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Old 04-18-2021, 06:10 AM #1
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Joined the club! 1990 3.0 Manual, some questions

Hi everyone, adopted this old guy on Tuesday, 1990 V6 Manual @ 230,000:



The seller only had it for about 4 months, and unfortunately he didnt have much in the way of maintenance records from prior owners. I am in the process of "going through it" and have noticed a few things, looking for some input.

First off, it is due for an oil change. Supposedly it is running synthetic oil, seller did not know what viscosity it currently has. Am I likely to run into any issues if I swap to conventional oil, or would it just be best practice to stick with synthetic now that it has been running it? I am in the Phoenix area so I am leaning toward 10w40.

The steering also wobbles a bit at about 60mph. It doesnt pull while driving or braking, and the tires seem ok. Wobble seems to be a bit worse on curves vs straightaways. Front shocks, especially the front passenger, seem pretty worn. Ball joints? Shocks? Both?

Timing belt was last done at 134,xxx, so that project is also in my near future.

There are some other odds and ends that eventually need addressing, such as the e-brake light being stuck on and likely a coolant flush soon. I will keep posting here as time goes on. I have another thread similar to this one up on yotatech as well, trying to cast a wide net in my ongoing search for T4R wisdom. Excited to be here, looking forward to years ahead.
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Old 04-19-2021, 07:59 AM #2
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Welcome! Good looking 2nd gen.

regular oil changes at 3k will be more important than what you run. Im favorable to delo400 in these engines, but change it often (whatever you run) and youll be fine.

Jack the front up and check for any unusual play in the front end/steering. See if that may help identify the wandering. Could be the tires, could be the steering box, wheel bearing, tie rods, ball joints, or just worn out control arm bushings.

Bump the timing up a few degrees (like to 12 or 15, factory is 10) if it hasn't been already, help push a little more power out. And dont let it over-heat.
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Old 04-22-2021, 11:38 PM #3
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Thanks Hyde. I will report back here after I do some tinkering, hoping its just some imbalanced tires.
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Old 04-23-2021, 04:59 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snypr18 View Post
Hi everyone, adopted this old guy on Tuesday, 1990 V6 Manual @ 230,000:



The seller only had it for about 4 months, and unfortunately he didnt have much in the way of maintenance records from prior owners. I am in the process of "going through it" and have noticed a few things, looking for some input.

First off, it is due for an oil change. Supposedly it is running synthetic oil, seller did not know what viscosity it currently has. Am I likely to run into any issues if I swap to conventional oil, or would it just be best practice to stick with synthetic now that it has been running it? I am in the Phoenix area so I am leaning toward 10w40.

The steering also wobbles a bit at about 60mph. It doesnt pull while driving or braking, and the tires seem ok. Wobble seems to be a bit worse on curves vs straightaways. Front shocks, especially the front passenger, seem pretty worn. Ball joints? Shocks? Both?

Timing belt was last done at 134,xxx, so that project is also in my near future.

There are some other odds and ends that eventually need addressing, such as the e-brake light being stuck on and likely a coolant flush soon. I will keep posting here as time goes on. I have another thread similar to this one up on yotatech as well, trying to cast a wide net in my ongoing search for T4R wisdom. Excited to be here, looking forward to years ahead.
Nice find - congratulations! You could try rotating the wheels to see if the problem changes. As for oil, if there are no leaks, I'd stick with whatever is in it for now. No sense introducing a new problem this early. In my experience, changing from conventional to synthetic never resulted in a problem, so I wouldn't think going the other direction would, either. But again, I'd save that experiment for later, after you've dealt with the known problems.

Last edited by thennen; 04-23-2021 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:30 AM #5
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No rust, nice! The thing that kills most 3.0s, aside from rust around here, is burnt exhaust valves, esp #6. Def adjust those clearances.
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:37 PM #6
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Thanks everyone!

After looking around a bit it seems that synthetic is pretty acclaimed for these motors, so I went ahead and just stuck with it.

I have heard about the #6 exhaust valve getting burned out, my guess is the valve clearances have probably never been adjusted on this one. It runs nice and smooth otherwise, doesnt have much power of course but it doesnt seem "weak" by any means.

I assume a compression test would point out any issues with the valves?


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Old 04-24-2021, 07:20 AM #7
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Leak down test is always better but compression should work. Either one is kind of a waste of time tho, should really just check clearances asap. The SST set is $30 and it's not hard to do. Replace valve cover and intake gaskets at the same time. Vc gaskets are probably leaking anyway, I had a 3.0 catch fire from them dripping on exhaust once

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Old 05-09-2021, 05:31 PM #8
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Shock absorbers seem pretty blown out all the way around. The front passenger especially looks like it has leaked for quite a while and has very little resistance left when I push the front end down.

I am looking at swapping out the shocks with some Bilstein 4600s front and rear, anyone have any other recommendations? I have heard good things about Rancho and KYB as well.
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