1. Welcome to 4Runners.com!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all 4Runner discussion topics
    • Transfer over your build thread from a different forum to this one
    • Communicate privately with other 4Runner owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Synthetic Oil in our 2nd gens ?

Discussion in '2nd Gen 4Runners (1990-1995)' started by bthp223, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. Jul 21, 2020 at 3:34 PM
    #1
    bthp223

    bthp223 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Member:
    #3009
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    1990 4Runner
    Stock
    Coming up on oil change, been running Shell Rotela and Napa Gold oil filters since I’ve had the truck. Been snooping around reading about Synthetic’s, just an old school Guy, the myth of oil leaks etc has always kept me from using it.

    Thinking about Mobil one or Amazon basics synthetic this round and going for the 10,000 Mile oil changes.

    Just curious what others here think, is the 3VZE a good enough engine to handle it ?

    TIA.
     
  2. Jul 21, 2020 at 3:44 PM
    #2
    Dillusion

    Dillusion New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    Member:
    #7998
    Messages:
    1,070
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    KYle
    Vehicle:
    2018 TRD OR
    Who the hell uses conventional anymore?
     
    SlvrSlug likes this.
  3. Jul 21, 2020 at 4:39 PM
    #3
    bthp223

    bthp223 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Member:
    #3009
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    1990 4Runner
    Stock
    50+ years later I still pick my nose with a finger, hey it works.
     
  4. Jul 21, 2020 at 5:52 PM
    #4
    trlhiker

    trlhiker New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2019
    Member:
    #11913
    Messages:
    1,025
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    1992 4Runner SR5 V6 4X4
    I have never used synthetic in mine and probably never will. I change my oil once a year and have never had an issue. That said, I only put 2 to 3K miles a year on it as it is.
     
  5. Jul 23, 2020 at 10:45 AM
    #5
    atgparker

    atgparker Cal Poly, ETME 1988

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Member:
    #6296
    Messages:
    197
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Mission Viejo, CA
    Vehicle:
    1991 White 4Runner 3.0 L
    Rebuilt Engine MLS and ARP on the heads, DT Header, 2-1/2" CARB compliant Flow-Master CAT with 2.0" Bosal CAT back Dayco 1-1/4" Spacers, SkyJacker M-Series Monotube Shocks, Ball Joint Spacers. 95-9006 K&N Air Cleaner, G-Plus Alum Radiator, ZIrgo 16" Fan, Derale Temp switch/relay
    O'Reilly brand 20W-50 $17/5 quarts, Wix 51515R (40 micron high flow) Oil filter every other 2,500 miles I change the filter. 10K on the rebuild so far.

    The 3VZ-E if you take it to redline out of due course in driving it, it will turn the oil black thus getting rid of it is a better option than keeping it in the engine for 10,000 miles because its synthetic oil that you had put in it.

    If you never press the go pedal more than half way then go for the synthetic and a long drain interval and maybe you will come out even on cost but much less fun!

    Nothing absolute here and I'm tempted just as you are for a better way to keep the gizzards happy!
     
    Oldtoyotaguy likes this.
  6. Jul 25, 2020 at 11:11 PM
    #6
    omeara619

    omeara619 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2020
    Member:
    #15629
    Messages:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Sean
    Vehicle:
    94 4Runner 3.0, auto
    31" tires
    Rumor: Not yours (10K) but higher mileage engines if you change to synthetic, the different chemical composition will clean your engine (good), but will also clean all sledge at older seals (not good). Again rumor, your engine will leak like hell. ??? Any thoughts out there, or examples? I just rebuilt mine, new seals, everything, running Mobile 1. So far dry underneath... 4K on it now...
     
  7. Jul 26, 2020 at 3:24 PM
    #7
    Justthemechanic

    Justthemechanic New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2019
    Member:
    #12325
    Messages:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Nevada desert
    Vehicle:
    94 4Runner SR5, 5 speed, 3.0
    OME 2” lift, BudBuilt armor, RRO sliders, Spartan rear locker
    I have used synthetic oil in most of my vehicles since the 70’s. I have switched over to synthetic oil on some vehicles with over 50K miles and I have not had any problems. If you are using Mobil 1 with no issues I would keep using it.

    My 4R needs a quart every 500 to 600 miles. I am too cheap to add the $$ oil, so I use what ever is on sale at Wal Mart. Usually a semi synthetic high mileage 10W-40.
     
