Shell Rotella T Oil Results - 120,000 miles / 5 years / 4000 mile change interval...

Hey folks. I had to partially tear down my engine to change some gaskets.

These pictures are of the engine as it was when opened up. Nothing has been sprayed, wiped, or in any way cleaned.

I have exclusively used Shell Rotella T 15W40 oil in this engine, from the first fill to present. The change interval has been 4000 miles, with a few 5000+ mile "oops" late changes.

This makes me very happy to see. There is not any sludge in the engine. There is just BARELY some varnish on the bottom of the intake, below the EGR passage.

The rocker pivots, pushrod ends and cam lobes (roller) all appear perfect. Cylinder walls still have good cross-hatch. The Turbonetics GTK450 ball bearing turbocharger still feels like new as far as shaft play goes.

This is a daily driver, running 15+ PSI boost when called upon. It has open-loop only speed-density tune with lean-burn highway mode enabled. The engine is LG3 variant of the Buick 3.8SFI V6. This is the 'front wheel drive' 86 - 87 spec engine with factory roller cam. I believe the 89 Turbo TransAm engine is closely related to this model, for what it's worth.

I will continue using this oil. :) Just wanted to share my experience.
Sincerely,
David



This is the only area with noticeable varnish:






The intake valves. No noticeable deposits. This engine has never had any sort of injector cleaner or top-end cleaner used in it. It has had mostly Shell / Chevron / BP 93 octane gasoline, whenever I can get those.
 

DR BOOST

Technical advisor
I stopped using it when i noticed suspended bubbles in the oil. I later found out that rotella doesn't have the same anti-foaming additives that gasoline engines require.
 

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
It's what I use also. I have used it since my stage motor was new in 2005. I change my oil about twice a year. Usually when It comes out of Winter hibernation, and then again as Summer begins to wind down. When mid Autumn rolls up, I may even put it away for the year with the same late season's oil in it.

As much as or even more so than yours, my engines internals look as if they were assembled yesterday.
 

1952ray

Scrambled Dog
It's what I use also. I have used it since my stage motor was new in 2005. I change my oil about twice a year. Usually when It comes out of Winter hibernation, and then again as Summer begins to wind down. When mid Autumn rolls up, I may even put it away for the year with the same late season's oil in it.

As much as or even more so than yours, my engines internals look as if they were assembled yesterday.
Where the hell have you been. You have been missed!!!!!!
 

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
Where the hell have you been. You have been missed!!!!!!
I'm truly flattered that anyone has noticed my absence.

I was blind-sided and had an intensively stressful Summer that didn't really seem to wind down until early October. Then came the pure exhaustion and loss of mental focus. I had to put aside all the things that bring me joy and give me a reason to breath everyday. I went into auto-pilot mode for a while. Unrelated to financial difficulties.....Never had it been so bad.

But things are leveling off now. I'm sorry I missed out on so much this year. We all work so hard to give ourselves that time we need to enjoy the things we love. And I pray 2017 will go easier on me. If not, that's OK too. Because next time I'll be ready!

I have been checking in though. I'm sorry to here of Charlie's passing.
 

~JM~

Wrinkled Member
NY Twin Turbo,

I was thinking of the pictures of your engine bay the other day.

Sorry to hear about your set-backs.
 

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
NY Twin Turbo,

I was thinking of the pictures of your engine bay the other day.

Sorry to hear about your set-backs.
Thank you. All is getting better now.

Not much has changed. Everything looks pretty much exactly as it has in previously posted photos. I drove it a few miscellaneous days in early Spring and again in the Fall. I hardly touched the thing all Summer. Life just kept getting in the way. I needed to fabricate a new set of plug wires for it. And I lacked the focus to do it. Even that became a monumental task.

Last time I had it out, It pulled like a monster! Then I washed it, waxed it, detailed it, washed and dried it's underside, covered it, locked it up, and put it away.
 

1952ray

Scrambled Dog
Thank you. All is getting better now.

Not much has changed. Everything looks pretty much exactly as it has in previously posted photos. I drove it a few miscellaneous days in early Spring and again in the Fall. I hardly touched the thing all Summer. Life just kept getting in the way. I needed to fabricate a new set of plug wires for it. And I lacked the focus to do it. Even that became a monumental task.

Last time I had it out, It pulled like a monster! Then I washed it, waxed it, detailed it, washed and dried it's underside, covered it, locked it up, and put it away.
Nonetheless hope things have improved, glad to have you around
 

TurboDave

RIP DAVE
Staff member
TurboBuick.Com Supporter!
Hey folks. I had to partially tear down my engine to change some gaskets.

These pictures are of the engine as it was when opened up. Nothing has been sprayed, wiped, or in any way cleaned.

I have exclusively used Shell Rotella T 15W40 oil in this engine, from the first fill to present. The change interval has been 4000 miles, with a few 5000+ mile "oops" late changes.

This makes me very happy to see. There is not any sludge in the engine. There is just BARELY some varnish on the bottom of the intake, below the EGR passage.

