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Topic: Synthetic Oil in a 8.1 Vortec

Posted By: exportman on 08/17/11 05:55pm

Just bought a 2005 Fleetwood Southwind built on a 2004 Workhorse chassis with an 8.1 Vortec engine with 8600 miles.
When I have the engine oil changed in a week or two I have 3 questions:

1) Should I switch to synthetic oil at the higher price?
2) How many miles before the next change on a 2004 Workhorse with synthetic oil?
3) Is any special filter needed with synthetic oil?

Thanks, as always, for the input.


Posted By: dalehelman on 08/17/11 06:03pm

I use Mobil 1 in our 2005 WH. Change the oil between 6000 8000 miles. There is no different filter needed although a high capacity filter is available. I prefer Wix or Napa Gold.


Dale & Sandi
2006 Jeep TJ 4.0 w/33s 4" lift
2008 Winnabago Adventurer 38T
Liberty Lake (Spokane) WA.

DIY Manual replacement for Workhorse Auto Park emergency brake.

Stay In Play Duo Toad Braking System


Posted By: JC2 on 08/17/11 07:24pm

Tom N wrote:

Workhorse states 3000mi change intervals. I can cite the Workhorse maintenance manual for those that disagree. You will gain nothing by using synthetic. I suggest a 1 quart oil filter as this will give you a 7 quart crank case capacity.

-Tom


I agree 100% also with the above. Save your money and use a good quality dino oil and 1 qt filter.


2004 Newmar DSDP 4015,Cummins ISL 370hp,Spartan MM Chassis,2008 Saturn Vue FWD Towed,FMCA #402879


Posted By: Tom N on 08/17/11 07:18pm

Workhorse states 3000mi change intervals. I can cite the Workhorse maintenance manual for those that disagree. You will gain nothing by using synthetic. I suggest a 1 quart oil filter as this will give you a 7 quart crank case capacity.

-Tom


Sarver, PA/Crystal River, FL/Shelocta, PA · W3TLN · FMCA 335149 · Mystic Knights of the Sea
2005 Suncruiser 38R · W24 chassis, no chassis mods needed · 2013 Honda Accord EX-L · 2008 Honda Odyssey EX-L




Posted By: deaop01 on 08/17/11 07:17pm

I also use Mobil 1 and use the 1qt NAPA Gold filter in my 2002.

I try to change oil at 5000 miles. Has worked for me for over 25,000 miles.

Good luck

Ron


Betty and Ron
2002 Bounder 31W
8.1 with 5 speed Allison
2 slides
2005 Colorado toad


Posted By: Gale Hawkins on 08/17/11 07:36pm

Exportman either way would be OK on motor oil.

At 92K miles we moved our 1992 Chevy Big Block to synthetic for the heck of it and because it does not cost us anymore than a dino at the shop since we do the labor. The Fumoto oil drain valve makes the task more mess free.


Posted By: bsinmich on 08/18/11 04:48am

I change my MH oil annually and use Mobil 1 all the time. I will also claim an additional .5 mpg increase and running cooler with the synthetic. Since I normally put on less than 5000 miles I am safe and the MH is always stored right after the oil change so it has fresh oil in it for the winter. The Transynd in the transmission also helps to run a little bit cooler. I also run Mobil 1 in my old Dodge Grand Caravan (2000) that has 179K miles and still burns no oil.


2003 Newmar Mountain Aire, Workhorse W22, 2008 Saturn Vue, Falcon 5250, & US Gear Unified Tow Brake


Posted By: hershey on 08/17/11 09:29pm

I used Mobile 1 in my 8.1. I kept very accurate records and I'll swear to getting a half mile better fuel economy with Mobile 1. More than enough for me to pay the tiny bit of extra money for an oil change.


hershey - albuquerque, nm
Someday Finally Got Here
My wife does all the driving - I just get to hold the steering wheel.
Superman was an illegal alien.
Expedition - Suzuki Grand Viagra

NASCAR 14 - 99




Posted By: dalehelman on 08/17/11 09:14pm

If you were to look at two comparable engines with similar miles and maintenance records. One look at the inside and you can see the difference between synthetic and Dino oil. IMHO I think the extra cost is an investment not a wasted expense.