  8. Jul 26, 2020 at 3:55 PM
    #8
    bthp223

    bthp223 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Member:
    #3009
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    1990 4Runner
    Stock
    I’m still on the fence. Mine is coming up on 200,000 miles. Since I got it used I really have no idea on the deep mechanics of it. I just replaced my plugs, all 6 that came out were perfect. When I replaced my injectors and the cups I could see some carbon on the pistons but it looked like a normal type build up, discoloring whatever you call it.

    I’m really not hard on my runner, just trips into the desert where I’ll point and go. Then whatever it takes to get where I’m trying to get too. I will burn about a 1/2 quart every 3500 miles. For me 3rd gear is my strong pulling gear and where I’ll hit the highest rpms.

    As for leaks, never had any, anywhere. Kinda blessed with this Toyota that way. Not a single drop of fluid on the driveway...ever.

    So I don’t know, Maybe just keep on keeping on ya know.
     
  9. Aug 7, 2020 at 3:28 PM
    #9
    atgparker

    atgparker Cal Poly, ETME 1988

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Member:
    #6296
    Messages:
    197
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Mission Viejo, CA
    Vehicle:
    1991 White 4Runner 3.0 L
    Rebuilt Engine MLS and ARP on the heads, DT Header, 2-1/2" CARB compliant Flow-Master CAT with 2.0" Bosal CAT back Dayco 1-1/4" Spacers, SkyJacker M-Series Monotube Shocks, Ball Joint Spacers. 95-9006 K&N Air Cleaner, G-Plus Alum Radiator, ZIrgo 16" Fan, Derale Temp switch/relay
    All this chatter about synthetics causing your older engine to leak seems to me to be nonsense. The seal itself is the issue and all elastomeric seals will get hard and brittle given enough time and exposure to an engines operational life. The oils today have a lot of detergents in them and are missing some heavy metals like the famed ZDDP that will clobber your CAT in the long term. If that is not a concern then run oils for diesel engines in your gasoline engine. Or get some ZDDP additive from STP. As for leaks you just need to service the gasket or the seal that is spewing. As for which oil to use I think you should buy what you can afford for piece of mind but changing it often with all that detergent that is supposedly cleaning everything is the best plan as it helps to remove the combustion by products and removes the worn out oil from the crankcase. The compression ring and the oiling ring on the piston is where the real question lies. If your engine has more miles on it than a JDM replacement then the combustion gasses are passing into the crankcase alot more than just after it was brand new and well broken in. Why do you think Japan has all these engines with low miles on them for you to use as a replacement, Its because they are making too many crankcase emissions for Japan to tolerate. The combustion by products are why the oil has the detergents in them in the first place so more frequent drain intervals are the only thing that makes any sense for any engine that is being used for its intended purpose. If this differs from your take I hold no opinion higher than any other. But my life experience does sway my own understanding having taken each of three of my own personal vehicles to well over 250K miles. It will be interesting to see how the 3VZ-E compares with what I experienced with my 1982 22R.

    I just hope I can solve my rear main seal leaking problem once and for all as it is two seals later along with a seal saver and nothing is any better than after the engine rebuild?
     
    bthp223 [OP] and SlvrSlug like this.
  10. Aug 7, 2020 at 4:47 PM
    #10
    bthp223

    bthp223 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Member:
    #3009
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    1990 4Runner
    Stock
    Well here’s the deal. Last year I got classic plates. Have to keep it under 5000 miles per year and no smog required. Just a mileage statement. Meaning I have to go into DMVNV once a year. I passed smog with awesome numbers last year to qualify.

    Well this year because of the covid the earliest I appointment I could get was September 29th. My Registration is due August 8th. Wasn’t willing to let my truck sit that long and not willing to get the extension because Never invite the man into your life.

    I did get my card in the mail, which requires a smog check, so Wednesday I said hell with it. Took my registration card to the smog place, 10 minutes later pass. Smog guy says, Sir your truck is extremely clean then asks why I’m there with classic plates already. I explained to him the situation, then went to the DMV Kiosk and got new sticker.

    Later in the day watching Chasing Classic Cars, Wayne meets a family with a 3 Million Mile Volvo. I believe it’s a Guinness World Record Holder. The daughter of the owner said.....he religiously changed the oil every 3500 miles. 2 engine rebuilds during that 3 million miles. Pretty impressive !

    Good enough for me, I’m sticking with my regiment, that and the smog guy convinced me to just keep doing what I’m doing. The Rotella has extra zinc and I’m a believer in Napa Gold Filters it’s working great obviously the sniffer in the pipe once again revealed great numbers.