The rocker pivots, pushrod ends and cam lobes (roller) all appear perfect. Cylinder walls still have good cross-hatch. The Turbonetics GTK450 ball bearing turbocharger still feels like new as far as shaft play goes.

This is a daily driver, running 15+ PSI boost when called upon. It has open-loop only speed-density tune with lean-burn highway mode enabled. The engine is LG3 variant of the Buick 3.8SFI V6. This is the 'front wheel drive' 86 - 87 spec engine with factory roller cam. I believe the 89 Turbo TransAm engine is closely related to this model, for what it's worth.

I will continue using this oil. :) Just wanted to share my experience.
Sincerely,
David



This is the only area with noticeable varnish:






The intake valves. No noticeable deposits. This engine has never had any sort of injector cleaner or top-end cleaner used in it. It has had mostly Shell / Chevron / BP 93 octane gasoline, whenever I can get those.
Actually, with change intervals that close together you would see the same results with virtually any quality oil.

Sent from my P008 using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:
Is there any benefit to running Rotella say over Mobil 1? Does Rotella have Zinc?
I wouldn't know what benefits over Mobil 1 it would have - other than lower cost.

It does have a certain amount of zinc, but not as much as the older oils did. It does contain more than the current gasoline-only oils.

Since Rotella is primarily marketed to the diesel owners, they are reducing the zinc to protect the new diesel particulate filters and NOx reduction catalysts.
 

robertf

Active Member
I've been using Mobil 1 in everything for years. I am a bit old school. I was told years ago that synthetic oil tends to leak/seep from older cars. Don't really know the truth about that. I spoke with a gentleman about 20 years back and he switched to synthetic in his 80's 911 Carrera. It started seeping oil everywhere. Switched back to conventional and the leaks suddenly stopped. Maybe it was just a German car thing then.
 

1952ray

Scrambled Dog
I've been using Mobil 1 in everything for years. I am a bit old school. I was told years ago that synthetic oil tends to leak/seep from older cars. Don't really know the truth about that. I spoke with a gentleman about 20 years back and he switched to synthetic in his 80's 911 Carrera. It started seeping oil everywhere. Switched back to conventional and the leaks suddenly stopped. Maybe it was just a German car thing then.

90% of all Buicks leak, I don't care if you use cement it's going to leak
 

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
90% of all Buicks leak, I don't care if you use cement it's going to leak
But God damn it! I will dye trying to stop every freeking leak on my car no matter what! I'm down to the last one now and I'm so close I can taste it!
 

Shawn N

The ghost of NRH
I've been using Mobil 1 in everything for years. I am a bit old school. I was told years ago that synthetic oil tends to leak/seep from older cars. Don't really know the truth about that. I spoke with a gentleman about 20 years back and he switched to synthetic in his 80's 911 Carrera. It started seeping oil everywhere. Switched back to conventional and the leaks suddenly stopped. Maybe it was just a German car thing then.
It's true with these cars also. It's the condition of the seals/gaskets that allows synthetic to leak more than conventional oil. Synthetic is thinner so it will squeeze by were conventional won't.
 

robzombie

Well-Known Member
It's true with these cars also. It's the condition of the seals/gaskets that allows synthetic to leak more than conventional oil. Synthetic is thinner so it will squeeze by were conventional won't.
It's not the it's also a boost related problem.

The more the boost the bigger the leaks, unless of course you evacuate the crankcase in a manner that matches boost being made.
 

MCH86GN

Well-Known Member
Hey folks. I had to partially tear down my engine to change some gaskets.

These pictures are of the engine as it was when opened up. Nothing has been sprayed, wiped, or in any way cleaned.

I have exclusively used Shell Rotella T 15W40 oil in this engine, from the first fill to present. The change interval has been 4000 miles, with a few 5000+ mile "oops" late changes.

This makes me very happy to see. There is not any sludge in the engine. There is just BARELY some varnish on the bottom of the intake, below the EGR passage.

The rocker pivots, pushrod ends and cam lobes (roller) all appear perfect. Cylinder walls still have good cross-hatch. The Turbonetics GTK450 ball bearing turbocharger still feels like new as far as shaft play goes.

This is a daily driver, running 15+ PSI boost when called upon. It has open-loop only speed-density tune with lean-burn highway mode enabled. The engine is LG3 variant of the Buick 3.8SFI V6. This is the 'front wheel drive' 86 - 87 spec engine with factory roller cam. I believe the 89 Turbo TransAm engine is closely related to this model, for what it's worth.

I will continue using this oil. :) Just wanted to share my experience.
Sincerely,
David



This is the only area with noticeable varnish:






The intake valves. No noticeable deposits. This engine has never had any sort of injector cleaner or top-end cleaner used in it. It has had mostly Shell / Chevron / BP 93 octane gasoline, whenever I can get those.
Quick question, was the LG3 100% compatible with a GN or did you have to modify or fabricate any parts?
 
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