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Synthetic Oil thoughts


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  #21  
Old 02-13-2014, 04:52:31 PM
Jim Marcozzi Jim Marcozzi is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

If you're worried about heat, get an oil cooler kit from Summit Racing or Jeg's for about $150 and install it. It's just a casting that sandwiches between the block and the oil filter. The kit comes with all of parts to fit common filter diameters and threads pitches. I'd rather run a good cooler with regular oil than having no cooler and synthetic any day for an air-cooled engine. Remember- these engines were designed on regular oil and many ran for 5000+ hours without ever seeing a drop of synthetic. I've used these on turbo engines and dropped oil temp significantly with them. Just need a small fan on them. For stationary applications, you can even submerge or spray them with water controlled by an electric water valve if you really want to shed some heat.


http://www.jegs.com/p/Derale/Derale-...35937/10002/-1
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  #22  
Old 02-13-2014, 06:04:16 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

Jim, yes Onan engines were designed around the best oils available at that time. After discussing my concerns about lube oil with an Onan technician, I still recall his comment to the affect that 90% of the wear occurs in the first 15 minutes of operation.

Now couple that thought with the superior lubrication properties of synthetics, and realize the lube oil provides two important functions, namely provide the film strength between moving parts and also to coling.

If one wants to go to all the trouble and expense of changing viscosity with weather conditions that's ok, but with the synthetics, I have found that is not necessary and still maintain very reliable operation.
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  #23  
Old 02-13-2014, 10:31:17 PM
Jim Marcozzi Jim Marcozzi is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

Any engine gets most of its wear while warming up, regardless of lube. When cold, the clearances are off. With synthetic, you still get the wear since when cold, you have wide clearances. In fact, many studies show that a watery synthetic oil causes more main and rod bearing wear when cold since the viscosity is not thick to support the wider clearances when cold and the crank and bearing pound harder with thin oil. That's why you hear more piston slap on certain engines when cold, such as Diesels and hi-performance engines without an offset wrist pin.
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  #24  
Old 02-13-2014, 11:14:20 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

Jim, I do not necessarily disagree with you, however the proof is in the pudding as they say. For example, I have a 1997 Camry 4 cylinder which stays outside all year, Winter and Summer, and has used Mobile synthetic oil from the get go and is still running well, gets ~ 25-28 MPG and has 221,000 miles on the odometer.

The only thing I take away from your comments is the reference to "watery synthetic oil"?
To me that implies poor oil discipline and/improper engine operation. Wow! I hope you are exaggerating a bit, aren't you?
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  #25  
Old 02-13-2014, 11:33:44 PM
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Jim McIntyre Jim McIntyre is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

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Originally Posted by Leon N. View Post
...r the proof is in the pudding as they say. For example, I have a 1997 Camry 4 cylinder which stays outside all year, Winter and Summer, and has used Mobile synthetic oil from the get go and is still running well, gets ~ 25-28 MPG and has 221,000 miles on the odometer.
IMO, that's more like an anecdote than proof...
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  #26  
Old 02-13-2014, 11:35:05 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is online now
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

I believe that the phrase "watery synthetic oil" was directed toward the water-like viscosity of same, not water in the crankcase. It would be very difficult to convince me to use anything other than 15w40 Shell Rotella T or similar in my Onans.
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  #27  
Old 02-14-2014, 12:05:53 AM
Jim Marcozzi Jim Marcozzi is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

"Wattery synthetic"- very low viscosity, low surface tension oil.
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  #28  
Old 02-14-2014, 08:33:49 AM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

I hear ya. Talking about oil is like talking about grounding. Some of us old farts have to get up and go shoveling. I will let it rest right there.
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  #29  
Old 02-14-2014, 10:39:29 AM
Roland Hayes Roland Hayes is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

