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Old 09-02-2017, 08:12 AM   #41
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Here's a radical approach to engine oil selection...

If it's in the correct weight range called for my the engine manufacturer, AND

If it meets or exceeds the API or other standard specs (CJ-4, for example) called for my the engine manufacturer, AND

It is a reputable oil manufacturer, THEN

Use it.

I doubt anyone, anywhere, can show that an engine failed because they used Delo instead of Rotella, or instead of Castrol, or instead of Valvoline.
Yup! Angsting over which oil is better when all meet specs is not worth your time. Anecdotal observations such as "I've used this or that oil for years and have not had a problem" is useless information.
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:22 AM   #42
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What is unusual here is, the brand name oils like Shell Rotella are not overly expensive so there's no real need to agonize over the price between them and store brands.

Here is a strange one: I once had an Auto Zone store refuse to take my used oil for recycling because it had been used in a diesel engine. I've never figured that one out.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:23 AM   #43
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What's your theory on that?
What were those "nominal values" mentioned in the book or just what were the differences?

Hello Eric - likely the manual is very old and was developed at the time when oils were less robust in their design. The manufacturer selects oils they fell will best support their product and then run tests to set nominal values based upon that combination.
As oils improve the resultant oil parameters will also vary as these newer oils are introduced to older engines -not unexpected at all. In many cases when the same engines are available you will see the nominal values altered in newer manuals but that will not exists when engine lines do not continue when newer oils are introduced.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:49 AM   #44
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What is unusual here is, the brand name oils like Shell Rotella are not overly expensive so there's no real need to agonize over the price between them and store brands.

Here is a strange one: I once had an Auto Zone store refuse to take my used oil for recycling because it had been used in a diesel engine. I've never figured that one out.


That is odd. I normally buy my oil from my local Auto Zone because they take my used oil. I refuse to buy new oil from anywhere that won't take used oil.
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Old 09-02-2017, 11:04 AM   #45
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That is odd. I normally buy my oil from my local Auto Zone because they take my used oil. I refuse to buy new oil from anywhere that won't take used oil.
The odd part is they refused because it had been used in a diesel engine. What is the difference?

I usually (always) buy my oil from Walmart but for some reason some Walmarts are funny about taking it back. One told me the limit was five quarts.

One time I took my antifreeze to Walmart and the guy dumped it in with the oil. I think it's the employees, not the business.
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:04 PM   #46
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Most of the states that I've been in require that any place that sells oil also has to accept used oil.
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:39 PM   #47
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Used diesel lube oil is undesirable for refining as it's heavily laden w carbon. Notice that your diesel lube oil turns black very quickly. That's carbon. Comparatively speaking gasoline engine lube oils only receive a small amount of carbon. Carbon is an abrasive and is cause for high levels of engine wear. That's why we're told to change our diesel engine oil regularly and often.

The above is what I hear and read.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:01 PM   #48
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She wouldn't have known if I hadn't told her (plus the fact that it was In Rotella jugs).

Nobody before or since has asked about coming from a diesel.
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:09 PM   #49
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Notice that your diesel lube oil turns black very quickly. That's carbon. Comparatively speaking gasoline engine lube oils only receive a small amount of carbon. Carbon is an abrasive and is cause for high levels of engine wear. That's why we're told to change our diesel engine oil regularly and often.
The dilemma I find myself in.

My oil in the nta855 is still quite clear yet according to the manual its oil change O'clock.
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:19 PM   #50
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Hello Eric - likely the manual is very old and was developed at the time when oils were less robust in their design. The manufacturer selects oils they fell will best support their product and then run tests to set nominal values based upon that combination.
As oils improve the resultant oil parameters will also vary as these newer oils are introduced to older engines -not unexpected at all. In many cases when the same engines are available you will see the nominal values altered in newer manuals but that will not exists when engine lines do not continue when newer oils are introduced.


Indeed like the engine, the manual is very old, I was not even born when it was written.

L
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:13 AM   #51
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"The dilemma I find myself in.
My oil in the nta855 is still quite clear yet according to the manual its oil change O'clock."

That's why sending an oil sample to a good lab was invented.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:47 AM   #52
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Yep, oil sample can tell you when to change. Engines running at light load might be able to extend the change interval, but there are other contaminants (fuel dilution, moisture content, etc) that may force it earlier. Those contaminants are rarely an issue with an engine in a normal duty cycle, but at light load they might be.

