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Old 05-05-2012, 08:41 PM   #21
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Can't remember what the details are and it seems silly but I've heard and read for decades that oil degrades while sitting in an engine. I'm quite sure condensation plays a part. I'm not on BoatDiesel anymore so I can't ask and I was hoping Tom would answer that question. I've heard it so many times I don't think it could be a debatable issue. Hopefully someone w the details will surface.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:13 AM   #22
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Eric: For the best information go to Chevron and/or Shell's websites. My two cents worth based upon 40+ years of running and maintaining all manners of big iron follows:

If you change oil by the book you can't go wrong. Most people change oil in the fall just before a winter layup then assume it is OK for the next season, Some more dedicated change it in the spring and fall, the old 6 month rule, to deal with moisture which does indeed accumulate in the engine's innards during the winter layup.

And yes just sitting and oxidizing,oil can begin to wear out, but I doubt in 6 months given today's oil additives, whether dino or syn. BUT in many boat engines the last quart or 3 won't easily come out, so you never have 100% clean oil sitting there during the winter. Me, since I run my engines to temperature at least every 5 weeks during the milder winter in Victoria as compared to Thorne Bay, I change oil by the book hour (400 in my case) or annually, whichever comes first.

If you own a fancy car where the builder provides free service for XX years, they change oil based upon the onboard computer, sometimes as much as 8,000 - 10,000 miles. In the book the same car says 5,000 miles or less. It sometimes depends on who is paying.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:47 AM   #23
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"It sometimes depends on who is paying."

True , but I have never heard of an engineer or wrench telling an operator ,

DAMN. "You changed the oil so often the engine is shot!"

Oil is cheap, when in doubt , change it out!.

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Old 05-07-2012, 07:17 AM   #24
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Simple... Every year. Usually in the spring.

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Old 05-07-2012, 11:17 AM   #25
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I change the oil in our Detroit 8.2's every 100 hr; change the oil filters every 200 hrs, & do an oil sample at least once a year. Engines don't show oil use until I get near the 100 hr point; then they will use a little bit. Trans. oil (Twin Disc) gets changed @ 150 hrs.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:20 PM   #26
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100 hours or once a year, whichever comes first. We use the boat year round.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:15 PM   #27
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Simple... Every year. Usually in the spring.

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We in the frozen NE usually do it in the fall when we haul for the season on the theory that we don't want the contaminants in the old oil to sit in the engine all winter.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:40 PM   #28
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We in the frozen NE usually do it in the fall when we haul for the season on the theory that we don't want the contaminants in the old oil to sit in the engine all winter.
In NC, we boat nearly, if not actually, year-round, but I have heard that too.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:27 PM   #29
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My engines are rated for 400 hour changes. I change in the late fall, but run to operating temperature every 2-3 weeks in the winter and keep a heater on in the engine room which keeps things dry and cozy. I might go on a few day trips in the winter as well.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:39 PM   #30
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That's super interesting Tom. I did'nt know the volume of oil actually increased from these contaminants. But fuel in the oil certainly has volume. And I did wonder how an engine survived not burning any oil at all as it would seem there would'nt be any oil on the cylinder walls at all. Since I've always thought these contaminants were only present in "trace" amounts now I wonder how much there actually is.

