It’s been nine months since we first bought our 2020 Ford F-250 with Ford’s new 7.3-liter “Godzilla” gas V8. Since then, we’ve made quite a few modifications. From the tires and suspension to the exhaust and a bed-mounted pop-up camper, our journey continues to turn the “Super Tremor” into an awesome overlanding truck.
In that time, we’ve also managed to rack up nearly 10,000 miles on the truck. From the factory, Ford recommends you change the oil every 10,000 miles, so it’s time for the inaugural service. But there’s more to it: We wanted to see how this engine was actually holding up over some grueling tests. Are there unwelcome surprises suspended in the engine’s oil, or is everything as it should be? In this video, Andre takes a closer look.
To get a better sense of how the engine’s components are holding up after nearly 10,000 miles, we sent a used oil sample to Blackstone Laboratories in Indiana. The full results are below (with personal information redacted).
Oil analysis results:
The bolded items — notably iron and silicone — were substantially higher in our sample than the universal averages shown at the right. However, Blackstone did provide comments on the sample:
“Don’t be alarmed about the bolded items in this sample, since elevated metals and silicon are inevitable in any engine’s first oil. They come from oil-sharing parts carving out their working clearances, and silicone-based sealers applied during assembly. We expect this material to wash out over a few changes, until metals eventually mirror universal averages. For the 7.3L Ford V8, those are based on ~5,000-mile runs. A 2.3 TBN shows some active additive in reserve. Try ~10,000 miles again just to make sure wear-in washes out as expected. So far, looking fine!”
What is TBN?
One number Blackstone specifically mentioned is “TBN”, or Total Base Number. That figure represents the amount of alkaline additives in motor oil used to combat the build-up of acids as the oil breaks down over time and use. A TBN higher than 1.0 means plenty of additives were leftover in the oil, even after 10,000 miles. As such, they were doing their job to maintain the oil’s ability to lubricate and protect the engine.
To learn more about that process, we also took a look inside our 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel as part of our Rebel Rouser series. Check out the video below to see more on the Super Tremor’s first oil analysis: