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0W40 In My 07 4.2 V6 F150

2007 F150, 4.2 V6, 146K Miles

Hello everyone.
I’m not new to the automotive world, but am new to using 0W40 oil. I know a lot of Ford techs, as well as some other very knowledgeable wrenchers out there. Before using CASTROL EDGE 0W40 oil in my engine, along with a M1-M209 oil filter, I asked a lot of Q?'s about it being used in my engine. I received a few “Why not just use what Ford recommends?” Well, I did, sometimes. One day a Ford tech friend of mine told me that WM had different makes of 0W40 oil on clearance and it wouldn’t hurt to use it in my engine. So, it’s in there now. And, my engine has NEVER ran as smooth and quiet as it does now.
I am curious to know what you fine members think about my choice of oil in my engine. Thank You.

Hi WWR01_142245:
Are you saying you’re attributing the newfound smooth and quiet running of your 2007 F150 to just switching to 0w40 oil, (from the recommended 5w20)?

Quieter perhaps, if the thicker oil was masking some problem in your engine, like noisy lifters.

Smoother? We’ll need you to explain more to help us understand what you mean by “smoother”.

I’ve never head about anything about running 0W-40 in a Ford Essex engine. I’ve head about people running 5W-30 or 10W-30 in the Ford modular engines with good success though. IMHO, if an engine was back-spec’d well into it’s production run to use a lighter oil (like the modular was) then you’re safe using the old recommended oil, and the change was likely made for CAFE reasons (they needed to eek out another 0.1 MPG). The split-port Essex engine dates back to 1996, at which time 5W-30 was specified. A few years later Ford changed the recommendation to 5W-20 (nearly across the board). These days, for the most part the N/A engines spec 5W-20 while the turbocharged Ecoboosts specify 5W-30. With all that said, you can’t go wrong sticking to what the manufacturer recommends.

If it were my truck, I’d use either 5W-30 or 5W-20. But if you have a ton of miles on the truck and/or the engine burns some oil 0W-40 would probably be okay.

if spec is 0-20 or 5-20 than i would not use a heavier oil. 5-30? or 5-40? or 0-40. its all the same when hot. higher viscosity means lower flow when you are using the same gear oil pump. nothing changed on the pump side of this equation. you have thicker oil and less flow now

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Placebo effect? You convinced yourself this was the right oil and your perception of the engine’s smoothness may be in your head rather than actually being smoother. Sort of like putting a noisy muffler on your car and being convinced it makes more power. You actually made the decision on price as WM had it on sale.

Stick with the factory recommendation, it got you this far.

One more vote to use the factory spec oil.

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Does this mean my internal engine parts are being starved for oil? If so, wouldn’t there be metallic noises occurring?
When I say “QUIET and SMOOTH” you have to remember, the ESSEX V6 engine has a balance shaft in it. When I was talking to Ford techs about my concerns of using the 0W40 oil, they stated that it would probably smooth out the balance shaft and quiet the valve train down a bit. And, it has. I have owned 3 other 4.2 V6’s prior to my current 07. I always ran 5W20, 5W30, and 10W30 in those engines, and they were NOT as QUIET and SMOOTH running like my 07 engine is, WITH the 0W40 oil in it. I have owned this truck since brand new (6 original miles). I have always ran 5W20 and 5W30 in it. Now that it has well over 100K miles on it, I think the internal tolerances and clearances are at an accepted degree to use the 0W40 oil as not to starve them.
Again, I was looking for opinions and I like what you all are saying. Keep them coming. :wink:

[quote=“WRR01_142245, post:7, topic:125145”]
When I was talking to Ford techs about my concerns of using the 0W40 oil, they stated that it would probably smooth out the balance shaft [/quote]

That makes no sense. Why would that happen?

I don’t know, I’m NOT a Ford tech. Maybe they know something about this engine because they went to school to become a Ford tech? :thinking:
All that I know is, my engine is MUCH quieter and smoother running since adding the 0W40 oil.
I bet if I add some racing decals to my windows I will get another 30-100 HP! :rofl:

How many miles are on it? I bet it’d be even quieter with 90 weight gear lube. Doesn’t make it better.

