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Nothing like an oil thread to get the juices flowing (please don't ban me for this) . . .

I'm curious what folks are using for engine oil.  I was going to buy 7 gallons of Amsoil until I added up the price.  Then I started researching other brands.  Seems like volume is more critical than quality, and dino is cost effective vs synthetic?  I do like synthetic . . .

Same for filters.  Seems like Donaldson is the preferred brand . . . but who has the better prices?  Or is there a better filter? 

 

And lastly, who do you like for oil analysis?  I might do an analysis before changing oil. 

Ok, really lastly . . . here's an oil blog I found interesting.  This guy does analysis on LOTS of different oils, including diesel.  He has some interesting opinions.  I have no idea what the cost & availability of some of the Euro Diesel oils he mentions, but if it's easily available in the US . . . .  

https://540ratblog.wordpress.com/

Ok, I'm done.  Let the fur fly!

- bob

 

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I have a CAT C9 in my Beaver.  It is a HEUI Motor and is really picky about clean finely filtered oil.  Therefor, I use only CAT high efficiency filters.  They are no more expensive than other good quality brands and are guaranteed to filter down to 2 microns.  I use Shell Rotella T6 full synthetic.  Yes, it is expensive, but not near as expensive as a new HEUI pump, or heaven forbid, a new motor.  I do try to save a few bucks by doing my own oil changes.  I also look for rebates on the Rotella T6, they do it about once a year.  Annual testing at Blackstone labs after oil changes helps me keep on top of any wear issues.  My Beaver is now 16 years old and has had no issues (knock on wood).

Richard   

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Synthetic oil for your engine AFAIAC is a waste of money.

Since going Part-Time RVing I don't put the miles on the coach as I was while Full-Timing. Therefore the oil gets changed once a year usually during the winter while in Florida. My shop uses Chevron Delo 400 but I carry Valvoline Blue while traveling to add when needed.

I use Fleetguard secondary fuel filter, Racor Primary fuel filter, Fleetguard oil filter and Donaldson air filter.

I use Onan fuel & air filter for the generator and Racor fuel filter for the Aqua-Hot.

I don't use oil sampling.

I use synthetic oil in my Allison Transmission, front oil hubs and rear differential.

I use Dexron VI Synthetic oil in the Hydraulic reservoir for the Fan and Steering Box.

Edited by Dr4Film
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We use Rotella and Fleetguard filters for our Cummings. In my opinion synthetic for Diesel engine oil is a waste of money. I do not do oil analysis. We are full time and change oil and filters yearly. No problems. 

Edited by MrAmbassador
Correct word, Diesel engine
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I use the same oil and the same lab every oil change and that way I have enough history to see if anything was getting out of whack. So far I would have been fine if I did not do it but I still like to know that my filters, seals and bearings are fine. Personal choice.

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I use Rotella and Fleetguard same as others on here. I look for Rotella when its on sale at Sams club. Do my own changes yearly. Covid has caused me to extend my regular scheduled oil change. Only have about 2K miles on this oil and 18 months but will be changing very soon. 

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For you longtime NASCAR fans you probably remember back in the 90's when the Winston Cup guys were blowing engines during every race. Even the guys with top engine building departments broke motors during races. Then in the late 90's and early 2000's engine blow ups stopped. I started working in Winston Cup in 1993 and retired in 2003. I was a marketing and PR consultant and worked with all the top teams as an independent consulting to the owners and drivers.

One day I was having a conversation with Jack Roush and Robert Yates and the conversation turned to engines and I asked what changed with the engine failures and they both chuckled and said - Mobil 1. Since all of my work centered around doing licensing contracts for drivers, sponsorships and other marketing programs I never had the chance to delve into the mechanical end of Cup racing. But Roush and Yates provided me with a lot of great information. Some was pretty deep and above my paygrade.

They both had large engine departments with engineers that did engine analysis and constant dyno testing. What they found out was that the engine failures was being caused not only from lubricity issues but heat and all of it centered around the valve train. I believe it was the Roush team who started to experiment with Mark Martins motors and discovered Mobil 1 prevented valve train failures. While it is common knowledge that synthetic oils, especially Mobil 1, provides better lubricity it also had another property which saved the valve trains. It carried heat away from the valve train better. So less heat and better lubricity cured the engine failures in Winston Cup engines. Since then I run Mobil 1 in everything I own, except the coach engine. I use Rotella dino oil in the cummins.

I use Mobil 1 in the generator and rear differential. I use Mobil 1 in the truck, tractor, power washer and anything else with an engine. The reason I use Rotella in the coach engine is because I change the oil every year and most times I only have 5,000 miles on it. I also have a Cummins 330 which is known to be one of the most bullet proof engines Cummins ever made. If I owned a 500 or 600 you bet I would use Mobil 1 as both engines have have had known valve train issues.

When it comes to oil discussions I stay clear of them. Mainly because everyone has their own preference and to be honest I could care less what anyone uses for oil. They can run Wesson cooking oil as far as I am concerned. For those who like Dino oil for their coach engines Rotella is the best on the market. I like their additive package. For all other engines Mobil 1 cannot be beat and their other oils such as their heavy synthetic gear oils is excellent.

As a side note to the NASCAR story, when other teams found out about the advantages of Mobil 1 they all switched. But the hilarious part was that many were sponsored by other oil companies - Pennzoil, Quaker State, Valvoline, etc. So the teams did a switcharoo at the shops by emptying out their dino oils and filling them with Mobil 1 to take to the track so the public wouldn't see Mobil 1 jugs sitting around. Being the smart ass I am I walked into Jeff Gordons garage at the track and picked up a Quaker State oil jug, removed the top and smiled and looked at Jeff and said " smells just like Mobil 1 ". Him and the crew all laughed.

