About those noise lifters...

Hi again, Some days ago I posted a question how to get rid of the noise in my hydraulic valve lifters in my zetec engine (when coldstarting). I've got some additional questions about the subject:
1. Ford recommends oil SAE 5W/20, though I've used SAE 5W/50 Mobil 1, is this oil as good as the 5W/20 with respect to the lifters? As I recently replaced the oil, I see it's of no use go to 5W/20 if my 5W/50 serves me equally good.
2. Someone told me putting a quart of Dexron ATF transmission fluid into the engine could help noisy lifters. I really like to hear if this is applicable. (Backyard..I know you don't do additives. :-)
3. I didn't know the importance of having the very original kind of oil filter, with drain-valves (as one poster told) made of silicon, like Motorcraft. How could this affect the lifters?
I appreciate your advice, and sorry for bothering you all again with my noisy lifters.
Regards Stefan
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On 13 Jun 2006 21:08:46 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@bredband.net wrote:

I don't know where you live but, if you are actually useing a 5w50 spec oil, I would assume the temperature ranges from extremely cold to extremely hot. The 5w part of the designation is the oil viscosity at ) deg/F while the 50 part is at about 200 deg/F. Here in the states Ford now specifies the 5w20 for most all auto applications. The point I am getting at is that the 5w part of the spec is probably OK for you however, unless you live where the temp hovers somewhere over 100 deg/F, you do not need a 50 spec oil. The oil will offer much greater resistance to flow that may result in lifter noise than a 20 spec oil. There warmer the ambient temp the more apparent this problem amy become. If you are, in fact, using a 5w50 spec oil, I suggest you try the 5w20 Ford spec oil. IIRC, all fo the 5w20 spec oils are semi-synthetic. The 20 spec will flow much more quickly at normal ambient starting temps and should reach the lifter more quickly than any 50 spec oil. If you are now using a 50 spec oil, a change to the OEM filter and the 5w20 oil should go a long ways toward correcting your problem. You should only be using the heavier spec oil for hot climates and advance engine wear to maintain oil pressure. Keep in mind that the volume of oil flow is at least as important as oil pressure.. If the oil won't flow enough at a given pressure, it won't get to places where it needs like your lifters to do you any good.

I would not recommend this unless you know the engine to have a sludging problem. If you choose to do this, I would only add the trans fluid a hundred miles or so before changing the oil and filter. I would not recommend adding the fluid for continued operation. Now, if you add the trans fluid and the lifters become quiet(er), you may have also proven my point above that your 5w50 oil viscosity is too high. The fluid will thin the oil or reduce it's viscosity making it easier to circulate in the engine. Again, I believe the 5w20 or even something as heavy as a 10w30 (no higher) will be a much better choice of oil.

This can be very important. Many manufacturers will not honor the warranty if an engine fails with a filter that does not meet OEM specifications. Just because it will screw on does not mean it is even closely related to OEM specification. In the States, a manufacturer cannot deny warranty coverage for a failure just because a non-OEM part was used but, if they can show the non-OEM part does not meet OEM specifications, they can tell you to take a hike. They spend millions developing the OEM specifications for maintenance products. When you go away from OEM specification without a damn good reason, you are telling a bunch of very highly paid engineers they had no idea what they were doing. Do you have the knowledge and experience to do that? If you continue to use a non-OEM filter, make sure it specifies that it meets or exceeds the OEM specs. Even then, if there is a failure directly related to the filter, the manufacturer can deny coverage. Noe of this may make any difference to you if your vehicle is not under warranty. I only intend to point out that there can be significant differences in maintenance products with unacceptable cosequence. BTW, the guy at the quick lube place is not the one you want advising you on the maintenance of your vehicle - you need to be able to instruct him on the proper maintenance of your vehicle. If their technicians had an engineering degree, they could get a better job! Your best guide until the manufacturer or you own annecdotal experience tells you differently in most cases is the owners manual. It has a recemmendations chart for engine oil and vehicle lubricants that you can rely upon.

