Jump to content

 

Welcome to TheMalibuCrew!

As a guest, you are welcome to poke around and view the majority of the content that we have to offer, but in order to post, search, contact members, and get full use out of the website you will need to Register for an Account. It's free and it's easy, so don't hesitate to join the TheMalibuCrew Family today!

Sign in to follow this  
RogerQ

Oil Requirements for Hammerhead Engines

Recommended Posts

RogerQ

I thought the new Hammerhead owners should know in case you do your own service.

SERVICE ADVISORY

Date: September 12, 2005

Advisory SV2006-1

Subject: 383 Hammerhead Oil Recommendation

The 383 Hammerhead is a high horsepower, performance oriented engine that has some different operating characteristics when compared to the LC2 or Monsoon. A by-product of the increased horsepower and performance is increased heat, particularly increased oil temperature. This increased oil temperature may result in "thinning" of the oil, particularly when the air and water temperatures are high.

The 15W40 multi viscosity motor oil that we use in our engines will protect the lubricated surfaces adequately but may result in lower than expected oil pressure. GM specifications indicate that oil pressure of 4 psi at idle and 18 psi at 2000 rpm is adequate to lubricate the engine. The oil pressure alarm, as set by Malibu, is set to go off if the oil pressure drops below 4 psi. It is possible, after a hard run, that the oil pressure may drop below 4 psi for a brief period and activate the oil pressure alarm even though there is adequate oil pressure to protect the engine.

Because of this oil-thinning situation, Indmar is recommending that during the first engine service (between 10 and 20 hours) that the 383 engines be filled with straight SAE 40 (or SAE 50 in areas where the normal air temperature is above 90 degrees F) motor oil. Straight weight oil has less of a tendency to thin than the multi-viscosity 15W40 and should help keep the oil pressure above the alarm threshold. Even with the SAE 40 or 50 weight oil, the oil pressure of the 383 at idle may be less than the idle oil pressure of the LC2 or Monsoon. That is a normal situation with this high performance engine

Please feel free to share this information with your 383 Hammerhead customers. Don't forget to remove the 15W40 oil recommendation sticker from the oil fill cap and inform your customer what oil you have put in the engine in case there is a need to add oil between oil changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stewart

Interesting....... I had the oil pressure sensor go off a couple of times and only to find a full dipstick. Crazy.gif

So, a straight 40 or 50 weight. What about 15w50, like Mobil One? Or a 20w50?

Thanks for the heads up Roger. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SacRiverRat

my oil pressure warning goes off regularly when the boat is really loaded and takes longer to plane (engine tilted a lot) I usually run an extra quart and it seems to go away

This sounds funny to me - this engine is cool (I wish I had one) but it isn't really that "high performance" - should be able to hold oil pressure just fine on multi grade oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
88Skier

Don't race engines usually run straight weight? Older ski boat engines used to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JeffK

It actually is a pretty high perf motor. It is the small block v8 chevy that is used in most racing applications.

Do some searches on the Chevy zz383 to get some info on the motor.

Edited by JeffK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SacRiverRat

I'm familiar with the engine - and it is based on that crate engine (obviously reduced output from the 425hp crate motor)

Can you tell me why the oil pressure would be lower in this motor than a 350? Probably running same bearings & clearances... this motor has better heads, exhaust, and of course more displacement giving it the greater output.

I just think it is funny (not funny HaHa...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WakeGirl

Our service guy told us about this when we picked the boat up last week (along with NO BREAK-IN required Yahoo.gif ). *I think* that the boat was shipped with the 15-40 that Indmar typically uses in its engines & I noticed that after a run of over 3000 rpms (I'm just picking that number, it was basically up on plane) & then back to idle oil pressure would drop in to the teens. I think that the change in oil should fix the problem (we'll find out soon enough).

Stew,

Straight up 40 weight is what they said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RTS

They probably installed and sent out a bad batch of sending units, and don't want to pay to replace them, so they're just telling their customers to use a thicker oil.

(Until you guys are out of warranty, then they'll tell you that you need a new sending unit and you need to start using 15W40 ;) )

Edited by rts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SacRiverRat

I wouldn't be surprised - I think it is something like that too. Telling someone to run thick oil to keep the oil pressure up is odd - unless the motor is old or built specifically for that (which I don't think these have)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WakeGirl

I have to admit, when I saw the oil pressure dip down like that I had 2 thoughts - the first being, "Oh crap!" followed very quickly by "Probably just a bad sender".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stewart

O.K., I contacted Indmar to get their take on this. Plus the owners manual says were suppose to use an Oil with API Service of SL/SJ/CI-4, CH-4, CG-4 or equivalent.

