FAQs about Oils & Filters

  • A study of synthetic oil.
  • Slick 50: To use or NOT to use? You decide.
  • How often should I change a synthetic oil?
  • What is the best oil filter?
  • Replacing the rear axleoil.
  • Can I change my oil without having to remove the oil plug?
  • I changed the oil and now I have a loud ticking ... hmmm?
  • Can I crank the engine with the coil wire disconnected after changing my oil?
  • Hints on an environmentally friendly oil filter change.
  • Should I install an engine oil dipstick heater?

  • A study of synthetic oil

    Date: Fri, 21 Aug 92 12:13:29 EDT
    From: hwiegman@EW0040.ASTRO.GE.COM (Herman L Wiegman)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu, bill_wessel@gene.biotech.wisc.edu, blackje@oceana.crd.ge.com, welty@cabot.balltown.cma.com
    Subject: Synthetic oils... a study

    [uh oh, here it comes again, the most popular issue on automotive mail lists.]


    Brickster's, et. al.,

    I have learned a few new things in the last few weeks about synthetic oils. I beleived that I was somewhat knowledgable before this month, but have discovered otherwise. I obtained most of my former information from the autoX mail list (team.net) and other "net" sources (Mike Mahler and the off-road mail list.).

    These sources where informative, but they were secondary sources and often tainted with inaccuracy. I have since tapped into more direct sources of information. Below is a summary.


    Herman L.N. Wiegman -> wiegman@orion.crd.ge.com
    General Electric - Corporate Research & Development
    - the Flying Dutchman in the DSP Swedish Brick -

    ----------------------------- SYNTHETIC OILS -----------------------------------


    Synthetics are made from basic oil building blocks, ethylene & ester, which are pure and do not contain any of the many impurities of "crude" oils. The molecules can be all of the same size and characteristic, making a more stable and predictable product.

    Synthetic oils should be called "pure" oils, but it seems that the word oil is defined as comming from the earth and not dependent upon it's true function.

    FACTS: [Much of this information comes from Mobil Oil Company, 1990,'91,'92]

    Synthetics ARE compatable with conventional motor oils. The best protection will come from a full belly of synthetic, but conventional's are compatible.

    Synthetics are more expensive due to a complicated manufacture process. Normal oils are refined from crude which is plentiful an cheap.

    Synth. oils will NOT cause leaks in seals. It is fully compatible with all seals and gasket materials. It does NOT contain large amounts of detergents as do conventional oils.

    Synth. oils decrease oil consumption in engines. This is due to the uniform size and characteristics which are predictable to very high temperatures. Conventional oils have non-uniform molecule size and characteristics. The smaller molecules easily evaporate off or are consumed in the combustion chamber, leaving the thicker oil and impurities behind.

    Synthetic oils and lubricants were originally made for the military for wide temperature operation. These were sucessful and they have been used on military vehicles (and the space shuttle) for many years.

    Synthetic oils are beneficial for NEW OR OLD motors. Conventional oils allow more metal scoring to occur, which eventually causes loss of compression and high oil consumption. Synthetics can be used from mile 0 to mile 1,000,000. The 1992 Corvette LT1 uses synthetic oil straight from the factory. Synth. oil was the only acceptable choice due to the engine's redesign which eliminated the oil cooler and increased the underhood temperatures. The LT1 warrentee will be voided if synthetic motor oils are NOT used. (Amsoil synthetic did not pass GM's tests, but Valvoline Snythoil, Mobile 1 and GM Goodwrench synthetic oil [Mobile 1 repackaged] may be presently used.)

    Synthetic oils easily pass all API standards. Check on the label for details.

    Synthetic oils can withstand MUCH higher temperatures before breaking down. Conv. oils turn to 'tar' at temperatures around 450'F. These temperatures are experienced by the piston rings and the turbo charger bearings. Synthetic oils also have virtually no impurities like Ash and Wax which accumulate on engine parts once oils have burned or boiled off.

    Synthetic oils stay liquid at much lower temperatures than conventional oils. They are often rated to -65'F, where normal oils are often rated to -38'F.


    Mike Mahler sent out a posting which contained two articles: one from an off-road enthusiast, and the other from a learned motor enthusiast.

    Those postings included much data on several different kinds of motor oil, including sythetics. The data included Viscosity Index, Ash Content, Flash Point, Boil Point, Freazing Point, etc..

    The synthetics showed up as the clear winners in most of the comparisons. Most big name conventional oils were slightly better than their no-name counter parts. Many 'manufacture' motor oils were ignored completely mainly due to their obvious profit and marketing motivations and nothing to due with lubrication (motor cycle manufacture brand oils were not recommended for use ... makes you think. :).


    Recently (1991), four cars where driven under accelerated tests by Mobil. The cars were:

    2-Oldsmobile Quad 4's, and 2-BMW 325's.

    All four cars were tested over a 200,000 mile range according to standard tests and speed cycling. Two of the vehicles were operated with 7,500 mile oil changes, and the other two with 15,000 mile oil changes. (7,500 miles per oil change was recommended by the manufactures! Yeek! but Mobil was curious to see what 15kmiles per oil change would do.)

    Routine maintenace was observed and routine emmision inspections were made. All four vehicles remained fuel efficient, clean running, and trouble free. Over 150 critical motor parts remained within specifications on all four cars. The oil pans and passageways were clean and did not have sludge, tar or varnish. Basically the engines were clean and free of any measureable wear.


    Why weren't the car tests also done to a control vehicle using conv. oil? Experiments can not be conclusive unless a control is used. In all fairness, I do remember that conv. oils usually bragged at how the car still ran after 200k miles, but seeing a COMPARATIVE study would certainly help "sell" the merits of synthetic oil. Only 1 comparative picture was shown in the Mobil liturature, but no conditions or specifics were given, I will not expand on that example now (it was in extreme favor of synthetic oils over conventional oils).

    These tests were also administered in a lab, more specifically a big building. Why don't they do a similar test in the real world where impurities in the air and environment constantly invade the combustion chamber and crank case? Or are the combustion impurities the larger problem, if the air filter is changed regularly?

    Why doesn't Mazda recommend synthetic oils in their Rotory engines? Mobil seems to beleive that synthetics work well there also.

    Why is the sale of synthetic oil so poor in the US? Mobil does sell more synth oil internationally than state-side, but they 'chalk' it up to the fact that Americans are less concerned with long vehicle life and maintenance. Or is it just so much cheaper to maintain vehicles here?.. hence the lacking attitude towards better engine oil.


    Synthetics are more advanced than conventional motor oils, but it is difficult to quantify the exact advantages. The specific measureable data, Viscosity Index, Flash Point, etc., show that sythetic oils are superior in the lab. It can be concluded that they are also great performers in the real driving environment. This supposition is confirmed by the fact that GM is exclusivly using syntheticsin their LT1 Corvettes.

    Synthetic oils are now being championed by more manufactures, hence it will be seen more, used more and perhaps even become less expensive.

    It is my judgement that synthetics will make a large impact on the longevity of Turbo chargers (espcially those which are not water cooled). These types of devices demand clean, high temperature lubrication which is right down syntheticoil's alley.