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I used to buy Shell Rotella T by the 55 gallons from Sam’s and still use it. Yes, I  oil sample which lets me go 20,000+ miles between oil changes. I’m not into annual oil changes in a engine that works hard…no moisture.

Chris, the valve issue in the ISX is because of acid eating the face of the valve that then breaks off trashing the turbo and often the piston. The valve stem is not breaking plus it’s the intake valve so not heat related. This is happening to all ISX engines and more often in the higher HP ones…600-650HP.

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38 minutes ago, throgmartin said:

For you longtime NASCAR fans you probably remember back in the 90's when the Winston Cup guys were blowing engines during every race. Even the guys with top engine building departments broke motors during races. Then in the late 90's and early 2000's engine blow ups stopped. I started working in Winston Cup in 1993 and retired in 2003. I was a marketing and PR consultant and worked with all the top teams as an independent consulting to the owners and drivers.

One day I was having a conversation with Jack Roush and Robert Yates and the conversation turned to engines and I asked what changed with the engine failures and they both chuckled and said - Mobil 1. Since all of my work centered around doing licensing contracts for drivers, sponsorships and other marketing programs I never had the chance to delve into the mechanical end of Cup racing. But Roush and Yates provided me with a lot of great information. Some was pretty deep and above my paygrade.

They both had large engine departments with engineers that did engine analysis and constant dyno testing. What they found out was that the engine failures was being caused not only from lubricity issues but heat and all of it centered around the valve train. I believe it was the Roush team who started to experiment with Mark Martins motors and discovered Mobil 1 prevented valve train failures. While it is common knowledge that synthetic oils, especially Mobil 1, provides better lubricity it also had another property which saved the valve trains. It carried heat away from the valve train better. So less heat and better lubricity cured the engine failures in Winston Cup engines. Since then I run Mobil 1 in everything I own, except the coach engine. I use Rotella dino oil in the cummins.

I use Mobil 1 in the generator and rear differential. I use Mobil 1 in the truck, tractor, power washer and anything else with an engine. The reason I use Rotella in the coach engine is because I change the oil every year and most times I only have 5,000 miles on it. I also have a Cummins 330 which is known to be one of the most bullet proof engines Cummins ever made. If I owned a 500 or 600 you bet I would use Mobil 1 as both engines have have had known valve train issues.

When it comes to oil discussions I stay clear of them. Mainly because everyone has their own preference and to be honest I could care less what anyone uses for oil. They can run Wesson cooking oil as far as I am concerned. For those who like Dino oil for their coach engines Rotella is the best on the market. I like their additive package. For all other engines Mobil 1 cannot be beat and their other oils such as their heavy synthetic gear oils is excellent.

As a side note to the NASCAR story, when other teams found out about the advantages of Mobil 1 they all switched. But the hilarious part was that many were sponsored by other oil companies - Pennzoil, Quaker State, Valvoline, etc. So the teams did a switcharoo at the shops by emptying out their dino oils and filling them with Mobil 1 to take to the track so the public wouldn't see Mobil 1 jugs sitting around. Being the smart ass I am I walked into Jeff Gordons garage at the track and picked up a Quaker State oil jug, removed the top and smiled and looked at Jeff and said " smells just like Mobil 1 ". Him and the crew all laughed.

Chris,

I agree completely.  I've been using Mobil 1 in ALL my gasoline engines for decades.
It was cheapened in the 2000's after Mobil sued Castrol and I think other manufacturers for advertising their oils as full synthetic, when in fact they were hydrocracked petroleum based.  Mobil had up till then been a true synthetic oil, with no petroleum distillate base stock at all.

After the lawsuit, they decided it wasn't worth the cost to keep producing true synthetic oil, and changed their formula.

Mobil 1 is still VERY good oil.   I've had multiple cars go over 300,000 miles on it without problems, and I even used it in my Legends road race car, where I'd often see oil temps exceed 350 degrees.

I use Shell Rotella T6 synthetic in my diesel engines, as Mobil 1 isn't formulated for diesels, and the T6 is a great oil at a reasonable price, and is available anywhere.

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Good story throgmartin and dl_racing427

I'm also a firm believer and use Mobil 1 in all the gas engines.  2003 4-Runner has 340k miles (purchased at 32k), maybe 100k pulling a 2k lb trailer, and still the preferred household vehicle (despite the wife's 2014 Mini Cooper).  I change oil every 15-20k miles.  The 4-Runner doesn't burn or lose oil.  Hard to argue with success. 

And I'm a firm believer in Amsoil and used it in the F53 gasser.  Again, long oil change intervals but more like 10-12k miles.  Drove it until it reached 147k then decided to sell it for the DP.  Motor was still running strong.  If fact the whole coach was in great shape but was a afraid of getting it to 200k and not being able to sell for more than a bag of peanuts.  I got 2 bags for it. 

If you read the blog link in the first thread you'll discover "Old" Rotella, famous for it's zinc content, has less zinc than "New" Rotella.  Mobil 1 isn't near the top of the list in load capacity / film strength as you'd think.  Most of the diesel oils are dino oils and there's a good discussion on zinc on cam lobes in racing engines.  Not good.

The best way to read this article is with a few search words, like diesel, NASCAR, Rotella, whatever.  https://540ratblog.wordpress.com/

Rotella T4 or T6 didn't fare so well.  There's a Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck synthetic.  It's highly ranked but if you read their website it's designed for the pickup diesels.  If you read up on Mobil 1 Delvac 1300 Super (dino) they show a tractor on the label but the performance is well below the synthetic.  Maybe it's target marketing (lots of pickup diesels these days), maybe it's engineered for the smaller engines but I'm leaning toward the oil with the big truck on the label, even though it's dino. 

