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Old 10-07-2013, 03:40 PM
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What oil weight do you guys run?

Hello guys I have a question. What weight of oil do you guys run during the cold months in your performance motors? Mine is a small block chevy. I currently use regular 10w40 during summer months and I was debating on using 10w30 or 5w30. I know the 10w30 is the same weight as the 10w40 just a lower viscosity rating and I was wondering if I would be safe running a thinner 5w30 oil for the winter time up here in ohio. I know stock engines run 5w30 oil but with mine being a performance motor does that change anything as far as wear goes and does performance motors need a thicker oil? I use conventional oil for my builds. Thanks guys.

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Old 10-07-2013, 04:17 PM
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Here in Seattle I just run 15-40 or 20-50 year around in Franken-mouse.

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Old 10-07-2013, 05:15 PM
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Oils well that ends well.

I have been running 15w40 Diesel oil in my gas chevy trucks for twenty some years in Colorado. Both racked up nearly 400,000 miles each before I finally overhauled them. And they still ran well.
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:01 PM
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oil

10-40 in street rod. 5-30 in daily driver. live in pa.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:52 PM
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My engine is different,,,sbc,rr I use straight 50 mineral
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:32 PM
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I run Shell Rotella T5 10W30 in my '95 K1500 305. Great oil pressure, MPG is great and I don't burn or leak a drop. I change every 3k miles
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:11 AM
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I use 10W-30 semi synthetic year 'round in the rod, 5w-20 or 30 in the car and will be running diesel blend, 5W-40 in the new to me truck.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:14 AM
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Wow guys thanks for your input I appreciate it a bunch. I guess I will just stick with my 10w40 for year round since some of you guys use a thicker weight oil like mine year round. Thanks again.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:23 AM
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10w40 summer, 5 W 30 winter, per manual.
10W40 in the cuda
5W30 in the forced 4 bangers

See manual

It is the common bearing clearance. .003" of room for oil film to protect.
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:22 PM
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Thanks guys I was thinking of putting 5w30 in my motor for the winter time to help it with easer flowing through the motor then the slightly thicker 10 weight oil. I just was wondering with it being performance if it would be to thin. My clearances are the standard but I don't know what they are as its been a several years since it was built but is the normal specs for a basic performance motor and they were not to tight or loose.
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:45 PM
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I run 15w50 Mobil 1. My engine was machined with .0025 oil clearances. I'm with spinn on the point that oil weight depends on how the engine was machined. Stock GM motors are machined at roughly .0015 oil clearance to run 5w30 for better fuel economy. My machinist sets oil clearance on race motors at .0025 to run straight 40 or 20w50 racing oil for better protection against metal/metal contact. I run Mobil 1 because I prefer the anti wear characteristics of synthetic oil after a 1000 mile break in on straight 40. What I understand is that too thin oil can allow metal/metal contact. Too heavy oil can lead to bearing overheating due to lack of flow.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:21 PM
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Do you have a chart for machined clearance vs oil viscosity requirement?

I meant, up to approx. .003" is common . In most engines. It allows similar wt oils in different engines , size and type. Real general stuff.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:39 AM
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No I don't have a chart. Only my experience and what I've learned from the wisdom of others. Manufacturers(GM) tolerances are all over the board but the ideal clearance for a OE stock motor, to run 5w30 is .0015". This is atleast my experience from working with my own machinist. The tolerances on our race and hi performance motors is .0001". (actual clearance of .0024-.0026 including taper and out of round)

The best indicator for me of what weight oil is best is oil pressure and valvetrain behavior. If your operating temp oil pressure drops below 20psi, you may be running too thin oil for your engine and climate. If you have excessive valvetrain noise on cold start up you may be running too heavy oil. Hi performance motors, machined to larger tolerances for heavier oil also run higher volume oil pumps to support greater flow through the bearings for improved cooling and to maintain higher pressures. As an engine ages, clearances increase, oil pressure will decrease. It's natural, and in my experience acceptable, to increase oil viscosity one or two steps to maintain oil pressure. However, when we reach the point where excessive cold start valve train noise becomes a problem. Engine overhaul to address oil clearances and restore oil pressure is indicated. Again, this is based on my own experience and understanding.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:23 AM
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Wow some great info guys thanks a bunch. I wish I could remember the exact spec on my clearance but I seem to remember its within a certain range and is not the lowest number and not close to the highest but in the middle give or take a little. I have used 5w30 before but that was for break in so it would flow quicker but I did prime the motor anyways so really that was a lost cause there and with it being a roller it was no big deal. I have plenty of oil pressure that's for sure as its about 70/75 psi until its warm and then it averages 60 psi and 40 psi at idle. I guess I will stick with the old 10w40 since some of you on here run a similar weight all year around in cold climate.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:16 AM
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I run 20-40 Brad Penn in all three of my vehicles.
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