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Maintenance – Round 1

Did the first oil change and air filter on our newly acquired 2002 GCS 3.3L...


AMSOIL EaA170 Nanofiber air filter - Donaldson P169071 "Synteq" oil filter - 5.5 quarts AMSOIL OE 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil


“High Efficiency Filtration”... Made in USA... Gotta love it :thumb:

Now just waiting on the Mopar spark plug wires and PCV valve for round 2.
 

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How low does that giant filter stick? Looks like it is susceptible to rocks and other road debris.
 

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How low does that giant filter stick? Looks like it is susceptible to rocks and other road debris.
That looks to be a 5" long filter. No problem with that size on my Vans. I use 5" long Mopars but the FL-1A and Fram 8A are the same length and there are lots of those used as well. No nicks, dents or anything. The bottom sits above the front valence and well above the bottom of the oil pan.
My concern with that filter, as I noted in another Thread, is that it may not have a bypass valve.
 

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Looks like the filter is 5.3" long per http://www.filterdistribution.com/products/donaldson-p169071-high-efficiency-extended-life-spin-on-oil-filter.html That site also says it has a relief valve with a setting of 8-11 psi. :thumb:

To the OP: Looks like you may have a grease fitting on the ball joint to attend to. Also notice the lower radiator hose joining to a steel pipe that goes to the water pump. The steel pipe can rust. Mine is coated with a liberal application of Fluid Film. Stays wet and hangs in there in spite of the heat. There is also a smaller pipe going to the water pump on the back side of the engine. It's very difficult to see without removing the wiper tray. I have that coated with Fluid Film as well.

You certainly picked a very high efficiency oil filter and a high quality oil. :thumb: Are you looking at a high oil change interval beyond 3000 - 6000 miles?

Hopefully your engine was well maintained and has no sludge build up. If sludged, the detergents in the Amsoil will loosen the sludge and it will tend to fill up the filter sooner than expected.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looks like the filter is 5.3" long per http://www.filterdistribution.com/products/donaldson-p169071-high-efficiency-extended-life-spin-on-oil-filter.html That site also says it has a relief valve with a setting of 8-11 psi. :thumb:

To the OP: Looks like you may have a grease fitting on the ball joint to attend to. Also notice the lower radiator hose joining to a steel pipe that goes to the water pump. The steel pipe can rust. Mine is coated with a liberal application of Fluid Film. Stays wet and hangs in there in spite of the heat. There is also a smaller pipe going to the water pump on the back side of the engine. It's very difficult to see without removing the wiper tray. I have that coated with Fluid Film as well.

You certainly picked a very high efficiency oil filter and a high quality oil. :thumb: Are you looking at a high oil change interval beyond 3000 - 6000 miles?

Hopefully your engine was well maintained and has no sludge build up. If sludged, the detergents in the Amsoil will loosen the sludge and it will tend to fill up the filter sooner than expected.
Looks like the filter is 5.3" long per http://www.filterdistribution.com/products/donaldson-p169071-high-efficiency-extended-life-spin-on-oil-filter.html That site also says it has a relief valve with a setting of 8-11 psi. :thumb:

To the OP: Looks like you may have a grease fitting on the ball joint to attend to. Also notice the lower radiator hose joining to a steel pipe that goes to the water pump. The steel pipe can rust. Mine is coated with a liberal application of Fluid Film. Stays wet and hangs in there in spite of the heat. There is also a smaller pipe going to the water pump on the back side of the engine. It's very difficult to see without removing the wiper tray. I have that coated with Fluid Film as well.

You certainly picked a very high efficiency oil filter and a high quality oil. :thumb: Are you looking at a high oil change interval beyond 3000 - 6000 miles?

Hopefully your engine was well maintained and has no sludge build up. If sludged, the detergents in the Amsoil will loosen the sludge and it will tend to fill up the filter sooner than expected.
Thanks for the info. This van does have a clunk or popping sound coming from the front suspension. When we bought it, we were told one of the wheel bearings is going out. Wonder if it's the ball joint?