It's interesting to see the reasons folks choose a particular oil and most aren't science based.  And nobody told me what oil analysis lab they're using.  Is it a secret? 

Best,

- bob

 

 

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Fellow Campers,

Here is some info I collected from the group years ago.

   


Re: Oil*

Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:54 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

richoliveria

I WENT BACK AND CLEANED THIS UP TO MAKE IT MORE READABLE. 


Rich O. 


Sorry this is so long, but… 

My name is Norm, and worked at one of the largest transit agencies in the U.S. The last five years I worked on oil analysis and how to extend drive train life on trucks, buses and train cars. I was heavily involved in failure analysis of equipment, and ways of cutting operating costs. Over those years I worked with the labs of two major oil and fuel producers. Utilizing 4 private labs we tested over 12,000 engine, transmission, hydraulic system, differential and more oil samples, and saved countless dollars. I am not that smart, but met many people over those years who are that smart, and had a bad habit of asking way too many questions. I am just hoping to help prolong the life of our equipment. 

1. What is synthetic oil? Why is it better? 


Is it better? Lubricants are a slippery mystery to many people. If I can I will try to clear up a few things. Many think synthetic is the holy grail of oil. The vast majority of it is actually dino oil, but refined to a totally different level. The oil molecules are manipulated so they are almost all the same size. Think of marbles with a board on top. Different size marbles will only somewhat support the board, but if all the marbles are the same size the board has much more support- and less wear of the board as you move it. It flows better at cold temps due to all the molecules being almost the same size; they don’t fight each other as different sizes would. It has been refined to a much higher degree as far as the cleanliness of the oil. Synthetic is cleaner oil from the get go- and due to that it lowers wear. We are talking at the micron level. Imagine that when an engine is running the bearing journal clearance is one micron. (Very very small) If a ¾ micron particle enters the bearing, the oil is taller then the particle, so no wear. But if the particle is 1.5 micron, either the particle doesn’t get in or it scrapes a tiny piece of tin off the bearing. Do this repeatedly and you have problems. The majority of engine wear is from fine dust. If you work on an engine and a few larger pieces of dirt get in, it is usually caught by the filter. It is actually the smaller dust particles 3 to 5 microns that actually create most wear in an engine. The problem with larger pieces is as they scrape engine components, they make many smaller pieces, and those now create wear. 


2. Diesel fuel, or fuel dilution 


Put even a small amount of diesel fuel in the oil and the 1 micron gap becomes smaller, and the oil can’t support the weight of the crankshaft as well as it should. The fuel would have a smaller molecule size, thereby stressing the oil. Viscosity of the oil is loweredand all the oil gaps in the engine just got smaller- think different size marbles, so less support. And yes, the journal gap is actually about 1 micron when engine is running. 2% fuel dilution is a lot. It will lower the viscosity of your oil 


. 3. Viscosity and shear 


As far as viscosity, 5w30 is 5-weight oil. 15w40 is actually 15-weight oil. And no, the “w” does not mean weight, it actually means winter It means it has the additives to allow it to flow well in winter- or at least cold temperatures. What is the other number? It is how it will flow at a high temp. How? Additives, and a lot of it. Some oils are as much as 40% additives and 60 % oil. One additive is a polymer shaped like a worm. When it is cold, it curls into a small ball, like you and I. When warm, it stretches out. If I pour curled worms (cold) thru a funnel, they would pour pretty quickly as they are basically round. When hot and stretched out, they would have a harder time pouring thru a funnel thereby restricting flow. It works great until…. shear. When oil shears down those worms get all chopped up. They really don’t restrict the flow of oil anymore, and the oil is now in effect thinner, less viscosity at higher temps.. It can no longer reach the thickness of the higher number. Viscosity actually means “the resistance to flow” .A bad thing is when you overheat a engine. Everyone knows to fix a overheat problem right away, but many don’t change oil. If a piece of equipment overheats change the oil ASAP, as the polymers can be partly melted and may stick to everything in your engine. Ever see the black crud after overheating oil? It is actually a form of melted plastic wanting to clog up everything. Many other additives become depleted, or just don’t work as intended as before. And there are MANY different additives in oil protecting our equipment. 


