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Thread: 5W20 or 5W30

  1. #1
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    Default 5W20 or 5W30

    Is it true that Ford changed recommended type of oil for modulars from 5W20 to 5W30 only for ecological reasons ? I mean which oil will be better for engine, not for eco-freaks. When I was bought my 09 GM I poured 5W20 Amsoil Signatur Series oil, but I think that engine runs a little bit louder at cold start than before. I don't know what type of oil previous owner used, car don't burn oil. At the begining of january I will change oil and filters and I wonder if I should use 5W30.
    '09 Grand Marquis LS - Light Ice Blue exterior, Medium Light Sone interior, Heated seats, 17" rims, J-mod

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    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    When the 4.6 was new in 1991, Ford recommended 5W-30. Sometime in 2002, it was switched to 5W-20 eek out a little more MPG. I originally ran 5W-20, then switched back to 5W-30. I saw no real difference in economy or how it ran. In my case, my car is now past 200K, and doesn’t use oil. It would have probably done the same on 5W-20, but I prefer the OE recommended spec in this case so I have used, and will continue to use 5W-30.

    Oil filter wise, always use a good filter with a silicone anti-drainback valve. Typically I’ll use Motorcraft or Wix.

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    I would use 5w30, my '98 was very happy on that. Thicker stuff than that really makes them run shitty.

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    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knucklehead0202 View Post
    I would use 5w30, my '98 was very happy on that. Thicker stuff than that really makes them run shitty.
    They don’t have super large oil passages, so it makes sense. IIRC my service manual (1997) says the heaviest permitted was 10W-30 for very warm climates, but 5W-30 was preferable for most climates.

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  5. #5
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    I use 5W30 because that’s what the motor was designed for. No sense in reducing the life of the motor over less than a mile per gallon
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    just info. My 02 5.0 Mercedes specifies 0W40. In theory that provides the least startup damage and sufficient high temp protection when engine temps call for it. It sounds so logical.
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    I've been running Motorcraft 5W-20 Semi-synth oil that is spec'd for my 03 LX Sport along with a Motorcraft filter since I bought it in '08 w/54k on it. Now has a bit over 200K on it and still runs just fine, and I do have a habit of driving it a bit hard once in a while. The mod motors have tighter tolerances for things so you don't want a thick oil, and just run a quality filter. If you can't get a Motorcraft filter then I'd go for a Wix filter.
    These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaywish View Post
    just info. My 02 5.0 Mercedes specifies 0W40. In theory that provides the least startup damage and sufficient high temp protection when engine temps call for it. It sounds so logical.
    FWIW, Mobil 1 offers a 0W-30 synthetic that says it meets requirements for 5W/10W-30 applications. I did use it in the ‘97 one time, and it behaved fine with it, no weird sounds on start up or the like. Probably would work even better for colder climate owners where cold temp start up oil flow is important.

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    When I change oil after purchase I used K&N oil filter. Few days ago I bought Motorcraft filter and I will use it now. Probably I will stay with Amsoil 5W20 with Motorcraft filter - I'm curious if I will notice any difference.
    '09 Grand Marquis LS - Light Ice Blue exterior, Medium Light Sone interior, Heated seats, 17" rims, J-mod

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    My '08 P71 with 200K gets Motorcraft 5W20, because thats what the owner's manual stated. I use only the FL820S filter as well. The car was fleet maintained by a Massachusetts state mechanic until 150K, and it had a Motorcraft filter on it when I got it. I can only assume they used Ford stuff to service it throughout its life.

    It has had a noise in the top end of the engine since I started driving it 2 years ago with 150K on it. 5W30 didn't help (tried it once), and it doesn't use any oil. I change it on a 4k mile OCI, and I expect that the engine will continue to run and operate as normal, noise and all.
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    I follow the owner's manual recommendation of 5W-20. I put full synthetic in my MGM and it seems to run smoother. More so when I tried Royal Purple.

  12. #12
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    Another 5w20 synthetic user here + motorcraft filter.

    Alex.