    Synthetics should also greatly benefit cold operation. I have witnessed great cold start capabilities, and hope that I have saved my engine from much cold starting wear. Hence I will keep using the 'stuff' year round.

    Happy motoring... - herm, the Flying Dutchman -

    .. remember to recycle used motor oil propperly at official collection sites.

    Date: Fri, 21 Aug 92 15:10:15 EDT
    From: bkelley@pms001.pms.ford.com ( Brian Kelley )
    To: hwiegman@EW0040.ASTRO.GE.COM
    Subject: Re: Synthetic oils... a study

    Hi Herman,

    you recently mailed a post concerning synth oils to the autocross admin list. It was posted to the list. I have to disagree strongly with a couple of "facts" that were presented. As much as I'd like to, I'm not going to copy this mail to the list. That group isn't the forum for an "oil" debate - those occur all too often in the auto newsgroups.

    hwiegman@ew0040.ASTRO.GE.COM (Herman L Wiegman)

    BS! Synthetic oils tend to clean out crud that accumulates in the motor. Conventional oils leave nasty deposits just about everywhere. While these deposits are bad, they do help keep the motor sealed. Synthetic oils lubricate and penetrate better - right past the seals. It is difficult to keep synthetic oil in transmissions, engines and differentials.

    BS. A race motor will run very hot during the first 20 to 30 minutes of break in - that's because the tolerances are so tight. They're too tight. I have a friend who ran synth from the start - it did NOT work. If you base the design around synth, you can probably get away with it. But mortals cannot.

    Conventional oils break down at much lower temperatures. 340 is way too hot for conventional oil.

    I have an '83 5.0L Capri and an '85 5.0L Mustang. Both cars have about 100K miles. I have run Mobil 1 in the '85 since I have owned it - for the past 12K miles (two years). I recently purchased the Capri. I am certain that the previous owners of both cars ran conventional oil. I recently pulled the valve covers off of both cars. The Capri was disgusting. There was 1/8" to 3/16" of sludge on the inside of the valve cover. There wasn't a spec of anything under the Mustang's valve cover. This leads me to believe that you can switch to synthetics and clean out your motor. I do wonder though - if I switch to synth in the Capri, where will all that gunk go? Does it disolve? Will it clog my oil passages?





    Date: Fri, 21 Aug 92 16:08:46 EDT
    From: hwiegman (Herman L Wiegman)
    To: bkelley@pms001.pms.ford.com
    Subject: Re: Synthetic oils... a study


    Thank you for your reply. Some of the points that I read, and published were not either fully understood by me, or fully represented by the original publisher. Here are some notes on your good points (and bad points).

    > As much as I'd like to, I'm not going to copy this mail to the list. good idea, this thread seems to cause much in the way of traffic....and noise. (I am a former member of team.net)

    >>- Synth. oils will NOT cause leaks in seals.
    >BS! Synthetic oils tend to clean out crud that accumulates in the motor.

    This is what I heard from some people on the net quoting second cousins to people who think they witnessed more oil leakage in older motors.... I have also heard otherwise. If one does not have DIRECT EVIDENCE or FACTUAL DATA from a REPUTABLE source, then one has to wonder about it's validity. Blood-letting with leaches was a very well talked about practice, but it was not validated w/ scientific fact. Same with this myth (IMHO). Synthetic oils actually have less degergents than conv.oils. They are simply more 'clean' themselves, but have only a small cleaning effect.

    And my statement is true.. synthetic oils will not, by themselves, CAUSE oil leaks. They are compatible with all known gasket materials (this is more than what conv. motor oils can say!!!). If leaks are there, they will leak like any other oil.

    > Synthetic oils lubricate and penetrate better

    I thought penetration was based on the effective viscosity of the original oil. Sythetics are really uniform when it comes to viscosity. Conventional motor oils are not.. hence they have small molecules and large ones.. the small ones I believe would be more able to "penetrate" any seals than the more uniform synthetic molecules. EITHER way.. it doesn't matter.. if all the seals in a motor are that bad off that they are crud imbedded, then no motor oil is going to help much.... (btw, my motor, and many other Volvo motors on the Volvo mail list, have several hundred thousand miles on them. These motors didn't show leaks once changing to sythetic motor oil after a long life of conventional motor oil use.)

    >>- Synthetic oils are beneficial for NEW OR OLD motors.

    >BS. A race motor will run very hot during the first 20 to 30 minutes of break in - that's because the tolerances are so tight.

    This I have also read on the nets (also at SCCA events...). The synthetics will prevent high temperatures and rapid break-in. I am not sure if that is good, but it seems that most modern cars are reasonable when it comes to tollerances, hence I believe my statement to be true for the millions of motorist out there.

    The official word from Mobil reads something like this... "you can switch over to synthetic motor oil at the first oil change." Perhaps this statement is there to allow for normal break-in for the first 1200 miles... basic 'cover your ass' statment.

    >> Conv. oils turn to 'tar' at temperatures around 450'F.

    >Conventional oils break down at much lower temperatures. 340 is way too
    >hot for conventional oil.

    well... picking hairs here.. we first have to define "breakdown." I am not a chemical engineer so let's just lay this one to rest. Suffice it to say, Synthetics oils are supieror under high temperature conditions. (340 Farenheit or Celcius?..)

    > There was 1/8" to 3/16" of sludge on the inside of the valve cover.
    > where will all that gunk go? Does it disolve? Will it clog my oil passages?

    good questions... I have also seen some small cleaning effects from Mobil 1, but my motor was not as dirty as yours... Let's think of it this way; if you keep using conventional motor oils, the crap may keep adding up or clog things anyway. I would take a chance on the mild and slow cleaning effects of Mobile 1 over rebuilding the motor or cleaning via other methods...

    BTW, your Mustang may have been driven more mildly than the Capri, hence it may not have had even half the buildup as the Capri. One can not assume that there was a lot of crud cleaned away by the Mobil 1. One can assume that no NEW crud will be added to the motor's inards.

    best 'o luck,


    Date: Fri, 21 Aug 92 16:17:32 EST
    From: Ken Tice <kst@isdn.ncsl.nist.gov>
    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are those of the senderband do not reflect NIST policy or agreement.
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Synthetic oils... a study

    I have long believed in synthetic oils for long engine life. Here is an interesting fact about synthetic oil that should further endear it to turbo owners:

    Herm's article mentioned the high heat ability of the oil. This is a specific example that dramatically proves the point: Above a certain temperature, oil reacts with oxygen and thickens. To pass the rating for API SF oil (this is from 9/87), an oil must pass the "Olds III-D Test". This test involves running a 5.7 liter Oldsmobile engine for 64 hours at a 100 Horsepower load and 300 degrees Fahrenheit crankcase oil temperature. To pass the test, the oil must not thicken more than *375* percent! Mobil ran this test on their synthetics and high performance mineral oils for twice the usual time period (128 hrs). The conventional oil in this test turned to a *solid mass* at the end. Mobil 1 synthetic passed with a thickening of less than 40 percent! Think about that the next time you shut off the ignition (and oil supply) on your spinning turbo.