4. Oil changes and filters Speaking of oil changes? 


Yes, very important. Don’t skimp on oil filters, as there are amazing differences between some them. Many aftermarket filters are great but if it is too cheap ask why. Better filters have silicone gaskets and something called anti-drain back valves inside made of silicone also, but cheap filters have rubber gaskets and thin paper gaskets inside. Some filters are bypass filters, which only filter a small amount of oil, but do a better job of it. Any filter is a compromise between flow and filtration rate. If you have a very small micron rating, it will clean very well but have low flow rates. Higher micron means larger pore size, but filters more oil. Some filters have both inside the same housing, and if your engine is designed to use that filter, I would really spend the extra money to use it. A micron rating of a filter is almost useless unless it is it’s a “absolute” micron rating. That means that almost nothing over that size will get thru. Just saying a filter has a micron rating means it will catch most of that size particle, but also will allow larger particles thru and is designed that way. Window screening can have a micron rating, as it will stop some small particles too, but I wouldn’t use it in my engine (exaggeration). Also, when oil is cold, it really won’t flow thru a filter, so it bypasses the filter altogether. You have very little filtration until the oil warms up and can pass thru the filter, so be gentle on your equipment until operating temperature.. One more consideration to think about is top up oil. Whatever oil you put in at your oil change, top up using the exact same oil until the next oil change if possible. Only switch brands or weights at oil change if possible. Most any reputable oil supplier will give you a superior product, whether dino or synthetic. The problem is each manufacturer uses a different additive package to achieve the same goal. SAE (society of automotive engineers) dictates they must all be compatible. But that is to their minimum standard for a given classification. When you mix additive packages, certain additive may actually bind up another, or render a certain anti wear property ineffective. Sometimes-even worse. I once actually dumped 30,000 gallons new (4 tanker trucks) oil into a waste oil tank as the oil caused many thousands of dollars of damage, and was very difficult to figure out what was going on. Try to explain THAT to your purchasing department! (it was not engine oil- it was for something else) It was the right oil but the oil from 2 different manufacturers mixed and created devastating results. It shouldn’t have, but did. Even different weight oil from the same manufacturer can have different additive packages and may not play nice together. Most major oil producers put in different trace elements into their oil so if you have a problem down the road they can tell right away thru oil analysis if it is actually their oil. And remember that it can be up to 40% additives! When to change oil? Every vehicle is different and driven differently. In some countries they change oil by operating hours, and other places they change oil by the amount of fuel consumed by the engine, which if you think about it makes the most sense out of everything. The more fuel consumed, the more work performed, less fuel less work. Diesel oil gets black almost immediately, and is not uncommon. Engines make soot and other byproducts of combustion, some of which end up in the oil. The oil has chemicals that are used as dispersants, which hold the tiny particles in suspension. Its job is to keep the particles separate and not let them touch each other so that even under pressure they don’t form a particle that would be larger then the oil film, which would then create wear. When the oil can’t hold any more particles, wear starts. The small particles are attracted to each other, and form larger particles. At that point it is larger then the thickness of the oil on the parts but still too small for the filter to catch. When the oil can’t hold any more particles, it falls out and becomes sludge. Want cheaters way to find out where your oil stands? Here is a rudimentary oil analysis test: Take a white business card or heavy card stock with no gloss coating. Pull the dipstick and put one drop of oil on back of card. Leave card flat 8 hours. Oil will soak in and make a stain. If the stain is even darkness all the way from center to outer edge of ring the oil is dispersing the contaminants, as it should. If stain is darker in the middle but gets lighter to outside the oil cant hold any more contaminants and should be changed. If the very center is very dark and has a sudden lightness to the outer ring (very dark to very light) you most likely have Diesel fuel in the oil. There are other test but get harder to perform. This is only a guide, different oils have different properties, but is accurate quite often. I have used this as a field test to determine if there are engine problems. If someone changes your oil and says it will be synthetic, watch them. If they pour your oil from sealed jugs, ok. If they use the hose, there may be a problem. No synthetic manufacturer delivers pure synthetic in bulk tanks as far as I know. They are proud of the product, and want the pure product going into your equipment. They supply quart, gallon, 5 gallon and 55-gallon drums as far as I have seen. I believe I heard some deliver in a 130 gallon tote, which could be pumped thru lines, but have not seen it. In bulk, they have no control over the tank in the repair shop, or the tanker hauling it. Was it clean to begin with or did it have a leftover product from something else? Who knows- tankers can be nasty animals- Yes I have caught contamination in tanks from bulk haulers. Most are good, but synthetic manufacturers will not risk their reputation on someone else. It would be almost impossible to clean a whole tanker to the ISO standards most synthetics claim to be at. 


5. Water and antifreeze 


Water or glycol will destroy bearings very quickly. Most oils will emulsify -or hold a small amount of water, and if in tiny amounts like condensation it won’t do much harm. Dino oils are actually better at it then synthetic. When the water can’t be emulsified into the oil, you get droplets. They may be microscopic, but still droplets. What happens to destroy a bearing is that the tiny drop of water enters a bearing journal along with the oil, then the piston and injector fires. The pressure on that bearing is incredible. It instantly turns the water to extreme high-pressure steam, literally blowing a tiny piece of tin from your bearing. Bearings do not like being pressure washed or steam cleaned, and at 2000 RPM it doesn’t take long to destroy bearings. It has higher pressure in the journal than your piston has compression in the cylinder, and that pressure was enough to ignite the diesel fuel on top of the piston! Be very careful when pressure washing your equipment or driving thru high water. If you want to wash your engine do it before a oil change. There is a old saying that a dirty diesel is a happy diesel, and I think I know why. Whenever you start or stop your equipment there will be a certain amount of condensation inside. Hopefully when you drive it will get hot enough for long enough to remove that moisture from the oil. If you don’t drive the engine hard enough- or long enough- you can “wet out the filter”, which simply means the paper of the filter gets wet. Once this happens, no matter how much oil pressure you develop, you simply can’t force the oil thru the filter, and the oil will go thru the bypass valve and not get filtered. If the bypass valve doesn’t open, you can blow the filter or something worse. Oil with no moisture is your friend. 