Posted By: J-Rooster on 08/17/11 09:30pm

Tom N wrote:

Workhorse states 3000mi change intervals. I can cite the Workhorse maintenance manual for those that disagree. You will gain nothing by using synthetic. I suggest a 1 quart oil filter as this will give you a 7 quart crank case capacity.

-Tom
I totally disagree with this post if the poster has a 8.1 Vortec! Possible it's a different motor (Ford) or a different manual? I have a 2004 Winnebago 35-U (8.1) and my manual says to change oil every 7,500 miles or 1 year, whatever comes first. And to say you will gain nothing by using synthetic is a false statement! Synthetic oil is extremely more lubricating than regular motor oil, which will add life and fuel milage to your engine. I own two Toyota cars that the engine manual of both cars says, if synthetic oil is not used in the crankcase and you have engine trouble you are not covered by warranty. I use synthetic motor oil 5W-30W in my Coach (Mobil 1 Synthetic with the Gold Cap which is Mobil 1 Extended range motor oil, a little better then the gray/silver cap),10W-40W in my gen set, 5W-30W in my 2 Toyotas and my Harley Davidson, Cub Cadet riding lawn mower, and I lube my Whitfield Pellet Stove (I use a Q-Tip and drip it in) with Mobil 1 5W-30W. Before I retired my boss switched to synthetic oil in all of his diesel truck engines and is now running 20,000 miles between oil changes with no engine problems. I have a GM/Workhorse Dealer in Tacoma, WA. change oil in my coach and I use a standard GM filter. My crankcase holds 6-1/2 quarts.


Posted By: ArchHoagland on 08/17/11 11:21pm

1. Yes switch to Synthetic.

2. I will run 3,000 to 5,000 on mine. The 8.1 will alert you when it has determined it's time to change the oil. I've seen that go as far as 7,000 miles but I don't suggest pushing your luck.

3. I always buy my PF454 filter at the dealer (Hedrick's Chevrolet on Shaw & 168 in Clovis) There had been some counterfeits on the market several years ago so i always buy at the dealer.

I put a Fumto valve on mine. You can get Dexron III at the Costco on Ashland Ave in Clovis when you change your transmission fluid.

I suggest you do your oil and xmission fluid change yourself. I can show you how if you like. Private message me and I'll give you my phone number in Clovis.


2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD
Workhorse W22 8.1 Gas Allison 1000, 7.1 mpg

2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS
US Gear Brakes



Posted By: NavyChaps on 08/17/11 09:46pm

Personally, I use synthetic in all my vehicles. I like that it will stay on the cylinder walls better than dino oil especially since my engine in the MH sits for longer periods between runs than my other vehicles. I ran my previous MH (Ford 6.8L) for about 96000 miles on synthetic and NEVER had any mechanical issues.


2003 Winnebago Adventurer 33V, Ford 6.8l V-10, Stow Master 5000 Tow Bar, Blue Ox Patriot Brake System Toad:2009 Ford Focus SE.



Posted By: Gale Hawkins on 08/18/11 06:15am

While we use 5W-40 Rotella Synthetic now in the engine I thing having Dexron VI in the transmission for the GM 4L80-e or Transynd in an Allison transmission rather than synthetic in the crankcase if I could not have both at the same time. While I have never read were synthetic engine oil has ever extended the functional life on an engine I have read were synthetic ATF can entend the functional life of a truck transmission.


Posted By: rgatijnet1 on 08/18/11 05:31am

I use the Delco PF932 2 quart filter on my 8.1.
For short trips, dusty conditions, etc, the manual recommends 3000 mile oil changes. For normal service, 7500 miles is recommended. Since all of my trips are not short trips, I use the 7500 mile interval. I also use the recommended 5W-30 Dino oil but I'm sure that the synthetic Dino oil would work just as well.