As for the oil change interval, the previous owner of the vehicle managed a tire store and told us he had the oil changed every 3,000-miles. So hopefully, sludge has been kept to a minimum. I'm going to start by doing six-month intervals on the oil and then change the Donaldson oil filter once per year. We probably won't drive this van more than 6,000-miles per year.

Then I'll run a used oil analysis or two to see how the engine doing. If all looks well, I may step up to the Amsoil Signature Series and change to one-year oil & filter change intervals.
 

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Thanks for the info. This van does have a clunk or popping sound coming from the front suspension. When we bought it, we were told one of the wheel bearings is going out. Wonder if it's the ball joint?

As for the oil change interval, the previous owner of the vehicle managed a tire store and told us he had the oil changed every 3,000-miles. So hopefully, sludge has been kept to a minimum. I'm going to start by doing six-month intervals on the oil and then change the Donaldson oil filter once per year. We probably won't drive this van more than 6,000-miles per year.

Then I'll run a used oil analysis or two to see how the engine doing. If all looks well, I may step up to the Amsoil Signature Series and change to one-year oil & filter change intervals.
Worn wheel bearings tend to give you a whirring noise while driving on the highway. If the noise disappears when you steer to the left, then it's likely the left wheel bearing, when you steer to the right, then the right wheel bearing. That's based on unloading the bearing when you turn ie putting the weight to the other side. If you jack the wheel off the ground and rotate it, a bearing noise can manifest itself by a low grinding sound.

Clunking sound is likely the sway bar bushings or links. Check for corrosion / torn boot at the ball joints in the links. Try to wiggle the links while there is even pressure side to side on the sway bar, ie the links are unloaded. The links should rotate freely but excessive play, if present, can be detected quite easily - hence a worn link. Also the nuts for the sway bar links have an awful habit of backing off if not tightened properly ie the stud can't be allowed to twist while the nut is tightened.

My thoughts on oil: Conventional oil is great, most brands containing some "unproclaimed" synthetic oil in the mix anyway. It's certainly good for 6,000 miles without question. As long as the vehicle is used every month, long enough to get rid of any condensation, I wouldn't be concerned about a 12 month interval. A high efficiency filter is a good choice. I have used Fram Tough Guard TG8A (5" long) filters over the years and had no problems with them. They are 99% efficient at 20 microns and come with a silicone anti-drainback valve.
I prefer 10W-30 to 5W-30 for its shorter viscosity range. Valvoline conventional oil is what I am tending toward these days. The Pour Point is -42C for the 5W-30 and -36C for the 10W-30. Your Amsoil OE 5W-30 synthetic has a Pour Point of -43C, 10W-30 has a Pour Point of -40C. From that comparison I would say that the Valvoline has a fair amount of "unproclaimed" synthetic oil in it, even though it's called Conventional oil.
Here's an interesting article re oil "tiers": http://www.jobbersworld.com/
The price of engine oil on the retail shelves can be very telling about a number of issues. One in particular is how the market is tiered. As shown below, there are currently three price tiers. The highest priced (top-tier) PCMOs are synthetic engine oils. The average price of PCMOs in this tier at the leading retailer of PCMO is currently at $7.13 a quart.

Engine oil formulated for use in vehicles with high mileage represent the second, or mid- price tier. The price of these engine oils average $4.48 a quart at the same leading retail chain. And although it appears to be too early to tell if they will stay there, the pricing of some of the re-refined (green) engine oils are making a showing in the middle tier.

The third price tier comprise what many in our industry refer to as conventional engine oil. Although today most of these so called conventional oils contain some level of Group III base oil (thus making them synthetic blends), most do not market them as such. Instead, they are positioned and priced as conventional products. The average price of these PCMOs at the leading retail chain is $3.97 a quart.

PCMO = Passenger Car Motor Oil
The Amsoil Signature Series is from a completely different Base Stock than your Amsoil OE. It's a Group lV PAO synthetic.
 