6. What can I do? 
Change your fluids as per recommendations. If you feel inclined, do it sooner, but not later. One full year on oil is a long time if you really think about it. Even though you may not max out on mileage (or even run very little mileage), you still have moisture, soot and other contaminants going into the oil. The problem is they create acids and other bad things, running or not. The iron from your block may not care, but your bearings and aluminum parts will not like you much. Here is some food for thought-if you run down the road at 1600 rpm, in one hour your crankshaft spun on its bearings 96,000 times. If you drove just 6 hours today, it spun 576,000 times. In 1,000 hours it will have spun 96,000,000 times, 10,000 hour it sun 960,000,000 times, close to a billion times. A little acid can do a lot of damage.. And another thing that makes me cringe- when I see someone shut off the engine without a cool down for the turbo. The turbo can spin at 80,000 rpm and more. It will spin for a while after you shut the engine down- and after shut down it has no new oil circulating thru it- bad idea. The turbo deals with extreme hot gasses from the exhaust, and creates pressure on the other side of the turbo, both of which make lots of heat. Let the engine run just a couple of minutes to let the oil cool the bearings and your turbo will like a longer happier life. Also you won’t have burnt oil in the oil passages clogging up the oil delivery,. Even the best oil cannot lubricate and cool if it is not being pumped thru the bearing. But anything more than five minutes can create its own problems, as the engine does not create enough oil pressure to keep everything like the turbo properly lubricated and cooled. Also, the engine itself really does not build enough heat at idle, which means the fuel injected into the engine does not completely burn, and will wash the oil off the cylinder walls. The fuel can also end up in the engine oil, which can create other problems. If for some reason you must run the engine for a longer time then 5 minutes, run the engine at fast idle. This will help somewhat, as the engine will build more heat, but shutting it off will save fuel, wear and tear. 


7. Fuel and oil additives 
Are additives a good idea? I do believe that some of the diesel fuel today needs a little help for certain engines. Cummins in particular demands a high lubricity fuel for the injectors and pump. I can honestly say my engine runs smoother when I add schaeffers fuel additive to it. Most fuel should be fine, but injectors and fuel pumps are expensive. When I had fuel tested years ago, yes we had batches that did not meet Cummins specs as far as lubricity even from some of the top fuel producers. I believe they are now better, but I don’t know for sure where the fuel came from. Try not to store diesel too long- even the big oil companies labs themselves admitted to me the new diesel fuels are not as chemically stable as they once were, and nothing you can add will help that. And at the same time our engines have become much more finicky as to what we put in them. But also remember that storing with low or almost empty tanks will invite condensation into your fuel tank. They refine diesel differently now to extract more fuel out of a barrel of oil, but it wants to chemically revert back to what it was before (crude oil). Water in fuel is horrible on soo many levels, and invite bugs to grow (black + green slime). These microbes actually live in the water in your tank, and eat the fuel, and live right at what they call the fuel-water interface. They clog filters, injectors, lines and anything else. They are a nightmare to clean once you have them- only buy quality fuel from someplace that moves a lot of it. They have treatments for microbes, and if your unit sits a lot you should think about using it. Bottom line is drive your motor home and burn that fuel! And as far as bio, I can tell you that even though we did everything we could to be earth friendly (hybrids, recycling everything, etc) the major engine manufacturers really, really wanted us to stay away from bio because of many problems down the road. I know I have it in my fuel tank right now, but I avoid it if I can. 


Additives for oil are another matter entirely. The choice is a personal one, but I have firsthand experience and thousands of actual oil analysis tests, and also several tests trying numerous different additives. Bottom line? No way would I personally ever change the chemical makeup of these newer oils after seeing the results. But up to you, just be aware if the claim is too good. How can a product work well when there are literally hundreds of different oil additive packages, and then do so well with every one? Even if it did help one property of oil, will it hurt another? Oil has many jobs, not just one. 


What oils do I personally run? I am scared to say this, but I run synthetic in every thing except the engine. Brands are a personal preference, but realize all major players make a good product. Most additive packages are not made by the big oil producers, and are farmed out to specialty companies that do only that. I am NOT trying to sway anyone’s opinion on what to use anywhere. Transmissions are high load animals, and have high heat loads also. They have less chance of outside contamination, and should run a long time on quality oil. Steering, slide motors, hydraulic fans, leveling systems, differentials, and pretty much anything else have a smaller chance of outside contamination and should be fine with any quality oil. But that huge air pump we call an engine (gas or diesel) is subject to many different outside sources, and consumes many dirty, nasty things, and creates them also. I would run synthetic in the engine if I had a lab in my garage to test the oil at least yearly, and actually use synthetic to its capacity. But since I don’t, I would rather change the oil in my Cummins once a year. Would synthetic be better? Most likely, but I really am fine with 500k out of my engine. I believe the bus will disintegrate and fall apart around the running engine at that mileage. Everyone has their own game plan and that is up to them. I did not try to start controversy, only to clear things up for a few people on what oil does and how. Am I obsessed with oil? Yes, probably. There is so much more but I need shut up now. 


I do have a lot of confidence in these machines though. In transit vehicles, it is not uncommon to run for 300,000 up to 800,000 miles or more before teardown on just dino oil. You must understand that for 14 hours, they went 2 blocks full throttle, and then slam on the brakes. 2 blocks full throttle…… When analyzed I can tell you at least 75% were destroyed by outside influences, and not just worn out even with the mileage they accumulated and how they were driven. Considering how most of the people in this group baby their machines, I want to shake the hand of somebody who actually wears out a diesel engine in a motor home. Heck, I want to buy them a beer also.. Parts fail with catastrophic results, and contaminants routinely get in and do serious damage, but,.Actually wear out?? Hard to do. Norm 


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Re: Oil*

Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:35 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

avfordguy

As a retired field service engineer for Ford, i am fully aware that this artical is spot on, manufacturers go through a very long process to determine what oil works best. Always adhere to the manufactures recomendations

GordieKaltz
04 dip 330 ISC

 

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I knew I had saved a PDF file that gave comparisons of various diesel oils based on their quality and performance.

I can't seem to find a date but it may still be relevant.

On edit - go to https://www.turbodieselregister.com/ and look up various TDR's as to what they have to offer for information.