I change my oil at least 3 or 4 times a year. I frequently change the oil in the engine and not the filter. It promotes me to change more often that way and I get most of the carbon out of the oil. I just changed it last week (and the filter) and I'll change it once during our trip south. With'in reason I do'nt think one can change oil too often and if you change oil in the fall and do'nt use your boat in the winter you do need to change it in the spring. It's my opinion that one needs to change synthetic oil as often as dino oil in a diesel as the worst contaminant is carbon and it should accumulate as fast w syn oil as dino.
If I may make a suggestion, you are better off changing the filter more frequently. You can actually skip changing the oil, but I don't recommend skipping on changing the filter. The filter has a capacity that it can hold. Once that is reached, it can no longer catch the impurities. I also recommend attaching a 5-10 pound magnet to the filter side. I do this on all the filters of all of my vehicles. Then, when I change the filter, I cut it open and see what is there. If there is metal it can tell me what is going on inside the engine. Paper filters do not catch organic compounds commonly found in oil and diesel fuel, but they do catch other things like metal. They do make filters that will catch organics, but they are pretty expensive. Oil will last much longer than most will let on, especially if the engine is run at the designed RPM and load ranges more frequently than not. Our Volvo's have just over 15,000 hours, never overhauled and run just fine. I agree with the block heaters. Every commercial ship I have been on has had them running at 150-165 degrees F whenever the engines are not running and we do the same with ours, although on our boat the heaters are elements and not steam operated. Just a few thoughts. I hope they help.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:47 AM   #31
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100 hours or so here; manual advises 200 hours.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:11 PM   #32
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Timely discussion as I am just about to change the 34 litres of oil in the Cat 3406. We do it once a year in May or June and the hours are 200 to 250. I fill to about 1/2 on the dipstick and it's about 1/4 when we change. Never needed to add any oil between changes.

However....I used to use Morris Ringfree 15w40 and never had any issues. Last year I changed to Agip (cheaper and easier to find) and now, after 200 hours there is a distinctly unpleasant odour from the breather filter which seems to permeate the boat - although I am the only one who has noticed it. It is only noticeable at low engine speeds when the fumes are not being sucked into the air intake filter adjacent to the breather filter. I don't believe there is excessive blowby as the simple test of loosening the filler cap doesn't show anything - nor can I feel any pressure.

So.. this year back to Morris oil - a bit more expensive but possibly worth it.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:05 AM   #33
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100 hours, approx.
Let me think:
$108.00 for oil, $12.00 for filters each change --
$18,000.00 + freight + installation for engines (each)
I agree with FF, oil is cheap.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:38 PM   #34
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100 hours or annually, whichever comes first .
That would be my answer as well. I have a Volvo TAMD41P.

We are on a month long cruise and it looks like it will be about 140 hours before we get back home. I figure that won't hurt anything.

What's puzzling is that changing oil or any other routine maintenance based on engine hours doesn't really account for engine use.

For example, wouldn't 100 hours at 1500 RPM be about half the use and wear of 100 hours at 3000 RPM?
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:26 PM   #35
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I'm in the 100 hr club. I just changed the oil on mine at 160 hrs and was surprised at the "thinness" of the used stuff. P.O. had used Delo which I've never used (Rotella guy). By the way Advanded Auto has Rotella for $13/gal right now! He also had a Fram on there Couldn't get that out fast enough for my comfort.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:32 PM   #36
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Twisted!
I use Delo 30 and 40W mixed together (35W ?)
Dos'nt seem thin to me.
I warm up slow and never have any trouble starting.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:43 PM   #37
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Why mix your own oils?? I usually make my cocktails with liquor!!
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:44 PM   #38
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.....By the way Advanded Auto has Rotella for $13/gal right now! .
Walmart usually has it for $12 or a little less per gallon. Sometimes they have 2.5 gallon jugs at a slight savings over the single gallon price.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:20 PM   #39
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Chrisjs,
Simple.
Want oil thicker than 30W and thinner than 40W.
All real authorities I've ever read all agree that the higher the viscosity the oil the lower the wear.
I warm up to cruise speed in steps that take about 10 minutes.
Somehow I can't bring myself to run 40W in a nearly new engine.
And 30W is not very viscus when warm.
Personal preference.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:13 PM   #40
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Chrisjs,
Simple.
Want oil thicker than 30W and thinner than 40W.
All real authorities I've ever read all agree that the higher the viscosity the oil the lower the wear.
I warm up to cruise speed in steps that take about 10 minutes.
Somehow I can't bring myself to run 40W in a nearly new engine.
And 30W is not very viscus when warm.
Personal preference.
Why not just use a multi viscosity oil and be done with it?
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