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Old 09-22-2014, 07:27 AM   #1
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Oil Change on Lehman 120

Boat is a 1981 34' Marine Trader with a Lehman Ford 120. I'll be changing my oil this week for the first time and was wondering about the best oil to use. What type and weight of oil do you use? I know the manual says 30 weight for my weather conditions but that was written in 1981. Oil has change over the years. Looks like the PO used Shell 10w40 the last time. Do you use the same oil in the fuel-injector pump, as you do in the engine, or 30 weight? As always thanks for helping out!
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:41 AM   #2
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Rotella 15W40 (or similar) as do many others. The typical arguments about whether you need a multi or not are just that...an unsettled argument. Using a straight weight is fine..but if you have a temp spread and feel like your Lehman would do better with a multi then you certainly won't be hurting anything even if again the argument is you don't really need a multi.

As you pointed out...Lehman manuals were printed many oil certs ago and really don't apply any more than using any other aftermarket part.

Even the "Lehman" experts have relented to accommodate the new oils and certainly the oil guys see the fallacy in following the tables in a 30 year old manual.
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:55 AM   #3
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I'm by no means a Lehman guy, but I believe the 120 also needed the injection pump oil changed, is that a different weight?
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:00 AM   #4
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same as engine oil in Simms injector pump.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:37 PM   #5
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I also like Rotella 15-40 for my Lehmans. Don't forget to change the oil in the injector pump too.

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Old 09-22-2014, 01:05 PM   #6
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Shell Rotella 15-40 in Perkins 4-236
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:22 PM   #7
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Remember, your engine virtually sits in the water and does not get as hot/cold as if it were in a truck. Shoot it with an I.R. Thermometer and go from there with your viscosity choice.

Nothing wrong with straight 30 or 40, they've been running on that stuff for, what, 50 years? They will go for 10,000 hours on 30-weight and 10,001 hours on 10-40. Go figure.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:18 PM   #8
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Rotella 15W40 for engines and Simms pump. Reason? It's a good buy at Sam's club. Has worked well for the past 850 engine hours (just over 4 years running).
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:03 AM   #9
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I was told to use non detergent straight weight in the Simms by the old technicians, but I have owned my GB since 1991 so what do I know?
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:17 PM   #10
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Straight weight for me.
I don't think multi-vis is needed or even desirable in a boat where the engine owners manual says to warm up the engine for 10 minutes. The purpose for MV is as an aid to starting in very cold weather. MV oil is slightly less of a lubricant but most think MV oil is more modern and must be better for that reason and so use it for that reason. The difference in viscosity or lubricity is very small so it matters little or almost none at all which you use. Xbank wrote in a post above "They will go for 10,000 hours on 30-weight and 10,001 hours on 10-40. Go figure." Probably the reverse is more correct. Straight weight oil is not "old" or old fashioned. It's just a different type of oil ... for engines that don't need to start and run under load in very cold temperatures. Like a small town's diesel generator. If you need to run your boat engine when the engine is 15 or 25 degrees you then should use MV oil. Otherwise straight weight oil is a tiny bit better.

Remember that 15-40 oil is actually 15 weight oil. It has viscosity improvers (that don't add or even have lubricity) that changes the oil's viscosity characteristics so it will conform to the 15-40 rating. What that means is that at running temp (probably 170 degrees or so) it is as thick or thin as 40 weight oil would be at that temp. The ability to make 15 weight oil do that has in the past been in question. In the early days of MV oil a 10-30 would perform as advertised when new but in a short time would just revert to 10 weight oil. They say those problems have been taken care of long ago but to what degree I wonder just a bit. And they probably had to add another "additive" to correct the old problem. How they "fixed" the problem I don't know. Most to all additives don't add lubricity and I think FF said lube oil is 15% additives. Some additives are almost necessary and some are not. Viscosity improvers for an inboard boat that dosn't see freezing temperatures is not in need of MV oils IMO. But I'll admit it's probably fly stuff. But one must or should use lube oil that has the rating recommended by the engine manufacturer usually expressed in two letters like "CC".
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:08 PM   #11
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Since most engine wear occurs during start up and the next few minutes, it's best to get good oil flow using an oil that has lower viscosity the outset...at 50 - 60 degrees 15w is better than 30. Yes the additives can break down but that's why we change it every year.
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppyR View Post
What type and weight of oil do you use? I know the manual says 30 weight for my weather conditions but that was written in 1981. Oil has change over the years. Looks like the PO used Shell 10w40 the last time. Do you use the same oil in the fuel-injector pump, as you do in the engine, or 30 weight?
On the recommendation of our engine manual, our diesel shop, and good friends in the marine diesel and generator manufacturing industry, we use 30 wt oil in our FL120s. We use Chevron Delo 400 oil. We use the same oil in the injection pumps that we use in the engines.

