Metal particles in oil of new engine - normal?

The engine from a previous discussion in my 1999 F250 Super Duty has been replaced with a Ford remanufactured unit. This is a Motorcraft one and not a parts store model and this is the 2V 5.4L engine. It came with valve covers, oil pan, and oil in the engine with a filter installed.

I was told by the replacing shop to not worry about anything as the engine was stated as “pre broken in” when supplied to them. No special driving, no need to change the oil sooner, etc. is required based on what they told me. They said it would be a good idea to bring it back in 3000 miles and have them change the oil the first time just to be safe.

I pulled the dipstick today with 107 miles on the engine and can definitely see fine metallic particles on the stick in the oil. This was very noticeable at the tip when it had been sitting a while and it can settle. This wiped off on a clean paper towel and looked like a gray or black dust. It is very fine and nothing large or glittery is present.

I talked to someone who said it probably isn’t a big deal and normal to see with rebuilt engines but said he would probably change the oil now or do it at 500 miles, max. He also said particles from the old engine could have been inside the oil cooler and getting circulated in the oil. The oil in the old engine looked TERRIBLE with metallic particles.

Should I change the oil now? If so, should I just use any 5W20 meeting modern specs? I have seen references to break in oil or break in additives for regular oil.

Any advice is appreciated. I don’t want to bother the mechanics that did the work if this isn’t a big deal. I am just paranoid after dealing with the issue from before where another mechanic botched some repairs, leading to this truck requiring a new engine.

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A decent oil filter will stop any particles that would cause at least short term harm.
I would wait and change the oil and filter at 500 miles.
5W20 seems thin to me for a 90s pushrod V8. I’d go 5W30 or 10W30.
What does the engine supplier recommend?

Bother the shop now. That way if there is a major problem you might avoid a warranty problem.

I second the early oil change. It can’t hurt. I would use 5w20 conventional oil if that is the recommended weight. Modern piston rings break in very quickly but I’d still wait to go synthetic until 3000 or so.

The oil cap and manual both say to use 5W20. I know this same engine calls for 5W30 only a year or two prior and I think it is exactly the same, just that oils improved and CAFE standards got tighter. The engine is SOHC.

I will call the shop tomorrow and maybe do an early oil change before driving more. I will hold off on synthetic until at least 3000 mi, possibly longer.

New motor must run pretty good? Now you can put some miles on it and see if any other systems have issues.

Guess I better stick with 4 cylinders. :blush:

A used oil analysis seems like a very good idea in your case.

I called the mechanic and they said it is probably due to additives in the break-in oil that came in the engine. He said it isn’t anything to worry about.

I am still wondering about changing it but if I do, how do I get break-in oil to replace what is in the engine? They suggested I leave the oil in for 1500 miles so I figure I shouldn’t go to regular oil if I change it at 100.

You are over thinking this .

Did Ford provide break-in oil? If so, when do they recommend changing the oil for the first time?

I would do the oil change NOW. I think you may be seeing more than just metal fines, you may also have some grit left over from the remachining that didn’t get cleaned out and that will shorten the ultimate life of the engine. I would also change again at 500 miles. After that keep a close eye on the oil and if it doesn’t clear up, then another change at 1500 and again at 3000.

The engine came with oil in it and a Motorcraft filter installed. I do not know about the oil used but do see they sell “break in additives” to add to regular oil so that is what I might do. I have the same Motorcraft filter new in the box as well. Should I use this filter or get something better and save this one for later?

I am all for changing the oil sooner rather than later myself and maybe giving it another 500 miles after this change and seeing how it goes. The oil cooler also probably held particles from the old engine eating itself as well.

I may hang tight on this and get a few more opinions before doing anything. The truck is not currently needed as I have my old 1997 4.6L that is literally falling apart around a good running drivetrain at 300,000 miles.

Change the oil and stop worrying. This seems like a pretty easy one to solve.

Personally I would not like it and would be a bit antsy over it. To me anyway, any debris that exists should be microscopic and near non-existent.

I would reporthis to the shop so that it is documented.
Then change oil and oil filter. The small co$t is worthe peace of mind.

Likely just from the original oil cooler.
Who says 5W-20? Why not 10W-30 as thosengines originally used?

You’re living in the past . . . :thinking:

Is this engine made withe same tolerances as the one replaced?
If so, I would use 10W-30 full synthetic.

I am afraid there is something wrong with the new engine. It is going to head back to the shop next week and I am not touching ANYTHING! It appears to have lost all compression on one cylinder and there is a wispy sound like a valve not sealing properly.

This truck has been a real nightmare and seems cursed.

I think you are making the right move by not touching anything and taking it back.

I don’t know who the reman facility is on that engine but a fair number of them are pretty shaky when it comes to the quality factor.

Some years ago a reman facility here in OK sent out 75 fully rebuilt VW air cooled engine. Within 3 months 71 of them came back with major problems. One of them was one I installed in a bus. The people drove it 500 miles before it totally gave up. The facility did not check or do anything about the cylinder to head fit (they do not use head gaskets) and sucking air caused it to lean out severely and barbecue itself.

Another one (a 350 Chevy I installed) was going through oil at a quart per 10 miles. Come to find out that someone omitted the oil control rings on all 8 pistons. I tend to think that was a disgruntled employee on the way out the door as it’s hard to believe someone could be that clumsy or stupid.

The reman place of the Chevy I mentioned used to run ads in the OK City paper for help. “Engine rebuilders needed. Eight dollars an hour. No experience necessary.” A problem with 2 out of 3 of those phrases…