    I hope you get that seal resolved, your 4Runner looks great Parker ! And Thanks for taking the time to post. I always enjoy reading your thoughts and Improvements.
     
    SlvrSlug likes this.
  11. Aug 8, 2020 at 8:46 AM
    #11
    captsolo

    captsolo New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2019
    Member:
    #10131
    Messages:
    204
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    nassau bahamas
    Vehicle:
    2005 SR5
    I have a 2005 V6 with 150,000 miles. I changed to synthetic, but got oil leakage immediately on an engine that had never leaked. I changed back to conventional and the leaking slowed down to a drop or two, but did not go away entirely.

    Had I stayed with conventional and changed the oil every 5000 miles I wonder if I would ever had gotten any leak.

    I thought about adding a stop leak but I have never added anything to this engine, so will live with the small leak.

    Any recommendations for a "stop leak".

    UPDATE: After changing back to conventional the oil "drips" from the synthetic eventually slowed down and stopped.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  12. Aug 8, 2020 at 10:38 AM
    #12
    bthp223

    bthp223 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Member:
    #3009
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    1990 4Runner
    Stock
    I have nothing, I’ve never used any of the stop leak products. If it’s something accessible and you can repair it I’d go that route. If it’s something requiring the engine coming out then maybe live with it.

    Which synthetic did you try that caused the leak ? Just curious.
     
    SlvrSlug likes this.
  13. Nov 18, 2020 at 6:46 PM
    #13
    bthp223

    bthp223 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Member:
    #3009
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    1990 4Runner
    Stock
    Well sad to say after doing the Amazon 10-30 full synthetic oil change I’ve developed a pretty good leak somewhere underneath :(. First time since I’ve owned her to ever leak anything on the driveway.

    Maybe it’s just chance that something has wore out, but after only one month she’s leaking. I’m bummed big time, was just about to order new rims but now the search is on. Sucks because it’s been running really strong, smooth since the oil change and going back to the stock rims.
     
  14. Nov 18, 2020 at 6:54 PM
    #14
    Tama1968

    Tama1968 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    Member:
    #1353
    Messages:
    272
    Gender:
    Male
    Florida
    Vehicle:
    T4R SR5 in Classic Silver
    don't know about 4Runners in particular, but regarding older cars, my dear older brother (like way older, back when cars were made of wood) is a petroleum engineer. FWIW....he has for as long as I remember run synthetic in everything from brand new vehicles to his old 82 Volvo station wagon. He worked for Mobil but buys pretty much whatever is on sale. No problems that I ever heard of....then again other people have reported issues so who knows, maybe just lucky.
     
  15. Nov 18, 2020 at 7:25 PM
    #15
    bthp223

    bthp223 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Member:
    #3009
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    1990 4Runner
    Stock
    Yeah I hear you, funny thing is I was about to report on Monday after the LCE tuneup, Synthetic oil change and going back to the original rims she’s been running best it ever has. Then Tuesday I noticed a small spot, but wasn’t sure if it was from the wife’s Ford, we traded places in the driveway so I could replace an EGR valve and oil coolant hose. Funny how that stuff craps out right before she’s do for smog. The check engine light went off and she passed.

    Then we switched back and sure enough, new spot, leaking where the engine and trans meet on the drivers side.I just ordered new front sway bar links so it’ll be a few days before I get under it and start searching.
     
  16. Nov 20, 2020 at 1:42 PM
    #16
    atgparker

    atgparker Cal Poly, ETME 1988

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Member:
    #6296
    Messages:
    197
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Andrew
    Mission Viejo, CA
    Vehicle:
    1991 White 4Runner 3.0 L
    Rebuilt Engine MLS and ARP on the heads, DT Header, 2-1/2" CARB compliant Flow-Master CAT with 2.0" Bosal CAT back Dayco 1-1/4" Spacers, SkyJacker M-Series Monotube Shocks, Ball Joint Spacers. 95-9006 K&N Air Cleaner, G-Plus Alum Radiator, ZIrgo 16" Fan, Derale Temp switch/relay
    My bet is it is either the rear main seal or it is higher up on the head for that side of the motor. Those round cam cover plugs at the end of the head can be a leaky nightmare. Or it could be the blasted cam covers on top of the heads. Also the extra bolt on the head to block might need a tightening up if you have composite head gaskets. Good luck in finding it and fixing it.
     