 

Diesel Engine Oil Comparison.pdf

Edited by Dr4Film
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3 hours ago, sunriseranch2000 said:

Fellow Campers,

Here is some info I collected from the group years ago.

   


Re: Oil*

 

Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:54 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

 

richoliveria

 

I WENT BACK AND CLEANED THIS UP TO MAKE IT MORE READABLE. 


Rich O. 


Sorry this is so long, but… 

My name is Norm, and worked at one of the largest transit agencies in the U.S. The last five years I worked on oil analysis and how to extend drive train life on trucks, buses and train cars. I was heavily involved in failure analysis of equipment, and ways of cutting operating costs. Over those years I worked with the labs of two major oil and fuel producers. Utilizing 4 private labs we tested over 12,000 engine, transmission, hydraulic system, differential and more oil samples, and saved countless dollars. I am not that smart, but met many people over those years who are that smart, and had a bad habit of asking way too many questions. I am just hoping to help prolong the life of our equipment. 

1. What is synthetic oil? Why is it better? 


Is it better? Lubricants are a slippery mystery to many people. If I can I will try to clear up a few things. Many think synthetic is the holy grail of oil. The vast majority of it is actually dino oil, but refined to a totally different level. The oil molecules are manipulated so they are almost all the same size. Think of marbles with a board on top. Different size marbles will only somewhat support the board, but if all the marbles are the same size the board has much more support- and less wear of the board as you move it. It flows better at cold temps due to all the molecules being almost the same size; they don’t fight each other as different sizes would. It has been refined to a much higher degree as far as the cleanliness of the oil. Synthetic is cleaner oil from the get go- and due to that it lowers wear. We are talking at the micron level. Imagine that when an engine is running the bearing journal clearance is one micron. (Very very small) If a ¾ micron particle enters the bearing, the oil is taller then the particle, so no wear. But if the particle is 1.5 micron, either the particle doesn’t get in or it scrapes a tiny piece of tin off the bearing. Do this repeatedly and you have problems. The majority of engine wear is from fine dust. If you work on an engine and a few larger pieces of dirt get in, it is usually caught by the filter. It is actually the smaller dust particles 3 to 5 microns that actually create most wear in an engine. The problem with larger pieces is as they scrape engine components, they make many smaller pieces, and those now create wear. 


2. Diesel fuel, or fuel dilution 


Put even a small amount of diesel fuel in the oil and the 1 micron gap becomes smaller, and the oil can’t support the weight of the crankshaft as well as it should. The fuel would have a smaller molecule size, thereby stressing the oil. Viscosity of the oil is loweredand all the oil gaps in the engine just got smaller- think different size marbles, so less support. And yes, the journal gap is actually about 1 micron when engine is running. 2% fuel dilution is a lot. It will lower the viscosity of your oil 


. 3. Viscosity and shear 


As far as viscosity, 5w30 is 5-weight oil. 15w40 is actually 15-weight oil. And no, the “w” does not mean weight, it actually means winter It means it has the additives to allow it to flow well in winter- or at least cold temperatures. What is the other number? It is how it will flow at a high temp. How? Additives, and a lot of it. Some oils are as much as 40% additives and 60 % oil. One additive is a polymer shaped like a worm. When it is cold, it curls into a small ball, like you and I. When warm, it stretches out. If I pour curled worms (cold) thru a funnel, they would pour pretty quickly as they are basically round. When hot and stretched out, they would have a harder time pouring thru a funnel thereby restricting flow. It works great until…. shear. When oil shears down those worms get all chopped up. They really don’t restrict the flow of oil anymore, and the oil is now in effect thinner, less viscosity at higher temps.. It can no longer reach the thickness of the higher number. Viscosity actually means “the resistance to flow” .A bad thing is when you overheat a engine. Everyone knows to fix a overheat problem right away, but many don’t change oil. If a piece of equipment overheats change the oil ASAP, as the polymers can be partly melted and may stick to everything in your engine. Ever see the black crud after overheating oil? It is actually a form of melted plastic wanting to clog up everything. Many other additives become depleted, or just don’t work as intended as before. And there are MANY different additives in oil protecting our equipment. 


