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Old 12-15-2005, 06:27 AM   #29
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My wife laughed at how much time I was spending reading and discussing the oil comparison ratings I had gotten , with my son. Guess its a guy thing.
I will stay the course. I used Valvloine synth blend for a while, but I like the idea of using 1 qt synth to add to the dino.
I also will look into changing gear lube for synth.
NOW-- what do you all think about water pump lube? The kind you add to the anti-freeze & water in your radiator? A waste of time?
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:45 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by ALANSD
My wife laughed at how much time I was spending reading and discussing the oil comparison ratings I had gotten , with my son. Guess its a guy thing.
I will stay the course. I used Valvloine synth blend for a while, but I like the idea of using 1 qt synth to add to the dino.
I also will look into changing gear lube for synth.
NOW-- what do you all think about water pump lube? The kind you add to the anti-freeze & water in your radiator? A waste of time?
Since you're asking what we "think" about this, I'll just say I've never used it and water pump life in all the vehicles I've owned in the past 40 years hasn't been a particular problem. I've changed a few, of course, but almost inevitably after many miles (like 100,000). Many dealers and service shops have recommended I add it, but I never have. My suspicion is that it probably won't hurt anything, and it's not expensive, but I have my doubts about it making water pumps last longer. I've never seen a vehicle manufacturer recommend it.

One other quick comment...I agree fully with the guys who say to follow your owner's manual on oil change intervals. The deal with my using 3,000 mile intervals is that is considered a "severe" service interval for my vehicles. In reading their definitions of "severe" it's just about anything except interstate cruising - no towing, stop-and-start driving, mountains, dust, etc. I live in a very congested area that makes "severe" the definition of our driving conditions. I have family members who don't live around here to whom I recommended longer intervals due to how they drive and where they live.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:28 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noiva
Jack, If your system is like mine it has steering wheel control buttons for lots of functions. One is the oil monitor. By pushing the lower left button several times, it tells me what % of oil life I (supposedly) have left. I have no idea how accurate that is, so I do exactly what you used to do. I change the oil twice a year if I don't make my own standard of 3,000 miles. Do you have the 6.0 engine? Also, I have the 4.10 axle. What do you have? I think these two vehicles are virtually the same if you remove the bodies from the frames.
Tim
Tim the GM van system is not as sophisticated. Apparently the computer has an algorithm that looks at engine temps, miles driven, trip length and timeframe between changes. Supposedly when its time to change oil, it turns on a light. No ability to inform me where it is at in its life cycle.

Yes I have the 6 liter 4.10 axle combo. In van terms that gives me a 9,900 lb. towing capacity. In 2003 this engine/axle tied to the 3/4 chasis was the largest towing capacity offered in a GM van. No diesal was available at that time although a 4 wheel drive option was available with an obviously loss of tow capacity.

Oils are much better today that what was produced in the past. As I noted, a one year cycle based on how I drive the van is well within the capabilities of the synthetics produced today. The once a month drive I do to get the engine hot and move things around is adequate to keep seals and other lubed surfaces protected.

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Old 12-15-2005, 09:15 AM   #32
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From what I understand, quite a bit of thought and engineering went into the GM Oil Life Monitoring system. I use it on my wife's Malibu, with EcoTech 2.2 L engine. When the OLM reaches 0%, it is about 8000 miles. I am running German Castrol, 0W30, which is a PAO synthetic, so no worries. Lot's of good UOA's on this oil.

My Duramax OLM goes off at around 10,000 miles. I have been running oil analysis on it, primarily to keep tabs on the injectors.

Like Uwe said, today's oils are much better than they were 5 years ago, let alone 20. There really are no "bad" oils out there. Some are just better than others. Some good values in dino oil are Havoline and Chevron Supreme, which can be had at bargain basement prices, if you watch for them.

