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Detergent Oil Vs. Non-detergent

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Stevie

Guest
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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Ken Fall

Guest
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
 
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Bruce

Guest
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.
 
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Ken Majeski

Guest
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




My Old Engine Page
 
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Ed Deis

Guest
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
 
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Paul Hokanson

Guest
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
 
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Elden DuRand

Guest
Hi:

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
 
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D. Smith

Guest
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
 
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Mike Royster

Guest
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!
 
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chuck woycke

Guest
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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Russ Hughes

Guest
I am inclined to agree with you Mike.

Just because an oil is not a detergent type oil does not mean that it is a poorer quality oil, only non-detergent. For an example, Diesel oil does not run well, if at all as a fuel in a gasoline engine. This does not mean it is a bad product itself, only an improper use application.

I occasionally read opinions here implying that a non-detergent oil is not as good of a lubricant as a detergent oil. It seems to me that the application has to fit into the equation before any such statement has any validity. Does this make any sense?

I don't see how being a detergent, or a non-detergent oil would make much, or a measurable difference in an old open crankcase engine for a drip oiler that uses it only once to lubricate the piston assembly, and then just dribbles it over the engine casting, or on the ground afterwards.

....
 
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Paul Gray

Guest
Re: Detergent Oil In Non-det. Engines

I use detergent oil in all my engines, BUT- When I get in an engine where I do not have to completelty strip down, I make a point to thoroughly douche out the crankcase with kero to get all the sludge out. If you put detergent oil in an old engine which previously ran on non-det, all that crud will get stirred up and into suspension real fast. No sense using the new oil to clean out the crankcase. In my Model T, I used non-det the first time after complete overhaul and when I saw how it cam out of the crankcase, NEVER AGAIN ! It was like molasses on the bottom and sticky gooey. Always wash out the crankcase first. Some engines with crankcase breathers will accumulate a lot of crud in the oil as it runs at a dusty show.
 
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Brian Watson

Guest
Re: Detergent Oil In Non-det. Engines

Detergent oil will work on cleaning the sludge, dirt, etc from the bottom of the pan and elsewhere. If you're running an engine that has no filter, or just a bypass filter system,(remember, oil from the bypass filter goes back to the sump and not the engine) unfiltered oil goes to the bearings and etc. If that oil is washing up the dirt, sludge, metal particles, and etc, it all goes through the moving parts of the engine. The reason oil needs to be changed is dirt. If non detergent oil is all that has ever been used, stick to it. Wait untill overhaul time to switch. If you plan on switching to detergent oil, at least solvent wash out the crankcase. I would never recomend going 7500 miles on an oil change. The automakers don't want vehicles lasting hundreds of thousands of miles. They want you to wear it out and buy another new one. The ole Ranger has 120,000 on it and doesn't leak or burn oil. Since new, its always had new oil and filter every 3,000. Looks just as clean as when new inside. Care reduces wear and repairs.
 
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Joe A

Guest
Hi All-

I use SAE 30 detergent oil in my engines. I've been told straight 30 is best for them. In reality I don't think it really matters what kind of oil you use in these type of engines because it goes in the top and comes out the bottom. It lubes the engine on it's way through and never really has time to get dirty.

Just my opinion,

Joe
 
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Elden DuRand

Guest
Re: Detergent Oil In Non-det. Engines

Jumping back in.......

I was told years ago that, if an engine was "brought-up" on non-detergent oil, it couldn't be changed to detergent without either immediately starting to burn oil and doing big time damage.

I got set-straight when I worked at a Standard Oil company-owned station in 1959. That was back when both types were sold all over the place. We used to have training sessions with company engineers and what the engineer said was that the word "detergent" was a poor one to describe what "detergent" oil did. I think he said that "suspension" would have been a better word because that's what the oil does. It keeps the dirt/wear particles in suspension but does not wash off old deposits.