4. Oil changes and filters Speaking of oil changes? 


Yes, very important. Don’t skimp on oil filters, as there are amazing differences between some them. Many aftermarket filters are great but if it is too cheap ask why. Better filters have silicone gaskets and something called anti-drain back valves inside made of silicone also, but cheap filters have rubber gaskets and thin paper gaskets inside. Some filters are bypass filters, which only filter a small amount of oil, but do a better job of it. Any filter is a compromise between flow and filtration rate. If you have a very small micron rating, it will clean very well but have low flow rates. Higher micron means larger pore size, but filters more oil. Some filters have both inside the same housing, and if your engine is designed to use that filter, I would really spend the extra money to use it. A micron rating of a filter is almost useless unless it is it’s a “absolute” micron rating. That means that almost nothing over that size will get thru. Just saying a filter has a micron rating means it will catch most of that size particle, but also will allow larger particles thru and is designed that way. Window screening can have a micron rating, as it will stop some small particles too, but I wouldn’t use it in my engine (exaggeration). Also, when oil is cold, it really won’t flow thru a filter, so it bypasses the filter altogether. You have very little filtration until the oil warms up and can pass thru the filter, so be gentle on your equipment until operating temperature.. One more consideration to think about is top up oil. Whatever oil you put in at your oil change, top up using the exact same oil until the next oil change if possible. Only switch brands or weights at oil change if possible. Most any reputable oil supplier will give you a superior product, whether dino or synthetic. The problem is each manufacturer uses a different additive package to achieve the same goal. SAE (society of automotive engineers) dictates they must all be compatible. But that is to their minimum standard for a given classification. When you mix additive packages, certain additive may actually bind up another, or render a certain anti wear property ineffective. Sometimes-even worse. I once actually dumped 30,000 gallons new (4 tanker trucks) oil into a waste oil tank as the oil caused many thousands of dollars of damage, and was very difficult to figure out what was going on. Try to explain THAT to your purchasing department! (it was not engine oil- it was for something else) It was the right oil but the oil from 2 different manufacturers mixed and created devastating results. It shouldn’t have, but did. Even different weight oil from the same manufacturer can have different additive packages and may not play nice together. Most major oil producers put in different trace elements into their oil so if you have a problem down the road they can tell right away thru oil analysis if it is actually their oil. And remember that it can be up to 40% additives! When to change oil? Every vehicle is different and driven differently. In some countries they change oil by operating hours, and other places they change oil by the amount of fuel consumed by the engine, which if you think about it makes the most sense out of everything. The more fuel consumed, the more work performed, less fuel less work. Diesel oil gets black almost immediately, and is not uncommon. Engines make soot and other byproducts of combustion, some of which end up in the oil. The oil has chemicals that are used as dispersants, which hold the tiny particles in suspension. Its job is to keep the particles separate and not let them touch each other so that even under pressure they don’t form a particle that would be larger then the oil film, which would then create wear. When the oil can’t hold any more particles, wear starts. The small particles are attracted to each other, and form larger particles. At that point it is larger then the thickness of the oil on the parts but still too small for the filter to catch. When the oil can’t hold any more particles, it falls out and becomes sludge. Want cheaters way to find out where your oil stands? Here is a rudimentary oil analysis test: Take a white business card or heavy card stock with no gloss coating. Pull the dipstick and put one drop of oil on back of card. Leave card flat 8 hours. Oil will soak in and make a stain. If the stain is even darkness all the way from center to outer edge of ring the oil is dispersing the contaminants, as it should. If stain is darker in the middle but gets lighter to outside the oil cant hold any more contaminants and should be changed. If the very center is very dark and has a sudden lightness to the outer ring (very dark to very light) you most likely have Diesel fuel in the oil. There are other test but get harder to perform. This is only a guide, different oils have different properties, but is accurate quite often. I have used this as a field test to determine if there are engine problems. If someone changes your oil and says it will be synthetic, watch them. If they pour your oil from sealed jugs, ok. If they use the hose, there may be a problem. No synthetic manufacturer delivers pure synthetic in bulk tanks as far as I know. They are proud of the product, and want the pure product going into your equipment. They supply quart, gallon, 5 gallon and 55-gallon drums as far as I have seen. I believe I heard some deliver in a 130 gallon tote, which could be pumped thru lines, but have not seen it. In bulk, they have no control over the tank in the repair shop, or the tanker hauling it. Was it clean to begin with or did it have a leftover product from something else? Who knows- tankers can be nasty animals- Yes I have caught contamination in tanks from bulk haulers. Most are good, but synthetic manufacturers will not risk their reputation on someone else. It would be almost impossible to clean a whole tanker to the ISO standards most synthetics claim to be at. 


5. Water and antifreeze 


Water or glycol will destroy bearings very quickly. Most oils will emulsify -or hold a small amount of water, and if in tiny amounts like condensation it won’t do much harm. Dino oils are actually better at it then synthetic. When the water can’t be emulsified into the oil, you get droplets. They may be microscopic, but still droplets. What happens to destroy a bearing is that the tiny drop of water enters a bearing journal along with the oil, then the piston and injector fires. The pressure on that bearing is incredible. It instantly turns the water to extreme high-pressure steam, literally blowing a tiny piece of tin from your bearing. Bearings do not like being pressure washed or steam cleaned, and at 2000 RPM it doesn’t take long to destroy bearings. It has higher pressure in the journal than your piston has compression in the cylinder, and that pressure was enough to ignite the diesel fuel on top of the piston! Be very careful when pressure washing your equipment or driving thru high water. If you want to wash your engine do it before a oil change. There is a old saying that a dirty diesel is a happy diesel, and I think I know why. Whenever you start or stop your equipment there will be a certain amount of condensation inside. Hopefully when you drive it will get hot enough for long enough to remove that moisture from the oil. If you don’t drive the engine hard enough- or long enough- you can “wet out the filter”, which simply means the paper of the filter gets wet. Once this happens, no matter how much oil pressure you develop, you simply can’t force the oil thru the filter, and the oil will go thru the bypass valve and not get filtered. If the bypass valve doesn’t open, you can blow the filter or something worse. Oil with no moisture is your friend. 


6. What can I do? 
Change your fluids as per recommendations. If you feel inclined, do it sooner, but not later. One full year on oil is a long time if you really think about it. Even though you may not max out on mileage (or even run very little mileage), you still have moisture, soot and other contaminants going into the oil. The problem is they create acids and other bad things, running or not. The iron from your block may not care, but your bearings and aluminum parts will not like you much. Here is some food for thought-if you run down the road at 1600 rpm, in one hour your crankshaft spun on its bearings 96,000 times. If you drove just 6 hours today, it spun 576,000 times. In 1,000 hours it will have spun 96,000,000 times, 10,000 hour it sun 960,000,000 times, close to a billion times. A little acid can do a lot of damage.. And another thing that makes me cringe- when I see someone shut off the engine without a cool down for the turbo. The turbo can spin at 80,000 rpm and more. It will spin for a while after you shut the engine down- and after shut down it has no new oil circulating thru it- bad idea. The turbo deals with extreme hot gasses from the exhaust, and creates pressure on the other side of the turbo, both of which make lots of heat. Let the engine run just a couple of minutes to let the oil cool the bearings and your turbo will like a longer happier life. Also you won’t have burnt oil in the oil passages clogging up the oil delivery,. Even the best oil cannot lubricate and cool if it is not being pumped thru the bearing. But anything more than five minutes can create its own problems, as the engine does not create enough oil pressure to keep everything like the turbo properly lubricated and cooled. Also, the engine itself really does not build enough heat at idle, which means the fuel injected into the engine does not completely burn, and will wash the oil off the cylinder walls. The fuel can also end up in the engine oil, which can create other problems. If for some reason you must run the engine for a longer time then 5 minutes, run the engine at fast idle. This will help somewhat, as the engine will build more heat, but shutting it off will save fuel, wear and tear. 