    Not only will incredo-thick oil "gum up the works", but it can cause oil filter bypass valves to think the filter is clogged and let oil through to the engine without going through the filter.

    Herm, the article I read this in showed side-by-side pictures from tests with a control engine. The magazine is "Turbo", September 1987 issue. There are several other dramatic tests that would have to be seen to be appreciated.

    For the record, every time I see discussion on this topic, people always doubt the ability to go for long intervals between changes. The reason is the lack of impurities. No matter how much you refine a crude-based product, impurities remain. Crude-based oils are fortified with chemicals to, in effect, protect them from themselves. Synthetic oil has no impurities, therefore needs no additives as a crutch. I believe Mobil still recommends replacing the filter at regular intervals (to remove by-products of combustion and other contaminants), but the oil itself is (in theory) good for 25K or one year (per Mobil technical bulletin PDSA-18). Personally, I think the price of the oil is still relatively cheap, and I change the oil and filter every *other* 3K while just changing the filter and topping off the oil level the rest of the time. This probably boils down to an issue of personal opinion with most folks, though.

    Guess thats enough for now.

    -Ken "refusing to use the same motor oil my grandfather did" Tice ;-)


    Date: Fri, 21 Aug 92 15:11:09 EDT
    From: mm@workgroup.com (Mike Mahler)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu, hwiegman@EW0040.ASTRO.GE.COM
    Subject: Re: Synthetic oils... a study

    I obtained most of my former information from the autocross mail list (team.net) and other "net" sources (Mike Mahler and the off-road mail list..).

    These sources where informative,but like any scientist knows,they are secondary sources and often tainted with inaccuracy. I have since tapped into more direct sources of information. Below is a summary.


    I'd like to point out that any info I posted earlier was from a friend I worked with at DIGITAL who spent most of his time on site with the engineers who developed Mobil-1 and whose brains he consequently picked as I did to him after each trip. Not exactly what I would call second hand info. There is nothing here contradicting anything I said in previous letters and in fact there are a few questions raised by this posting.


    Synth. oils will NOT cause leaks in seals. It is fully compatible with all seals and gasket materials. It does NOT contain large amounts of detergents as do conventional oils.

    Perhaps, however Mobil-1 does have a high detergent EFFECT as compared to conventional oils, nostly due to it's ability to suspend particlulate matter better and because of it's higher flow rate.

    Synth. oils decrease oil consumption in engines. This is due to the uniform size and characteristics which are predictable to very high temperatures. Conventional oils have non-uniform molecule size and characteristics. The smaller molecules easily evaporate off or are consumed in the combustion chamber, leaving the thicker oil and impurities behind.

    Then why doesn't Mobil-1 have a higher flash point than it does?

    Synthetic oils are beneficial for NEW OR OLD motors. Conventional oils allow more metal scoring to occur, which eventually causes loss of compression and high oil consumption. Synthetics can be used from mile 0 to mile 1,000,000.

    Hold on here. Mobil says you should wait until the engine is broken in before using Mobil-1. What gives?

    As for using it in old cars that haven't been maintained very well, the Mobil tech's said that it will find leaks that the regular oils didn't. It won't cause leaks that weren't there before you started to use it. When Mobil-1 first came out however, it DID cause gasket problems.

    Synthetic oils stay liquid at much lower temperatures than conventional oils. They are often rated to -65'F, where normal oils are often rated to -38'F.

    This is why I use it. It's also not a hard line either, the oils get thicker and thicker as it gets colder. I had a bottle Kendall GT-1 10w-30 and Mobil-1 10w-30 in my trunk last winter. I needed to add a quart of oil to the engine and added a 1/2 quart of each. The Mobil-1 was MUCH easier to pour.


    Mike Mahler sent out a posting which contained two articles: one from an off-road enthusiast, and the other from a learned motor enthusiast.

    Those postings included much data on several different kinds of motor oil, including sythetics. The data included Viscosity Index, Ash Content, Flash Point, Boil Point, Freazing Point, etc..

    I'd sure like a copy of that. I left it at Stratus...

    Why doesn't Mazda recommend synthetic oils in their Rotory engines? Mobil seems to beleive that synthetics work well there also.

    True. WHen I almost bought an RX-7 last week the guys at the dealership

    said that you should NOT use synthetic. They said there's a compatibilty

    problem with the appex seals in the rotaries. Too bad.

    Date: Fri, 21 Aug 92 15:16:15 EDT
    From: mm@workgroup.com (Mike Mahler)
    To: bill_wessel@gene.biotech.wisc.edu, hwiegman@EW0040.ASTRO.GE.COM, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu, alfred@nyquist.bellcore.com
    Subject: Re: Synthetic oils... a study

    One mo' thang...

    THe Mobil-1 engineers said that if you change your oil every 3k miles (max) with high quality (use your imagination) oil, it doesn't really matter which one you use.

    If you use Mobil-1 and change it every 2-3k on a non-turbo car,your really not gaining enough to warrant the high cost of Mobil-1. Except maybe better starting in the real code winter days.


    Date: Tue, 25 Aug 92 10:12:07 EDT
    From: hwiegman@EW0040.ASTRO.GE.COM (Herman L Wiegman)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: more info on Synthetic oil


    'Thanks' for the many positive comments on the Snthetic Oil post. Some did comment on a few points which I mis-communicated. These are clarified below.

    I also found several brands of Snthetic oil available here in the US. Many more should be on the shelf in Europe. This list is not complete, please forward any new info to me, I am interested in making a smart purchase.

    >>- Synthetic oils are beneficial for NEW OR OLD motors.
    > Hold on here. Mobil says you should wait until the engine is
    > broken in before using Mobil-1. What gives?

    To correct my original statement, Mobil 1 recommends the use of synthetics in newer cars "after the first recommended oil change." This seems to cover the break-in period. The LT1 engine in the Corvette has tolerance specifications which were designed for the synthetics at mile 0, or the engines are broken in before hand....

    Synthetics make the largest impact in Turbo cars, or cars which experience difficult driving conditions. Both Mobil and Quaker State, recommend their conventional motor oils for normal driving conditions, and their synthetic oils for extreme driving conditions (Turbo's, cold/hot/dirty environments, and competition use).

    To guarentee long engine life, one should change the conventional oils more frequently than the manufacture's recommendations. Synthetics seem to easily go twice the recommended interval (up to 15k miles), while the filter should be replaced every recommended interval.

    Oils on the market   List $/Quart    Retail $/Q      other info

    ================== ============ ========== =========================

    Mobil 1 (800) 662-4525

    improved 10 W-30 6.?? 4.29 also 5W-30 & 15-W50

    Quaker State

    Synquest 5-W40 9.99 5.69 ads say "the best."

    Synquest 5-W50 8.99 4.99

    Castrol ads say special charge..

    Syntec FSX 5-W50 6.39 4.99

    Valvoline 3.89

    Synthetic 10W-30 warning for pre '80

    on sale to SCCA


    Racing grade 5.95 Ph. (715) 392-7101

    Regular grade 4.95

    Red Line ...??