I would like to add this information from my experience,

I used to fit many new performance solid lifter cams to Ford CVH road and track car engines and in the beginning had many problems on the CVH engine with the new cams scuffing the lifters leading to very rapid failure. I did develop several techniques to reduce the tendency for scuffing but by far the most important thing I learned to stop the initial failures was in the choice of oil. After much testing I found that the best oil by far was Valvoline Racing 20W/50 followed by Pennsoil 2W/50 both non synthetic grades. I was never able to get any success whatsoever with synthetic oils (of the day) for new cam break in with this particular engine even when using the special ZDP Cam Lubes supplied with the performance cams. At the time this was well known problem with the Ford CVH engine as it already had very high pressure loadings between the cams and lifters on the standard engine let alone when a performance cam with a more aggressive profile and stronger valve springs etc. was installed.
Anyway..
One day the phone rang and a chap introduced himself as the Chief Mechanic of a nearby Ford Main Dealer, he was quite upset as I recall having had an ongoing problem with a car in his workshop that was in for a new standard Ford solid lifter cam and followers to be installed into a Ford Escort RS1600i.
Apparently, the engine had already munched 2 brand new cams and lifter sets and was rapidly turning into a money pit as these RS1600i cam/lifter kits were very expensive.
The guy had heard of us and was asking for advice about what was causing the problem, my first question (obviously) was 'what oil are you using', the guy became very defensive about oil, 'DEFINITELY NOT THE OIL' was the repeated mantra, 'NOT POSSIBLE FOR THE OIL TO BE CAUSING THE PROBLEM' he kept repeating in reply to my question about what oil was being used, I knew the whole story by this stage. I told him that he was using Castrol RSR synthetic oil to which he affirmed he was but as this oil was $100 for a 1(US) gallon jug, it must be the best oil available (surely) he reasoned.
I did my best to explain to him that he needed a non synthetic oil for the break in but he was hard to convince, I asked him if he had Ford 20W/50 non synthetic oil in the workshop which he replied of course, this is a Ford Main Dealer, the stores are full of it at around $5.00 for 5 litres, thats what you should be using I told him, normal cheap Ford 20W/50 oil,.
He argued some more but I convinced him to do it, I told him that after 2 hours on the non synthetic oil he could go back to the synthetic if he wanted as by that time the cam would be fully broken in and no longer a potential problem.
The next day that Ford Chief Mechanic phoned me to say that he had done exactly as I told him and the car was now fixed, he thanked me and agreed that he had learned something important about oil from this experience.
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  #30  
Old 02-14-2014, 11:09:28 AM
John Ward John Ward is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne 440 View Post
I believe that the phrase "watery synthetic oil" was directed toward the water-like viscosity of same, not water in the crankcase. It would be very difficult to convince me to use anything other than 15w40 Shell Rotella T or similar in my Onans.
This is what I use in my Kubota tractor and will be what is used in my Onan's.

Quote: Ted Cool

"I run Mobil 1 0W-30 with 4 ounces of Red Line 81403 Break-in Oil Additive with Zinc added."

What are your thought Wayne 440 on adding this to the Rotella?
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  #31  
Old 02-14-2014, 12:23:02 PM
Ted_Cool Ted_Cool is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

The Rotella, being a diesel spec oil, probably has enough zinc in it already.

I'm sure the details are out on the web somewhere.

Zinc is funny stuff. Too much of it can do bad things too.
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  #32  
Old 02-14-2014, 03:16:03 PM
Jim Marcozzi Jim Marcozzi is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

Rotella's all that my Cummins ever sees!
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  #33  
Old 02-14-2014, 06:48:58 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is online now
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

John,

I don't think that 15w40 Rotella T (as it is made today) needs any additive. But having said this, the level of zinc in today's version is less than in the past. IF they change it again, I would certainly consider additives.

I firmly believe that the govt./oil companies are trying to kill off all older engines. First with the stuff they sell as "gasoline", then ULSD, and now taking zinc out of oil.
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  #34  
Old 02-16-2014, 11:03:37 AM
andylphoto andylphoto is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

I was going to start a thread with this, but this seems to be as good a place to ask it. I've printed out several threads from the archives, and plan to go back and re-read. But from what I've seen, there are some people who like conventional and some who like synthetic. I lean toward conventional.

With that in mind, the two main recommendations I've seen for conventional are Mobil One 0W20 and Shell Rotella 15W40. I've heard good things about Rotella, and already use it in my ATV. I'll be getting a 12.5 or 15.0 JC this spring, and am looking for additional input. The other significant factor in my case will be location--northern Michigan. Winter temperatures are regularly in the single digits to teens above zero. It is not unusual (and this winter not even uncommon) for temperatures in the zero to -20 range.

