1. Motor Oils for Gasoline eng. vs diesel 2. ABS light, 4.6L, Quality Control

abs
van
fuel-economy

#1
  1. Is this Shell Rotella T HD 15W-30 motor oil (& other diesel) oil as good for a gasoline engine as the regular engine oils?

    Why or why not?

    2. My 94 Ford E-150 with 175,000 miles has ABS, sometimes after hard braking the rear drum brakes do not release all the way. If I stop they lock till they cool & or the pressure bleeds off in about 20 minits. I drive my van cargo like an old lady hoping I can get about 300,000 miles out of the still strong running 5.0L fi motor. The ford shops have phone estimated the sensor replacement would cost $500 to $1,500. The rear brakes have done this 3 times in the last 4,000 miles when I’m on a road trip. Last time I only had 5 miles to go so I slowed to 45mph. When I parked I the rear aluminum mags warm, I threw a cup of water on the drums & a cloud of steam rose. I don’t want to damage me wheel bearings or gear oil. How can I remove the rear ABS item that is not releasing for off road use & emergency only of course.

    3. MPG 5.0L fi vs newer 4.6L fi

    4. Some guys think the newer american cars or (pu truck motors?) are not as well built, if true what years did the quality start to fall off for 1/2 & 3/4 ton vans?

#2

I will address your oil question. I don’t trade off trucks enough to address your last question.

I have 95 and 02 Ford trucks that run just fine. Before that I ran a 68 Chev, a 77 Ford and a 79 Dodge, and never had engine issues.

First, it is Rotella 15W40 or 10W30. Synthetic is 5W40. Read on the bottle and you will find out if it is certified by Shell for gasoline engines. That will show as an API classification of SL or SM. The C_ classification indicates it is good for diesel, which is its original intended purpose. If it doesn’t have both classifications, I would not run it in a gas engine. My opinion; I understand many people do this routinely, but I am not one of them. I don’t need a “cleaner” engine, because I have never had a “sludger”. I did run one oil change of Rotella 5W40 in my Subaru, but I don’t do it routinely. To me, running a 15W in the upper midwest could create more start up wear than running a 5 or 10W.


#3

Usually, 15-30 or 15-40 universal fleet oil meets the specs for BOTH gasoline and diesel engines. Rotella is “Motor Oil”, not “Diesel oil”

Don’t “Assume” it’s the ABS causing your brake problem. Usually, it’s worn brake drums, way over the size limit, that allow the self-adjusters to over-adjust the brakes because of too much movement in the linkage…Weak return springs and corrosion can all contribute to “self-locking” rear brakes, not to mention E-brake cables that get rusty and jam. Find out what is broken before you start spending money trying to fix it. Police and Taxi 4.6 engines go 350K miles before they scrap them, old and new models alike. The engine is bullet-proof.


#4

I don’t believe that your brake problem is a “sensor.” It could be the ABS module, or it could be some hydraulic problem unrelated to the ABS at all. Has any proper troubleshooting been done on this? How do you know that the rear brake hose isn’t blocked on the inside?
Don’t ever throw water on a hot drum, disc, or wheel. You may cause it to warp.
My experience is that the 4.6L gets better mileage than the 5.0L.
I think that car engines are mostly built better than ever now.


#5

I’m a strong advocate of always using the recommended fluids in a vehicle unless there already exists a known problem for which one is trying to compensate. For exanple, in a worn out tired old oil burner a heavier base weight might prevent the oil light from continuing to come on at idle.

What makes you think the rear brakes are locking because of the ABS sensors? Has any diagnosis been done? Is the ABS light on? The reason I ask is that there ar other likely causes, and while I can see how a sensor could cause erratic engagement of the ABS I don’t see how it could lock the brakes up like you’re describing.

IMHO quality dropped in many vehicles during the 1970s and 1980s as the manufacturers struggled to reduce costs and implement environmental and fuel efficiency regulations, but less so in trucks. But my evidence is only anecdotal. I also think that quality has improved markedly in the past 10 years. But there are some parts that have gone to plastic that IMHO should not have, like intake manifolds and radiator tanks.

In the '60s if you had 100,000 miles on a vehicle, any vehicle, you were well advised to start looking for a replacement. That was generally considered the vehicle’s reliable life. That has easily doubled. And we had to do a lot more maintenance. There were 3,000 mile oil changes, regular plug changes and ignition parts replacement including points and condesnsors, carburator maintenance, and lubing of the chassis. All of these things are now at two or three times the length between sevicing, some have disappeared entirely.

And there was rot. Vehicles today simply do not rot like they used to. Venting and drainage, rust resistant alloys, conformal coatings, joining and bonding technologies, all have come a long way toward preventing rust.

And then there was oil burning. And fuel fumes wafting into the air. And crankcase fume smells. Every once in a while I get behind an old vehicle, smell the fumes, and reminisce.

Cars and trucks are clearly better built than they used to be.


#6

“Cars and trucks are clearly better built than they used to be.”

Exactly!

Whenever I hear someone say, “They don’t build them like them used to”, in regard to cars and trucks, my response is, “Yes, thank God”.


#7

Right; this is a “mixed fleet” oil. Companies with both diesel and gasoline engines use it.

A few years ago a friend, who pulls a large 5th wheel with his gas F-150, asked my recommendation. I recommended 15W40 XD-3, EXXON’s version, but told him to drain it after his long trip and before winter. The sales clerk at EXXON’s fuel depot would not sell him the oil; he told my friend it was a “diesel” oil only.