No reason to apologize. Just glad to be of help. You may may find some of our responses to be less than eloquent. Hope you are not easily offended.
Good luck Lugnut
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Hey Lugnut, BRAVO!
That has got to be one of the clearest explanations for using the oil the maker recommends that I have ever seen. Both of my cars now get 5w20 if the shop has it, otherwise I use the book recommendation of 5w30. I have a feeling my '95 4.6L uses less of the 5w20 than it does the heavier oil. Both cars have well over 100k. I always use oil that meets maker specs.
The science of motor oil has improved about as much as the science of engine building in the last 20 years or so... It's like tires, we used to be sure the spare was good before a trip and maybe take an extra if we were going on a long trip. Nowadays, some cars don't even have spares.
The miracle of modern technology...
PoD
**** sniped a bit ****

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lugnut skrev:

Hello Lugnut, and THANK YOU very much for your extraordinary explanation of oils... I will follow your advice and change to a 5w20 ford spec'd oil and original motorcraft filter. Would I just ask you this: I realize that my 5w50 oil demands a higher temperature to flow equally well as an 5w20, right? But what's the difference on the low side, both has 5w , is it still difference in viscosity though they both are 5w? I may be dumb, but I really like to understand everything correctly. When I choose the 5w50 oil, I thought this only were better than the 5w20, with respect to operating temp, etc. I remember an old Nissan Bluebird I once had, directly after coldstarting, the lifters gave equally noise in five seconds or so, then everything turned completely quiet. Thanks again, lugnut, you have no idea how greatful I am for your excellent reply. BTW, I live in Sweden, if you ever come here, let me know and I'll pay you back in beer. :-))
Best regards Stefan
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On 14 Jun 2006 11:46:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@bredband.net wrote:

It's been my experience that the 5w rating is the only one that is REAL important for oil flow reasons - the 30 or 50 on the top limits how thin it GETS when it is hot. When cold, neither one is thicker than a straight 5 weight would be when it is cold, so at room temperature they are both pretty close to the same viscosity - at least close enough that oil flow is not a problem. When up to operating temperature, a 5W50 oil is STILL thinner than the cold 5w, but not as much thinner as a 5W20. Particularly with a synthetic, I would not be worried about a 5W50 being too thick and causing engine problems. It'll cost you a MPG or so, perhaps (I'd suspect under 1 mpg, but let's just say about the same difference as running with a full tank over running almost empty ----------.)
Anyone have actual viscosityprofiles for the oils in question????????
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On 14 Jun 2006 11:46:35 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@bredband.net wrote:

Got as far as the UK a few years ago. Sampled some pretty good beer in the pubs there and in Ireland over a period of a few weeks there. I've almost quit drinking beer since returning home and can't find the good stuff.
As for the 5w part of the designation, it means the oil has an SAE 5 rating at 0 deg/F. There are various test to determine this value but basically, it indicates the ability of the oil to flow at a given pressure. A 5w20 and a 5w50 would supposedly be equal at 0 deg/F. There becomes a huge difference as the oil temp rises above 0 deg/F as the 5w50 has much greater resistance to flow at say a 40-50 deg/F ambient starting temp. By the time it reaches 180-200 deg/F typical oil operating temperature there is a much greater difference. Since oil not lubricates an engine but, provides about 15% of total engine cooling and all of the bearing cooling, it is extremely important that the oil be able to flow freely reaching every concieivable point where there may be metal-to-metal contact in the engine. Technically, if the oil is correct for the engine, no two pieces of metal ever make direct contact. Hence, we have the need to be able to circulate the oil to those places very quickly in copious quantities. If the oil requires more pressure than your engine lubricating system can develop to flow to those points, it cannot perform this function. I believe this is essentially what is happening to your lifters. Lastly, oils with a wide viscosity spread like a 5w50 necessarily has a higher concentration of "viscosity improvers" added to accomplish this. It has been the experience of US manufacturers that the viscosity improvers can present problems of their own in engines that operate at the higher temperatures common in current production vehicles. In the 1960's, it was common to use a 10w40 oil as specified by the manufacturer. In the late 70's engine temps began to go up because of emission requirements and some manufactures (GM comes to mind) found that 10w40 oil was in some cases gelling in engines operated at heavy loads or sustained high speeds in warm climates. It pretty much turned to axle grease and could not be pumped through the engine. They promptly began moving toward oils with a lower viscosity rating. This is another reason any oil with more than a 2 grade spread concerns me in a street driven vehicle that has not been modified with a different spec oil in mind. If it were not for the cold start problem requiring rapid flow and pressurization of the system, a single grade oil would be great. There are still many vehicle fleets that use a straight 30 wt oil because they simply never cool down enough to worry about the cold start problem.
Hope this helps a bit Lugnut
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SAE 5W/50 is too heavy for your engine, hence the lifter noise.
mike hunt

