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Experiences with different engine oils


Dave the tram
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My mk3 GT6 runs well but I suspect the engine is a bit tired and I don’t know it’s history. Original engine I believe and I’ve had the car 13 years, using it almost daily. I do a 500 mile round trip to Suffolk about twice a year and after a long fairly hard drive, oil pressure drops to about 35 at 3k revs and worrying 8-10 at tickover (when cold 70 & 60 at tickover) Decided against oil cooler or an engine rebuild just yet, but swapped to Millers classic sport 20/60 oil. In same conditions got 45 at 3k and 10-12 at tickover. Also hardly any oil used after 500 miles (2mm on dipstick). However, some say that while I might be comforted by the above, because the oil is thicker, there might be no more getting to where it’s needed - or less even!

it’s probably coincidence, but after that journey the engine has developed a noise at the front end- a sort of scrapey rattle. Cant tell if it’s from the timing chain gubbins, crank bearing or end of camshaft.

Any ideas or experiences of different oils?

Dave

 

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Not sure what the noise is but can recommend a change of bearings and oil pump. I did this in situ on my Vitesse and the oil pressure is greatly improved. It was just starting to rattle so the right time and obviously cured it.

Not the nicest of jobs as I did it on axle stands and keeping everything clean can be difficult but better than removing the engine (unless youve got other stuff to do on it).

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the base triumph spec is 40 to 60psi  at 2000rpm  doesnt say hot or cold but safe to assume this is at running temperature

front end noise  check its not fan belt  they can get very creaky   

basic oils can tire with long hot runs    a higher quality with good ZZds work well and dont drop off when worked hard

dont think the 60 will be of any improvement most Millers classic is used by many 

ive used valvoline VR1 in the Vitesse but club piston eze in the 2000 all very stable 

 

 

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Thicker oil or an additive (Wynns, STP, Mannol or similar) are a perfectly acceptable way of keeping a worn, but serviceable engine alive a bit longer. 
 

It’s simply the thicker oil filling the gaps left by wear. It’s palliative care though, not a cure.  I kept my Vitesse engine alive about an extra 6 years (and maybe 20k miles) by adding Wynns or STP to ordinary 20/50. This mainly to keep oil consumption in check.

You could try running the engine briefly without the fan belt on to rule out water pump and alternator/Dynamo as the source of scraping noise from the front of the engine. If it remains, it is likely the timing chain/tensioner. Possibly the lowish  oil pressure is related as fragments of tensioner don’t improve the oil pump.

Nick

 

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I swapped to Miller’s from Halford’s El cheapo 20/50, the pressure dropped 5lbs through the range. 😱  But it stayed like that till the next oil change.

Don’t take too much notice of the gauge, it’s only purpose is to tell you if things are different from yesterday.

Doug

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1 hour ago, Nick Jones said:

Thicker oil or an additive (Wynns, STP, Mannol or similar) are a perfectly acceptable way of keeping a worn, but serviceable engine alive a bit longer. 
 

It’s simply the thicker oil filling the gaps left by wear. It’s palliative care though, not a cure.  I kept my Vitesse engine alive about an extra 6 years (and maybe 20k miles) by adding Wynns or STP to ordinary 20/50. This mainly to keep oil consumption in check.

You could try running the engine briefly without the fan belt on to rule out water pump and alternator/Dynamo as the source of scraping noise from the front of the engine. If it remains, it is likely the timing chain/tensioner. Possibly the lowish  oil pressure is related as fragments of tensioner don’t improve the oil pump.

Nick

 

Thicker oils for modern cars are hard to come by.
 VW for example specs  Envire+5-30W with all the additives required for modern emission standards.
As these cars are getting up in  mileage the engines start to wear but a thicker weight oil that matches what the manufacturer states does no exist.
Unless oil companies come up with thicker oils then these cars will be scrapped which is the car manufacturers ultimate plan. Or owners remove emissions devices and run dirty and potentially illegal vehicles. 