We change the engine oil and oil filters every 100-150 hours (the book says 200 hours but I've yet to have a mechanic-- marine, aviation, or automotive--- tell me that fresh oil is bad for an engine). We change the injection pump oil every 50 hours.
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:05 PM   #13
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Marin I agree.

I now have one of my cars w 30wt oil. Only downside is that I need to take a bit more time warming it up. Easy to do where we live.

mike66 wrote "Since most engine wear occurs during start up and the next few minutes, it's best to get good oil flow using an oil that has lower viscosity the outset...at 50 - 60 degrees 15w is better than 30. Yes the additives can break down but that's why we change it every year."

I don't believe that but ... I'm open. I'm here to be convinced. I've read it many times though. Seems to me we'd have pre-lubricators our cars if it were true. One could crank their engine over 10 seconds or so before injecting fuel or starting ignition. I've never heard of that recommended and most people run their engines fairly fast and hard way before they are warmed up. If it was as you say it would seem to me much more caution would be commonplace.
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:15 PM   #14
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I think pre lubrication is a good idea, especially with single weight oils in cooler climates. I believe some diesel trucks have them. I think the reason that they're not in common use is the evolution of multi viscosity oils which helps reduce that start up wear. Some synthetics go with a 0w or 5w to get better low temperature flow. This probably is all more theoretical than practical; most engines probably die of other causes than choice of oil weight.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:16 PM   #15
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Mike,
I worked in a mine powerhouse that heated the lube oil and coolant to operating temps all the while circulating both fluids through the engine as though it was running. Took 24hrs to pre-lube and pre-heat prior to starting. Started by compressed air and the moment of starting was confirmed by me when the compressed air was turned off and the flywheel didn't slow down.

Engine was a 16 X 20 X 8 Enterprise w turbo.
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Old 10-10-2014, 03:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppyR View Post
Boat is a 1981 34' Marine Trader with a Lehman Ford 120. I'll be changing my oil this week for the first time and was wondering about the best oil to use. What type and weight of oil do you use? I know the manual says 30 weight for my weather conditions but that was written in 1981. Oil has change over the years. Looks like the PO used Shell 10w40 the last time. Do you use the same oil in the fuel-injector pump, as you do in the engine, or 30 weight? As always thanks for helping out!
The real answer might just be use whatever diesel rated oil you want of almost any weight rating. Injector pump aside, change it every 100 or 1000 hours. In the long run. with those engines, I seriously doubt you'd ever notice any difference in longevity or have any mechanical issues do to what oil you use.
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Old 10-10-2014, 06:58 AM   #17
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The major difference in oils is the additive package.

This is the 20% of the oil that gets upgraded as the gov changes exhaust requirements for big trucks.

The old Std CD is still fine for engines that are not fed their exhaust (EGR) .

I prefer 30 wt , not multigrade as the oil is more stable , and there is no flour like chemicals to thicken the oil as it warms.

Esp on displacement boats that operate on a small percentage of the engines HP,
remember coolant temp is NOT oil temp. And it takes oil temp to thicken the oil.
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:31 AM   #18
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I cant believe some still subscribe to the long warm up theory.