    NOTE: Large Discount Stores often have synthetic oils on sale for $3.79/Qt.

    happy motoring,


    p.s. thank you all for listening to my babble and pointing out the inaccuracies.

    Date: Wed, 23 Sep 92 10:28:52 EDT
    To: wiegman@orion.crd.ge.com
    From: parker@meediv.lanl.gov
    Subject: Synthetic Oil Discusion

    Mr. Weigman,

    I have used synthetics for quite a while based on articles in "Turbo" magazine when Mobil 1 was first introduced. I found those articles very helpful for making the decision to switch, but not to the extent your posting was. I enjoyed your posting and appreciate the effort you put into researching the subject. To that end, I am hoping that I can pass this information along to another mail net for the benifit of those participants. Would you mind if I posted your Synthetic Oil Posting from the auto-x list to the mustang list with the appropiate credits? There have been numerous questions asked recently about synthetic oils on the mustang list and I think alot of those questions are discussed very well in your posting. I will await your reply before proceeding. Thank you for your article and consideration.


    Ronnie B. Parker

    Date: Fri, 16 Oct 92 13:41:51 PDT
    From: edh@wheeler.wrc.unr.edu (Ed Hackett)
    To: italian-cars@balltown.cma.com
    Subject: New oil data

    I just recieved this data from our local oil distributor. It is the update on the new Mobil 1 formulation and that for the new Castrol Syntec. They did not have the numbers for the new Valvoline synthetics yet. The data on the new Mobil 1 is pretty impressive. Based on these numbers, price, and availiability, there is little need to look further for a synthetic oil.

    The Syntec seems to be compromised by it's wide viscosity range. Notice that the pour point is for all practical purposes, no better than the Mobil 1 15W-50. (actually, it's not as good) While, meeting the viscosity parmeters, the wide range is probably for marketing purposes. The Mobil 1 15W-50 will pump at -35 degrees F, which is as good as some conventinal 5W-30 oils.

    Any of the ester based synthetics (AMSOIL, Mobil 1, and Syntec), will give you the benefits that Castrol is making a big deal of in their advertising. The ability to cling to metal walls is due to the polar nature of the ester base stock, not something unique to Castrol's formulation.

    The Data: (add to your current article)

    Brand and Weight VI Flash Pour %ash %zinc

    Syntec 5W-50 180 437 -49 1.2 0.10

    Mobil 1 5W-30 165 445 -65 --- ---

    10W-30 160 450 -65 --- ---

    15W-50 170 470 -55 --- ---

    Ed Hackett edh@wheeler.wrc.unr.edu The Desert Research Institute
    DoD #0200 WMTC BMWRA DIOC Reno, Nevada (702) 673-7380
    KotLS KtoLE DotD #0003 I'm not really a chemist, I'm just one of
    900SS K100RS 501 CAMEL them motorsickle sonsabitches.

    Return to the top of the

    Slick 50: To use or NOT to use? You decide.

    Date: Tue, 1 Dec 92 08:55:20 PST
    From: maj@frame.com (Michael Jue)
    To: Honda-L@brownvm.brown.edu, bmw@balltown.cma.com, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu, z-car@dixie.com
    Subject: Slick 50: To use or NOT to use? You decide.



    Disclaimer/Note: This is cross posted in the belief that this is valuable information for ALL car enthusiasts. Original commentary provided by Roger Goff from Hewlett-Packard via autox@autox.team.net. Please note that what follows is both IMHO and objective. Read at your discretion and make your own judgements.

    Michael Jue (maj@frame.com)

    (Orig. from goff@fc.hp.com)


    STOP BEFORE YOU PUT Slick 50 INTO ANYTHING YOU CARE ABOUT!!! What follows is a LONG post summarizing a small portion of an article I read recently on engine oil additives. Delete this now if you're not interested in the topic.

    Now that I have your attention, there is a MUST READ article in the August 1992 issue of Road Rider magazine. The article is entitled, "Snake Oil! Is That Additive Really a Negative?" I will not retype the whole article here as it is rather lengthy, however, suffice it to say that after reading the article I will not let the stuff anywhere near ANY of my engines. The article bases it's statements on test results from the following very reputable research institutions: University of Nevada Desert Research Center, Avco Lycoming (aircraft engine manufacturerers), Dupont Chemical Company (the creator of PTFE which is the main ingredient in Slick 50 and other similar products), North Dakota State University, Briggs and Stratton (of lawn mower engine fame), the University of Utah Engineering Experiment Station, California State Polytechnic College and NASA Lewis Research Center. Quite an impressive list. Each of these institutions spoke out AGAINST using Slick 50 in your engine. In fact, ROAD RIDER was unable to find any independent testing organization that would support the findings that Slick 50 brags about. When you ask the Slick 50 folks about who did their testing, they will not tell you. Here's one quote from the article I think you'll want to read,

    "... By far the most damning testimonial against these products originally came from the DuPont Chemical Corporation, inventor of PTFE and holder of the patents and trademarks for Teflon. In a statement issued about ten years ago, DuPont's Fluoropolymers Division Product Specialist, J.F. Imbalzano said, "Teflon is not useful as an ingredient in oil additives or oils used for internal combustion engines."

    At the time, DuPont threatened legal action against anyone who used the name "Teflon" on any oil product destined for use in an internal combustion engine, and refused to sell its PTFE powders to anyone who intended to use them for such purposes.

    After a flurry of lawsuits from oil additive makers, claiming DuPont could not prove the PTFE was harmful to engines, DuPont was forced to once again begine selling their PTFE to the additive producers." - ROAD RIDER/August 1992

    Here are a couple of the things mentioned in the article as possible failure modes for Slick 50 style products:

    1) PTFE is a solid. The additive makers claim this solid "coats" the moving parts in an engine. The article states, however, that, "such solids seem even more inclned to coat non-moving parts, like oil passages and filters. After all, if it can build up under the pressures and friction exerted on a cylinder wall, then it stands to reason it should buid up even better in places with low pressures and vitually no friction."

    2) Additive manufacturers will claim that they use "sub-micron" sized particles that will pass through your oil filter. The only problem is that, "PTFE expands radically when exposed to heat." So when your engine reaches normal operating temparatures, the particles may not longer pass through your filter, but instead will clog it!

    The above quotes and data are just small tidbits from an article filled with such information. Briggs and Stratton has done testing on it's engines with and without the stuff and found the an engine using the stuff actually showed more wear than an engine using conventional motor oil. Do read the article. It does not come out and tell you that you should not use Slick 50 and other products like it, but it gives you lots of data for you to make your own decisions. For example, if I was someone with a racing motor that was torn down and rebuilt after each race, I might consider using the product as there are some results that have shown there to be less friction within the engine, thus resulting in an increase in horsepower. Again, read the article and make your own conclusions. I will not use any Slick 50 style products in my engines, but that is just my conclusion after reading the article.

    Good food for thought. Happy racing!

    || Roger Goff | (303)229-4719

    || Hewlett-Packard Company | goff@fc.hp.com ||
    || Graphics Software Lab | Medium Blue Metallic, 4 speed ||
    || Fort Collins, Colorado | '74 Corvette Coupe ||
    [Additional comment: additives? What for? Change the oil frequently with good oil (synth or real) and filters and you won't need this stuff, IMHO. -maj]

    Return to the top of the

    How often should I change a synthetic oil?

    Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1992 05:55:56 PST
    From: John_E_Werner.wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: Re: Syntec and Oil Changes
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    The question of Castrol Syntec and oil change intervals came up a short while ago. From Castrol's "Synthetic Motor Oil: Your Questions Answered":

    Q: How often should I change a synthetic oil?

    A: Any oil should be changed on a frequent basis -- at least as often as the auto manutacturer's recommendations. Motor oil performs several important tasks in an engine. It not only lubricates and protects but also washes an engine clean of damaging combustion by-products like acids, soot, and water.

    Failing to change the oil, even when that oil is still going strong, can cause these by-products to build up in the engine a reduce performance. Also, the oil filter needs to be changed frequently to maintain optimum performance.

    However, if an oil change is delayed or extended, CASTROL SYNTEC provides an added level of assurance and protecton that's just not available in conventional oils.

    Also of some interest:

    Q: How is Castrol Syntec different from oil additives and "engine treatments" containing PTFE, graphite, or other non-stick coatings?

    A: First, Castrol Syntec is a fully formulated, highly engineered motor oil from the world-wide leader in lubrication technology. It is not an oil additive or "engine treatment" which many auto manufacturers specifically recommend agains putting in your car's engine.

    Second, the exclusive Castrol Syntec ester that provides the feature of unique molecular bonding is precisely engineered liquid lubricating molecule, not a suspended solid like those other compounds. Susnended solids can prvet and oils' important anti-wear additives from working effectively and they can also clog the oil filter.

    There are also some pictures showing how Syntec's molecular bonding works. Basically, the ester the made for the oil is negatively charged at one end. It is atracted to positively charged metal of the engine. When there is no oil pressure, the molecules stay 'stuck' to the engine wall, thus "A 'carpet' of protection is formed which stays inplace, even after the engine is shut off. The Engine stays protected from the moment of start-up until the engine is warmed up and anti-wear aditives become fully effective."

    -- John

    Return to the top of the

    What is the best oil filter?

    Date: Wed, 4 Nov 92 09:33:17 EST
    From: 04-Nov-1992 0924 <corey@cthq1.enet.dec.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Oil Filters

    Consumer Reports declared Fram as the best because of it's ability to filter the "right-sized" particles. Their belief was that it was important to filter only the big particles in the oil which would not fit between the bearing surfaces, thus causing damage. Their opinion was that it made no sense to try and filter particles which were smaller and which would pass right through the bearing surfaces or other tolerences in the engine. Filter attempted to trap all the smaller particles were the ones that would clog early, triggering the by-pass and allowing unfiltered oil to circulate in the engine. Because of the Fram media design/philsophy, they resisted clogging the longest which CR thought was important. They tested the filters by contaminating oil with some type of particles of varying sizes, running it through the filters and then analyzing the oil to see what size particles remained. They also specifically tested for clogging rate and downrated filter brands which clogged too quickly. Again, the ones that tended to clog were those which were set up to filter very fine particles.


    Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1992 12:14 CST
    From: "Dirk de Boer, Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan"
    Subject: oil filters
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    For all you all filter fanatics: It really doesn't matter what filter you use as long as it's not a metal box filled with old rags. The key to a long engine life is using a good oil filter (OEM, IPD, or Fram), but much more importantly, changing the oil frequently. If you do the latter, the oil filter brand really doesn't matter as long as it is a good one.


    Date: Wed, 4 Nov 92 11:59:44 EST
    From: mm@workgroup.com (Mike Mahler)
    To: damouth@wrc.xerox.com
    Subject: FILTER BRANDS

    >> I know that Volvo OEM filters have like 42 folds and a
    >> helluva lot more filtering surface than any filter they
    >> compared to in a review that Rolling did on filters.
    > But think about what's going on in a filter - a little basic physics.

    I am aware of what "goes on" in oil, water and fuel filters and of "basic" physics.

    > How well it filters has absolutely nothing to do with how much
    > filtering surface it has.

    Not true. How much it affects it depends on the amount of particles you are trying to filter, for how long and at what rate. To say that it has "absolutely nothing" to do with surface area isn't exactly true.

    > Yeah - I know - it's mostly hot air. I keep waving the CU study mostly
    > because it's the only study I've seen that actually tried to
    > objectively measure the right thing.

    I read that issue. They weren't just looking at filtering efficiency, but at capacity and outer construction.

    > Judging a filter by taking it apart and counting folds just seems silly.

    Neither Rolling, nor I, ever claimed to do so. I was merely stating a fact.


    Date: 04 Mar 93 19:37:00 EST
    From: Shel Hall <76701.103@compuserve.com>
    To: "Volvo.net" <swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu>
    Subject: On Oil Filters (long)


    In several recent postings, the construction of oil filters, and how the various valves in one work, has come up. Since I've cut up a few of these beauties when investigating engine failures, potential failures, and wear, I thought I'd try a little explanation on the subject.

    Basically, the modern spin-on oil filter is contained in a metal can with a heavier metal plate as a base. The base has a central threaded hole by which the filter is mounted to the engine block or filter holder; it also has another set of holes near the periphery of the base.

    In all cases of which I'm aware, oil coming from the oil pump and under pressure enters the filter through the smaller holes around the periphery of the base, passes through the filter medium, and leaves the filter through the hollow threaded stud that holds the filter on.

    Some filters have an anti-drainback valve to keep oil from flowing backwards through the filter when the motor isn't running. This keeps the oil in the various oil passages in the engine, rather than allowing gravity to drag it back into the oil sump, forcing the oil pump to fill the passages again when next you start the engine. Usually, the anti- drainback valve is in the form of a rubber flap inside the filter, just inside the circle of holes that admit oil to the filter, forming an effective and fool-proof one-way valve. Oil filters with anti-drainback valves will decrease the amount of time it takes your engine to achieve full oil pressure on start-up.

    Now that we have discussed the construction of the oil filter's base, here's a cut-away drawing of the rest of the filter, along its longitudinal axis:

    Dirty Oil in ..... ..... Cleaner Oil out v ^ v ^ v ^ == =========== =========== == | / |xxx| |xxx| \ | Anti-drainback flaps | |xxx| Inner |xxx| | | |xxx| Chamber |xxx| | | |xxx| |xxx| | | |xxx| |xxx| | | |xxx| |xxx| | Outer casing . | |xxx| |xxx| | | |xxx| |xxx| | | |xxx| / |xxx| | | |xxx| \ |xxx| | | |xxx| / |xxx| | | |xxx| V |xxx| | Pressure relief valve | Outer --------- --------- | | Chamber | \---------------------------------/

    The anti-drainback flaps are the slashes at the oil admission holes.

    The "xxx" is the actual filter medium, usually a special type of paper, coated with a resin for strength and pleated to maximize the amount of surface area.

    The filter medium is held in place within a double-walled, perforated can, represented by vertical bars. This can is inside the filter's casing, and joined to the base of the filter.