146K miles.
Gear lube? Now, that’s an idea! Shouldn’t I try a 20W50 oil first? Baby steps to the gear lube. :upside_down_face:
Seriously, do you actually think I would add this oil without doing VAST research 1st? I mean, I don’t have an extra $2K+ for a new engine. And, no I’m not smarter than the Ford engineers. But, their thinking is to use the most efficient oil for the best gas mileage. If I knew a Ford engineer personally, and he stated to NEVER use a 0W40 oil in my engine, then I wouldn’t.

My point (and others’) is that quieter isn’t necessarily better. If thicker oil is quieting down your engine, then maybe it’s a sign of worn bearings. Do you have an oil pressure gauge? I’d attach a good mechanical one and see if the oil pressure is low at idle.

FUNNY you say that! I sure did add a mechanical gauge to my engine. I have a tee at the oil pressure sending unit with a factory dummy light switch and a Stewart-Warner 0-100 psi OPG. At hot idle with the 0W40 oil it reads 25-27 psi. With 5W20-5W30, the gauge would read 20-23 psi. I can’t see what it reads as I drive (naturally :roll_eyes: ) but when I have given it gas in park the gauge would read 60 psi +.

I’m sorry, I forgot to add, those hot idle readings were with my truck in gear. At hot idle in park they are 29-35 psi.
My bad!

This is reprinted from a Ford Fleet newsletter linked on Bob is the Oil Guy’s website. The link no longer works as it is 12 years old.

"Why 5W20 Oil?
Some customers are reluctant to follow Ford’s recommendation to use 5W-20 oil in their engines based on the incorrect assumption that Ford and other Auto Manufacturers only recommend 5W-20 oil in order to increase fuel economy. Using 5W-20 oil can increase fuel economy by about 6/10ths of a percent compared to 5W-30 and more if you are currently using a higher viscosity oil. This equates to an additional savings of 125 million gallons per year when used in all applicable Ford vehicles. Since its introduction in the 2001 MY, 5W-20 oils have saved up to 640 million gallons of gasoline in the U.S. or an equivalent 5.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

5W-20 oil is a thinner oil with lighter viscosity that creates less drag on the crankshaft, pistons and valvetrain. Additionally, the oil pump can pump thinner oil more easily, improving oil circulation. Any increase in fuel economy may not be noticed by the average motorist. Machined internal engine parts are more precise than the parts of 20 years ago. This means that clearances between moving parts are smaller and more exact. Thinner oil such as 5W-20 can flow more freely through the engine while still filling the spaces. Thicker oil is harder to push through the spaces between the parts. This causes the oil pump to work harder, which in turn increases oil pressure while simultaneously decreasing oil volume. A lack of oil volume results in a decrease of lubrication and cooling, which may decrease engine part life.

The lighter viscosity of 5W-20 oil flows faster at start-up compared to higher viscosity oils, which helps reduce engine wear in critical areas by lubricating parts faster. Valvetrain components at the top of the engine require immediate lubrication at start-up.

Oil additives are not recommended as noted in the owners manual. The American Petroleum Institute (API) certifies that oils such as Motorcraft 5W-20 already contain the necessary additives for friction, detergent, etc… The addition of additives may interfere and react with the additives already present in the certified oil."

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If oil pressure is in spec with 0W-20 (and it sounds like it is), that’s what I’d use.

I don’t know “BOB” and I don’t know the credentials of the person that made that article.
Q? Why do some people like to use a K&N air filter? It’s not factory spec’d. Why do some people like to use hotter, or colder plugs? They’re not spec’d. Why do some people like to use headers on their engines? They’re not spec’d. Do you see a pattern forming here? I think Ray Charles can even see it.
Again, I’m not smarter than Ford engineers, but if something can be PROVEN to justify using it, why wouldn’t you? Just sayin’…

People do lots of things that don’t make actual improvements to their cars/trucks.

Because you haven’t proven anything. It is purely speculative based on your anecdotal experience in one engine.

You said you’d believe a Ford engineer you knew personally if they said don’t use it. I could hook you up with a couple of actual Ford engineers… The article of fleet service was written by a Ford engineer as was the oil spec for your owner’s manual. Why would you believe a Ford engineer you knew personally but not the things written by actual Ford engineers assigned to actually set the spec?

You posted here looking for alternate opinions. You got some from some very knowledgeable folks and got references to some even more knowledgeable folks. Take it as you wish.

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Sounds like you haven’t had it in long enough to see longer term effects and effect on MPG.

Would decreased MPG make you reconsider?