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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 11-06-2013, 08:36 PM
240Z2Z3 240Z2Z3 is offline
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Location: Avon, CT
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 Z3 2.5i roadster
Winter Storage

I have put about 2000 miles on my 2002 Z3 2.5i since I bought it in late August, so it's around 36,000 now. Olve it. I plan to put it away for the Connecticut winter after Thanksgiving. (My daughter wants to try it when she's home from college.) It will be stored in an attached garage. The manual states that the battery should be removed for storage >3 months (I have the radio code.) as well as inflating the tires to 51 psi. I will add Stabil to a full tank of gas. Anything else? Do you agree with removing the battery? I will not have access to it for charging. What happens to the green bars on start up for oil life?
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2013, 05:05 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 5MT
Better to leave the battery connected and use a battery tender, clamped to the positive terminal and a ground, both under the closed hood, and plugged into a garage outlet. This maintains the battery at full charge, and means the car is ready to go anytime.
http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender...battery+tender
If you remove or disconnect the battery from the car, you will still need to connect it to a battery tender, or else it will slowly discharge. Staying in a discharged state permanently weakens the battery, and it will also need to be recharged in order to start the car again.

Nothing much happens to oil unless the engine is running, and even then, the service internal computer does not measure time. It measures factors like miles, fuel used, and number of starts. And it takes a lot of that to start reducing the green bars. I change oil at 2500 miles, and all four bars are still lit. Hard to believe the bars might not signal that an oil change is needed until 10,000 miles.

Last edited by vintage42; 11-07-2013 at 05:26 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-07-2013, 08:35 AM
bmw2kz bmw2kz is offline
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Location: Wallingford,CT
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 Z3 roadster
I have had a 2000 Z3 for about 4 years. It hibernates every winter no issues. I did go through a battery (age unknown) already though, so I got a battery tender. The Z3 seems to draw juice for alarm and computer. Before the tender I would try to fire it up on warmer days every couple weeks. I would drive for 20 minutes if the roads were clean and it was close to 40 degrees. When I installed new battery, just did radio code and drove it for a while for the computer to reset all driving parameters.

I try to have a fresh tank when I put it away and I use the blue Stabil. In the spring I happily run the tank down to about 1/8th and fill up with fresh fuel. I do the same every winter (20 years)with an old TR7 and no issues as well.

My biggest problem is my cats sleeping on the top if I forget to cover it.
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  #4  
Old 11-07-2013, 08:55 AM
FZbar FZbar is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 Z3 2.5 Roadster
I've got a 2002 Z3 2.5 litre, but in MD just outside of DC.
I have the pleasure of driving it all year round.
Of course, if it snows more than a trace it never makes it out of my garage.

Fred
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  #5  
Old 11-07-2013, 06:01 PM
BStanton BStanton is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW Z3
I'm just north of Boston... I drive my 98 Z3 during the winter months, provided the roads are clear. I have 96k miles on mine, so I decided to continue driving her throughout the winters. If she had low miles, I probably would not drive her as much as I do, and I'd most likely store her for the winters.
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2013, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by BStanton View Post
... just north of Boston... I drive my 98 Z3 during the winter months, provided the roads are clear...
In Louisville the roads are always clear of what little snow we ever get. The brine trucks maintain a prophylactic white corduroy pattern on the roads all winter long, giving plenty of time to apply more brine and then call out the salt trucks if actual precipitation threatens. If it snows, the roads are black and wet no matter how cold it gets, turning powdery white when dry. Overloaded salt trucks spill windrows as they make sharp turns, and leave piles wherever they have to stop. Intersections have moguls of salt that are replenished all winter until dissolving in a few spring rains.
The metro salt facility is near, a five-story igloo covering a mountain of salt barged up from Louisiana. Shiny new trucks await their liquid and crystal loads, and the drivers look forward to using the budgeted tons and hours.
http://www.louisvilleky.gov/News/Wid...686941729DD%7d

