. oils gave no advantage in high mileage engines, but I can't recall the reason why. I've never used a Syn. or a Syn. blend in any engine I've ever owned. I guess I'm stuck in "Old tech" mode. Is it a mistake not to go to Syn's.? As far as operating temps down here in the south, we have brutal heat in the summer with high humidity. A average day in summer is 95 degrees with a night temp of 80-85. Winter can bring anything from a low of 20 degrees to a high of 75-80 in the daytime. Its all over the place. So oil flow in a cold engine is really not an issue.

    I do know Syn. oils stick to surfaces far better than conventional, so on cold start ups you have instant lubrication & protection. I guess that alone makes it worth it. Does anyone here think that running a Syn. oil for the first time ever in a engine with 213K on it is a problem? And will the Syn. be affected by mixing with what's left in the engine when I make the switch from conventional to Syn. Thanks.



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    cottrillj's Avatar
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    I've never used anything other than plain ole 10-40 Pennzoil. However, my uncle is an unbelievable engine guru and he swears by full synthetic Mobil 1. He would say put it in right now, regardless of mileage.

    FWIW- I'm mechanically inclined because of my father. I've been raised to fix my own stuff and figure it out as you go, if you don't know what you're doing (not sure about that policy, lol). I use conventional oil because Dad swears you don't need to spend the $$ on synthetic. However, my first car was a father-son project with complete engine overhaul. Who came to do the reassembly? My uncle. So....
    Last edited by cottrillj; 10-11-2015 at 02:09 PM.
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