As an amusing sidenote, I knew a guy who had a 70's Chevy pickup, with a 350 V8 in it. He went 50,000 miles without changing his oil. Truck ran fine. When he did finally change it, a lumpy black substance came out of the oil pan. But, the truck kept running till he sold it 20,000 miles later.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:23 AM   #33
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Jack,

Towing capacities are exactly the same for my Suburban. Also, no diesel even now, and 4 wheel drive lowered the capacity somewhat. They also offered quadra-steer (since discontinued, at least temporarily) which I don't have, but have seen in action. It is impressive, particularly maneuvering a trailer in tight spots. Anyway, I may have to look a little further into synthetic engine oils. I'm getting lots of feedback about their superior characteristics. I've seen the improvements in regular oil over my lifetime, and it's far superior to stuff I used back in the '60s. One last (I hope) question - what type of mileage do you get overall? Towing? Solo? The Suburban gets about 11-13 towing, except in the mountains. Your trailer is obviously heavier than mine due to the S.O., so I suspect your mileage may be a little less, but I've been wrong before I get 16-17 solo, but it's worth it when I hook up the trailer. I'm very impressed with the power and stability of the 2500 series like we have.

Tim
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:29 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pick
From what I understand, quite a bit of thought and engineering went into the GM Oil Life Monitoring system. I use it on my wife's Malibu, with EcoTech 2.2 L engine. When the OLM reaches 0%, it is about 8000 miles. I am running German Castrol, 0W30, which is a PAO synthetic, so no worries. Lot's of good UOA's on this oil.

My Duramax OLM goes off at around 10,000 miles. I have been running oil analysis on it, primarily to keep tabs on the injectors.

Like Uwe said, today's oils are much better than they were 5 years ago, let alone 20. There really are no "bad" oils out there. Some are just better than others. Some good values in dino oil are Havoline and Chevron Supreme, which can be had at bargain basement prices, if you watch for them.

As an amusing sidenote, I knew a guy who had a 70's Chevy pickup, with a 350 V8 in it. He went 50,000 miles without changing his oil. Truck ran fine. When he did finally change it, a lumpy black substance came out of the oil pan. But, the truck kept running till he sold it 20,000 miles later.

Pick,

Thanks for the details. I wasn't too confident these O.E.M. monitors were much good. Glad to hear they are. I guess I need to start paying more attention to mine. My oil change schedule is still based on my 1960s brain. Old habits die hard.

I had a friend in the 60s whose dad NEVER changed the oil in a Dodge car with the old 225 slant-six. Ran over 100,000 miles before they sold it. However, by that time they were dumping a quart every 200 miles and blowing smoke everywhere. Made up my mind then I'd change my oil regularly.

Tim
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:36 AM   #35
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Tim, I do about 11 mpg towing in OD. One nice feature of the big transmission in the 2500 series. About 13 mpg when I don't tow. Funny thing over the last 3 tow vehicles, all have done between 10-11 mpg towing. Even though the trailers pulled by each have become increasingly larger and the tow vehicles likewise.

A 28' aluminum framed SOB, 3800 lbs dry pulled by a 91' Astro Extended Van. 4.6 liter premium gas V6 4.10 axle, 6000 lb towing capacity. 10 mpg towing, 17 city.

A 2001 27' Airstream Safari, 6000 lbs without liquids pulled by a 99' Chevy Express 1500 Van. 5.7 liter 3.73 axle, 6500 lb towing capacity 10-11 mpg towing 17 city.

A 2004 31' Airstream Classic SO. 8,600 lbs without liquids pulled by an '03 GMC Savana 2500 Van. 6.0 liter 4.10 axle, 9900 lbs towing capacity, 11 mpg towind, 13 city.

All towing on the first two vehicles was in 3rd. No O.D. towing allowed. The GMC is perfect as a tow vehicle. It's tall height makes a great windbreak for the Classic.