Posted By: exportman on 08/21/11 03:10pm

Seems like most people believe in the synthetic oil but that one can't go wrong with the regular oil if driving under normal conditions.

For me, I'm going to use synthetic oil from here on in. Thanks for the advise, everybody.


Posted By: Clay L on 08/18/11 10:23am

J-Rooster wrote:

SNIP
I have a 2004 Winnebago 35-U (8.1) and my manual says to change oil every 7,500 miles or 1 year, whatever comes first.
SNIP


My manual says the same thing, but it also says to change at 3000 miles if you are pulling a trailer. I figure towing a car is about the same as pulling a trailer so I change at 3000 miles.


Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), Katie & Kelli (cats).

Fixed domicile after 1 year of snowbirding and eleven years Full Timing in a 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 35N, Workhorse chassis, Honda Accord toad


Posted By: Clay L on 08/19/11 08:52am

Burp wrote:

Clay L wrote:

J-Rooster wrote:

SNIP
I have a 2004 Winnebago 35-U (8.1) and my manual says to change oil every 7,500 miles or 1 year, whatever comes first.
SNIP


My manual says the same thing, but it also says to change at 3000 miles if you are pulling a trailer. I figure towing a car is about the same as pulling a trailer so I change at 3000 miles.
The two numbers were taken from a Suburban or other GMC truck with an 8.1.

I have never had my rig at the GVWR of 26,000 pounds, even when towing the toad. Use each number as a guide and change the oil sometime in between the two numbers. I use a ScanGuage and it will display the remaining oil life on the 8.1. Again, it is a guide.


I am talking about the numbers in the Workhorse manual that came with my motor home.

I rarely hit the 3000 dead on. Often we are somewhere that doesn't allow any work on the motor home and I have to wait until we get to a place that will allow it.
So as you say it a guide not a drop dead absolute number.


Posted By: RV-1/2n-FUN on 08/19/11 05:24pm

deblas wrote:

....With all that money saved, you can take the DW out for an ice cream.....


Use the synthetic. Your engine will be happier and so will your heart and waistline.


Posted By: Burp on 08/18/11 10:53am

Clay L wrote:

J-Rooster wrote:

SNIP
I have a 2004 Winnebago 35-U (8.1) and my manual says to change oil every 7,500 miles or 1 year, whatever comes first.
SNIP


My manual says the same thing, but it also says to change at 3000 miles if you are pulling a trailer. I figure towing a car is about the same as pulling a trailer so I change at 3000 miles.
The two numbers were taken from a Suburban or other GMC truck with an 8.1.

I have never had my rig at the GVWR of 26,000 pounds, even when towing the toad. Use each number as a guide and change the oil sometime in between the two numbers. I use a ScanGuage and it will display the remaining oil life on the 8.1. Again, it is a guide.


2007 Winnebago Voyage 33V (Workhorse, W20)
2008 Suzuki S83 (VS1400)

Me, the Wife , Sarah
Places we have camped in an RV



Posted By: Burp on 08/18/11 06:34am

This is a constant topic of discussion, nothing is ever resolved. Personally I use Mobile 1 in my 8.1 and change it once a year, I usually drive about 5000 miles per year. I have tried the oversized filter but I think the 2 quart is too large. Just a feeling, no facts.

There is an article in Popular Mechanics that gives some good advice on synthetic oil. Not the product biased articles you sometimes read.


Posted By: wilanddij on 08/19/11 10:05am

Back in 2004 when I bought the Southwind on a Workhorse chassis, Workhorse recommended that you not change over to synthetic oil until you had 12K miles on the odo. Something about the breakin period.

There is a WH Chassis forum here IRV2 that is a good source of information.