How would ambient outdoor temperature affect your thoughts and recommendations on an appropriate oil choice? I'm not an oil expert, but in my stack of stuff to read I do have a lengthy primer on oil that someone here had posted a link to--like on a Corvette forum or someplace.

Thanks for any thoughts.
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  #35  
Old 02-17-2014, 12:28:58 AM
Jim Marcozzi Jim Marcozzi is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

My JC starts just fine with conventional SAE30 in it. It was -9 last week and not a problem. I run it for a minute before transfer.
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  #36  
Old 02-17-2014, 12:43:20 AM
chapmajs chapmajs is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

We run Shell Rotella T6 5W40 synthetic in our two 1979 VW Rabbit diesels (1.6D engines from 80/81). They run observably cooler in the same kind of weather/driving than with non-synthetic oil. It does seem to get consumed a little faster. Having to start in below 0 *F, I figure the thinner synthetic getting to the overhead cam faster is probably more important than having to top the oil off a little more often.

With the Briggs ZZ from the PE-75 cleaned of sludge, I'll probably switch to synthetic with it as well. Not sure what weight yet!
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  #37  
Old 02-17-2014, 12:52:24 AM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is online now
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

The concessions I make for cold weather with my RDJC are (1) disable exercise and automatic start (2) use the water jacket heater (at reduced voltage) during significant severe weather events (3) avoid optional starts during cold weather unless said block heater has been used. In other words, I start the set from "cold" only when it is actually needed and I am around to take care of it.

I would do items 1 and 3 if I had a JC and lived in your area. Cold starts are hard on the engine, but realistically how many times will you need to start it at -10 degrees? By the way, use the largest battery you can afford, your choice of oil won't matter if it won't start.
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  #38  
Old 02-17-2014, 12:57:00 AM
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

Been using Shell Rotella T 10W30 and 15W40 in gaseous engines new and old for many years now. Never got a bad oil analysis back yet.

Just my 2 cents to this eternal question.
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  #39  
Old 02-17-2014, 02:42:50 AM
Jim Marcozzi Jim Marcozzi is offline
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

I have a Motorcraft battery from a F350 Powerstroke truck on the JC since I get new ones for free. I run a multi-stage charger on it that floats about 13.6V. No problems cranking. In the winter, I set the exerciser for an extra 10 minutes.

I don't get -10 that often. Most of our winters here in PA are actually mild and average about 25-30 degrees.
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  #40  
Old 02-17-2014, 10:26:45 AM
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Default Re: Synthetic Oil thoughts

Good morning all,

My two cents: both synthetic and conventional oils have their place.

I use synthetics in challenging environments - in performance cars that are driven hard, in trucks that tow, and in air-cooled power equipment where there is no radiator or cooling system to control operating temperature. (Example: my lawn tractor after mowing heavy grass for an hour has had engine oil temps of nearly 350 deg F!) Synthetics shine in these applications. Synthetics also shine in the cold weather - better cold-flow properties, getting oil to the moving parts faster.

I use conventional oils in environments that are not trying on motor oil. I include my Onan RDJC in that category - it's water cooled, it runs at most 10kW of its rated 15kW capacity, plus I put maybe 30 hours on it a year and change the oil about yearly. Synthetic is overkill in this application, in my opinion, so I just use Rotella T or Delo, depending on what's on sale at the Wally-World.

Earlier posters pointed out two things I'd like to reinforce:

1) Changing your oil frequently is more important than what oil you use. I choose to use synthetics in some applications, but I'll admit that I probably could use a conventional oil in these applications and change it more often.

2) Flat tappet engines need oils with high ZDDP (Zinc dialkyldithiophosphate) and/or other Extreme Pressure (EP) additives. ZDDP poisons catalytic converters, so car oils have been moving away from ZDDP and other EP additives as most new cars (all new cars?) do not have flat-tappet engines. Diesel engine oils still contain levels of EP additives needed for flat-tappet engines.

thanks much,
ben
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