#8

But you have to admit, doesn’t the smell of the burning oil, the fuel and the crankcase vapors all wafting up into the air together bring back sweet memories?


#9

Hmmm…Let me think that one over for awhile.

(And, while we are at it, let’s not forget the really crappy brakes and the really poor handling/roadholding of most vehicles prior to the '80s or '90s.)


#10
  1. Sorta-kinda, for an older car with mechanical lifters and flat tappets, it can help with wear.
  2. Just replace the drums, they aren’t terribly expensive. Also the ABS tone ring could be acting up.
  3. 4.6L is slightly better. Slightly = about 1 MPG.
  4. Today’s “half ton” trucks have capabilities that rival the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks of just 10-15 years ago. Today’s motors are largely as good as yesterday’s motors with just a very few exceptions. IMHO the old 7.3L Powerstroke was the pinnacle of Ford’s diesel engine lineup. The newer 6.0L and 6.4L diesels aren’t as reliable.

#11
  1. ABS light comes on with light braking & stays on. Van has not lived snow & I seldom use the parking brake because I don’t want it to hang up. One rear drum is new, I have not paid $120 for the diognostic but no fault codes showed when the digital thing was pluged in to check the trany. I think the ABS module or some part was $1,000 so I thinking I’m not going to replace it anyway, since the front disk seam to work fine last time I braked hard enough to activate the ABS it did pull to the RT. a little, but I was not having the rear drag then.
  2. How much better MPG does the 4.6L get than the 5.0L?
  3. Whats due to fail 1st & 2nd, on my (175,000 mi. 94 Ford 5.0 fi) fuel, water pumps, timing chain?
    Thanks, dw

#12

Thanks heres more info: 2. ABS light comes on with light braking & stays on. Van has not lived snow & I seldom use the parking brake because I don’t want it to hang up. One rear drum is new, I have not paid $120 for the diognostic but no fault codes showed when the digital thing was pluged in to check the trany. I think the ABS module or some part was $1,000 so I thinking I’m not going to replace it anyway, since the front disk seam to work fine last time I braked hard enough to activate the ABS it did pull to the RT. a little, but I was not having the rear drag then.
3. How much better MPG does the 4.6L get than the 5.0L?
5. Whats due to fail 1st & 2nd, on my (175,000 mi. 94 Ford 5.0 fi) fuel, water pumps, timing chain?
Thanks, dw


#13

Thanks heres more info: 2. ABS light comes on with light braking & stays on. Van has not lived snow & I seldom use the parking brake because I don’t want it to hang up. One rear drum is new, I have not paid $120 for the diognostic but no fault codes showed when the digital thing was pluged in to check the trany. I think the ABS module or some part was $1,000 so I thinking I’m not going to replace it anyway, since the front disk seam to work fine last time I braked hard enough to activate the ABS it did pull to the RT. a little, but I was not having the rear drag then.
3. How much better MPG does the 4.6L get than the 5.0L?
5. Whats due to fail 1st & 2nd, on my (175,000 mi. 94 Ford 5.0 fi) fuel, water pumps, timing chain?
Thanks, dw


#14
  1. is diesel oil less good for a old 175,000 miles gasoline engine even if it meets the minimum code standards?
    dw

#15

Good points all. Drum brakes, reciculating-ball steering, solid rear axles on leaf springs, bias ply tires, no AC …it’s a wonder any of us survived.


#16

#1 If the oil is rated for both uses, and it meets the specifications listed in your owner’s manual, it will be fine. While there are other differences the big difference is the amount of detergent in the diesel oils as they get a lot of soot and the detergent keeps it suspended so it will drain out with the oil when you change it, that is also why diesel oil is black after about 60 seconds after an oil change.

#2 & #3 I don’t know.

#4 I believe the newer ones are better. IMO all cars have improved almost every year since the late 70’s.


#17

Your 94 was spec’d for 5W30, if I recall correctly. If you are burning oil, then moving to a 15W40 or 10W40 might be indicated. You didn’t tell us any oil consumption info, so it is hard to make a recommendation without that info. If oil consumption is minimal, I would use something like Valv MaxLife or some other high mileage type oil. I have run them in my 95 Ford with no change in oil consumption (one qt or less per 5K oil change). If the price was right, I might consider using it, but only if my oil consumption is outrageous; I am not one to mess with what I am using if it works well.


#18

ABS light on means the system is not working. I don’t think that is causing the rear b rakes to drag. Next time it happens, jack both rear wheels up and see what is dragging, one wheel, both wheels, what? Then crack open the rear brake line at the master cylinder and see if it’s pressurized, and does releasing the pressure release the brakes? That’s a booster or master cylinder problem.

No one can predict what parts will fail first…Change the pumps, belt, hoses, forget the chain and drive on…


#19

Are you sure your van has rear abs? You should check and make sure it does before spending any money or checking any other problem. Most of those only had front abs and just had a simple proportioning valve on top of the rear axle with a rod attached to the body.


#20

If your rear brakes lock up mechanically your ABS system will be unable to function properly and your ABS light will be triggered. They function by interfering with the wheels’ ability to lock up, and if overridden they detect via the wheel speed sensor that one (or more) have stopped turning completely while the others continue to turn and trip the light.

My guess is that if you solve the lockup problem the ABS problem will go away too.