  17. Nov 20, 2020 at 3:05 PM
    #17
    bthp223

    bthp223 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Member:
    #3009
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    1990 4Runner
    Stock
    Thanks atgparker, yeah I’m kinda bummed . I’ve got new rims coming today and the front sway bar stuff will be here Tuesday so probably this coming Wednesday I’ll get under her and get a photo of where I see the oil and a pic of the driveway.

    it’s leaking enough to leave about a silver dollar size stain on the concrete. If it is the heads leaking I may pull them and have them rebuilt, then I’m going to fabricate my own crossover pipe and eliminate the way the factory one goes across the back of the engine.

    Hopefully it’s something easy because man, she’s been running so strong. If I have to get into it then I’m gonna knock out that pipe, a few other things.
     
  18. Nov 20, 2020 at 3:17 PM
    #18
    bthp223

    bthp223 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Member:
    #3009
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    1990 4Runner
    Stock
    Here’s a few...
    597DE72A-E8BD-405D-B694-2355EA2F05BD.jpg 9DE47568-5323-49E3-9844-CA706C130149.jpg 657DEFB7-4C54-4B43-AF84-C75F4615337E.jpg
    up top I can’t really see anything.

    The Amazon Synthetic went in at 191573 and I’ll call it 191890 so only 317 miles for this to show, prior 4 years never a single leak with the 10-30 Rotella.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  19. Nov 20, 2020 at 4:39 PM
    #19
    flyinhoot

    flyinhoot When in doubt, Throttle out.

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2020
    Member:
    #13871
    Messages:
    514
    Gender:
    Male
    Nor Cal
    Vehicle:
    2020 TRD Pro 4Runner "Trudy"
    Monochrome everything.
    my 99 tacoma I always ran Mobile 1 synthetic. Did oil changes every 10K that way with a extra capacity filter. Did that until the truck got 260k miles on it and it only ever burned a quart between changes. Never leaked. Go for it.
     
    bthp223 [OP] likes this.
  20. Nov 20, 2020 at 5:26 PM
    #20
    bthp223

    bthp223 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Member:
    #3009
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    1990 4Runner
    Stock
    Great info flyinhoot, ima check that out........ahhhhhhh isn’t the world grand :D.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020 at 5:03 AM
  21. Nov 21, 2020 at 3:10 PM
    #21
    Justthemechanic

    Justthemechanic New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2019
    Member:
    #12325
    Messages:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Nevada desert
    Vehicle:
    94 4Runner SR5, 5 speed, 3.0
    OME 2” lift, BudBuilt armor, RRO sliders, Spartan rear locker
    My skid plate catches all of my drips leaving me with a spotless driveway and garage floor. Another reason for belly armor. :thumbsup:

    I have a small leak at the rear crank seal, a few tablespoons or so between oil changes. The leak is not enough for me to worry about or change the seal, it’s just enough to make a mess under the truck. If the seal was easy to get to and it was a sure thing to stop the leak with a new seal, I would change it. I have changed enough seals to know there is no guarantee a new seal will stop the leak, so I will live with it for now. The perks of a 27 year old truck.
     
    bthp223 [OP] likes this.
  22. Nov 22, 2020 at 5:03 AM
    #22
    bthp223

    bthp223 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Member:
    #3009
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    1990 4Runner
    Stock
    I wish it was something leaking down on the guard, it would probably be easier fixed. My sway bar links arrived so tomorrow going to take a serious look at what it is.
     
  23. Nov 24, 2020 at 5:09 AM
    #23
    captsolo

    captsolo New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2019
    Member:
    #10131
    Messages:
    204
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tom
    nassau bahamas
    Vehicle:
    2005 SR5
    I have a 2005 4runner with V6 150,000 miles

    I do my own oil changes
    After 12 years of conventional, I tried to switch to synthetic. I immediately got "drips" on my garage floor - so switched back to conventional.

    The drips eventually stopped 100% on garage floor after two oil changes.

    Just change oil every 5000 miles. Synthetic is overrated - especially in older cars. Great for new cars, however.
     
    bthp223 [OP] likes this.
  24. Nov 25, 2020 at 5:29 AM
    #24
    bthp223

    bthp223 [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Member:
    #3009
    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    David
    Las Vegas
    Vehicle:
    1990 4Runner
    Stock
    Thanks captsolo, I may just do that. Go back to the Rotella and hope for the best, it looks to be a possible rear seal that’s leaking :(. Not worth pulling the whole engine for, at least not yet.
     
To Top