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Exactly. Use of heavier oil will often cause lifter noise. I once put 20w50 in an old 351w in a van I wanted to sell. When the motor was hot the lifters would make the slightest bit of noise, and I wanted that to go away. Well, the lifters ticked all the time when I put in the 50 weight oil...
CJB
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On Wed, 14 Jun 2006 14:03:55 GMT, "CJB"

My experience as a mechanic runs counter to that - I had many an engine that was noisy on 10W30 that was perfectly quiet on 20W50, as the lifters did not bleed down as quickly with the thicker oil. Talking Mopar V8s, Ford V8s, GM smallblocks, Olds Rockets, etc from the seventies and eighties. Now this was not a case of a light tap-tap on startup that went away in a few seconds - I'm talking lifters that talked to you all the time at low speeds, and often at cruise as well. The two things I found quieted them down were either using a "solvent" type additive that cleaned them up, allowing the internal valving to function properly, or heavier oil (or motor honey, which did the same thing) - depending on what the problem was. I generally did the clean-up first, and if that didn't fix it, used the heavier oil to "Mask" the problem.
The filter quality problem is a significant contributor to noisy lifters on startup, as well as other dry-start issues.
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Many things are different than in the 'old days.' Modern engines will do not tolerate high viscosity oils very well. Even 10/40 in a Ford 4.6 will expand the filter like a ballon.
mike hunt
<clare at snyder.on.ca> wrote in message

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Mike Hunter wrote:

What is recommended for the 4.6 with 140k? I've been using 20/50 Valvoline racing since around 40k when the local distributor for Kendall went out of business and I read some rather lengthy oil articles here that rated what I use pretty high. The engine runs like a dream (no noise) other than the never ending problems with the friggin intake manifold (next post) leaking like a sieve. Due for a change, what about synthetics for an engine with 140K on it?
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wrote:

I'd have no problem running 20W50 Kendall GT or Valvoline, or Castrol GT in the engine, but I'm definitely in the minority here. As for synthetic? Sure - no problem if the engine has been maintained and you feel you need/want it. I'd go with a synthetic blend, myself, before a full synthetic, but that's just my bias.
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On Thu, 15 Jun 2006 10:05:33 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

I'd debate that, but not much use. I have run 10W40 exclusively in 2 3 liter fords, a 3 liter Chrysler, a 2.5 liter Ford V6, and a 2 liter Neon, and only the neon has complained (but it complained on 5W30 too, and drank a liter of the stuff every 2000 miles) Using a liter of MMO quieted it down in less than 10 minutes. On the Corolla and Tercel I used 20W50 in thw summer and 10w40 in the winter.
The oil pressure relief valve SHOULD control the pressure to a point that will not damage any filter of reasonable quality. The only filter I've ever "blown" was on a slant six at -40 with 20W50 in it. It blew the gasket, but did not deform the can.

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Well THAT explains it.. Use the 5 w or 10w 30.
I only use 50 as a blend with 30 in VERY worn engines. NEVER have used straight 50.. if the engine's THAT worn, it needs replaced.
That 50w is meant for very hot areas or racing engines built to be loose.
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