    At the other end of the inner filter can is a pressure relief valve, held closed with a spring. In the drawing above it looks rather like a snake headed "south." If the filter medium becomes clogged, the pressure in the outer chamber will exceed that in the inner chamber by an amount sufficient to open the pressure relief valve, allowing unfiltered oil to bypass the filter medium and pass into the engine. The philosophy here is that dirty oil is preferable to no oil at all.

    If you really want to see the innards of a filter, buy a cheap one on sale and cut it up with a hacksaw. Given that the retail price of the average filter is $5 or less, they are marvels of technology and manufacturing. Cutting one up and looking at the parts and assembly techniques involved will give you a new appreciation for this humble but necessary item.

    In general, the purpose of the oil filter is to strain out of the oil any particle large enough to damage the wearing surfaces that receive the benefit of the pressurized oil that goes through the filter. Consider an almost microscopic view of the typical pressure-lubricated bearing in the engine, say a crankshaft main bearing:

    Oil under pressure, from pump & filter.......


    Bearing shell surface ==============\/\=============== Oil film /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ Crankshaft surface ================================ ================================

    Obviously, no harm can be done by a piece of dirt small enough in diameter; it will just float away without causing any but the most microscopic wear. In order to do much damage, the piece of dirt has to be large enough to touch both the bearing shell and the crankshaft (or other journal) surface at the same time, thus being scraped across one or the other. In the worst case, the foreign matter will embed itself in the soft material of the bearing shell and continue to scrape against the journal until it or the journal wears away enough material so they no longer touch.

    Particles bigger than the gap between the moving parts can't get in at all. Those less than half the size of the gap are also safe - two particles won't be able to double up so that they bridge the gap and contact both surfaces. Since the main-bearing clearances in a new engine tend to run about 38 microns, the most damaging particles are clearly those between about 20 and 40 microns in diameter.

    Thus, to be effective, the oil filter need only filter out pieces of dirt larger than 10 or 20 microns, though most filters on the market do much better than that.

    The capacity of the filter to trap and hold this crud is limited, but this is really not a problem if you change the filter regularly. With today's engines having no access to unfiltered outside air, about the only grit in the engine is what falls in the oil cap when you open it to add oil, or pieces of metal that are shed by the engine itself as it wears.


    Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1993 07:52:02 PST
    From: damouth@wrc.xerox.com (David E. Damouth)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Oil Filters, again - a technical question

    I've just been re-reading the old oil filter messages, and I'm more confused than ever about that fabled "check valve" whose virtues Herm and others have extolled.

    I believe that the oil pump is a positive displacement gear pump. When it stops, I would not expect oil to be able to flow backward through it. Perhaps there would be a slow leakage, but those little rubber flappers in the oil filter look like they would leak faster.

    There is no place for the oil in the filter, and in the oil passages it feeds, to go other than back through the pump. So if, as I expect, the oil pump itself blocks reverse oil flow, what additional good will a check valve in the filter do, other than making less of a mess when the filter is removed?

    Perhaps it's just a useless marketing gimmick?


    Date: Mon, 27 Jan 92 12:51:39 EST
    From: wiegman@orion (Herman L. N. Wiegman)
    To: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: oil filters and Techtron

    Eric, Dave and the net, [important thread for all Volvo owners]

    >Volvo recently downsized their oil filters again...it is now about half the size it was just a few years ago.
    > On my '84 240 with B230 engine, there is plenty of room for the larger filter, so I figure I might as well get all the filtering I can.

    This was a mistery to me too, but Hudson Valley Volvo Club enlightened me and many others with their oil filter display. The now smaller Volvo filter has MORE filtering folds in it with FINER tolerances and BETTER filtering capability. WOW! I was impressed. The price did not get smaller though...

    The worst oil filter was the FRAM unit. The BEST ones were the MANN oil filter (the original manufacturer for the '82-'89 Volvo oil filter), the OEM (original equipment from the manufacture) filter, the AC Purilator and the ipd unit. There were lots of mediocre filters and a few pitiful ones. I can summarize to those who are interested.

    > Once again, regular oil changes are far more important than the oil or filter types that are used.

    The Fram unit did not even have a oil pressure check valve in it! The oil pressure would drop to ZERO every time the car is turned off. Normally the pressure stays up, or at least, the oil stays in the filter for shorter start-up lubrication lag times.

    Personally I use the ipd filters. Why? Because I bought a case of them on sale. I'll probably use either the OEM or Mann units in the future.

    {Don't forget to recycle your oil at either SEARS automotive centers or at quick lube type facilities!}


    >No, it's great stuff if used for MAINTAINENCE. It is not a cure-all by any means. If an engine is THAT blocked up with charcoal, then it should have a head job done.

    I agree with Mike. If you are worried about the carbon build up being disturbed, the engine will need to be taken apart and cleaned. I would suggest using good quality fuel, driving delicately and hope for the best. I have not seen a low milage (<170k) B-21 with large carbon deposits yet..but you never know.


    Herman L.N. Wiegman -> wiegman@orion.crd.ge.com
    General Electric - Corporate Research & Development
    - the Flying Dutchman in the DSP swedish brick -

    Date: Tue, 18 Feb 92 09:48:24 EST
    From: wiegman (Herman L. N. Wiegman)
    To: emf@coos.dartmouth.edu, wiegman@orion
    Subject: Re: oil filters


    I haven't forgoten about the oil filter survey yet. It is still sitting on my desk...

    here is a quick summary.

    no "quality" of pleats info is given.

    number of pleats is given.

    container dimensions are given.

    sqr inches of filtering capability given. (primary indicator of quality)

    wall thickness is given.

    check valve type is given.


    Fram, Valvoline, Pennzoil, Motivator, Wix/Dana, Master Mechanic, Lee-Maxi, Big-A, A/C, IPD, Mann, Volvo (1266286-2), Volvo (3517857-3) [new one].

    If filter paper quality was also examined, the order would probably be rearranged a bit....

    The filter paper area went from 118 sqr. inches (FRAM) to 307 sqr. inches (volvo). The side wall thickness went from .012 inches (Lee-Maxi) to .021 (volvo). The check valves are in most of the filters.


    Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1993 21:07:04 -0400
    From: memsthd@prism.gatech.edu (MIKE WILEMAN)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Volvo OEM oil filter info

    I recall that several months ago there was an extensive discussion over whether Volvo oil filters are any better than other brands. Last week, while buying front seals at my favorite Volvo shop, Highland Automotive, I picked up a little brochure by Volvo which covers pretty much every issue that figured in the aforementioned discussion.

    The brochure has some neat pictures, including a cutaway view of the filter, which of course I can't reproduce. However, since I will otherwise have to do real work, I am presenting the text of the brochure, which follows:

    [Cover Page]


    Genuine Oil Filters

    [Artistic photo of Volvo filters with multilingual labels]

    All automotive oil filters do essentially the same thing: take dirt, grit, and other contaminants out of the circulating oil before they have a chance to harm your engine. And from the outside, all filters look pretty much the same. But on the inside there are some striking differences between the genuine Volvo oil filters and their competitors.

    Let's take a closer look...