I had found a few SAE 15w40's I liked that met these requirements, but no SAE 40 oil.

I asked the following questions to Indmar and got the italic response:

Hi,

I have a Malibu 383 Hammerhead. Recently I saw a tech article saying to

switch from the recommended 15w40 to a SAE 40. Do to an oil thinning

issue, etc.

I am having a hard time finding a SAE 40 that meets the CI-4, CH-4 or

CG-4.

Any recommendations?

Also, why can't we use a 20w50?

Thanks,

Stewart

You can use any oil that meets the SL rating. The CI-4 etc, are actually

for Diesel (Compression Ignition) engines and the SL rating refers to gasoline

engines.

Indmar Service

What about a 20w50 for the Hammerhead 383 vs. SAE 40?

Thanks,

Stewart

We would rather see straight weight oil in that engine, 40 or 50 weight. That is a very high performance engine that runs pretty high oil temperatures and the straight weight oil holds its viscosity better. The 20W50 is going to thin out like a 20W oil when it gets hot and may not keep the oil pressure above the 4psi minimum after a hard hot run. The straight weight oil will also help control oil consumption which can also occur on that engine.

As an interesting side note. I have only had my low oil pressure sensor go off maybe 3 times in 98+ hours. Each time it was after a WOT run in warmer water and weather. And then under the same conditions, nothing.

Oil consumption has not been a problem on mine, but then again, I did do the "new style" ;) break-in.

At least now i have more options in oils :)

Edited by stewart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WakeGirl

So basically we just need a 40w oil that meets the SL rating & that's it? The thinning of the oil would explain it - I saw oil pressure dips every time we came down off of an upper rpm run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stewart

Yup!

I am eye balling the Valvoline VR1 Racing oil. Yahoo.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Malibudude

Since you're having so many issues w/ you HH, I'll gladly put it in my boat and give you a perfectly running monsoon, deal? Biggrin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stewart
Since you're having so many issues w/ you HH, I'll gladly put it in my boat and give you a perfectly running monsoon, deal? Biggrin.gif

Hardly a problem, now WE have choices. Yahoo.gif

PS. I still think a 20w50 should be fine, but heck, what do I know :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gordo

Some of you may have had the problems I had when my 04 VLX was new. At about 12-15 engine hours I started to get the "lo oil p" alert and an audible alarm would sound...needless to say this was distressing. I hustled the boat back to my dealer and he told me that my engine (Monsoon) had problems with (1) teflon tape blocking the sensor in the block (2) bad wiring cable to the dash from the sender (3) and paint blocking the sending unit. They took out the sender and cleaned it up, replaced the teflon tape, and also replaced the wiring harness. No problems since then. I do not recall if they replaced the sensor unit itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Boomer
What about a 20w50 for the Hammerhead 383 vs. SAE 40?

Thanks,

Stewart

We would rather see straight weight oil in that engine, 40 or 50 weight. That is a very high performance engine that runs pretty high oil temperatures and the straight weight oil holds its viscosity better. The 20W50 is going to thin out like a 20W oil when it gets hot and may not keep the oil pressure above the 4psi minimum after a hard hot run. The straight weight oil will also help control oil consumption which can also occur on that engine.

Umm, it's kinda scary to know the person representing Indmar would give a bogus reason for not using 20W50.

20W50 does not "thin out like a 20W oil" when hot at all. It performs like a 20W when cold, and a 50W when hot. At least it's supposed to, that's what a multi-viscosity ratings means. The first number is the "W" or "winter" number, meaning it will pour like a thin oil when cold, but still maintain viscosity like the 2nd number when hot.

That being said, a multi-viscosity oil will have viscosity improvers that can wear out over time, and it's viscosity can go down, but still his reason is bogus.

Damn, scary.

Edited by Boomer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SacRiverRat
What about a 20w50 for the Hammerhead 383 vs. SAE 40?

Thanks,

Stewart

We would rather see straight weight oil in that engine, 40 or 50 weight. That is a very high performance engine that runs pretty high oil temperatures and the straight weight oil holds its viscosity better. The 20W50 is going to thin out like a 20W oil when it gets hot and may not keep the oil pressure above the 4psi minimum after a hard hot run. The straight weight oil will also help control oil consumption which can also occur on that engine.

Umm, it's kinda scary to know the person representing Indmar would give a bogus reason for not using 20W50.

20W50 does not "thin out like a 20W oil" when hot at all. It performs like a 20W when cold, and a 50W when hot. At least it's supposed to, that's what a multi-viscosity ratings means. The first number is the "W" or "winter" number, meaning it will pour like a thin oil when cold, but still maintain viscosity like the 2nd number when hot.

