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Old 05-17-2016, 08:57 AM   #1
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Diesel Engine Oil

I have a new-to-me Island Gypsy 32 with a 135 Ford Lehman with 2600 hrs. Bought it last summer and following storage this winter, am ready to change the oil. Boat is used exclusively on Lake Michigan.

I'm getting mixed messages on what oil to use. ADC says 30W (single viscosity). My new mechanic out of Holland, MI, says stick with the 15/40W that the previous owner had used for five years.

Plus, any preference on brand and any other specifics?

Thanks, George
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:19 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. gb. While I don't have a Lehman 135 (Twin Lehman 120's) I would go with the 30W as advised by ADC. Maybe someone with a manual can substantiate that for you. There are many threads on TF about "what oil?" but my feeling has always been go with what the manual recommends. I use Shell Rotella T 30W single viscosity.
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:34 AM   #3
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This is a tough one.

My gut says to stick with what the engine is used to but my brain says to use the recommended straight 30wt.

The good thing is that it probably doesn't make any difference.
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:53 AM   #4
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We do have a FL - 135 - as recommended in the engine manual and Bob Smith at American Diesel, single viscosity - 30 wt - over 1000 hours in the past 3 years with no issues - and we do use Shell Rotella
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:03 AM   #5
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I had that discussion with Bob Smith several years ago regarding single vs multi and my Lehman 120.
Previous owner had been using 15-40 for quite a while.
He agreed that sticking with the 15-40 was the right thing to do.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:12 AM   #6
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According to our local diesel shop the majority of the local fishing boats use 15W40. The most popular oil seems to be Shell Rotella T. Those boats run 10-12 hours a day 6-7 days a week. That is good enough for me.

Incidentally, I would strongly recommend changing the oil in the fall before winter layup rather than letting the engine sit with old, acidic oil over the winter.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:38 AM   #7
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When the Lehman manual was written, multi-grade oils had lower lubricating properties than straight grade oils, so they recommended straight. But today multi-grade oils have much better lubricity so I think you will get good performance witht he mult-grades. And in your climate you will get the benefits of easier starting when it is cold.


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Old 05-17-2016, 11:41 AM   #8
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George...
You have reopened the which oil "can of worms"

Here's a previous post w/ lots of opinions, but some good points and links / studies
In my post #46 is a link that I believe is the only marine diesel oil article - all the others are for trucks, etc w/ much different pollution requirements than boats.
See Cox Eng - Best Lubricants for Yacht Engines

My conclusion is go by engine mfg recommendations - use single wt where temps allow (I'm laid up during winter and no need to start in cold weather so I don't need 10W -anything)

I've decided to use 30wt API CF-4 and avoid the latest API classifications (CJ / CI-4) that were implemented for trucks needing to meed pollution stds.
I'd be comfortable w/ any quality oil mfg - Shell - Rotella, Chevron Delo, etc available in your chosen wt / API spec.

Read the links and draw your own conclusion. There are some interesting comments re: synthetic vs dino oils
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:58 AM   #9
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We used all the time 15 W40 in our FL120 - on our previous boat for 6 years / 1000 hrs as well as on our actual since 3 years / 600 hrs. A friend of us runs since years a turbo charged like you, using also the 15 W40. Don't know your climate at Lake Michigan but it might very similar to ours here in the Southern Baltic. I would be afraid of engine start under cold condition if operating with a W30 ...


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Old 05-17-2016, 12:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
When the Lehman manual was written, multi-grade oils had lower lubricating properties than straight grade oils, so they recommended straight. But today multi-grade oils have much better lubricity so I think you will get good performance witht he mult-grades. And in your climate you will get the benefits of easier starting when it is cold.


David

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Old 05-17-2016, 12:41 PM   #11
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If always warm...sure use the 30Wt....

If you are starting in colder temps....then 15W40 is fine.

I have run both in my Lehman during 9 trips from to Florida and New Jersey.......all the time the oil analysis has been perfect.

Both for lubricating and wear.

Modern oils are magic compared to 50 years or so ago when Lehmans were designed.