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Worn wheel bearings tend to give you a whirring noise while driving on the highway. If the noise disappears when you steer to the left, then it's likely the left wheel bearing, when you steer to the right, then the right wheel bearing. That's based on unloading the bearing when you turn ie putting the weight to the other side. If you jack the wheel off the ground and rotate it, a bearing noise can manifest itself by a low grinding sound.

Clunking sound is likely the sway bar bushings or links. Check for corrosion / torn boot at the ball joints in the links. Try to wiggle the links while there is even pressure side to side on the sway bar, ie the links are unloaded. The links should rotate freely but excessive play, if present, can be detected quite easily - hence a worn link. Also the nuts for the sway bar links have an awful habit of backing off if not tightened properly ie the stud can't be allowed to twist while the nut is tightened.

My thoughts on oil: Conventional oil is great, most brands containing some "unproclaimed" synthetic oil in the mix anyway. It's certainly good for 6,000 miles without question. As long as the vehicle is used every month, long enough to get rid of any condensation, I wouldn't be concerned about a 12 month interval. A high efficiency filter is a good choice. I have used Fram Tough Guard TG8A (5" long) filters over the years and had no problems with them. They are 99% efficient at 20 microns and come with a silicone anti-drainback valve.
I prefer 10W-30 to 5W-30 for its shorter viscosity range. Valvoline conventional oil is what I am tending toward these days. The Pour Point is -42C for the 5W-30 and -36C for the 10W-30. Your Amsoil OE 5W-30 synthetic has a Pour Point of -43C, 10W-30 has a Pour Point of -40C. From that comparison I would say that the Valvoline has a fair amount of "unproclaimed" synthetic oil in it, even though it's called Conventional oil.
Here's an interesting article re oil "tiers": http://www.jobbersworld.com/

The Amsoil Signature Series is from a completely different Base Stock than your Amsoil OE. It's a Group lV PAO synthetic.
Good info on the sway bar. I’ll have to check into that.

As for the oil, I like to broaden the comparison (on paper) to a least include CCS Viscosity and Noack Volatility. That said, the Amsoil OE line comes in at around $1.70 more per quart including shipping and tax over the leading conventional; this is what I’d consider a great value in a motor oil.

Once I trend a couple of UOAs and make sure the engine is mechanically sound, e.g., no small internal coolant leaks, no excess fuel dilution, no excess dirt infiltration through the intake, then I plan to step up to the PAO/Ester formulation, and not worry about the one-year oil change interval.
 

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I am interested in this because of lack of funds and area to do it have gone only 2 times a year on oil changes. I get the vehicle checked out when i do this but we only put about 10k on it per year. It does burn oil though, about a quart every 6 months. I am curious if i should start using a heaver weight and the larger filter since i go so long in between changes.
 

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10W-30 and the 5" long filter here. Give it a try, won't hurt anything. I use the Mopar filter that's cross referenced to the Motorcraft FL-1A. I think the FL-1As are available at WalMart at a competitive price, in the US, not so in Canada. I get Mopar filters for $2.50 so those are the ones I use.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Update: Latest Air Filter Test

When I was looking to replace the air filter, I was torn between the AMSOIL #EaA170 and WIX #42389. The Amsoil filter cost more and I didn't know if I wanted to pay the extra money. So here's what the break down looks like...

The WIX #42389 cost $14.99 at O'Reilly Auto Parts and looking at a typical 12,000-mile or 1-year change out schedule.

The AMSOIL #EaA170 has a Preferred Customer cost of $26.00 while looking at a 100,000-mile or 4-year guarantee.

So over a four-year term, the WIX will be replaced four times and cost $59.96. The AMSOIL will be replaced once at $26.00. That's roughly a savings of $33.96.

But then, I came across this latest air filter study as as conducted by GM Truck Central. That Air Filter Testing Study is found at this link: http://www.gmtruckcentral.com/articles/air-filter-study.html

So it would appear by the independent filter study that despite it's higher initial purchase price, the Amsoil filter does a better job at keeping engine damaging contaminants out of the engine while actually costing less over a four-year term.

So at least going by these numbers, it looks like I made the right choice.

AMSOIL EaA Air Filter - link
 
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