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detergent oil on babbit bearings


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  #1  
Old 06-08-2005, 08:34:57 AM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
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Default detergent oil on babbit bearings

I have heard that detergent oil will deteriorate babbit bearings. Is this true?
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2005, 10:26:08 AM
Chris Curtis
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

I could be wrong but I do not see how the detergents in modern oil would hurt the babbit. I have heard of detergent oil washing the build up of crud and varnish out of old engines rings and cylinders and causing them to smoke. Perhaps the detergent could clean that same glazing off of babbit bearings giving them the appearance of becoming loose, but I doubt it would actually degrade the babbit itself.
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Old 06-08-2005, 10:49:55 AM
Joe Morris Joe Morris is offline
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

I've got engines that I have been runing for 22 years useing detergent oil with no problem Joe Morris
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Old 06-08-2005, 10:59:55 AM
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

Almost every auto and truck engine on earth runs with steel backed babbitted bearing inserts.
The only time detergent oil might have a negative effect is in an engine that was ALREADY marginal and burning oil. The detergents will clean it up and turn it into a REAL oil burner...
If your engine is GOOD or re-built...have no fear.
The only difference you will notice is you won't wind up with 3 inches of sludge in the oil pan somewhere down the line.
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Old 06-08-2005, 11:07:09 AM
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Morris
I've got engines that I have been runing for 22 years useing detergent oil with no problem Joe Morris
Well I have engines that I have been running with Detergent oil a lot longer than that and never had any problems. Modern oil has additives to improve the viscosity index and stands up to high loads better than the old stuff. Also doesnt turn to Glue when it get cold like the old stuff.

If you have to rely on Dirt to keep your compression and oil where it belongs you need repairs anyway.... True detergent oil will Very slowly clean an engine BUT don't hold your breath while it happens.. I still say some people have their Oil and Laundry Soap mixed up...

I use modern Detergent oil in everything I have except Steam Cylinders. That includes Model T Fords, Oilpulls, Gas Engines ect... About the only thing you have to worry about is Modern GL5 will very slowly corrode Brass so it's best to use GL4 in your old gear boxes with Brass or Bronze parts....
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Ken Majeski, Ellsworth Wis.
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Old 06-08-2005, 04:34:59 PM
Dick Welty Dick Welty is offline
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Smile Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

As most of you already know I love anyting old, old engines, old antiques, old equipment and old people being one myself. But the truth is that old isn't always better I know that I'm not better, maybe smarter but not better..

If all of these things were better we would still be making them and using them, old people excepted.

About the only thing that I have my doubts about is Gasoline and that is because of the environmental concerns that we do need to be somewhat interested in. No I am not an invironmentalist but I do have to breath the air and drink the water while I am here in this world.

That being said I do use regular So. California pump gas regular in my engines.

I some times top off tanks that have 3 year old residual gas in them and don't have any problems unless the check ball is stuck or the gas line is plugged.

I believe that the better lubrication that we get with modern lubricants is going to keep some of this old Iron around and running better than the old stuff.

It is hard to get hard grease anymore but grease is cheap enough that I just turn the grease cup down more frequently and buy more grease and use more rags to clean up the subsiquent mess.

If I had a running engine that has not been restored and is carboned up and not smoking or exhibiting some bad symptoms like spitting sparks or backfiring then I might think about not using detergent oil as it will certainly do what it is designed to do which is desolve deposits so that they can be filtered or drained out.

Dick
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Old 06-08-2005, 11:03:55 PM
Mac Leod Mac Leod is offline
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

ya know, being a young guy, I do not remember the old stuff (boy how I wish I coulda been around to work on this stuff when it was new)---the only thing I think I would realy like, thats engine related (besides a few thousand old engines) would be the old brown fiber grease...least ways I think that is what the stuff is...perhaps not the best for old engines, but every time I smell some, it reminds me of the first time I saw my jaeger...kinda odd I am sure, but just the same...would not minde a 55 gallon drum of that stuff.

ohhh well

Mac Leod
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Old 06-09-2005, 01:29:28 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

about the only thing you do not want to use detergent oil in is a 2 cycle engine. For them, you must use NON Detergent oil. The detergent in the oil, when it burns, leaves a nasty residue that will accelerate wear on a 2 stroke.
Andrew
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Old 06-09-2005, 03:59:37 AM
Dick Welty Dick Welty is offline
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Smile Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

Mac Leod,

You are right about the smells and the older you get the more important memories they seem bring to mind.

At a recient parts swap I talked simeone down on the price of a couple of cans of war surplus grease calling it stink grease because that was what I called the last can of surplus grease I had used many years ago.

A few months later I decided to use some of that grease in the cups of one of my engines thinking that it was going to stink I almost didn't open the can because I thought that I might not want to stink up the engine but when I did I realized that it wasn't the same stinky smell at all and found myself somehow dissapointed.

It was kind of like when I smell a light skunk smell when driving in the country it brings back memories of when I was a city boy growing up and smelling that smell only when we were on vacation. Now I live in the country and while I still like the light smell on the road I don't like any skunk smell at home.

The critters not only chew my garden hoses to pieces but punch pin holes every few feet so that when turn them on after I repair them they sometimes look like a soaker hose.

It's 1 am here and I can't sleep so thats probably why I am rambling on more than usual like Rosana Rosana Dana on Saterday Night Live, any way I to like the smells and especially the smell of old grease, stale gas and smoke with the hint co castor oil.