Last edited by vintage42; 11-14-2013 at 02:06 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2013, 06:23 PM
240Z2Z3 240Z2Z3 is offline
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Thanks to everyone who replied. I'll look into getting a battery tender. If I had three garages, I'd drive the Z3 through the winter on nice days. With only two garages (My wife gets one.), I prefer to have my everyday driver ('07 Highlander) in the garage for the winter rather than out in the driveway. I'm fortunate to have access to a garage a mile away to winter the Z3.
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2013, 02:16 AM
BStanton BStanton is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW Z3
I do know what you mean about the garage space. I only have a 1 car garage so the Z gets the garage and my 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee gets the driveway. I am hoping that New England has another mild winter season this year.
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  #9  
Old 11-19-2013, 08:17 PM
MRoaadster2000 MRoaadster2000 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 M Roadster, 2010 M5
Changing the oil after 2000 miles might be overkill for synthetic oil. Choice is yours, however. With my M Roadster i would change oil, Mobile 1 every fall, fill tank, Stabil, inflate tires to 45 lb, plug in tender and leave it from Nov 1 to May 1. Starting a stored car ever few weeks to keep the battery charged is a very bad idea, especially in cold climate due to moisture in the exhaust. Unless you plan to get the engine temp. up to normal operating range for a extended period you will encourage rust to form in the exhaust and engine. Modern battery tenders are cheap, reliable and will extend the life of your battery. I have used them for years on my boats, riding lawnmower and cars. Just my thoughts after years of storing boats and cars in the Minnesota winter with no issues.
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2013, 07:43 PM
AlanZ3 AlanZ3 is offline
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Location: Minnesota
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 Z3 3.0i
I'm in Minnesota too so I just tucked mine away for it's long winters' nap. I pull the battery out and put a tender on it. I put the top up and have a cover over the car. However, it occurred to me that I don't necessarily want the top sitting all winter with full tension on it so I undo the lock down clamps and leave it just resting on the windshield. Any thoughts?
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  #11  
Old 11-25-2013, 08:02 PM
luigi524td luigi524td is online now
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Mein Auto: '13 535xDrive; '98 Z3 2.8
Exclamation Storing the roadster for winter

My routine for my '98 Z3 is some of the same already stated. And of course the following assumes that regular service schedules are done too!
  • Thorough wash and wax job
  • Spray rubber parts with silicone protectant - incl under car suspension parts that can be reached.
  • Gummipfledge rubber door, trunk, and window gaskets.
  • Top scrubbed clean and treated with convertible top protectant (BMW product)
  • Fresh gasoline topped off
  • Add Chevron Techron fuel treatment to gas tank
  • Oil / filter changed annually
  • Air filter blown clear of any dust/debris
  • Underhood vents cleaned of leaves etc
  • Tires inflated to 40psi
  • Top up but windows lowered slightly.
  • Dash and seats covered with large cotton beach towels to keep dust out
  • Battery Tender connected

The car is occasionally driven on clear, dry days - at least 20-30 miles - to get up to operating temps. Dusted off and put away.

Last but not least - be absolutely sure your garage/storage facility is insect and rodent free. These little pests LOVE to spend their winters in the nooks and crannies of cars and feast on seat and carpet padding.
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Last edited by luigi524td; 11-25-2013 at 08:04 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2013, 03:10 PM
BTCPO BTCPO is offline
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Mein Auto: 96' BMW Z3 Atlantic Blue
Don't see how yall up north can stand it .... havin your car all tucked away for the winter ... Saw one reply from Thanksgiving to May??? I could not take that ... I would go CRAZY..... Now we do not have the extreme cold / snow as you guys do up there and can understand a little winterweatherproofin if you just can't revv up that engine every now and then ... but if the car is stored in a Garage, no reason not to hit the HYW .... Heck with a battery tender ... get out there on a sunny week or weekend day, even if the temps are below norm, and drive that car! .... Get a little top down releif if you can ... with a good jacket & gloves and the heat on, loosen up that BMW and get the oil warm and take a spin or two for an afternoon ... you gotta get out of the house sometime right? .... Thats how I try to winterize my cars ... by "driving it" at least once a week in the winter. If not, open the garage door a bit, crank the engine and let the car run a bit. Gotta have the Z3 ready to roll on a moments notice should the weather break and allow a bit of fair winds and following Seas (little Navy speak there)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL !!!
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2013, 06:48 AM
redhotz redhotz is offline
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Mein Auto: 98 z-3 2.8l
Must be nice not to have road salt and to be able to take the car out in the winter. I have a Mini Cooper Clubman and a Z-3 both on battery tenders and inside a car capsule. No bugs, rodents, moisture, dust. November to middle of April, I shoot for. It depends when all the road salt is washed of the roads.
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2013, 07:15 AM
BTCPO BTCPO is offline
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Originally Posted by redhotz View Post
Must be nice not to have road salt and to be able to take the car out in the winter. I have a Mini Cooper Clubman and a Z-3 both on battery tenders and inside a car capsule. No bugs, rodents, moisture, dust. November to middle of April, I shoot for. It depends when all the road salt is washed of the roads.
Let me tell you redhotz....we get plenty of Salt or Brine Mix the road crews spray out...problem is we hardly ever get the Snow on the roads it was intended for .. See down here it is really mixed up ... Hang with me for a minute here ... See the local weather men are paid under the table from the Grocery Store owners to predict Snow or Sleet or Ice when it gets cold or IF there is any slight chance for winter weather .... Then the Grocery Stores are PACKED with people rushing around buying all kinds of staples ... the isles are crammed and the Grocery stores get a nice little bump in sales the next day!!! We gauge the predicted Snow inches we may get by "Loaf" of Bread Alerts ... The more snow predicted, the more loafs of bread (milk and eggs) Little Snow, 1 Loaf Alert, 2-4 inches 2 Loaf Alert ... more than 4 inches 3 Loafer and might as well head for the hills and get ready for the end of the world !!!! Heck, schools close down here close on the MENTION of Snow in the forecast.

