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How low is low on engine oil?

I have a stock '87, I checked the oil last time on level ground, engine running and at temp. I notice I had been driven it with a few qts low I had to put almost 3 qts of oil in to bring it up to the middle of the dip stick, will that low of oil damage the engine? Where is the danger level and is there some other ways to check and fill the oil more correctly?

I use Castrol GTX 20w-50, have anyone use the Lucas oil additive is that really make the engine run smoother?

Thanks,

Yahow
Old 01-23-2008, 01:28 PM
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You should be fine. You may want to check it more frequently at the dip stick. The oil level gage on the dash works only after the car is warm and on a level service at idle. Don't use it with the the car moving. I doubt you did any damage, however you really need to monitor the oil level. That goes for over filling as well.
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:45 PM
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Nah it'll be fine. Heck the 964's take near a full 11 qt's for a complete drain and flush, but you can start and run the engine on a little as 6 qt's without a problem at all.
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:54 PM
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Thanks guys, I feel better now knowing my engine is OK.

Yahow
Old 01-23-2008, 07:20 PM
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If you ever do get THAT low, never run your engine under heavy loads... just take it easy until you can top it up or flush'n'fill again.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:26 PM
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I've been running approximately 9 quarts in mine. See this thread for the reason why:
An interesting oil consumption observation
I run Brad Penn 20W-50. I'm a very observant owner, so I'm always under the engine lid (or under the engine itself) checking something, so I keep a close eye, but I typically keep my level at the very first (lower) line of the dipstick. My oil level gauge reads right at the top of the "red zone" mark. Just changed the oil about 600 miles ago and it hasn't used a drop...

EDIT: see my additional comments on post number 14 for clarification about the 9 quarts
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back in the saddle: '95 993 - just another black C2
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Last edited by sand_man; 01-25-2008 at 05:33 AM..
Old 01-24-2008, 01:41 PM
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Ok so whats overfilling? I was told to keep it to the max line of my dipstick , how does this stick with everybody
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by h20cooled7 View Post
Ok so whats overfilling? I was told to keep it to the max line of my dipstick , how does this stick with everybody
I usually keep mine somewhere between half and low.
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:22 PM
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I run my SC turbo a bit low on oil, maybe a quart or so, due to drain issues. It's much happier like that. A quart low means I still have 12 quarts in the system. My experience, even pre-turbo, is overfilling = oil mess in various locations. I did notice when doing some testing on my temp sender for calibration, that hot Mobil-1 seems to expand it's cold volume by maybe 5-10%.

Good thread by sand_man, BTW
Pat
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:29 PM
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I keep it in between the two lines. as per the owners manual
It puts the oil gage needle in the middle as well.
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:39 PM
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+1 but I typically keep my level at the very first (lower) line of the dipstick. My oil level gauge reads right at the top of the "red zone" mark.
Old 01-24-2008, 06:29 PM
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so with oil measuring at the lower line on the dipstick, is that approx 9 qts of oil? At what level could you safely run these cars, not that I would ever get down to bare minimum but curious. I got caught in heavy stop and go traffic last summer (was 85 degrees in Seattle), oil went from upper limit on the gauge to lower limit in short order, checked the dip stick and confirmed was on lower limit, was pretty stressed out but was fine (4K on rebuilt motor as well, rebuilt K26 turbo). Now, after I changed the oil (run Kendall 20W-50), and after 1500 miles oil measuring just over half way mark on the dip stick, so interesting observation how at hot idle burning oil at a fast rate, is that a scavenger pump issue???
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:50 PM
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Glad I read this thread. I've been conscientiously putting oil in it trying to keep it slightly above the half way mark between the upper/lower marks. It seems it loses/uses/burns or whatever it does....more quickly until it hits the top of the red mark, then stabilizes there. But until I read this thread, I was Johnny on the spot and filled it again....I figure I was putting in about a half quart every couple hundred miles. I'll let it roost on the red mark and see if it slows down the consumption.

I've only got 50K on the engine...and it never smokes or belches.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:22 PM
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Well, now come to think of it, when I mentioned 9 quarts, really what I should point out is that when I do an oil/filter change, I end up putting about 9 to 9.5 quarts back in...never more than 10 (and that's rare). Obviously, there is still oil in the lines, oil coolers, etc. But my goal is to keep the needle at the top of the red zone...just above the very bottom of the gauge, first mark on the dipstick. When I try to observe the half-way mark, I'll consume oil within 200 miles until I get to my engine's "G-spot" down below! And FWIW, I rarely have smoke on start-up, and no smoke on accel or decel.
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back in the saddle: '95 993 - just another black C2
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"Ladies and Gentlemen, from Boston Massachusetts, we are Morphine, at your service..." - Mark Sandman (RIP)
Old 01-25-2008, 05:29 AM
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Really glad I read this thread. Thanks to all for sharing their experiences here. I always like hearing "what they all do" type things about any of my cars.

Keep up the good forum work gents!