Will & Di
2004 Southwind 32VS
Workhorse/8.1
Ford C-Max/Blue Ox
"We have met the enemy, and he is us" Pogo


Posted By: J-Rooster on 08/19/11 05:48pm

T18skyguy wrote:

Synthetic oil is not just a "feel good" thing. More uniform molecules means less sludge, higher heat tolerance and cooler running engine. Now people will say "my gauge reads the same", but they forget the gauge is just an average of many different temperatures. Example, at top dead center the piston rings reach 1200 degrees, which cokes up the rings with mineral oil. The face of cam and followers typically sees 700 degrees. There is also less oxidation of synthetic in the crankcase. Another very important point. With synthetic you get the state of the art additive package for corrosion etc. Not true for mineral oil. Yes mineral still meets the spec but the additive package in synthetic is superior. If your not gonna keep your rig, maybe the best isn't needed, but if you want the best mileage and protection, synthetic is the way to go.
Thanks for the informative post Don! It's truly the best oil on the market! You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink! Prior to Synthetic Oil, I was using Aero Shell Motor Oil in my Harley Davidson.


Posted By: J-Rooster on 08/21/11 11:48pm

427435 wrote:

Clay L wrote:



I rarely hit the 3000 dead on. Often we are somewhere that doesn't allow any work on the motor home and I have to wait until we get to a place that will allow it.
So as you say it a guide not a drop dead absolute number.




Being able to run 5000 miles plus between changes is one good reason to use a good synthetic. That will cover most trips, so you can wait until you're home again to change oil.
X-2


Posted By: T18skyguy on 08/18/11 08:34am

Synthetic oil is not just a "feel good" thing. More uniform molecules means less sludge, higher heat tolerance and cooler running engine. Now people will say "my gauge reads the same", but they forget the gauge is just an average of many different temperatures. Example, at top dead center the piston rings reach 1200 degrees, which cokes up the rings with mineral oil. The face of cam and followers typically sees 700 degrees. There is also less oxidation of synthetic in the crankcase. Another very important point. With synthetic you get the state of the art additive package for corrosion etc. Not true for mineral oil. Yes mineral still meets the spec but the additive package in synthetic is superior. If your not gonna keep your rig, maybe the best isn't needed, but if you want the best mileage and protection, synthetic is the way to go.


Retired Anesthetist. Pilot with mechanic/inspection ratings.1996 Jayco C 22 foot with 460/Banks Powerpak/Bilsteins.Wife and daughter. Two cats which control my life. 1975 Ford F-250, 84 Coupe Deville, Thorp T18, tons of tools and tons of junk.


Posted By: jojolou on 08/18/11 07:30am

I'm sure using dino oil is just fine, but if it makes you feel better use the synthetic oil. I use Mobil 1 in all my vehicles and change it once a year. I also went to the NAPA 1 quart filter, makes it easier when re-filling the crankcase, just dump in 7 qts. and your done. All of us have opinions and all are worth exactly what you've paid to read them!


Lou
2008 Allegro Bay 35 TSB W-25.5


Posted By: 427435 on 08/21/11 07:12pm

Clay L wrote:



I rarely hit the 3000 dead on. Often we are somewhere that doesn't allow any work on the motor home and I have to wait until we get to a place that will allow it.
So as you say it a guide not a drop dead absolute number.




Being able to run 5000 miles plus between changes is one good reason to use a good synthetic. That will cover most trips, so you can wait until you're home again to change oil.


Mark

2000 Itasca Suncruiser 35U on a Ford chassis, 80,000 miles
2003 Ford Explorer toad with Ready Brake supplemental brakes,
Ready Brute tow bar, and Demco base plate.



Posted By: Jarlaxle on 08/20/11 07:48pm

dalehelman wrote:

If you were to look at two comparable engines with similar miles and maintenance records. One look at the inside and you can see the difference between synthetic and Dino oil. IMHO I think the extra cost is an investment not a wasted expense.


Has ONE PERSON here actually worn out the engine in a modern motorhome? I thought not.

Reality: oil is oil. Use whatever meets the required stanmdards that you can get the cheapest.


John and Elizabeth (Liz), with 3 nutty cats
My beloved St. Bernard, Marm, lost him 1/2/12
Current rig:
1992 International Genesis school bus conversion


Posted By: Gale Hawkins on 08/21/11 10:52pm

427435 wrote:

Clay L wrote:



I rarely hit the 3000 dead on. Often we are somewhere that doesn't allow any work on the motor home and I have to wait until we get to a place that will allow it.
So as you say it a guide not a drop dead absolute number.