Dick
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Old 06-09-2005, 06:47:19 AM
Inter Bloke Inter Bloke is offline
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

About the only reason some people say old engines must have non detergent oil is that modern vehicle engines all have full flow oil filters. These rely on the oil holding impurities in suspension so that the filter can take out all the small particles and rubish. Old systems relied on the particles settling out, thats where the sludge that used to form in old engine sumps came from. Non detergent oil lets these settle to the bottom. When you use detergent oil in a non detergent system, the small particles are surposed to be held in suspension and go round and round causing wear as they repeatedly go through the process of lubricating the mechanism.
In practce, it doesn't seem to be all that important. The amount of wear that this seems to cause is negligable, and I wouldn't worry too much if you want to use this type of oil in your engine. It's not a thing about oil eating your bearings, modern oils are very good, it's just about wear caused by particles held in suspension. It is imporant though to change your oil at regular intervals. As well as small particles, oil combines the sulphur in the oil with atmospheric oxygen to create H2SO3 (sulphurus acid) in small amounts in the sump. This can cause small amounts of corrosion, but again doesn't apear to be a real problem, just something to be aware of.
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Old 06-09-2005, 08:37:29 AM
BobH BobH is offline
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

There may be a little confusion with modern gear oil. GL-5 gear oil is known to attack red metals but I dont think there are any in babbit. Bob
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Old 06-10-2005, 12:04:46 PM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

You wanna smell a smell that'll bring back memories, try running your flywheel (LOW COMPRESSION!) engine on Coleman fuel. Coleman fuel is petroleum naptha which must be very similar to what used to be called "white gas" in the days before leaded gas.

When I run my Hoyt-Clagwell now and get a whiff of the exhaust, it reminds me of when I was a kid and mowed the lawn with a Briggs powered machine that ran on white gas.

Oh, yes - I was talking to my 88 year old mechanic friend a couple days ago and we got on the subject of naptha (which he uses as a solvent). He said that one time years ago, he had to go somewhere in his flathead six Dodge and was about out of gas. He filled the tank with naptha and it ran fine as long as he didn't make it pull too hard. He said the low octane made 'ignition knock' pretty severe although he drove the car gently so it didn't knock and it didn't hurt anything.

Ahhh......memories!

Take care - Elden
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Old 06-16-2005, 12:55:49 AM
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

does the fact that our old engines don't run hot enough to burn off impurities (unburned gasoline, condensation, blah blah blah) have anything to do with which oil is better?
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:12:35 AM
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Ray Cardoza Ray Cardoza is offline
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

Most of the engine collectors I have talked with use detergent oil on their bearings and other oil needing surfaces like the gears that need a few dropps of oil here an there.
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Old 06-17-2005, 10:01:21 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike S
I have heard that detergent oil will deteriorate babbit bearings. Is this true?
Mike:

I'll weigh-in here.

I've been fooling with machinery for most of my 63 years. One thing that's a constant is that the best oil of many years ago is not as good as the worst of the modern oils.

In other words, use whatever modern oil you have at hand as long as it is suited to the purpose. Use gear oil for gears. "Motor" oil for engines, etc.

Take care - Elden
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:57:11 PM
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

While were on the subject of oils. I have been thinking of using chainsaw bar oil on the open gears of my engines as it is tacky and wont fly off. Anyone have any Pros or cons to this or something else to use?I know there use to be a grease for open gears on heavy equipment that wasnt supposed to collect dust but I dont know where to get it. BobRR
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Old 06-17-2005, 04:45:03 PM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRR
While were on the subject of oils. I have been thinking of using chainsaw bar oil on the open gears of my engines as it is tacky and wont fly off. Anyone have any Pros or cons to this or something else to use?I know there use to be a grease for open gears on heavy equipment that wasnt supposed to collect dust but I dont know where to get it. BobRR
I don't know about the bar oil but it's gotta be better than the original. When I had my chain drive American LaFrance, I tried something in a spray can called "open gear grease". It dried to a tar-like consistency.

Didn't work worth a darn on the chains but probably would be good for gears.

BTW, I eventually piped engine oil from the fuel pump to a dual Gits oiler and then piped it back to two brushes that lightly rubbed against the chains. All it took was a drop or two a minute once in a while and they stayed "moist".

Take care - Elden
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Old 06-18-2005, 12:53:54 AM
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

Thanks Elden. On your Le France was it a 12 cyl. with the valves sideways? Friend was tell me about one last week that the valves were sideways,could be removed without removing the head and ran off the cam? Guy that has it is making somekind of muti passenger motorcycle?? BobRR
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Old 06-18-2005, 01:00:14 AM
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

Thanks Elden. On your Le France was it a 12 cyl. with the valves sideways? Friend was tell me about one last week that it is overhead valves mounted sideways,valves could be removed without removing the head and ran off the cam? Guy that has it is making somekind of muti passenger motorcycle?? Sounds verry interesting. BobRR
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Old 06-18-2005, 09:51:41 AM
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Default Re: detergent oil on babbit bearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRR
Thanks Elden. On your Le France was it a 12 cyl. with the valves sideways? Friend was tell me about one last week that the valves were sideways,could be removed without removing the head and ran off the cam? Guy that has it is making somekind of muti passenger motorcycle?? BobRR
My converted ALAF was a 1917 model that had the 570 cubic inch 4-banger with single valves and single mag ignition.

The type of engine it had was what is called a "T head". The valves are in the block but the intake valves were on one side of the engine running on their own cam and the exhaust valves were on the other side, also running on their own cam.

To remove the valves, there was a big cast-iron plug screwed into the cylinder blocks right above them in order to get them out.

Below is a picture of my "Model T Killer", which I licensed as a 1917 LaFrance Model 2014 Raceabout.

You don't have to be crazy but it helps

Take care - Elden
http://home.cybertron.com/~edurand
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