I run my 450 Cummins a mix of 7.7kts/950rpm/1.9gph and 21kts/2000rpm/11gph. Manual says change the oil at 250hrs. A sample taken at 200hrs indicated oil was less than half way through its service life. Based on that I go about 300hrs and sample every few changes. Results remain consistent. It just gives me the willies to go much longer.
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:02 PM   #53
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Oil tests are a good idea.
Like Ski, I used to extend my 200 hr Cummins interval to about 300 hr by using those tests. But I would not have without knowing what the oil was like. Not just the blackening but all the other additives.

THose tests can tell you if acid level is too high, if fuel dilution is a problem, if water is building up which may mean the engine is not run quite hard or long enough enough to drive off condensation and so on.

Acid level is no longer the problem it used to be , at least here, with the ULSD but still not to be ignored.

If you have enough oil in the system, the filters are expensive enough and the actual process of the change is more than just a few minutes then those tests can pay for themselves.

Appearance is not all it's cracked up to be as the clarity could mask a symptom.
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:55 PM   #54
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Yep, oil sample can tell you when to change. Engines running at light load might be able to extend the change interval, but there are other contaminants (fuel dilution, moisture content, etc) that may force it earlier. Those contaminants are rarely an issue with an engine in a normal duty cycle, but at light load they might be.

I run my 450 Cummins a mix of 7.7kts/950rpm/1.9gph and 21kts/2000rpm/11gph. Manual says change the oil at 250hrs. A sample taken at 200hrs indicated oil was less than half way through its service life. Based on that I go about 300hrs and sample every few changes. Results remain consistent. It just gives me the willies to go much longer.


I just received my first two sample bottles from Blackstone Labs. With my new engine, I want to start doing oil analysis. I will change the oil shortly (under 100 hours) and send a sample at that time.

Not sure what I will be use as a protocol, but will figure it out as I go. Not sure I will sample between changes, but likely will sample at every change and use that information to inform when I do the next change.
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:26 PM   #55
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I think each oil change is a good place to start.
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:45 PM   #56
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I'm happy using any well known brand oil that meets the specifications for the engine.
I don't see any value in taking oil samples with small diesel engines. The 250 hour recommended change time is well within the limits of the oil, unless the boat sits for extended periods.
Has anyone had a oil sample analysed that came back with bad results?

When I worked for a company that had a large fleet of industrial engines, we sampled every hundred hours after 500 hours. We did this to extend the oil life as long as possible. (From 600 hours which Caterpillar recommended for 3516's to an average of 1100 hours)
This saved the company about 15 million dollars per year in the cost of oil and downtime.

Analyzing oil samples on a recreational boat is interesting, but not worth the cost and effort in my opinion. Just change the oil.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:50 PM   #57
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...
Has anyone had a oil sample analysed that came back with bad results?
...
In a boat no. But I don't have a boat. In the engines in my truck and tractor, yes. In two cases, I had fuel in the oil that was due to not having enough load on the engines. In the truck, this was due to idling in traffic in place that I called the valley of death due to the traffic jams. Thankfully, I did not have to continue driving that route and the problem went away.

I thought I had enough load on the engine but after the fuel showed up in the oil, I just increased the RPM and was good ever after.

In both cases the fuel in the oil was within specification so all was good but who wants fuel in the oil so I made changes to prevent this from happening again.

The truck also had some wear metals that showed up out of nowhere. Again, they were in specification but they were very abnormal for my engine. The next oil change and the wear metals had drastically dropped to almost engine normal and by the second oil change it was normal. My best guess is that the oil I was using had an additive package that was no longer needed due to the use of USLD.

For both engines, I run the oil far past the engine manual. The truck is supposed to be change every 5,000 miles and I do the change at 12,000-14,500. Even at the higher mileage, the oil is still in spec and I am throwing away good oil.

One of the things I have learned with UOA is to make sure the engine is loaded correctly and don't idle too much.

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Old 09-03-2017, 07:00 PM   #58
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Totally disagree about not doing oil analysis.

If on a long cruise, catching oil dilution from fuel or contamination by coolant could be a big heads up. It might start you thinking on how you might alter the cruise to resolve it at your convenience rather than after it progresses to where you have to stop and act.

Maybe that is unrealistic or over conservative, but it is a reason for analysis many never discuss.

And the way people toss money around here, often saying 50 hr oil changes are smart because no engine ever died from clean oil, well than $20 dollar analysis every couple hundred hours is a bargain.
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