    [Page 1]

    We cut open the casing of some non-genuine oil filters and compared them with the genuine Volvo part. What we found inside shows some of the really significant advantages of the Volvo filter.

    The most important part of an oil filter is the filter paper itself. Volvo uses "dimpled" paper to prevent the folds from laying against each other. Some of the competition use a smooth material that leaves less surface area for filtration.

    And there's more filter paper in a Volvo oil filter than in any of the other brands we tested. The more paper, the more efficient the filter.

    Look how uniform the pleats in the Volvo filter are. [Two drawings: one showing nice, straight Volvo pleats, the other showing the wavy pleats of the competition] This contributes greatly to the efficient processing of the oil, allowing the filter to do its best to protect your engine.

    Filter paper like this, wavy or caving in, just can't perform as well. And when the paper is creased, it's not as strong and can eventually leak, or cause unfiltered oil to circulate throughout your engine.

    [Page 2 - dominated by a full color cutaway view of the Volvo filter, with the "dimpled" paper, special seal, end wall, and check valves indicated]

    Volvo's special seal and threading helps prevent leaks by holding the filter more securely in position. And the Volvo filter is designed to counteract the vibration inherent in a 4-cylinder engine. This too helps keep the filter firmly attached to your car.

    [Page 3]

    Here's another major difference: This is the end wall of a genuine Volvo filter. [Drawing of end wall] It's made of a sturdy metal alloy, designed to keep unfiltered oil from leaking back into the engine.

    The end wall in this competitor is made of cardboard and can increase the possibility of leakage. [Drawing of competitor's endwall which is all crinkly and made of cardboard] Why would anyone want to take a chance with a filter like this?

    The Volvo oil filter also has two idividual and vitally important valves. One prevents oil from draining back when the engine is shut off, [But you heard it first on the Volvo-net] and the other opens automatically if blocked or under excessive pressure. Some of the competition use a combination valve, and if it gets clogged, no oil reaches the engine. This can lead to serious problems, even severe engine damage.

    [Drawing of anti-drain valve and bypass valve]

    It all comes down to this: The Volvo oil filter is a precision-designed component of a very special machine. It's made to work in perfect harmony with the rest of your Volvo engine the way no imitator can. Just remember this: While they may look the same on the outside...

    you can't judge a filter by its cover!

    [Back Page]

    Volvo'a reputation for building safe, reliable cars and long-lasting cars is unrivaled in the auto business.

    One reason for this is our commitment to a philosophy that insists on the highest design standards for every component.

    Beneath the finish of every Volvo are some 5,500 parts.

    Each a product of extensive research,

    Expertly engineered to work in harmony, [I'm trying to keep a straight face while typing this]

    Interacting to make it the very special car it is.

    To be sure your maintaining the quality and integrity of that car, always insist on genuine Volvo parts. There's simply no better way to keep your Volvo a Volvo [obviously they never heard of the CheVolvo]



    Nothing can replace them. (tm)

    (c) 1992 Volvo Cars of North America, Inc. 7777397-6

    So there it is, netters, judge for yourself. Standard disclaimer about typos applies.


    Return to the top of the

    Replacing the rear axle oil.

    Date: Mon, 5 Jul 93 08:40:31 EDT
    From: nick@meaddata.com (Nick Gough)
    To: haber@cs.wisc.edu
    Subject: Re: Replacing Rear Axle Oil

    The Red Line stuff is the best that you can buy... racers use it with great success. We used it in all of the rear ends for the Toyota Supras, Nissan 300ZX turbo, and Vette that we raced in the 80's. Never had any problems due to poor lubrication. We *did* however, in our first season of endurance racing, lose a few Toyota Supra rear ends, but only because there was a flaw in the design & it couldn't handle racing stresses. We had to "borrow" a rear end from a spectator in order to attempt a finish, at Mid-Ohio. An hour before the scheduled finish, the "borrowed" rear end gave up the ghost, so to speak. After spending some time in rebuilding it & another one, we were able to give the fellow back his rear end, so he could drive home, as well as drive ours back. Thank God for the excellent facillities at Mid-Ohio, as we had a very well-equipped garage.

    What you want is the RedLine 75W90 Gear Oil. It is $7.25/qt.; $87/case of 12 qts.

    Call them at 1-800-624-7958.

    God Luck with Rupert.


    > From haber@cs.wisc.edu Fri Jul 2 20:25:14 1993
    > Date: Fri, 2 Jul 93 17:44:46 -0500
    > From: haber@cs.wisc.edu (Eben Merriam Haber)
    > To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    > Subject: Replacing Rear Axle Oil
    > Rupert the Red Volvo has reached 30 (kmiles), and I'm considering replacing
    > the rear axle oil with synthetic. I've had good luck with synthetic in the
    > engine and transmission (it runs REALLY well in the winter), and am wondering
    > if anybody has experience with rear axle oil (I'd probably get it from
    > Red-Line). I figure it'll improve mileage slightly and help the life of
    > the differential a lot.

    > Any comments?


    > Eben M Haber and Rupert R. Volvo

    Return to the top of the

    Can I change my oil without removing the oil plug

    To: filler@southwind.net
    Date: Fri, 24 Nov 1995 12:03:52 -0500 (EST)
    From: "Michael Connelly"

    Hi! Here's the information I think you want:

    Fumoto Engineering
    12328 Northup Way
    Belleville, Washington

    phone: 206-869-771

    contact: Norio

    product: a nifty brass and ss valve that replaces the oil drain plug. installation is permanent, and the valve should last longer than the car. it can't open by itself, and extends only half an inch lower than the oem drain plug, which is higher than the crossmember forward of the oil pan. cost is $16.98, except that when i explained about swedishbricks he offered a discount for members, $14.98 including shipping. (I have used these valves on my own cars for more than 12 years and think they are great. they save a LOT of time when changing the oil, the also making changing the oil a far cleaner operation. In addition, since you put it on once and leave it, in 30 oil changes, you've made up the cost of the valve through foregone purchases of the copper washer you are supposed to use each time you change the oil. But the main thing is how easy and clean it is. If I need to change my oil in a hurry, I can do the whole job in 8 minutes. Without getting my hands dirty. And I can change just the oil (not the filter) in even less time. These valves should be oem. They save time and money, and are safer to use. I get nothing for promoting the use of these. I just think they are great. Otherwise I wouldn't suggest their use to 450 strangers...)

    part numbers:

    all 4-cyl engines and all engines to 1975.................T-204
    all V-6 engines (1976-1982)...............................F-108
    1983-present V-6, TD, and 5-cyl engines...................F-104


    If you need further information, please let me know, or ask Norio to send you a pamphlet.

    There is also a fax number: 206-869-2558.



    Return to the top of the
    Return to the Index


    I changed the oil and now I have a loud ticking ... hmmm?

    Date: Fri, 24 Nov 1995 22:12:31 -0500
    From: davet@world.std.com (David Teichholtz)
    To: Jack_Loucks@software.mitel.com (Jack Loucks)
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu (Swedish Bricks)
    Subject: Change oil, loud tickin...hmmm...

    [Jack Loucks] 24 Nov, subject: "Change oil, loud tickin...hmmm..."

