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Old 03-10-2009, 11:38 AM   #1
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Default How much oil can be lost before internal damage?

So I changed my oil last night on my pickup, and apparently got myself a faulty filter. I don't know if there was a small tear in the gasket, or it crunched up during tightening. Either way, when I started my pickup this morning to let it warm up, I came back outside to find about a quart of oil on the ground. I immediately shut it off, and had my neighbor drive me to the parts store for all new oil and filter. When I drained the oil pan, I would guess there was probably only about 3 quarts in there. My question is, would this be a small enough amount of oil to cause any internal damage? It got driven probably 5 miles, and didn't leak any once the truck was off. I'm thinking I'm good to go since I caught it so quickly, and the fresh oil in there probably kept everything pretty lubed, even though there wasn't enough in there. She's all changed up and its not leaking now (a motorcraft filter leaked, the fram isn't???) and is running like a top. Am I good to go?
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:45 AM   #2
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good to go
plus you caught it early
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:48 AM   #3
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I would think so. About two weeks ago, I ran into the problem of my new remote oil filter hoses not fitting to the engine adapter, and I pumped about 2-3 quarts oil onto my apartment garage floor. I shut it off as fast as I could, and I was nervous I may have f---ed something up too. I was really worried. when I changed it back to the revised filter mounting adapter, and filled it back up with oil, not leaks, not ticks. she ran as smooth as can be.
So i think youll be okay
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:54 AM   #4
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You are good to go. Wouldn't say Fram is better than Motorcraft, it just happened. You loosing a quart or two is no problem. No damage should have occured. Next time, start engine, shut off after oil pressure is observed and check for leaks.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:28 PM   #5
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Awesome, thanks for the peace of mind guys. And yes Bill, completely idiotic on my part...I guess after doing so many oil changes, you just automatically assume they are going to go without a hitch. My next filter will be a Motorcraft again, but the Fram will have to live for 3,000 miles!
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:45 PM   #6
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Luckily it was just idling too. did you clean the surface of the engine off where the filters seats and then pre fill the filter and oil the rubber O ring before installing the filter.. I assume everyone does this but was talking to someone I know and he said "I never do that"

Not only does pre filling the filter eliminate a dry start up but oiling the O ring ensures you don't wrinkle or twist the O ring when you tighten it down.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRV View Post
How much oil can be lost before internal damage? Am I good to go?
Think of it like this. As long as you have oil pressure, you can run that thing low until it overheats from lack of oil transfer heat dissipation to the block.
That engine will run like a dry sump engine an will pump pressure and 'splash lube' the internals without you worrying there was a low oil level. You had a NASCAR engine for a second or say a few quarts.

Can you cavitate some bubbles mixed with oil in the pump blades or crank throws and she will still survive?; yes. But, all it has to do is lose that pressure, fly into that other piece of hot metal, tear into the soft babbitt and it is scored as in, she is history.

Just for grins, I would pull the filter when time and cut it open. You know you do not have a noisy engine [yet], but that oil pleat being pulled apart will show you the X-Ray of the crank bearings.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:05 PM   #8
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Yes, I always clean the area and lube up the oil ring, but I don't pre-fill because my truck has the external oil cooler on it, so the filter screws on at a completely sideways angle, and I think most of the oil would just drain out. It did drive about 5 miles (I change my oil at my dealership...spoiled with a hoist there), but that was from completely full on oil straight back to the house. I would assume it probably drained about 2 quarts in that time, but it never got any high revs either. I think she'll be good, it just chaps my ***** knowing I had my truck running on like 3 quarts of oil! I guess its better spending another $25 changing the oil after 5 miles than spending a few thousand on an engine after 10 miles!
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3wV View Post
Think of it like this. As long as you have oil pressure, you can run that thing low until it overheats from lack of oil transfer heat dissipation to the block.
That engine will run like a dry sump engine an will pump pressure and 'splash lube' the internals without you worrying there was a low oil level. You had a NASCAR engine for a second or say a few quarts.

Can you cavitate some bubbles mixed with oil in the pump blades or crank throws and she will still survive?; yes. But, all it has to do is lose that pressure, fly into that other piece of hot metal, tear into the soft babbitt and it is scored as in, she is history.

Just for grins, I would pull the filter when time and cut it open. You know you do not have a noisy engine [yet], but that oil pleat being pulled apart will show you the X-Ray of the crank bearings.
She most certainly had good oil pressure the hole way home! Thanks for all of the great input!
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:55 PM   #10
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I have had a many of fords that were ran low on oil and were fine, not done by me. I always make sure my stuff has oil in it. I had a motorcraft filter do the same to me. I lost all my oil out of a brand new motor. I havent had a faulty filter since. I personally dont like fram filters, I dont like there internel design. Wix is about the best looking filter when its apart, but I still use motorcraft.
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