That being said, a multi-viscosity oil will have viscosity improvers that can wear out over time, and it's viscosity can go down, but still his reason is bogus.

Damn, scary.

Not to mention this high performance engine running high temps - I can't imagine it running much hotter - they all run the same thermostat, and have an endless supply of cool lake water. Cars have a much more significant opportunity to run hot using radiators (much less efficient) and possible high air temps

Edited by SacRiverRat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stewart
What about a 20w50 for the Hammerhead 383 vs. SAE 40?

Thanks,

Stewart

We would rather see straight weight oil in that engine, 40 or 50 weight. That is a very high performance engine that runs pretty high oil temperatures and the straight weight oil holds its viscosity better. The 20W50 is going to thin out like a 20W oil when it gets hot and may not keep the oil pressure above the 4psi minimum after a hard hot run. The straight weight oil will also help control oil consumption which can also occur on that engine.

Umm, it's kinda scary to know the person representing Indmar would give a bogus reason for not using 20W50.

20W50 does not "thin out like a 20W oil" when hot at all. It performs like a 20W when cold, and a 50W when hot. At least it's supposed to, that's what a multi-viscosity ratings means. The first number is the "W" or "winter" number, meaning it will pour like a thin oil when cold, but still maintain viscosity like the 2nd number when hot.

That being said, a multi-viscosity oil will have viscosity improvers that can wear out over time, and it's viscosity can go down, but still his reason is bogus.

Damn, scary.

That's what I thought as well. I jsut didn't feel like emailing him back and forth about it.

When I was running Delo 400, I got the engine to get a low pressure reading, but on my last oil change I switched to a Quaker State SUV/4x4 15w40 and it has run without a low pressure alarm.

I am, however, glad to get out of the restraint of the 15w40 requirement. 99% of the oils I found were more formulated for diesels.

I think personally, a 20w50 should be fine. It gives the 50 heat protection and if it did thin, its starting from a thicker viscosity in the first place. And isn't it true that most higher performance autos use 20w50? I know they did in the past, before people starting recommending lower viscosity to help with gas mileage.

Interesting side note. I was looking at Red Line Racing Oil in SAE 40. They compared it to a 15w40 in pourability and viscosity. So, what say the other so called straight weight oils?

edited to remove Indmar tech name

Edited by stewart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stewart
Not to mention this high performance engine running high temps - I can't imagine it running much hotter -

I guess you still don't get it....... the HH 383 is a Fire Breathing Dragon! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Boomer

I wish I had this issue to worry about. Notworthy.gif

-Boomer, Monsoon wuss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SacRiverRat
I wish I had this issue to worry about. Notworthy.gif

-Boomer, Monsoon wuss.

Yea - me too.

The pimpala doesn't like running in the summer, it tends to run hot. With that said, I've never had a oil pressure problem running 5w-30 mobile 1

I'd love to have this problem. In fact, maybe I have a HH in my boat... I regularly get a low oil pressure warning.. hummmmmmm Yes.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stewart

O.K. based on the last email and the bogus response they gave regarding the 20W50, Boomer inspired me :) to ask another question.....

This is the response (in italics) I got:

Hi ***,

Thanks for your help. I thought 20w50 was different than you described. If I remember right, the 20 designator is the winter number meaning it will go to 20 weight at low tempatures (pourability and quicker lubrication) and that the 50 was its high tempature viscosity. So, I guess I don't understand why you would say that the 20W50 is going to thin out like 20W when it gets hot?

Wouldn't 20w50 also give the engine a higher base viscosity to start with vs. the 15W40 recommendation?

The only reason I ask is that there seems to be a lot of 20W50's out there which would be great to run. The SAE 40 is not difficult to find, just difficult to find a higher quality oil.

Thanks,

Stewart

Multi viscosity oil doesn’t really get physically thicker when it gets hot so the oil is always going to “pour” like the lowest number. You are right; a 20W50 will have a higher base viscosity than the 15W40. If you want to try it, go ahead. It won’t hurt anything as long as the oil pressure at idle remains above 4PSI and at 2000 RPM above 18 PSI you will be just fine.

Yahoo.gif More choices! Personally, I would like to run a 20W50, so I will see what I come up with. I am going to find a good synthetic or semi-synthetic.

If I still lived in Havasu or Texas, I would go for the SAE 40 cuz of the hot weather and warmer water, but here in CA I have only seen 90`F+ air temps and 72-78`F water temps, which means the 20W50 should be fine, IMHO.

Edited by stewart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SacRiverRat

Way to stir the pot Stewart...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...