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    5w20 in the PI swapped 93, 5w30 in the wife's stock 2K CV. Both synthetic. everything gets Motorcraft filters since they're cheap at Walmart. Only 10¢ (or is it 20¢?) more than the POS Fram. Both as spec'd by the model year of the engine. Both run great with NO odd noises.

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    I run 5w20 Valvoline MaxLife in mine. Years ago I switched around between 5w20 and 5w30 in the '96, never really saw any difference other than maybe slightly smoother idle when its really cold. In the '97 Townie I found out it will chug regular synthetic, set out with the intention of dumping cheap conventional in it and found that MaxLife was on sale for a couple $$ more and decided to try that. Astonishingly it went from a quart in 700 miles to a quart in 2k miles, a consumption rate that stayed pretty steady as long as I had either MaxLife or Quakerstate Defy in it. I put synthetic in it again after a few OCIs with the high mileage juice and it went right back to a quart in 900 miles. So there is something to the high mileage stuff, at least for whatever is causing my oil consumption (likely valve seals cuz early 4.6). I was running 5w30 in it until I changed my Mom's old Accord to MaxLife and that car called for 5w20 so I started buying it in bulk when on sale and running it in both cars. No real difference as far as I can tell in any respect in the Town Car between the 5w20 and 5w30 so I just kept using the 5w20. I've put 70-some thousand miles on it in my ownership, inside of the motor is clean and healthy from what I've seen as I've opened things up. Since it became a habit that hasn't ended badly, the '98 gets the same 5w20 MaxLife cuz why not?

    Always, ALWAYS a Motorcraft filter. Back before I knew any better I put a Fram on the '96 and couldn't figure out why it knocked on startup. Learned about the anti drainback valve and its importance in a 4.6 and swapped in a Motorcraft filter. Startup knock went away. Motorcraft filters are well made, cheap, and readily available so I really can't think of any reason not to use them and have used them ever since.

    A lot of people over think this. 5w20 and 5w30 are both fine for this engine. Use whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy. Just use a quality filter and make sure the oil is full and you'll be just fine.
    -Steve

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    I'm after oil change - I stay with Amsoil Signature 5W20 but I change filter from K&N to Motorcraft. I think that cold start is more smooth now
    '09 Grand Marquis LS - Light Ice Blue exterior, Medium Light Sone interior, Heated seats, 17" rims, J-mod

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    My 07 with 46,000 miles on it has a Motorcraft filter but I have no clue what oil the Lincoln Dealer put in my car since they were just selling it.
    However my car has noise on start up after it has sat over night that goes away fairly quick once it warms up.
    I want to change the oil and filter and put in a automatic priming system in my car since it does a lot of sitting, as far as the Oil I was planning on using the Motorcraft semi synthetic 20w50
    any advice would be appreciated I live in south Florida
    If the oil and filter fixes the problem I will skip the priming system.
    2000 MGM LS Palm Beach Edition a work in progress

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    20w50 would be too thick. If you want to step up the thickness of the oil, go with 10w30 at most. The engine is spec'd for 5w20, so start with 5w30. 20w50 would not be able to drain back down when cold and may starve the oil pump and then burn stuff up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    20w50 would be too thick. If you want to step up the thickness of the oil, go with 10w30 at most. The engine is spec'd for 5w20, so start with 5w30. 20w50 would not be able to drain back down when cold and may starve the oil pump and then burn stuff up.
    Sorry I meant 5w20 semi synthetic
    2000 MGM LS Palm Beach Edition a work in progress

  19. #19
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    In that case, you should be fine. 5w20 semi synthetic (synthetic blend), is what is spec'd by Ford IIRC. This is also the stuff the dealers keep on hand, so it's probably what's already in it.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    In that case, you should be fine. 5w20 semi synthetic (synthetic blend), is what is spec'd by Ford IIRC. This is also the stuff the dealers keep on hand, so it's probably what's already in it.
    My hope is that the dealer I purchased the car from is just as cheap as the dealers I worked for in the past that would use bulk non synthetic oil on their used cars.

    Either way it is going to get the right OEM oil in it to see what happens.
    2000 MGM LS Palm Beach Edition a work in progress

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