Oil arguments are fly spit....as long g as you use common sense and stick with decent oils...if in doubt...do oil analysis rather than forum opinions.....maybe not better...but maybe so.....
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:18 PM   #12
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I use Rotella 15-40 in our FL SP135. I'm not compelled to change. As was stated earlier it probably dosent make much difference unless you are in the Arctic or a tropical climate.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:29 PM   #13
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Rotella 15-40. Filter every change. 3500 hours and purrs. Oil looks like new when it comes out approximately every 200 hours.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
When the Lehman manual was written, multi-grade oils had lower lubricating properties than straight grade oils, so they recommended straight. But today multi-grade oils have much better lubricity so I think you will get good performance with the mult-grades. And in your climate you will get the benefits of easier starting when it is cold.
David
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Just curious as I haven't seen this in reports I've read on oils...do you have a reference / report / link that reports the above conclusion.

Tried to go back & re-read the one link I saved that dealt w/ lubricity but found it wouldn't open - report removed???
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Old 05-17-2016, 02:44 PM   #15
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I use Rotella 15W40 in my 64 Corvair. It has the zinc and lubricants that modern oils and cars do not need. My car originally was also rated for single viscosity 30W oil.

It's an air cooled engine so it runs hotter than regular engines.
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Old 05-17-2016, 02:56 PM   #16
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Don:


This is from memory and my memory isn't as good as it used to be (there is a C/W song along those lines ;-). But I am also a chemical engineer who worked in the oil industry all my career.


When multi-grade oils first came out they used a synthetic polymer, actually a rubber compound that was mixed with dino oil to extend the viscosity range. But that compound had lousy lubrication properties and degraded the overall mix's lubricity. But it was ok for passenger cars which never stressed the oil very much as they were big cubic inch monsters in those days and were never called on to produce much hp except for a few seconds when the owner goosed it.


But diesels as we all know were designed to run hard and they needed the better lubrication properties of single grade dino oil without the rubber additive.


Today the industry uses an entirely different additive type for multi-grade oils that does have good lubricity properties and are good enough for diesel use. But some diesel manufacturer's either because they were stubborn, or know something that I don't know, never changed and still recommend straight grade oils. Cat and DD are two like that I know of.


But Cummins, Yanmar and Volvo all recommend 15W-40 oil for their diesel engines today.


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Old 05-17-2016, 04:45 PM   #17
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Just for info if anyone is running Cats or is thinking of buying.....

Used Cat or Rotella 15W40 in my 3208 Cats and at the Sea Ray dealership when Sea Rays came with Cats.

The smaller engines did use 40wt per warranty.


https://parts.cat.com/en/catcorp/mac...e-9901-product


DEO 15W-40 (5 L)

Description:
Cat® Diesel Engine Oil is used as standard factory-fill oil for Cat machines


Attributes:
Cat DEO™ is developed, tested and approved by Caterpillar to meet the same high standards as all Genuine Cat Parts.


Recommended Application:
Cat® DEO can be used in diesel engines without aftertreatment devices.
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:43 PM   #18
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David

Thanks for the response. I'll apologize in advance for the lengthy reply but Ive seen many simple generalizations and the subject is far from simple.

I’m not surprised to hear you are an engineer based on your prior posts & valuable / common sense approach…
I’m a retired mechanical eng w/ no petro experience - just a curious type trying to learn more about diesels.

From what reading I’ve done my understanding is: (correct me if / where I’m off base w/ my assumptions)

Multi-Vis oils are comprised of 3 basic components

1) Base oil – I’m assuming it is multi-vis base oil is neither better nor worse than comparable single vis oil?

2) Viscosity Index modifiers –

a) Used to make a 10wt oil act like 30wt at higher temps to yield a 10W-30 multi vis oil
b) I can believe early VI modifiers were not as effective as modern ones (your point)
What I’m wondering is – are these newer ones actually better than the base oil and impact an improved lubricity that makes the multi-vis superior to single wt or is it that they now don’t detract from the base oil and they are equivalent?
c) I’ve read the following re: VI modifiers…
Disadvantages
Unfortunately, viscosity index improvers do have some drawbacks. The primary disadvantage is they are susceptible to mechanical shearing. When referring to the slinky analogy, it is easy to imagine a stretched-out slinky cut in half by mechanical processes to produce two shorter slinkys.
As the additive is repeatedly sheared, it loses its ability to act as a more viscous fluid at higher temperatures. Higher molecular weight polymers make better thickeners but tend to have less resistance to mechanical shear. Lower molecular weight polymers are more shear-resistant, but do not improve viscosity as effectively at higher temperatures and, therefore, must be used in larger quantities.”