On the other hand the road crews hit the HWY tossing out salt or salt brine and cover the roads .... they post them at every HWY exit with their big snow plows etc on them...and wait for the snow to hit .... But 9 times out of 10 the Snow never develops ... So us the TOP DOWN gang must wait until a good soaking rain comes by to wash all the salt crud off the roads before we go motoring again.

I know I am rambleing here but all above is mostly true about the forecasting and salt trucks ... just cant prove the underground store owners paying off the weather men ... HAR....Bit of my humor.

Anyway ... Have a great Thanksgiving and Christmas !
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  #15  
Old 11-28-2013, 07:22 AM
redhotz redhotz is offline
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I HATE ROAD SALT
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  #16  
Old 11-28-2013, 09:50 AM
DACZ4 DACZ4 is offline
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I would also suggest setting up some "safe" mice baits. Like Tom Cat Mouse Killer I. Pretty much kid safe as the bait is placed in a plastic enclosure that kids, dogs and cats cannot get to.

Mice can cause a lot of damage to the wiring on a car's engine. They will also build nests in your air intake and other areas of the engine compartment.

I have personal experience on this. They destroyed the wiring on my lawn tractor and built a nest in my snow blower. A buddy of mine had a nest built in his Volvo air cleaner.

My Z4 is in the garage now, but I plan to start the engine to warm up the oil to evaporate any water that may get into it due to condensation. air vapor still gets into the engine and believe it or not the vapor will condense on the metal and get into the oil.

Also will back it out in the driveway to rotate the tires, also the bearings and seals.

Fortunate in South Eastern Pa we get lots of days during the winter that are over 40F
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  #17  
Old 11-28-2013, 10:37 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DACZ4 View Post
... My Z4 is in the garage now, but I plan to start the engine to warm up the oil to evaporate any water that may get into it due to condensation. air vapor still gets into the engine and believe it or not the vapor will condense on the metal and get into the oil...
Starting the engine and idling awhile to warm up the oil will not get it hot enough long enough to get condensation out of the oil, but will add condensation to the exhaust system. If you can't drive the engine for 15 minutes with the needle at normal, I think it's better not to start the engine at all.
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  #18  
Old 11-28-2013, 10:44 AM
redhotz redhotz is offline
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Unless you are going to take it out for a half hour drive, I would not start it.
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  #19  
Old 11-28-2013, 11:02 AM
DACZ4 DACZ4 is offline
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Yes, I agree, you need to bring the oil temp above 212F to boil off any moisture.

I back my Z4 so the exhaust is well outside the garage. I have a 4ft overhang so I can do it in the rain or snow and the car will not get wet.

I would rather do this than dry start the engine after 4 months in hibernation.

The engine bearings, seals,and rings need movement and oil.
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  #20  
Old 11-29-2013, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DACZ4 View Post
... My Z4 is in the garage now, but I plan to start the engine to warm up the oil to evaporate any water that may get into it due to condensation...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DACZ4 View Post
... you need to bring the oil temp above 212F to boil off any moisture...
Starting and idling will not get the oil temperature anywhere near 212F. Short winter warm ups at idle will just add more water to the oil.

I went for a drive today, from a cold start at 50F in the attached garage. On the drive, the coolant temperature was at 175F on the ScanGauge (needle straight up) for 15 minutes. Upon return, the oil pan under the car was not too hot to touch, and my infrared laser thermometer gun measured its temperature as 130F. It takes a long drive to get the oil temperature to 212F.

Last edited by vintage42; 11-29-2013 at 02:09 PM.
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  #21  
Old 11-29-2013, 02:30 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Originally Posted by luigi524td View Post
My routine for my '98 Z3... Spray rubber parts with silicone protectant - incl under car suspension parts that can be reached....
Add to the annual routine, raising the car on jack stands and removing wheels, to clean the underside, wheel wells, suspension and rubber parts with a bucket filled with a few inches of hot soapy water.
Dip a thick wash cloth in the bucket, wipe the bottom, squeeze the dirty rag into the bucket, let the cloth absorb more solution, and repeat. Dump the bucket when water is very black, and make a fresh soap solution. The thick cloth transfers the dirt to the bucket, dripping very little water onto the floor.
After cleaning rubber parts and boots this way, dry them and scrub them with silicone on a rag until shiny clean.
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  #22  
Old 11-30-2013, 01:19 PM
DACZ4 DACZ4 is offline
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I did a little research on the car storage topic.

