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Old 03-07-2016, 09:34 PM   #101
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I agree, to a point.

If a manufacturer suggests oil change intervals of say 200 hours and you only put 100 hours on your engine in a season, you won't change your oil at the end of the season? (OK, here in the Salish Sea we don't have seasons as such, but you get the idea).
I don't know of any manufacturers who don't also recommend a minimum of once a year. Typically x hours or 1 year, whichever comes first.
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:36 PM   #102
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I don't know of any manufacturers who don't also recommend a minimum of once a year. Typically x hours or 1 year, whichever comes first.
Good point. I don't recall the person who mentioned it, but it seems yearly in the fall is a great time for an oil change for the typical low hour weekend warrior. My engine is a lot smaller than most everyone here, but I try and do it spring and fall. Overkill I know.

If I make an offer on the boat that had only 2-3 oil changes in its 6 year life, I will get a thorough engine survey and oil analysis.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:25 AM   #103
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Good point. I don't recall the person who mentioned it, but it seems yearly in the fall is a great time for an oil change for the typical low hour weekend warrior. My engine is a lot smaller than most everyone here, but I try and do it spring and fall. Overkill I know.

If I make an offer on the boat that had only 2-3 oil changes in its 6 year life, I will get a thorough engine survey and oil analysis.
We have no seasons as you and others are referring to. Our winter was four days in a row in February that it didn't hit 70, highs only mid 60's and lows almost down to 50. Fortunately, we were in a warmer climate at the time. I can assure you that long time South Floridians were complaining about how cold it was.
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:49 PM   #104
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A common thread in this discussion thread is to follow the engine manufacturers' recommendations. While this sounds like great advice there is still one remaining question: Manufacturers recommendations have changed drastically over the years.

The manual for the Volvo MD3B recommends changing oil every 50 hours. Lots of diligent Albin 25 owners are following this recommendation.

The manual for a Perkins 4-108 recommends 100 hour intervals for oil changes.

Many comments on this thread have suggested that a 200+ hour interval is plenty.

So the question is: What has changed?
Are the newer engines somehow better and just don't wear the oil out as fast as older engines?
Or has the oil itself become higher quality over the years?
I guess I'd like to know whether I could go 200 hours on the MD3B, or whether I should stick to the 50 hours stated in the manual. Same for the Perkins 4-108 - 100 hours as recommended, or 200 hours, or?
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:53 PM   #105
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My guess would be "both". Improved oil, improved engines, increased experience by the manufacturers.

If I were you, I would continue to change the oil at the recommended times using a oil rated at least as high as specified by the manufacturer.

If you don't hit the number of hours, I would change the oil at least once a year.
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:02 PM   #106
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....
I guess I'd like to know whether I could go 200 hours on the MD3B, or whether I should stick to the 50 hours stated in the manual. Same for the Perkins 4-108 - 100 hours as recommended, or 200 hours, or?
The only way for you to really know is to perform Used Oil Analysis, see the numbers and make a decision.

I have used Blackstone Labs for years for my truck and tractor diesels. I run the truck almost 3 times over the manual recommendation and when I change the oil, I am throwing out good oil. However, that is based on HOW I am using my truck. Same truck operated differently will provide different results. One simply has to do UOA on their engine and see the data. Tis even better to have lots of UOA to build up a trend line on the engine.

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Old 03-15-2016, 05:30 PM   #107
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The only way for you to really know is to perform Used Oil Analysis, see the numbers and make a decision.

I have used Blackstone Labs for years for my truck and tractor diesels. I run the truck almost 3 times over the manual recommendation and when I change the oil, I am throwing out good oil. However, that is based on HOW I am using my truck. Same truck operated differently will provide different results. One simply has to do UOA on their engine and see the data. Tis even better to have lots of UOA to build up a trend line on the engine.
I have never done this Dan but I am interested. What tests do you have Blackstone run and how often?
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:37 PM   #108
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My guess would be "both". Improved oil, improved engines, increased experience by the manufacturers.

If I were you, I would continue to change the oil at the recommended times using a oil rated at least as high as specified by the manufacturer.

