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Old 03-18-2013, 10:25 PM   #1
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2300 Hours, Should I go thicker?

Getting ready to do annual engine work on my Perkins 135hp. For the past three years I have used Rotella T 15W40 because that's what the previous owner used. Come to find out, for above 80-degrees the manual calls for SAE30. With 2300 hours, the engine has a few little leaks (hey... it's a Perkins) but I still haven't needed to add oil throughout the past year.

Should I stay with 15W40 or go to 30?
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:39 PM   #2
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Getting ready to do annual engine work on my Perkins 135hp. For the past three years I have used Rotella T 15W40 because that's what the previous owner used. Come to find out, for above 80-degrees the manual calls for SAE30. With 2300 hours, the engine has a few little leaks (hey... it's a Perkins) but I still haven't needed to add oil throughout the past year.

Should I stay with 15W40 or go to 30?
For the summer I would go with Rotella 40. The 15W40 would be OK too as you will still have cool mornings for a month or two. I've run 15W40 for lots of miles/hr in diesels and so have all the maritime companies I have worked for. Only a few diehards still go with a straight weight.

That said I went with Rotella 30 but I'm up in Jersey parked for the summer and I'll switch back to 15W40 when I leave to headsouth next December. After switcing to Rotella 30 a couple weeks back in Beaufort, SC...the cooler mornings and my Lehman starts a little slower than before I switched from 15W40.

But all in all..if you don't push your engine hard and only are gonna put 200 or less hrs on her/him...you could go 30, 40 or 15W40 and I doubt other than faster starts with the 15W40 on 40 degree or less mornings...you would probably never know or care.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:53 PM   #3
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I think the multi-vis will be fine. While you're at it, get a sample from each engine analyed.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:02 PM   #4
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I use Delo 30 all the time except for mid summer. Then I mix 30 and 40W together. My engine is small and would probably crank smartly w 60W oil. But for anyone with cranking problems multi-weight (vis) would be the obvious route to take. After the electrical system including the starter was checked. Trucks make great use of 15W-40. Unlike our boats the truck engine is hang'in out there in the cold. If it's 10 degrees out the engine will be 10 degrees whereas our boat engines almost never get below 50 degrees in the water w a small bit of electrical heat in the engine compartment.

Cold weather starting was the reason for the emergence of both multi-vis and synthetic oil. The latter was a military endeavor to start engines in the Arctic in the winter. Just wouldn't crank at -40F.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:47 PM   #5
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I think the multi-vis will be fine. While you're at it, get a sample from each engine analyed.
That would be a neat trick...
(psst... I only have one)

Is there any chance of increased leakage from thinner oil?
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:47 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Rotella T. Straight 30wt year round in the Lehman's. As recommended in the manual. What does Perkins suggest? I'd go with that myself.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:24 AM   #7
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Is there any chance of increased leakage from thinner oil?
Getting tired of the Perkins patina?
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:18 AM   #8
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The Perkins enignes often leak out of the starboard forward engine mount studs. The one I had was leaking badly until I heard about this phenomena. There are 3 studs and you can remove them one at a time, clean them off and reseal them with RTV of your choice. If you do it one at a time it will not affect engine alignment.
Mine was leaking to the order of aabout a quart every 8 enigne hours. I did this resealing job (less than 1 hour's work) and the leaking stopped completely.
I had also changed to Castrol 20-50 oil (that was ONE of the recommended oils in my operators manual) and ran that for the remaining 8 years I had that engine in the boat.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:37 AM   #9
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I tend to follow the engine manufacturers recommendation or possibly second the engine rebuilder. Another vote for Rotella T; really like that stuff for all my applications.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:42 AM   #10
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I use 15w40 in my Perkins. Previous owner used the same for the past 10 years. Florida. Works well
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:46 AM   #11
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Yea... even though the book says 20W20 for 30-80 degrees and straight 30 for over 80, I might just stick with Rotella 15W40 this time. If for no other reason than it seems to be the far more common weight carried across all retailers - both marine and auto.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:55 AM   #12
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Yea... even though the book says 20W20 for 30-80 degrees and straight 30 for over 80, I might just stick with Rotella 15W40 this time. If for no other reason than it seems to be the far more common weight carried across all retailers - both marine and auto.
It's a more "modern" oil....probably designed for higher performance apps ...so why not?

I think my Lehman manual also talks about 20W20....not sure I have even seen it in diesel classification oils.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:38 AM   #13
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Tom,
I would run the SAE30 or 10W-30. Your rings/seals, etc are designed for the thicker oil. You should see less leaks and or oil consumption. As I've said many times I like the 10W-30 synth personally.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:46 AM   #14
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Tom,
I would run the SAE30 or 10W-30. Your rings/seals, etc are designed for the thicker oil. You should see less leaks and or oil consumption. As I've said many times I like the 10W-30 synth personally.
I am guessing this is a type-o? SAE30 or 10W30 is thinner than 15W40. Right?
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:13 AM   #15
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Perkins for years has said 15-40. The smartest Perkins guy on the internet, Paul Foulston (ex Perkins and Cummins designer and builder) says the same.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:50 AM   #16
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I am guessing this is a type-o? SAE30 or 10W30 is thinner than 15W40. Right?
No, 30 is thicker then 40. The lower the second number the thicker in multi or SAE. The higher the first number the thicker ie:
10W-30 is thicker then 5W-30
10W-30 is thicker then 10W-40
SAE30 is thicker then SAE 40
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:52 AM   #17
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Perkins for years has said 15-40. The smartest Perkins guy on the internet, Paul Foulston (ex Perkins and Cummins designer and builder) says the same.
The Perkins in my Westerbeke says SAE30.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:58 AM   #18
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Motor Oil Viscosity Grades Explained in Layman's Terms

more detailed oil viscosity explanation
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:29 AM   #19
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Tom B wrote;

"I am guessing this is a type-o? SAE30 or 10W30 is thinner than 15W40. Right?"

Depends on at what temperature. The 15W-40 is thicker at high operating temps and thinner when starting up cold. But at what temperature it gets as thick as 30W only the engineers know. There's no advantage to the MV unless one has trouble starting because of low cranking speeds. But the difference between 15-40 and 30W is really smaller than the numbers suggest. So which one is used makes so little difference (unless you can't crank the 30) that it's not worth talking about from an operational standpoint. Nobody would notice a difference running either one at operating temp but it can be said that there's more oil in the 30W as it dosn't have some oil taken out to make room for some stuff put in that has no lubrication properties or capabilities.

So I think it's safe to say that 30W is just a tiny bit better at running temps and 15-40W is a tiny bit better when starting cold.

Another thing to consider is that 15W40 oil is 15W oil. It's not 40W oil that flows like a 15W oil at low temps. It's a 15W oil that has stuff in it that reduces the tendency of the 15W oil to thin out at high temps. It's always thinner than 15W oil when running but at high operating temps the 30W oil will be slightly thinner than the 15W-40. So if the abilities of the stuff put in to prevent thinning dosn't perform at a 100% level after a time you may not have 15W-40 oil but 15-20 or 15-30 or just 15W oil if the VIs wore out all together. In the past the vis improvers wore out quickly so one soon had 15W oil. I've heard this problem has been solved but to what degree I'm not sure.

In my cars I never use 10W-40 but I do use 10W-30 as it has much less vis improver in it. I'm guessing it probably takes 3 to 4 times as much VI to bring 10W-30 up to 10W-40. It could be a linear function but I doubt it.

Just read your link psneeld .... very excellent having learned several things.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:55 AM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. D. Your explanation of multi-grade oils is correct to a point but in single grade oils SAE 30 is thinner than SAE 40.
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