And basically what I learned from it is this.

And I am so confused

Everybody is right and everybody says everybody else is wrong.

And nobody really has any scientific evidence to prove their storage methods are the right thing to do.

So I guess until some one does a Six Sigma study on car storage we will never know for sure.

And only God knows how I hate Six Sigma (Happy X GE employee)

So with all that and the fact that I am in an area that the temperature gets into the 40's often during the winter, I have decided not to make my Z4 a winter garage queen, but drive it as often as possible.

Hey, it's a roadster, and one thing I know for sure, it is meant to be driven!

That should be at least once every two weeks with the top down during the winter months for me.

Going to be 55F tomorrow!

Still will not drive it in the rain or snow!

No offense to any one on this forum, I went out on other forums, like the Corvette, Mazda, Ford Mustang, etc and also numerous collector car clubs to see what they all advised!
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  #23  
Old 12-01-2013, 07:49 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Originally Posted by DACZ4 View Post
I did a little research on the car storage topic...
Storage is storage. If you are going to start the motor during a storage period, a few minutes will bring the temperature up to normal if the thermostat is working properly, and will also bring the battery up to charge if it is not on a tender. But if the intent is to purge the oil in the sump of possible condensate water, it will take a long drive to get the oil temperature above 212F.

Have you found any information otherwise? Are you tempted to buy a temperature gun to point at your oil pan?
http://www.harborfreight.com/non-con...9465-8905.html
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  #24  
Old 12-01-2013, 09:20 PM
DACZ4 DACZ4 is offline
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Took the Z4 out today. 45 F. Took 15 minutes to get above 220F and that is oil temp. My Z4 reads oil temp and not coolant temp. I reached 240F in 25 minutes.

Also through other forums learned that any water in oil will begin to evaporate as low as 90F. Also learned depending on how good you compression is you may have gas in your oil. More so on older cars. blows by the rings.

Also learned through a mustang forum, by a chemist that starting an engine periodically does not cause any significant condensate to be formed.

Also learned it is better to rotate the engine to change the compression on the valve springs.

Also learned that it is good to move the clutch if you have a manual tranny.

Also learned that C4 (real synthetic) oil will cling to the walls of the engine for weeks but not months. (Note: that Mobile 1 is a high grade C 3 oil and that is another topic)

Of course the stuff I have read could be forum bla bla bla.

But Just to let you know I have been and still am a Plant Engineer for over 35 years. And preservation of idle equipment is always an issue. But I have not been involved with a lot of idle combustion engines, if it had bearings I was taught to rotate and rotate and rotate.

So to let an engine stand for 3 to 4 months just does not cut it with me.

Also, external temperature does not indicate internal temperature. And if you buy from Harbor Freight I would question the accuracy of the device. At work I have to calibrate any device to ISO standards at least quarterly to insure accuracy. And my calibrator has to be calibrated at least once a year.

With that said, in my opinion at this point. I am on the side of starting the engine during the winter.

Idling at a minimum. Better than nothing!

Driving the car is actually better. More bearings get turned. More oil gets circulated.

But let it it sit, ain't going to happen here!

Just a PS: a lot of people "fog" engines. That is introduce a lubricant into the cylinders and valve train to prevent rusting and a dry start. Oh yea, engines will rust internally. And aluminum corrodes.

This Practice is more in Marine engines but has found it's way into older carbureted engines. Not as easy to do with modern engines.

Again if you are not going to keep the car for more than a few years it just does not matter much. Next guys problem!
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  #25  
Old 12-02-2013, 11:46 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage42 View Post
... On the drive, the coolant temperature was at 175F on the ScanGauge (needle straight up) for 15 minutes. Upon return, the oil pan under the car was not too hot to touch, and my infrared laser thermometer gun measured its temperature as 130F....
Quote:
Originally Posted by DACZ4 View Post
Took the Z4 out today.... Took 15 minutes to get above 220F and that is oil temp. My Z4 reads oil temp and not coolant temp. I reached 240F in 25 minutes... external temperature does not indicate internal temperature. And if you buy from Harbor Freight I would question the accuracy of the device.
I calibrated the cheap laser thermometer by hand; it felt like 130F ;-) I could not have held a hand on 220F. And it's doubtful that a sump full of 220F could have felt and measured as 130F. So maybe the oil temperature sensor is in a hot head passage rather than in the cooler sump.
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