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Old 12-15-2005, 09:36 AM   #36
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I ran good old Pennzoil 10-30wt on my '97 GMC and got 287,000 miles before a head gasket failure. I'm getting a "crate" motor installed and I'm going to run the same oil as before.
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:36 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
Tim, I do about 11 mpg towing in OD. One nice feature of the big transmission in the 2500 series. About 13 mpg when I don't tow. Funny thing over the last 3 tow vehicles, all have done between 10-11 mpg towing. Even though the trailers pulled by each have become increasingly larger and the tow vehicles likewise.

A 28' aluminum framed SOB, 3800 lbs dry pulled by a 91' Astro Extended Van. 4.6 liter premium gas V6 4.10 axle, 6000 lb towing capacity. 10 mpg towing, 17 city.

A 2001 27' Airstream Safari, 6000 lbs without liquids pulled by a 99' Chevy Express 1500 Van. 5.7 liter 3.73 axle, 6500 lb towing capacity 10-11 mpg towing 17 city.

A 2004 31' Airstream Classic SO. 8,600 lbs without liquids pulled by an '03 GMC Savana 2500 Van. 6.0 liter 4.10 axle, 9900 lbs towing capacity, 11 mpg towind, 13 city.

All towing on the first two vehicles was in 3rd. No O.D. towing allowed. The GMC is perfect as a tow vehicle. It's tall height makes a great windbreak for the Classic.

Jack
Jack,

Our experiences are almost identical, except I towed too much weight until I finally got a 2500 Suburban in 2001. I had 2 1500 (3.73 gears) Suburbans before that, but I was slightly overload with the 30' Avion (7500 lbs typically loaded). Towed in 3rd, just like you. The 2500 Suburbans have been fantastic. I love the "tow/haul" reprogramming the transmission does, and I tow in O.D. now. Perfect shifting and I rarely do any manual downshifting unless I hit a very steep grade and the tranny attempts too many downshifts - but that is very rare. My mileage figures are very close to yours, especially towing. You're a little taller than I am, I'm sure, but I'm still tall enough combined with the rounded front of the trailer that wind resistance hasn't been a problem. Thanks for sharing all that info. I'd recommend the GM vehicles like ours for towing without any hesitation.

Tim
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:38 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aztlanco
I ran good old Pennzoil 10-30wt on my '97 GMC and got 287,000 miles before a head gasket failure. I'm getting a "crate" motor installed and I'm going to run the same oil as before.
Ernie
'58 Traveler, 18ft.
Ernie,

If you've been following this discussion, you know that I've been of the opinion that organic oil is fine, especially with the improvements made over the past several decades. Congratulations on your 287,000 miles . How often do you typically change oil?

Tim
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:45 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
NOW-- what do you all think about water pump lube? The kind you add to the anti-freeze & water in your radiator? A waste of time?
It has never done anything for my water pump that I have been able to see. The same with most transmission additives, etc. Modern Coolant/antifreeze contains compounds to lube the water pump, and help keep scale from forming in the radiator. And since you didn't ask, GM has decreased the recommended change interval for extended life coolant to 30,000 miles, instead of the advertised 150,000.
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Old 12-16-2005, 09:58 AM   #40
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Tim;
I change my oil every 3000 miles religously!
I also use Pennzoil on my Harley and change every 2000 miles.
Ernie
18ft. Traveler (1958)
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Old 12-16-2005, 11:21 AM   #41
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Quote:
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Tim;
I change my oil every 3000 miles religously!
I also use Pennzoil on my Harley and change every 2000 miles.
Ernie
18ft. Traveler (1958)

Ernie,

Thanks for that info. You sound like me. That's what I do. When I had a Harley, I did the same as you with that. It's certainly worked for me. I consider it cheap insurance, even at today's higher cost. Engines cost way more than oil.

Tim
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Old 12-16-2005, 08:29 PM   #42
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talking about maintenance, when I worked at a Dealership we tool into service an Isuzu Trooper with engine problems. The owners said they changed the oil as per factory spec. When the oil pan was pulled it had new oil sitting on top of a pile of sludge. They had NEVER changed oil in 30,000 miles plus. City driving and the lack of maintenance killed it.
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