 

Adrian

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I don’t think it’s just the fan belt, but Nicks suggestion seems a good one so will run briefly without fan belt to identify if it’s water pump or alternator. The noise is most noticeable at tickover. I do most things mechanical on it, but never delved inside engines. However, I imagine timing chain tensioner is relatively straightforward to check and fix. Failing all that, with the combination of low oil pressure when hot, unhealthy noises, a loud ticking that’s been there for years even tho tappets set right, and lowish compression in 2 or 3 cylinders, I might be starting a new thread about rebuilt engine options. I have the luxury of a pit and RSJ to lift from in my garage. 

Dave

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11 hours ago, ahebron said:

Thicker oils for modern cars are hard to come by.
 VW for example specs  Envire+5-30W with all the additives required for modern emission standards.

So stick with the recommended oil and add “viscosity enhancer” as I suggested. 
 

Though I’d be less enthusiastic about using it in a modern engine designed for lightweight oils and burdened with clever bits like Vetec or elaborate hydraulic chain tensioners.

The key to long life with modern engines is the same as the old - frequent oil changes using good quality oil of the right type. But modern engines come disadvantaged by increased complexity and (much) longer official service intervals. Even that ultimate engine killer, the variable service interval and “longline” oil. The long life is NOT referring to the engine!

In this household we have an Audi TT with 90k that had “long life” servicing for its first 35k (two services, first one from the factory at 19k). We also have a dirty diesel A6 with 335k which has been serviced at 10k or less all it’s life. It’s engine is far cleaner inside.... 

Nick

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46 minutes ago, Dave the tram said:

I don’t think it’s just the fan belt, but Nicks suggestion seems a good one so will run briefly without fan belt to identify if it’s water pump or alternator. The noise is most noticeable at tickover. I do most things mechanical on it, but never delved inside engines. However, I imagine timing chain tensioner is relatively straightforward to check and fix. Failing all that, with the combination of low oil pressure when hot, unhealthy noises, a loud ticking that’s been there for years even tho tappets set right, and lowish compression in 2 or 3 cylinders, I might be starting a new thread about rebuilt engine options. I have the luxury of a pit and RSJ to lift from in my garage. 

Dave

Does sound like the time for a freshen-up approaches. But that was my point really, on an engine that is merely worn, with no actual outright damage, using thicker oil or an additive lets you kick the can up the track a bit allowing time to plan and save up!

Nick

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56 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

Though I’d be less enthusiastic about using it in a modern engine designed for lightweight oils and burdened with clever bits like Vetec or elaborate hydraulic chain tensioners.

I have a 13 plate 1.8 TSi petrol Passat with only 50k on it,engine is fine but the 2 times it left me stranded in London were the ancillaries,first time the clutch slave split peeing out all the fluid,then 2 weeks ago the water pump housing split ejecting all the coolant.Both times the plastic housings failed.Modern crap.

Water pump cost me £780 to get fixed.

Steve

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Interesting comments about the moderns. Especially the dirty diesel Passat at over 300k. That’s encouraging for my diesel Yeti (2.0L 170 TDi) also serviced fully according to schedule every 10k, that’s done 100k that I intend to keep.

As for Steve’s Passat leaving him stranded twice, that’s 2x more than my daily used (for 13 years), home maintained  GT6! Interesting - but then it might be due a major engine failure miles from home - hmmm!

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15 hours ago, Pete Lewis said:

the base triumph spec is 40 to 60psi  at 2000rpm  doesnt say hot or cold but safe to assume this is at running temperature

front end noise  check its not fan belt  they can get very creaky   

basic oils can tire with long hot runs    a higher quality with good ZZds work well and dont drop off when worked hard

dont think the 60 will be of any improvement most Millers classic is used by many 

ive used valvoline VR1 in the Vitesse but club piston eze in the 2000 all very stable 

 

 

I don't have a problem but for those of us who don't have a gauge, under what pressure conditions does the oil warning light come on or is it only when oil levels drop?

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oil light comes on when oil pressure drops to a very low point of around 5psi (dependant on pressure switch fitted) and unless this can be corrected immediately, for example by increasing the tickover speed, the engine must be stopped.

Of course low oil level could bring up the light because the pump cant produce any pressure but other reasons might be pump/filter blocked, worn engine, pressure relief valve stuck open, major leak or catastrophic bearing failure😵 

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My GT6 gauge is a Smiths' and on startup goes right up to over 100 on the scale, it drops very quickly to about 75 and when idling when hot goes down to about 40. I don't believe a word it says. (Do you get thrown off the forum for saying that?)

