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Antique Engine Archives All archived posts from 1999 to 2004 when SmokStak was on EnginAds. This is a read-only board.

Antique Engine Archives

Detergent Oil Vs. Non-detergent

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Old 12-12-2002, 11:44:50 PM
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Default Detergent Oil Vs. Non-detergent

Hello all. This subject has probably been visited before but I want to get your opinion on it. I has several engines that I am in the process of restoring. My question to you all is do I use non-detergent (30wt) or detergent (30wt)? Does it make a diffence if you switch between the two? Thanks folks
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Old 12-13-2002, 09:56:24 AM
Ken Fall
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Default Re: Detergent Oil Vs. Non-detergent

What I have been told is as follows. If it has a filter use detergent if it does not have a filter use non-detergent. I have been following this advice for years with good results. Ken
Old 12-13-2002, 08:05:46 PM
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Default Re: Detergent Oil Vs. Non-detergent

Most of the information you will get on that subject will be just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. Just remember "free advise is usually worth the price"

When I started driving over 50 years ago, all oil was non-detergent and any vehicle I ever drove had an oil filter. In those times it was recomended to change oil every 1,000 miles. Then along came Kendall with their 2,000 mile oil. What a big improvement. Now some mfgs. say to go 5,000 to 7,000 miles between changes. Apparently the modern (detergent) oil is that much better. Using non-detergent now is about like going back to the horse and buggy days.
Old 12-13-2002, 08:45:13 PM
Ken Majeski
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Default Re: Detergent Oil Vs. Non-detergent

Well my experience with non detergent oils is not good. First of all they are virtually additive free and will thicken up when cold and thin out when warm. Detergent oil will maintain it's viscosity better under heavy load and high temp conditions. These advantages will out weigh the downside of keeping dirt particles in suspension. I have a 6 hp Fuller & Johnson N that I saw quite a bit of wood with (This engine has a lot of miles on it) And I can notice better compression when hot with a high grade oil. After all many early gas engines and tractors are total waste system anyway. Most Model T Ford people use a high detergent oil as with the small crankshaft you need all the help you can get and trying to keep up with todays traffic can be hard on things. Also easier starting with the constant drag of the disc type clutch. I use modern heavy duty oil in everything from Gas Engines, Oilpull Tractors, Model T's and even the steam engine crosshead. And Yes, I work some of my engines

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Old 12-13-2002, 08:46:44 PM
Ed Deis
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Default Re: Detergent Oil Vs. Non-detergent

I would go with a name brand 10-40. Easy to come by and shouldn't create any problems. I've been using Valvoline for years in just about everything. Many of us have our own idea of what's best so make it simple for yourself. Ed
Old 12-13-2002, 08:50:45 PM
Paul Hokanson
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Default Re: Detergent Oil Vs. Non-detergent

I use a detergent 30 weight in all my oilers but what I use is from IHC and it is called LOW ASH OIL. It comes in quarts, gallons and 5 gallon pails. It is available at any IHC dealer. The thing about low ash oil is no black smoke, no fouled plugs, and excellent lubrication. It was created by IHC I guess, but I see now that Stihl now has a simular oil for their two stroke engines. I bought a six pack a couple of weeks ago, mixed a gallon for the snow thrower, fired it up and WALLA---- no smoke! Now all we need is snow. Cheers Paul
Old 12-13-2002, 08:54:09 PM
Elden DuRand
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Default Re: Detergent Oil Vs. Non-detergent


I thought I'd weigh in on this one. I have used detergent oil in every car/engine I've ever owned except my first car, a Model A that had a VERY leaky rear main. For that one, I tapped a barrel of well-aged crankcase drainings. Worked fine!

For the past few years, I've used a major brand Diesel rated 15w-40 oil in everything, including flywheel engines, model engines, lawnmowers Diesel Benz and 6B Cummins in the motorhome. No problems whatsoever.

At least, that's my opinion and it's worth exactly what you paid for it....... :-)

Take care - Elden
Old 12-13-2002, 10:51:03 PM
D. Smith
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Default Re: Detergent Oil Vs. Non-detergent

I agree with Ed and others, the oils we have today are so much better than the old days, it does not matter, you can go to Happy NAPA land and get their house brand oil and use it with confdince !! D. Smith
Old 12-13-2002, 10:52:50 PM
Mike Royster
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Default Re: Detergent Oil Vs. Non-detergent

OK all, here we go again! I sell oil for a living and go to the schools and really in fact it is like this. If they would have had detergent oil in the old days, they would have used it! Now that is is here, there is no reason to go backwards to non detergent. Use any name- brand oil and you truly have 7500 mile protection. If you choose to change it more often, that can only be a good thing. As far as stationary engines go, I have used 5/30, 10/30, 10/40, 15/40, 30, and 40 weight oils. All detergent and really the consumption rate is the same because I set the drip levels. If you prefer one brand over the other, that is fine. But truthfully, any major brand that meets API/SAE codes would be fine, especially in our low tech engines. But to think that John Deere oil or CAT oil is superior is a joke on you. All they do is farm out the process to the majors to meet their specs, which are the same or less than SAE/API. So, the moral to the story is use what you like, set the drip rate accordingly. If you have a crankcase engine, change oil based on hours or severe load conditions, not because the oil is black or not. If you use a detergent oil, it will be black in color faster because it holds the trash in supension as it is supposed to. This is a good thing, and even in systems without filters like our old machinery, this is still OK. In my OPINION, on systems without crankcases, any oil will do, it is the drip rate that is more important that the viscosity or additive package. Having fun here, ya'll do the same!
Old 12-13-2002, 11:50:15 PM
chuck woycke
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Default Re: Detergent Oil Vs. Non-detergent

i think mike is right.the only use for non-detergent oil nowdays is for vintage 2-cycle engines,then again some use the new 2-cycle oils with good results.i guess thats another discussion.just a thought chuck-ohio


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