If you don't hit the number of hours, I would change the oil at least once a year.
My feeling is the same as your gas. Newer engines are designed for longer service intervals and designed to achieve those through the use of better oils today. We will always meet or exceed the frequency recommended by the manufacturer (we exceed it only when trips planned that would take us over soon so we do it before leaving) and use oils they recommend. We also do oil analysis regularly. Is it more than needed? Perhaps. But then we strive to do more than the minimum in terms of maintenance and upkeep.

If we had a fleet of hundreds of over the road diesels and were convinced through experience and analysis we could change oil less frequently, then that would be an entirely different situation and decision process.
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Old 03-15-2016, 07:39 PM   #109
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I think some of you may have also missed a very obvious point. Larger oil pans per given size of engine allows you to stretch out the time, or at least the hours, between oil changes. On my sailboat with a D2 55 Volvo Engine, having a 3 gallon crank case, the manufacturer recommends changing oil every 500 hours or once a year. Many of my fellow sailors similar sized engines but only four quart crankcases are changing their oil every hundred hours.

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Old 03-15-2016, 08:06 PM   #110
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Every 100 hours and you are wasting money for no reason.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:43 PM   #111
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I have never done this Dan but I am interested. What tests do you have Blackstone run and how often?
I get a standard test and add a TBN test. TBN(Total Base Number) is a measure of how much additive is left in the oil. I have had oil that had a TBN of 12 or more when new out of the bucket. Supposedly, newer oils do not need higher TBN due to the clean ULSD and have a lower TBN amount when new. Once the TBN gets down towards, say 2 or 3, it is time to change IF there is nothing else going on in the oil prior to that TBN point.

The last test I had done, including TBN, was about $40.

I run a test every oil change. I suppose I could run a test every other test but I just do a test each oil change.

I started testing with the oil being used per the manual and slowly increased the oil change time per the UOA results. I did not really intend to run the oil longer, I was just curious about the oil and when I saw that the oil was in good shape, I just ran longer.

The standard test is describe here, Standard Analysis and TBN is discussed here, Do I Need a TBN?.

Blackstone has some interesting information on oils, Which Oil to Use?

A few years ago they bought some VERY old oil off of EBay, tested it, then ran it in their engines. Based on some of the Internet discussions I have read, one would have expected the engine to have run about 2.3 seconds before blowing up. Some of this oil was in the old containers that one had to push a spout in to use.

Their newsletters are informative as well, Blackstone Labs

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Old 03-15-2016, 08:55 PM   #112
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Every 100 hours and you are wasting money for no reason.
Pretty blanket statement. Don't you think it depends on:
- engine
- environment
- type of use
- over what length of time those 100 hours were put on the engine?
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:01 PM   #113
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Personally I agree....every 200 seems to work fine...only if running a vessels engine under severe service would it warrant 100 hr changes.

yes...yes...manufacturer's recommendation is the best idea...even if the engine was designed 50+ years ago....and of course...cheat a little if investing in oil analysis...but don't dare extend it if you aren't.

You betcha if I was running a brand new $25000 diesel I would be following the manufacturers recommendations...even if they said lick the dip stick clean....

But many of us aren't and we are using up to 200 hr intervals that have been proven by many to not make one dang bit of difference.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:07 PM   #114
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One other relevant point is the introduction of ULSD, ultra low sulphur diesel. This was done for a few emissions reasons, but the upside for engines was lower soot generation and less acid formation in the sump. Less acid being formed means that oil with a lower initial TBN can be used, and TBN will decrease slower. Less soot formation means... well, less soot in oil.

Those two characteristics were some of the primary reasons for the end of an oil change interval. If your manual was written before introduction of ULSD, then judicious use of the sample analyses may let you stretch it out.

I was taking oil samples when LSD and ULSD was introduced, and soot levels really dropped!! And not by a little.
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:09 AM   #115
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Brand new engines have the advantage of computers selecting parts.

The cylinder is measured and from hundreds of pistons in the inventory the best fit is selected.

This is part of the reason for longer oil life , the engine IS assembled better.
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