I've run for years on Castrol GTX until I tried Lucas engine oil, 'Hot Rod & Classic 20-50' and it cost me £50, covered about 200 miles at tootling speeds over the next year and was changed at the annual oil change. A total waste for my style of driving. These days I just use Comma Classic at £15 the tin.

 

 

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Some years ago I was driving back home when the low oil pressure warning light came on.  Fortunately I had fitted an oil pressure gauge which still read 50 psi.  On stopping the engine, the gauge fell back to zero so was not stuck, and went back to 50 psi when I restarted the engine so I continued my journey with an illuminated warning light.  Next day I tested the oil pressure switch and it had failed in the closed position; a new switch cured the problem.  Without the gauge I would have to have called out recovery services.

On selling the car, I removed the gauge and the same gauge is now fitted in my Spitfire showing about 75 psi when cold, dropping to 50 psi during a run.

I too use the Comma Classic bought from Wilco at about £17 for 5 litres.

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Progress. Removed the fan belt and ran engine for a minute at tickover. Nasty noise no longer there, so assume alternator or water pump. Great. Can’t feel any play in water pump shaft and it spins silently,but that’s not under load. However, to remove the fan belt I couldn’t get enough movement on the adjuster arm to free the belt before the alternator struck the mounting arm to the block. Can’t remember having a problem when I last fitted it. Thought of completely removing alternator, but instead took the pulley off. Feel pretty stupid asking this, but now the alternator fan spins and rattles on the shaft as if the nut in the photo (pulley removed) needs tightening against it. Can’t understand why that has moved. But I don’t know how to stop the shaft turning to tighten it. Can’t now tighten the actual fixing nut as again,  no way of stopping the shaft turning and don’t want to go inside the alternator. I must be missing something. I would have put an extra locking nut on to hold the shaft while tightening the nut against the fan, but don’t have a second nut that size. The alternator fan was secure originally because I held that still to unscrew the nut holding the pulley. Help.

6284271C-4750-4F91-99B7-43981719BB6B.jpeg

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2 hours ago, clive said:

It is possible to get higher rated ol pressure switches. A 20psi one may be ideal, giving a decent amount of warning.

Sounds like an interesting alternative to a worry dial. do you have any details of a supplier - car is a 13/60. Thanks 

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5 minutes ago, Chris A said:

Sounds like an interesting alternative to a worry dial. do you have any details of a supplier - car is a 13/60. Thanks 

https://www.minisport.com/20psi-oil-pressure-switch-mini.html

is just one, but google is your friend. Plenty available, probably a range of pressures too. I am tempted to fit one (it is on the shelf) but use a T and have the 20psi one connected to a super bright LED that will be far more obvious if pressure drops than a gauge.

there are even adjustable switches available should you wish to experient

https://www.med-engineering.co.uk/oil-pressure-switch

or demon tweaks has both

https://www.demon-tweeks.com/uk/longacre-universal-low-oil-pressure-switch-346246/

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if the spindle does not have a hex key provision to hold it when tightening the nut 

the only real option is a impact gun to whack the nut up tight without having to hold the   shaft 

if thats the problem 

Pete

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Ok, thanks. Just can’t work out why the fan was tight as I unscrewed the pulley fixing nut - I held the fan so as to unscrew the nut, but now has about 1mm gap and spins and wobbles, even though the nut that holds the fan doesn’t turn freely on the shaft if I carefully grip the shaft. Weird. I still think I’m missing something obvious.

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6 minutes ago, Dave the tram said:

Ok, thanks. Just can’t work out why the fan was tight as I unscrewed the pulley fixing nut - I held the fan so as to unscrew the nut, but now has about 1mm gap and spins and wobbles, even though the nut that holds the fan doesn’t turn freely on the shaft if I carefully grip the shaft. Weird. I still think I’m missing something obvious.

Some do that Dave, the pulley has fell apart. Just put it back together and zap it up with impact gun as Pete says. Nothing you have done, it's just sods law in action. :( 

Tony. 

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