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Old 10-14-2011, 08:32 PM   #1
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Oil change in a Classic Airstream 454cid

About to change the oil in the Airstream. I have an '89 345LE with the 454 Chevy throttle body and about 126,000 miles.
Know that the moho has sat for the last 6 to 7 months, maybe started here and there, but not driven at all.
Thinking that I'll only be able to drive it once a week, if then, depending on work schedule.
Synthetic? Regular oil? High mileage oil? Know absolutely ONLY to purchase a WIX filter.
Anyone's thoughts concerning the oil would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by crazeevw View Post
About to change the oil in the Airstream. I have an '89 345LE with the 454 Chevy throttle body and about 126,000 miles.
Know that the moho has sat for the last 6 to 7 months, maybe started here and there, but not driven at all.
Thinking that I'll only be able to drive it once a week, if then, depending on work schedule.
Synthetic? Regular oil? High mileage oil? Know absolutely ONLY to purchase a WIX filter.
Anyone's thoughts concerning the oil would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Derek
Sitting is a worst culprit than wear from running in most MHs. If it were a comercial truck getting run daily, I'd spend the extra for synthetic. Corrosion from combustion blow by gasses is more of an issue. Therefore, IMO, more frequent oil changes with a decent brand is a better plan. Especially before storage.

Dave...
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:55 PM   #3
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Use Full Synthetic of Highest Viscosity (For Your Climate)

I live in Houston, TX, where the temperature rarely drops below 32 degrees F. I use Mobil 1 15W-50 (only available in quarts at about $8.50 each) in my X5 and GSX1300R motorcycle. Due to price I use Mobil 1 10W-40 which Wal-Mart sells in 5 quart jugs for about $25 in my daily driver vehicles.

In the colder climates using a lower viscosity is recommended basis temperature, but bear in mind that synthetic oils have no paraffin in them so they do not gel like regular oils do and can be used to lower temperatures than regular oils.


The higher the viscosity the better, when an engine is turning relatively low rpm under heavy load, especially when the engine has a lot of miles on it. That being said, a high revving engine also benefits (my motorcycle red-lines at 11,000 rpm).

The only down side to high viscosity is a miniscule increase in fuel consumption; that's why the auto companies go with the lowest viscosity oil as a recommendation.

Synthetics are also more tolerant to sporadic use. Just make sure when you use the vehicle that the engine comes up to operating temperature for at least 30 minutes, other wise the oil will suffer from “severe service”.
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:42 AM   #4
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Well, two different opinions on oil. My plans are to get Airstream out weekly for a 30 or so minute drive. Now that it's 'home' with me, in my driveway, this will be possible. Getting the beast out of and back into my alley driveway, now that's another matter, lol.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:34 AM   #5
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I live in Houston, TX, where the temperature rarely drops below 32 degrees F. I use Mobil 1 15W-50 (only available in quarts at about $8.50 each) in my X5 and GSX1300R motorcycle. Due to price I use Mobil 1 10W-40 which Wal-Mart sells in 5 quart jugs for about $25 in my daily driver vehicles.

In the colder climates using a lower viscosity is recommended basis temperature, but bear in mind that synthetic oils have no paraffin in them so they do not gel like regular oils do and can be used to lower temperatures than regular oils.


The higher the viscosity the better, when an engine is turning relatively low rpm under heavy load, especially when the engine has a lot of miles on it. That being said, a high revving engine also benefits (my motorcycle red-lines at 11,000 rpm).

The only down side to high viscosity is a miniscule increase in fuel consumption; that's why the auto companies go with the lowest viscosity oil as a recommendation.

