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Old 05-04-2012, 10:55 AM   #1
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How often do you change your oil

How often do you guys change the oil in your engines? Time based or engine hours?
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:20 AM   #2
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100 hrs or end of season, whichever comes first. Same with tranny.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:35 AM   #3
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Depends on usage. Normal Summer season in Northeast means 100-150 hours. I change Cummins 6BTA5.9 engine and Twin Disc transmission oil before winter lay-up. Cummins handbook states every 250 hours but last year Cummins Technician said 350 hours was OK before we took off on our Bahamas Winter cruise that put 650 hours on the boat. Engine hardly burns any oil at all!!
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:38 AM   #4
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Every 200 hours on our Ford Lehman SP135 with 7386 hours.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:42 AM   #5
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Chrisjs,
You better hope it does burn some oil. There is a ring on the piston that's called an oil control ring and it controls how much oil is left on the cylinder walls when the piston comes down. With an engine in good condition the oil control rings provide enough oil on the cylinder walls to lubricate the cyl walls, the piston and the upper compression rings. Burn no oil = lots of wear.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:05 PM   #6
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I use an engine bypass filter (Gulf Coast), on my Cummins 5.9. Every 100 hours I replace the filter and top up with about a gallon of Delo.

Every 500 hours I replace all the oil and regular engine filter too, as a matter of course - even though they say I don't need to.

Oil analysis once a year.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:31 PM   #7
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FL120 manual says to change the oil and filter every 200 hours. We change ours every 100-125 hours. And of course the injection pump's lube oil is changed every 50 hours.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:54 PM   #8
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Once a year

Even though I use block heaters though out the winter and early spring months I change my oil each year. It would be unlikely for the average boater to exceed 300 hours a year so I'm well with in my recommended change interval. Even in the temperate central valley I feel block heaters maintain a dry engine and engine room extending the life of everything in the engine room. I probably could extend oil changes out for two - three years or so. My Detroits are 36 years old still running original heat exchangers , oil coolers and starters. The engine start instantly so I believe the starter life is extended as well by the use of block heaters. I don't read much about the value of extending engine life with block heaters but my experience has been very positive.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:00 PM   #9
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Really depends on the Use.

On the Loop or ICW transit 125hours is norm.

Just putzing about once in awhile 50hours.

DD factory bypass filter ,no full flow fitted ,engine is too old.

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Old 05-04-2012, 03:00 PM   #10
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In my Lehman, any where between 100 and 200 hours, depending on the season ans use.
When I had my Cummins 6BTA, it was 300 hours some years (the manual said 300 hours). And it didn't burn enough oil to measure or think about uless I was really hammering it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:30 PM   #11
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I went back to my log book for more precise info on oil burn. When I first got my boat it had 1130 hours on the Cummins 6BTA5.9 /280HP. We motored non-stop (24 hours a day) for about a week from Lauderdale to Rhode Island. We covered about 1,200 nm, burned 450 gal of diesel and used 1 gal of engine oil (Rotella 15/40). The engine now has 2,500 hours and still does not burn much oil, even when we do 24-30 hour overnight runs. I had an Audi A6 that used to suck down about a qt. every 1,000 miles. Dealer (liar!!)said it would get better with time - never did. On the other hand my old Jeep Grand Cherokee had 140K miles on it when I sold it last month and never needed any oil between 7,500 mile services. I think the story about "good" engines needing to burn oil is just that --- a story promoted by poor engine builders!!
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I had an Audi A6 that used to suck down about a qt. every 1,000 miles. Dealer (liar!!)said it would get better with time - never did. On the other hand my old Jeep Grand Cherokee had 140K miles on it when I sold it last month and never needed any oil between 7,500 mile services.
Audi/VW engines are well known to use oil throughout their life.
My FL120s rarely need topping up between changes,usually performed around 100hrs or annually. I understand that apart from becoming contaminated by usage over time, oil qualities deteriorate with oil age too,thus the advice from auto manufacturers to change oil by time as well as miles, which if true,has to apply to boat engines too. BruceK
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:52 PM   #13
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Chrisjs,
You better hope it does burn some oil. There is a ring on the piston that's called an oil control ring and it controls how much oil is left on the cylinder walls when the piston comes down. With an engine in good condition the oil control rings provide enough oil on the cylinder walls to lubricate the cyl walls, the piston and the upper compression rings. Burn no oil = lots of wear.
Guess it depends on the definition of "some oil". My dodge pickup has the same Cummins 6BT-5.9 engine that my boat use to have. The oil barely moves on the stick between oil changes (every 5,000 miles). With 305,000 miles (6,000 +/- hours) there doesn't seem to be any wear on the engine for not using any appreciable amount of oil.

Now my charter boat engine, Cummins 6CT-8.3 (300 hp) gets an oil change every 50 hours. But then it's burning 10 to 14 gallons per hour as compared to my pick up which burns 2.5 to 3.5 gallons per hour.

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Old 05-05-2012, 07:03 AM   #14
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Engines,will,use,oil,as,some,must,be,left,on.the,c ylinder,walls,to,prevent,seizing.

An,engine,that,"does,not,use,oil"is,simply,accumul ating,blowby,and,gunk,at,about,the,rate,the,oi,is, being,used.

That.is,why,there,is,the,change,requirement.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:20 AM   #15
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100 hours or annually, whichever comes first per Bob Smith. He did say that if you're using the engine hard, like full time cruising, you can go 200 hours.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:32 AM   #16
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"Not using any oil" can be the same as "the volume of oil consumed is replaced by diesel fuel and air products." What is this stuff? Well it can be one or all of the following:
  • tar/asphaltines
  • sulfates
  • antifreeze
  • diesel fuel
  • water
  • other products of combustion
All of the above plus some get washed of the cylinder walls by the oil and drop by gravity back into the pan. If your oil temps do not get above 180 F or so many of these contaminants will linger and build up, possibly raising your oil level. If you don't do routine oil analysis, following the book change out hours is a good idea.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:14 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:17 PM   #18
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Surely, contaminants such as this would show up in an oil analysis. last time we did one, ours was fine.
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:26 PM   #19
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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.
What's the benefit in changing 6 month old unused oil?
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:54 PM   #20
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For oil consumption in a decent running 4 stroke diesel, a term that is used is FSOC or fuel specific oil consumption. This number normally is 0.075 to 0.15%. New tight Tier II engines may be as low as 0.05%. At 0.1%, for every 1000 gallons of fuel, 1 gallon of oil will be used. Another rule of thumb is 0.15g/kWH or about 10 grams of oil burned per hour in an engine operating at 100 hp. Rules of thumb are just that, but some oil indeed gets burned in a diesel operating normally. This summer I plan on using about 2000 gallons of fuel so every few weeks a quart or two of Delo 400 15-40wt will be needed.

If one only racks up about 50 hour per year on their engine, it is easy to see how "it doesn't burn any oil." DD 2 strokes burn much more, not a negative, just how it is.
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