He was adamant that "detergent" oil does NOT dissolve sludge and other deposits and that it's all right to switch from "non-detergent" to "detergent" oil. He said that flushing the crankcase was only advised when the engine was really choked-up with sludge. Flushing loosens the crud and liquifies it enough to be drained out. Most of the sludge stays and what is loosened up enough is picked up by the new oil. The crud would be gone after the first oil/filter change.

Using that advice, I have switched several engines to "detergent" oil without any detriment to the engine.

One engine was in a 1928 Whippet car (made by Willys-Overland, predecessor of the Jeep) which probably hadn't ever had the oil changed until I changed it in 1959. When I took out the drain plug, it had so much sludge in it that I had to poke a screwdriver around to get the old oil to come out. I did flush this one with kerosene and oil mix but it still had a LOT of crud in it afterwards. It burned the same amount of oil both before and after I switched it over. I ran it for a couple of years before tearing it down. When I did, I found that there was still a LOT of sludge in there and the bearings and crankshaft were in really good shape.

Another car was a '53 Ford a guy gave me. The flathead had never seen detergent oil. I changed it and the filter to good 'ol detergent 40W and ran it for a long time before overhauling it. Oil consumption, if anything, went down. When I tore it down, it also had a lot of sludge in it but the crank was fine.

Again, this is my free advice. It's worth what you are paying for it.

Take care - Elden DuRand in KY
 
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BobRR

Guest
I believe that as long as you have the oiler drip rate set right any oil will do the job! since non-detergent is cheaper that is what I usally use.Trying to save a penny. BobRR
 
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chuck woycke

Guest
ok guys what is the best type of oil to use on old maytag or old boat engines
 
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Dick Fisher

Guest
It's getting hard to find non-detergent oil. The cheepy car parts places dont even know what you are talking about. They like to argue with you that there isn't any such thing. Never the less, these old engines without a FULL FLOW oil filter should NOT use detergent oil.... Remember--We are running equipment from the HORSE AND BUGGY DAYS!!
 
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Bill Sherlock

Guest
I use nothing but #30 heavy duty detergent diesel oil in my gas lawn mower and roto tiller engines and they don't have oil filters. I intend to use the same in my old Johnson Iron Horse engines and my old 1929 Briggs FH if I get it running. For 2 cycle engines I use a good quality 2 cycle engine oil, doesn't matter much what brand. Just mix it according to the engine manufacturer's recommendations.

Bill
 
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Russ Hughes

Guest
Re: Detergent Oil In Non-det. Engines

And I had just exactly the opposite situation when I changed from non-detergent 30 weight oil to a multi viscosity detergent type oil in a 1947 Ford some years back. I was sold on the benifits of the then new detergent lubricating oils that were coming out at the time by a friend who worked in the local neighborhood gas station and claimed to be in the know, and so I made the change. Within about a month the once good running Ford flathead engine started using lots of oil and leaving a trail of blue smoke. It was never the same after that. I don't know about the condition of the crankshaft bearings as I never bothered to tear it down. I sold it and bought another car instead.

I loaned a perfectly good PE-75 portable air cooled generator to a friend for a week end. The friend was cautioned to check the oil level once in a while. I also told him to use a 30 weight non-detergent oil as the operating instructions said. He bought a gallon of that so called cheap re-refined 30 weight non-detergent oil, and later proudly told me how he had changed the oil as a favor to me when he returned the generator.

As I didn't use the generator very often, it sat in the garage for some months before I attempted to start it one day. It got so gummy while sitting there that I couldn't even turn it over with the rope start cord. It took several days of soaking the inside of the engine with solvents and transmission fluid, which by the way worked wonders, before I could roll the engine over with the rope start cord. It ran afterwards, but it still smoked a lot, which it never did before. That engine was never the same again afterwards.

My own experiance tells me that while you might be able to change the types of oils in an engine crankcase successfully, there is no assurance that the outcome will always be a happy one. Unfortunately the outcome of such a switch in lubricants often depends on unobtainable knowledge of what was previously used to lubricate the engine, and what might be remaining in the crankcase when the switch over is made.

No, I don't claim to be all knowlegable on engine lubricants, but these have been my experiances when changing lubricant types.
 
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