Synthetics are also more tolerant to sporadic use. Just make sure when you use the vehicle that the engine comes up to operating temperature for at least 30 minutes, other wise the oil will suffer from “severe service”.
CRAZEEVW, although I reference it in my Public Profile, I probably should have advised that before I retired I worked for the Texaco Lubricants Company and for a number of years before being moved into a staff position I was a "Lubricant Engineer", so I know of what I speak.
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withidl View Post
CRAZEEVW, although I reference it in my Public Profile, I probably should have advised that before I retired I worked for the Texaco Lubricants Company and for a number of years before being moved into a staff position I was a "Lubricant Engineer", so I know of what I speak.

crazeevw,

We all have our specific "brand" preference, (Amsoil drlr), but the above advise is spot-on.

Bob
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:31 AM   #7
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Not argue and maybe I can get some of my perceptions cleared up. My understanding with older engines is that elimination of Zink, ZDDP (Zinc Dialkyl-Dithio-Phosphate), specifically the newer synthetics my cause wear in older engines do to the metalurgy designed to run with zink and phosporus in the lubricant. Zink was removed as it is detremental to catylitic converters. The 454 is probably one of the most tollerant engines ever built to oil grade. On one hand you want to best for your baby but it could be counter intuitive. I run systhetics in all my newer vehicles (Amsoil). I use Shell Rotella T in the Cummins on recomendations from all the diesel shops. I've heard its a good choice for the 454 also. I agree with the above but this is not a high reving motorcycle. Lubrication requirements might be slightly different. That is just my opinion.

I've been a mechanic and restoring classic vehicles and airplanes for about 40 years.
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Old 10-15-2011, 10:48 AM   #8
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My thoughts are that since I really won't be putting that many miles on the Airstream annually, I plan on changing oil every 6 months or so. What are anyone's thought about what type oil to use, when it comes to changing oil every 6 months?
Thanks, Derek
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:00 AM   #9
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Look into the Shell Rotella T. I plan on changing mine every year before putting it up for the winter and after evrery long trip over a couple thousand miles or so. The Cummins takes over 3 gallons so synthetic would be quite pricy. The Rotella T runs about $12 a gallon.

I'm only recommending checking it out for use in your 454. I know a lot of boat guys run it in their 454s along with the classic car crowd. You will find a lot of opinions on oil and mine is only 1 the the only one!

Catylitic converters could be a reason not to.
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:30 AM   #10
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I would use the viscosity that the manufacturer recommends. The diesel-spec oils (Rotella, Delo 400, etc) are an excellent choice for your 454 and contain high levels of anti-wear additives. Beware of significantly increasing cold oil viscosity; this can lead to very high cranking currents.

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Old 10-15-2011, 12:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazeevw View Post
My thoughts are that since I really won't be putting that many miles on the Airstream annually, I plan on changing oil every 6 months or so. What are anyone's thought about what type oil to use, when it comes to changing oil every 6 months?
Thanks, Derek
Derek,

As I mentioned everyone has their favorites...

As a user and seller I would recommend this...

Worked very well in my 454 Burb, 175k with no problems.

Amsoil Z-Rod is what I run in our flat-head Ford, not really needed in your 454.

Bob
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:14 PM   #12
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I've always been under the impression that most are all good brands but one important thing is to stay with the same type, whichever you choose, as mixing different additives that they all have helps build up the sludge.

I use Amsoil in our 345 as it lives up to everything that they advertise about it. I probably change oil more than really necessary as when it's due what you see as a sample on dipstick isn't all that much darker or (gritty?) than when it's fresh. Mine is also a high mileage engine and the way I see it is frequent oil changes sure off-set the cost of an overhaul.
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:13 PM   #13
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Rotella T is my favorite, and I would not use anything else on a flat tapped engine.
The anti scuff zinc additives of the C4 oil are worth it.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:21 AM   #14
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The anti scuff zinc additives of the C4 oil are worth it.
Not necessarily true......

A low compression, low rpm, moderate valve rate engine, with a CAT converter does not need ZDDP.
An OEM converter can cost $1000+. If it has a converter, (post 1975), and is stock any good synthetic oil will work fine.

Now Deezels are another story.

Bob
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