d) I am assuming the affect of c) above is that over time, as the oil ages & is stressed that the 10W-30 oil starts to act more like 10 wt oil at higher temps – not a good thing in our diesels!?
e) I’ve also read – “modern oils contain viscosity improvers, clever molecules that increase their length when hotter. These are designed to reduce consumption but do not improve the oil's lubrication properties.”
f) Based on e) above I draw the conclusion that regarding lubricity - modern multi-vis oils can be equal to single wt but not better?

3) Additive packages & API Ratings – this is where I get lost as to exactly what the various components of the additive pkg (AP) are and do. Again my reading leads me to believe the following:
a) Much / most of the difference in the latest / “improved” AP’s and latest API diesel ratings (CJ-4) have been pointed at / req’d to meet newer / lower emission regs in OTR trucks for diesels especially those w/ DPF’s (diesel particulate filters)… for example - I understand the level of detergents in CJ-4 oils is limited to reduce DPF plugging
b) One component of the AP is aimed at reducing the acids generated by combustion – this is the TBN # where higher has a greater capacity than lower #’s. I have seen a report that states “There is a great deal of evidence to show that use of an oil with a TBN that is too high for the duty can lead to several problems, particularly high wear rates of cylinder bores.”
c) My 2007 Yanmar 6LYA-STP manual recommends API CD 30wt above freezing (where I boat) or 15W-40 or 20W-40 where temps are below freezing. I’ve research newer manuals and see they have added API CF-4 & after the YM engine was introduced they included the CI-4 ratings but have not endorsed API CJ-4 oils – at least as far as I’ve seen.
d) One learning / conclusion is that the new CJ-4 oils MAY not be better than - in fact may not be as good as - the previous CF / CI-4+ category oils for us boaters (no catalytic converters or diesel particulate filters DPF's)

My take-aways and current practices based on all of this is:

1) Use a CF. CF-2 or CI-4 API rated oil – looking at Shell Rotella as an example that means straight 30wt which is CF/CF-2 rated (other brands e.g. Chevron Delo I consider equally suitable)
2) Avoid CJ-4 rated oils which again using Shell Rotella T Triple 15W-40 is rated CJ-4
3) I have no need to “cold start” my boat engine so see no benefit of multi-vis oil – other than it is readily available and reasonably priced due to the large volume used in trucks.

Most (not all) of the references above are from the Cox Eng Best Lubricants for Yacht Engines report I've referenced before & attached
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Best lubricants for yacht engines.pdf (366.6 KB, 21 views)
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:22 PM   #19
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If you really want the answer to this question the question of why use either one needs to be asked and answered first.

Why do I need MV and/or why do I need straight oil (SW)?

Many say you need MV oil for it's low viscosity .. to flow to where it's needed at startup. I personally think there is plenty of residual oil film even after fairly long peroids of not running. If there was a problem w this the internal combustion engine probably would'nt exist or a solution to that "problem" would be found. Also engine pre-lubricators are very rarely used.


MV oil was created for cold weather operation so if our boat engine compartments were to get cold MV oil may be usefull but most all boats never get below 40 degrees F. Look up the recomendations in most all engine manuals and see that 30W oil covers the enngine needs from 40 degrees to 90 and more so engines don't need MV oil for boats.

So if you think you need MV oil and it makes you feel better go ahead and use it. You'll never know the difference but SW oil is very slightly better. On all my land vehicles I use MV oil ... but not in the boat ... straight 30W all the time. And on my land vehicles I avoid the ultra wide range MV oils. Too much VI .. viscosity improver.

And the answer to the question "why use SW oil" is that it lubricates better ... there is more oil in it and no multiviscosity improvers.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:02 AM   #20
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FWIW, Cummins recommends 15W-40 for its QSB engines unless the operating temps are going to be below -15° C. They don't recommend any single weight oil. Granted, these are modern engines, "not your father's diesels".

To be honest, if folks are worried about the long chain multiviscosity agents breaking down over time, then I have to think you are simply not changing your oil often enough.
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