7. Fuel and oil additives 
Are additives a good idea? I do believe that some of the diesel fuel today needs a little help for certain engines. Cummins in particular demands a high lubricity fuel for the injectors and pump. I can honestly say my engine runs smoother when I add schaeffers fuel additive to it. Most fuel should be fine, but injectors and fuel pumps are expensive. When I had fuel tested years ago, yes we had batches that did not meet Cummins specs as far as lubricity even from some of the top fuel producers. I believe they are now better, but I don’t know for sure where the fuel came from. Try not to store diesel too long- even the big oil companies labs themselves admitted to me the new diesel fuels are not as chemically stable as they once were, and nothing you can add will help that. And at the same time our engines have become much more finicky as to what we put in them. But also remember that storing with low or almost empty tanks will invite condensation into your fuel tank. They refine diesel differently now to extract more fuel out of a barrel of oil, but it wants to chemically revert back to what it was before (crude oil). Water in fuel is horrible on soo many levels, and invite bugs to grow (black + green slime). These microbes actually live in the water in your tank, and eat the fuel, and live right at what they call the fuel-water interface. They clog filters, injectors, lines and anything else. They are a nightmare to clean once you have them- only buy quality fuel from someplace that moves a lot of it. They have treatments for microbes, and if your unit sits a lot you should think about using it. Bottom line is drive your motor home and burn that fuel! And as far as bio, I can tell you that even though we did everything we could to be earth friendly (hybrids, recycling everything, etc) the major engine manufacturers really, really wanted us to stay away from bio because of many problems down the road. I know I have it in my fuel tank right now, but I avoid it if I can. 


Additives for oil are another matter entirely. The choice is a personal one, but I have firsthand experience and thousands of actual oil analysis tests, and also several tests trying numerous different additives. Bottom line? No way would I personally ever change the chemical makeup of these newer oils after seeing the results. But up to you, just be aware if the claim is too good. How can a product work well when there are literally hundreds of different oil additive packages, and then do so well with every one? Even if it did help one property of oil, will it hurt another? Oil has many jobs, not just one. 


What oils do I personally run? I am scared to say this, but I run synthetic in every thing except the engine. Brands are a personal preference, but realize all major players make a good product. Most additive packages are not made by the big oil producers, and are farmed out to specialty companies that do only that. I am NOT trying to sway anyone’s opinion on what to use anywhere. Transmissions are high load animals, and have high heat loads also. They have less chance of outside contamination, and should run a long time on quality oil. Steering, slide motors, hydraulic fans, leveling systems, differentials, and pretty much anything else have a smaller chance of outside contamination and should be fine with any quality oil. But that huge air pump we call an engine (gas or diesel) is subject to many different outside sources, and consumes many dirty, nasty things, and creates them also. I would run synthetic in the engine if I had a lab in my garage to test the oil at least yearly, and actually use synthetic to its capacity. But since I don’t, I would rather change the oil in my Cummins once a year. Would synthetic be better? Most likely, but I really am fine with 500k out of my engine. I believe the bus will disintegrate and fall apart around the running engine at that mileage. Everyone has their own game plan and that is up to them. I did not try to start controversy, only to clear things up for a few people on what oil does and how. Am I obsessed with oil? Yes, probably. There is so much more but I need shut up now. 


I do have a lot of confidence in these machines though. In transit vehicles, it is not uncommon to run for 300,000 up to 800,000 miles or more before teardown on just dino oil. You must understand that for 14 hours, they went 2 blocks full throttle, and then slam on the brakes. 2 blocks full throttle…… When analyzed I can tell you at least 75% were destroyed by outside influences, and not just worn out even with the mileage they accumulated and how they were driven. Considering how most of the people in this group baby their machines, I want to shake the hand of somebody who actually wears out a diesel engine in a motor home. Heck, I want to buy them a beer also.. Parts fail with catastrophic results, and contaminants routinely get in and do serious damage, but,.Actually wear out?? Hard to do. Norm 


 

 

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4c

 

Re: Oil*

 

Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:35 pm (PDT) . Posted by:

 

avfordguy

 

As a retired field service engineer for Ford, i am fully aware that this artical is spot on, manufacturers go through a very long process to determine what oil works best. Always adhere to the manufactures recomendations

GordieKaltz
04 dip 330 ISC

 

 

Thanks for the post. Gordy was a great guy and a regular contributor on this site.

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5 hours ago, Dr4Film said:

I knew I had saved a PDF file that gave comparisons of various diesel oils based on their quality and performance.

I can't seem to find a date but it may still be relevant.

On edit - go to https://www.turbodieselregister.com/ and look up various TDR's as to what they have to offer for information.

 

Diesel Engine Oil Comparison.pdf 166.64 kB · 11 downloads

Just when I thought I had my mind made up . . .

Good articles!

- bob

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