54,000 Mile Oil Analysis - Increased Lead

Discussion in 'Shelby GT350 Mustang' started by UnhandledException, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. UnhandledException

    UnhandledException Well-Known Member

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    Hello Forum,

    I come here in need of some guidence. I have a 2017 GT350 with 54,000 miles. After 14 oil changes that all came back spotless from blackstone labs, my car started showing increased lead. It has consistently stayed at 1 or 0 for 49,000 miles. At 49,000 miles lead increased to 3. At 54,000 miles now its reading 23. All other elements, TBN, viscosity are normal and are identical to previous good readings.

    Questions:

    - What is the factory bearing material? Is the lead due to bearings?
    - Is this a cause for concern?


    Car has 6,000 more miles of warranty so I need to figure out what to do next soon.
     
  2. SAY WHAT

    SAY WHAT Well-Known Member

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    How often are you changing your oil? Seems like a pretty big leap. Id try draining and filling up and doing another lab after 1-2k.
     
  3. honeybadger

    honeybadger Just don't care

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    Fairly certain they're copper, right?

    Did the lab report say anything? Typically they tell you where it is coming from.
     
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    UnhandledException

    UnhandledException Well-Known Member

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    I change oil consistently every 4000-4500 miles. I changed it at 500 miles when new and again at 1500 miles.

    The lab report says “barring octane boosters or leaded gas, we see bearing wear. Although the other metals like copper steal etc are below universal averages and same as before, so it needs to be monitored”. I dont know if they say this is bearing wear because they know for a fact this engine used lead bearings OR because they assume since it is what is generally used.

    That being said, something just happened. I was driving after work and on 3rd gear at around 3500-4000 rpm, I went 80% or so throttle and car hesitated and it sounded like a loud pop/backfire. I let go off the gas and safely made it home in low rpms.
    Another strange ness a week ago was I saw “low fuel” error eventhough car was 80-90% full. Then the fuel gauge started climbing on its own but very slowly.

    I dont know if these incidents are related to each other in anyway.
     
  5. cdh027

    cdh027 Well-Known Member

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    What oil are you using? Ford or Amsoil?
     
  6. ihc95

    ihc95 Well-Known Member

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    Does your car have any oil consumption?
     
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    UnhandledException

    UnhandledException Well-Known Member

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    I am using motorcraft oil. Never used non oem oil or oil filter. In fact every maintenance item has been oem as per manual. Air filter is ford performance (I clean it every oil change). Cabin filter is changed every 20,000 miles. Fuel filter was changed at 30,000 miles and I plan on changing it at 60,000 miles.

    I was doing some googling and I am thinking that low fuel light last week and today’s hesitation under WOT could be sign of failing fuel pump or maybe fuel filter has gone bad? Or could it be plugs going bad? Either case, not sure today’s issue is related to lead in report.

    My car uses oil consistently 1 qt every 1000-1250 miles in city driving and half as much if driven on highway only.
     
  8. bauern

    bauern Well-Known Member

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    The stock main bearings (and probably the rod bearings as well, cant remember) are aluminum, ie. aluminum bearing alloy over a steel backing. I don't know the composition of the aluminum bearing alloy but it could contain lead. It doesn't seem to have a babbit overlay.
     
    JR369 and Strokerswild like this.
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    UnhandledException

    UnhandledException Well-Known Member

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    so where could the lead come from if its not the bearings?
     
  10. sox3

    sox3 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe this helps, could be bearings

    Lead based alloys are still widely used as overlay materials mainly in copper based tri-metal bearings.
    However in many applications the alloys containing toxic lead are replaced with new developed lead-free materials.
    Lead based overlay materials have excellent soft anti-friction properties (compatibility, conformability, embedability) but relatively low fatigue strength limiting their applications in highly loaded engines (eg. direct fuel injection diesel engines). In addition to this pure lead has low corrosion resistance in acidic oils therefore conventional lead based overlay materials contain tin (not less than 10%), which inhibits corrosion attack of the alloy.
    In order to impart the alloys higher fatigue strength lead-tin compositions are alloyed by copper (2-8%), indium (9-12.5%) or dispersed alumina particles (0.5-2%). Pb10Sn2Cu and Pb10Sn3Cu compositions are the most popular Pb-based overlay alloys.
    Hardness of lead based overlay materials is in the range 8-20 HV depending on the content of the hardening component.
    Fatigue strength of the lead based overlays is about 7250-10150 psi (50-70 MPa).
     
  11. bauern

    bauern Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to amend my above statement by saying there is NO lead in the aluminum bearing material.
    Have you done anything differently? Changed oil brand, used fuel system cleaners/additives (not octane boosters)?
     
  12. OP
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    UnhandledException

    UnhandledException Well-Known Member

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    I have changed absolutely nothing. Never did any of this stuff in any of my cars to begin with. I follow the manual very closely as far as what I do to the car.

    Is this low fuel light last week coupled with hesitation/loud popping from exhaust under acceleration past 4000 rpm just coincidence?

    Should I change the fuel filter?
     
  13. CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Well-Known Member

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    Lead is commonly used for brazing materials, I wonder if the insides of oil filters are brazed together? Such as where the metal perforated tube holding the filter element meets the bottom canister. Otherwise, a lot of radiators have brazed fins on the side tanks, but unless you have some sort of head gasket leak, coolant should not be getting in the oil. I'd bet it is bearings though, although a single outlier is probably nothing to worry about other than to keep an eye on it. The main bearing material might not have lead, but the cam bearings or rod bearings might.

    BTW, love the handle. I saw my fair share of those when doing Java projects.
     
  14. Rubyred17

    Rubyred17 Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure why the lead reading increased but I hold you up as a great example of these Gen 1 motors NOT being time bombs !! Thanks for setting an example and showing us how these motors do hold together- seriously!
     
  15. OP
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    UnhandledException

    UnhandledException Well-Known Member

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    The oil reports shows no water or anti freeze. I believe it would have indicated if there was head gasket problem.

    That being said, car requires coolant top off consistently every 15,000 miles. That is, every 15,000 miles level goes to MIN. I add it just enough so that it is dead center between MIN and MAX (where the tank seam is). At some point I complained to Ford and they said radiator had to be changed and they did change it under warranty but the same thing happened again and again. So basically in 54,000 miles, I had to do this top off three times.

    About the oil filter, these last few filters had a strange behavior. At first I noticed this 15,000 miles ago where the oil filters would not screw on very freely. I kept sending them back to wherever I got them from (amazon/ford parts/other vendors) and some filters eventually came back normal. BUT this last oil change I noticed, the filters that had this not so smooth screwing on had some sort of a red/copper colored material on their female threads. As you screw it on to the car, this paste like looking thing comes off.

    I am not sure if motorcraft, due vodoo failures due to lack of tightening torque, started applying some sort of thread sealant. But I can tell you for the first 40,000 miles of oil changes, not once I had this issue with my filters. I changed where I buy my filters 3 times and all places eventually had the same kind of filter. Its worth mentioning on topic of oil filters.
     
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