I use modern oils in everything because of their better anti wear additives but you could probably use any cheap detergent oil and never notice the difference. in an old engine.

It don't remember ever reading of an oil related failure on any boat web site.
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:34 AM   #19
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Excellent post FF,

Except the oil never thickens .. as it warms up .. ever. 15W40 oil is 15W oil .. but it has the VI additive or additives that have a thickening effect on the oil as it warms but the effect of thinning from heat as the oil heats is far more dominant. And when it gets to operating temp it's much thinner than at startup temp. But it has the viscosity characteristics (thickness) of 40W oil at 170 degrees (or whatever they rate it at) so the MV oil gets much thinner as it heats up like straight weight oil .. just not quite so much so.

When 30W oil is at startup temp it's a little bit thicker than 15W40. And when 15W40 gets to operating temp (if the load is high enough) it is a little bit thicker than 30W. It's just a little bit higher in viscosity stability.

Speaking of stability What is it about 30W oil that is more stable FF?

And baywiew 15W40 oil is only more modern in that it was developed and introduced to market much later than straight weight oil. There are applications where MV is a better product (road vehicles) and there are applications where 30W is a better product (most stationary engines) for example. In industry I doubt you'll find stationary engine manufacturers recommending anything but straight weight oil. There's no need for continuously run engines to have MV oil. Really large engines (or any other size) that don't need MV shouldn't use it. But if you have a fireboat (they have a few in Alaska) MV oil would be an appropriate lube oil to use as they wouldn't be warmed up normally.
And a long warm-up for any engine in a trawler would be undesirable irregardless of what viscosity oil was used.
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:43 AM   #20
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UNDERSTANDING OIL VISCOSITY

"Viscosity" refers to how easily oil pours at a specified temperature. Thinner oils have a water-like consistency and pour more easily at low temperatures than heavier, thicker oils that have a more honey-like consistency. Thin is good for easier cold weather starting and reducing friction, while thick is better for maintaining film strength and oil pressure at high temperatures and loads.
The viscosity rating of a motor oil is determined in a laboratory by a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) test procedure. The viscosity of the oil is measured and given a number, which some people also refer to as the "weight" (thickness) of the oil. The lower the viscosity rating or weight, the thinner the oil. The higher the viscosity rating, the thicker the oil.
Viscosity ratings for commonly used motor oils typically range from 0 up to 50. A "W" after the number stands for "Winter" grade oil, and represents the oil's viscosity at zero degrees F.
Low viscosity motor oils that pour easily at low temperatures typically have a "5W" or "10W" rating. There are also 15W and 20W grade motor oils.
Higher viscosity motor oils that are thicker and better suited for high temperature operation typically have an SAE 30, 40 or even 50 grade rating.
These numbers, by the way, are for "single" or "straight" weight oils. Such oils are no longer used in late model automotive engines but may be required for use in some vintage and antique engines. Straight SAE 30 oil is often specified for small air-cooled engines in lawnmowers, garden tractors, portable generators and gas-powered chain saws.
MULTI-VISCOSITY OILS

Most modern motor oils are formulated from various grades of oil including base stocks refined from crude oil and recycled re-refined oil. The base stock determines the lubrication characteristics of the oil. Multi-viscosity oils contain polymer "viscosity index improvers" that alter the way the oil flows at both high and low temperatures. Multi-viscosity oils flow well at low temperature for easier starting yet retain enough thickness and film strength at high temperature to provide adequate film strength and lubrication.
A thin oil such as a straight 10W or even a 20W oil designed for cold weather use would probably not provide adequate lubrication for hot weather, high speed driving. Likewise, a thicker high temperature oil such as SAE 30 or 40 would probably become so stiff at sub-zero temperatures the engine might not crank fast enough to start.
Multi-viscosity grade oils have a wide viscosity range which is indicated by a two-number rating. Popular multi-viscosity grades today include 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40 and 20W-50. The first number with the "W" refers to the oil's cold temperature viscosity, while the second number refers to its high temperature viscosity.
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