    > Hi,
    > I changed the oil on our '84 245t last night. The oil pressure light went
    > out after a couple of seconds. Then as I started to pull away, I heard a
    > ticking sound under the hood. "Great! I must've left something under the
    > hood..." I thought. But no, this ticking sound is coming from under the
    > valve cover.

    I have had this exact scenerio happen to me with my Jeep twice. Engine ran fine, changed the oil, started it up and it sounded like the top of the engine was going to come off. Each time I shut if off and thought about the problem overnight. And the next day the engine started and sounded fine. One interesting fact is that both times that this happened, the engine was cold when I changed the oil. My guess is that the lifters drained and did not refill right away, but did overnight. (I know that one should run the engine before changing the oil, but both times I had a darn good reason why I did not. I just can't remember what that reason was....)


    From: Jack_Loucks@software.mitel.com (Jack Loucks)
    Subject: Loud ticking, valve clearances, IPD shim kit...
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu (Swedish Bricks)
    Date: Thu, 30 Nov 1995 09:31:46 -0500 (EST)

    Hi all,
    Earlier this week I reported our '84 245t started making a loud ticking noise after I had changed the oil. The sound comes and goes, so last night I took the valve cover off to (i) check nothing major was broke, and (ii) check the valve clearances.

    Luckily nothing major is broke (that I can see). But here's what I found measuring the valve clearance on a hot engine :

    Cyl Vlv Check
    --- --- -----
    4   ( ) 0.018"
        ( ) 0.017"
    3   ( ) 0.020"
        ( ) 0.017"
    2   ( ) 0.017"
        ( ) 0.017"
    1   ( ) 0.015"
        ( ) 0.015"

    The valve clearance spec (Bentley) states Hot-engine checking (0.014-0.018") It would appear that I need to adjust cylinder 3's rear (exhaust?) valve. I called IPD about their valve shim kit. Has anyone else used IPD's kit?

    The other alternative I'm toying with is to (somehow) extract the shim from #3 and approach my local machinist to fabricate me one that will meet the spec I need. Has anyone done taken this approach? Has anyone taken the shims out without the proper tools? What metal are the shims made of?

    Is it possible to purchase just one shim locally? Ottawa valley guys speak up...

    I'm all ears...


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    Can I crank the engine with the coil wire disconnected after changing my oil?

    Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 17:25:12 -0500
    From: cq168@freenet.carleton.ca (Paul Grimshaw)
    To: aisrael@rvcc.raritanval.edu, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Change oil, loud tickin...hmmm...
    Reply-To: cq168@freenet.carleton.ca


    Sorry about the loud headline, but this one is extremely important folks.

    Aaron writes,

    Right after I change my oil, I crank the engine with the coil wire disconnected. This makes the oil circulate in the engine before I start it. I have simmilar problem on my Ford. After changing the oil the lifters click like crazy.

    (Probably bad lifters and I am not replacing them on a Ford 302.) I crank the engine for about ten to twenty seconds then I connect the coil wire. The engine does not make any noise and the light does not come on.


    Although this works in theory, disconnecting the coil wire may lead to arcing from the coil to the #1 terminal on the ignition coil. Should this occur, you run the risk of damaging your Volvo's main computer, tachometer. The reason for this is that the high tension arc from the coil will overload circuitry in either component.

    It is for this reason that Volvo always recommends disconnecting terminal #1 from the coil when cranking the engine without the high tension coil to distributor cap lead.


    Do your oil change as per normal. Replace the filter with a new unit which has been partially filled with motor oil (approx 1/4 quart poured down the "hole"). Taking into account this 1/4 quart, replace the drain plug and replace an appropriate amount of engine oil. Pre-lubing the filter will avoid running the engine dry for the 1-3 seconds it would normally take to fill the filter.

    Upon completion, run engine, watch for leaks. Recheck oil and top up to "full".


    I can appreciate owners trying to minimize the wear and tear on their beloved Volvos, so don't take this message as a sharp critique. It is intended to prevent a well-meaning act from turning into an unforseen trip to the garage. Do change your oil frequently, pre-lubing the filter if you are a fanatic about preventative maintenance. Don't get too fancy though.

    Paul Grimshaw
    The Gothenburg Bible
    34 Ullswater Dr
    Nepean, Ontario, CAN
    K2H 5H2
    E-Mail: cq168@freenet.carleton.ca

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    Hints on an environmentally friendly oil filter change.

    Date: 30 Nov 1995 08:48:08 CST
    From: "Johnson.Chuck" (CHJOHNSO@abpost.remnet.ab.com)
    Subject: Eviron. Friendly Oil Filter Chan
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    I was in a local Volvo dealership the other day and noticed one of the mechanics changing oil on a 850. I do not have an 850 so I wandered over to see the process in action.

    The mechanic had loosened the oil filter and then did something unusual in my book. He took a sharp punch and with a hammer punched a hole in the bottom (domed side) of the oil filter and allowed the oil to drain out into the 'catch-pan' that he was using to catch the old oil. When I asked him about this 'unusual' act he told me that it was environmentally friendly in that you don't put as much oil into the land fill when the discarded filter is 'put to rest'.

    I 'just happened' to have a left over filter from my son's latest oil change, (a MANN), that had been repeatedly drained by tipping it upside down and back and forth a few times. I punched a couple of holes in the 'domed side' and set it to drain into a container. I would estimate that I drained about 4 ounces of oil out of this filter. I will now practice this with all of my oil changes in the future in an attempt to save a bit of the environment. (I do recycle my oil too)

    Regards, Chuck
    '91 744 52k miles
    '86 SAAB 900S 121k miles
    '83 245GLT 142k miles (son's)

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    Should I install an engine oil dipstick heater?

    Subject: Oil Dipstick Heater
    Date: Mon, 11 Dec 95 16:12:10 -400
    From: wjgrieco@mit.edu (Bill Grieco)
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    As winter is arriving New England, I've been considering the merits of using an engine oil dipstick heater for my 1990 240DL. I have no experience with these, although the concept seems sound enough...keep the oil less viscous and potentially reduce wear on cold starts. My 240 remains outside constantly so some cold start protection, beyond low viscosity oil, seems warranted. Any thoughts on these heaters (and vendors) or potential alternatives would be greatly appreciated.

    Bill Grieco

    Subject: Re: Oil Dipstick Heater
    Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 08:48:06 -0700 (MST)
    From: Joseph Kmiec
    To: Bill Grieco
    CC: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    Another solution would be to install in line block heater. I was thinking about it for my brick but I couldn't find a decent in-line block heater. Canadian Tire carries some but their design looks very poor. But if you'll find a good one you don't even have to drain the coolant to install one. Just warm up your brick so the cooling hose will get warm and soft, clamp it on both ends using vise grip and piece of wood then cut the hose.

    With one block heater and -40 C/F outside you will not get much heat out of it.

    I had two block heaters installed in one of my car and at -35 C (the car was parked on a street) after starting the temperature gauge would go up after 30 seconds.

    Joseph Kmiec '86 740GLE - CANADA
    email: zkmiec@freenet.edmonton.ab.ca

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