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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks, I apologize for the long post. I recently was given a 2001 9-5 2.3t from a trusted family friend. He had the motor rebuilt (the quality of the rebuild or my friend’s trustworthiness is not in question) after buying it from the original owner who “blew” the engine. He sent the cams to be polished, but the machine shop machined them instead. My friend did not know this until after he had the motor back in and was having slight oil pressure problems. He checked everything else that it could possibly cause pressure problems, but all were fine. So it is the clearance of the cams. At this point, with it being one of many cars he owns he just put 20w-50 conventional oil in it and only drove it sparingly. Now I have the car. It runs great, no flickering oil light, but has a slight hum on first start up in the morning, but goes away after about a minute (it’s not from sludge. Yes, sump dropped and checked, clean. I also have updated the oil breather). I believe it’s from the oil pump pulling up the thicker oil. My question is this, short of putting new cams in, would full synthetic 20w-50 and a larger oil filter help with the morning hum by being easier on the oil pump, keep the pressure up and keep engine lubricated. Thanks for any input and thoughts.
 

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What happens if you put in 5W-40?

It's pretty unusual for a thick oil to overcome bad bearing clearances.

The thick oil isn't helping your turbocharger either.

The real fix is either a cam swap, or a head swap if the cam bearings have been damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What happens if you put in 5W-40?

It's pretty unusual for a thick oil to overcome bad bearing clearances.

The thick oil isn't helping your turbocharger either.

The real fix is either a cam swap, or a head swap if the cam bearings have been damaged.
If I put 5w-40 my oil light will flicker occasionally because I get a small pressure drop. The all the bearings are good. It’s the just a clearance issue. I don’t drive the car much or far is the reason why I’m not excited about a cam swap.
 

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If I put 5w-40 my oil light will flicker occasionally because I get a small pressure drop. The all the bearings are good. It’s the just a clearance issue. I don’t drive the car much or far is the reason why I’m not excited about a cam swap.
Well, I don't know the backstory. Why on earth were the cams sent out for polishing and got machined instead? Then put in the head? This makes little sense.

Assuming the cam bearings are in good shape, I would think about changing cams. Other than the timing gears, it's a straightforward job.

Assuming that you don't even want to go that far, maybe a 5W-50 or 10W-50 oil, fully synthetic, may work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I don't know the backstory. Why on earth were the cams sent out for polishing and got machined instead? Then put in the head? This makes little sense.

Assuming the cam bearings are in good shape, I would think about changing cams. Other than the timing gears, it's a straightforward job.

Assuming that you don't even want to go that far, maybe a 5W-50 or 10W-50 oil, fully synthetic, may work.
I’m not sure about the mix-up on the cams. Honestly, if it was anyone else but our long term me family friend, I would be skeptical as well. I really don’t want to get into the cams because it’s just a “run errands” car. I am looking into 10w-40 Amsoil full synthetic to see if that makes any difference. Any thoughts?
 

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I’m not sure about the mix-up on the cams. Honestly, if it was anyone else but our long term me family friend, I would be skeptical as well. I really don’t want to get into the cams because it’s just a “run errands” car. I am looking into 10w-40 Amsoil full synthetic to see if that makes any difference. Any thoughts?
What synthetic xW-40 have you used before, and gotten the flickering oil light?
  1. Assuming that the light flickers when the engine is warm, you can disregard the first number when thinking about hot engine oil thickness and pressure.
  2. More precisely, the lower that first number, the better. 20W is pretty thick when cold; your engine (likely oil pump) is whining when cold, therefore you want a 0W or 5W. 10W may work.
  3. One 0W-40 is not necessarily the same as another. Anecdotal evidence is that Mobil 1 0W-40 is on the thin side, so I would avoid that particular oil when trying a synthetic xW-40
  4. If 5W-40 caused the oil light to flicker when warm, a 10W-40 may or may not help, it depends on the oil formulation, as both are nominally the same 40 weight when warm
  5. I'm not a fan of Amsoil, or K&N, or SplitFire plugs, or any of those super-secret-all-the-mainstream-stuff-is-a-conspiracy products
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I haven’t used any yet. That is what our friend said. To be honest, I’m just going to do a engine flush, carbon treatment, drop sump and check/clean, put updated oil breather kit on, larger WIX or Bosch oil filter and probably Pennzoil Premium Euro 10W-40. Then just see what happens. If the oil light flickers again, then go with a full synthetic 20w-50 and change it every 3000 miles. Thoughts?
 
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