Being able to run 5000 miles plus between changes is one good reason to use a good synthetic. That will cover most trips, so you can wait until you're home again to change oil.


I think being able to do a fast 5-6K mile trip (over a couple months) and not deal with an on the road oil change is a plus. I think we will change oil and filter that only has about 500 miles on the last change that is 9 months old but a number of those miles put on 20 miles at a time before being shut down so we can do our cross country without me being concerned with if the oil should be changed or not during the trip.


Posted By: Gale Hawkins on 08/20/11 08:12pm

Jarlaxle remember motor oil usage is based on emotional factors and logic is not an emotional factor.


Posted By: deblas on 08/19/11 02:11pm

Save your money, go with the dino at the recommended grade and interval, do add the 1 qt filter, If you are changing the oil (that way you don't have the extra 1/2 qt sitting around doing nothing). If you are paying to have it done, then it really doesn't matter about the filter! With all that money saved, you can take the DW out for an ice cream or something nice like that.....lol. Otherwise it's just whatever makes you sleep better at night, remember, just because it costs more doesn't always mean it better.


2003 Bounder 35E W22



Posted By: wazone on 08/22/11 04:09pm

Whatever floats your boat --Old fashion oil or synthentic-- a little bit like paper or plastic in the grocery store. I've used both don't see any difference.


Posted By: jbobst on 08/22/11 02:38pm

I don't mean to tell anyone how they should maintain their vehicle, but the potential heat breakdown and potential sludge that conventional oil can leave in a vehicle just doesn't appeal to me at all. The properties of the synthetics seem to be far superior to conventional. Now, will an engine be fine for the "life" of the motorhome with conventional oil? Probably, if you follow the recommended oil change routine. But for me, the cost of synthetics is simply so negligible it's a no brainer! Autozone or Walmart or other auto stores typically has some synthetic oil and filter special going on pretty much all the time. I just bought 5 quarts of Mobil 1 extended plus a Mobil 1 oil filter for my motorhome and spent about $32 total. I suppose if you have your oil changed by someone else, then there could be a much higher cost, but it's so easy to change the oil on my class A. I don't even need to jack up the vehicle. In addition to the negligible costs, you don't have to change your oil as often as you do with conventional, so it probably works out to be a wash on the $$ costs.

We do have an 2001 Lexus RX300 which had a notorious problem with oil sludge build up. The original owners of this vehicle always used conventional oil, and after I bought the vehicle at 120K miles, I had to replace one of the bolts on the oil pan, which mean dropping the pan because the screw head was broke off but the bolt was still in the block. The inside of the oil pan and other interior parts I could see really looked awful. That alone will make me be a synthetic oil user for sure. But, there are also plenty of statistics and reports of the benefits of synthetics out there to read.


Posted By: hzjcm8 on 09/01/11 06:38pm

T18skyguy wrote:

Synthetic oil is not just a "feel good" thing. More uniform molecules means less sludge, higher heat tolerance and cooler running engine. Now people will say "my gauge reads the same", but they forget the gauge is just an average of many different temperatures. Example, at top dead center the piston rings reach 1200 degrees, which cokes up the rings with mineral oil. The face of cam and followers typically sees 700 degrees. There is also less oxidation of synthetic in the crankcase. Another very important point. With synthetic you get the state of the art additive package for corrosion etc. Not true for mineral oil. Yes mineral still meets the spec but the additive package in synthetic is superior. If your not gonna keep your rig, maybe the best isn't needed, but if you want the best mileage and protection, synthetic is the way to go.


T18skyguy,

Here's a paper that should help you all understand oil formulations a little bit more and also give you some insight on what happens to it over time. Technical Paper on Oils


Tom Johnson
Former Transmission Fluids Engineer (Allison Transmission, Inc.)
Avon, IN 46123



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