I'm going to do a search at some point as I approach my first oil change in the thing regarding brand and viscosity. I *KNOW* I'll be opening up a ginormous can 'o worms if I dare asked, both in "see the archives" and in "100000000000 different right answers" heh heh.

For now I planned on using what I used in my (22psi turbo'd) //S6 and now my Alumibeoch, Shell Rotella 5W40. I know, most know Rotella as diesel oil.

Any thoughts here before I search the archives and /or dare post up that's what I use and am seeking suggestions in a new thread? Heh heh.

Tx in advance guys! I keep saying this, great comradarie here, pleasantly surprised I wasn't sure what to expect...
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| '58 TR3A | '01 //S8 | '95 //S6 6gang | '88 ///M5 | '87 190E 2.3-16 |
Old 01-25-2008, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krasuskyp View Post
Really glad I read this thread. Thanks to all for sharing their experiences here. I always like hearing "what they all do" type things about any of my cars.

Keep up the good forum work gents!

I'm going to do a search at some point as I approach my first oil change in the thing regarding brand and viscosity. I *KNOW* I'll be opening up a ginormous can 'o worms if I dare asked, both in "see the archives" and in "100000000000 different right answers" heh heh.

For now I planned on using what I used in my (22psi turbo'd) //S6 and now my Alumibeoch, Shell Rotella 5W40. I know, most know Rotella as diesel oil.

Any thoughts here before I search the archives and /or dare post up that's what I use and am seeking suggestions in a new thread? Heh heh.

Tx in advance guys! I keep saying this, great comradarie here, pleasantly surprised I wasn't sure what to expect...
Knock yourself out - be sure to make a couple of sandwhiches, and pour a stiff drink...several beers will suffice:
Ultimate Motor Oil Thread or Why we hate CJ4/SM oils
Good info here:
http://www.lnengineering.com/oil.html

I experimented with "diesel oils" in my rebuilt 930 engine; ran Rotella T 5W-40 synth and the 15W-40 dino. Also tried the Delvac equivalents. I had decent results (good warm up times and cool operating temps), although I felt that my consumption increased with the 5W-40. I did not have the oil analyzed for empirical data. However, as the above threads will show, the formulas have changed with some of these "diesel" oils, and as such, may lack sufficient levels of "ZDP" for an air/oil cooled engine. My 930 is a daily driver and I just can't justify the high cost Mobil One, RedLine, Amsoil, etc. being that I change the oil regularly.

I have had excellent results with Brad Penn 20W-50 and it's the only oil that I now run in my 930. YMMV
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back in the saddle: '95 993 - just another black C2
*SOLD*: '87 930 GP White - heroin would have been a cheaper addiction...
"Ladies and Gentlemen, from Boston Massachusetts, we are Morphine, at your service..." - Mark Sandman (RIP)

Last edited by sand_man; 01-25-2008 at 07:16 AM..
Old 01-25-2008, 07:13 AM
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Senor Sand_Man...

Thanks so much for the linky's, hugely appreciated. Hmmmm... it's 12:00 "somewhere" - time for a four fingers / 2 cubes mwuahahahahaa 8-). Ah, I'll get to 'that' when I get home from der orifice.

Interesting data on the Rotella, too funny you used that exact stuff. I'll run it for the first change and note consumption. Whatever's in it now does consume a quart or so on my 40k car, so I won't have much of a barometer to compare it to.

Pardon my (perpetual) ignoramus... what's this Bradd Penn stuff of which you speak??? Never heard. Where you source?

I particularly note your selection rationale including the cost variable. Mine's an occassional commuter but not daily driver so I won't have a ton of changes fortunately. I really need to measure my drop pan and ensure she'll swallow the load heh heh. Nothing like a spitter, I say.

ANYwho... thanks again for the feedback - and not telling me to go f'n search.

Cheers...
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past:

| '01 ///M5 | '96 993 C2 cab | '05 S600 Sport - biturbo V12@Just Not Right 495rwhp / 612rwtq |
| '58 TR3A | '01 //S8 | '95 //S6 6gang | '88 ///M5 | '87 190E 2.3-16 |
Old 01-25-2008, 07:56 AM
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You are most welcome. Info on Brad Penn:
http://www.bradpennracing.com/
I don't know the specifics, but there is a connection to the old Kendall formula and refinery. The Penn is green in color just like Kendall used to be. FWIW, the Kendall was always a favorite of mine for my old British cars in addition to my early air-cooled VWs. I think the Penn is considered a synth/dino blend so I'm not completely certain how much it has in common with the old skool Kendall. The Penn costs me $40 for a case (12 quarts).
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back in the saddle: '95 993 - just another black C2
*SOLD*: '87 930 GP White - heroin would have been a cheaper addiction...
"Ladies and Gentlemen, from Boston Massachusetts, we are Morphine, at your service..." - Mark Sandman (RIP)

Last edited by sand_man; 01-25-2008 at 09:14 AM..
Old 01-25-2008, 08:59 AM
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